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Wedding Tips

Home Improvement; Using Lowes for your wedding

I love home improvement. I adore painting hand me down furniture, arranging inspirational image walls, building craft tables, and discovering how to build anything I need for weddings!! Just this fall I am building game inspired centerpieces, ceremony pedestals, and light fixtures. More on those details later. My husband and I love to build, fix, and improve our home on our own as much as we can. Lowes is our Target. We go in for one item, and exit with a buggy full!

My love for home improvement paired with everyone’s obsession with Fixer Upper  inspired me to do a Lowe’s meets wedding design. I can just picture a simple bride with a tea length wedding dress and a high ponytail with her groom  in simple slacks with a bow tie and suspenders. Their closest family and friends having a brunch or an afternoon at-home, reception. The more I think about it the more I want to do it with my own husband!

In the middle of putting this design together, a dear family friend hired me to design her wedding. It was simple, classic, and amazing. She and her new husband were still in college, and trying to put together their first home. She received some items from her family; researched other items in yard sales; and when all else failed, knew to go to IKEA. Her setting up house reminded me of so many newlyweds. All you want is to make your own home but you yet to have your dream job (or paycheck!). So, you get a couch from your friend, a bookcase from goodwill to makeover, and a basic drill to help you along the way. You are also surrounded with brand new pots & pans, fine china, that coffee maker you’ve always wanted, and a memorable monogram wall hanging. Half your house is 2nd hand and worn; the other half if shiny, pretty, and oh so brand new!

This is the aspect that completed my design. I can only imagine a couple making multiple trips to Lowes to prepare their house, and make the most of it for as little $$ as possible. While loving all the pretty fine new things sitting in their dining room.

So what does this all look like?

At home wedding

Some of the details I love: First, the tile chargers. I found some great faux marble tiles on sale for $.45 each and added some copper and rose gold brush strokes to each. All Occasion Party Rentals finished everything with simple white plates, and their Sheraton style flatware.

At Home Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a His & her touch we used antique cut crystals glassware with moscow mule mugs. Second: The clever and copper styling.  The copper paint cans added a great touch and were practical for cake stands and holding utensils.  Plus how cute is that little colander!!! If you look closely you can even see my little nodd to Penny tile!

Third: styling with food and drink. I love seeing the drink and food options. Having the food right out ready for guest to dive into and really adds to the look. No catering chafer dishes, no bar menu needed. Put the growlers, the whiskey, the wine bottles right out there. Let the products become the decoration. Plus, imagine trifle dishes filled with homemade banana pudding, platters of fresh fried funnel cakes, plates of moist apple cake with rum sauce. Makes you want to curl up on a couch with a mug of Cafe DuMonde coffee, huh?

The finishing touch is the sign. I handed painted the saying “This is us” on to a walnut stained board. I believe this saying sums up what weddings/marriages/homes should be about. You should be able to walk into your wedding look around and say “this is us.”  Make your guests feel a part of your life. Make your wedding the start of your marriage. Simple is always beautiful. Comfort and hospitality is always timeless.

So, next time you are at Lowes get inspired. Next time you are at a wedding look around and see what the wedding says about the couple. Some start off with a brand new house, some renovate a family home, and some just rent a simple one bedroom loft. Whatever your wedding is make it feel home to your guests.

Thank you to all the vendors:

Samuel Franklin Florist

All Occasion Party Rentals

Kincaid House

Bradford Catered Events

JoPhoto

Bill Waldorf Photography

Design, Styling, Signage, by Live Laugh Love Weddings

Wedding Designs Brought to Life

I am a wedding designer, and proud of it. In fact it is my true passion in this world of wedding planning. I adore the puzzle of linens, centerpieces, furniture, colors, and floor plans that makes a wedding come to life. I am known for having a vision, or a directed path when designing a wedding, but I am always tweaking, researching, experimenting to really make the design as perfect as it can be. The opportunity for me to attend a lecture by my wedding designer/planner icon, Tara Geurard, came about. I don’t think I could have jumped in my car faster on the day of the lecture. Still, it was one of the best days of my career, and for many reasons. The main reason that this day, this lecture was the best is because it ignited inspiration in me.

