DJ or No?

I’ve seen a lot of brides asking recently if they should stretch their budgets to book a DJ. Is it worth the cost or should they just create a playlist? My answer: ABSOLUTELY!!

There are quite a few pros of having a DJ.

1. They keep the party going.
When you have a DJ, they can take requests from guests and get everyone hype and on the dance floor. They can make sure to avoid any silent moments or awkward pauses. I attended a wedding once that had a playlist on an iPod. One recurring issue was when guests wanted to hear specific songs. They would scroll through the iPod until they found something that sounded good and then press play. This whole time, though, guests would be standing around in silence, waiting for something to start playing. Your DJ can avoid that. Almost 3 years later, one of the biggest compliments I get is about our DJ. I’ve had 2 brides book him this year solely based on his performance at my wedding and his ability to keep the party alive.

2. They handle the timing of the evening.
DJs will work with your wedding coordinator to announce when it’s time to cut the cake, toss the bridal bouquet and garter, etc. They’ll keep the evening flowing so you don’t have to worry about what’s coming next and keep checking the time so you can cut the cake. Enjoy your evening!

3. They won’t repeat songs.
When you create a playlist, what’s the correct number of songs to insure you will get through them all without starting over again? What if you never make it to the song you chose for your final dance? Trust me. Leave it to the pros. Your DJ will schedule a meeting with you before your big day to pick out your must-haves and your list of no-nos. For example, my DJ knew we absolutely didn’t want to hear the Electric Slide but I HAD to hear Love on Top by Bey before the party ended. He made sure to work it in before our final dance to The Time of My Life.

4. Professional DJ means professional equipment.
I remember one wedding I attended did a playlist. They rented one speaker and had an iPod hooked up to it. The issue: the dance floor was the tennis court and that one speaker didn’t project the music loud enough for that large of a space. Your DJ will know how many speakers will be needed for your space to make the music sound just right, and they will bring any other equipment that might be needed. If any equipment malfunctions, they’ll know how to fix it and make sure your party isn’t interrupted.

5. Just because you don’t want to dance, your guests will probably want to.
You will be told multiple times during the planning process that this is your wedding and you can do whatever you want. Although that’s true, you have to keep in mind your guests when planning certain aspects. All of them are there for one big reason: to celebrate with you and your new spouse! They want to talk with you and have a great time! You might not be a big dancer, but your guests might be and they may be expecting a party. If you are set on not having a DJ or some sort of entertainment, maybe consider moving your ceremony and reception time to earlier in the day or evening.

If you’re still worried about how to fit a DJ into your budget, consult with a local wedding planner. Chances are good they will have a list of DJs in your area to work with every budget. If you’re in Knoxville, I offer $50/hour consultations. We can meet and discuss vendors that fit your budget!

Check out Style Me Pretty’s blog post on 2016 Wedding Music Trends. Happy planning!



New Years Check-In

At the beginning of the year, I wrote our goals for 2016. If you’re wanting a little recap, you can find that list here. We’re a quarter of the way through the year so it’s time to see how we’re doing.

-Book 5 Weddings

This year, I wanted to book two weddings for full coordinating services and three weddings at Honey Creek Farms for more than day-of coordinating. So far, we are booked for two weddings (one in 2017!) for full services and have booked one HCF bride for additional services.


Whoops. My goal was to post at least once a week, and I’ve missed a couple weeks. I’ll continue to work on that.

-Social Media

I wanted three to five posts each week on Instagram and Facebook and so far, I’ve gotten pretty close. We are also a fifth of the way to our Instagram follower goal (we want 250) and a third of the way to our Facebook goal (we want 350). So if you haven’t done so already, go follow and like! And share with all the brides-to-be that you know!

It wasn’t a listed goal, but I also wanted to be involved in a styled shoot. Well, I participated in my first one in March and am busy working on getting that published! I’m also waist deep in planning another shoot at Honey Creek Farms next month. I’ve partnered with Megan at Stress Less Weddings and Amanda May Photography, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Follow us on Instagram for sneak peaks and to get a glimpse of all the work that goes into the shoots.

I’m very pleased with how this year is shaping up and know that there is so much more to come!

Not So Basic Linens

So often when brides think of linens, they automatically plan on white tablecloths and colored napkins or a basic table runner in navy, gray, red, etc. They think the focal point needs to be a large floral arrangement in a range of vibrant hues. I’m here to tell you, though, there is another way!

Consider trading out the basic table runner for a fun, patterned number! has hundreds of options you can choose from. They have adorable runners for bridal and baby showers. Complete the look with a simple floral arrangement (think all white or just greenery) and coordinating napkins. If your venue provides white linens or you like the clean look of them, think about adding a fun place mat for a more casual feel.

Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough table runner in Noir Photo from


Deco table runner in Gold Photo from

Interlock Table Runner

Interlock table runner in Wheat Photo from

Let's Go Glamping

Let’s Go Glamping table runner in Raspberry Pink Photo from

cadre placemat

Cadre placemat in Cobalt Photo from

Shibori Squares

Shibori Squares placemat in Aquatic Teal Photo from

As always, if you need help pulling a look together, send an email to We would love to help!

Honey Creek Farms Open Dates

This is shaping up to be an incredible year for Z Studio. I’m so excited to work with all my brides and grooms! In case you’re wondering, we still have open dates and so does Honey Creek Farms! Some very desirable dates have opened up and I wanted to get the word out as soon as possible. I’ve listed all the dates below. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a special offer!

