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Real Nashville Wedding: Quirky, Vegan Couple Wed on a Budget in Colorful, Non-Religious Ceremony

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jennifer is an offbeat, Nashville bride.  She and now-husband David are individuals who wanted to be sure that every aspect of their wedding spoke to their values and personalities.  They searched for a rare wedding venue that would suit their budget and their desire for a non-religious ceremony.  They doled out DIY tasks to the BrideKicks (aka bridesmaids) and had their grooms wear their favorite frocks in lieu of rented suits.  

Don't be afraid to do things your way.  It's your day - go classic, modern, big, small, colorful or muted - whatever makes sense for your wedding vision, budget, personality and style.  

At Ashley's Bride Guide, we believe there is only one rule:  You can't go wrong when you are true to you.  I hope that you enjoy seeing Jennifer and David's quirky, Nashville wedding as much as I did.


Jennifer & David
Wedding Date ~ May 4, 2013
Ceremony & Reception Venue ~ The Anchor
Budget ~ $10,000-$20,000
Guests ~ 100


quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

My Wedding Team


Planner | Sarah Willard of Music City Events
Photographer | Nashville wedding photographer - Wedlock Images
Gown | Ouma by Monique Sandoval (on Etsy, based in Phoenix, AZ)
Bride’s Accessories | Hairband: Amore Treasure on Etsy; Necklace: Scarlet Begonia; Earrings: Blue Nile
Groom's Attire | Pants: Banana Republic. Shirt: J Crew
Groomsmen's Attire: Own; Ties: TieRack (gift from groom) 
Bridesmaids’ Attire | ModCloth 
Hair | Leah Eddmenson at Parlour and Juke
Makeup | Seriously Foxy – Sylvia Fox
Stationery | Glosite: Invitations and website 
Programs | Bride 
Caterer | Savor the Flavor 
Cake Artist | Julia from Scratch 
Floral Designer | Belles Fleurs Designs
Reception DJ | DJ provided by The Anchor (Ryan Adams) from pre-made Spotify playlist
Rentals | Music City Tents and Events
Lighting | DIY Uplights
Coffee Bar | Beve

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

modcloth bridesmaid dresses

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

modcloth bridesmaid dresses


My Wedding Details

Was yours a destination Nashville wedding or do you reside in Nashville?

We live here in Nashville.

I've never heard of The Anchor.

We were supposed to get married at the International Garden at Scarritt Bennett but it rained all week and was 44 degrees the day of the wedding, so we moved the ceremony to The Anchor. It ended up being a great move!

I have NEVER seen a wedding dress like yours!  Was it custom made? 

Thanks! I had a really, really hard time with the dress at first. I looked at probably a thousand dresses and nothing made me happy. I was set on having something light, tea-length, and colorful and was striking out left and right.

I was scouring Etsy and found a vendor (Ouma, mentioned above) that looked really cool. Her designs were very airy and feminine but structured enough and customized. She also did ombre dyeing, which I love! So I put down a deposit with her in December. My husband had a work conference in Sedona, AZ in February so I contacted Monique and asked if I could come by her shop while we were in Phoenix traveling to Sedona. She was so awesome and nice! She did the measurements at the shop and I got to see a bunch of her work up close. It was a really lovely experience and I felt like she ‘got it’ completely. I was very, very happy with the dress.

I love that you had the courage to do something really different.  What inspired you to go that route with your gown? 

At every wedding I've attended, I've witnessed people stepping on the wedding dress! Even after it’s bustled! It made me cringe because those dresses are not cheap. Also, our budget and my personality really did not permit me to spend a ton on this category. We had other priorities (mainly food) and I just felt uncomfortable spending over $500 for a dress I wouldn’t wear much (I think the dress landed at $450). I also didn’t want to have to ask a friend to help me pee all night. I just wanted something easy, pretty and colorful.

While there are a LOT of dresses on the conventional market, I did not feel like I saw very much variety in designs. Just finding something short was essentially impossible, and when you factor in the price point you really eliminate anything conventional. I did go to the White Room and try on stuff. It was fine. The saleswoman was really very good. She took all the feedback I gave and brought back only what was in my budget. (At the time we went to the store, I used $1,000 as the budget so I could even justify being there.) She did a great job of listening to what I wanted and showing me options. At the end she was pulling from their non-bridal stuff because there was nothing left to look at in bridal. There was one dress that had a pretty cool skirt and even though they could cut it to a tea length for me, I was on the fence about it. However, I didn’t like the stiff, bulky top or the cost after alterations ($1,300!).

