Photo by Jo Photo
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking with a group of Nashville brides over lunch! One of my past co-workers invited me to mingle with some engaged girls at her job and talk all things Nashville wedding! They all came prepared with some great questions and were looking for lots of vendor recommendations. I've outlined a few of the questions they asked me along with my answers!
But the best news is... you no longer have to feel lost on your wedding planning journey. Yes, ask your friends for advice, but if you want to talk to brides who are in it right at the moment you are, then join the brand new group I created - the Nashville Brides Facebook page! You can ask all the questions you've ever wanted about planning your Nashville wedding in a safe environment. Everyone in the group is a bride getting married in the Nashville area and as much as I LOVE Nashville wedding vendors, they are NOT allowed to join (unless of course they are a Nashville bride!). So you have a safe environment to talk about your vendor options, and anything else like contract questions, family dynamics, etiquette... anything wedding related!
So want to know what brides are chatting about? Check it all out below...
Photo by Jenna Henderson
Q: What are the most important things to spend money on in my wedding?
A: Wow - this is a loaded question and it will be different for every bride! My advice (and what the lovely ladies of Modern Vintage Events say) is to choose the top 3 things that are most important to you as a couple. Are you two foodies and love trying new restaurants? Then spend your money on catering. Do you envision your venue covered in flowers? Then spend your money on a florist.
What are MY personal recommendations? After being in the industry and being a bride, I highly recommend spending money on 1. A Wedding Planner 2. Photography 3. Videography. Yes, number 3 may throw you for a loop, BUT, my wedding video is one of the most important and precious (and very underestimated/unexpected) things to me from our wedding day. We rewatch it every year and it brings tears to my eyes every TIME! It's so cool to see your day in "real time" since it goes by so fast and becomes a distant memory throughout the years. Why a wedding planner? Well, I for one didn't have a planner and SO wish I did! Hire them at the beginning - they are the pros and can help you with everything! Photography? Again, what are the elements from your wedding that will last you thoughout the ages? You will cherish your wedding photos forever and ever. I highly recommend hiring an experienced and classic (non-trendy) photographer to capture your day. You won't regret it!
Photo via Pronovias
Q: Where can I shop for a wedding dress locally?
A: Nashville has so many amazing wedding dress boutiques to choose from! And this all really depends on your style. All of the dress shops here are broken down by dress designer (for the most part). Start browsing online at bridal fashion week photos and figure out which designers draw your attention. Then do a bit of research to see which shops here in Nashville carry those dresses. My recommendations? Geny's Bridal here in Nashville has gorgeous dresses from Ellis and Pronovias. (They are actually the only shop that carries Ellis in TN!). Can't seem find what you're looking for? Then call Leah of ElleNelle Bridal - she will custom make your gown (no alterations needed!)! Or if you're looking for a dress at a discounted rate, shop the sample sales! Some dress shops will even let you buy designer dresses off the rack at a discounted rate such as LVD Bridal.
Photo by Nyk and Cali
Q: Food! What do you recommend? Family style, plated or buffet?
A: It all really depends on what type of wedding you have! However, there are a few factors to think about with each food option. I absolutely love family style meals, however, you may be charged a little more for all of the additional serving bowls, spoons, etc. that you'll need to hold the food. Think about it - each table will need their own separate serving dishes for this. Also, if you're concerned about your food staying warm, this may not be the best option for you. You'll also want to think about how much room you have on your guest table to place all the extra dishes of food - and those tables can be tight! Plated is very elegant and formal, so if your wedding calls for that, then go for it! (My wedding was plated!). Buffets are more of the normal Nashville style food service option of choice. Your food will stay warm and your guests can take as little or as much as they want. Just remember you'll have to rent extra dishware with this option as guests may come up for seconds (along with renting chafers, serving spoons, etc.). And talk with your planner about whether or not you'll want the plates already set at the table or stacked next to the buffet. Click here to see NBG's recommended caterers & beverage specialists.
Photo by Love is a Big Deal
Q: I would love to incorporate flowers into my wedding but am looking for a DIY alternative. Where can I buy nice wholesale flowers for my wedding day?
A: Ok ladies - I know once you start adding up all of your wedding expenses, you can tend to have sticker shock. However, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a florist for your wedding. You have so much to think about on your wedding day already, you aren't going to want the overwhelm of creating every single bouquet, boutenneire, corsage, centerpiece, and extra floral decor the MORNING of your wedding! Just don't. But if you have a friend or family member who is willing to help you with the flowers (and knows how to arrange a beautiful bouquet), then it's something to consider. Our local florist shop (and the oldest florist shop in Nashville!) Geny's Flowers can provide wholesale flowers to brides. Schedule an appointment to see what they have and place your order and they'll be ready to pick up for your wedding. Geny's also has a staff of florists who can help you design your wedding as well if the whole DIY thing freaks you out a bit (and it should!). Do NOT go to Kroger the day of your wedding thinking they will have everything you need - flowers are seasonal and the selection is very limited if you do not place an order ahead of time.
Photo via White Ink Calligraphy
Q: What are some things I can do to make my wedding memorable?
A: Again, these brides had some loaded questions! I think a great way to make your wedding memorable is by getting creative with things that represent YOU as a couple. Are you music lovers? Incorporate your favorite songs throughout your wedding signage. Don't love cake? Opt for ice cream or cheesecake! Love crossword puzzles? Create a custom puzzle and place it at each guests' seat. Anything that will catch your guests' eye and stand out compared to every other wedding they've been to will leave them talking about your day for weeks! However, the thing I like to remind brides of - don't try too hard! The most memorable wedding moments are the ones that happen naturally and organically throughout your day! You never predicted how much your father would sob during his speech... or the fact that your grandma let some crazy dance moves loose that have been locked up for years. Let your day happen the way it should and don't sweat the small stuff! There's always going to be some sort of snag (literally or figuratively) in your wedding day and the best brides are the ones who can roll with it!
Do you have more questions about planning your wedding? Request to join the Nashville Brides Facebook Group! Chat with local brides and find out the latest in Nashville weddings!