Before Pinterest there was imagination in creating wedding designs. There was creativity in deciding the centerpieces and place cards. Since Pinterest my wedding world had become a world of “replicate this lanterns, with this greenery, and these favors.” Personalization was falling away and replication was taking its place.  After listening to Tara, and hearing about her creative process, I was asking myself “why am I letting Pinterest dictate my talent? Why shouldn’t I let Pinterest turn off my creativity and imagination?” So away I went to sketch, build, and spray paint. In a matter of just 24 hours I had 5 designs in my head. Over the next 5 months I tweaked, twisted, defined, and edited these designs. on August 22, 2017 I saw them finally come to life.

On August 22nd a bandwagon of vendors came together, and made my wedding designs, my ideas come to life. Now it wasn’t easy, and it came with challenges, but in the end I was proud of all the work and effort. I was extremely proud and thankful for my family and friends who sweated and paid a physical price for me and my creativity. I could not have done all this with out you! I couldn’t have asked for better colleagues who joined in, and gladly tried to make the design in my head come to life. Many times I was asked “do you have a photo of this idea, or a point of reference?” I would smile and simply say “nope, its in my head!”

I’m not a simply designer, I’m not a cookie cutter planner. I am a “go big or go home” person. So, I was determined to produce all 5 designs, photograph them, and break it all down in one day. Thanks to the Kincaid House in Clinton, TN and its coordinator Melissa Charles, we were able to do it! The Kincaid House’s  property allowed me to set-up all the designs in different areas but still in the same location.

Here is just a taste of the different designs. I will blog about each individual one later. There is too much to say about each design. The designs were created from a love of home improvement; the life of broke newlyweds; the infatuation of the blush color; the hospitality and trends of southern women; the celebration of family; and the styles of bold classic fashion.

 

 

Bill Waldorf Photography

 

Thank you to JoPhoto, Bill Waldorf, And Katherine Birkbeck for their gorgeous photography! Thank you to All Occasion Party Rentals for your generosity in supplying with a huge order! Especially Cindy for organizing my crazy rental list on a weekly/daily basis. Thank you to Bradford Catering for making wonderful food, and going with my crazy ideas! The list goes on and on including: Unique Settings of Knoxville, The Happy Envelope, White Lace and Promises, Regal Tuxedos, Southern Sirens, all the models: Adaira, Hannah, and Katryn, 

 

I want to especially thank Samuel Franklin Florist. Sam and his staff have been an amazing team to work with. Sam is my go to, see it through, no idea is too crazy guy. He has been such a support thru my whole career, and continues to be my main man. Sherri and his crew go above and beyond any of my requests. They were out in the heat helping set-up chairs, moving props, and doing anything I asked of them. I can’t say thank you enough to Sam and his amazing crew!

If you are interested in more about this photo shoot; more wedding design; how your wedding can be personalized, or how we can help you in anyway with your wedding event go over to livelaughloveweddings.com. I would be happy to your wedding memorable to you and to your guests!

Rainy Day Weddings

Rain, Rain, go away….

I used to love rainy days. I could put on some sweat pants, curl up with a big mug of coffee and work from my home. I used to love watching the rain make the tree leaves dance, and the sound it just calming. After kids, I found a love-hate relationship with rain. Rain means the front steps to the houseis going to flood, and Im going to have to hop with a toddler on my hip. It means complaints from my son about everything being wet outside, and heave forbid any of his clothes or shoes get wet. Rain means craziness in the house cause there is no dry playground. On the love side rain means great naps, and allergy substances are washed away.

Rain usually isn’t something that a bride wants to wake to either. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bride wake up on their wedding day and exclaim “Yay, its raining, its raining on my wedding day. This is perfect!” A blue sky, sunshine day is what brides want. It makes you cheerful, enlightened almost. Of course mother nature always has to make sure there are some rainy wedding days. Here are a few ways you can turn your rainy wedding day into the best wedding day!

