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Unique Wedding Ideas

ThirstyNest: The First Wine & Spirits Registry for the Modern Couple

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Happy Tuesday! Today I'm excited to share the launch of a new wedding registry site - ThirstyNest! Now, ThirstyNest is unlike any other wedding registry site... it's for the couple who loves wine, spirits + all the accessories to go along with it! From curated wine collections to wine coolers to bottle openers and decanters, ThirstyNest has everything you need to create your in-home bar. I'm in LOVE with how creative this concept is and it's perfect for the couple who is set in their home and simply wants to add to their wine collection. And how much fun is this for wedding guests? You get to purchase wine products for the couple instead of aimlessly sifting through cheese graters and flatware on a typical wedding registry. The best news is that you can get in on all the fun now since the site launches TODAY! Keep reading below to find out more about registering on ThirstyNest...

Who is the brains behind the ThirstyNest operation? Founder, Jacki Strum, developed the concept after over 15 years of experience in the wine industry. While registering for her own wedding, she realized a major gap in the market. She and her fiancé didn't need to register for home decor, kitchenware or nice towels. So why not register for products to create a home wine bar? After doing her research, Jacki soon realized that the average couple in 2017 makes up the largest consuming wine generation in history. Wow! She created a solution to her need and that is how ThirstyNest was born! 

Are you more of a rosè and sparkling kind of bride? Is he a scotch and rum type of groom? The good news is you'll be able to find curated categories on the site specific to your tastes! You'll easily navigate and find the perfect combination of his and hers by searching the "Starter Collections". Need some recommendations on what to register for? ThirstyNest has even worked with some social media influencers who have curated their own lists of favorites to give you inspiration and a jump start on your registry. ThirstyNest isn't just registering for wine - you'll be able to find bar furniture, decanters, decor and even aerators! And if you need advice on what type of wine to serve at your wedding, well ThirstyNest has already broken that down for you under the "For the Wedding" tab! You pretty much have everything to create your wedding and home bar at your fingertips on ThirstyNest!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to ThirstyNest to start your bar registry! Your guests will have a blast choosing items from your list. Your home bar makeover has just begun!

You can check out ThirstyNest here on their website and also be sure to follow them over on Instagram

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Guests, Gifts & Favors, Unique Wedding Ideas, 0 comments »

Gina + Paul’s Fun + Elegant Lakeside Wedding in Nashville, TN by Watson Studios

Friday, July 7, 2017

In order to have fun at your wedding, you don't need all the bells and whistles. Creating an environment suited to your personalities and vibe as a couple is the best way to go about it! And when Gina + Paul decided to create a laid-back family reunion style wedding in their relative's backyard, it was the perfect occasion for both old and young! The outdoor tented wedding took place on a beautiful May day along Old Hickory Lake where family + friends gathered for a Nashville meets New Orleans soireè. Want to see my favorite element of their wedding? You'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to see it! (Hint, it will make you leap out of your seat!). ;)


Gina + Paul

Private Residence on Old Hickory Lake


Wedding Team: 

Photographer | Watson Studios

Florist | Groom’s sister, Kimberley

Cake Artist | Wolfe Gourmet Cakes

Band | Spirit of New Orleans Productions

Makeup and Hair Artist | Ashley Stevens 

Groom's Suit |

Rentals | Chief Rentals

Catering | Actual Food Nashville

From the groom, Paul: We met 5 years ago when Gina's mother (a singer) dragged her along to one of my performances in New Orleans. There was an immediate attraction - we flirted clumsily. But, ALAS, I was already involved and by the next time we'd meet, Gina would be as well.
Although, the timing was obviously wrong, we did bump into each other occasionally. Gina would happen upon one of my regular gigs, or we'd be shopping at the same store, and we'd cross paths at the studio of a voice teacher with whom we were both studying (this voice teacher now claims she felt the "vibes" and our finally getting together was not a surprise to her at all!).

The tipping point, however, came 4 years later when my cousin Jill, a realtor, was handling the sale of Gina's parents house. (Coincidence?! We like to think of it as destiny!) She mentioned to me that she had a client who was also a performer - a singer, Louise, who lived very nearby. When she mentioned the name, I knew exactly who she was referring to - and made some comment about how good-looking her daughter was!

