The Bride Gave Her Groom a PUPPY at This Beautiful Summer Wedding

The Bride Gave Her Groom a PUPPY at Their Beautiful Summer Wedding

Meet beautiful bride Hayden and this sweet little pup Lulu Blue:

Lulu Blue was Hayden’s precious surprise wedding day gift to her fiancée Scott. Hayden didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with the third member of their new family. Scott was overjoyed:

Hayden and Scott chose beautiful Dara’s Garden in Knoxville to celebrate their wedding vows with all their family and friends. The talented team at Winx Photo was on hand to capture all the gorgeous, fun, playful moments.

Even though it was a rainy morning, and it looked like it might continue all day, the couple didn’t worry. They had Marvyl with Team Wedding on hand to problem solve. She and Dara quickly re-imagined the reception tent into a ceremony space to keep everyone dry. Luckily, the sun came out when it counted and light filled the space.

We love the idea that rain on your wedding day is good luck and foretells a long marriage! Since a knot that becomes wet is extremely hard to untie, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is supposedly just as hard to unravel!

Hayden looked like a princess in her lovely A-line tulle gown by Sweetheart from The Gilded Gown.

The dress features a unique lace Queen Anne neckline complimented by a tightly ruched bodice.

The back features a darling illusion panel with lace appliques and covered buttons. Oh, and oh, that spectacular bridal braid is the work of Shayla Feezell Strands.

We love the whimsical rose gold hair vines intertwined with Hayden’s hair. So stunning. And how sweet is this moment? Hugs are the best.

Hayden chose the simplest, sweetest bouquets of daisies beautifully created by premier Knoxville florist Melissa Timm Designs.

The table arrangements are a crisp, fresh combination of Hydrangeas, greenery and daisies tucked into blue and white vases.

The wedding vow backdrop is a lavish and lovely display. Our favorite part is the daisies sweetly scattered across the floor:

The centerpiece of the desert table was a delicious cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes decorated with daisies and a beaded monogrammed topper.

The love this darling couple shares just radiated on their joyous day:

They only had eyes for one another:

The seven lovely bridesmaids looked amazing in their shades of blue:

While the guys were so handsome in their blue tuxes and bow ties from Regal Tuxedo.

The glorious day, the picturesque setting, the immense love between the pair, and the great gathering of friends and family all culminated in the perfect summer wedding for Hayden and Scott.

And, we can’t forget little Lulu Blue, who grabbed some much-needed rest after all the excitement of day.

AMAZING WEDDING VENDORS

Venue | Dara’s Garden

Photography | Winx Photo

Planning | Team Wedding

DJ & Photo Booth | Special Notes Entertainment

Florist |  Melissa Timm Designs

Dress | The Gilded Gown

Suit | Regal Tuxedo

Catering | Rothchild

Cake | Nothing Bundt Cakes

MUA | Beauty by Blair

Hair | Shayla Feezell Strands

Bartending | Single Barrel Events

Officiant | Magnolia Matrimonies

Some of the Prettiest Wedding Cakes in the World! Part I

We’ve sourced the some of the prettiest wedding cakes in the world for your viewing pleasure. And, although the best confectioners on the planet might not be in your neighborhood or price range, their work is free to admire. And we are pretty sure you’ll find something you LOVE. We hope you’ll find inspiration for your own wedding cake. Since the world is a pretty big place we are starting with a few of our favorites from the US, Great Britain, Australia and Signapore. (Stay tuned for more in this series!)

Our tour starts in London with the height of opulence at renowned confectioner Rosalind Miller who specializes in fancy, fancy cakes finely detailed with hand-crafted sugar flowers and decorations. What gets us most excited are the cascading florals they do so incredibly well.

Take a moment to view this vibrant three tiered stunner from their Abundance Collection:

For those who prefer a more delicate color palette, this three tier ivory cake with cascading florals is absolutely enchanting:

The creativity and craft is simply amazing at this bakery. How sweet is this three tiered wedding cake in blush, which features sugar roses with hand-piped brush embroidery?

Each cake is more amazing than the last. Like this incredible cake inspired by Frida Kahlo, rich with the vibrant colors and patterns of Mexican art, which features hand-piped and iced embroidery designs with a colorful bouquet of sugar flowers (AND TASSELS):

This confectionery also makes INCREDIBLE, MIND-BLOWING desert tables, like this one that was created for a royal event. We’d HATE to be on Keto at this party:

Singapore is home to the fabulous Cupplets bakery.

Cupplets is a small, artisanal bakery dedicated to customized baked goods. Their swoon-worthy designs are inspired by painting, nature and flowers, which means they are every Boho bride’s dream. Each and every cake is hand crafted by the Cupplets team from the baking to the decorating. Their awesome slogan, which IOO everyone should embrace, is, “live what you love.” The peeps at Cupplets are obviously doing what they love and their passion is reflected in the gorgeous cakes they create, like this luscious single tiered vision of watercolor loveliness:

They are famous for their custom, two-tiered forest cakes, which are covered with lavish bits from nature and provide a big dose of whimsy:

Actually, all their cakes have a whimsical, fairy tale feel:

Sunny Santa Monica, California is where you can find Vanilla Bake Shop. This darling bakery focuses on heartfelt, scratch-made cakes with a focus on contemporary design and taste.

