Kimberly and Tyler’s Perfectly Romantic Fall Wedding

 Kimberly and Tyler’s Perfectly Romantic Fall Wedding

Precious Tennessee couple Kimberly and Tyler married on October 26th at The Reserve at Bluebird Hill!  The beautiful setting provided the perfect backdrop for all their romantic moments. Luckily Jess and Joe Photography was on hand to capture every detail! Their day was filled with love and laughter, family and friends, pumpkins and pine cones, and a signature Dunkin Donuts drink! They chose to marry in the fall since it’s their very favorite season.
 We were thrilled when Kimberly shared her sweet story with us:
My husband and I met while he was in school at UT and serving downtown at Balter Beerworks. I went in to have brunch with two of my friends (who ended up being bridesmaids at our wedding). They left my number on the top of my check! We connected immediately and it was kind of a whirlwind after that. We got engaged on September 21, 2018 and we actually left our ceremony to September by Earth Wind and Fire. (Our string quartet learned it just for our wedding) After dating for almost a year and a half, Tyler proposed on my parents back porch. This was after I ruined multiple attempts on his part to surprise me. He finally did it and it was a surprise since I got engaged in my pajamas with no makeup on! It was the perfect proposal.
We were married at The Reserve at Bluebird Hill on October 26, 2019. We picked October because it’s our favorite time of year! The rain stayed away long enough for us to have our ceremony outside!
We had a burgundy, blush, and rose gold wedding with lots of pumpkins and pine cones!
One of our groomsman sang our first dance song live.
Our signature drink was the Dunkin Donuts Coffee Porter, because we are obsessed with Dunkin Donuts! My mom made pumpkin shaped mints in our wedding colors as favors along with cat and dog treats for our friends to take home to their pets.
We danced all night until our sparkler exit. It was a magical day! We left that night for our honeymoon in Jamaica!
We asked Kimberly about her dress shopping experience, and she was kind enough to share that with us as well:
The Gilded Gown was the only store I went in to try on dresses. I brought my mom, one of my future mother-in-laws, and two of my bridesmaids! I tried on several dresses that I thought were exactly what I was looking for, but they weren’t right. Miranda had me pick a dress that I never thought I would be interested in. A “for sure no” is what she called it. I never thought a mermaid style would be flattering and I was very against sleeves. But it was the only dress I kept going back to and comparing all the others to. Then when we put a veil on, it was the one!  It is actually like a modern version of my mom’s wedding dress! It was the perfect experience! Thank you so much! The dress was absolutely perfect!! I got sooo many compliments on it. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful dress. I took it to one of your recommended alterations places, The Perfect Fit, and she was incredible!! Thank you so much for making me feel so beautiful on my special day!
 

Kimberly’s beautiful bouquet and all the lush wedding flower arrangements were done by String of Pearl Wedding Flowers.

Please join us in wishing all the joy and happiness to this adorable couple as they face the future together!
ALL THE AMAZING VENDORS
Dress & Veil: The Gilded Gown
Catering: Copper Cellar
Minister: Andrew Newman, Nuptials with Newman
Hair and Makeup: Edienna Smith
String Quartet: Anderson String Quartet
Alterations: The Perfect Fit

Wedding Floral Trend 2020: Spray Painted Bouquets & Arrangements

Wedding Floral Trend 2020:

Spray Painted Bouquets & Arrangements

We are absolutely wild for this stylish new trend in the floral world. Florists are using spray paint to transform ordinary floral designs into something out of this world and spectacular. They are taking the natural beauty of flowers, leaves, and branches and elevating them to dizzying new heights. We’re pretty sure this trend will be taking the wedding world by storm in 2020. Brides looking for something a little “extra” and unique will gravitate to these striking arrangments. We’ve found some of the most brilliant floral designers embracing this style and are happy to share them with you all:

The incredible Boston flower artist Krissy Price, owner of pollen

Krissy Price uses her massive artistic talents to create amazing works of flower art. She’s known around Boston for her amazing “flowerbombs” whereby she installs surprise floral moments with leftover blooms from weddings and events. “As an artist, it’s an opportunity to do something truly special and I hope that a lot of people can enjoy it. Instead of it being something that’s done for a corporation or a wedding, it’s truly giving back to the community,” she says.

She also is a master of this year’s trend, with works like this one, which incorporates subtle hints of light blue and pink spray paint:

She makes the most glamorous tablescapes and hanging installations, as well, like this boho dream pampas grass and palm creation:

The exuberant maestro of flowers, Manu Torres

Manu Torres, a Portland-based florist, is gaining international attention for his expressive, otherworldly floral styling. His energetic, eclectic and bright arrangements are truly works of art. Torres combines natural elements like flowers, grasses, feathers, fans, and leaves, and accentuates them with custom spray-painted accents and DIY elements.

His Monstera leaf installation would make a stunning backdrop for a tropical-inspired wedding:

His arrangements are both exotic and softly romantic at the same time. We love the delicacy of the babies breath mixed with the vibrantly painted leaves:

Pretty pastel colors elevate this arrangement to the extraordinary:

Manu’s creations are intoxicating! How gorgeous would this be as a bouquet?

You can purchase Torres’ work, even if you’re not based in Portland, by using his exuberant wedding and event invitations for your special day:

The Daring Designs of Bridget Vizoso

New York City florist Bridget Vizoso is using paint to bring her unique floral visions to life. Carefully hand-painted designs and Jackson Pollock-inspired splatters are her work’s signatures, resulting in florals “unlike anything you have ever seen before,” she said.

