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Helpful Vendor Interviews!

Meet Darby Cards Collective: Nashville’s Source for Wedding Invitations + More

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Photos by High Five for Love

You've seen her work on our blog before.... here, here and here. And if you know what the Nashville Bride Guide logo looks like, then you for SURE have seen her work! Who am I talking about? Darby of Darby Cards Collective! Darby is the master wedding invitation designer in the Nashville area. Not only can she design your invitation suites, but Darby can also help with your Save the Dates, placecards, wedding signage, thank you notes and more! So no matter what design you are looking for, Darby (along with her team of talented local designers) can help you find the best quality invitations for the best price! Without further ado, I'd love to introduce you to Darby - read below to learn more about her business!

Photo by She He We Photography

Tell us about Darby Cards Collective + how long you've been in business!

Darby: Darby Cards {now with the added word Collective} has been up and running since the summer of 2011. The idea started out as a greeting card line business for card shops and boutiques. The greeting card line is still alive and growing, however, the paper market dictated a lot of where we would go in the future. The retail line of invitations and stationery started in 2012 and has remained the bulk of my business. Creating wedding invitations, coordinating cocktail napkins and designing seating arrangements keeps us busy bees year round! We love becoming someone's "paper person for life." We keep up with our clients through birthday parties, baby announcements, Christmas cards and so much more! Just recently, the idea of a collective has been bouncing around our office walls. This is a collective of young designers looking to get their designs out into the market under the umbrella of a largely recognized name. I love working alongside these designers to see their aesthetic and creativity. It has been such a success for Darby Cards by bringing in new clientele and keeping the creativity new and fresh.

How did you get started in weddings?

Darby: I was hired as a part-time sales girl at a gift and invitation shop while I was in college. I didn't realize I loved the art of invitations and stationery until I discovered it there. I worked there selling invitations from big design companies in the north while learning the etiquette and aesthetic of spacing, fonts, balance and color. Shortly after graduation was when I had left this shop to pursue my own designs and create Darby Cards.

What's the philosophy behind Darby Cards Collective?

Darby: There is something for every bride. I loved working in the boutique selling wedding invitations but many brides were disappointed to find out how expensive some invitations can be. The print world is massive and can be very confusing to someone who hasn't done their homework. There are all types of printing processes; digital, thermography, letterpress, foil stamping, and engraving and they have different rules for printing and of course, price. I recognized that brides of course could fall in love with a $17.00 letterpress wedding invitation, but many girls don't have that in their budget or want to spend the bulk of their budget on some other aspect of their wedding, so the premise for designing invitations was to design elegant flat printed invitations at an affordable cost. Our most basic cardstock is still a gorgeous 120 pound eggshell finish cardstock that comes in a crisp white or warm ivory. It's getting the look you want without spending an arm and a leg. Since our first year in business, we have grown quite a bit and now have the options for letterpress, foil stamping and engraving, but still striving to get the best look at a fair cost. We meet with each bride (face to face if they are local) to talk with them about their wedding to get a sense of feel and tone so we can point them in the direction of a wedding invitation that would be perfect for them. From there, we look through our predesigned invitations and past samples to get together a collection of their interests and then we design a custom look for them. Each bride is different, so every invitation should be too!

Photos by Tracy Burch Photography + High Five for Love

Photo by Kelly + Logan Photography

What are your strengths compared to other paper goods companies?

Darby: We are here to meet with you and talk through your questions, likes and dislikes. A bride can feel extremely comfortable that she is working with someone that if she has a question, she can pick up the phone and call us. She won't get a recording and wait on the phone for hours. Because we are a small business, each bride is very important to us. By the time their big day rolls around, we are usually hugging, wishing them the best, and begging for wedding pictures as they leave our office. We are definitely in the relationship business and love to make each client happy.

What attracts brides to Darby Cards Collective?

Darby: Brides come to us because we have such an extreme variety of design and styles. A bride getting married at Loveless could come in and get a southern style invitation suite with the Nashville skyline and a paper bag colored envelope or a bride getting married at Cheekwood could come in and we can design a gorgeous orangic wreath letterpressed on our cotton paper and tied with silk ribbon. The collective really helps us expand our design styles as well by bringing in new invitations from a completely different aesthetic and perspective.

What is a huge trend you're seeing right now in wedding paper goods?

Darby: The biggest question I get right now is about seating arrangements and YES, we do them!! We can design a seating arrangement to coordinate with your invitation and other paper pieces so everything from save the date to cocktail napkin flows flawlessly. A seating arrangement chart does the exact same duty as placecards but saves a table and instead is placed on an easel. We print them in a number of different sizes and then back them on foam board so they are sturdy. These also make for a grand entrance into your reception!!