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding


How would you describe your style as a couple?

Casual quirky. I like to dress to impress but on a budget, and I like to look a bit set apart from trends. Dave does basics really well but then will go for one seriously unconventional touch in an outfit. We both go for quality over quantity.

How did you incorporate that style into your wedding (e.g. décor, colors, details or even picking the venue)?

We were very overwhelmed by the wedding industrial complex. It was immediately stressful to navigate after we got engaged. (Sarah was a great help in this area!) We picked three words to guide our wedding choices - quirky, intimate and colorful - and that helped a lot. At any point of consideration we could say, "does this fit/relate to quirky, intimate and colorful?" And if the answer was no, then it was out. It helped a lot to have a framework to operate within that was simple to execute and reflected us.

Dave was the color guy. I pulled a bunch of pretty color blocks off Pinterest and showed them to him. He picked the one he liked best (purples and greens) and that was what we used.

I was the detail person. I would find something neat and run with it (hello, cranes!). Also, having fabulous vendors really helped. I could convey a concept or a feeling (quirky, colorful and intimate) and then the vendor could filter that through and come up with amazing stuff. The best example is Belle Fleurs. I am flower dumb and was really kind of dreading it, but they responded SO WELL and had wonderful options. It was a great experience for me and I think they liked playing around with different kinds of things than they normally got to work with. 

What was the story behind your cake?

XKCD is a comic strip on the internet that Dave and I are both fans of. I had looked at a million cakes and didn’t like any. Finally I came across an XKCD themed cake and sent that to Sarah as an example. Sarah told me that Julia didn’t do exact replicas and I was a little bummed but we kept the appointment. At our cake tasting with Julia she showed us her drawing and I almost started crying! She had gone through the XKCD website and found a different cartoon that she really loved and had done an interpretation of for the cake. As it turns out, the cartoon she picked is our favorite; I gave Dave a framed print of it for Valentine’s Day one year that hangs in our bedroom. So she really knocked it out of the park with that one! (Also, the cakes were ridiculously delicious!)

We wanted to have two cakes so Dave went to town on the groom’s cake, making it the equivalent of a caramel macchiato in cake form. It was really tasty! I found zombie Lego bride and groom to use for toppers. Much cheaper than anything else I could find that I liked!

Did you have a vegetarian menu?

We had a vegan menu. This was important from the beginning. We eat a plant-based, whole-food (PBWF) diet (it's easier to say vegan but PBWF is more accurate) and knew we wanted the catering to reflect that. Savor the Flavor was really great about working within those constraints. We had a tasting with them and it was so, so good!

What was your (or your guests’) favorite aspect of your wedding?

I heard a lot about the cranes, the food, the coffee and the cakes. In the end there were about 1,300 cranes all over the place. I made most of those, with Dave making the remainder. I love them, and the fancy ones are hanging in our bedroom from the crown molding. It’s lovely to wake up to everyday. We had Beve do an espresso bar and it was really cool. They guys dressed great, made great coffee and were super cool in general. 

Where did you splurge?  Where did you save/DIY?

Our three big items were wedding planner, catering and photographer. Those three items took half the budget but were worth it. Sarah was fantastic, responsive and such a great asset. We love food and knew we wanted to do well here. And the photographers were awesome. We got a ton of really beautiful shots that we can cherish forever. We would not change a thing!

We saved on booze by doing beer, wine and champagne only. Our good friend brewed two different beers for us (Belgian and a Kolsch) which was a huge gift. We went super budget on the wine with Bota Boxes and inexpensive champagne. I think the venue was a steal for what we got out of it.  We didn’t do other things like a videographer or transportation. Cutting down or out areas that were of low value to us (programs, invitations, etc.) allowed us to spend more on items that were of high value (paid for bridekicks dresses, etc.). We both personally used a lot of things we already had clothing wise and encourage our wedding party NOT to buy anything new for the ceremony. I borrowed about 70 mason jars from friends for the centerpieces to avoid renting them.

Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?

I think the wedding turned out better at The Anchor than it would have at the Scarritt Bennett garden so I suppose not booking the garden! We would have saved a little bit of money there.

Soon after getting engaged I found that many people had so many opinions they wanted to share with me on the subject of the wedding! I think I did an ok job navigating that but certainly got better as time went on. Nodding, smiling and saying, “I’ll think about that, thank you!” in a genuine way was a valuable skill.  I am trying to repay that to friends getting married now by not offering unsolicited advice and simply responding positively to any details they share with me.

