We got some exciting news this week: Martha Stewart Weddings named us as one of “27 Wedding Planners You Need to Follow on Instagram.” And what Martha says is gold!
We got some exciting news this week: Martha Stewart Weddings named us as one of “27 Wedding Planners You Need to Follow on Instagram.” And what Martha says is gold!
Liz and Warren said their vows by the Reflection Pool at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, TN. The celebrating continued with dinner and dancing in the neighborhood at Belle Meade Country Club. It was a night full of celebrating, not only the couple’s marriage, but also the bride’s birthday! You can see the full featured on Once Wed. Photos captured by the sweet and talented Cassidy Carson.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
I’ve been traveling more for work this year and I love it! It’s always inspiring to see new things or some of the same things, in a new way. I’m headed to Big Sur next week and had to do an inspiration board for what’s to come.
I had the honor and privilege of being invited to RT Lodge in Maryville, Tennessee this spring for a familiarization trip. The venue and staff there far exceeded my expectations and I’m dying to do a wedding there soon! We were wined and dined and got to make new friends while making ring dishes with McQueen pottery and foraging flowers to make our own arrangements. New friends Natalie Watson and Sarah Ingram shared these photos, which shows off this hidden Southern gem!
Drawing inspiration from anywhere, I often find myself feeling particularly inspired by interior spaces that resonate with my aesthetic. Drawn in by color (or more accurately, the lack of color), line, pattern and textures, when I walk into a store, restaurant or home (where all these things align), I feel more alive than I did a few minutes prior. More than just being pleasing to the eye, your environment can be food for the soul.
When working with my clients, this is what I aim for – a personal, individual events space that feels like you! Your wedding day should not only reflect your personal aesthetic, but more than that, it should be an extension of who you are, and what ‘home’ means to you.
Curating a minimal, thoughtful tablescape also requires a clever and focused symphony of individual elements. Using the interior trend of mixed metals (copper on gold!) and contrasting neutrals as an example – a trend that has inspired me and that I’ve used with a client recently – you can layer copper chargers with organic ceramics, minimal glass and matte rose flatware. To add height, dimension and a sense of visual balance, weave in copper and marble held taper candles, adding softer textures with charcoal linen and cotton paper place cards.
When translating interior inspiration into a complete, cohesive tablescape, here are some more general guidelines you can adhere to:
Read the full article here on my favorite blog, The Lane!
This wedding was a joy to design. It is rare that I get to work weddings from afar and not be present on the day of, but still see the vision come to fruition. It took place on a beautiful day at Carnton Plantation, a historic estate that is in Gavie’s family. This wedding was also featured in Nashville Lifestyles Weddings most recent issue and captured by the talented, Austin Gros.
What stood out to me most about Anna and Adam and their family was how kind and thoughtful they all were. Their intentionality showed in the details of their wedding. Shades of red were complemented by the simple gold accents, while Anna’s bridesmaids shined in their beaded gowns. The intimate ceremony was held in the stunning Church of the Assumption in Nashville and the reception was at Cheekwood Botanical Garden’s Museum of Art and Swan Lawn. The grounds at Cheekwood inspired the natural arrangements with pops of burgundy and sprawling branches by Vintage Florals. It was a night to remember!
I had the honor of helping Teak & Twine with their product shots and have since gotten to know the owner, Torrance. I really admire the message behind Teak & Twine, which is, “gratitude changes everything.” Gosh, that’s so true!
In your search for the perfect gift to thank your bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, hostesses and guests, look into these thoughtfully curated boxes and you’ll look no more!
Destination weddings are exciting for both the couple and the guests. They’re a time to escape to somewhere new and they add a mystical element to an already magical day.
Christine and Ben are a busy couple living in NYC. Christine was named one of Forbes Top 30 under 30 of 2015. In their off time, they like to vacation in one of their favorite cities, New Orleans, because it’s so different from their normal lives. I’m excited to join them in NOLA for their special day this April.
Not only is the wedding taking place at the amazing, Marigny Wedding House (which has hosted several celebrities), but we have an all-star vendor team: photography by M.K. Sadler, florals by Holly Carlisle and Michaela McBride‘s talented calligraphy and paper goods. Stay tuned to see how this we help tell this couple’s journey!
Photo by Erika Parker Photography
If you follow my posts at all, you’re probably no stranger to the concept of my inspiration boards. They help me to hone in on an overall aesthetic for an event and conceptualize it more efficiently throughout the planning process. Here is a snapshot of what you can expect for this NOLA wedding.