Photos by Rachel E. Ligon Photography + Amilia Photography

Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful invitation designs with us, Darby! You can find out more about Darby Cards Collective by visiting her website here and browsing lots of ready-made invitation designs (or create your own custom design alongside Darby)! And be sure to give her a follow over on Instagram here to see the latest and greatest designs!

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

Elopement Packages to Norway for Nashville Brides by Michaela Potterbaum

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Elopements are SO in right now! I'd say over the past few months, I've seen at least 4 of my friends on social media elope - and it's so exciting! So if you're that Nashville couple who may be looking to travel the world to say your "I dos", I have one incredible opportunity to tell you about! Nashville-based photographer Michaela Potterbaum is planning an elopement package trip to the fjords of Norway! Her program called Promise Mountain is sure to capture the hearts of any adventurous couple here in Nashville. This year, the program runs from June through September so book your date with Michaela for an experience unlike any other! Not only can Michaela help you plan your mountaintop ceremony, but she can even offer up to 7 days of adventurous activities complete with romantic views and luxury lodging during your wedding week. But now I'll let Michaela step in and tell us more about eloping in the fjords of Norway!

Tell us about your company + how long you've been in business!

Michaela: My name is Michaela and I specialize in adventure elopement photography around the world as well as unique local weddings here in the Nashville region. Over the last 9 years, I've photographed over 110 weddings in 11 nations around the world. I recently spent 3 years living and photographing elopements and weddings in the fjords of Norway which is what led me to start Promise Mountain. After several inquiries from brides wanting to elope with their fiancés in the beautiful fjords of Norway, I decided to use my resources from the last few years of living in the region and start a small, full-service adventure elopement company that takes care of all the details and provides couples with an amazing elopement experience. We provide 2, 4, and 7 day elopement packages with a mountain top ceremony (w/pastor), luxury cabin lodging, a professional photographer, and day adventure trips to incredible local fjord/mountain viewpoints with continued photography so you end up with a romantic photo story by the end of your trip! There is a lot more in the packages that can be seen on the website at: promisemountain.com

How did you get started in weddings?

Michaela: I studied photography in 2006 through a photojournalism school in Amsterdam which led me back to the states where I jumped in on the wedding scene shortly after that and haven't looked back since! Promise Mountain is a newer project that naturally unfolded as I had more and more requests for elopement photography in the fjords.

What's the philosophy behind Michaela Potterbaum Photography?

Michaela: We love creating amazing wedding images and adventure experiences that last a lifetime and beyond for our clients.

What are your strengths compared to others in your category?

Michaela: After living and photographing for 3 years in beautiful Norway (as well as traveling to 37 countries) I'd say some of my main strengths are adaptability, understanding cultures and making the most of any situation. When you travel a ton you learn that the world doesn't revolve around you and sometimes things happen... like rain, or wind during a wedding or missed ferries or flights. I absolutely love working with other cultures, and sometimes that means shooting a wedding in a language I don't know, or in the case of Promise Mountain, it means guiding people through the most amazing parts of the fjords and telling the story of their romance through photography as it unfolds. I love bringing people on adventures to discover the beauty of the world and this is why I hope to attract Nashville couples to the fjords of Norway for what we think may very well be the most magical, wonder-filled elopement experience on earth.

What attracts brides to your photography (+ describe that bride!)?

Michaela: We have yet to find anywhere else in the world that offers full-service elopement adventure packages like that of Promise Mountain. It's not just your standard elopement-- but an entire elopement adventure which means a mountain top ceremony, adventure guiding, professional photography, luxury cabin lodging, the wedding cake, hair/makeup and more... all in one of the world's most beautiful settings-- the fjords of Norway. If the fjords of Norway aren't your thing, we love working with local brides to create amazing wedding imagery here in the region that tell a story of adventure and FUN with romance woven throughout the entire story.

What are some trends in weddings today?

Michaela: I see more and more elopements coming to the forefront of the wedding industry. People want to simplify, get away, and just enjoy each other... in our case, we are creating elopement experiences that weave in adventure, romance, and wonder. We love anything out of the box... and we hope that Promise Mountain can be an out of the box experience that will create a new trend of romance filled wedding adventures around the world.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with Nashville brides?

Michaela: We've still got several adventure elopement openings for this coming summer and we would love to fill those dates with as many Nashville couples as possible! PS. We also offer honeymoon or anniversary adventures if elopements aren't your thing!