Vanilla Bake Shop can turn out most any style cake with exceptional craftsmanship, like this amazing geode cake. Is that a hole right through the third layer? Why, yes. Yes it is.

Traditional, with a twist, this gorgeous high-rise of a cake, features asymmetric tiers and beautiful blush florals:

They do sweet, too. This adorable ruffled cake with a vintage inspired swath of flowers is the perfect wedding confection for an easy-going, country feel event:

And, their black wedding cake with handmade sugar florals is a study in exquisiteness. We’d actually feel bad cutting into the perfect exterior. But we’d get over ourselves:

Stewart Uy Photography

Nine Cakes, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a boutique cake studio specializing in decadently delicious cakes with elegant, clean lined, handcrafted designs.

This lovely, lovely white cake is a study in minimal maximalism. You have the clean, crisp white cake accented with the smallest bursts of color. A relatively plain cake but somehow it just stops you dead in your tracks with its major style punch. Probably our favorite of all! What do you think?

And, the starkness of the white tiers of this next cake, accented with the simplest of sliced fruits is so dramatically awesome. These cakes give us art museum vibes. They look easy, but only because the baker is so freaking talented. If we cut up some fruit and arranged it on a cake it sure wouldn’t look like this:

A study in a single color palette, this cakes wows with its simplicity and it’s many beautiful textures:

Tome is a stellar bakery on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. They serve up casually decadent, sun-drenched cakes.

The cake creations from Tome are a visual sensation – vibrant, colorful and topped with all sorts of delights. This photo of a shot inside the fridge in their bakery went wild on social media recently. Like, who doesn’t want to open their icebox to this view?

This pretty pastel cake is giving us serious mermaid feels:

We love how they combine the naked cake trend, with the drip cake trend, and the macaroon topped cake trend with beautiful abandon:

Their cakes are like a dose of sunshine. We can just stare at pictures of their confections for DAYS. Yes, Tome, Yes.

 

 

 

 

Wedding Dresses 101: A Guide to Bridal Fabrics

Since your bridal gown is the most important dress of your life, we thought it might be handy to have a guide to all the amazing wedding dress fabrics available to you. This way you’ll be able to select the perfect wedding dress fabric specifically tailored to you and your day! Many are fabrics from the past, but as trends come and go we will likely see the return of each of these at some point.

Batiste

A lightweight, semi-sheer linen or cotton fabric with a slight sheen ideal for summertime brides. Often seen in fine lingerie and vintage garments, like this gorgeous gown from the Victorian era:

Brocade

A jacquard-woven fabric which is very recognizable due to its raised designs and metallic sheen. We are obsessed with this 1930’s brocade stunner:

 

Charmeuse

A lightweight, semi-lustrous soft fabric, that feels like satin. This slinky fabric clings to the body. Imagine an Old-school Hollywood starlet in a form-fitting glamorous gown. Or, better yet, have a look at this luxurious charmeuse  wedding dress accentuated with a Sabrina neckline from Justin Alexander.

Chiffon

Delicate and transparent, this sheer fabric is composed of either silk or rayon. It is often layered due to its’ transparency. Popular for sheer sleeves and layered skirts, chiffon has a soft finish. This gorgeous long sleeve gown from Lillian West features a chiffon skirt:

Crepe

A light, soft, and thin fabric with a crisp, crinkled surface. The chic strapless ruched fit and flare gown, shown below, is perfect for those brides looking to accentuate their curves. The dress, by Sincerity, features a crepe bodice:

Crepe de Chine

Crepe made from lightweight and fine fabric, usually silk.

Damask

Like brocade in that it has raised designs, but this woven fabric is much lighter weight. Think table linens!

Dotted Swiss

Lightweight, playful and breathable, dotted swiss has evenly placed dots on muslin fabric. Old-fashioned and delightful, this fabric used in this 1970’s dress, which could work well for today’s boho brides:

Duchesse Satin

A lightweight mix of both silk and rayon with a low luster glossy satin finish and a heavier weight than regular satin.  Below is a Duchesse Satin gown with lace overlays from the 1960’s:

Dupioni

This plain weave silk is a lot like Shantung, but this tightly woven fabric has thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen. Rich silk Dupioni is fashioned into a gorgeously dramatic plunging V-neck ball gown by Justin Alexander:

English Net

A soft, pliable fabric which looks like tulle, but is much more luxurious to the touch. Often used for special occasion dresses, accessories, bridal veiling and trim. Perfect for outdoor weddings. We love this lavishly beaded fit and flare gown from Venus Bridal which features English netting over lush satin:

Faille

A structured, ribbed finish that looks like grosgrain ribbon; usually quite substantial. This strong fabric works well for A-line dresses. Grace Kelly wore her iconic wedding dress with a pleated silk faille skirt in 1956, when she married Prince Rainier:

Gabardine

A tightly woven, smooth fabric that is firm and durable, with diagonal lines. Often used on jackets. Often used in bridal embellishments, like appliques or flowers. For contemporary brides wanting to eschew the traditional dress code, Oscar de La Renta offers this chic double-breasted jacket cut from ivory gabardine:

Georgette

A sheer, lightweight fabric often made of polyester or silk with a crepe surface. Venus Bridal offers a modest and soft Georgette princess dress with a skirt that gently flows down to a sweep train:

Illusion

A fine, sheer net fabric generally used for finishing touches on sleeves or necklines. This gown, by Venus Bridal, features a gorgeous lace illusion back:

Jersey

A stretchy and comfy elastic knit fabric; the face has lengthwise ribs and the underside has crosswise ribs. Great for maternity bridal gowns and often used for dress linings. This adorable short sleeved gown in chiffon by Sweetheart is lined in jersey for the ultimate in comfort:

Moire

A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design that has a watermarked look.

