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The Coveted List Pt 3: Churches That Don’t Require Membership, from Mt. Juliet to Hendersonville

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

There are so many churches in Nashville and surrounding cities that are welcoming to all couples, regardless of whether or not they're members of the congregation. Here is Part 3 of our coverage on Nashville's open-arm churches. Today, we'll focus on churches in Madison, Goodlettsville, Donelson, Mt. Juliet, and Hendersonville, so all of our bases are covered.  

In total, we've presented 25 churches that are available for non-members.  If you missed the previous lists, check out Part 1 and Part 2.  You've got tons of options. 


Source: Regalo Design

18) Madison Church of Christ

Phone: 615.868.3360
Address: 106 Gallatin Pike North, Madison, TN 37115

Madison offers both an auditorium and chapel that include center aisles. Fees depend upon a long list of variables including lightning, video and sound. And – it’s another great, convenient choice for a ceremony!



19) GoodNaz

Phone: 615.851.2555
Address: 400 Loretta Drive, Goodlettsville, TN 37072

For those looking for a super casual, fun get together – GoodNaz may be just what you need. They welcome everyone and anyone, in jeans and t-shirts and all ages. Their sanctuary is also their gym but can be transformed for weddings, including a center aisle for the bride to make her debut. Fees depends on the numbers of guests and rooms used.

20) Metro Baptist Church

Phone: 615.859.1184
Address: 322 East Cedar Street, Goodlettsville, TN 37072

Metro Baptist is more than welcoming of newcomers and nonmembers. If you want to use Metro for your ceremony – you must use one of their ministers and attend four sessions of marriage counseling (this always seems helpful to couples though!). Fees range from $850 - $1000 depending on the use of facilities.


Source: Metro Baptist Church

21) Good Shepherd

Phone: 615.822.4531
Address: 525 New Shackle Island Road, Hendersonville, TN

Another beautiful church! Their facilities are on a first come first serve basis – so gather information quick! Their chapel seats 80 guests, their sanctuary can seat up to 450 with a balcony seating 200 and their reception hall can seat 200 – not to mention nursery facilities can also be made used for guests. If you want a complete guideline and wedding manual, contact Brenda Walden, wedding coordinator, and she’ll be happy to answer all your questions!


Source: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church



22) Donelson Church of Christ

Phone: 615.883.6666
Address: 2706 Old Lebanon Road, Nashville, TN 37214

Donelson Church of Christ’s chapel and auditorium are available for weddings. The church has been at its present location for over 100 years. And they charge for simple necessities – including maintenance, cleaning and utilities. For a complete list of policies or more information about building usage, you can go to their website and make a request.

23) Cook's United Methodist

Phone: 615.449.2573
Address: 7919 Lebanon Road, Mount Juliet, TN 37122

From the outside, Cook's UM is precious – the epitome of a “white wedding chapel”. Their sanctuary can hold up to 160 people, decorating can be done the day before the ceremony and the Friendship Hall can be used for receptions. Don’t be shy, e-mail their office manager and you can easily receive their wedding guidelines and request form.

24) First Presbyterian of Lebanon

Phone: 615.444.1360
Address: 304 West Main Street, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087

First Presbyterian of Lebanon has one major asset when it comes to picking a church to get married in: stained glass windows. They’re beautiful. To use the church facilities there is a non-refundable $525 fee – but that includes clean up! The church lets you choose from various altar pieces to be used at the wedding including brass candelabras and vases. And they offer an organist to play a handbuilt organ designed in 1955. You don’t have to be a member of First Presbyterian but you do have to know someone at the church who can sign for you – and if you do – it’ll be worth it!


Source: First Presbyterian of Lebanon

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Wedding Venues and Locations 0 comments »

The Coveted List! Rentable Churches for Your Wedding Ceremony in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, TN

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Nashville bride emailed us and asked: "I read the article about churches that allow nonmembers to have their ceremonies there. I was wondering if you know any others in addition to that??? My fiance and I don't have a home church just yet but would still love to get married in a church. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. THANKS!"