Wow - these photos are so spectacular! Thank you so much for sharing all about your elopement photography and the Promise Mountain trip! Brides, if you are interested in heading out to the fjords of Norway this summer from June - September, find more information here on Michaela's website! You'll also want to follow her here on Instagram for allllll the Norway eye candy!

And if you're a photographer, listen up! Michaela has a special Norway photography workshop just for you! It's called Into the Fjords. Find all the information here + happy adventuring!

All photos by Michaela Potterbaum.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Destination Nashville Weddings!, Destination Weds & Honeymoon , Photography, 0 comments »

Geny’s Flowers: Nashville’s Historic Flower Shop Offering Bridal Bouquets + More

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Photo by Kelly Cummings Photography

When you're looking for your wedding flowers for your Nashville, TN wedding, you won't want to miss Geny's Flowers! As Nashville's long-standing floral shop (they've been around for 150 years!), Geny's has seen it all! And when it comes to your modern-day wedding, Joan with Geny's Flowers can help you craft the perfect wedding floral look. Geny's offers everything from DIY wholesale flowers to custom wedding floral designs. From simple bouttenieres to intricate floral arches and installations, Geny's can provide the flowers to fit your unique style and budget! I could go on, but I'll let Joan, owner of Geny's Flowers, tell the story below! 

Photo by Julie Paisley Photography

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Tell us about Geny's Flowers!

Joan: Geny's is Nashville's oldest purveyor of fresh cut flowers. We can take all the perfect things you have found for your wedding or event and show you how flowers will work to pull together the perfect look. Our skilled & highly experienced designers will guide you through floral selections that will complement your location, personal style and budget. We offer DIY consultations for the brave do-it-yourself bride or floral enthusiast.

Geny's Flowers has a rich history here in Nashville! Tell us about how the business has grown + lasted throughout the years!

Joan: John Geny, co-owner of Geny's Flowers and Bridal is a fourth generation Geny in the flower industry. His great grandfather John Geny and his brother Leon were master gardeners from the Alsace region of France. They began their career here in 1868 installing and caring for the gardens at Belmont Mansion for the then builder and owner, Adelicia Acklen. We have evolved with the industry over the last 150 years from green houses and train cars and five retail shops and are proud to be one of the two oldest, along with Levy's, family owned and operated businesses in Tennessee.

Photos by Abigail Lauren Photography

What's the philosophy behind Geny's Flowers?

Joan: Our focus has always been on quality product and quality customer service. We care greatly about flowers and take great pride in our rich history in this business. So, we want you to be successful with your floral adventures, whether they be a small baby shower for a friend or a foray into owning your own small floral business. We want to be here with you every step of the way.

What are your strengths compared to other florists?

Joan: Knowledge and commitment to excellence. Since we work on both the sides of the flower business, retail and wholesale, we understand what quality products and service means to the finished look as a whole.

What type of bride books Geny's Flowers for their wedding?

Joan: Because we strive to offer services for every type of bride, I'm not sure if there is one specific kind. However, they tend to have more of a traditional style and an interest in quality more than quantity.

Photos by Rebecca Denton Photography

Tell us about some floral trends for 2017 that you're excited about!

Joan: Lots of textured greens! Texture in general is one of my favorite things and allows me to use many different, beautiful flowers and greens in our arrangements.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your company?

Joan: We are Nashville proud and we are here for you. We have been for 150 years and we hope to be for another 150 years.

First 2 photos by Ellie Odom Photography

Last photo by Julie Paisley Photography

Thank you so much for sharing all about Geny's Flowers and the rich history of the company, Joan! You can find more about Geny's Flowers on their website here or be sure to catch them over on Instagram here! Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Geny's series tomorrow - we'll dive into their beautiful wedding dresses! 

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Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Florals, Details & Design , 0 comments »

Meet elleNelle Bridal: Creating Custom Wedding Gowns in Nashville, TN

Thursday, March 16, 2017

When it comes to bridal fashion, as a bride you want to find the perfect wedding gown. You'll most likely spend hours upon hours browsing Pinterest, watching Say Yes to the Dress, and making the rounds to multiple bridal shops in the Nashville area. But if you're left feeling empty after seeing what's out there, or if you want something completely custom, I'd love to introduce you to Leah of elleNelle Bridal! Leah can design a custom wedding gown for your Nashville wedding. And not only that, she can create dresses for your bridesmaids as well! You may have seen her work here on Nashville Bride Guide in her own wedding at The Lodge (yes, she made her own wedding dress!) and also on the model in the Lakeside "I Do" styled shoot in collaboration with Paige Brown Designs. I'm not going to lie, I am still starry-eyed over that bridal jumpsuit she created! Not to mention, Leah is hosting an event next Thursday where you can meet her in person and see what all she has to offer! But without further ado, I'll let Leah tell us all about her journey to becoming a wedding dress designer...

