The Decision…

Venue, chosen!

In the end, it was Castleton Farms (and Darla!) that wooed me. Justin and I will be getting married at my dream spot in Loudon, Tennessee, Castleton Farms! We will be getting married at the Carriage House Gardens, which includes (see pics below) the wedding at the outdoor cathedral, cocktail hour at the vineyard and reception at the Carriage House (barn). We are also having our rehearsal dinner at the vineyard.

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After the decision was made, it was time to head to Knoxville for our ‘vendor experience.’ What’s this, you ask? Well the fabulous Darla sets up a day where we meet at CF’s downtown Knoxville office, and all our wedding vendors come to US, and we chose who and what we want.


47a4df35b3127cce98542ca6b03d00000035118EcuG7Ry1cm47a4df35b3127cce98542cacb03700000035118EcuG7Ry1cm 47a4df35b3127cce98542ccb316000000035108EcuG7Ry1cmHere’s how it went down. First up, photography! How else will we remember our day, but through video and pictures? This wanna-be shutterbug knows the importance of a good photographer. Thank goodness we found Jennie Andrews! First of all, I want to be friends with this girl. Like, I think we would totally hang out otherwise. Which is exactly what I want in a photographer, someone who gets me. Plus, she’s super cool, not to mention TALENTED. Just check out her blog – I mean, seriously. 


Next, makeup/hair. But on my big day, I don’t want to stress about doing it all myself! Thankfully, I found Jamie Walker. This girl knows her stuff! She does it all —and only by appointment. Which makes me feel super cool that I landed someone like that to make me over. And in the words of Courtney Love, “oh make me over…….” More from Jamie at her company, Bangs and Blush. 

biopic1_1366661134What’s one of the most visually-important things at a wedding? Le fleurs. CachePot created this beautiful bouquet for us (pic below) based on my pinterest board. 


The arrangement above will be on our tables at the reception…for my bouquet, I’m thinking of anemones and dahlias. See inspiration below.


Next vendor: FOOD! This one is Justin’s favorite. All Occasion Catering set up Justin and I, my parents, his parents and my little sister with a delicious 1,000 course (ok, not really) to sample all the items we picked out beforehand. Here are some of the items we are considering for our menu: Hors d’oeuvres: fried mac and cheese bites, mini beef wellingtons, caprese skewers, mini pimento cheese bites. Supper: Roasted pork loin, seasons italian green beans, vegetarian lasagna, garlic toast, hash brown casserole and Hawaiian chicken and rice.


Our next vendor – was one of my favorites. Invitations! I’ve always been a lover of fine stationery; so this was my cuppa tea. The Happy Envelope sits in adorable downtown Knoxville, in a gorgeous little shop complete with this vintage printer (they still use).


The sheer amount of invitations, envelopes, cards, tags etc to review is just overwhelming. The folks at The Happy Envelope made a very daunting task simple. We sifted through old invitations and picked out things I liked from each one, to come up with an idea for our perfect invitation, to set the theme for our big day. Our colors are navy with gold accents… So the invitations below will be similar, but using our colors. The cover will have the rustic-wood feel like this one, except in navy with gold lettering:


Instead of lace, we will use burlap to tie it all together:
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A map on the inside will feature Castleton’s beautiful farm.
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Music was our next task- DJ or band? I’ve always thought I wanted a band. Country rock, so they could play Rocky Top, of course. But after talking with our wedding planner I’ve been talked out of a band and into a DJ. But not just any DJ – Ogle Entertainment. You see, with a DJ, we get an emcee, someone (who happens to know my fiance’s family) who can get the crowd going, introduce us all in quirky ways, take our requests and have a set play list for us made out in advance (including a BAN of these songs: Cha Cha Slide and Cupid Shuffle. I loathe those songs). So, I decided if we are going to go with a DJ, it better be a good one. And yes, we found the best- Ogle Entertainment. 

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Tables/rentals, etc: We decided on 2 large family-style long tables through the middle of the carriage house, surrounded by several round tables and a few cocktail tables to add depth. Inspiration from M Howard Photo of Nashville – a Belle Meade Plantation wedding he photographed.


Fun extras: Wine barrels galore! Our outdoor bar will sit atop several wine barrels. They will also be strategically placed throughout the reception. Below is something extra I will have at the wedding and reception: an heirloom table. Pictures, etc on a vintage table beautifully displayed, to honor our past and our family members who are no longer with us.


Instead of a table for gifts, I am going to have an antique trunk open in the grass, for people to put gifts in:


All navy and gold! Our two long family-style tables through the middle will be covered with navy table cloths and burlap accents. Round tables surrounding that table will be in burlap with navy accents. Inspiration:


All of the lights…(turn up the lights in here, baby…extra bright I want y’all to see me…) Lights, lights, lights. Our lighting guy must think I’m crazy. I told him to put lights errrrrywhere. No joke. Thanks to True Grip for indulging me…Inspiration:


Videography: My career is to be on TV…and I thrive on catching things on camera, so the importance of a good videographer that can be a STORYTELLER at my wedding is high. I’m thankful we found Milestone Pictures. The owner started his presentation with videos from previous weddings, and that’s pretty much all it took for me to know he was a storyteller. See for yourself with this video:

Perhaps one of the best and most aptly-timed meetings of our vendor day, was the wine tasting. After 9 hours of wedding planning, vino was at the top of my mind. Corks Wine & Spirits filled that void, and more.


Corks Wine & spirits brought in a beautiful flight of wines: a few buttery chardonnays and bold, big cabs. Heaven. Needless to say, I got seconds…OK, I got thirds. Second to drinking the wine, was the expertise these guys brought.

#cakecakecakecake – last but certainly not least, dessert. The Perfect Ending bakery is giving us a gorgeous cake – with navy ribbons and gold accents. So pretty! Our grooms cake – which I picked out and am SO excited about – is of the US Capitol. PIC:


What a day! Made some big decisions… more to come!


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