Organdy

A stiff transparent fabric great for ruffles, like those on the skirt of this fabulous 1950’s gown:

 

Organza

Crisp and sheer like chiffon, but with a stiffer texture that can look a lot like tulle. This sumptuous fabric works nicely for flowing details like overlays and skirts. Like the circular organza skirt on this softly romantic Sweetheart gown:

Peau de Soie

The French translation is “Skin of Silk.” A soft satin-faced, high-quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance.

Pique

Ideal for creating volume, this knit fabric has a waffle-weave appearance on top and a flat and smooth underside.

Point D’Esprit

A fine net with small dots spaced evenly all over. While the best quality dots are embroidered, they can also be flocked or woven with the net itself.  Point D’esprit over jersey lining is used in the creation of this sexy fit and flare gown by Lillian West:

Polyester

An inexpensive man-made fiber that can be woven into just about anything, including Duchesse satin.

Rayon

Like silk, but more elastic and affordable. This 1940’s dress with the killer pleating and ruching is rayon jersey:

Satin

Satin is not actually a fabric, it is a type of weave that gives a high sheen finish to whatever fabric it is used on. The result is a finished product with a high sheen on one side. Fabrics with a satin weave are commonly referred to as “satin” though. This classic sweetheart strapless lavish satin fit and flare gown is from Sincerity:

Silk

A traditional choice for wedding dress construction, silk is the most sought-after, and priciest fabric for bridal gowns. Silk is a natural fiber that is very shiny and made from the spun silk cocoons of silkworms. We love this bohemian take on a silk babydoll wedding dress by Lillian West. This is a very airy and modern take on silk chiffon:

Silk Gazar

A four-ply silk organza. This stunning Monique Lhuillier gown, circa 2016, features Chantilly lace, re-embroidered lace appliques, and silk Gazar fabric imprinted with roses:

Silk Mikado

A brand of blended silk, usually heavier than 100-percent silk. Used in couture gowns for structure. This sleek light Mikado ball gown by Venus Bridal features a plunging v-neckline highlighted by a crystal beaded belt:

Silk-faced Satin

A smooth silk satin, with a glossy front and matte back.

Shantung

Like a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its rubbed texture. This fitted gown, by Venus Bridal, is composed of Shantung, appliques and netting:

Taffeta

Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib. This fabric makes an unmistakable rustling sound and has a high sheen. This 1950’s gown has a taffeta ballerina length gown.

Tulle

Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils. Exactly what ballerina tutus are made of. This alluring fit and flare gown by Venus Bridal features an illusion beaded lace bodice, a dramatic plunging neckline and a flirty tulle skirt:

Velvet

A soft, thick fabric with a felted face and plain underside. Perfect for winter nuptials, like this 1930’s twist front velvet gown in cream:

Voile

A breathable, semi-sheer fabric that is softy and floaty. Perfect for summertime weddings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress Nikki Estridge’s Enchanting East Tennessee Farm Wedding

Beautiful actress Nikki Estridge recently married the love of her life Matt. We were lucky enough to meet the lovely Nikki (and were totally starstruck) when she found her wedding dress with us at The Gilded Gown last March.

Nikki, a Knoxville native, earned an athletic and academic scholarship to UT where she played softball for the Lady Volunteers. This powerhouse earned her B.A. in Communications with honors. After graduation she built a very successful career as an actress, appearing on top TV shows like House of Cards and Law and Order: SVU as well as in many films and national commercials. Nikki’s comedic skills and exotic blend of beauty and curves light up any movie screen and make her a crowd favorite.

Nikki and Matt got married at the beautiful Sun Dance Farm and Event Center in West Knoxville. Wonderful venue owner Vicky Edgemon also served as the couples’ event planner and coordinator. Talented photographer Richard Hoynes soulfully captured all the best moments of the wedding, including this sweet shot of the couple with their two adorable sons!

We were thrilled that Nikki was kind enough to share her amazing love story with us:

