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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

Bridal Shows | What to Expect

If you’ve just started planning your wedding, are newly engaged, or if you’re in the final stages of planning, Bridal shows can be an excellent place to find all of your needs for your big day. Going to bridal shows can be better than picking up stacks of wedding magazines or spending hours on Pinterst, because it allow you to see current wedding trends in person and meet the killer vendors in our area.  Bridal shows have everything you would possibly need for your wedding day- from D.Js, to invitations and photographers, right down to the silverware and napkins. It’s also a great place to bag freebies!

Bridal shows can be stressful, crowded, and overly stimulating, but it is still worth it to go; if crowds really aren’t you’re think consider getting there when the doors open or go later in the afternoon when things should be winding down. Bridal shows are like an awesome right of passage, just like getting engaged, you never will forget your first one.

  • Wear a good walking shoes- you’ll probably be at the bridal show a good 3-5 hours, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking. You don’t want to have to leave the bridal show early because your feet hurt or because you have blisters. Forgo those cute peek-a-boo pumps for your gym shoes; your feet will thank you later.
  • Research what vendors are going to be at the Bridal show, and visit the websites of the company hosting the event; it’ll give you a concrete idea on what to expect and who to keep an eye out for.  There are many ways that vendors can advertise their business, having a booth at a bridal show is one way they can invest in, so don’t expect to see the best of the best at every show, but it will still give you a pretty good idea on what’s out there.
  • If you don’t already have one set, have a few wedding dates in mind when you visit with vendors; even if you just have it narrowed down to “sometime in June of next year”, is helpful.  Keep in mind some vendors may already be booked for that specific date if you do have one.
  •  Eat before you come to the show, but try not to come overly stuffed, remember to leave some room for cake; lots and lots of cake.  Bakeries and caterers most often will have free small samples for you to try while you’re there.
  • Bring a few members of your bridal party with you, but let your honey to decide if he wants to come or not. Most bridal shows do have special things for your man, like tux fashions, so if you’re hubby-to-be is honestly interested in going you should take this opportunity to introduce him to all things wedding, but don’t be upset if he tells you he’d rather watch ESPN then brave the bridal shows. Take your girls, have fun, and enjoy being a bride.
  • Do you have any reusable totes in your car? Bring two bags to put all those bridal brochures in. Use one for vendors that you are seriously interested in, and use another for ones that you’re not so crazy about, that way when you go home you won’t spend hours sorting through brochures. Slip in a small notepad and a pen so you can make a note of the vendors you liked the best.
  • Most importantly: pace yourself. Some Bridal shows have as much as 20 to 100 booths, take some time to talk to vendors if there’s one your interested in , ask them questions, like how long have they been in the wedding industry, or if you can see a portfolio of previous weddings they’ve worked on.

If you live in the Knoxville area, you have several exciting Bridal show opportunities coming in the next few months:

The Pink Bridal Show– August 19th, Knoxville Convention Center- tickets are $10 and can be bought at the door or online. This is one of the top bridal shows in our region, and will feature a bridal fashion show for the whole wedding party.

29:11 Event Studios– September 30th, Knoxville Zoo- 29:11 Event Studios is having a blow out bridal show, information is coming but this is definitely one you will not want to miss.

10 Tips for Keeping your Wedding Guests Happy

With wedding season in full swing, many brides forget an important element of the big day: the guests. While the day of the wedding is considered the “Bride’s day”, some thought should be placed on who is going to be there to celebrate with you. A good host should make the comfort of the guests a priority, and not the last thing on the list. Here are a few tips on how to make your wedding a celebration everyone will enjoy:

10 Tips for Keeping your Wedding Guests Happy

1. Wedding invitations should include a map with clear detailed instructions of where the ceremony and reception site is. You should always be aware of unsafe areas your guests should avoid. If the ceremony and the reception is at the same location, have a cocktail hour where guests can mingle while pictures are being taken.