Bridget crafted this amazing ceiling arrangement with a rainbow of pretty colors:

Even her more traditional work is insanely beautiful:

How to Incorporate The Trend

It’s easy to incorporate this look for your wedding day. Search out inspirational pics on Instagram and Pinterest. Find a local florist with loads of artistic flair and show them your vision. They’ll love the opportunity to do something so creative and exciting.

This bold bridal bouquet from Weddingomania: delivers major tropical style with pink blooms, orange touches, and a pineapple spray-painted pink:

Top Ten Easy Ways to Go Green In 2020!

Since we are facing a brand new year and a shiny new decade it is a common time to take stock of ourselves and make resolutions to improve our health, and well being. But in 2020 it is also a wonderful time to work on helping our planet. Did you happen to see the documentary Blue Planet? It certainly is a wake-up call for all of us about the unsustainable way we humans are living. In fact, 97% of climate scientists agree we are facing a global warming emergency. But there’s hope for our planet. If we all do our part to make ourselves a little bit greener, then we can drastically reduce the issues our planet is facing. And, luckily there is a super-easy way to start. All you have to do is switch out a few products you use now for their eco-friendly counterparts! Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice style to be green.

Read on for our Top Ten Easy Ways to Go Green For 2020!

jute tote bag biodegradable custom designed

1. Switch from Plastic Bags To Reusable Bags

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every single year. And only 1% of these bags are ever returned for recycling. The rest end up in landfills or in our waterways. Luckily, switching to reusable bags is the easiest plastic swap you can make and it comes with a set of benefits. In the long run, using reusable bags is more cost-effective. Many stores are introducing charges for single-use plastic bags to encourage people to bring their own, or they are scrapping single-use plastic bags altogether. Reusable bags are durable, useful and also help to save on resources. To produce the 100 billion plastic bags Americans use each year, it takes a staggering 12 million barrels of oil. This is having an immediate effect on the environment as fossil fuels contribute to global warming. Plus, by using reusable bags you will gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are not contributing towards the growing state of our environment. A single set of reusable bags could save up to 20,000 single-use bags being disposed of over a lifetime. Plus, with so many designs and styles to choose from, it’s easy to find beautiful bags that show off your personality.

We love these adorable totes by artist Claudia Pearson, available from West Elm.
And, how stinking cute are these reusable fruit bags? They fold up into the sweetest little fruit shapes. A set of ten runs about $15.

2. BYOS: Bring Your Own Straw

Instead of using plastic or paper straws, make the switch to steel or bamboo straws.

fizzy drink with bamboo straw

Plastic straws are a buzzword in many bars and cafes today. It’s estimated that 500 million straws are used in the US every day. As a result, many eco-conscious establishments are moving away from plastic and are trying to use paper straws instead. Although this is a step in the right direction, these single-use alternatives actually take more energy and resources to make than plastic. Instead, invest in your own straw made from metal or bamboo and help the environment and push away from our dependence on single-use plastic.

There are many benefits to investing in a reusable straw. First of all, they are safer and easier to use. Stainless steel straws are easy to clean, unbreakable and stay rigid. This means they are great to give to adults and children alike and can be used and transported with ease and without fear of damage. They are easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel straws are dishwasher safe and will often come with a little brush, allowing you to deep clean the inside if the need arises. Because they are yours you also have the added benefit of knowing that they are clean and no one has touched the straw you are using.

FinalStraw’s fun rainbow collapsible reusable straw comes with its own little carrying case that you can tuck into a pocket or purse.

 

3. Wrap it up in Beeswax!

modern kitchen featuring beeswax wrap set

As a society, we love to use food wraps. It’s a convenient way to keep our sandwiches fresh and our food covered. One study estimated that in a 6-month period, Americans use 10 million boxes of plastic food wrap. The bad news is this film is adding to the mounting plastic pollution crisis. The good news is there is a great eco-friendly alternative. Beeswax wraps are coverings made by combining beeswax and a natural cloth like cotton or hemp. These have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties as well as keeping the food inside moist. Something that plastic wraps simply cannot do. Because the wraps act as a natural barrier like a fruit’s skin, they also offer the food inside more protection. They can be used to cover food such as cheese, sandwiches, and uncovered bowls of food. All you have to do is use your hands to mold the wrap to whatever it is you are wrapping and it will naturally cling just like the plastic alternative.

We love that they are affordable and readily available, like these bright patterned beeswax wraps, from Amazon:

Beeswax wraps can be washed and reused again and again. Then, once they reach the end of their life, they are biodegradable, meaning that they can be composted or disposed of ethically. These innovative alternatives to plastic wrap are great for the environment as they can drastically reduce waste of plastic or foil wrappings. Also, because they save a great deal of wasted product, they will also save you money in the long run.

Etsy is a great resource for reusable food wraps, like these fun organic beeswax ones:

 4. Clean up with Plant-Based Sponges

loofah natural sponges and washcloths
Did you know that most of our sponges are made from plastic? And, that means microplastics from sponges come off every time you clean the dishes and are washed straight down the drain. These then have a direct line to our waterways and oceans, contributing to the trillions of microplastics floating in the seas. An easy way to stop this problem is to switch to plant-based sponges. These natural alternatives are just as good as the plastic ones (if not better) without impacting on the environment.

As with all sponges, they vary in size and texture so you will need to find one that suits your needs:

  • Cellulose sponges are soft and easy to find online. They are great for cleaning surfaces and washing dishes.
  • Loofahs are dried out with a spongy texture and are great for exfoliating skin. They also make a great replacement for scourers.
  • Sea sponges are super soft and really absorbent making them great for cleaning up spills or washing cars.
  • Silicon sponges are durable and recyclable. Perfect for those looking for something a little more hard-wearing.

