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Helpful Vendor Interviews!

Capturing Light, Love + Life: Meet Nashville Wedding Photographer Abigail Volkmann

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You're on the hunt for your wedding photographer. There are many aesthetics to choose from, but once you choose the look of your photos, how do you choose your photographer? For me it was 1) personality and 2) experience! And let me tell you, Abigail Volkmann has BOTH! Abigail has such an upbeat attitude and personality... and her work feels that way as well! Plus, with 12 years of photography experience, you can trust Abigail Volkmann Photography to capture every precious moment of your wedding day... beautifully! Not to mention, Abigail is a go-getter - she's creator and founder of Nashville's one-stop wedding shop - Nashville Event Collective {check out post 1 and post 2 on Nashville Bride Guide!}. 

Tell us about Abigail Volkmann Photography!

Abigail: Abigail Volkmann Photography is a boutique photography company that specializes in capturing the light, love, and life of my clients. Telling the love story from the beginning is what I love. I start with the engagement session and then I get to watch the story unfold through the wedding day, pregnancies, celebrations, and milestones. It is a magical journey captured a tenth of a second at a time.

How did you get started in weddings?

Abigail: I have been a full time photographer for 12 years. I started my photography career working in commercial and advertising photography. I worked with companies such as Simon Malls and Sports Illustrated. I had a photographer friend who started photographing weddings and said how much he enjoyed it. I thought I would maybe shoot a few weddings on the side, so I gave it a try. For me, it was one of those things where I didn't know that I didn't love what I was doing, until I started to photograph weddings and realized it was truly my passion.

What attracts brides to your business?

Abigail: I think the initial attraction for my clients is my style of photography. I also find that because of my years of experience I am able to make sure I capture a well rounded documentation of a wedding. I know where to be when, I know what details are important, and that every guest has a special place in the heart of the bride and groom.

What's the philosophy behind your company?

Abigail: Wow, this is such a great question!! I am a firm believer that for wedding photography, I have the responsibility to create an amazing experience for my couples, as well as, deliver amazing photographs. It is that amazing balance of being a left brained organized and a right brain creative simultaneously, and I am constantly striving to get better at both of these on a daily basis.

What are your strengths compared to others in your category?

Abigail: There are two things that I am always trying to stress to anyone looking for a photographer. 1) Experience, experience, experience!! I have been shooting weddings full time for close to 10 years. I have seen it all, I know how to navigate all the ebbs and flows of a wedding day. This is not an easy task. Someone else may be a great photographer in "perfect" circumstances, but it takes years of experience to be able to do this under ANY circumstance. 2) Artificial lighting! Pretty much every reception is an evening affair that is dark. Again, a less experienced photographer may be able to create beautiful photographs when the lighting is perfect and bright, but it takes expertise in artificial lighting to create beautiful photographs in dark spaces with less than ideal lighting.

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

Abigail: I think a huge trend right now is taking photography back to its roots and editing images to look like film. I think this is a great way to create classic photographs!

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

Abigail: We are a boutique company that offers boutique service. We create images that are a reflection of our couples and a relaxing wedding planning experience. Each couple is valued and celebrated for their individuality.

See more of Abigail Volkmann Photography's portfolio on her website here and be sure to follow her on Instagram here!

All photos by Abigail Volkmann Photography.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Photography, 0 comments »

Nashville Event Collective: A Collaborative Group of Wedding Professionals {Part 2}

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yesterday, we met half of the wonderful team of Nashville Event Collective - a collaborative group of Nashville wedding professionals! Today we'll finish out the round and meet the people behind Whiskey Teacup and Anchor Films. Speaking of Anchor Films, Davis put together a wonderful video of our time at Nashville Event Collective - take a look:

Nashville Event Collective Interview from Anchor Films on Vimeo.

We clinked our glasses and at some yummy treats as we gathered around to chat about our businesses! And now I'd like to introduce you to Anchor Films + Whiskey Teacup!

Meet Anchor Films

Davis:  I grew up making home videos since the age of 10 and falling in love with film making. I was working my first job at a local bakery when a friend of a friend knew my passion for film and let me know that a company he freelances for had a full time opening. I went in for a interview the next day and got the job having no knowledge of how to film a wedding and how to use any of the camera equipment or edited programs at the time. The owner and I became very close and I learned a lot in the craft while also experiencing how to run a business. I worked and trained there for around 5 years. In 2013, I started Anchor Films with a previous employee for the company who lived in Charleston, SC. We started with the idea to offer a more intimate personal wedding film to our clients and have grown a lot over the past few years.