 2. Guests invited to the ceremony should be invited to the reception, and vice versa. There is an exception to this: if you’re wanting to have a small intimate ceremony, it is acceptable to only invite close family and friends, and then invite a larger group to the reception. Also, if you’re having a destination wedding, you could choose to only invite a few family members and close friends and have a larger celebration later.

 3. Single guests should be allowed to bring a friend with them to the wedding- if the budget permits. If you have a larger or open wedding budget, you should give your friends the option to bring someone with them. If you have a stricter budget try to have single guests sit at a table with people you know they’ll get along with. Like for instance, if you have a sweet aunt Francis whose an expert at making people feel welcomed, that would be the perfect place to put a few of your single co-workers.

4. If you are having an evening wedding, you should feed your guests an actual meal. Serving just finger foods and appetizers are okay for a morning or an early afternoon wedding, but it’s suggested for a late afternoon or evening wedding, that guests should be served something a little heavier. If you’re working with a smaller budget there are some options. Treat your guests to a dessert bar; serve a variety of cupcakes, cake pops, and other pastries. If you’re still wanting to have an evening wedding, have your caterer serve a small plate option, or a simple buffet.

5. Think about your younger guests too: have a grab bag with coloring books and crayons available for the kids invited. You can save money by printing coloring pages online.  A wedding is good when everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves.

6. Consider the comfort of your guests with an outdoor wedding. In the warmer months, if you’re not doing tents make sure that there is plenty of shade or provide guests with a way of keeping cool and sunburn free; have a basket with sunscreen and provide bottled water. In cooler weather, provide your guests with outdoor heaters or quilts. Guests should be kept content in all types of weather.

7. Space Reception tables further apart. When you’re arranging tables for a reception, make sure there is ample space for guests to move around. Not providing enough room between tables leaves guests tripping over chairs, tables, draping tablecloths, or other guests. For the ceremony, if your wedding is outdoors or at a location where you have to provide seating, request that the aisles are wide enough for at least two to three guests to easily move around at the same time.

8. Some of your guests might require special meals. If you’re having a plated meal or buffet, have an option available for your guests who are vegan or vegetarian. Also consider having a gluten-free or egg-free option for your guests that have allergies.

9. Put thought into your wedding favors. Your wedding favors should somehow reflect the over-all feel of your wedding. If you’re having an eco-friendly wedding or a garden wedding, think about providing guests with a special seed packet with a favorite flower or vegetable. Guests love creativity and it shows that you took the time to think of them. Etsy.com is a great site to go to for original wedding favor ideas. If your budget doesn’t permit favors, take time to thank all of your guests for coming; a simple “thank you” would be more than enough.

10. Bathroom baskets are good for those things you can’t control. A guests spilt wine on her dress, another guest has a bad headache, someone else had a little too much fun on the dance floor and tore their shirt. No problem! Provide both the men and women’s rest rooms with a courtesy bathroom basket. Walk down the travel toiletry isle at Walmart or Target and pick up sample sizes of these items:

  • Chapstick
  • Lint Roller
  • Shout Wipes
  • Gum
  • Deodorant
  • a Nail File
  • Mouth-wash
  • Eye drops
  • a Hair brush or comb
  • Hair ties
  • Band-aids
  • Tampons and Panty-liners
  • Moleskin
  • Tide-to-Go Stick
  •  Hand Lotion
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Hair spray
  • Bobby pins
  • Safety Pins

One more for good measure:

11. Out-of-town guests should get extra attention. For your out-of-town guests, and for those guests arriving by plane give them the option of having a shuttle or a transportation service to take them to their hotel and later to the wedding location. Leave a “Welcome Basket” in their hotel rooms with a thank you letter from you and your fiancé (especially if your guests had to travel long distance to celebrate with you), you should also provide a list of restaurants and fun things to do while in town that you and your fiancé enjoy. Snacks, bottled water, a local map, and fruit are also good to include. For a special touch, if you’re having a wedding in Knoxville, find specific products that are made in Tennessee; include Moonpies or Goo-goo Clusters.