Matt and I met at The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) where I played softball for the Lady Vols and he was a strength coach. After seeing me at the TN/FL football game (I didn’t see him), he found my number through a mutual friend and boldly called me up and asked to meet me. I then told him, “This is something only a serial killer would say.” He laughed. I’m not sure what he said to talk me into meeting him however we ended up meeting after one of my classes in Circle Park and I am was immediately smitten. Shortly after us meeting, I moved to Jacksonville Florida for a job and missed him greatly because I knew I had found the person I wanted to be with the rest of my life. Less than three years later he declined a job in San Diego and I just so happened to move back to Knoxville that same month. We married 6 months later and moved to DC where he worked for DHS (as I mentioned above). God blessed us with two amazingly sweet boys (now 6 and 4) and I worked the DC & New York market as an actor. After being there for almost 8 years, Matt became medically retired from his agency due to herniations in his lumbar, so we decided to move back to our hometown of Knoxville Tennessee. Shortly after moving back I went to renew my passport and found out the state of Tennessee never received my original marriage certificate so we found out we were not legally married! Ha ha! We decided to renew our vows/get married (again) this past June. This time it was even sweeter! My children were able to be a part of this unique story! ♥️
Nikki chose a stunning Hand-Placed Lace Fit and Flare Bridal Gown with Illusion Side Cut Outs by Lillian West at The Gilded Gown.
Nikki looks absolutely gorgeous! Her ride, a glamorous Bentley, was courtesy of David Passmore.
Family and friends surrounded the happy couple with love and support.
Nikki with Chris Blue (winner of The Voice) on her wedding day:
Nikki gave us more details about her handsome husband, and turns out he is a real hero:
A little about Matt and the amazing things this husband of mine does for all our children, teachers and corporations:

Matt is the COO/Lead Instructor and Founder of the L.I.V.E. Programs, including the L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Training Program and the L.I.V.E. Principle (Lock, Instruct, Vantage Point, Engage). He is a retired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Counter-Terrorism Agent who has created a multifaceted solution to address active shooters! He served our country as the Department of Homeland Security Lead Active Shooter Countermeasures Instructor for the Washington D.C. field office and is a subject matter expert in active shooter countermeasures. Utilizing his knowledge in unarmed countermeasures, proven close quarter battle strategies, threat assessment education, high value target security assessments, emergency action plans and his knowledge of special needs and handicapped individuals, he has created a multifaceted solution to address active shooters. 

As you can see, I’m not only in love with him, I’m proud! ♥️♥️♥️
 We wish this amazing family the happiest future. We can’t wait to see what they do next!!!

NIKKI ESTRIDGE
SAG-AFTRA
 
Check out Nikki’s t.v. series now streaming on Amazon Prime

What to Wear Under Your Wedding Dress: The Best Bridal Undergarments

A Guide to the Best Undergarments for Your Wedding Day

Almost every single bride wears some form of shapewear on her big day. But not every bride is comfortable talking about it. So if you have some burning questions about the dos and don’ts of bridal shapewear, you’ve come to the right place. Many brides buy their wedding underwear and shapewear as soon as they say “yes” to the dress. Just make sure you know exactly what needs to be enhanced, concealed and smoothed under your bridal gown before you purchase your underpinnings. 

What To Wear On Top!

One of the most important undergarments for any bride is the bra. Having everything supported and lifted will help make you look amazing on your wedding day. These days many bridal gowns actually have bra cups and supportive boning built right into the bodice of the dress, so you might not need anything more. But, if you would like a little additional lift, or a bit more fullness, you can always purchase bra cups and have them sewn into the dress by your seamstress. The Gilded Gown has bra cups, show below, for $15:

Perhaps you have selected a backless dress. No worries, you don’t need to resort to duct tape as a solution, as adhesive bras have advanced dramatically over the years. There are really high performance “sticky bras” that work really well. They feature a strong enough adhesive to keep the girls up and give a nice round shape from all angles. We have these available for $25 at The Gilded Gown:

Or you can purchase a strapless bra to wear under your gown. If you do, make sure to match your bra color to your gown color, not to your skin tone. That way any accidents can be disguised and the bra will blend in with the rest of your dress. Another good idea if you decide to purchase a bra, is to wear it around the house a few times to ensure it is a perfect fit. You can also test it out during a night out to make sure it stays where you want it to, provides the right level of support and is comfortable to wear. That way you will have no worries on wedding day! Nylon and spandex are the best materials to choose. Our fave, is the Peyton Contour Strapless Convertible by Yummie. This $42 bra has soft molded cups in a breathable fabric and will comfortably stay put under your wedding dress:

And, there is always the traditional bridal bustier which is a fancy bra-plus-shapewear combo that smooths the midsection and uplifts breasts.

What To Wear On The Bottom!

The type of shapewear to wear for smoothing things out under your gown depends on the fit and fabric of your wedding dress. Some dresses fit very close to the body and will benefit from a seamless smoother underneath. Mermaid, fishtail, and trumpet wedding dresses will usually require some form of shapewear in order to achieve the most flattering silhouette. Certain fabrics tend to be more forgiving than others too, especially ones that have their own built-in shapewear. Therefore, you must choose your wedding dress first before selecting your shapewear. Textured fabrics and heavier silks, for example, are more structured than body-hugging dresses.  Some even come with built-in corsets, so there may not be any need for shapewear at all. Lighter fabrics, such as silk charmeuse, are almost transparent, and therefore far less forgiving. Nothing can be disguised with this type of fabric, which is why shaping garments are essential to eliminate visible pantie lines, smooth out any bumps, and create an overall seamless silhouette.

High rise shapers will nip in the stomach and iron out any bumps. Shaping shorts can also be worn to give your legs a slightly slimmer and smoother shape, as well as eliminate the appearance of lumps. This high waist short targets your tummy with an extra wide shaping band while giving your rear a lovely lift:

What To Wear Under The Skirt!

Most high quality bridal gowns are fully lined and have built in crinolines to support the structure of the skirt:

But if you should need another layer or two, there are tons of bridal slips and crinolines readily available in every silhouette, from mermaid to a-line to ballgown.