  1. Photographs- Rain can be a wonderful detail in your photographs. Plan ahead to have a great umbrella, just in case. A classic big golf black or charcoal grey umbrella is always classic. Keep any patterns monochromatic and simple. Also find a place where the rain is really pouring. A great photographer can capture the rain falling on you in such a romantic way.
  2. Move the outdoor garden ceremony indoors. Have your florist, and rental company set-up items in your reception room. Make your dance floor the ceremony stage, and have your guests find a seat at a table, and offer some cocktails before ceremony. If your reception is at a separate venue then delay your ceremony time half an hour. Most guests will make it!
  3. Change the venue-If you are planning an outside, in the grass under a tent kind of wedding, you might find your guests walking around in mud. Do the events you have to, offer a take home box of food & cake to everyone,and then ask your guests to join you at your nearest bar or restaurant. Say cheers with a favorite pint. Keeping miserable guests in a miserable situation never ends well.
  4. Function and Practicality before pinterest gorgeous! What makes a wedding great is the joy the guests share with the bride and groom. The more joy and happiness felt at a wedding the better it makes the wedding. Go with the flow and remember if you are married and happy in your marriage, all will be fantastic!

Happy Rainy April!

 

Imagine Pinterest

“Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination. Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination.”

-Willy Wonka

I find myself staring at a wall or table, and wondering “There must be something I could do with that.” I reach for a tech device, click my Pinterest button, and get lost in a world where wooden pallets become chairs, chairs become night stands, and a night stand becomes  a kitchen. It is a world that can stretch, deepen, and enhance your imaginative mind; or it can be a world that consumes you and you lose your own imagination.

As a wedding designer it is my job to take a person’s style, interests, ideas and make them into an environment that reflects one of the most important days in their life, a wedding. When I started as a wedding designer there was no Pinterest. You flipped through magazines or watched reality TV to find the latest trends. Big trends beginning in NYC or LA didn’t reach little Knoxville til 2 years later. It always fun to design for bridal shows. You could make your booth/display completely out of your imagination, and get brides to think “huh! Thats different.” It could be purple, yellow, all black or all white. It was always exciting to see what people would dream up. Now we have pinterest to filter to us the latest trends, and we get them as quick as we can. The pantone color of the year” greenery, the latest dress style: grace kelley/lace;  the trend of weddings; copper. It is all at your fingertips, no imagination required. Weddings seem to be more about replicating a photo, and less about expressing personality.

Now don’t get me wrong. I who hold a Bachelor’s in Art find myself searching Pinterest many times a day for various projects. I too have lost a since of imagination. My goal now is to awaken my old imagination. I urge you to do the same. Find the latest trends and ideas, and apply them to your wedding. Just remember you are not like everyone else, you want your wedding to be special, set apart. Use Pinterest as a taking off point. So, copper is the latest trend, how you use it is key. Are you a bride who serves a cocktail  in a moscow mule mug, or are you a bride with a sweet tooth who will fill it with krispy kreme bread pudding? Are you a spreadsheet type person who will use copper geometric lanterns for centerpeices; or will you be adventurous and copper spray paint your grandmothers teapot as a memory to her.

I urge you to use Pinterest, and discover a world of imagination. I also urge you to deepen your imagination and go one step further than Pinterest. The world of weddings can be endless, it is important not to lose you and your imagination in such a giant world.

Pinterest Wedding Trends

Wedding Imagination

bright pops of yellow wedding

My Perfect Day; inspiration, design, build, invent, create

Create and Invent; it is the lesson I took away from today. Today Tara Geurard introduced me to her life as a wedding designer. I entered the room full of glee, butterflies, and amazement. I sat in my seat and thought “I finally get to hear and understand this woman who does these amazing, customized weddings. She will be incredible.” As I heard her speak,  I found myself engulfed in every word she spoke. She shops at Lowe’s; She spray paints; She hates round tables! Shes a lot like me. All this time I envisioned Tara as a rich designer, who travels, and has everything at her disposal to make these incredible wedding environments.  Within 10 minutes of her talking I found she is humble, tireless, inventing, and dedicated. Everything I strive to be in this business.

