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DIY & Budget Wed Finds

Sara + Jeffrey’s Sweet + Simple DIY Nashville Wedding at Pavilion East

Friday, September 15, 2017

I'm so excited to bring you today's wedding since it's my fellow wedding professional friend, Sara's big day! Sara and I have known each other for quite a while now since we are both a part of the networking group TWESA. She is a team member of Quest Events - a draping, lighting and specialty furniture company right here in Nashville! And you won't doubt that when you scroll down to see her gorgeous wedding decor - the draping and lighting is SO on point! Sara + Jeff had a very simple wedding, and she knocked it out of the park with her DIY photo booth, signage, and more! Plus, she wore her mother's wedding gown - how incredible is that?! I love a vintage dress, especially when it has such significance. Keep reading to below to get Sara's perspective on her day!

Sara Miller + Jeffrey Keyes

Pavilion East


70 Guests

Wedding Team: 

Draping and Rentals | Quest Events

Photography | Molly Buckley Photography

Coordination | Rogue Event Company

Venue | Pavilion East

Rentals | M&M Event Rentals

Lighting | Bright Event Productions

Menswear | Ambassadors Formal Wear By Gilda

Dress Alterations | Needle Elegance 

Hair | Lauren Wilson

Catering | Edleys BBQ

From the bride, Sara: [Our wedding was] at Pavilion East in Nashville, as it was a budget venue and I knew it was something that I could transform with some lighting and some draping. We did the ceremony there and then flipped it for the reception. I wore my mom’s dress that she wore in her wedding 25 years ago, I just had someone make alterations and update some things (the sleeves and took some ruffles out, fixed the train, etc.). It was so sweet and really meant a lot to both of us. My husband’s brother got officiated just to marry us (another super sweet moment). We took our pre-ceremony pictures in Cumberland Park so that Nashville was the backdrop. We did a first look and instead of reading off our vows, we wrote each other letters that we read right before the first look. During our ceremony, we both wrote the stories about how we met and how we got to where we are and had Jeff’s brother read them off (because I knew I would be a crying mess). Our décor was greenery, metallics, gray, gold, barnwood tables and then amber lighting, which changed the world!

From the bride, Sara: Other than draping, lighting, and rentals…we went very low budget/DIY. I did my own flowers, my own signage, photo booth, bought pretty much everything so that we could keep the budget down. We used Edley’s for catering because it was super cheap and a Nashville staple. Bought our own alcohol, paid a bartender to come in, and a family friend was the band (super great! Plays in Nashville all the time, but still on a budget haha) It was super lowkey and about 70 people. One of my bridesmaids is a hairstylist and did all of our hair and makeup.

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful day with us, Sara! You can check out more on her draping company Quest Events here on their website and also follow them on Instagram!

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

Nashville Bride Guide + Details By Margaret Host A Flower Crown Workshop

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Drumroll please... I am SO excited to announce our next class - a FLOWER CROWN WORKSHOP! I've partnered with planner and florist Margaret Tolbert from Details by Margaret to bring you one incredible afternoon! Keep reading below to get all of the details!

Photos by Abigail Bridges

What can you expect at the Flower Crown Workshop? You'll be heading over to the beautiful Historic Travellers Rest where Details by Margaret will teach us how to create flower crowns with florals provided by Geny's Wholesale in the Travellers Rest beautiful event space. Drinks and light appetizers will be provided by Two Fat Men Catering and you'll eat on beautiful vintage china from Vintage Weddings & Special Events! You'll take a seat at farm tables and beautiful chairs provided by Liberty Party Rental! Crafted by Heart is using her calligraphy magic to create place cards and signage all around the beautiful property. Once you're finished creating your crown, you'll have the opportunity to get your headshot snapped by Ryan Tolbert Photography (new profile pic - woo-hoo!), tour the gorgeous property and stop in the garden for a drink while listening to some live music. 

Photos by Wynd and Paisley

How do you know if the flower crown workshop is for you? The event is designed for brides to participate, but if you are a wedding professional, you're invited to join in the fun as well! Each guest can purchase 2 tickets max - one for you and one for a guest (bringing your MOH, MOB or BFF is a great idea!). So if you're looking to take home a fun craft, get a brand new headshot and also knock out some wedding planning while you're at it - this event is DEFINITELY for you! Tickets are $30 and include a take-home flower crown kit, your DIY flower crown, your headshot, food & drinks, + a swag bag! A pretty good deal if you ask me! 