Davis: Nashville Event Collective was exactly what we were looking to be a part of and was introduced to use without even searching it out - getting to know everyone who was involved and seeing what each had to offer as a team. After getting to sit down and have a face to face meeting and then to be offered a spot as part of the team, we couldn't pass it up.


Meet Whiskey Teacup

Kristina: Whiskey Teacup custom make everything from event signage and cake toppers, to table toppers, and place cards, to gifts and unique keepsakes. Whiskey Teacup is a family owned company, and have more than 25 years experience in the sign, construction, interior design, floral and event industry. We saw a gap both here and nationally in terms of custom designed and made products tailored for the wedding industry. 90% percent of our competiotrs are cookie cutter, mass produced products made offshore and we wanted to give planners and brides a choice of better custom made products taht are made here. 

Kristina: Joining NEC was a great opportunity to be with other like minded professionals who are passionate about their offerings. It was also an opportunity for us to showcase our products to planners and brides alike in a relaxed professional atmosphere.

Wow I had such an incredible experience getting to know the professionals behind Nashville Event Collective! You can follow along with their stories on Instagram or make an appointment at their East Nashville location. Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of this in-depth interview! 

Links to Instagram:

Nashville Event Collective

Anchor Films

Whiskey Teacup

Abigail Volkmann Photography

Fanciful Ink

Laurie D'Anne Events

Photos by Abigail Volkmann Photography

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Guests, Gifts & Favors, Unique Wedding Ideas, Videography, Wedding Planners & Coordinators, Wedding Resources, 0 comments »

Nashville Event Collective: A Collaborative Group of Wedding Professionals in East Nashville

Monday, December 19, 2016

This past fall, I had the privilege of visiting with the Nashville wedding professionals at Nashville Event Collective. Their cute and modern digs in East Nashville is a collaborative office space for all six professionals who each specialize in a certain area in the planning process! Who are they? Abigail Volkmann PhotographyFanciful InkLaurie D'Anne EventsWhiskey TeacupThe Interior Maven, + Anchor Films. Put them all together and what have you got? An incredible wedding! But when all of us got together we had an incredible time of fellowship and fun at their studio space. We sat down, had some snacks (Five Daughters Bakery is right around the corner!) and said cheers to their new venture. Plus, we chatted about each of their wedding businesses - from custom designed cake toppers to cinematic weddings, we all learned a lot by the end of the night! And since we covered so much in the time we were there, we'll make this post a two part series! Today we'll see what Fanciful Ink, Laurie D'Anne Events and Abigail Volkmann Photography are all about accompanied by the beautiful photos Abigal (the NEC founder) took!

Meet Abigail Volkmann Photography

Abigail Volkmann Photography is a boutique photography company that specializes in capturing the light, love, and life of her clients. Telling the love story from the beginning is what she loves. She starts with the engagement session and then gets to watch the story unfold through the wedding day, pregnancies, celebrations, and milestones. It is a magical journey captured a tenth of a second at a time. 

Abigail: I founded NEC in April of this year. It was actually a dream coming to fruition for me. I wanted to create a place where a couple could go and plan their entire event. It has taken time to get the right collection of professionals, but that is because I knew it was important to find vendors that have the same level of expertise and professionalism as I bring to my company. I also have to give a shout out to my "OG," Laurie Montgomery with Fanciful Ink. She has been with me from the beginning, if she had not given a resounding yes and encouraged this vision when I first presented it to her, I don't think NEC would exist today. It was the start of just exemplifying this is a group of professionals who support NEC and each other. It is truly amazing to see this dream come true with the most perfect group of people.

Abigail: I have been a full time photographer for 12 years. I started my photography career working in commercial and advertising photography. I worked with companies such as Simon Malls and Sports Illustrated. I had a photographer friend who started photographing weddings and said how much he enjoyed it. I thought I would maybe shoot a few weddings on the side, so I gave it a try. For me, it was one of those things where I didn't know that I didn't love what I was doing, until I started to photograph weddings and realized it was truly my passion.




Meet Fanciful Ink

Fanciful Ink offers completely custom wedding stationery, placing pride and emphasis on creating something to fit a couple rather than the couple selecting something pre-designed that may not reflect the overall look of their special day. Color, details and typeface are all carefully thought out for each couple. I want them to walk away knowing a special piece of artwork was made just for them!