I launched my business at the January Pink Bride Show 2009. I wanted to conquer everything. I had 10,000 ideas to put into a wedding. I was constantly trying to invent new displays of place cards, or collaborate crazy colors and make them work. I had inspiration from my own imagination. I had a passion to invent, build, and create. I wanted to do it all.  Then one by one life piled up. I became “mom”; Pinterest infected every wedding; and white became the trendy theme. My inspiration was getting lost, and my ideas were random.

Today Tara brought  a spark back to me. She reminded why I started this business, why my whole heart and mind should be in every wedding I design. She inspired me to create trends. My favorite was ” Can’t find it? build it!” Early in my career I was on fire, and I’m on fire again. Color is coming, patterns will make a statement, personal style will be reinvented, and F-U-N is coming back to weddings.

Thank you Tara for reminding me of the joy of this job. We are creating an experience, an environment that should be intimate, joyous, and the least of all random. We create weddings.

Tara Guerard Signature. Weddings by Tara Guerard; Southern Weddings by Tara Guerard

 

Colors for 2017

Every year there is a bridesmaid dress trend every bride wants. Ten years ago it was tea length dresses ; Five years ago it was the high to low or fit n flare dress; 3 years ago is was the mix-match color palette. Last year the trend was sequins and evening gowns. This year I have heard nothing but the words “Jenny Yoo”. Every bride is after a convertible Jenny Yoo dress. It seems to be the golden ticket for bridesmaids.  Any color of this dress is popular, but if you want the most popular go for the shades of blue. They are subtle muted shades of common pastel colors.  Sky Blue + Grey= Mayan Blue; Sea Mist+ Grey=Ceil Blue. Of course you can always go for the classic navy. Other shades are blush, rosewater, and sweet pea.

If you are drooling over Jenny Yoo, and looking for a similar style that’s more affordable, don’t worry. Many mainstream designers get their inspiration from popular trends. You should see very similar styles being created from various designers. Davids Bridal is already manufacturing colors like Steel Blue, and Blush. I’m sure we will see more convertible dresses throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

May Jenny Yoo be ever in your favor!

For Local Bridesmaid selections Check out:

White Lace and Promises

Davids Bridal 

Gilded Gown

 

everyone wants Jenny Yoo

How-to be a Glowing Bride- a bridal beauty regimen from Southern Sirens

A bride’s skin is often one of her biggest worries on the big day. The way to help ensure that you have the best chance  of having clean and healthy skin on your wedding day is to follow these tips:

We recommend seeing an Esthetician several months before your big day; our team of makeup artists at Southern Sirens are all licensed Estheticians. An Esthetician is different from a cosmetologist in that they give advice on how to properly care for your skin. They can help you pick out products that are right for your skin type, and areas of concern. Here is a basic skin regimen that we recommend. First off, we love Dermologica products; they are great products that produce results.

How-to be a Glowing Bride:

1. Wash your face two times a day (once in the morning, once at night) with your chosen facial wash. Why twice? Once is to remove oil,dirt, and makeup. The second time is to actually clean your face. Rinse with warm water.

2. Use a facial scrub two to three times a week;  scrub your face gently with the pads of your fingers for one minute if you have normal to dry skin; if you have oily-type skin, scrub for an additional minute. Rinse with warm water.This step helps to remove dead skin cell.

3. Use a facial mask once a week. Leave on your skin for three to five minutes.  Using a mask helps rejuvenate your skin, adding any depleted vitamins and nutrients. Rinse with warm water.  Here is an easy facial mask that you can make at home:

Ingredients:

2 cups Old Fashioned Oats

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp warm Water

Directions:

Grind Oatmeal in blender until powdery, it should make about 2 Tbsp

Mix Olive oil, warm water, and oatmeal powder Rub onto face, then rinse with warm water, Repeat.

4. Twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) spray your face with a toner to help even out the pH levels in your skin as well as to help your moisturizers go on better.

5. Twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) apply a pea size amount of moisturizer to your face and neck in an upward motion. You apply in an upward motion to help lift skin. Applying in a downward motion can pull your skin down and cause wrinkles over time. Ladies, if you want to look young in old age, treat your skin with respect: do not go outside with moisturizer, make sure it has at least an SPF of 15!

If you get on a good skin regimine, you should begin seeing results in two to four weeks. The earlier you start, the earlier your regimine can be adjusted if need be to help you have the best skin possible for your big day. The Dermologica products featured here can be bought from Dermologica’s website or you can visit the Tennessee School of Beauty’s Skin Care Center.

– Amanda McKnight, Southern Sirens

From “To-Dos” to “Ta-Das” Part 1

Recently, I’ve had several Brides ask me if there’s a specific check list for getting ready to go down the aisle. After my share of weddings these are a few “rules of thumb” that I find helps with the planning process; having a plan for the big day can help cut down on the stress, and make for a much happier bride and groom.- Allison

16-9 months before 

  • Inspiration Folder- Having a vision of what you and your fiance want for your wedding is crucial; everything else should be planned around it. Are you wanting to go with a particular theme? Have you been imagining your wedding day since you were 6 years old? Find out what you like; what color combinations say “wedding” to you. Tip: If you haven’t already, get a Pinterest account and start pinning pictures of what you want your wedding to look like. Pin pictures of wedding dress styles you like, centerpieces that you love, any decor you’d like to include. It may not be exactly like it but it will give you an idea of what you like and don’t like, and you’ll be able to show your potential vendors what you have in mind. You find vendors by going to some bridal shows; they usually occur every few months or so. If you live in the Knoxville area you can visit the 29:11 Event Planning Studio’s Bridal show event at the Knoxville Zoo on Sunday, September 30th from 2-6 p.m! 

  • Budget- Finding out a comfortable budget early is important. When deciding on your overall budget you need to decide what costs will be considered in the wedding budget, and what costs you will pay for yourself, or what family members are willing to contribute; it should include the ceremony and reception venues, photographer, wedding planner (if you wish to have one) and bridal attire. A discussion with your possible vendors needs to be brought up in the first meeting, but don’t let it rule out that vendor completely. Most are willing to work on any budget. For a full list of budget specifications please visit our Budget Basic  page.
  •  Choose your Wedding Party- Choosing who is going to be in your wedding party is almost as important and finding “the dress”. You’re going to want to have girls that you know you can count on, ones that you know will be there to celebrate with you and be supportive for you and your fiance. Include girls who you know are going to get along with. Don’t feel pressure to include his baby sister if you two don’t know each other very well; there could be other roles for her to play and still be involved in the wedding. 
  • Start compiling a guest list- Both you and your fiance need to  have an idea who you would like to invite to the wedding; start an Excel file with guests’ last names listed alphabetically and their addresses. You’ll be able to narrow this list down later.
  • Choose a date and your people- If there is a vendor  or a venue you’re absolutely crazy about you need to book them as far in advance as possible, but before you do you need to narrow down a date. Photographer can book quickly so do research to find which ones you and your fiance like the best. You also need to decide if you and your fiance wish to have a wedding planner or wedding coordinator to help with the planning process. Tip: Can’t decide if you need a wedding planner? Visit our Homepage to view our Q+A on what a wedding planner does.