In one sentence, what words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?

A wedding planning haiku:
Go your own way – joy!
Mind the budget, mind the fun
Relax, enjoy, wed

coffee bar nashville wedding

coffee bar nashville wedding

coffee bar nashville wedding

vegan nashville wedding savor the flavor

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

quirky eclectic nashville non religious wedding

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: DIY & Budget Wed Finds, Real Nashville Brides, Real Nashville Weddings, 0 comments »

Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum Opens Two New Event Spaces for Your Wedding Reception

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Close your eyes and just imagine: It’s your wedding day and you’re surrounded by your awesome family and friends in love-filled bliss. There’s no need for many decorations. The picturesque Nashville skyline is your backdrop; the looming buildings give you the sense that you’re in the center of it all.

Sound too good to be true? It doesn’t have to be! We’re happy to share that the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has two new event spaces available to host your dream wedding and reception:

country music hall fame landmark wedding

Carlton Terrace

What’s great about Carlton Terrace is its versatility. You can have an intimate wedding and reception or a huge event with space for a multi-member live band in this 6,000-square-foot area. Either way, the Carlton Terrace is perfect for both types of functions.

The open space also overlooks Nashville’s beautiful skyline and is perfect for those who are looking to host their event outdoors, holding a capacity of up to 400 guests reception style or 200 guests banquet style.

country music hall fame landmark wedding


Event Hall

Located on the 6th floor, the Event Hall is huge.  At 10,000 square feet and with a seating capacity of 600 guests banquet style or 1,200 guests reception style, this venue size is practically unheard of in Music City. This space will be perfect for brides and grooms who have large families and lots of friends on the guest list!

This space affords an incomparable view of downtown Nashville from 40-foot windows and a glass ceiling. It also offers a pre-function area great for a cocktail hour before the main course. Once inside, the stage allows for a full band to keep the dance floor jumping all night long!

country music hall fame landmark wedding


Watch the space come to life via this incredible time lapse video:


Are you as excited as we are about these new spaces? We thought so! Find out how to rent these spaces by calling Kaylen Harmon at 615.291.8437 or

Posted by Newlywed Leah | Filed under: Destination Nashville Weddings!, Luxury Nashville Wedding Finds, Wedding Venues and Locations, Wedding Style - Classic, 0 comments »

Darby Cards: A Nashville Stationery Boutique that Brings Southern Style to Wedding Paper Goods

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

While wedding planning, many brides want to set the tone of their event early on. Every detail might not be in place, but the overall theme and feel is something that most couples can clearly express when discussing their wedding. 

One of the easiest ways to give your guests a glimpse into your wedding style is through your invitations and/or save the date cards. I spoke with Nashville stationery company Darby Cards about their delightful wedding designs.  These designs include customized save the dates, programs, tags, napkins, place cards and pre-made greeting cards.

If you are looking for playful, graphic, budget-friendly paper products with a Southern flair, then be sure to check out my interview with owner Darby:

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards


How long has Darby Cards been in business? When did you add your wedding line?

Darby Cards has been around since 2011, when after working for two local paper stores and falling in love with paper, I decided to go out on my own. Darby Cards was born as a greeting card line that did not have the Hallmark warm-fuzzies, but instead a more realistic and slightly sarcarstic feel. Since then, we have added a custom invitation line that ranges from baby to wedding! I love offering beautiful cards and invitations at an affordable cost. We are mostly a digital print company so we can keep costs down by offering invitations with multiple colors for one cost instead of paying additional charges for each color (which you would with any other print process!). The wedding line was launched in 2012, but I have been creating wedding invitations since 2006 through other companies. I am blessed to be well versed in the etiquette that goes into wording an invitation.

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

What draws a bride to order through Darby Cards? What types of brides find your products most appealing?

We are a more funky and informal wedding look - the Southern poster "Hatch" look is one of our specialties! With that said, barn and outdoor brides love our look! We offer a wide variety of designs and it doesn't stop there! Custom invitations are available too. We love to work with brides from initial save the dates to final programs so they can have a seamless paper theme throughout. But if that doesn't happen, we are happy to jump in at any point. Our turnaround is very fast for those brides who have spent a little too long cake testing and not ordering wedding invitations. The ease of digital printing means 3-4 business days to print, so if you are crunched for time, you can have a beautiful invitation in a week or less!

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards


What are your most popular styles for weddings? What trends have you been seeing for 2014 among the brides ordering from you?