For a slip that flatters and smooths, we adore the Hidden Curves Firm Shaping Slip from Yummie. It provides lightweight shaping and invisible control to enhance your curves.

If you are wondering what the heck a crinoline is, here is a link to our blog post about those.

Make Sure Your Undergarments Don’t Show!

To ensure you’ve found the perfect shapewear, we suggest you test its’ visibility under your dress. Try your undergarments on underneath your wedding dress, and have a friend take some pics in different lighting (including natural light) to make sure they don’t show. After all, your undergarments should be working to make you even more gorgeous on the best day of your life. And you don’t want to waste a single moment of your wedding day worrying about what’s going on under your dress.

We hope these tips help you when you are shopping for shapewear that pairs perfectly with your dream wedding dress! 

The Ultimate Smoky Mountain Wedding. Glamping Under the Canvas

We love when a group of talented wedding vendors gets together to create a stylized wedding (and invites us to provide the dress and accessories). Through these artistic adventures, we discover awesome new venues, get tons of wedding inspo, see the latest floral trends, wedding decor & tablescapes plus we get to share tons of gorgeous photos from the shoot featuring our gowns. This superlative shoot features a dreamy mountain-inspired wedding beautifully styled by  Lindsay Mae Designs and stunningly captured by the talented Emerald + Ivy Wedding Photography.

This styled shoot was held at the super cool Under Canvas® Smoky Mountains, the perfect place to have a wedding in the Smokies. The 182-acre venue is lush with the extravagant natural beauty of America’s most visited national park. Meadows, trees, streams, blue skies, and fresh air. Imagine saying “I Do” with stunning mountain vistas as your backdrop, or exchange your vows in one of their large event tents. Your wedding will be an unforgettable experience for you and your loved ones at this unique venue!  It’s nice to know that the friendly team at Under Canvas® can help you with all aspects of your wedding, too. They have incredible large CanopyMarqui™ tents which are great for lounging, dining, and dancing and have the flexibility to expand to accommodate up to 300 guests.

Another bonus, they’ve elevated camping into  “glamping.” Some call it glamorous camping, we call it the only way to camp! Fine linens, en suite bathrooms, real beds….yes, please! In our opinion, there is no better way to enjoy the beauty of nature than by staying in a very hip safari-inspired canvas tent surrounded by modern luxury.

(this photo from undercanvas.com)

Beautiful bride Annabel looks amazing in her light and airy wedding dress which is available exclusively in Knoxville at The Gilded Gown. Designed by Lillian West the dress has flirty bell sleeves which frame the bodice of the A-line floor-length gown.

Dazzling criss-cross straps adorn the illusion back. And we cannot get over those fabulous SLEEVES!

This dress features a point d’esprit layer, chiffon bias band at natural waist, and satin lining.

The perfect gown for a mountain wedding!

Annabel’s dazzling wedding day hair and makeup look was achieved by Tara Hailey

The handsome groom, Tim, looks carefree and comfy in his denim and boots!

Echelon Florist created all the amazing florals for the shoot. We don’t know what we love most! That bouquet! The floral crown! The hanging hoops! They are all so so pretty!

The hip table arrangements incorporate metal hoops, Black-Eyed Susans, Calla Lillies, pops of bright purple and assorted greenery.

We love that all the arrangements are not matchy-matchy but look amazing together.

The metal hoops tied with twine are a great way to decorate a space with major impact. The flowers make them so special.

We hope you find inspiration in this beautiful wedding day shoot.

WONDERFUL WEDDING VENDORS

Venue |  @undercanvasofficial #undercanvasgreatsmokymountains
Stylist & Coordinator | @lindseymaedesigns
Dress | @thegildedgown
Hair & Makeup | @tarahaileyhair
Floral | @echelonflorist
Photographer | @emeraldandivyphoto
Models | Tim & Annabel @annabelhayne

The Prettiest Ways to Put Pumpkins in Your Wedding

The days are getting shorter, leaves are beginning to drift from the trees, mornings have a just a hint of frostiness, there are pumpkins lined up at the grocery store and Bath & Body Works fall-scented candles have hit the shelves. These are all tell-tale signs that glorious autumn is upon us. Since the season has arrived we thought we’d pay a little homage to the star gourd of the season, Punkins! Pumpkins are associated with so many nice things. They conjure up good feelings about fall holidays, family, Thanksgiving, togetherness, joy, and most importantly pie. It’s no wonder that they turn up in so many fall weddings. They are not only beautiful, but they are also super versatile: you can eat them, carve them, and decorate with them. Affordable and easily available, pumpkins come in a variety of beautiful shades, shapes, and sizes that work great for this season’s weddings!

Pumpkins make a great style statement at the entrance of a wedding. Since they are so affordable it is best to use a lot of them for the most impact. Whether lining a walkway adorned with falling leaves or grouped with baskets of flowers and other produce, pumpkins announce a seasonal feel to your guests. We love that pumpkins come in a range of colors including white.

You can also line your pathway down the aisle with loads of pretty pumpkins:

Hollowed out pumpkins make fantastic flower vases for fall-themed events. This wonderful whitewashed pumpkin is filled with luscious white and pale blush roses, pods, and greenery.