Laurie: After starting out designing for couples I knew and loved, I realized that I wanted to approach my clients with the same amount of care and love. A wedding day and all of the moments leading up to it are precious, though many instances can be stressful. I want to provide a relaxing space for couples to know that they are taken care of and are special to me and my business. I love making new connections with them and forming relationships. My husband and I actually ran into a couple at a restaurant recently whose invitation suite I designed. We had dinner with them and thoroughly enjoyed it! So many couples spend hours and money on each detail of their wedding and that very first detail that the guests will see is their wedding invitation or their Save the Date. It sets the tone of the wedding and shows guests what to expect. I want guests to immediately know if your wedding is formal at an elegant mansion or a rustic backyard casual ceremony just by pulling that invitation out of the envelope.

Laurie: I love illustrated elements! I like to encourage couples to think about little details to tie everything together. If they are using a particular flower, I will draw that out and incorporate it throughout the design. Since barn weddings are so popular, I love to draw out the barn where the wedding will be. I have even included a sketch of a couple's dog into their RSVP card! I incorporated the stained glass ceiling design of Union Station for my own wedding invitations. Getting couples to think outside of the box as far as what they can pull into the design of their stationery is fun and allows them to realize that the sky is the limit and they really can have a design that fits them perfectly.


Meet Laurie D'Anne Events

Laurie D'Anne Events is a luxury wedding and event planning company. Founder Laurie Hardman is the lead designer and planner. As an event designer first, Laurie revels in fine lines, strives for harmony and balance, and relishes in the heightened senses. She has been designing and planning events for over 9 years, primarily in the Nashville area and has had clients that are across the US both. She thoroughly enjoys all types of events, including corporate and social event planning. When it comes to weddings we offer everything from Full Planning and Design to Partial Planning. Everything is customized to what is most important to the couple. Laurie says. "I love the building new relationships, creating lasting memories for each my clients"

Laurie: We joined Nashville Event Collective to partner with other great talents. In our business I typically handle most all of the elements of the event. Working together in the same space as other amazing, talented partners makes the planning process so much more convenient. We can meet with brides as a group and they can get several elements checked off their list all at once. Laurie D'Anne Events offers a full service package called "The Limo Ride" where the planning process is seamless. The Collective was the perfect fit for us and the vision of the future of the company. Wedding planning can be stressful so having a place where the brides can relax and enjoy the planning is terrific!


Laurie: I have always loved weddings. I joke, though it sounds cliche', I love, "LOVE" . I love seeing people in love. I love the relationship of the human spirit engaging with one another. Weddings are such a monumental moment in a person's life. They are filled with so many emotions and I love helping to make that day all that a couple has dreamed it would be. It is as once in a lifetime event. When I started in designing and producing events, I had a special ability to make people feel comfortable and to help balance out all the unknowns in planning an event. Because of this I was handed most of the weddings in the company was working for at the time. And so the more weddings I helped create, the more I loved doing them. Soon, I became the Director of Wedding and Events. We do plan all types of events but I have a special love for weddings.


I'm so happy that all of these incredibly talented professionals were able to spend some quality time with Nashville Bride Guide! You can find Nashville Event Collective on Facebook here. Also make sure you follow them on Instagram here!

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow with more vendor interviews and a video by Anchor Films!

All photos by Abigail Volkmann Photography.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Invitations & Paper Goods, Photography, Wedding Planners & Coordinators, Wedding Resources, 0 comments »

The Barn at Sycamore Farms: A Rustic and Refined Wedding Venue in Arrington, TN

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

When it comes to The Barn at Sycamore Farms, you're not looking at just another barn venue in the Nashville, TN area... you're looking at a grandious, brand new wedding facility complete with an island, a fabulous fountain and the most beautiful grand chandelier you've ever seen! The Barn and Sycamore Farms is equipped with the latest technology so your guests can enjoy sound, video and slide shows to add to the aroma of your big day! I've visited the property myself a few times and each time my breath is taken away by the beauty and splendor of this venue located in Arrington, TN! We interviewed Brandy with The Barn at Sycamore Farms to give us all the scoop on this gorgeous place...


Tell us about Sycamore Farms!

Brandy: The Barn at Sycamore Farms is a brand new event venue located on 28 acres in the heart of Arrington, Tennessee capable of accommodating up to 400 guests for weddings and other events. The barn features cedar beams, crystal chandeliers, ladies and gentlemen’s lounges, stone benches, two verandas overlooking the only island ceremony setting in Tennessee. A stone bridge leads guest to the 9,000 sq ft island. The island can seat up to 400 people and is completely surrounded by a 2 acre lake. The Barn at Sycamore Farms is designed for all seasons and weather conditions.

