Friday, June 14, 2013
Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium is a landmark. Since 1925, it has hosted events and performances. That's why it was handpicked by Jon, Lauren and their wedding planner, Sarah of Music City Events, for their wedding. They wanted a venue that would complement their art-deco wedding with1930s flair and War Memorial was just the place!
Learn all about Lauren and Jon's real Nashville wedding, through my interview with their wedding planner.
Lauren & Jon
Wedding Date ~ March 24, 2012
Ceremony & Reception Location ~ War Memorial Auditorium
Guests ~ 200
Ashley: How would you describe Jon and Lauren as a couple?
Sarah/Planner: Engaging and fashionable, happy and very modern!
Ashley: How far into their engagement/planning did they hire you?
Sarah/Planner: Lauren and I began working together at the very beginning of their engagement and planning process.
Ashley: Which wedding planning services did you provide?
Sarah/Planner: Lauren chose full planning and design. She had a very good idea of the style she wanted but in the beginning it was so challenging for her - as it is for many brides - to wade through the endless options.
Ashley: What was the vision for their wedding?
Sarah/Planner: Lauren wanted something that was personal to the two of them, that had a lot of class and fashion with a bit of bling. Since they both work in the music business, Jon own's a recording company, sprinkling musical touches throughout the day in non-cheesy and unexpected ways was very important.
Ashley: What recommendations did you make to help them achieve that vision?
As I have taught in AshleysBrideGuide.com wedding planning workshops, it's best to name your top three values and visions and to repeat as necessary when making decisions about the wedding. It was important that they have great style, food and music. As we sifted through ideas and options, we kept those things at the forefront. She didn't want to go crazy with trendy projects so we incorporated their love of music in subtle ways. We used music sheets to line the square (modern!) vases of their centerpieces, Lauren DIY'ed record dessert stands and we used music touches through out the reception in the form of their paper goods. We also worked with Oktipus Printing Co. to create custom Nashville invitations and coordinating sets.
Ashley: Which vendors did you help them hire based on their vision? Why did you think these vendors/venue were a good fit?
Sarah/Planner: We worked together on almost every vendor selected. I base my recommendations on the bride's personality, style and budget. I have never had the exact same set of companies for two events! So much of a wedding is personal; each bride deserves companies that reflect that.
Ashley: I like that approach. Was their venue selected when they hired you or did you recommend the venue based on their vision?
Sarah/Planner: War Memorial was chosen together. Lauren wanted something the said "New Orleans Jazz Fete" that was also close to the heart of Nashville. After looking at all of her options, she landed on War Memorial. We were given the most freedom/options and the best feel for what she wanted. They are excellent to work with!
Ashley: What did you especially love about their wedding?
Sarah/Planner: Lauren was such a happy bride and she and Jon were a pleasure to watch during the planning process. He adores her! Lauren is so fresh and modern and that really came through in her wedding, even though it had an Art Deco/1930's flair. Her sleek bridal gown is not often seen in Nashville and I loved it. She also very nicely set aside traditions in a lot of ways and they really embraced their day as "theirs". Their family were wonderfully supportive in all things, but especially this. It's so liberating and wonderful for the couple!
What ways did you help them maximize their budget?
Sarah/Planner: War Memorial, our venue, allowed us to save on catering and the bar since we were able to choose from a vast list of catering companies AND we can bring in our own alcohol (talk about savings!). My relationship with the rental company saved well over $1000 on their items, and the same can be said with the lighting and valet companies. Knowing the companies to go to, utilizing my knowledge of costs and relationships in Nashville and really hammering out what was most important are always the best foundation for maximizing budgets.
Where did they splurge? save?
Sarah/Planner: Lauren splurged on the band and paper goods and found a great deal on a beautiful dress. War Memorial allowed us to bring in our own dessert bar through Whole Foods and some homebaked treats and that allowed us to bring in extra lighting and draping!
Their Wedding Team
Wedding Planner | Sarah of Music City Events
Photography | Kristyn Hogan
Venue | War Memorial
Band | SuperT
Stationary | Brandon Morgan, This Oktipus Printing Co.
Bride’s Dress | Nicole Miller
Bride’s Shoes | Valentino
Groom’s Attire | Jos. A Bank
Videographer | TruePix Videography
Lighting | Nashville Audio Visual
Rentals | Music City Tents & Events
Valet | Eagle Valet Parking
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Everyone will snap photos at your wedding and you will probably see very few of the photos, UNLESS you use an app like Wedding Snap (weddingsnap.com), a photo app that allows your guests to upload their photos to your wedding album. You just might be surprised at the great photos your guests capture.
Their wedding planner happened to mention that her bride Jordan used the app and was elated with the wonderful photos that her guests uploaded, even kids. I interviewed Jordan, whose budget wedding we featured earlied this year, to see what she loved about the app and whether she recommends it for other Nashville brides.
All of the photos shown below were uploaded by Jordan's wedding guests to Wedding Snap.