What an honor it was to be asked by one of my all-time favorite blogs, Design Sponge, to feature my home! My son’s nanny, Shelby Hornbuckle, is multi-talented. She took these photos and I’m excited to share them! All the calligraphy you see is from our previous nanny, Jessie Early. Apparently I like to employ really creative people! You can see the full tour here.
Pantone did something they’ve never done before.. they chose a color combo, a soft shade of blue and a milky pale pink, for this year’s color of the year.
I really love what their Executive Director said, “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” This is board is my interpretation.
The second day of shooting for the NFocus feature was with two of my past clients (and friends). I did their wedding in LA last year. We had such a great team of local vendors again! I pulled dress from The Dress Theory, Fabulous Frocks, Modern Trousseau and Olia Zavozina. Menswear and tuxes were provided by Street Tuxedo. All jewelry was graciously borrowed from Brentwood Jewelry. Hair and Makeup by Hannah Farmer and beautifully captured by Cassidy Carson.
It’s a dream to work on a cover for a magazine. NFocus, a Nashville magazine, asked me to creative direct their feature for the bridal issue they release once a year. We put together a story based on some of Nashville’s best hotels. Our first models were Max Goldberg and his lovely new wife, Laura Lea. We had such a great team of local vendors. I pulled dress from The Dress Theory, Fabulous Frocks, Modern Trousseau and Olia Zavozina. Menswear and tuxes were provided by Street Tuxedo. All jewelry was graciously borrowed from Brentwood Jewelry. Hair and Makeup by Hannah Farmer and beautifully captured by Cassidy Carson.
Evanne and Phil grew up as family friends and their relationship evolved into adulthood. They chose Barnsley Gardens Resort because of it’s mix of old-world charm and quaintness. It was the perfect spot to host all of their out-of-town guests as it served for the perfect little getaway, tucked in the middle of the countryside outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Their romantic color palette was a unique mix of peaches and gray tones. I loved the juxtaposition of all the soft textiles against the rustic textures of the grounds. And their escort card wall was my favorite to date. It was also such a treat to work with Amy Osaba and see her floral designs come to life at this Southern soiree. Austin Gros captured it all so perfectly and it was featured on the Green Wedding Shoes blog here!
As artists, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own dreams and inspirations. But our art improves when we our limits are stretched and challenged by the community around us. I’ve been reading the book, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table as a reminder to why we come together and how sharing your journey with others enriches your life. I love this quote from the book: “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” So I gathered some fellow creatives and we each brought to the table what we had to offer and shared an evening, a meal, a conversation.
“So this is the dance, it seems to me: to be the kind of host who honors the needs of the people who gather around his or her table, and to be the kind of guest who comes to the table to learn, not to demand.” – Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes.
Recently, Martha Stewart asked a handful of planners/designers to give their insider tips on getting the wedding of your dreams. I loved this question and was honored to be asked. After thinking on it for a while, I wanted to talk about how to achieve a color palette without choosing “wedding colors.” Here’s my tip:
“Jessica Sloane of Jessica Sloane Event Styling and Design notes that having very specific wedding colors in general is a thing of the past. It’s no longer important to have your favorite color being worn down the aisle by all your bridesmaids. Instead, focus on what resonates with you. Think about what you want the day to feel like, and less about what you want it to look like. That will help lay the foundation in telling your story. And a color palette will ultimately surface.”
There’s something that I don’t use often enough in my tablescape designs: placemats. Not the cheap plastic ones you use to keep your toddler’s cereal from ruining your dinning room table. Chilewich is a brand that does placemats (and table runners) incredibly well.
I’m all about texture and color and combining things that would normally be seen separately to make a cohesive vision come to life. By combining elegant and sleek flatware with a patterned underlay, the aesthetic to an event gains a whole new perspective.
If you’ve seen any of my inspiration boards, you know I’m all about the expression “less is more,” but I’m excited to incorporate this new element. These Chilewich gold imprint placemats will make an impact on the design at Natalie and Everett’s wedding in a few weeks! Here’s a sneak peek.
With a background in social work, I’ve always been drawn to assessment, so I developed a process for taking my clients through session that hones in on what kind of event they want to create. During this meeting, we talk about what inspires them, not just within the realm of wedding decor and ideas, but in their lives, both together and individually. We talk a lot about what they value and what resonates with them.
This is where the inspiration/mood board is developed. I’ve done posts about these in the past, some for clients and others I created based on my own personal inspiration. For my clients, their board is a collaboratively work curated during their creative session. These boards not only serve as a tool for myself and my clients to return to anytime we lose sight of the bigger picture, but serves as a way to communicate their aesthetic visually. A piece of fabric, texture of paper, or swatch of color can seem so small on their own, but when put together, they create an overall perception and combined identity that is completely unique.