May: 7, 14, 21

June: 18, 25

August, 13, 27

October: 29

November: 12, 19, 26

All of December

For anyone interested in the May dates but worried you can’t pull a wedding together by then, no worries. If you book a wedding at Honey Creek Farms for May we will give you a special discount on full service planning. Think 50% off!! Email for info!

Not getting married at Honey Creek Farms but in need of coordinating? Email us today to secure your date!

Research-Who Has the Time?

This past weekend, thousands upon thousands of people got engaged! Yay for Valentine’s Day! So many new brides and grooms are about to start their wedding planning journey, but they have no idea where to start! Some just don’t have the time to weed through the endless options for vendors.

No worries, friends! Z Studio is here to help. We are so happy to introduce or new Research Package. We will do all the work for you. Simply give us your budget and some key wedding details, and we will give you 2-3 vendor options in each category that will fit your budget.

We can also pair this with our day-of coordinating for a discount! Contact us today for pricing and to get started on planning your dream wedding.

Turning Dreams into Goals

While running errands this morning I saw the cutest little sign that read, “A goal is just a dream with a deadline,” and it got me thinking about a particular dream I’ve been focusing on a lot the past couple weeks.

Y’all should know this about me: I have lots of dreams, and they’re usually huge. Most of them I don’t act on, but every now and then there’s one I’m very attached to. Z Studio was one of them and it’s slowly growing and getting busier! This new dream of mine goes hand-in-hand with Z Studio: I want to own my own venue.

Whew. That feels great to share! My husband tells me I get a little ahead of myself sometimes, but I’ve found that if I share the dreams I’m really passionate about, then I can’t talk myself out of pursuing them. I have to chase them and make them a reality. This dream will stay a dateless goal for a little while, until we can work out a few major details, but hopefully one day soon I can share some good news with everyone! A year from now, five years from now-who knows! But one day I hope to make it happen.

Side note: Thank you to my supportive husband who lets me dream big but keeps me realistic. You’re the best.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Keep dreaming.


Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie and Kennedy Blue

This wedding season is going to be a little different for me. Not only do I have my usual weddings at Honey Creek Farms, but I’m in 3 wedding this year! I found myself in the same place as a lot of you: wondering what the bridesmaid dress situation was. I told y’all earlier that I’d be using Azazie for one dress, and I’m proud to say I ordered, it arrived and it’s perfect. I chose the standard size 4 instead of doing a custom size, and I feel like it’s right on the money. Each dress is different, though, so always read the reviews.

I ordered the Azazie Frida dress in dark navy for my May wedding. Photo from

I ordered the Azazie Frida dress in dark navy for my May wedding.
Photo from

The second wedding I’m in also chose to use Azazie, and I’m semi-patiently waiting for it to get here. I’m fairly tall, so I’m anxious to see how it fits and if it’s long enough.

I ordered the Azazie Ashley dress in burgundy for a September wedding.

I ordered the Azazie Ashley dress in burgundy for a September wedding. Photo from

Side note: I’ve recently become obsessed with Azazie’s clearance section. These dresses are being retired from their sample program and are a whopping $35. What?! Yeah, you read that right. The great thing about a lot of the dresses on this site is they’re more than just bridesmaid dresses. You can wear them as a guest, to cocktail parties, networking events, work parties, etc. I’ve been debating buying a couple more just to have in my closet for special occasions.

The third wedding I’m in has chosen to use Kennedy Blue. This will be my first time using this site. The dresses are beautiful, though! I just purchased the Julia dress. I’ll let y’all know how it fits when it arrives! In the meantime, you can enjoy 20% off your order through February 2 using the code LOVEKB.

I just ordered the Julia dress in slate blue from Kennedy Blue. Photo from

I just ordered the Julia dress in slate blue from Kennedy Blue. Photo from

Happy shopping!

Rose Gold Wedding Trend

One of this year’s big wedding trends has me super excited. Rose gold makes me oh so happy, especially when paired with shades of blush and pink. One of our Z Studio Brides has decided to use it as a wedding color which has me browsing around for inspiration. If you’re wondering where you can add little touches of this gorgeous hue, I’ve rounded up some of my top picks. From save-the-dates and invitations, to attire and even food, there are so many ways to add some subtle glam touches.

We shared these gorgeous invites from Minted last week. There are three different options for this real foil design and you can complete the look with RSVP and thank you cards.

minted invite

Deco Chevron Foil-Pressed Wedding Invitation Photo from

Check our Instagram and Facebook in the following weeks for more photos and inspiration!

Shane Hawkins Photography: Ramey Wedding

We loved being a part of Lucas and Casey’s wedding at Honey Creek Farms this past September. After a 20 minute rain delay (that I think the groomsmen prayed for so they could keep watching the football game!), we had the most beautiful ceremony, and the reception that followed was even better. Thank you so much to all our vendors and all the guests for being such great sports during the delay! Shane Hawkins Photography captured all the details, big and small, and he was so great to work with! He was prepared for the rain with clear umbrellas for the bridal party to use so he could still capture photos in case they had to walk in the rain. Thanks for sharing these photos with us Z Studio, Shane!

Sunrise Engagement Session: Britnell Photography

We met David Britnell of Britnell Photography at an open house a couple of months ago and quickly knew we’d met a good one. We fell in love with his “natural” style of photography and editing and are excited to work with him in 2016.

We had to share this sunrise engagement session at Max Patch Mountain, NC. David said when bride Tess McNerlin first approached him about doing a sunrise session, he was excited but knew he’d be taking a chance with the weather. Luckily for them (and us!), the weather was great and the sunrise was gorgeous! Tess and her fiance Alex Dykstra got some seriously stunning shots. We can’t wait to see photos from their upcoming May wedding!

Thanks for sharing David!