Thankfully, Jill LOVES to gossip. "Well, I told Louise you were my cousin and she adores you. She asked me NOT to mention this, BUT Gina is recently single..." I don't know that I heard anything else she said after that. I was already formulating my next move! I sent a special invitation to Louise asking that she attend my next performance. I didn't mention Gina. But I suspected that Louise would again drag her daughter along. And I was right. They walked in together and on our first break I sat down and told Gina that I wanted to see her again.
"How about lunch?", I asked.
"I like lunch," she replied.
The rest is history…

About the wedding from Gina + Paul: This was supposed to be so simple. - a small gathering of our closest relatives at my home. Then the families found out and decided we needed to throw a big party! What is MOST IMPORTANT to us, is that we get to hang out together. As long as we share the day, we'll be happy. We decided on an all-day, outdoor, Family Union/Reunion vibe. Hopefully, we've minimized the formality and stress. Hopefully, we've maximized fun and relaxation. We want the event to be equally enjoyable for our 80-year old antebellum Auntie and 2 year-old hell-on-wheels nephew. "Lakeside Elegance" was a theme suggested to us - and we liked it enough to let it guide the vision.

I mean come on! These bounce house photos are the cutest ever! Thank you so much for sharing this fun wedding with us, Dan! You can check out more of Watson Studios' work here on their website and also here on Instagram!


Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Photography, Real Nashville Weddings, Unique Wedding Ideas, Wedding Style - Rustic, Farm , 0 comments »

ONEHOPE Wine: Giving Back Through Beverages at Your Nashville Wedding

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

There's a new trend in weddings as of late: Giving Back! And if you're a couple like my husband and I, then you are looking for a way to give back with your wedding. For us, we had a note at every seat that said instead of giving a favor, we gave back to a charity of our choice. But let's take it one step further with ONEHOPE Wines! ONEHOPE donates a portion of the proceeds from your wedding wine purchase back to a charity of your choice! (I seriously wish I knew about this when I got married!) Plus, they have the most FUN branding - hello, gorgeous sparkly wine bottles! So when your guests are sipping on their bubbly, you can tell them that glass directly gives a hungry child a meal (or insert cause of your choice______). How amazing is that?! I have Danielle here of ONEHOPE Wines to tell us more about the lifestyle brand that will leave your guests feeling inspired (and maybe a little more brave on the dance floor). :)


Tell us about ONEHOPE Wine + how long you've been in business!

Danielle: ONEHOPE is a lifestyle brand that provides a built in give back with every purchase. Half of all profits go back to cause partners with over $2.3M donated since 2007. I have been with the company for four years and LOVE having the opportunity to combine wine + giving back!

How did ONEHOPE get started in weddings?

Danielle: It's a natural fit. Most wedding receptions include wine and bubbly! We give brides & grooms the opportunity to serve + celebrate with ONEHOPE and give back at the same time. Each case of bubbly for a toast provides 50 meals for hungry children for example. That is something really special that they can do on their big day.

What's the philosophy behind ONEHOPE?

Danielle: Giving back is good business! ONEHOPE makes GREAT - award winning wines AND provides a built in give back at the same time! It allows people to buy something they are already going to buy and feel really great about their purchase making an impact.

What are your strengths compared to others beverage providers?

Danielle: The built in give back. It's pretty great. It's not something other brands are doing nor are grocery stores or liquor stores. At the end of the day, we'd be just another great wine but...the impact from every bottle sets us apart. You're getting amazing 90 point + rated wines and our foundation is supporting causes all over the country, locally and globally.

What attracts brides to ONEHOPE?

Danielle: The delicious wine & bubbly. The opportunity to be a change maker without having to write check. Any bride would love that! The ability to have power with their purchase. They've got the budget and plan to buy it anyway... now they know lives are being changed while they have fun on their BIG day.

What trends are you seeing in the wedding beverage space?

Danielle: We are constantly rolling out and changing varietals. Every single bottle gives back. Our GLITTERS are pretty special. I think the coolest thing we can do is that the bride and groom can choose their OWN cause of choice from their purchase. 15% can go to a charity that THEY choose. That makes it even more special and meaningful. Love pets? We can give a donation to YOUR local pet shelter for example. Any 501c3 can receive a check!

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

Danielle: Serving ONEHOPE at your wedding is a GREAT way to treat your guests to amazing wine and turn it into a party for a purpose. It's a no-brainer. Simply swap out the brand you were planning to serve with ONEHOPE. #winenot

Thank you so much for sharing all about ONEHOPE Wines, Danielle! You can check out more of ONEHOPE Wines here on their webpage and here on their Instagram page! 


Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Food/Catering, Guests, Gifts & Favors, Unique Wedding Ideas, 0 comments »

Vintage Weddings & Events: Mismatched China + Decor for Your Nashville Wedding

Thursday, April 27, 2017

When celebrating your big day, you want it to be uniquely yours! From your vows to your dress to your tablescapes, everything about your weddings should scream you as a couple. And if you're a vintage lover like me, then adding heirloom china + centerpieces to your table scape is a great choice! Nancy of Vintage Weddings and Events has curated and collected unique pieces of china, glassware, flatware + more that you can rent for your wedding! The Depression Glass, brooches + more are one of a kind pieces and will definitely be a talking piece among your guests at your Nashville wedding. As a Mother of the Groom herself, Nancy knows the ins and outs of planning a wedding, so keep reading to learn more about her vintage china business + how you can rent some for your wedding!