Absolutely!  We've gotten great feedback on our list of 7 Locations For Your Nashville Wedding That Don't Require Membership.  There were so many requests for more church options that we've done more research.  It can be quite a hardship looking for a space without any knowledge of membership policies - so we've compiled an even bigger list for couples in search of the perfect place to say "I do."  Take a look!


Source: First Baptist Nashville

8) Nashville First Baptist

Phone: 615.664.6000
Address: 108 Seventh Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203

Woah – their sanctuary can seat up to 700 people on the lower floor! For non-members, they make themselves available on Friday evenings and their fee is $1,200 with a $100 non-refundable fee. Their chapel seats around 100-125. And let’s not forget the coolness factor – First Baptist Nashville has been a downtown spotlight for over 190 years!


Source: First Baptist Nashville


9) First Church Unity

Phone: 615.333.1323
Address: 5125 Franklin Pike, Nashville, TN 37220

Charming – that pretty much sums it up. First Church Unity offers a sanctuary and a barn – which includes a small chapel – to be wed. Their main sanctuary includes a long center aisle and can accommodate up to 350 guests. And they didn’t forget dressing rooms for the bride and groom! When it comes to the reception, their Fellowship Hall can be transformed into the after party and is directly adjacent from the Sanctuary. Don’t forget to ask about catering. With their in-house kitchen, it’s possible! The small chapel (barn) is perfect for a more intimate wedding for around 40 guests. It’s like getting married in Snow White’s modern-day cottage.



Source: First Church Unity Gallery

10) West End Church of Christ

Phone: 615.383.7450
Address: 3534 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37205

Absolutely beautiful! The location is great, their center aisle is 85 feet long and their lighting is stunning for photos. The auditorium is perfect for a “belle of the ball” wedding. And having been built in 1948, it still has that traditional appeal.


Source: Evan Baines Photography

11) River of Life

Phone: 615.883.6506
Address: 224 Stewarts Ferry Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

The River of Life church is another great choice if you’re looking for a church accepting non-members. They have an option for pre-marriage counseling, a sound engineer and a media engineer. They require their brides to use an event coordinator – but that’s always helpful! And don’t forget about your guest – they can even provide shuttle drivers!

12) Christ Church

Phone: 615.834.6171
Address:  15354 Old Hickory Blvd Nashville, TN 37211

Christ Church fees vary depending on the couple’s needs - but - they start out around $1,000 for the use of the facility, wedding director and sound technician. The church has no problem welcoming visitors and you’ll find greeters at almost every entry of the sanctuary lobby and atrium. Or, stop by the Hospitality Center and grab some fresh baked cookies while some of the members tell you a bit about Christ Church.  And let’s not forget – there’s a center aisle! The church has many spaces that can be used for your wedding ceremony or reception.


Source: Krista Lee Photography


13) Hillsboro United Methodist

Phone: 615.595.0155
Address: 5313 Old Highway 96, Franklin, Tennessee 37064

Hillsboro United Methodist celebrated its 100th year anniversary September 2010, and still rings its original bell every Sunday. With its historic roots still intact – the church welcomes non-members and even keeps a collection of crosses on display in the hall that were made and brought by friends or visitors traveling through. The stained glass windows were put in place in the 1990s but its more up-to-date features include a new sound system and lighting fixtures. A complete list of wedding guidelines can be found online.

14) Bellevue Church of Christ

Phone: 615.646.9828
Address: 7401 Highway 70 South Nashville, TN 37221

Bellevue Church of Christ was created when Bellevue was still just a dot on the map. And even though it’s still young compared to churches founded in the 1800’s, it’s still a classic choice. Their fee is $1,000, which includes a $200 deposit that you will get back as long as their no damage to the building.

15) Kings Chapel

Phone: 615.395.4947
Address: 4980 Meadowbrook Blvd, Arrington, TN 37014

Located out in scenic Arrington, TN, Kings Chapel is a newer venue for your wedding ceremony as well as your reception. You can even make use of the pool area for your wedding needs.


Source: McCoy Made


16) Grassland Heights Baptist Church

Phone: 615.794.5529
Address: 2316 Hillsboro Road Franklin, TN 37069-6220

Grassland Heights has two options – a smaller chapel that seats around 125 guests and large sanctuary that can seat up to 500. And most importantly – both have center aisles! And although the church is younger than a lot of middle TN churches – it’s still a great option when you’re searching for the perfect ceremony spot!