Here is a set of ten plant-based sponges, available on Amazon for just $11.99 which would work well around your entire house:

Silicon aside, these sponges will all biodegrade over time and as long as they are untreated, they will leave no mark on the environment. They are just as cheap and readily available as plastic sponges which is a bonus and they are extremely versatile. They can do all the jobs your regular sponge does, so there is no reason not to switch really.

5. Start Using Reusable Coffee Cups (and Lids)

coffee cup tossed into air
One of the most talked-about single-use plastic items currently on the market is the coffee cup. This is in part due to the incredible volume that we go through daily as a population. In fact, 16 billion coffee cups are used and disposed of each year. Because they are made from mixed materials they are not widely recycled, meaning they are thrown away and dumped in landfills. In this case, there is an easy, cost-effective alternative – reusable coffee cups. Perhaps the best part is they don’t have to break the budget with the cheapest being around the $5 mark. Of course, there are more expensive options with heatproof walls, gorgeous designs, and flexible silicone lids. There are also some great benefits to reusable coffee cups. Firstly, they will be cost-effective in the long run. Many coffee places will actually charge you less for using your own reusable cup as an incentive to ditch the plastic.

Our pick, Frank Green’s stylish reusable coffee cups:

Because they are made out of durable materials such as stainless steel, bamboo or even glass, they are far better at keeping your coffee warm for longer as well as being more customizable. The bamboo ones are fairly cheap and come in a whole host of patterns. This makes your coffee drinking experience far more stylish. The stainless-steel ones are effective for the outdoors, are durable and often have a handle, meaning no need for a heatproof sleeve and no burnt fingers. Reusable cups usually have a silicon lid too, meaning that there is no plastic involved. It also means that the whole cup is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, as well as lightweight and durable.

Finally, the most important benefit of all is that they are eco-friendly. You can have a sense of satisfaction knowing that you are helping to keep the environment safe and reducing single-use product usage.

6. Swap Out Your Plastic Ear Swabs

Cotton Balls and Q-tips in Mason Jars
Change out your plastic swabs for the paper versions! These tiny plastic sticks wreak havoc on wildlife as well as your ears. In fact, the UK has plans to ban the sale of plastic cotton swabs by 2020. Thankfully there are now many brands that make compostable, paper-based earbuds. These also have all-natural cotton on the bud themselves. These are far better for the environment than traditional ones are because they will degrade quickly without damaging wildlife. The plastic counterparts have been found as a major cause of the fatberg issue that has plagued major cities sewers. Because the paper versions biodegrade, they will not pose such a threat. They are comparable in price to traditional ones and as this trend rises, it will likely bring the cost down even more as brands are forced to compete. We found these organic cotton buds, by Bambaw, on Amazon:

7. Recycled Toilet Paper

dog shreds toilet paper
Hold on a sec, toilet paper isn’t plastic, is it? No, actually toilet paper is just that – paper. It biodegrades when it’s flushed away and doesn’t contribute to the plastic crisis. But toilet paper is still a major cause of the climate crisis because thousands of trees are cut down yearly to meet the demand for toilet roll. 84 million rolls of toilet paper are used in the US every single day. What’s more, with the focus on plastic pollution getting stronger, fewer and fewer companies are concerned with finding recycled alternatives to toilet roll. We need to shift the focus and find alternatives to this growing issue. We suggest trying Seventh Generation 100% recycled bath tissue:
 

It is so much better for the environment than the alternative. Recycled paper means that not only are fewer trees cut down to fuel the demand but also thousands of species homes and natural habitats are left intact. The recycled toilet paper also uses far less energy to make as well – 50% less energy in its creation and 90% less water. This means that there are far fewer fossil fuels going into the atmosphere than with regular paper. Finally, you’ll be surprised how similar it feels to regular toilet paper. You won’t even notice you have made a change for the better.

 8. Bring Your Own Reusable Utensils

reusable utensil set in carry case
This might seem like a no brainer. Most of us don’t throw away our utensils after they have been used once, right? But how many times have you used a plastic set of cutlery when you’re at a cafe or used takeaway containers? Reusable dishware uses far less energy and resources over its lifetime as well as leaving a far smaller footprint on the environment. We sourced this adorable Zero Wate Utensil Set on Etsy:

You can feel great about using this super cute utensil set! Simply toss in your bag, purse or lunch box and forget about using disposable utensils again! Each and every time you use this set you are keeping plastic, single-use utensils out of the landfill:

9. Stop Tossing Those Rounds, Use Reusable Makeup Pads

 

One easy change is to stop purchasing disposable cotton rounds. These pose a similar issue to the use of cotton swabs. Makeup pads clog up drains, landfills or worse, the oceans. Most store-bought makeup pads are actually made with plastic, meaning they don’t break down naturally. There are some great alternatives on the market to replace the ones you currently use. They are reusable and washable and made from a bamboo cloth fiber that is eco-friendly. Because they are washable, they are essentially a zero-waste product and are currently top sellers on Amazon.

They are easy to use and are more environmentally conscious than single-use pads. They are also usually a little larger than regular pads meaning that you can do more with less before needing to wash them. They are compatible with makeup removers as well such as micellar water. They are easy to clean and can be hand washed or put into the washing machine in a mesh bag. They are also good for your skin because they are gentler than regular pads and also do not contain any chemicals or bleaching agents, which many single-use pads do. We love this reusable set from Beauty Heros:

 10. Carry Your Own Sustainable Water Bottle

portable glass water bottle eco-friendly
 Globally, humans use 1 million plastic bottles every minute. It’s easy to think that plastic bottles aren’t an issue because they are recycled. But perhaps a more shocking fact is around 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled. Instead, it is incinerated, sent to landfill, or washed into our oceans. Thankfully, we are waking up to the problem of plastic bottles. The public is demanding corporations and governments make significant changes to current policies. But while plastic producing companies have a pivotal role to play, we as individuals can help to direct them by changing our habits.