Photos by Brasspenny Photography

How can you sign up? CLICK HERE to purchase your ticket - we'll see you on Sunday, July 9th at Travellers Rest!

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Bridal Showers, Luncheons, Parties, Florals, Details & Design , DIY & Budget Wed Finds, 0 comments »

Taziki’s Catering: Offering Fresh Greek Food for Your Nashville Wedding

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Photo by Erin Lee Allender

I don't know about you, but I am all about some Mediterranean food! I love how fresh and light it is... which is why I cannot get enough of Taziki's! My family and I go there to eat just about every week, so you know they have my heart! But did you know Taziki's offers catering for your Nashville wedding? If you are looking for an affordable caterer in the Nashville area, Taziki's is your go-to place! You will know that you are getting good quality food at an affordable price - and plus, their catering manager Olivia Bane is incredible to work with! As a bride herself, she is able to give you the ins and outs of wedding planning here in Nashville and help you step by step through the catering process. So if you're looking to have a more casual affair, their Greek gyros and delicious Greek salad are sure to satisfy your guests' appetites! Keep reading to learn more about what Taziki's catering would look like at your Nashville wedding!

Photo by Erin Lee Allender


Tell us about Taziki's + how long you've been in business!

Olivia: Taziki's started out in Birmingham, AL almost 20 years ago. We brought Taziki's to Nashville almost 6 year ago beginning with our Cool Springs location and expanding since. We know that we have something unique to offer from affordable craveable food to spectacular customer service; and a mission that will warm anyone's heart. Brides will fall in love with us once they step foot inside our doors.

How did you get started in weddings?

Olivia: Well, we got started in the wedding industry, naturally. We had couple who were avid Taziki's lovers and just wanted it. We knew that our price point was going to draw a lot of brides with a budget our way. And since then, it's been history!

Photo by Kevin Scott Banks

Photo by Erin Lee Allender

Photo by Erin Lee Allender

What's the philosophy behind Taziki's?

Olivia: We believe in giving back. From the time Keith and Amy started Tazikis's, they started investing in the lives of others - their staff, their customers, and their future customers. We know that we have been so blessed monetarily as well as personally to get involved in wonderful community and we can't keep it all to ourselves. We share. It is our mission to employee adults who aren't always given opportunities, invest in the youth through schools, and just go where there is a need.

What are your strengths compared to other caterers?

Olivia: Ya know, we aren't just caterers. We are there to lend a helping hand the day of the wedding. As far as the restaurant side of things is concerned, we can offer catering and bartending services which is a relief to most brides. Our menu is also very allergy friendly. We can accommodate a variety of diets including gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free, etc.

What attracts brides to Taziki's Catering?

Olivia: Our bride is a bride that is looking for a well-balanced meal that is semi-formal with fresh and light food at an affordable to moderate price point. Most of our brides can get the full package by the time they leave Taziki's. I would say our bride also wants a caterer who will walk hand in hand with them. We are always there to give vendor recommendations, help with site visits, and in turn, they will have a detailed action plan on the day of their wedding.

Photo by Kevin Scott Banks

Photo by Erin Lee Allender

Photo by Kevin Scott Banks

Thanks so much for giving us all the scoop on Taziki's Catering, Olivia! Be sure to check out all of Taziki's catering options here on their website and you can follow their local account on Instagram here for the latest and greatest! 

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: DIY & Budget Wed Finds, Food/Catering, 0 comments »

Ryan + Lindsey’s Laid Back Wedding at the Horton Building by LMR Photos

Monday, March 13, 2017

With an intimate group of 60 guests and lots of DIY elements, Lindsey + Ryan's wedding at The Horton Building had so much charm! The couple's laid-back feel, complete with barbeque and beers, was planned with the help of friends and family. From the DIY bouquets by Lindsey's aunt and cakes and desserts by her mother and grandmother, the family's love for the couple was sprinkled in so many elements throughout the day. Their love for breweries ties into their love story so well and they made sure to celebrate with their favorite Black Abbey brews during their reception. The Horton Building's historic industrial brick atmosphere was the perfect setting for the occasion! See all of their photos by LMR Photos along with their engagement story below! 