Pumpkins look amazing amassed as a centerpiece. We love the moody tones of black and white mixed with pale blue and gold on this tablescape.

Pumpkins can deliver a more delicate design as shown below, where white and pale green gourds are paired with babies breath and soft greenery.

Pumpkins can be transformed into lavish candleholders with the help of stencils and some handy knifework. These gorgeous light green ones would look amazing for a fall wedding.

You can even use carved out pumpkins for drink coolers.

They make adorable placeholders, too. These mini pumpkins guide guests to the proper table with a simple name card tied with twine.

Since pumpkins are easily painted any color, they can pair with any design scheme. These tiny ones go glam with a coat of gold!

For a great tutorial on how to transform plastic pumpkins into heirloom versions in beautiful colors visit SoMuchBetterWithAge. The pumpkins below are amazing transformations of dollar store items!!!

Pumpkins are easily embellished with decor items. Look at these sweet pearl punkins which would look amazing scattered on the cake table:

You can even use mini pumpkins for your wedding cake topper:

There are even tons of wedding invite options featuring the fall squash:

Heck, the bridesmaids can even carry pumpkins down the aisle instead of bouquets:

How about the world’s easiest fall guest book? Just have your guests sign a pretty pumpkin!

However you choose to use them, pumpkins can bring the spirit of fall into your wedding in so many wonderful ways.

 

Sara & Nathan’s Soulful Summer Wedding in the Foothills of Tennessee

Sara & Nathan’s Soulful Summer Wedding in the Foothills of Tennessee was held on a glorious day this past June. Their wedding was filled with everything we adore about weddings: love, family, friends, laughter, nature, ice cream, flowers, sunshine, beauty, joy, dancing, tears, commitment, contentment, sentiment, yummy food, fellowship, fun, and happiness!

Luckily this day can be relived by looking through the wonderful photos. Jesse & Quinn, the super talented husband and wife team of Winx Photo, captured the joyful, loving moments of this special day to perfection. We can’t get over how precious the adoring looks Sara and Nathan shared were! #TrueLove

The Cardinal’s Nest provided the most glorious backdrop to Sara and Nathan’s sweet wedding day. Nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and lush with the green beauty of East Tennessee this idyllic setting was simply spectacular.

Sara was a vision of beauty on her wedding day in her dress and veil from The Gilded Gown.

The dress featured lavish lace appliques throughout with illusion straps and a plunging v neckline plus a classic a-line silhouette.

Nathan was dapper in his charcoal suit and blue bowtie.

Another tender look shared by the couple:

Sara and Nahan had an amazing arbor to say “I Do” under. The structure also framed the picturesque view of trees, grass, and rustic fencing:

Echelon Florist provided all the exuberantly lovely florals for the wedding, including the lavish swag adorning the arbor. Their beautiful wedding arrangements are so stunning it is no wonder they are nationally recognized. Sara’s charming bouquet featured lots of greenery with a few pops of blue and ivory.

Sisters Vintage Rentals staged the wedding with their eclectic decor pieces. Their antique doors artfully hung with gilded mirrors made a pleasing vignette alongside a pair of velvet chairs, a stack of vintage suitcases and a jug of flowers.

Every detail of the day was attended to. We love the guest book and gift table was staged on a cart piled with vintage pottery, and a shabby chic mailbox on top of a folded quilt. So cute!

We love the combination of nature and decor in this lovely moment consisting of a bird’s nest, a rusty scale, and more pottery:

Rosa’s Catering was on hand to serve up a delicious custom spread for all who attended:

Delicate cupcakes in intricate laser-cut liners filled a table:

And the wedding cake was wreathed in greenery:

Cruze Farm provided sweet ice cream treats in a trio of yummy flavors: sweet cream, coffee, and cookies & cream. All the friends and family gathered that day enjoyed the dairy farm’s creations as well as their famous southern hospitality served up by the adorable Cruze Farm Girls.

Stephen Goff Entertainment was on hand to lend a festive atmosphere at the reception. You know it is a great wedding when everyone is dancing:

We wish all the best to the happy pair as they face the future together as a married couple! We’ll leave you with some of our favorite shots from their very special wedding:

 

 VENDORS

Dress | The Gilded Gown

Photos | Winx Photo

Venue | The Cardinal’s Nest Wedding & Events

Floral | Echelon Florist

Planner | Custom Love Gifts

Rentals | Sisters Vintage Rentals

Catering | Rosa’s Catering Service

Treats | Cruze Farm

Entertainment | Stephen Goff Entertainment

 

Top 20 Wedding Movies to Watch While You Are Engaged

We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 best wedding films for your viewing pleasure. After all, no one enjoys immersing themselves in all things wedding more than brides! So put on your softest sweatpants, grab your fave movie-watching snacks {Popcorn & Junior Mints for us) and settle in for some great flicks! You’ll also need some Kleenex for the heart-warming parts and the laugh till you cry moments.

Bridesmaids is a laugh out loud movie that tells the story of Annie (Kristen Wiig) a single woman whose life is a hot mess and her newly engaged and successful bestie Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Annie assumes the role of maid of honor even though she’s broke and depressed. She careens through her bridesmaid’s duties like a bull in a china shop. The other bridesmaids are played to comedic perfection by all-star cast Rose ByrneMelissa McCarthyEllie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey.

