2016 Goals

It’s about to be a new year which means it’s time for a new set of goals! Here’s what we are hoping to accomplish this upcoming year.

-Book 5 weddings

  • 2 weddings for full coordinating services
  • 3 weddings at Honey Creek Farms for month-of coordinating or more

-Post at least one blog post per week

-Increase social media presence

  • 3 to 5 posts per week on Instagram and Facebook
  • Increase Instagram followers to 250
  • Increase Facebook likes to 350

-Attend at least 3 networking events

We are ready for a successful 2016! Happy New Year everyone!

 

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#howheasked: Shanise + Jake

This next proposal is near and dear to my heart. My absolute best friend in this world got engaged and gets to continue our #howheasked holiday series!

I remember the first time Shanise told me about this guy at the gym she had a crush on. Fast forward 4 years and I knew from conversations that I had with her that a proposal would be happening soon (as in the next year). So one day, I dragged her into a jewelry store so I knew what kind of ring she would want in case Jake called me. She fell in love with one particular one and I knew Jake has to see it. I’ll let Shanise take over with this sassy story.

December 20, 2015 will now be a day we will remember for the rest of our lives. Once a month for about a year now, we plan a “date day” which means one person gets to pick what we do together for the whole day. December was his month to pick what we would do and it just so happen to fall on the day he wanted to propose. On that morning he asked if I would like to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel knowing it was my favorite place to eat! As we are eating at Cracker Barrel, he says he would like for us to go over to his parent’s new house. I had been there once before but never inside. So I said ok but asked what else we would do for the rest of our date day. He continued with saying we could rent the new Minions movie and have a Sushi night! I told him I would rather not rent the Minions movie because little did he know I had already gotten that for him for Christmas. We finished our meal and headed home to pick our dog Sam up to take over to his parents.

We got to his parents and I was greeted by a new puppy they had just gotten! His mom showed me the house and pictures on their camera , and she told me she was planning on making a scrapbook of before and after pictures. I found out later that was just a cover up for her randomly taking pictures of us before Jake proposed. We had been there for a while and I was ready to go because I wanted to finish our date day, but Jake said we couldn’t leave. I thought he was being rude and just didn’t want to have to do anything else for our date day. So I said fine and walked back into the house while he stayed outside to help his dad in a barn they’re redoing. After I was done pouting in the house (ha) I came outside to see the progress.

Jake said before we could leave he wanted to put Sam in the house so he could hide a few deer antlers in the yard for him to find since that’s what he’s been training him to do. I said okay and started heading into the house when he “acts mad” saying I NEVER do anything with him! He then asked if I would walk around with him while he puts the antlers in the yard. We put one in the front yard and made our way to the backyard. Jake said he wanted to put a few antlers down at the pond down there so I stood at the top of the hill forgetting that earlier in the day I had asked to go down there. He stopped walking, turned around to me and said, “Well don’t you want to come down to the water with me?” Of course I said, “Oh yeah!”

We walked down to the pond, and Jake put one down. He asked if I would take the other one he had in his hand around to the other side. With attitude, I said, “Sure if you want me to,” as I was thinking, “Stop being lazy and do it yourself !” Ha! He handed it to me and I took a few steps before he stopped me and said, “That’s a really special one because it was the first one I ever found, so put it somewhere good.” I responded with, “Okay, I got it,” and kept walking. He stopped me again and said,” But really Shanise it’s special. Look at it and make sure it’s okay” I was about to take one more step away from him when I looked down at the antler and saw the words”MARRY ME?”

Jake asked Shanise to go hide this antler for their dog Sam to find.

Jake asked Shanise to go hide this antler for their dog Sam to find.

At that moment I felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I turned to see him down on one knee. All I remember is saying “No way…really!?!…YES” He claims, though, that is said, “Stop it,” but I don’t recall that 🙂

This was taken by Jake's mom just before Shanise read what was on the antlers.

This was taken by Jake’s mom just before Shanise read what was on the antlers.

After reading "Marry Me?" on the antlers, Shanise turned to find Jake down on one knee.

After reading “Marry Me?” on the antlers, Shanise turned to find Jake down on one knee.

She said, "Yes!"

She said, “Yes!”

They were soon greeted by their dog Sam.

They were soon greeted by their dog Sam.

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Shanise's one-of-a-kind ring.

Shanise’s one-of-a-kind ring.

His mom was standing on the hill capturing every moment which I found out after his dad let Sam out of the house, and he came running down to us! From the moment I read ” MARRY ME” to Sam running down the hill, I was only focused on Jake. There could have been rainbow unicorns flying around us during that moment and I would have never known. We spent the rest of the afternoon with family then made our way back to Jake’s house. We ended what was the most excited day of our lives with a cup of hot chocolate and a round of Mario Kart.”