Ryan + Lindsey

The Horton Building


60 Guests

Wedding Team:

Venue | The Horton Building

Photographer | LMR Photos

Dresses | J. Crew

Veil | Angie Hammonds

Hair | Taylor Reed

Makeup | Alaina Garnette of Stunning Beauty

Flowers | By the Bride's Aunt

Officiant |  Justin Branum

Food | Jim 'N Nick's

Cakes | By the Bride's Mother + Grandmother

Beer | Black Abbey

Wine | Frugal MacDoogal

The couple's story told by the bride, Lindsey: For Christmas, Ryan gave me a large roadmap where he plotted a road trip and identified all the breweries from Nashville to Fort Collins.  I had been wanting to go to Fort Collins ever since I drove through with my mom and grandmother on a road trip to Seattle.  I was so excited when I "cashed-in" the road trip in August 2015.  Earlier that month, for my birthday I had picked out my engagement ring, but I didn't know that Ryan bought it soon after.  In the middle of our Fort Collins trip, Ryan wanted to take me on a hike to find Aspen trees (my favorite).  While the trees hadn't turned colors yet for the fall, the hike in the RMNP was beautiful.  We hiked from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake ending at an elevation of 10,000 feet.  We stopped for a rest at the top and to eat.  I took my shoes and jacket off.  Ryan still had his jacket on when he walked over to a family to ask them to take a picture of us.  What I didn't know was that the family spoke french so Ryan saw it as his opportunity to ask the young girl to take a photo of us while he proposed without me knowing what he was saying.  So, the young girl followed Ryan over to me as he bent down to one knee and asked me to marry him.  My answer "yes" was interrupted by the young girl who asked us to move to better light.  

Thank you so much for sharing Lindsey + Ryan's photos with us LMR Photos! You can also find more of Lindsy's work here on her website and here on her Instagram page! Happy Monday!




Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: DIY & Budget Wed Finds, Photography, Real Nashville Weddings, Wedding Style - Classic, 0 comments »

Leah + Stuart’s New Year’s Eve Wedding Extravaganza at The Lodge

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 is coming to an end, and since we've already rounded up the best in this year's weddings and styled shoots, let's party like it's 2017 with a real Nashville New Year's Eve wedding! Bride Leah opened up about her experiences planning her wedding here in Nashville - the highs and lows - which is super helpful for all of you newly engaged brides! With a gold and black color scheme (my favorite for New Year's!), Leah thought of every fun and creative detail to go with her party extravaganza! And besides celebrating your commitment to your mate, the main goal of your reception is to have an awesome party with your friends and family. That's exactly what Leah did! See all of her photos and read her exceprts below! 


Leah + Stuart

The Lodge

NYE | 12.31.15

Their proposal story from Leah: Stuart and I met at Tennessee State University in 2006. He asked me to braid his hair and the rest is history. We got engaged May 10, 2015. He popped the question at Cabana. It was a surprise engagement of my birthday weekend. He rented out the back area of Cabana, bought a new fancy suit, brought in my family from Chicago, and ordered all of my favorite foods. Then when it was time for dessert, the waitress presented a dessert menu that said at the top, ”Leah, will you marry me?”

About the venue from Leah: We got married at The Lodge off of Smith Springs Road. I was AMAZED! It was a gorgeous space, with bride and groom suites large enough for our bridal parties. At the time, we could use any caterer we chose and we could bring in our own liquor (with a licensed bartender of course). The space came with beautiful tables and chairs, a sound system, a projector for our countdown, a huge space that called allowed the wedding to run smoothly from start to finish. We were able to have the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all in separate spaces. Not only that, but there was no upcharge for it being NYE and they were flexible on the time we were able to end the reception. It was a no brainer that we needed to make that switch.

Leah on the NYE theme: Our goal was to have a great time and incorporate some of our favorite things, so we definitely wanted this to turn into a huge NYE celebration. We wanted it to feel as though our guests left our ceremony and stepped into a fancy black tie NYE extravaganza. We had an open bar along with a midnight champagne toast and countdown. Our colors were gold, cream, and black; which ended up having kind of a Great Gatsby feel. We incorporated gold sequin table clothes, with gold spray painted DIY champagne bottles, huge ornaments and pomander balls.

