Bridal portraits are must-have shots in your wedding photography! Most brides opt to do them before or after their ceremony on the day of their wedding. However, weddings are usually on a timely schedule and you need to make sure you carve out time for every photo you want with your photographer and planner. This is definitely a time where you don't want to feel rushed - especially since emotion can show in each and every photo! Well we have a fun and creative idea that Nashville bride Michelle decided to do with her photographer Jessica Lauren. She took her bridal portraits a few days before her wedding! And what a great way to feel comfortable in your dress and do a trial run for your hair and makeup - to see the look fully complete before the big day!? Priceless! Michelle's gorgeous Rita Vinieris dress graced the historic Riverwood Mansion for timeless photos she will cherish forever. Read below for our interview with Michelle!
How did you get engaged? Tell us about your proposal:
Michelle: We went to take a walk at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in franklin on may 22 with our dog like we do a lot of weekends. My now husband was walking ahead of me with our dog Lucy and he said why don't you walk her for a little so I did. A few minutes later he said hold on a minute and I turned around and he was down on one knee. It was perfect!!!!
What’s your wedding style?
Michelle: Industrial chic. I loved my venue, aVenue which inspired the style of my wedding.
Tell us about your portrait session. Where did it take place?
Michelle: Riverwood Mansion in east Nashville. It was perfect, I loved getting to get my makeup and hair done and wear my dress on another day besides my wedding day.
What’s the significance of the location?
Michelle: I wanted a place to do indoor and outdoor pictures and this location was perfect! I also loved the old, nostalgic feeling it had.
What was it like working with your photographer?
Michelle: My photographer, Jessica Lauren was absolutely amazing!!! She was so easy to work with, she made everything so stress free and fun. She was super prepared for the day so there was very little downtime. She used the light from the beautiful day to make my pictures even more amazing. I loved working with her every second of my bridal portraits and my wedding day.
Why did you decide to do a portrait session before your wedding?
Michelle: It was really important to me to have as many pictures taken before the wedding as a possible. I just wanted to be able to enjoy my wedding day and not stress about having time to get all the pictures that I wanted.
Would you recommend the photographer and why?
Michelle: The reason that I chose Jessica was because of her attention to detail. She was much more than a photographer that just poses you and takes pictures and that's what I was looking for. I love that she incorporated action into my photos and not just me standing there. She was a dream to work with and her photos are absolutely stunning!!
Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful portraits with us, Jessica and Michelle! You can find more of Jessica Lauren's work on her website here or here on her Instagram page! So very lovely!
There's nothing like an outdoor fall wedding in Tennessee... Embracing the southern culture, showing off the beautiful countryside and setting the stage for meaningful moments with your loved ones - it's priceless. Megan + David took all of these factors into account and created a wedding that was uniquely "them". From the donut dessert table to all of Megan's DIY projects (she's got some talent!) and the deeply rooted spiritual aspect was a day their guests will not soon forget. The Barn at Sycamore Farms created a stunning backdrop for the day - and you can start swooning over the photos from Meredith Teasley as you scroll down and learn more about this couple's story!
About the couple from the photographer, Meredith Teasley: Megan is from Nashville, and David is from Atlanta. They met in college. After graduation, David moved back home to Atlanta while Megan finished school, then she moved down to Georgia to be with him. They dated for 4 years – long distance for over 2 of them. Megan shares that this was definitely the toughest part but strengthened their relationship in ways nothing else could. They tied the knot at the Barn at Sycamore Farms in Arrington, TN. The ceremony was on an island in water with a bridge entrance + reception in the grand barn event space decorated with glamorous drapery + lights and lanterns of all shapes and sizes. Megan shares that one of the highlights of her day was taking sunset photos under a 100-year-old sycamore tree.
From the bride, Megan on her DIY projects: In place of a communion/unity candle/etc., I cut out 300 small “prayer cards” and stamped “Megan & David” on the top. During this time [in the ceremony], my grandparents came up to pray over us while the minister asked the audience to write down on their card one thing they’d commit to praying for the couple during this season, then placing it in a basket on their way out of the ceremony. I also created framed skyline cut out records (one of Nashville + one of Atlanta, our two homes) in place of guest books. Close family friends of ours cut wood pieces from trees they’d recently chopped down in their backyard to design and make the display stumps for all of the donuts in our dessert room! Another couple that had thrown us a shower a few weeks prior to the wedding surprised us with a life-size cardboard cut out photo of us!! So we set that up at our photobooth and our guests loved taking pictures with the "fake us!"