Clean lines and minimal styling has evolved into my personal favorite aesthetic. Maybe it’s because editing is so much more challenging than adding, that I find it really rewarding. I’m also a firm believer in “less is more.” So, I’m really digging this mood board that I created for a shoot I’m working on this fall.
Christine and Ben area a New York couple who love to spend time relaxing in the southern culture of New Orleans. They feel like the city brings out their fun-loving personalities, in contrast to their busy professional lives in Manhattan. So they’ve chose NOLA to get married next spring and are anxious to share their love of the city with their friends and families! Meghan Kay Sadler and I got a taste of this as we toured some of their favorite spots this past spring for their engagement session.
Our second SEE Sessions was held in West Palm Beach, Florida. Jessica Lorren and I really enjoyed our time with our attendees. The styling practice we do is always everyone’s favorite. This session, we had an optional additional day where Jess and I worked together to style and shoot a story about an artist. The scene was set in a warehouse, where light was filtering in on the canvas that served as the medium for this painter’s work. She works in her free time, as painting is her one true love.
Natalie, one of our beautiful brides, has been known to host very elaborate parties in the past, so for this particular wedding we’re reaching to achieve the “wow” factor! While “wow” goes hand-in-hand with “big,” there is an importance to making sure their special day feels warm and personalized. All of Natalie’s and Everett’s guest will be traveling to Nashville for their wedding, so it was important to set the tone with their save-the-dates.
The talented calligrapher, Karla of Written Word, is orchestrating all of the paper design for the wedding. We asked her to scribe “bon voyage”, which we had gold foil pressed into brown leather luggage tags. Each guest received a kraft box with the luggage tags and a map of Nashville to serve as a precursor for their eventual arrival. Below is a glimpse of their stunning invitations that Karla captured.
Natural colors always set a tone even if it’s unintentional. Natalie is drawn to neutrals with deep green and gold accents. This rich color palette allows for us to keep a warm and inviting feel for such a grande event. A prime example of this palette would be the placemats that I sourced for the head table. The mats are square which allows for either parallel or diamond set-ups. Their gold and white colors will be complimentary to the scheme of the wedding.
As if that wasn’t enough gold (because when can you really have too much?) we are working on a gold bead installation that will suspend above the dance floor or band. This idea is in keeping with the common theme of “organic elegance.” By trying something new, we’re constructing an element that is unique to Natalie and Everett and will have guests saying “I’ve never seen that before.”
The great thing about the “before” to every story is that it’s open ended. Things change, ideas evolve and new ones arise. There’s never a dull moment and there’s always room to be better. There isn’t a cookie-cutter mold or predictable formula to follow. Just like each couple has a different story, so does their wedding and I love being the one that gets to share it with all of you. So you can be on the look out for Natalie and Everett’s “after” piece, which will feature the final product. I hope that they will not only showcase the character and personality of the couples I’m so honored to work with, but also the ways to achieve harnessing that personality in decor and style.
Teak & Twine is a company that curates gift boxes that embody everything good about giving. In the owner, Torrance’s words, the brand feels like a cup of coffee and a cozy sweater on a foggy Sunday morning. It embodies warmth, coziness, familiarity. It was a joy to work with the Torrance and Tec Petaja to style shots for Teak & Twine’s website last week. Here’s the mood board I put together for the shoot. I seriously can’t wait for the company’s launch this fall!
Karrah is aesthetically-driven and creative. She knew from the beginning that she wanted to create a wedding ceremony that honored her small-town heritage and a reception that felt like a warm, inviting dinner party with all her close friends and family. The ceremony was held at an old, small church down the street from The Cordelle, a restored Victorian-style home from the late 1800s in downtown Nashville. It was important to Karrah that the ceremony feel like home, a small town in west Tennessee.
For the reception, we drew inspiration from Karrah’s favorite shade of blue. We sourced a West Elm rug for her newly renovated bungalow that became a focal point. Linen lounge seating around the fireplace welcomed guests in. Karrah found the perfect ribbons from one of her trips back to NYC that we paired with ribbon and silks from Silk & Willow. Having worked in the wedding industry and having some experience with floral design herself, the flowers were another focal point in the design. The loose arrangements by Vintage Florals were filled with texture and contrast. Jackson vine adorned every nook.
Guests dined on an Tuscan-inspired meal and enjoyed conversation while a baby grand piano was played in the background. As guests mingled out on the porch, a Barista created specialty coffee drinks to enjoy with carmel pound cake while old vinyl records filled the air. Karrah and Jamie departed through a lawn of candlelight, where hundreds of candles were scattered by the big Hackberry tree.