8 months before 

  • Finalize a Photographer/ Videographer- Photographers are usually book appointments months in advance (or even years!) so deciding who you want to capture your wedding day should be a big priority. Once decided you and your photographer can talk budgets, packages, and to schedule  engagement or bridal portraits.
  • Find “the Dress”– If you aren’t already, try and become familiar with certain styles. Do you prefer A-line or Ball gown, or are you wanting something completely non-traditional? Gather your bridesmaids, grab some magazines, and find out what you like. Print out pictures from your Pinterest board and take them with you when you go to the Bridal salon; they may have the same dress or something similar. Once you’ve found it look for accessories like shoes, undergarments, and a veil to go with your gown. Tip: Think against taking all of your best girls out to find your dress. It can be overwhelming when you have six different opinions about a dress and you can’t decide if want to say “I Do” in it. Consider taking one or two of your girls and let your other ladies see your dress at the last fitting. 
  • Scan, scan, scan- Put on your sneakers, grab a scan-gun, and start building a Wedding gift registry. Make a date out of it! Take your hubby-to-be and scan items that you think you might like to have in your new place together. Big-name stores like Target, have a Wedding Registry bag with some awesome goodies, including a checklist to help give you an idea on what to scan. Tip: Remember once you scan something you can always decide later if you don’t want that item; in other-words, you can edit your registry list. Make sure to include items at all price points and register at several different stores to give your guests a variety of options. Think about starting a wedding website to tell of how you two met, how he proposed, and list the places you’ve registered at; websites like Wedding-wire make it easy for you to do this. 

7-6 months

  • Choose your invitations- Invitations set the style and tone of your wedding; in a way they give a preview of your family and friends on what to expect. You can also choose to have your invitations coordinate with your wedding colors but they don’t have to. Your invitations can be as informal or formal as you’d like but they give a clue to your guests on what to wear; you wouldn’t want your guests to come to a rustic barnyard wedding dressed in Vera Wang.
  • Save-the-dates-  While you’re trying to finalize invitations you should also be thinking about your “Save-the-dates”. It isn’t completely necessary but they give your guests a heads-up that you’re tying the knot. Your save the dates give you more of a freedom to show your personality and creativity. Tip: You should make the note that anyone that receives a Save-the-Date should receive a formal invitation to the wedding. 
  • Fly me to the Moon– If you and your future husband are escaping on somewhere exotic for your honeymoon, make sure your passports are up-to-date, and visit your local physician for any shots that you may need. Tip: If you’re having trouble narrowing down a destination try visiting websites like The Knot, Budget Travel, or AAA’s website.
  • Going to the Chapel- Whether or not you and your future-husband are planning on having premarital counseling, you should plan on meeting with your officiant to talk about the order of the ceremony, and make sure you have the proper documents. Keep in mind that some church communities have strict rules about only letting members of the church get married in their sanctuary, you should also ask about what music would be permitted durning the ceremony, and if photography is permitted during the service.
  • Dress your best-  You chose your dream dress, now it’s time to choose what your bridal party is wearing. Your bridesmaids shouldn’t be there to upstage you but you don’t want them to look- well, ugly. Think of your girls as being an accessory-  a way to play on color scheme you’ve chosen for the wedding. Don’t know where to start? Refer back to your stack of bridal magazines or visit websites like The Knot or the Wedding Channel‘s pages on Bridesmaid dresses, where they have dresses separated by color, length, and price. Tip: Be cautious of budgets for your bridesmaids, and what they can afford. Don’t be upset if someone in your wedding party can’t afford to fork out  $70 for shoes and $300 for a dress; try and stick with options that will fit with any budget. Be mindful of different body types as well; if you have a friend that doesn’t feel comfortable showing cleavage, or is super tall, you may want  to choose two different dress styles in the same color, or choose two coordinating colors, and have your ladies pick which ones they feel beautiful.
  • Finalize your Vendors– Your vendors are going to be the ones to bring everything from lighting, to chairs and linens, you wouldn’t want to wait beyond 7-6 months to finalize them because they could be already booked. To ensure you’re getting exactly who you want finalize your wedding date with them and remember to pay a deposit to secure it. Vendor won’t know for sure you want them unless you do.

Stay tuned for Part II of ‘From “To-Dos” to “Ta-Das”‘

Capturing the Moment- in a new way

Brides: Have you heard about Wedding Snap? It’s a new iPhone and Android application that allows your guests to take pictures and sends them in real-time to an online photo album; you can even upload pictures from a digital camera. This is a cool addition to having a professional wedding photographer, and it allows everyone to see the photos your guests took of your big day!  You can also create an album for birthdays, bridal showers, or any other family event. Here’s the website for more information: http://www.weddingsnap.com/index.html

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