I am so excited to get the planning underway! Congratulations to my best friend and sister and my soon-to-be brother-in-law!

Dresses We Love: Olia Zavozina

On Instagram last week, I kept stumbling across this dress (pictured below) that took my breath away. It made me want to call every bridal shop in town to see if they had it in store so I could go play dress up. I did a little digging and found the designer is Olia Zavozina out of Nashville, Tenn. Her boutique is now on my list of places to visit next time I’m in Nashville, but I just had to share with you all so you could drool over her Fall 2016 collection along with me.

Anya Olia Zavozina Fall 2016 Collection Photo from www.oliazavozina.com

Anya
Olia Zavozina Fall 2016 Collection
Photo from http://www.oliazavozina.com

 

Click here to see if there’s a trunk show coming your way! Who knows, I might make my way to one!

 

#Howheasked: Anna + Jake

We continue our #Howheasked holiday series with the very recent proposal of Anna and Jake in Nashville, Tenn. Jake and Anna knew of each other through mutual friends in college but didn’t actually meet until the first semester of their junior year when they had a class together. Their first date was to Jake’s fraternity Halloween date party when they went as Johnny and June Cash. They knew there was something special between them, and it took
less than a month to make it official.
Jake & Anna's first date at a fraternity Halloween date party dressed as Johnny and June Cash.

Jake & Anna’s first date at a fraternity Halloween date party dressed as Johnny and June Cash.

Jake & Anna's first date at a fraternity Halloween date party dressed as Johnny and June Cash.

Jake & Anna’s first date at a fraternity Halloween date party dressed as Johnny and June Cash.

 

Jake planned quite the proposal on November 28 to surprise his (hopeful) bride-to-be! Anna says:
“Jake and I traveled to Memphis for the week of Thanksgiving. I was a little bummed that I was going to miss Thanksgiving back in Nashville with my family for the first time, but I was excited to spend time with his family. Plus, my family was supposedly going to the University of Tennessee football game in Knoxville that weekend anyway. We came back to Nashville that Saturday morning after Thanksgiving to go see the Grinch at Opryland. After the show, Jake suggested that we go watch the University of Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt game at Barlines (a bar in the Omni Hotel downtown). As we were driving up to Barlines, Jake pulls into the valet of the Omni and says, ‘Surprise, we are staying here! I felt bad about you having to leave your family for Thanksgiving.’
Jake and Anna celebrated Thanksgiving in Memphis with Jake's family. It was the first time Anna was away from her family for the holiday.

Jake and Anna celebrated Thanksgiving in Memphis with Jake’s family. It was the first time Anna was away from her family for the holiday.

I was obviously shocked and excited but thought well, that’s a big surprise just because he felt bad. We walked into the hotel and got our hotel key, and I soon found out that it was a key to a huge suite on the very top floor overlooking the entire city. It was beautiful! I immediately exclaimed to him that he did not need to spend all this money and he was crazy. We walked over to look outside the window at the skyline when he said, ‘Stay right there.’ 
The view from Jake & Anna's suite at the Omni Hotel overlooking Nashville.

The view from Jake & Anna’s suite at the Omni Hotel overlooking Nashville.

I was a wee bit suspicious, but I had thought this moment was coming many times before and it hadn’t so I didn’t want to get my hopes up. So, I stared out at the view then I heard ‘Anna,’ turned around and he was down on one knee saying all sorts of things that I cannot remember to this day. I said “YES of course!”

He then proceeds to pick up his phone and call my mom. When he says to her ‘Okay, come up here,’ all I could say was ‘WHAT?! I thought they were in Knoxville.’ It was at that moment I realized there were flowers, chocolate covered strawberries, champagne and wine all in the room. The rest of the night was spent celebrating the engagement with my family in the most beautiful suite while cheering on the Vols. I couldn’t have dreamed of something so special and perfect for me. And I can say the same thing about my new fiance, Jake.”
Anna & Jake 1
Anna & Jake 3
Jake and Anna celebrating with Anna's parents.

Jake and Anna celebrating with Anna’s parents.

Anna celebrating with her brother Logan.

Anna celebrating with her brother Logan.

Anna celebrating with her sister-in-law and Phi Mu sorority sister Valerie.

Anna celebrating with her sister-in-law and Phi Mu sorority sister Valerie.

Jake and Anna are busy planning their October 2016 nuptials at Gaylord Springs in Nashville. We wish you the best! Congratulations and Merry Christmas!

#Howheasked: Rachel + Chris

We’re kicking off our #Howheasked holiday series with the beautiful story of high school sweethearts Rachel and Chris Zotti’s 2014 proposal!