These two. They’ve been a joy to work with, including their engagement session in Nashville this summer. I can’t wait for their spectacular wedding weekend in a few months! Images beautifully captured by Tec Petaja.
Paper design is an art form, and should be treated as such. Save-the-dates and invitations set the tone for any event. If you give a little extra time and attention to the design, your guests will anticipate the event day.
When it comes to paper, the save-the-dates are often overlooked. This is because it’s one of the first things you have to do and it takes a good bit of effort to get the guest list sorted. We recently worked with a client to achieve an announcement that “wowed” her guests. We sent luggage tags engraved with “bon voyage” and we’re still hearing about it months later. Her invitations haven’t even been printed for her fall wedding, but her guests are already checking their mailboxes in anticipation!
Your invitation suite should represent not only the event, but you and your partner’s values. For instance, this handwritten invitation felt more like a personalized letter. This couple’s wedding reception was a family-style dinner hosted in the Carriage House of the Belle Meade Plantation earlier this year. It was a warm and inviting evening in the middle of winter! All images by Nathan Westerfield
A bride is surrounded by the most important people in her life on her wedding day. She is comforted and cared for by her maidens as she prepares to walk down the aisle. Those few moments are precious and should be celebrated.
I had the pleasure of working with Weddington Way to style a bridesmaid brunch to celebrate the launch of their line of bridesmaid dresses. Here is just a small snapshot of inspiration to spend quality time with your dearest friends and family on your big day. All photos by Tec Petaja.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
Camille and John are both from Mississippi, met at Ole Miss and got married on family property in Oxford. Everything you’d expect from a Southern Soirée made an appearance at this wedding: from alfresco dining, bourbon bar and snow cone station to a soulful band, late-night cigars and bonfire!
I loved that Camille wanted to incorporate navy into her color palette, which we kept in subtle details. The bridesmaids wore Jenny Yoo navy chiffon dresses that matched the silk and willow ribbon I wrapped around Camille’s bouquet by Tulip. Chelsea Petaja designed the gorgeous monogram and invitation suite that was repeated on the custom cornhole set.
I was thrilled to finally work with Lauren Kinsey, who captured this wedding beautifully despite a little unexpected rain!
I wanted to take a minute to introduce my Canadian counterpart, Emily. She joined my team two years ago and I feel truly blessed to have her! She is such an asset to my process, not only as my right-hand in executing an event, but also a creative inspiration. After all, two heads are better than one!
A special thank you goes out to Jessica Lorren for capturing this moment during her last visit!
A note from Emily:
My journey to this place has definitely taken some unexpected turns. I never would have thought that I would end up in Nashville working on weddings and especially that I would love it this much. I have always been passionate about style and design, as well as hosting and entertaining friends. Working with Jessica has been a perfect marriage (pun intended) of these two things. Her care for the happy couple and their guests is demonstrated in all of the little details that we execute on the event day.
My passions extend beyond weddings as I also love fashion. I spent a few years at Anthropologie and have loved merchandising in their boutique store for two years now. The skills I have learned translate well to weddings because I have learned how important every aspect of the experience is – how the details make the experience, evoke emotions and contribute to the fond memories.
I am so proud of the work I have been a part of. I am so excited about this new chapter and adventure!
Constance and Jonathan (Conny and Jonny) have a special place in my heart. Constance is a friend, who also works with me on wedding days. I’ve had the privilege of watching her relationship with Jonathan grow, firsthand. Their wedding is this week in LA and I could not be more excited for her and honored to be a part of it!
Constance is a true California girl and their engagement shoot perfectly represents their relationship… I mean, just look how happy they are! Jesse from Our Labor of Love really did an amazing job capturing them!
Amanda Gros and Jen Lewis of Pastel Makeup & Hair put on an incredible two-day workshop for makeup artists, called Rouge. The talented group of attendees created various looks that were captured by Austin Gros.
I had the pleasure of styling the table and creating the florals. We wanted to carry Amanda and Jen’s signature sweetness through the entire mood of the shoot. You can see more from the workshop on Wedding Sparrow!
Bridesmaid dresses are the ultimate complement to a bride. They should never overwhelm her, or even become the focus, but having an unusual selection of dresses can add more personality to a wedding celebration. There are however, some ground rules.
If you want to have your maids pick different dresses, but in the same shade, give them a few guidelines. The dresses should be made out of similar fabric (whether it’s chiffon or lace etc.) and a similar length.