How did you hear about Wedding Snap?
I went to a friend's wedding a month before mine and she used the Wedding Snap app.
How did you inform your guests/family about the app and how did you instruct them to use it?
I sent out a Facebook message to all who were coming to my wedding as well as an email to those who don't use Facebook. I included information on what the app was and the password. I was worried people would have a hard time finding the app/ getting the password wrong, but nobody seemed to have any problems.
Who uploaded photos?
Family and friends from both sides took photos.
Who uploaded photos that you didn't ever think would?
My 8 year old niece and 6 year old nephew!
What surprised you most about the photos that were uploaded?
Some of the best moments captured where the ones where people were not posing. People were just having a good time and enjoying the moment whether it be during the ceremony or reception.
What was your favorite photo uploaded?
One of my favorite photos from the night was one my sister took during the reception. You could seen the moon behind the string lights and people sitting at their tables below.
What did you like most about using the app?
I liked giving people the opportunity to be part of the wedding by taking pictures. They felt involved and it gave people something to do.
Do you recommend it and why?
Yes. I recommend it even if you have a professional photographer. You give people the chance to be involved in the wedding and also capture more special moments by having eyes everywhere.
Click here if you missed our full feature with pro photos from Jordan and Jay's $5,000 backyward wedding, earlier this year.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Most of you already know to take your treasured bridal gowns to Oakwood Cleaners for cleaning and preserving. But, did you know that Oakwood Cleaners is also a great resource for your bridesmaids and mothers?
When my sister's best friend got married in Atlanta, my sister headed over to Oakwood's White Bride Road location and was measured for free. Their service of maids and moms goes beyond just measurements. Here's an overview of what they offer your bridal party:
1) Complimentary measurements
Let's say your bridesmaids are local. Let them know they can call Oakwood Cleaners in Nashville for an appointment and get their measurements taken for FREE! This is a great option if the dresses are being bought in another city or online. For instance, for my sister's BFF's wedding, all of the bridesmaids dresses were being bought in Atlanta so my sister emailed her Oakwood's measurements to the Atlanta retailer. Super easy. The folks at Oakwood were helpful and pleasant. The dress ended up needing only minor alterations. In contrast, for my wedding, my sister's dress needed a lot of altering following less than accurate measurements.
Once you receive your dress, schedule an appointment and take your dress back to Oakwood Cleaners for alterations.
Tips: Take your undergarments and wedding day shoes (if dress is long) to get an accurate idea of what alterations are required. Allow at least 4 to 8 weeks for alterations to be completed. Less time might be doable if only straps and hems are needed to be altered. They can also alter your dress after the wedding if you want to convert it to a shorter version.
Left: Oakwood assessing alteration needs. Right: Us at the wedding in Atlanta.
The Atlanta wedding party; Photo by Nadia D Photography.
Often when you receive your dress from the designer, it will be wrinkled, especially if it's been shipped. Take your gown to Oakwood Cleaners and they can press your dress. Many brides drop off all of the bridesmaid dresses so all of the gowns are pressed.
Photo: The Bride Room
Bridesmaids whose dresses were pressed pre-wedding by Oakwood Cleaners.
Brides, bridesmaids, mother of the bride or groom: Contact the Oakwood Cleaners nearest you to schedule your measurement, alteration appointment or to drop off your dress for pressing or of course cleaning.
Oakwood Cleaners Locations:
4833 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage, Hermitage, TN, (615) 885-1281
73 White Bridge Road, Paddock Place Shopping Center, Nashville, TN (615) 620-6095
2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 170, Cool Springs Market Shopping Plaza, Franklin, TN, (615) 764-0222
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
We know it's challenging to decide between venues where you will host your wedding. Every so often, we read bride comments (on Facebook and review sites) and reach out to venues to gather what we think are the top reasons brides love Nashville wedding venues.
After being available as an event space for barely a couple of years, Houston Station has proven to be a popular choice for special events and weddings. We've seen a few weddings there, some of us may have even attended some events in there. So what is it about Houston Station that makes it so popular with people? Here's what some of their brides had to say.
Photo: Matt Andrews Photography
1) Great Staff and Support
Brides and grooms have found that their planning experience was made a lot easier with the help of Elizabeth of Houston Station, who goes above and beyond to make sure everything is set for couples, and that from planning process to wedding day, everyone is stress-free.
"I am still hearing from friends and family how much they enjoyed the set up and atmosphere. The venue is gorgeous and I knew from the minute I walked in there that it was the venue I would pick. Elizabeth [event coordinator] is super professional and personable. I could not have asked for a better experience." - Ashlee, bride
2) No Hidden Costs
Hiring your own vendors can be daunting. Houston Station has a list of recommended vendors with whom they have good relationships but as long as your vendor is licensed/insured, you can use them at Houston Station at no extra cost. You will also not be charged corking fees when you bring in your own alcohol and Houston Station will even provide bar service for you. This open policy is something brides and grooms are so grateful for when it comes to planning because it makes things really easy for them.