Tell us about elleNelle Bridal + how long you've been in business.

Leah: elleNelle Bridal is a premier brand that caters to women looking for custom-made bridal and formal wear. We strive to give our customers a dress that meets every bit of their expectations. We do that by listening to what our customer wants, creating sketches, carefully selecting fabrics, and constructing quality pieces. Here at elleNelle we truly care about our clients and want to do our best to ensure they look their best on their special day.

How did you get started in weddings?

Leah: I’ve always been a creative at heart, and after pursuing two degrees in Accounting, I realize that life is too short not to do what you love. (Ha! Fine time to have this epiphany)! Nonetheless, about 6 years ago I decided I would pull my grandmothers old sewing machine out of storage and teach myself to sew. I started off reconstructing thrifted clothing, then after educating myself through trial and error, video tutorials, books, drop in classes, etc. I decided to move on to making clothes from scratch. By 2013 I created a custom evening/party wear line, called Racks Couture. It wasn’t until 2015 when I made my own wedding dress that I found my true niche. I loved every moment of wedding planning. Once my wedding was over I wanted to stay in the bridal industry and make brides feel as beautiful as I did on my big day.

What's the philosophy behind your elleNelle Bridal?

Leah: Our philosophy is to listen to our brides and create quality gowns that make them feel beautiful on their special day.

What are your strengths compared to others in your category?

Leah: elleNelle's strength lies in our ability to design unique bridal attire, incorporating both contemporary and traditional style.

What attracts brides to your business (+ describe that bride!)?

Leah: I think brides see our unique styles and attention to detail and fit; that attracts their interest. Our brides are stylish and fashion forward. They are willing to step out of the box and make their own rules when it comes to their wedding gown.

What is the most innovative new product, service, style or other aspect of your industry that brides and grooms might appreciate?

Leah: Bridal jumpsuits are a major trend these days, and that's something that I'm seeing more and more brides request. They can be formal, sexy, comfortable, and transitional. You can see in our lakeside photoshoot how a jumpsuit can be worn at a wedding.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your company?

Leah: At elleNelle, we offer bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, + Prom/special occasion gowns!

Also, be sure to check out the elleNelle Bridal event coming up next week! You can meet Leah in person at StudioWed on Thursday, March 23rd. Check out all the details here on our events page! 

Photos by Shannon Bankston Photography

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dresses & Accessories, 0 comments »

Meet Rachael Ann’s Event Design: Nashville Wedding Planner + Florist

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

When it comes to florals for your wedding, you want to hire someone with experience and design expertise. And if you're looking for a florist who is up on all of the latest and greatest trends, then look no further than Rachael Ann's Event Design (yes, she specializes in greenery)! And if you saw the elopement styled shoot she designed at Houston Station, then you know her floral designs are on point (it's seriously one of my favorites this year!). From designing small centerpieces and bouquets for your Nashville wedding all the way up to full-service wedding planning for Nashville brides that includes floral design, Rachael can do it all! No matter if your wedding budget is big or small, Rachael can work with you and deliver exactlly what you envisioned! Keep reading to learn more about her business...

Tell us about Rachael Ann's Event Design + how long you've been in business!

Rachael: We have been in business for three years now. We absolutely love doing floral design and making the bride's vision come to life. We can work with a variety of styles and budgets and always love working with new ideas.

How did you get started in weddings?

Rachael: I started by interning in college with an amazing wedding planner and florist. They helped grow my passion and I will forever be grateful.

What's the philosophy behind your company?

Rachael: Our clients are our number one priority. We strive to make them the happiest they have ever been on that day. We want to create memories and joy that last them a lifetime.

What are your strengths compared to others in your category?

Rachael: We are so versatile and can create so many different styles for all things floral.

What attracts brides to Rachael Ann's Event Design (+ describe that bride!)?

Rachael: How personable we are and how we can work with a variety of budgets. We don't have a minimum because all brides are different and have different visions.

Tell us - what's trending now in weddings? 

Rachael: Greenery is one of our specialties to work with and it's a major trend right now. Everything from greenery in bouquets, accent pieces, centerpieces, garlands, etc. We absolutely love working with it and the look that it gives a room.

Thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us, Rachael! You can find more of Rachael Ann's Event Design on her website here. And be sure to check out her Instagram page here for more inspiration! She is one talented lady! :)

All photos provided by Rachael Ann's Event Design.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Florals, Details & Design , Wedding Planners & Coordinators, 0 comments »