There are many benefits when it comes to switching to reusable drinks containers. The biggest is obviously the environmental impact that the industry has. By using reusable water or drink bottles, you can help stop thousands of plastic bottles ending up in landfills or the ocean. Another benefit is the cost savings for you, especially if you have a larger family. With more and more cities installing drinking fountains and cafes filling up bottles for free, you can save a chunk of change on buying water bottles by taking your own and refilling.

Reusable water bottles that are not made from plastic are also healthier for you and the environment. A lot of fossil fuel goes into the production of plastic, increasing the amount of greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere. The less plastic we use the fewer gases that are released.

Not only that but research shows plastic bottles can harbor harmful bacteria. As the bottles break down, bacteria find its way into the micro-tears and cracks of the bottle, eventually finding its way into your system. A great advantage of stainless steel or glass reusable bottles is that they are easy to transport around as they are generally lightweight. They are durable, really easy to clean, and they will also be able to go into the dishwasher. It’s a no-brainer!

 

Thanks to Custom Earth Promos for collaborating with us on this blog.

Please read more about helping save our planet below:

Creating a Sustainable Future

If you ask people why they think we need to become more environmentally friendly as a society, you’ll hear a variety of answers. Some want to stop the mass extinction of hundreds of endangered species. Others want to clean the oceans of the millions of tons of plastic.

But in a recent survey by sustainable earth, the number one reason given for changing our ways was to make sure that future generations had just that – a future.

Now, you may ask what difference can we make as individuals? And there are indeed just 20 firms responsible for a third of all carbon emissions today. But the choices we make as individuals in our day to day life do play a part in forging a sustainable future.

If as a collective we all made some simple lifestyle changes, those small impacts can start to add up and make a difference. It causes the government and large corporations to sit up and take notice. These changes can be as simple as swapping one product on your next trip to the supermarket, choosing a responsible eco-friendly company over an oil-guzzling conglomerate, or simply reusing that coffee cup.

There are many cheap and easy ways that we as individuals can make a change for the better. Below, we will explore some of the different ways we can make a sustainable future possible for the next generation.

The Problem with Disposable and Single-use Products
First of all, what are single-use products and why are they such a problem? These are products intended for one use and one use only. They are usually made of plastic and are a huge cause for concern.

Examples of single-use products include:

  • Drink bottles
  • Straws
  • Food containers and packaging
  • Shopping bags
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee cups and lids

Originally created to make our lives easier, these single-use items are wreaking havoc on our environment. It can take thousands of years for a single plastic bag to degrade. Now, there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic clogging our oceans. And this issue isn’t going away. As the plastic degrades or breaks down, it leaches chemicals into the waterways and air, causing untold issues scientists are still trying to measure.

This pervasive problem is spreading to every corner of the planet. Alarming new studies have even found microplastics deep in the arctic snow. Scientists now believe we will be labeled the age of plastic.

Luckily, we are waking up to this issue and changing our ways. Every day, new and innovative solutions are found to reduce our reliance on plastic. Giving us eco-friendly alternatives that will help save our planet.

Let’s take a look at some eco-friendly alternatives to the most damaging single-use plastic items. By making the easy swap to these eco-friendly products, you’ll drastically reduce your reliance on single-use plastic.

What Can Companies Do?

 It’s important we all make these easy swaps to more environmentally alternatives. But there is also so much that companies can do to make a difference.

Let’s take a look at what some companies are doing to lead the way in fighting climate change.

Alphabet

This is Google’s parent company and has recently taken the number one spot of publicly traded companies making clean energy a priority. This company is fully powered by renewable energy.

Evian

We’ve already seen the huge impact plastic bottles are having on the environment. But water company Evian are doing their part to rectify it. By 2025, they aim to use 100% recycled water bottles. Most water bottle companies use only 7-8% recycled plastic, so this is a huge statement by the water giant. Hopefully, many others will follow suit.

McDonald’s

This billion-dollar company is beginning to make strides to fight the war on plastic and climate change. In the UK, they’ve pledged to remove all plastic toys from happy meals, saving 320 tons of plastic each year. They’ve also reported that by 2025, all packaging (including straws) will be sourced from recycled, renewable, or sustainable sources.

American Airlines

This company has already stopped using plastic straws on its flights in response to the plastic crisis. But now they are also phasing out single-use plastics in their lounges around the world. Their new initiative will save over 32 tonnes of plastic each year.

IKEA

IKEA has been at the forefront of the environmental policy of all retail stores for years. In 2008, IKEA removed single-use plastic bags from their stores with great success. Now, they aim to use only renewable or recycled materials in the entire store by 2030. That means all products available at IKEA, from sofas to kid’s toys, will be made with 100% recycled or renewable materials. This is a massive statement to make and hopefully will encourage other major retailers to follow suit.

Supply and Demand

At the end of the day, all major companies are driven by profit. And although many companies are making strides to help the environment, much more could still be done. It is up to us as consumers to show major retailers and corporations that there is a thriving market for environmentally friendly alternatives.

If more people made eco-friendly switches, there would be a larger market for these products and more companies would get on board. It’s now our job to use our buying power wisely and invest in companies that are doing the most to fight the climate crisis.

Where Are We Heading?

If we don’t make significant changes, it’s tough to see a bright future ahead of us if we continue on this unsustainable trend. We are polluting the ocean and the air and killing wildlife with our throw-away culture.