Rachel said:

“Chris proposed to me the night after Thanksgiving in 2014, which just happened to be the night before my 23rd birthday. When he took me out to a nice dinner in downtown Franklin, Tenn. at the Cork & Cow I was thinking it was just an early birthday celebration. They sat us upstairs by ourselves where we could look out over the rest of the restaurant. It was so beautiful and romantic, and I thought we had lucked out by having them sit us at the best table. Of course, I found out later that Chris had a hand in that.

After dinner, he suggested that we walk through downtown Franklin to go get some coffee. There is a coffee shop right past the Franklin Theater, which is where we have “our bench.” It’s the spot where Chris first asked me to be his girlfriend, way back when I was a freshman in high school. It’s always been a spot that I loved to look back on and remember that awkward, sweet moment when we were sitting there waiting for our moms to pick us up from our date. We passed by the bench, and Chris asked if I would like to sit down for a minute. It felt like a movie because downtown Franklin is so beautiful, especially during the holidays. The little stores had their Christmas trees and lights up, and everyone was out and about shopping. We talked for a little bit, and then I noticed Chris seemed nervous which is when it dawned on me that we were sitting in this special spot. Before I knew it, he knelt down on one knee and asked “Will you marry me?” and it was absolutely the most exciting moment of my life!

All of the Stars Photography

 

All of the Stars Photography

Of course I said yes, and then out of nowhere, I heard cheering, and across the street I saw our families! They had gotten to witness the whole thing. After he put my ring on my finger, we ran across to them and got to hug and celebrate. It was such a special moment! I should also mention – Chris also had photographers secretly taking pictures of this the whole time which was so amazing, because I can look back on those and remember that night just as it was forever. (Especially because I was in so much shock, everything seemed like a blur at the After taking pictures, Emily – his sister and actually my Little Sister in my sorority – suggested that we go back to their house to celebrate with champagne…which led to another surprise waiting on me! Chris and I stopped in at The Bottle Shop in Franklin where we bought a bottle of champagne, which was so much fun because people were congratulating us everywhere we went. We pulled up to his parents’ house and Chris led the way into the house where ALL of my friends and family were waiting and cheering! It was SUCH a huge surprise! It meant so much to me that Chris had included all of our family and friends, and the whole night was a huge celebration. It was absolutely perfect.”

Chris, hat’s off to you! He thought of it all and included personal touches that meant so much to Rachel. I love how clueless Rachel was about what was happening! She thought they had lucked out with the nice table at dinner and was so completely in the moment and didn’t recognize Chris’s nervousness until just the right moment. I believe when a woman isn’t expecting the proposal it makes it so much better.

Chris and Rachel were married on November 14, 2015 at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Nashville and celebrated with family and friends with a reception at the beautiful Loveless Barn. Thank you for sharing your story Mr. and Mrs. Zotti!

Madi Flournoy Photography

Madi Flournoy Photography

Gold Dress Jackpot

To me, nothing screams “Happy New Year” like a gold sequin dress. If you’re having a New Year’s wedding (or attending a snazzy party), I’ve looked around and found the perfect bridesmaid dresses from Rent the Runway. They are so affordable and stylish (they’re Badgley Mischka!), and you have options between short or long sleeve, floor-length or mini! I’m currently looking for a reason to rent one of these beauties.

BM Gold Dara Gown $100

Badgley Mischka Gold Dara Gown Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Night at the Oscars Gown $120

Badgley Mischka Night at the Oscars Gown Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Gold Glitz Gown $90

Badgley Mischka Gold Glitz Gown Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Gold Glitterati Gown $80

Badgley Mischka Gold Glitterati Gown Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Gold Swank Sequin Sheath $75

Badgley Mischka Gold Swank Sequin Sheath Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Golden Hour Gown $150

Badgley Mischka Golden Hour Gown Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Gold Midnight Stars Gown $100

Badgley Mischka Gold Midnight Stars Gown Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Draped in Gold Dress $30

Badgley Mischka Draped in Gold Dress Photo from Rent the Runway

BM Jazz Sheath $75

Badgley Mischka Jazz Sheath Photo from Rent the Runway

Slate & Willow Gold Cecilia Maxi Skirt $50

Slate & Willow Gold Cecilia Maxi Skirt Photo from Rent the Runway

Be sure to read the sizing and fit guide on each dress before you rent, and take advantage of the free second size. If you rent one of the above dresses, send me your photos for a chance to be featured in a future post!

 

 

 

The Perfect Hostess Gift

The holiday season brings with it many holiday parties…and Oprah’s Favorite Things! I look forward to this every year because there’s literally something for everyone and it makes Christmas shopping so easy. I’ve browsed the list already for you and have picked out a few gifts that are perfect for you to give to the hostess of your next holiday party, bridal or baby shower!

Modern Sprout Garden in a Jar

Garden in a Jar

Fresh Bath & Shower Gel

Help the hostess unwind with these bath and shower gels.