Wedding Team:

Photographer | Monty Ksycki

Portrait Photos | Motelewa Smith

Venue | The Lodge

Planning + Design + Rentals | K-List Events & Decor

Dress | ElleNelle Bridal (Handmade by Bride)

Bridesmaid Dresses | Paige Ashley (Handmade)

Rings | Shane Co.

Makeup | Erica Brice + Quis Guthrie

Groom's Suit | Macy's

Invitations | Che Che Stationary

Catering | Chef Jeff

Cake | Cakes By Contessa

Cupcakes | Chloe's Cupcakes

Officiant | Pastor Vincent Johnson

Leah on her vendors: Another one of goals was to keep the cost way down. We wanted a $10k wedding, but I think that’s impossible with nearly 200 guests, we kept it between $15-$20k though. We found a caterer (Chef Jeff out of Murfreesboro) who provided everything! He provided us with a buffet, bartending service, plates and utensils, cocktail tables, servers, and tablecloths all at a reasonable cost. I made my own dress (ElleNelle Bridal). We bought Stuart’s blazer from Macy’s. House Of Paige Ashley custom made all of my bridesmaids dresses at a very reasonable price. My very good friend and sorority sister Karla Anderson who launched an event planning company this year (K-List Events & Décor) planned the wedding. Some décor was hand made by friends and myself or rented from K-List. My cousin Monty Ksycki who owns a professional photography business in Chicago did our photography. I also had two great friends that tag teamed on the dessert table. Cakes by Contessa made the wedding cake and Chloe’s Cupcakes provided the assorted cupcakes. We also had Garrett’s Popcorn, since I’m a Chicago native and it’s Stuart’s favorite thing in the world. Overall, we were able to keep the cost low by skipping out on vendors with high holiday premiums and by getting a lot of help from family and friends.

Leah's special moments: There were many special moments that night! My mother presenting me with my something old, something new, … was a beautiful moment we shared as she gave me a handkerchief that belonged to my Grammy who’s no longer with us. Also, the Daddy daughter dance was a special moment as I wept like a big baby. My husband and my first dance was precious, as we danced to Etta James' “At Last”. I told him about 2-3 years into our relationship that I was going to marry him to that song. He had no idea at that time that we would be getting married, but I did! The dance between the two people that caught the bouquet and garter belt was HILARIOUS and will go down in history. (Not to mention that the bouquet catcher actually got proposed to and married 4 months after our wedding.)  Also, the partying during the reception was definitely a highlight and everyone still tells me how much fun they had. Since Stuart is from Dallas and I’m from Chicago, we both had some of our hometown classics played. I also have roots in Sierra Leone so we played some of our native music as well. Another moment we enjoyed was when I was serenaded by my sorority sisters (Delta Sigma Theta) and Stuart enjoyed hopping with his frat (Omega Psi Phi).

Wedding planning advice from Leah: Don’t try to plan your wedding if you have a lot on your plate like I did. I don’t know what I was thinking attempting to plan my own wedding and make my gown all while working full time. Luckily Karla (K-List) stepped in.  Whatever your budget is, add $5000. Look for venues that are flexible, and have something to offer besides the venue itself (i.e tables and chairs). Be flexible yourself, know that something will come up and just roll with the punches.  You may stress up to the day of the wedding, but the day of the wedding RELAX and enjoy. Take in every second as much as you can because it will be over before you know it. Be mindful of how much you make your bridal party spend, with traveling expenses, bachelor/bachelorette parties, wedding attire, etc.; it adds up. Also, I wish we would have taken photos before the wedding instead of between the ceremony and reception. Our photos were so rushed, especially with it being NYE we were on a tight schedule trying to make sure we had enough time to bring in the new year. As a result, we decided to have a separate photo shoot in our wedding gear a week following the wedding.  Lastly, if you have a lot of family and friends traveling in town like we did, consider holding off on the honeymoon. We lined up a weekend of events and spent time with our loved ones and went on our honeymoon 2 weeks later.

We truly appreciate all of Leah's advice and commentary on her wedding! Here's to hoping it will help all of you in your planning process! Cheers to 2017 - we're excited for what's to come! 


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