The good news is that we are not beyond saving yet and it really couldn’t be any easier to make a positive change for ourselves and the planet.

When it all seems a little overwhelming and like you can’t make a difference, remember this famous quote from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Heartfelt and Happy! Hand-Painted Wedding Cakes!

Heartfelt and Happy!

Hand-Painted Wedding Cakes!

Wedding cakes are no longer just three tiers of white with some fondant on top. These days bakers are crafting amazing works of art in edible form. And, we are absolutely wowed by the latest trend to come along. Hand-painted wedding cakes are artistic, custom, heartfelt and happy.

So Versatile!

Since each and every hand-painted cake is custom-made they are adaptable to any style. In fact, cakes can be painted with the same techniques artists use on an actual canvas. For example, this lovely yellow cake awash with delicate pastel flowers delivers Impressionist vibes:

Like the breathtaking work of Claude Monet:

Cake as the Canvas

These days confectioners are hand-detailing a dazzling array of items like garlands, portraits, monograms, flourishes, flowers, trees, and birds. But our favorite trend is painted copies of actual handwritten love notes from the bride to the groom or vice versa.

 

Also, hand-painted cakes are versatile because anything is possible. If you can dream it, somebody can paint it. Include a hand-painted cake at any style wedding, whether you are planning a casual beach soiree or a more formal event.

Small Brushstrokes = Major Style

First of all, even the simplest details, when hand-done, deliver major impact.

Anything is Possible!

Secondly, your wedding day vision can be fulfilled because any design is possible (from flamingos to family crests) with the deft artistry of a cake maker.

For example, cakes can be softly romantic. The addition of a few well-chosen words painted on the bottom layer of this cake makes it so special. And the top layer is hand speckled like a robin’s egg:

Or, you can go for a pop of color. This classy cake features gorgeous sapphire brushstrokes:

Or, if you are searching for a copper cake, consider this one. The crisp outlines in black look like an ink drawing:

Or, if you are into a burgundy color palette, take a look at this pair of cakes:

The artistry of handwork on cakes pairs perfectly with three-dimensional elements like flowers.

Confectioners can use different painting techniques to create amazing works of cake art. We love this gouache style cake.

Delicate watercolor flowers adorn this sweet cake:

Certainly, birds and branches are a popular theme on tiered wedding cakes for 2020:

This vintage-inspired single layer cake by the award-winning British bakers at Juniper Cakery is very pretty. Fashion-forward and youthful this cutie features a monogram in a gilded frame.

We love this soft pastel pink dress. It is giving us fairy, woodsy vibes with a chic twist.

This spectacular cake is like a slice of stained leaded glass heaven. Inspired by Art Nouveau designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and his famous lamps.

Full of whimsy this cake has adorable portraits of the bride and groom and a cute scalloped edge first layer.

Even a simple splash of handiwork in gold provides drama on this cake:

Next, this bohemian masterpiece which combines Geometric shapes with free-form gilding by Gateaux Inc. This beauty was featured on The Cake Blog.

Last up we have this dramatic cake, with a profusion of gorgeous flowers attached to a matte black two-layer confection.

To conclude, whatever cake you decide on for your wedding day, we hope you consider using some lovely, hand-painted elements.

Gearing up for PROM 2020 at the Gilded Gown

We’re gearing up for PROM 2020 at The Gilded Gown! We are so super pumped and excited for this year’s Prom Season! And, we can’t wait to show you ALL of the gorgeous gowns our team found for you at the markets in Chicago, New York, and Atlanta! You’re going to love our exclusive selection of beautiful dresses in all sizes, styles, and at all price points.

This year we have more exclusive designers than ever before! We have more styles on the floor! We have all sizes from 000-36! And we have the best staff of stylists who love to help you find your dream dress! We also have easy layaway terms, a fun atmosphere, and the most gorgeous gowns we’ve ever had in the store! We are in our beautiful, brand new location at 8435 Kingston Pike. There are plenty of spacious dressing rooms too (22 of them)! For your convenience we are open every single day: Monday through Saturday our hours are 11 am to 7 pm and on Sundays, we are open from Noon to 6 pm.

This season is all about neutrals, pops of bold color, off-shoulder looks, deep plunging necklines, spaghetti straps, cutaway skirts, slits, and sparkle.

In order to give you all a sneak peek into this year’s looks, we recently held a styled shoot at the swanky and hip Hyatt Place on Gay Street. We rolled rack after rack of dresses into the hotel and carted in boxes of jewelry past onlookers in the lobby. We set up a giant dressing area in one of the hotel’s huge conference rooms. Team GG got the dresses all lined up for the models.

and a ton of accessories.

Here’s most of our crew. It takes a lot of people to run a shoot! (Snacks help!)

Local photographer and voice over artist Todd Ethridge was on hand to capture images of the gorgeous models, Alex, Savannah, Joshalyn, Chardonai, and Katelyn who are all represented by Gage Talent; plus Jailyn and Joshalyn who are free agents.

Jailyn is currently starring in ads for Altar’d State:

Alex:

Chardonai:

Joshalyn is a stylist with The Gilded Gown who has been modeling since she was 14.

Savannah:

Katelyn:

Our owner, Jacqui, made sure all the straps and tags were tucked in before each shot.

And the models had fun showing off all the dresses in the cozy and inviting hotel!

The people in the lobby didn’t seem to mind us and all our extra-ness:

We fell in love with this sequin wall:

(So, we are totally going to install a wall inspired by this one at our new store!)

Speaking of sequins…this year is all about the sparkle for prom:

This trio of gowns puts the spotlight on several trends: off-shoulder, deep v, and a cutaway skirt.