You’ll want to sing along to the joyous Mama Mia. Free-spirited Donna (Meryl Streep ) is the mother of bride-to-be Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). She lives on a gorgeous Greek Island where Sophie is having her wedding. Unbeknownst to her mother, Sophie has secretly invited three men to the island, any of whom might possibly be her father. The film features an ensemble cast, including Christine BaranskiPierce BrosnanDominic CooperColin FirthStellan Skarsgård,  and Julie Walters.

Steel Magnolias is a love story honoring the strength, humor, and beauty of southern women. Based on true events, this film is about M’Lynn (Sally Field) and her daughter, bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts) as they prepare for her wedding. Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) fixes the women’s hair for the ceremony, along with aspiring beautician Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah). Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which doesn’t bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends like Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine) and Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process.

Set during the Christmas holidays, Love Actually examines nine complex and intertwined stories of love. Among the characters explored are David (Hugh Grant)), the handsome newly elected British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon ), and Daniel (Liam Neeson), who is mourning the recent death of his wife, Joanna, as he tries to raise his stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster) alone. Sarah (Laura Linney ), is a graphic designer whose devotion to her mentally ill brother complicates her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), is a man married to Daniel’s friend Karen (Emma Thompson), who is seriously considering an affair with his attractive new secretary.

The Hangover is a hilarious comedy featuring three buddies (Bradley CooperEd HelmsZach Galifianakis,) who drive to Las Vegas with their friend (Justin Bartha) for an epic bachelor party weekend in Las Vegas. The only problem is they wake up from a wild and crazy bachelor party night unable to remember anything that happened AND the groom is MIA. Nursing the mother of all hangovers they desperately try to re-trace their steps in order to find their friend and get him back to LA in time for his wedding.

The Princess Bride is a cult-classic fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman, Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) and her one true love Westley (Cary Elwes). He must find her after a long separation and save her from a very bad prince. Together they battle the evils of the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with each other. Based on the William Goldman novel “The Princess Bride.”

Bride Wars, tells the story of two lifelong best friends Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) who accidentally end up with the same wedding date at the same location. The pair have been planning every aspect of their future weddings for years, ever since they both attended a wedding at New York’s famed Plaza Hotel and both decided they would also marry there one day.  All bets are off as they each attempt to claim the day as their own and their precious friendship is at stake.

The Proposal is a lovely romantic comedy about a high-powered book editor Margaret (Sandra Bullock ) who is facing deportation to her native Canada. Undaunted she convinces her hapless assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to pretend to be her fiancee. Andrew agrees to the charade but insists that they first travel to Alaska to meet his eccentric family. With a suspicious immigration official always lurking nearby, Margaret and Andrew must stick to their wedding plan despite numerous problems.

Our Family Wedding follows along with Lucia (America Ferrera) and Marcus (Lance Gross) as they return from college and announce their engagement to their parents. Marcus and Lucia realize too late that, although it’s their marriage, the wedding is going to be the sole domain of their families. Insults fly and tensions run high when their highly competitive fathers ( Forest Whitaker,  Carlos Mencia) get involved, threatening to wreak havoc with the couple’s special day.

A romantic comedy with a sweet ending, 27 Dresses stars Katherine Heigl as Jane a perpetual bridesmaid who is forever putting the needs of others before her own, making her the go-to girl for whoever needs help planning a wedding. But when Jane’s younger sister Tess (Malin Åkerman) snags the man (Edward Burns) Jane secretly loves, she finds herself questioning putting other people first. Meanwhile, a handsome reporter (James Marsden) sees Jane’s unusual story as his ticket off the bridal beat.

Father of the Bride is a 90s update of a classic Spencer Tracy comedy. Overprotective dad George (Steve Martin,) and his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), are the proud parents of Annie (Kimberly Williams ). Their whole world turns upside down when she returns from studying abroad with a fiancee. From meeting the in-laws to wedding plans with a very “extra” consultant (Martin Short) and his flamboyant assistant (B. D. Wong ), it seems as if the troubles never end.

Anyone who loves the 80s will enjoy The Wedding Singer. (Adam Sandler) plays wedding singer Robbie, a nice guy with a broken heart who was abandoned at the altar by his fiancé. He meets a charming waitress named Julia (Drew Barrymore), who enlists his help to plan her wedding. The movie follows along as these two develop feelings for one another.

My Best Friends Wedding Childhood friends Julianne (Julia Roberts) and Michael (Dermot Mulroney) made a pact to marry each other if they were still single by age 28. Now, days before her 28th birthday, Michael tells Julianne that he’s going to be marrying beautiful  Kimberly (Cameron Diaz). Julianne realizes she is in love with him and vows to stop the wedding at all costs including enlisting the help of her friend (Rupert Everett). 

Yet another Julia Roberts RomCom, Runaway Bride tells the tale of Maggie, a girl who consistently gets cold feet at the altar. She does it so many times that she is dubbed “the Runaway Bride”. An investigative reporter, Homer (Richard Gere) hears about her and decides to write an article on her. They end up falling in love, but can she keep from running away?