Help the hostess unwind with these bath and shower gels.

Teavana Oprah Chai Steep Good Thoughts Set

Teavanna oprah chai Steep Good Thoughts Set

Haute Papier Letterpressed Boxed Coasters

These boxed coasters come in sets of 100 for just $25! So many options to choose from and so affordable.

These boxed coasters come in sets of 100 for just $25! So many options to choose from and so affordable.

Lustrous Lip Gloss Set by Anastasia Beverly Hills

The perfect gift for a make up loving hostess.

The perfect gift for a make up loving hostess.

Words with Boards Cutting Boards

Such a thoughtful gift for your favorite host/hostess.

Such a thoughtful gift for your favorite host/hostess.

CorkCicle Canteen

These great canteens keep drinks cold for up to 25 hours or hot for up to 12 without sweating! Tons of colors to choose from. They would even make great bridesmaid gifts.

These great canteens keep drinks cold for up to 25 hours or hot for up to 12 without sweating! Tons of colors to choose from. They would even make great bridesmaid gifts.

Use the code OPRAH on some of these gifts for additional savings. Happy shopping!

A Baby Shower Proposal

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower with one of my best friends. We might as well call her my sister. Our brother Marvin is expecting his first child in February and the moment we found out, Shanise and I began planning the soccer-themed shower. We hit the Pinterest boards hard for inspiration and I am so pleased with how it all turned out. I’m trying to hunt down better pictures (how I managed to not taking any is beyond me), but here’s one of the food set-up:

The yummy spread!

Guests were well-fed with pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches, home made egg rolls, buffalo chicken wraps, popcorn, rice krispies, and cupcakes.

The soccer ball rice krispie treats were a hit, as were the delicious cupcakes made by Erica Swafford.

The soccer ball rice krispie treats were a hit, as were the delicious cupcakes made by Erica Swafford.

For this shower, Amazon was our friend. It’s my go-to for plates and napkins, but I also found tiny plastic babies for the popular “My water broke!” game and this great vinyl table cloth that looks like a grass field. I was also slightly obsessed with the favors: chocolate covered Oreos decorated like soccer balls. These details take time, but make such a difference!

This baby shower had an unexpected ending, though. Just a few days before, I received a call letting me know that Marvin would be proposing!!! He had an idea of how he wanted to do it; he just needed a little help tying it all together and making sure it stayed a surprise. When Marvin and Mylita had finished opening all their presents, Shanise and I wrapped up a couple games. Everyone was preoccupied which gave Marvin the perfect opportunity to sneak away and grab the ring. When we finished, Shanise just so happened to find one last gift that had been misplaced. When Mylita realized the unsigned card was from Marvin, he got down on one knee and made it official!

We are so excited for this sweet family, and ask for your prayers while Marvin is deployed. That’s right, folks. This soon-to-be dad and husband just began a year long deployment. We will be keeping ourselves busy planning a wedding!

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

This May, I have the privilege of standing next to one of my best friends as she marries her perfect match. I’ve anxiously been waiting for word on our bridesmaid dresses and we got the email about a week ago.
We are using Azazie to achieve the bride’s vision of blue hues. The site is very unique in that each dress is custom made! You hear “custom” and immediately think “expensive” but the average price is about $120!! Yes, you read that right. Most of the dresses range in price between $99 and $139, and there are so many styles and colors to choose from.

I will be keeping you updated on the ordering process and the dress! All reviews I’ve read are great so I’m hoping for a positive experience. I work with so many budget conscience brides who don’t want their bridesmaids to spend an arm and a leg and this might just be a perfect solution.

Here are a few of the dresses I’m trying to decide between:

Azazie Alexandra

Azazie Alexandra


Azazie Chaya

Azazie Chaya


Azazie Ingrid

Azazie Ingrid


Azazie Kierra

Azazie Kierra


Azazie Lailah

Azazie Lailah


Azazie Mila

Azazie Mila

Vanessa & Bobby

Vanessa and Bobby’s wedding was absolutely beautiful, and I had the pleasure of being involved a little earlier than usual. I want to say a huge thank you to all the vendors that made the day perfect! The Blossom Shop Greene’s did a wonderful job decorating the arbor, and the mums they provided were gorgeous (and so Fall!). And I may have snuck a couple mini cupcakes provided by Scrumps Cupcakes in Knoxville because they were DELICIOUS and I couldn’t stop at just one! Huge shout out to Wendy Ivens Photography for capturing everything, including the surprise proposal that the bride and groom helped plan!! Most people wouldn’t want to share the spotlight on their special day, but Vanessa and Bobby were happy to. I highly recommend Wendy for any bride and groom currently searching. She was great to work with!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, and thank you for letting me share in your day!