How long has Sycamore Farms been in business?

Brandy: We had our first wedding in June and have held several over the summer.

How many people can Sycamore Farms host?

Brandy: We can host 300 seated in the Main Hall, 1500-250 seated on the 2 covered verandas. We can accommodate much more if the client explores other seating arrangements and seating options.

What all is included in the venue rental?

Brandy: The entire property including 28 acres of Tennessee countryside, lake, island and barn. 200 fruitwood chiavari chairs, 200 white resin chairs, 20-60” round tables are also including the venue rental.

Why do brides want to get married at Sycamore Farms?

Brandy: Its brand spankin' NEW! That means our venue offers all the modern amenities that brides want in a venue such as heat and air conditioning, a large capacity, and island ceremony setting. Brides are very impressed with the 8 ft. by 9 ft. custom double cut crystal chandelier. They love the luxurious bridal suite with makeup stations and the cool grooms suite with the foosball table, poker table and shuffleboard table for entertainment. The heat and air conditioning and spacious bathrooms with quartz countertops are very attractive to brides.

What type of bride does Sycamore Farms attract?

Brandy: All types! Brides looking for an elegant luxury venue and brides working with a budget. The Barn at Sycamore Farms can easily be transformed into a bride's vision. Our Canadian Skirl Cedar wood is very unique because it has tons of dimension in the woodgrain but also has a wavy edge. It looks rustic and refined at the same time.

How is Sycamore Farms different than other barn venues?

Brandy: Several features set us apart from other barn venues. Heat and air conditioning, the island capable of seating all the wedding guests, a custom 8 ft. by 9 ft. crystal chandelier and covered verandas. One of the largest advantages of our barn is the heat and air conditioning. We have 3 separate systems to keep everyone comfortable. The main hall has a unit, as well as a unit for the bridal suite, and a unit for the grooms suite. At the touch of a button the bride and groom can easily adjust the temperature in their room to remain comfortable. Another benefit of our venue is the large capacity. Our main hall is large enough to seat 300 guests and covered verandas can seat 150-250 more guests. The verandas also offer a stunning view of the lake, island and 100 year old Sycamore tree. Depending on the size of the wedding we have held ceremonies on the island, under the Sycamore tree, in the barn and under the Sycamore veranda. In the case of inclement weather our brides do not have to worry. Since we have the covered verandas and heat and air conditioning there are many ways to accommodate the bride and her guests in the case of rain or extreme temperatures.

What is the most innovative feature about Sycamore Farms?

Brandy: The lake and island really set us apart from any other venue. Many venues have a lake, but not an island capable of seating the entire wedding party and guests. Brides are very excited about a waterfront wedding ceremony completely surrounded by water in the Tennessee countryside.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about The Barn?

Brandy: Our goal is provide as many modern conveniences to the bride and groom as possible. The bridal suite offers makeup stations, plush seating, large flat screen TV, farm table for dining, private restroom and 3 crystal chandeliers. The grooms lounge offers leather seating, shuffleboard table, poker table, foosball table, large flat screen TV and a private restroom. Our barn also offers a catering kitchen, serving room, a circular drive for easy drop off. We also offer lighting, audio video, wireless microphones and décor for rent. The Barn at Sycamore Farms is located right on Highway 96 with close proximity to I-65 and I-840.

Above photo by Chelsey Somohano

Thank you Brandy for sharing all about The Barn at Sycamore Farms! Please check out their website for more incredible photos and media.

You can also follow Sycamore Farms on Facebook and Instagram for more wedding inspiration!

Photos by Angel Speaks


Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Wedding Venues and Locations, Wedding Style - Rustic, Farm , 0 comments »

T Villager Designs: Specializing in Unique Floral Design for Your Nashville Wedding

Monday, September 26, 2016

When I first laid eyes on T Villager Designs' flower arrangements, my jaw dropped to the floor! The creativity and innovation behind T Villager Designs' work is unlike anything I've ever seen. The brains behind T Villager Designs, Troy and Jack, take some incredible risks by pairing flowers together that you would never think work well in arrangement... but somehow they make it look absolutely spectacular! I'm so excited to invite Troy and Jack to tell the story behind their business... here it is!

Tell us about your company.