V necklines are definitely a thing for 2020:

Ballgowns are always in style!

We are loving the simpler satin gowns too, with their dramatic plunging necklines:

Perfect to pair with some bling!

Metallics and lace are trending again this year, too:

 

 

Brandi and Michael’s Beautiful Backyard Wedding

Brandi and Michael’s beautiful backyard wedding is giving us all the feels. We love that this adorable couple got married in their very own backyard. We love that they paid careful attention to so many thoughtful details for their guests. Oh, and that they had a band, a stunning sparkler display, a dance floor, AND allowed dogs! And, most of all, we love the relaxed, carefree vibe of their wedding. Luckily, Shoop-Shots Photography was on hand to capture the spirit of the day. A day full of love, happiness, togetherness, family and friends.

Before The Ceremony

Brandi and her bridal party got ready in the house before the ceremony. They shared lots of laughter and tender moments. Like this precious glimpse of Brandi’s daughter Bristol taking a long look at her mama’s wedding dress!

Gorgeous Brandi rocked a pair of cowboy boots with her Sincerity Bridal Venice Lace Fit and Flare dress from the Gilded Gown.

Layers of organza, tulle and Chantilly lace combined in this romantic fit and flare wedding dress. We love that Brandi customized the gown by adding lace sleeves, too.

Getting ready at your own house seems so effortless and cozy. Plus you don’t have to pack up all your wedding stuff, either!

Sometimes it takes two to get a bride in a dress!

We think Brandi is thinking, “I’m so happy I’m about to marry the man of my dreams!”

Brandi is a vision of loveliness as she prepares to walk down the aisle. First she stops to straighten her jewelry.

Here Comes The Bride

And we have a picture of utter bridal perfection. Brandi, breathtaking.

Her bouquet combined navy and maroon flowers with fresh pops of green:

Their scenic property provided a picture perfect backdrop for this beautiful bride.

The Bridal Party

Brandi’s bridesmaids included her lovely step-daughter Sydney.

Daughter Bristol was her flower girl.

Sydney shed some sweet tears as she walked down the aisle:

The Groomsmen

Michael’s guys came out to support him in style in their jeans and shades of navy and maroon.

Michael looked sharp in his suit.

The handsome groom:

The tiny jute rope on the boutonniere lent charm to his arrangement:

The Details

Brandi and Michael made sure every detail complimented their color scheme of maroon and navy, and their casual, rustic elegance theme. Galvanized metal held an array of flowers:

A wood framed sign proclaimed their love:

How funny is this barn wood sign alerting attendees that they will be heavily photographed even after visiting the bar a few times!

The table decor included painted mason jars and Gerbera daisies.

They even had a fun cake topper!

The Ceremony

Loved ones gathered to celebrate the union.

Groomsmen walked bridesmaids down the aisle.

Brandi was glowing as she faced her future husband.

The couple exchanged their vows with big smiles and happy hearts.

You can see how much they love one another!

The Reception

As day turned to night, the band started to play.

And, folks took to the dance floor:

Happily Married

They did it! We know Brandi and Micheal will always remember their wedding day and the fun they had with their family and friends. All they have to do is look in their own backyard.

THEIR AMAZING WEDDING VENDORS

Dress – The Gilded Gown
Venue – Bride & Grooms Home
Tent – All Occasion Party Rentals
Makeup & hair – Chelsea Hayes
Band – The Clint Keeton Band
Food – Lee’s Barbecue & Catering Service
Cake – James Baker

With: Josh Shoopman

https://www.shoop-shotsphotography.com/…/Blaker-Wedding-2019

Enjoy the Serenity of an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

Not Today, Cell Phones, Not Today

Cell phones play such an important role in our lives these days. They guide us where we want to go, provide a portal to the world, and connect us with our friends online. Phones enable us to check the weather, the time, and the news. We can take photos, post pics, share photos, as well as check out other people’s pics. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and GOOGLE are all available right there in the palm of our hands. But, as awesome as they are, phones can also be a distraction from real life, authentic connections and, frankly, what is happening right in front of us. Sometimes we all just need to put down our phones and experience things IRL.

Would you rather look out and see the faces of your loved ones or a row of cell phones?

Put ‘Em Down Folks

When you host the most special day of your life and say your “I dos” in front of all your loved ones, we know you want them to be present for it. And, we’re pretty certain that you (as the couple standing in front of them) are willing to forgo your phones while you stand up to say your vows. In fact, you probably won’t have the time or inclination during your entire wedding celebration to even glance at your phones. So you might want to consider having a phone-free wedding. Let everyone present experience the day together without worrying about getting the perfect photos, or answering texts, or checking sports scores. Let everyone have a break from social media and bask in the love surrounding them. We are sure all your guests will also enjoy the serenity of an unplugged wedding!

Put ’em down, guys! Enjoy the precious moment happening right in front of you!

There will be resistance to this idea. We’re all pretty darn attached to our phones, right?

They Might Think You’re Crazy

Don’t worry, we have a few ideas on how to make this rebellious concept of a NO PHONES event work, without upsetting a bunch of folks. Sure they may think you’ve lost your mind, and they may go ahead and look at their phones anyway. Addictions go deep. But at least you can cut down on the distracting mobile devices in the air by gently suggesting an unplugged event. Try using adorable children holding a sign, for instance:

Or, post a nicely calligraphed sign at the entrance of your event. The pretty writing delivers your request in such a sweet manner, people will be compelled to comply:

Consider some carefully composed verbiage in your invites and/or programs.

Photo: http://www.leahhaydock.com/

Maybe Pass the Buck?