Tell us about Vintage Weddings + Special Events + how long you've been in business!

Nancy: Vintage Weddings & Special Events is a new family owned business which features mismatched china, goblets, depression glassware, flatware, and serving dishes. We also design one-of-a-kind centerpieces such as brooch bouquets in vintage vases and lighted mason jars on tree rounds. Our goal is to provide a unique dining experience for wedding.

How did you get started in weddings?

Nancy: I started collecting vintage china and depression glass for my son's wedding last June. I fell in love with "the thrill of the hunt." I find my treasures at estate sales, flea markets, and antique stores.

What's the philosophy behind Vintage Weddings + Events?

Nancy: We are a family business and we plan to treat each event with TLC.

What are your strengths compared to other rental companies?

Nancy: I believe we are unique because we have incorporated Depression Glass into our Vintage Garden Collection. The glass compliments the colors and patterns of the china. The layering of plates is gorgeous!

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

Nancy: I think brides that are having a rustic, vintage, or bohemian wedding will love our dinnerware and centerpieces. Our prices are also very reasonable.

Describe some of the services you provide besides place setting + centerpiece rentals.

Nancy: We set up and attend the reception to make sure everything runs smoothly and the reception continues to look attractive while you enjoy your special day. We will clear tables and tidy all stations such as the Coffee Bar or Appetizer Table.

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

Nancy: I love weddings so I decided to turn that enthusiasm into a business!

You can find all of Nancy's gorgeous collection here on the Vintage Weddings and Special Events' website! Thanks, Nancy!


Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Unique Wedding Ideas, Rentals, Wedding Style - Vintage, 0 comments »

An Elegant Bridal Portrait Session by Jessica Lauren Photography at Riverwood Mansion

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bridal portraits are must-have shots in your wedding photography! Most brides opt to do them before or after their ceremony on the day of their wedding. However, weddings are usually on a timely schedule and you need to make sure you carve out time for every photo you want with your photographer and planner. This is definitely a time where you don't want to feel rushed - especially since emotion can show in each and every photo! Well we have a fun and creative idea that Nashville bride Michelle decided to do with her photographer Jessica Lauren. She took her bridal portraits a few days before her wedding! And what a great way to feel comfortable in your dress and do a trial run for your hair and makeup - to see the look fully complete before the big day!? Priceless! Michelle's gorgeous Rita Vinieris dress graced the historic Riverwood Mansion for timeless photos she will cherish forever. Read below for our interview with Michelle!

Michelle's Bridal Portrait Session

Riverwood Mansion



Photographer | Jessica Lauren Photography

Venue | Riverwood Mansion

Dress | Rita Vinieris

Hair + Makeup | R&Co Bridal Beauty Team

How did you get engaged?  Tell us about your proposal: 

Michelle: We went to take a walk at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in franklin on may 22 with our dog like we do a lot of weekends. My now husband was walking ahead of me with our dog Lucy and he said why don't you walk her for a little so I did. A few minutes later he said hold on a minute and I turned around and he was down on one knee. It was perfect!!!!

What’s your wedding style?

Michelle: Industrial chic. I loved my venue, aVenue which inspired the style of my wedding.

Tell us about your portrait session. Where did it take place?

Michelle: Riverwood Mansion in east Nashville. It was perfect, I loved getting to get my makeup and hair done and wear my dress on another day besides my wedding day.

What’s the significance of the location?

Michelle: I wanted a place to do indoor and outdoor pictures and this location was perfect! I also loved the old, nostalgic feeling it had.

What was it like working with your photographer?

Michelle: My photographer, Jessica Lauren was absolutely amazing!!! She was so easy to work with, she made everything so stress free and fun. She was super prepared for the day so there was very little downtime. She used the light from the beautiful day to make my pictures even more amazing. I loved working with her every second of my bridal portraits and my wedding day.

Why did you decide to do a portrait session before your wedding?

Michelle: It was really important to me to have as many pictures taken before the wedding as a possible. I just wanted to be able to enjoy my wedding day and not stress about having time to get all the pictures that I wanted.

Would you recommend the photographer and why?

Michelle: The reason that I chose Jessica was because of her attention to detail. She was much more than a photographer that just poses you and takes pictures and that's what I was looking for. I love that she incorporated action into my photos and not just me standing there. She was a dream to work with and her photos are absolutely stunning!!

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful portraits with us, Jessica and Michelle! You can find more of Jessica Lauren's work on her website here or here on her Instagram page! So very lovely!

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Photography, Real Nashville Brides, Unique Wedding Ideas, Wedding Style - Classic, 0 comments »