Inspiration behind the day, from the bride, Megan: We tried to think of anything and everything that was “us” – from our musician, Gabe Dixon, growing up at my Nashville church to David’s American flag socks to our donut room. I kept saying, “All I want is for it to feel like us and just be the most happy day for everyone there.” Besides that – our strong faith is the most important aspect to our lives. Understanding what a holy commitment marriage is, we poured scripture throughout the ceremony and entire day.
Favorite memories of the day: We decided not to do a first look, to make that moment when we first saw each other walking down the aisle even more special to us. Since we’d been apart all day and were so ready to finally be together, we accidentally were facing and staring at only each other instead of the officiant for the first part of the ceremony. I was even squirming and dancing and laughing…! We were silently whispering sweet compliments to each other thinking no one could see or notice us... We were just so full of excitement and bursting with joy to finally be getting married! Our other favorite memory was having my grandparents who have been married 54 years come up to pray for us during the ceremony, while our guests each wrote down one thing they would commit to praying over our new journey together on prayer cards that I made. It was a very beautiful, spiritual moment. Another favorite moment was when we entered the reception….oh my goodness! We entered into a standing ovation that lasted a solid minute. It was definitely the most overwhelming part of the day, taking it all in – that so many people came for us!
Thank you so much for sharing these incredible moments with us Meredith and Megan! What an incredibly spiritual and gorgeous day it was! You can see more of Meredith Teasley's work on her website here and also on her Instagram page! Happy Friday!
Engagement season is here! And welcome to all of you newly engaged couples who may be reading this as we speak (er... type!). The questions from family and friends never seem to cease from the moment the ring gets on your finger, but don't sweat it. Take your time and celebrate every moment and don't feel any pressure to have all the answers. Our friends over at Chef's Market provided some insight for us: 3 tips on how to start your wedding planning process! This step by step guide will help you ease into the planning process. I'll let the professionals at Chef's Market take it from here!
The most wonderful time of the year has just passed, engagement season! According to Weddingwire, 33% of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If you were one of the lucky ones to get engaged in the last few months, you might be asking yourself: What now?
Here are a few tips from our catering experts of what to do now to start the wedding planning process:
1) Celebrate your engagement!
Don’t rush into any planning for a few weeks and take time to enjoy your fiancé and this special time in your life. If you haven’t already, show off your ring to all your friends and family. Perhaps have an engagement party! Last but not least, pop a bottle of champagne and soak in every minute!
2) Create your vision.
Find out what your style is. Are you wanting an intimate, casual, or more formal wedding? Once you figure out what direction you want to take then use tools like Pinterest, social media platforms like Instagram, wedding websites and magazines to help get visual ideas. Every year the wedding trends change so these tools will help you with knowing what is in and what is not.
3) Hire your vendors.
It is important to hire vendors that fit your vision. Make sure you research their past work to get an idea of what to expect. We recommend considering a wedding planner as they will be able to better direct you in this planning process. However, here at Chef’s Market we are able to help too. Not only can we cater to any bride’s wedding style, but we can also help provide planners and venue contacts who would be great to work with in order to capture your vision.
We couldn't agree more! Thank you so much to the professionals at Chef's Market - they've been doing it for years and years, so they are highly vetted in the industry! Visit their website and contact them for more information on how they can cater your wedding!
Oh my heart - I am so thrilled to share some great news with you today... Draper James is debuting wedding gifts for brides and bridesmaids! The collection which debuts today is filled to the brim with items every bride wants. From champagne glasses with cute phrases to "something blue" totes, Draper James is giving you some eye candy that will dress up your registry list! The whole concept behind Reese Witherspoon's store Draper James is perfect for Nashville brides and bridesmaids. Offering gorgeous dresses for your engagement party, bridesmaids attire or bridal shower, the selections are perfect to celebrate your southern Nashville wedding. Plus, our local Nashville shop offers private events for your bridal shower or bachelorette party where you get the whole store to yourselves (gasp!). And if you haven't taken advantage of the private party aspect of the store, I sincerely hope you've visited the shop here in Nashville to browse all of their beautiful girly finds! Take a look the brand new items below and our interview with Draper James:
Tell us about the wedding gifts, accessories, homeware, etc. you’re debuting this spring.
Draper James is excited to launch several new items that are perfect for the engaged gal in your life! From champagne flutes to cute trinket trays and totes, we know we’re going to make many brides even happier than they already are!
What trends and colors are you forecasting for wedding attire this spring?