You could also have your ushers mention your request to the guests as they are being seated. Others who can help you in your crusade are your wedding planner and/or your officiant. But you don’t want to go overboard with the anti-cell phone vibe. One or two reminders should be plenty. People who choose to ignore a couple of reminders will most likely ignore twenty. And you don’t want the focus of your special day to become just how against mobile devices you are either. Say your piece, peacefully, and then let people do as they will.

Not a phone in sight. And look, hands are free to hold wine glasses!

A Way With Words

“Thank you for coming! We have but one plea. Please keep our ceremony camera-free. Though our I Do’s are unplugged, our reception is not. Once our vows are exchanged, you’re free to take a shot!”

“The greatest gift you can give us today is to be truly present, so please turn off all phones and cameras and enjoy this special moment with us.”

“The bride and groom request that you turn off all electronics and refrain from taking pictures until after the ceremony. Thank you.”

“Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks – we encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.”

“After ceremony use your electronic devices you can.” – Yoda

College Sweethearts Sami & Tayte’s Charming Love Story

Stunning Gilded Gown bride Sami recently took the time to share with us all the details of how she met and fell in love with her husband Tayte. We love that this gorgeous couple got to meet and fall in love thanks to social media. They actually met in college when Tayte reached out to Sami with an innocent little comment on Instagram. Sami decided to take a chance and respond. Read on and we think you will fall in love with college sweethearts Sami & Tayte’s charming love story as we did. And, don’t forget to answer your DM on Insta, ‘cuz well you just never know, it could change your life!

SAMI: On August 24, 2016, I met the love of my life. I was 21 years old and was about to start my senior year of college. I was living alone in an apartment in Monticello, Arkansas and couldn’t wait for all of the fun I would have my last year of college. It was the day before classes started when I received a message on Instagram from a guy I didn’t know, he said: “your smile is perfect.” I politely said, “thank you” and didn’t think too much about it, but he messaged me again and told me he was new to the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) and was needing help finding some stuff around campus. I was a part of the UAM welcoming committee for new students and was happy to help show him around. I told him I hoped he had a great first day of classes and that I worked in the college library if needed any help. The first night of classes a tall, handsome, blonde man walked into the library, came straight up to the front desk where I was sitting, and introduced himself. He asked for a book for his Economics class, which he didn’t even really need, and the rest was history from there. After meeting him that Wednesday night, I got off work at 10 pm and called my mom to tell her that I had met the man I was going to marry. It was the day that changed my life forever.

Here is the first picture that was ever taken of the adorable couple back when they met in 2016:

SAMI: Since we met at the UAM library Tayte felt it was so important that our life together should start where we first met. He proposed to me on his college graduation day on May 11, 2019. Here is a picture taken of us that day ten minutes BEFORE Tayte proposed:

SAMI: No one was around when he got down on one knee except for a hidden photographer. It was the most incredible feeling. I said, “yes”!

SAMI: His family threw us a surprise engagement party that same day!

SAMI: This is a photo of the two of us as we are moving out of our first apartment in Monticello, Arkansas before we relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee:

We are obsessed with this gorgeous couple’s breathtakingly romantic Save the Date Photos. They are right out of a fairytale:

These two!!!!!!

And, then, they got married!

Sami and Tayte

The Venue at Twin Oaks in Humbodlt, TN

Laurie Wilson Photography

Sami stuns on her wedding day:

Sami found her amazing dress at The Gilded Gown. She chose a voluminous ball gown with a deep plunging neckline and a handkerchief tiered tulle skirt. She finished off the look with an embroidered rhinestone and satin ribbon belt. 

(The Justin Alexander Sweetheart gown is still available if you’re interested.)

Join us in wishing Sami and Tayte the happiest future ever!

HONEYMOON: Serene Desert Beauty in Carefree, AZ

Looking to honeymoon in the good ‘ole USA? We suggest the lighthearted town of Carefree, Arizona, set amid the high desert just north of Phoenix. Not only is it achingly gorgeous with sweeping desert views and insane mountain vistas but it also has a fun mix of super friendly residents, abundant art, amazing architecture and loads of charm. Soak in the majesty of the Southwest with your Bae. You can bask in each other’s glow while watching epic sunsets. And ya’ll can hike through a landscape so beautiful it doesn’t even look real:

As the name suggests, this is a special place, with a relaxed vibe. This is the town where you can shelf all your responsibilities and truly be carefree! Embrace the name and dance in the desert, eat and drink with abandon, sleep as late you want. Begin your life together with a honeymoon in this joyful town!

WHERE TO STAY

Our top pick for your honeymoon accommodation is an award-winning and chic wellness resort in Carefree, CIVANA, that offers serious desert vibes plus a regenerating experience to those seeking a serene and healthy get-away. Everywhere your eyes land at this resort is just plain gorgeous: from the clean-lined architecture to the lush gardens to the big, blue sky overhead. Your honeymoon photos will be so Insta-ready! Enjoy their two restaurants, pool, spa, and swanky, swanky rooms.

You can also find spectacular condos and houses for rent. We love this charming Casita, which averages $128 per night and boasts a pool, a fire pit to toast marshmallows in, and lots of luxurious touches:

THINGS TO DO

Carefree has an array of fun activities for you two to enjoy at your leisure. It is a wonderful place to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, like say a desert hiking adventure, a jeep tour to an old gold mine, or a hot air balloon ride. Number one on our to-do list though is some mega-chilling at a spa. We think you should indulge in a muscle-melting, and deeply relaxing couple’s massage at CIVANA before doing anything else. Go ahead, you deserve it.

Their spa is calming and lovely:

We are digging their healing crystals. 