The Southern poster look is always a favorite and of course, we are loving this chevron world that we live in. Bachelorette invitations are always in demand - we have this great little postcard with the itinerary on the back for only $1.60 each! Postcards for save the dates and replies are becoming more and more popular. Back in the old days, replies used to come from the guest's own stationery, with a personal note. Now, we are really just marking an 'accept' or 'decline' so that information isn't as personal and is OK on a postcard. I'm a simple girl at heart, so I really love the invitation we designed for a Great Gatsby style shoot. It plays with typography in a very sophisticated way with just a hint of glitz - it's simply beautiful if I do say so myself.

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

nashville wedding invitations save the date rehearsal dinners parties by darby cards

While Darby Cards is based here in Nashville, they work with brides all over the country.  Whether you're planning a destination wedding or getting married in your own garden, Darby Cards can bring your invitations to life. To get started on your designs, head on over to Darby Cards to see their incredible line up!

All photos from Darby Cards Facebook page.  Visit their page for photo credits and details.

Posted by Jenn Dobbins | Filed under: Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

Expert Advice from Audio Video Art: Which Is A Better Option For Wedding Videos? DVD Or Blu-Ray?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

If you’re thinking about having your wedding day captured on video, you’re most likely wondering which option is best: DVD or Blu-ray? Does it matter? Is there truly a difference?

Matthew Currier of Audio Video Art says there most certainly is a difference and it's one you’ll want to consider based on your preferences. Check out his expert opinion on the differences of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs and learn a little bit more about the Nashville company:

 advice from wedding videographer nashville audio video art


Guest Blogger:  Matt of Audio Video Art has over 11 years of experience and has produced over 400 Nashville wedding videos.

Your wedding on a high definition Blu-ray Disc versus a DVD...does it matter?

Yes, it does!

In most ways, Blu-ray is fairly similar to DVD. The players look the same, the discs look the same and even the disc menus are similar. So, what does it matter if your video company only provides your wedding video on DVD? What’s better about Blu-ray?

Better Image Quality - Almost Three Times The Resolution, Clarity and Detail

Superior resolution is a big part of what makes Blu-ray look great. In layman's terms, this means you'll see a more detailed image. The technical difference is that Blu-ray's maximum resolution is 1,920x1,080 (1080p), while DVD is limited to 720x480 (480p).

Beyond resolution, Blu-ray also uses better video compression methods, resulting in more contrast and richer colors. If you like the way HD from your cable or satellite provider looks, Blu-ray looks even better. It's the highest-quality video format available today.

Moving with futue of technology

When the home video format of choice changed from VHS to DVD, it was a rough change for consumers whose existing tape collection was slowly rendered obsolete. Luckily, that's not the case with this transition, as every Blu-ray player is capable of playing back standard DVDs.

 advice from wedding videographer nashville


About Audio Video Art

We are proud of our videos. That’s why we provide you with six copies of your wedding — three HD Blu-ray Discs and three standard DVDs. We want you to proudly share them with your family and friends!

We understand that not everyone has an HD TV and a Blu-ray player, but five years from now, the majority of the people will. That is why we still provide three standard DVDs, but have the foresight to provide three HD Blu-ray Discs, too.


Sample: latest teaser video from Audio Video Art

Posted by Audio Video Art | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Videography, 0 comments »

Taste and See: Meet Signature Cakes by Vicki at The Pink Bride Bridal Show this Sunday

Monday, January 13, 2014

Photos never do a scrumptious, well decorated cake any justice.  They just can’t show all the details.  The only way to experience the true greatness of cakes is to see and taste them for yourself!

In anticipation of The Pink Bride Bridal Show this Sunday, we're featuring some of our favorite Signature Cakes by Vicki,  ranging from casual elegance to ultra extravagance.  

Love what you see?  Be sure to stop by the Signature Cakes by Vicki booth at the Nashville Pink Bride Bridal Show on Jan. 19, which will take place at the Nashville Music City Center.  Don't forget to tell her we sent you!


Wedding Cakes

elegant wedding signature cakes by vicki

elegant cakes nashville weddings signature cakes vicki

ruffles wedding cake signature cakes vicki nashville

And, Groom's Cakes!

nashville grooms cakes

You can also see Signature Cakes by Vicki on WSMV Channel 4 at midday.  

Update: If you missed Signature Cakes by Vicki on Sunday, contact Vicki at 615-513-2266 to schedule your consultation. Mention ABG and receive 20% off your cake! (New consults only.)

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Bridal Shows & Events, Cakes & Desserts, 0 comments »

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