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a celebration of love, Greek family dynamics, and traditions. Still single at 30, frumpy Toula (Nia Vardalos) works for a restaurant owned by her parents, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan ) and is pitied by most of her large Greek family. Toula starts to make changes by attending classes, improving her appearance and taking a job at her aunt’s travel agency. Newly confident she begins a relationship with non-Greek Ian (John Corbett ), a teacher who is tall, handsome and a vegetarian. When Ian proposes Toula worries about her over-protective father and family will think.

The Wedding Date follows along as Kat (Debra Messing) older and still single prepares to travel to London for her younger sister’s wedding (Amy Adams). While this is bad enough, the best man is her ex Jeffrey (Jeremy Sheffield), a man who dumped her right before they were to be married. Kat takes matters into her own hands and hires a dashing escort (Dermot Mulroney) to travel with her an act as her date.

Fun-loving Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John ( Owen Wilson) are divorce mediators who make a habit of crashing receptions in Wedding Crashers. For the irrepressible duo, there is no easier way to drink for free and find women to hook up with. So when Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken) announces the wedding of his daughter, the pair make it their mission to crash the upscale event. But their game changes when John locks eyes with bridesmaid Claire (Rachel McAdams).

In Sweet Home Alabama fabulous fashion designer Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) is thrilled when she gets engaged to NYC’s most eligible bachelor. The only trouble is Melanie is still married to the redneck she married in high school, Jake (Josh Lucas,). Ole’ Jake refuses to divorce her so Melanie sneaks back home to Alabama to try to fix things.

In I Love You Man successful real-estate broker Peter (Paul Rudd) has so much going for him: a great job, a beautiful home, and a lovely fiancee. One thing he doesn’t have though is friends. Due to his dedication to both his work and fiancée Zooey (Rashida Jones), Peter has failed to make any friends at all. But with his wedding fast approaching, the pressure is on to find at least a best man and so Peter embarks on several desperate and hilarious attempts to find a best buddy.

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a beloved British comedy about likable Charles (Hugh Grant) and his tight-knit group of friends who seem to all be unlucky in love. But one day Charles meets a beautiful American named Carrie (Andie MacDowell ) at a wedding, and he hopes his luck may have finally changed. They share one magical night, but then Carrie returns to the States the very next day, dashing Charles’ hopes. As fate would have it, Charles and Carrie’s paths continue to cross — over several weddings and a funeral — and he decides that they are meant to be together, even if their timing always seems to be off.

 

 

Marvelously Magnificent French Macarons are Made for Weddings

You’ve probably heard of Macaroons (MACK-A-RUNES) and you’ve most likely seen stacks of beautiful Macarons (MACK-AH-ROHNS) in your Insta Feed, but did know these popular cookies are nothing alike? Besides being spelled pretty much the same and both tasting scrumptious, macarons and macaroons are actually very different cookies. First off, macaroons are coconut-based, whereas macarons are meringue-based. Macaroons are extremely sweet while macarons have a just a tiny hint of sweetness. So although we have nothing but love for the lumpy, dense and yummy macaroons, today we are going to delve into the delicate loveliness of french macarons.

Marvelously magnificent French Macarons are the perfect cookies for weddings. They are light sandwich cookies consisting of two rounded disks made from a batter of egg whites, sugar and almond flour surrounding a sweet filling of either jam, ganache or buttercream. They are dainty, not overly sweet and can be made in an endless variety of colors and flavors.
Macarons can be any shade of the rainbow AND they can be further decorated with artistic designs and toppings.
Macarons are beautiful to look at, they photograph well plus they are tidy to eat as they are not too crumbly. Macarons make nice wedding cake alternatives. A couple of options below feature tiers of the cookies on their sides as well as a wedding cake topiary with macarons:
We adore this whimsical tower of pale pink cookies decorated with lush florals and greenery:
And this luscious version with extravagant blooms and a sophisticated color palette is just gorgeous:
Macarons make delightful favors for your wedding guests. There are many specialty bakers like La Reine des Macarons who specialize in creating unique favors like these:
The Vintage Kitchen creates amazing gourmet French macarons. All of their cookies are made fresh in Arkansas and they are happy to personalize them just for you by incorporating your wedding colors, the flavor of your wedding cake, or even by hand-painting your initials onto each macaron!

Another adorable favor option (which will last much longer than a cookie) are these precious Macaron Limoge Trinket Boxes by Two’s Company:

Or if you want to serve Macarons as a dessert option for your guests you could do something along the lines of this lavish selection of flavors and colors. A large selection is key since everyone will be unable to resist tasting multiple flavors:

Food Network has an intricate macaron recipe with lots of different flavor profiles for all you DIYers with mad cooking skills:

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup almond flour

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup superfine sugar

2 to 3 drops gel food coloring (see below)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract

Assorted fillings (see below)

Directions

Special equipment you may need:

Oven with convection setting, 4 baking sheets, 3 silicone baking mats, Fine-mesh sieve, Pastry bag with a 1/4-inch round tip

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.
  2. Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.
  3. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.
  5. Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.
  7. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).
  8. Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot,” about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

FLAVOR VARIATIONS

Almond-Raspberry:

  1. Tint the batter with 2 drops neon pink gel food coloring; flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you’ll need about 3/4 cup).

Mint-White Chocolate:

  1. Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.

Blueberry Cheesecake:

  1. Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.

Lavender-Honey:

  1. Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.

Pineapple:

  1. Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.