17) St. Andrew Lutheran Church

Phone: 615.794.1624
Address: 908 Murfreesboro Road Franklin, TN 37064

What’s great about St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church is they assign a wedding coordinator to you and they’ll help you through the entire process – lessening the stress and answering all your questions. And I absolutely cannot forget to mention how beautiful this church is. Take a look at their online wedding guide for loads of important information – including fees, policies and concerns involving the ceremony.


Images courtesy of Matt Andrews


We will be back tomorrow with more ceremony locations that don't require membership in the Donelson, Goodelttsville and Hendersonville areas! In the meantime be sure to check our post that started it all - 7 Locations For Your Nashville Wedding That Don't Require Membership for more information on great non-membership ceremony sites. 

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Wedding Venues and Locations 3 comments »

Meg & Matt Enjoy Their Modern Wedding at the aVenue

Friday, August 5, 2011

Meg and Matt are a social duo of Nashville and wanted their wedding to represent their signature, couple style. Nashville Event Space helped them select aVenue for their wedding location as it blended the traditional aspects they sought with their appreciation for contemporary flair. Between their own personal touches sprinkled throughout the event and their vibrant colors, Meg and Matt's wedding created the perfect Nashville love affair. Luckily, Jonathon Campbell Photography was there to capture every moment of their special day.


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Bride ~ Meg Morrison
Groom ~ Matt Zink
Date ~ July 17, 2010
Ceremony + Reception Location ~ aVenue
Guests ~ 150
Budget ~ $35,000

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How would you describe your style as a couple?

Modestly Modern & Lively

How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?

The aVenue was a mixture of an intimate, yet nontraditional setting that blended who we are as a social couple and the city of Nashville. We used vibrant contrasting colors (teal, chocolate and blush pink accents) with subtle personal touches in our details.

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What was the favorite aspect of your wedding?

The event really portrayed us as a couple in this time in our lives together.

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Where did you save/DIY?

We created our own programs, our parents made the guest "Welcome Bags," we had SIMPLE floral touches, and only served beer and wine at the reception.

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

Try to make final decisions about the small details earlier in the process to lower the stress level nearer to the event.

What stood out about your wedding that represented your couple style?

We wanted to customize some items, but not too much and make it over the top cheesy. We had the cocktail stirrers with our initials, the logo for the light, and we used M&M candies for favors. The centerpieces were simple, yet elegant and added light to the room with candles. We are a very social and energetic couple, so the live band kept the energy up throughout the entire event.

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Where did you splurge?

The band, the photographer, and the venue.

What made it "worth it"?

It was the perfect downtown location close to everything so our out of town guests could have the "Nashville Experience" while visiting. Also, it was all in one place, we didn't want people to have to drive from our church in Brentwood all the way to downtown and then having to try to park, getting lost on the way, etc.

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

Talk things out; don’t assume the other person wants something without asking and it will save a lot of time having to change plans and mend hurt feelings.



Photographer | Jonathon Campbell Photography
Gown + Accessories | Christopher's (Gainesville, GA)
Groom’s tuxedo | Men's Warehouse
Bridesmaids | B2
Hair + Makeup | Elan Salon in Green Hills
Transportation | We rented a trolley from FADD'S to take us to picture locations around town. We also grabbed a horse and carriage off of Broadway to exit the reception. : )
Baker | Paige's Pantry
Caterer | Chef's Market
Stationery | Ginny's
Reception Musicians | Nashvegas All Stars


Posted by Grace | Filed under: Real Nashville Weddings 0 comments »

Unmasked: Avenue Is Perfect Canvas for a Masquerade Ball!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Every year the Vanderbilt Law School celebrates the Barrister's Ball. And for 2011, aVenue was once again selected for its blank open space and wonderful design team. Laurie Hardman, director of wedding design and coordination, shared some of the secrets and ideas behind her Masquerade Ball theme and how Nashville brides could use the location and the inspiration.

masquerade ball at nashville event space

Venue: aVenue

Designed by: Laurie Hardman of Randi Events

Catering: Chef’s Market

Draping and additional decor: Visual Elements

Photography: Schenk Photography

masquerade ball at nashville event space

The aVenue was the perfect place to hold a Masquerade Ball. The space offers an open area that embraced the rich, bronze tones and brought out a mystical element that  Masquerades possess, instead of steering in a more Mardi Gras direction.