3) Unique, Versatile Spaces
With bare brick walls and exposed beams, the main event area in Houston Station is a blank canvas for your vision. This next glowing review is from a mother of the bride who said, "The room with it's wood floors, open beams and brick walls looked fantastic with her vintage theme. However, any theme would look great in the room. It decorates very well and they have everything needed for caterers to set up." The main room has a kitchen and prep area right next to it so there's easy access for your caterers and you won't see them hauling big vats or trash bins through the hall to get where they're going.
Another bride said, "The space itself is gorgeous and very flexible; we were able to fit our vision for our party into this location with plenty of room to spare!"
4) "Bonus" Rooms with Personality - Noteable Blends, Bride & Groom Suites
Speaking of "room to spare," Houston Station offers several spaces separate from the main event hall for various uses. One popular place is the coffee bar, Noteable Blends. Said one mother of the bride, "We used the coffee room for a quiet spot for guests to go visit and watch the video of the bride and groom which was a big hit." (Review here.) When you rent the room for special events, coffee service comes with it and is served by coffee connoisseur and owner, Scott Davis.
The room can be used for cocktail hour while the main room is being flipped, and it's also a great space for more intimate occasions like showers and bridal brunches.
Nothing takes up more time than having to transport yourself and your wedding party from one place to another. The bridal and grooms suites are spacious, furnished rooms in which brides have gotten ready and that relieves them of another point of stress on the wedding day. Said one bride on the bonus rooms, "We were able to use the bride room to get ready and take pictures all day, so I was able to see some of the reception set up...it was flawless, beautiful, and I was completely stress free. Also, Scott with Noteable Blends is just the best. Our guests LOVED having the back room as a little coffee lounge."
Photo: JHenderson Studios
Photo: Amber Beckham Photography
Photo: Matt Andrews Photography
Photo: Houston Station
ABG Notes: This gorgeous couch that sits in Noteable Blends is a wonderful prop for photos! (Photo: Amber Beckham Photography)
Photo: Lane Photography
ABG Notes: There are two huge television in the groom's suite which will keep the guys entertained. (Photo: Austin Gros)
ABG Notes: Huge windows bring in lots of natural light, perfect for when getting your makeup done. Houston Station provides furniture, garment racks, and mirrors. (Photo: Austin Gros)
Couples and even their families and guests love Houston Station for its gorgeous weddings and are quick to recommend it to others for the above reasons and more. To find out if they're perfect for you, visit their website here or give them a call about your wedding. Don't forget to tell them that we sent you!
(This article was written by Tabitha and was originally featured April 2012. The info has been updated and shared to educate our current readers.)
Monday, June 10, 2013
Did you see Andrew propose to Dana on News Channel 5 last week? If you missed the news story, you can see proposal video here. It was a simple but very sweet proposal, just like Andrew wanted. The proposal was perfectly planned, videoed and photographed with the help of Regalo Design's proposal planning service.
Photos: Scoobie's Photographic Images
Regalo Design learns boyfriend needs help
Regalo Design has planned dozens of proposals. Most grooms find Regalo Design's proposal planning service by searching the internet for proposal ideas. But Andrew's experience was different. His girlfriend Dana saw a Regalo post on Facebook in which they asked if any grooms needed help popping the question. She knew Andrew would appreciate help popping the question and connected Regalo Design to Andrew.
They meet the boyfriend
Andrew met with Damon and Sarah, owners of Regalo Design and shared some of his proposal ideas. The planners wanted to get to know Andrew and Dana, learn about their dates, their likes individually and collectively. They learned that Andrew initially wanted to propose using a Jumbotron at a Predators or Titans game. Not only was this not logistically feasible due to the team's schedules, Damon also knew, based on his research, that most women werent in love with the idea of the Jumbotron proposal.
They brainstorm, agree on perfect proposal idea
Damon recommended another approach. "Let's make sure this is your moment to shine but be sure that it's all about her." With that in mind, the planners continued to brainstorm with Andrew until they landed on a significant date, their second, a picnic at Pinkerton Park in Frankin, TN. This event resonated with Andrew. Yes - some grooms will opt for something more lavish, others more edgy but this approach felt right.
Would a recreated picnic evoke an instant memory for Dana of their history and love? Would it be the kind of moment she would appreciate? Yes!
They coordinate and set up the proposal
After Andrew decided that a picnic would be a perfect way to propose, he let Regalo Design do their magic. After all, they are event planners. This would be no ordinary picnic. Aside from a romantic design, Regalo Design reached out to a Cardboard Films and Scoobie's Photographic Images to ensure that every moment would be videoed and photographed, preserved for the couple forever.
All Andrew had to do was show up, with the ring and Dana of course. Upon arrival, the picnic was set-up and the filming crew were well hid. Andrew proposed, Dana said yes!
Cardboard Films (videographer for couple), Regalo Design (proposal planners), Channel 5 crew and the engaged couple