We will have lots of pretty floral prints this spring in fresh blues, pinks and greens plus you will see lots of feminine details like lace collars and grosgrain trim.
I also hear you have gifts specifically for brides. Do tell!
Ranging from $25.00 to $95.00, we are offering a collection of glasses, mugs, totes, trinket trays and a super cute sweatshirt that were created for the bride—we want all of the attention to be on her!
What type of bride does Draper James attract?
Draper James appeals to any bride who favors the grace and charm of the South. In our assortment, brides will find pretty dresses to wear to wedding showers and parties as well as special gifts for bridesmaids. We also offer custom bachelorette shopping parties in our Nashville and Dallas stores where brides and their friends sip champagne, nibble on sweet treats and shop after hours.
Thank you so much for sharing all of your incredible new items with us today, Draper James! You can find them at their shop in the 12 South neighborhood here in Nashville (right next to Sprinkles Cupcakes!) or visit their online store here. And they're a must-follow on Instagram with so much fun southern inspiration! Cheers!
Happy Valentine's Day! We have a really fun post for you today! RED Spirits & Wine has so graciously sponsored our Nashville Bride Guide Launch Party on February 21st from 6pm-8pm. With their huge selection of beers, wines, spirits + mixers, we had a ball picking out the best flavors to go along with our pink whimsical theme! And since I'm no expert in this area, Jess with RED was so patient with me and made the perfect suggestions for the party! So whether you like rosè, beer or a cocktail, we've got you covered! She'll aslo mention how these drinks are perfect to serve at your wedding! I'll let Jess take it from here and introduce you to the drinks you can expect at our official launch!
Beer: Rubaeus—Founders; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jess: You may be a craft beer nerd like me, or you may consider yourself more of a wine person. Either way, your guests are going to want to drink beer. Well, I’m going to give you a winning suggestion—Founders Brewing, Rubaeus. When it comes to the beer you choose, presentation is a big deal. Wine and cocktail drinkers will be using glassware. No one will be able to tell what they were drinking when they look back on the reception photos later. But everyone will remember what beer they raised in a toast to you when they see the label on the can or bottle in photos for the rest of time. You get one go at this, and this is how you can make it count: Founders Brewing, Rubaeus Raspberry Ale. You can choose from a 12 ounce glass bottle or aluminum can. Both have pink raspberries on them and sage colored leaves. If you need to add a bold touch to your color scheme, go with the bright pink can! This beer has an alcohol percentage of 5.7% so you wont have to worry about your guests getting too crazy - even if they have more than one. And the IBUs, referring to bitterness, is only 15. This is certainly a winning beer no matter what the taste preferences of your guests are. With this memorable choice, your guests are bound to leave with a new favorite beer.
Rosè: Poema Brut Rosè Cava—Spain
Jess: Pop open a bottle of this vibrant sparkling underdog! This is a fruity and food friendly Cava. Poema Brut Rosè Cava is full of big red berry flavors: strawberry, raspberry, cherry, with a little bit of twig and pink grapefruit. This would be a fun one to dress up with pomegranate seeds or strawberry slices.
Cocktail: Prickly Pear Mule
Jess: Every time of year is the perfect time for a Moscow Mule. I’m sure you’ve heard of this classic cocktail. It’s easy. The ingredients are vodka, ginger beer, lime. But have you ever thought of taking something so simple, giving it a tiny spin, and making it the focal point of your celebration’s menu? I’ve taken this basic drink, which by the way is always a favorite, and made it unique and still just as delicious. Just by adjusting the measurements a tiny bit so as to keep the sweetness level balanced, you have the Prickly Pear Mule. The prickly pear syrup does add a bit of sweetness, but not so much that it overpowers the lime and the spiciness from the ginger beer. Plus, it adds the most beautiful pink hue. This is the perfect way to incorporate “the mule” into your Valentine’s Day plans or your wedding day. Even if pink isn’t one of your theme colors, you can always use this recipe as the Mrs. in your Mr. & Mrs. signature drinks. Just put this next to a strong bourbon based cocktail like an Old Fashioned and you’ve got a pair of drinks that can carry you through anything.
Prickly Pear Mule Drink Recipe:
3/4oz Finest Call Prickly Pear Mix
1/2oz Lime Juice
Top with approx. 4oz Ginger Beer
Yes way, rosè! We're so excited about our drink selections! And Jess is giving away all her secrets by giving us the cocktail recipe so we can make it at home! Happy Valentine's Day - I hope you and your fiancè are spending some QT together! xoxo
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