This is gonna be you:

After you are utterly relaxed from your spa visit you’ll be ready to see more of what Carefree has to offer. Make time to visit the Carefree Desert Gardens to see an astounding array of cacti in every shade of green:

Stop by the one-of-a-kind Carefree Sundial, one of the largest sundials in the US which marks the time by day and the North Star by night:

Stroll the boutique district, along East Street and Ho Hum Road, to visit the wonderfully eclectic mix of art galleries, shops, and boutiques.

Wild Holly Gallery

Meander through this bohemian gallery and enjoy the artwork of more than 95 artists in a stunning array of different art mediums and styles.

Adelante Art Gallery

Also stop by Adelante Art Gallery which showcases paintings, sculptures, and jewelry by local and international folk and fine artists.

WHERE TO EAT

Nothing says “honeymoon” like fine dining. Carefree boasts a ton of fabulous food options with loads of local flavor and international flair. Ex-pats from around the world seem to have settled in town and opened restaurants.

Alberto Ristorante

Alberto left his native Rome to live in Carefree. His Ristorante has a yummy selection of hand-prepared Italian dishes served up in a non-pretentious atmosphere. We love that Alberto greets all of his guests and makes everyone feel like part of the family. Don’t skip the bread, it is made daily from his very own recipe. And, allow Alberto to suggest the perfect wine for your meal from his extensive wine list, and after dinner enjoy one of his rare Armagnacs or Cognacs as well. Expensive, but well worth it. You’ll be reminiscing for years about that great meal you shared on your honeymoon.

English Rose Tea Room

A perfect spot for an afternoon tea or authentic British lunch, the English Rose Tea Room is a true gem in the desert. When Jo Gemmill immigrated from England she simply could not find herself a decent cup of tea in town. So she decided to open a tea room with an interior to rival the Ritz Hotel and a romantic, shady patio for tea al fresco. From scones and crumpets to cottage pie or a Ploughman’s lunch, you are guaranteed a culinary experience to remember. We’re ordering “The Duchess of Bedford’s Formal Afternoon Tea,” which consists of a variety of tea sandwiches, warm scones, petite fours and a pot of tea:

Carefree has a way of sweeping you off your feet. It is a place you’ll want to stay, long after your honeymoon is over. But even if you have to leave you’ll take your memories of your time on Easy Street with you.

 

The Ultimate Stylish Halloween Wedding Inspiration

In the spirit of All Saints’ Eve we’ve done a bit of Internet stalking to find you the ultimate stylish Halloween Wedding Inspiration. From your invites to your bouquet, from your dress to your decor, there are so many ways to incorporate subtle hints of Halloween. And we’re not talking cobwebs, skeletons and jack-o-lanterns for this guys. We’re here for you with darkly passionate and sophisticated ideas. After all, there is something utterly romantic about an “Until Death Do Us Part” vibe. Chic Vintage Brides has us swooning with their ‘Dark Romance’ styled shoot. Their bride and groom are delivering the mega moody style we’re talking about:

Color Palette

Select an inky color palette incorporating black, plum, deep burgundy and moss green to set an edgy tone for your day.

Small bursts of color play well with this look, too:

Dress Dramatically

The best way to announce to your guests that you are ALL-IN on the vibe? Wear a black dress. Or a gray dress. Or an ivory gown with black accents. And accessorize accordingly. This gown, available at The Gilded Gown, is by Romantic Bridals:

The Gilded Gown’s very own stylist Grace modeled this gray dress/black veil Halloween look for a glamorous styled shoot. Read more about it in our blog post here:

You can also do a low-key nod to your dark romance with something more understated, like say this Mikado A-Line gown by Justin Alexander, which features a black satin belt tied with a bow:

Moody Floral Elements

Carry a hauntingly beautiful bouquet to deliver serious Halloween vibes down the aisle. We love the darkly oversize extravagance of this one:

An armload of fall colors combined with cascading branches of greenery makes a glamorous bouquet:

This one is so cool, especially surrounded by a black veil! Love the burgundy roses and wildly placed leaves.

Rich purples, dark burgundy and pops of bright green in this beauty are stunning against a bridal ivory gown.

This one is a more delicate take on the spirit of the season sporting soft colored flowers mixed with mustard yellow pods and tea stained roses:

Welcome My Pretties

Send your guests a peek into your wedding theme with a dark invite, like these stunning ones from Zazzle:

Chic Vintage Brides created these devastatingly beautiful and romantic invitations:

Decadent Decor

Your wedding decor can elegantly underscore your theme without screaming “We love Halloween.” It’s amazing how different types of table styling can really make your event special and expound on your vision. We have serious table envy for this sophisticated table by Minnesota Bride, which provides a hip take on a moody tablescape:

Image Credit: Lena Lakoma

A skull topped with a flower crown looks scarily at home among the rest of this table finery:

Another dark and lovely table:

Pumpkins, in neutrals, paired with black taper candles and black birds, can deliver a modern feel while still bringing that hint of darkness to your wedding day tables.

Black candles work well alongside the darkest forest green runner and a garland of greenery.

Crystal stemware and lush arrangements deliver a fancy feel.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Let them eat cake. Preferably something deliciously dark, like this three tiered masterpiece:

This dark green cake is giving us major mood:

A more literal take on a Halloween cake, spells out the sentiment of the day:

Sizzling Signature Cocktails

Serve your friends and family something spectacular and smoky, like this blackberry sage margarita:

Unconventional Wedding Favors

We love this creepy little set of anatomy dishes which will run you about sixty bucks! Set them out at each place setting for a spooky send off for your guests.

However you choose to celebrate your Halloween Inspired wedding, we hope you’ve found some inspiration here.