Wooden posts were decorated with masks and feathers, the stage was filled with 10-foot mirrors, and there were three beautiful chandeliers throughout the building handmade with white feathers.

Avenue wedding reception space nashville

Avenue wedding reception space nashville

Avenue wedding reception space nashville

Avenue wedding reception space nashville

Avenue wedding reception space nashville

Now when it comes to brides, how can you adapt this theme for your special day? Well, for one the romantic, mysterious ambiance of a Masquerade Ball is a no-brainer and sets the mood for a magical event. Laurie suggested setting up an interactive "make-your-own-mask" station and this can double as guests' favors! Also, using a live band who can capture the hidden essence of a masked ball would be ideal - maybe a remix of Claire de Lune or Moonlight Serenade?

For more information about Nashville Event Space, visit their website at

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Invitations & Paper Goods, Wedding Venues and Locations 2 comments »

Jessica and Brett Turn a Large Wedding at The Mill at Lebanon into an Intimate, Timeless Affair

Friday, July 15, 2011

There are plenty of times when a bride is lost in ideas and becomes overwhelmed. But, Jessica and Brett knew that they were inspired by vintage flavors. So, they pegged their theme early on. The Mill at Lebanon offered the atmosphere needed to capture the couple's timeless style. And since Jessica is a photographer herself, she knew how important it was to have all the special moments remembered on film. So they chose Michael Howard Photography to capture every detail of their sassy, chic wedding day.

We especially love this wedding because Jessica is our beloved "bridal model".  If you've been to any Nashville bridal show/fashion show, you've probably seen her rocking the runway.  She's gorgeous and full of life.  In fact, when we saw her wedding featured on Michael Howard's blog, we thought she was modeling.  Turns out it was her real wedding and we couldn't wait to share it with you. 

Jessica and Brett were able to create a very intimate ambiance while hosting 300+ guests!  That's not easy to do.  We hope their approach gives you some great ideas, whether your guest count is large or small.


Jessica + Brett
Ceremony/Reception Venue ~ The Mill at Lebanon
Guest Count ~ 300
Budget ~ $10,000 - $20,000

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wedding at the mill nashville

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Our style:

We love the vintage feel to things, but I think we have a more classic, timeless style over all.

How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?

Our venue, The Mill at Lebanon really offered the vintage feel that we like so much, so once we had that nailed down it was all about enhancing the space with details. I chose yellow and chocolate as my two main colors and that kept with the vintage feel, but we used it in a more bright, fresh way to brighten things up. We also used a faux fireplace that was at The Mill when I saw it for the first time in December. We decorated it with candles as well as the aisle and kept everything warm and soft for the ceremony. Instead of a guest book we had everyone sign one of our favorite records, Coldplay Parachutes. It kept with the vintage theme & now we have awesome artwork for our home! Instead of doing a unity candle, we did a salt ceremony. This dates back to biblical times when people would use the salt to make a covenant with each other. We combined our individual grains of salt, we each had our own pouch, into one unity vial, symbolizing our united life. Our commitment to one another and to God cannot be broken unless we can separate our salt from our spouses. We also wanted to find a unique way to memorialize our family that had passed without making it super sad , so we used a small branch with butterflies on each branch to represent them.

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Why did you choose The Mill?

We were looking for indoor, vintage looking venues that could hold 300+ people. The Mill was referred to us by a fellow bride who had a similar issue, finding a venue that could hold that many people that wasn't a hotel and didn't break the bank. Once I saw the location and knew it met the requirements, we were sold!

What were some things that stood out?

I really loved the feel of The Mill and it's 100 year old history. Also a big plus was that we had several different rooms to choose from, I loved that we could have our ceremony upstairs in the loft to keep things more personal and intimate, and the reception downstairs in the bigger area where we could have all the fun stuff. At that time no one else had done the ceremony and reception the way we had chosen so I thought it was really awesome that you could choose so many different ways to have your wedding so they wouldn't all look the same.