Troy and Jack: One of Nashville's best kept secrets, T Villager Designs is a rapidly up and coming floral design and holiday decorating company owned and operated by the two of us (Troy Villager and Jack Boone). The company has gained a very positive reputation in the Nashville community and beyond in a short period of time because of Troy, the lead designer's ability to create floral designs that are distinct and creative with a "one of a kind look". Troy has a natural attentiveness to the aesthetics of flowers that touch the foundation of the human condition: our feelings and emotions. As T Villager Designs, we hold high standards for both our floral design and holiday decorating skills. We can work with the vision our clients have for their special wedding or event but sometimes struggle to bring to fruition. The philosophy of T Villager Designs centers around distinction and artistry no matter what genre of floral design. We are available to help!

How long have you been in business?

Troy and Jack: T Villager Designs was officially founded as a business in late 2013 but Troy had been doing floral design and holiday decorating for about 18 years now. The business was started as a hobby for us out of a love for flowers and gardening. Both of us had full-time careers, Jack in healthcare administration and Troy in real estate but due to the success the business has had it is the desire to make the business a full-time career for us.

How did you get started in weddings?

Troy and Jack: Troy actually has done weddings off and on through the years for family members and friends. He also serves on the flower guild at our church, St. Bartholomew's in Green Hills, and his floral design work is applauded and appreciated by church members. As a result, he was asked to do weddings for church members and people we knew as well.

What's the philosophy behind your company?

Troy and Jack: Our philosophy of our company is built around honesty, integrity, and professionalism. We want our company to be known for being a group of talented professionals who are quite personable, are good listeners, and commit to always being right up front with our customers on what we can and cannot do. Because we are so passionate about the work we do, we will always have fun and enjoy ourselves and help create an atmosphere that will put brides and their families at ease whenever possible. You set the agenda, we'll help you build the parameters of expectations and we'll earn the trust and confidence of our customers.

What are your strengths compared to others in your category?

Troy and Jack: We believe the Nashville area is filled with greatly gifted floral designers who do incredible work and our goal is to always be as collaborative as we can possibly be with those who are in the same business. We are all artists who do great work. We do believe our strengths lie in the art form of the designs we create. Our greatest strength is being able to make the transition from the organic beginnings of flowers in the earth to create a magical display of color, texture, and flow and bring out the feelings and emotions of the audience.

What attracts brides to your business?

Troy and Jack: We're fun. We're personable, and we don't take ourselves too seriously. We know how to leave the ego at the door and we know how to be humble. However, we believe in the work we do and the value of what we do for our customers whether that be financial or otherwise. We promise to deliver.

Describe the bride who is most attracted to your company.

Troy and Jack: We believe any bride who feels she is working with a floral designer she can trust, she likes and she can afford would be attracted to our company. We feel we have the ability to work with any bride to be. We know we must earn a client's trust through examples of our work and the confidence we bring to the table. We will commit to complete honesty. If we haven't done something or have experience with something we'll say so. We believe a bride wants us to be genuinely interested in her and her very special day. We're easy to talk to and our aim is to put our bride at ease and truly help her get the answers she needs to get. And we know affordability is key. But we also realize a lot of floral design is about education, open communication on costs, and it is our responsibility to help the bride either set her budget or to stay within the budget she has in mind. It may not always be exactly the same flowers she saw on Pinterest but the same beauty can also be achieved through some creative thinking!

What is the most “now” / innovative new product, service, style or other aspect in floral design that brides and grooms might appreciate?

Troy and Jack: One really unique service T Villager Designs provided this year was at a masquerade ball where we were asked to dismantle the centerpieces for the tables for the evening and created individual bouquets for each female attendee to take home with her that evening. This is a trend that is beginning to become more popular in the Nashville area and is becoming more and more popular. Wedding trends seem to be moving toward the more natural, cascading and open and airy looks not only for bridal and attendants bouquets but also for centerpieces. Herbs and succulents are becoming very popular and these are things we do work with at T Villager Designs. Despite trends and "now" things for weddings there will always be brides who don't want to be like everyone else and follow the trends and want to walk to the beat of their own drummer. We love working with these brides, too, and welcome the opportunity to do so call on us anytime!

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

Troy and Jack: Nashville is exploding in growth and each day there is more need for talented florists and floral designers to take care of the needs in this city, especially since it is very high on the list of destination brides. We want our community to know we're here and we want to help. There's plenty of business out there for all of us in the floral design business. We do realize this blog is about weddings and for brides but we would be remiss if we didn't mention the great deal of success T Villager Designs has also had with our holiday decorating. Christmas holidays make up the most of this arm of our business but we also do design and decorating for all other holidays and special occasions throughout the year!

Thank you Troy and Jack for sharing the beautiful photos of your work and telling us all about T Villager Designs!

Check out more on T Villager Designs' Facebook page!

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