Embellishments have become very popular and can add some special details to a dress without being overwhelming. If you want to try a print, chose something muted. If you end up with a floral print, make sure to work with your florist so they can create bouquets that will compliment the design, not compete with it.
If you allow your bridesmaids to pick something they are comfortable in, they will likely choose something that compliments their unique shape and size. There are some great stores that offer interesting dresses in petite, tall and curvy. My favorites are Anthropologie, Asos and Nordstrom.
Remember, when it comes to a wedding, there are no hard and fast rules! I hope you find these tips helpful in your search for the right dresses.
I couldn’t be more excited to share that Jessica Lorren and I will be hosting another SEE Sessions, this time in West Palm beach. We’ll be sharing our experience and perspective on: finding your voice as an artist, discovering inspiration, building & creating opportunities, visual storytelling and composition. The second part of the day will be led by calligrapher, Rachel of Honey Honey Calligraphy, teaching basic calligraphy techniques.
Day two will include hands-on styling practice, where you’ll have the opportunity to implement new techniques and receive practical tips and feedback. Jessica Lorren will photograph the attendees and their work for their portfolios. Attendees will hear tips on how to enhance social media and web exposure from Drea of the well-known and loved, ohdeardrea blog. Then we’ll conclude with a Q&A at the end of SEE sessions to ensure that each attendee walks away with a renewed sense of inspiration and direction!
I’m loving the colors we’ve chosen for the next SEE Sessions. This is my inspiration, drawn from the rich color of wine and texture of drying paint.
“Experience is the teacher of all things” – Julius Caesar
There is only so much that can be learned through sitting in a classroom setting. We wanted our SEE sessions attendees to experience the relationship and working dynamics between a photographer and a stylist. We shared our design values on the first day, so then they could witness these concepts in action. We spent the second day of the workshop styling a table, a place setting, an invitation suite, a model and more. Our guests were immersed in the midst of an editorial shoot, while we shared our thought processes for our aesthetic decisions as we worked.
We believe beauty is an experience that is created through following instincts; a concept that has to be caught. We had such a talented group of contributors as well as some stunning materials! You can see the beautiful feature on Wedding Sparrow as well.
Photography: Jessica Lorren / Design & Styling: Jessica Sloane / Floral Design: Amy Osaba / Venue: The Cordelle / Rentals: Southern Events / Rings: Arrow and Anchor Antiques/ Ribbon: Silk & Willow / Chargers: Handmade Studio TN / Hair & Makeup: Amanda Gros / Calligraphy: Early-June / Long-sleeve White Dress: Elizabeth Dye / Floral White Dress: Houghton NYC via The Dress Theory/ Gold Dress: Kaufman Franco via Shop Bop / Black Dress: Liz White Couture / Veil: Urban Veils Couture/ Videographer: Needle + Thread / Catering: Beyond Details
On their 10 year anniversary, Dana and Reuben chose to renew their vows and essentially “re-elope.” Because Dana and Reuben never received the images from their original elopement, it was important that this day be celebrated and well-documented by Leslee Mitchell.
Dana wanted to wear the wedding dress she never had. She bought a Temperly London dress off the rack at The Dress Theory in Nashville. They rented a cabin at the luxurious Blackberry Farm to stay in for the week with their two boys.
The day began with breakfast together in the Main House, horseback riding, exploration, and the Wellhouse Spa for Dana. Since collecting wine is something they enjoy, they started their private “dinner-a-field” via the farm’s staff + executive chef, with a nice champagne paired with a cheese plate that I styled.
Since collecting wine is something they enjoy, they started their gourmet dinner with a nice champagne paired with a cheese plate that I styled. The lovely Chelsea Petaja created a beautiful print of their vows that they read to each other. At the end of their intimate ceremony, Dana changed into a less formal dress by Alice + Olivia. Because if you get to do it all over again, why not wear two dresses!
You can see the full feature on 100 Layer Cake!
I love to pull inspiration from the natural environment. Slate is a great representation of a natural element that’s not only a versatile color, but a great texture. Since it is not a color you can easily find in flowers, it’s best used as an accent. When you use slate in your color palette, it can anchor brighter colors and warm up neutrals. Use it as the background for an invitation suite, bouquet or other detail shots. The bluish-grey tone is also flattering on everyone, so your bridal party can easily wear it as a background for the floral. Photo by Austin Gros from a fall wedding.
I’ll be joining a great team of talent at the Rouge Workshop in Nashville next week. I created this board for the styled portion. I’m in love with the water color textures and the soft, romantic mood of this board. Isn’t blush and grey a lovely color combo?