The Mill at Lebanon may seem out there to some brides.  What made it "worth" it for you?

One of the things that really helped me to make up my mind was that they were having a special during Christmas time where you could get two rooms for the price of one. So, we were able to get the upstairs loft and the downstairs area for one great price and that totally made it worth it! Also, hearing all the guests say they loved the wedding and how unique it was made me feel like I had made the right choice. Was it convenient for your guests given it's distance from Nashville: Yes, the distance worked out fine for us. My husband grew up in Mt. Juliet so there were several guests that lived only 20 or so minutes away. For the rest of our guests it was about 30-45 minutes, but since we had the ceremony and reception all in the same place it made things easier on guests who traveled farther away. Also, for our older guests there was an elevator and convenient parking to help with getting them in and out of the wedding with ease.

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What was the favorite aspect of your wedding?

Well, my favorite moment was when my mom and grandmother walked me down the aisle to my soon to be husband. It was such a beautiful moment, my mom and grandma had walked and guided me through life and now they were walking me toward one of the biggest decisions of my life so far. Our favorite aspect was taking time to see each other before the wedding, just the two of us for our first look. It was the most personal time we got to spend together until the wedding was over.


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

I would say we splurged on our photography/videography and it was so worth it! Since I am a photographer as well, I knew the importance of having someone we trusted to capture our day. Having worked with Michael before, I knew that we were making a good investment. Some of our family thought it was a little expensive at first, but after the wedding when they saw the images they all totally got why it was so important to us and they wouldn't have it any other way. My savings came from working at a bridal shop for 5 years and having an amazing boss that wanted to make sure our wedding day was beautiful! I saved on my dress, tuxes, bridesmaid dresses and accessories. One other thing that we didn't really splurge on but was one of the best investments was our week of wedding planner! Amber with Planit Nashville was amazing! She did everything leading up to the week of the wedding and on the wedding day we didn't have to worry about anything. Her assistant even went and bought my mom shoe inserts when she mentioned that her feet were hurting! We were super impressed by her and very thankful that we made that investment, which wasn't that expensive at all!

Wedding Vendors:

Wedding invitations // Get Relish
Dress designer // Mikaella, purchased at Cherished Memories Bridal & Formal
Men's attire // Jims Formal Wear
Bridesmaids attire // Forever Yours
Bridesmaids hair accessories // A Headline of Fluff & Fringe by Jessica Frame (custom made hair pieces for each girl)
Hair // Beka WIlson, my aunt Becky is a professional hair and make-up artist, she works in the print and film industry and came home for the wedding to make me beautiful!
Makeup // My aunt along with a dear friend another amazing professional, Sharla Pruitt helped to make me and our entire wedding party look amazing!
Officiant // A very close friend, mentor and pastor, Justin Lett
Ceremony musicians // We are blessed to have talented friends - Mark Walter, Jennifer Whiteaker and Phillip Smith sang and played "House of God Forever" by Jon Foreman during our ceremony.
Caterer // Chef Penelope- she was fantastic and so reasonably priced!
Baker // Hermitage Bakery created our wedding cake and my Grandmother made her special banana pudding as the grooms cake because Brett is not a fan of cake
Florist // Fresh by CaryAnn
Photographer // Michael Howard, this was the first wedding decision I made because I knew Michael would capture our wedding day perfectly!
Videographer // Michael Howard Video, Andy was the videographer and his team went over and beyond our expectations, we are SO glad that we decided to do video, we will cherish it forever.
Reception musicians // We had our friends play our first dance song, which was "I Have and Always Will" by Dave Barnes, then a DJ (not a company, just an individual who did that on the side) played the rest of the music for the evening.

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

There is not much that I would change! I loved our wedding day.  One thing that was more of a headache than it was worth were the wedding programs. We tried to make them ourselves, but made a mistake with the paper that ended up costing us more money in the end. So, I would have just gone without them, most people probably just threw them away after the wedding.

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

Remember that your planning a wedding for one day, but that your planning a lifetime together.

the mill at lebanon

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Special thanks to the wonderful couple, Michael Howard Photography and The Mill at Lebanon for allowing us to feature this wedding.

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Real Nashville Weddings 0 comments »