If you are planning a Nashville wedding this year, stress no more! We have created a field guide to all of the best wedding resources the city has to offer, with tips to help you relax and make the most of your time. From picking the perfect venue for you reception to finding the best hair stylist for you and your bridal party, this list has everything you need to make your wedding dreams come true.
1. Make a guest list before you pick a venue.
If you are planning a large wedding, you’ll want your reception to be in a sizeable place that allows for traffic to flow between eating or sitting areas and the dance floor. If you are having an intimate wedding, you want to avoid venues that will dwarf your party and make the space feel empty. Pick a space that suits your party size and style. For an urban setting, Acme Feed & Seed, The Bridge Building and The Bell Tower offer great views of downtown. For pastoral charm, consider Cheekwood Botanical Gardens or The Harding House, which are set in the lush neighborhood of Belle Meade. For a more modern feel, some city-wide favorites are OZ Arts, Marathon Music Works, City Winery, Ruby, Aerial and Houston Station. And for a rustic setting, Green Door Gourmet is an ideal spot off of River Road in West Nashville.
2. Avoid black-out dates.
Nearly every weekend in Nashville is busy with a sporting event, concert or beer fest, leaving little availability in some of the city’s best hotels. When planning your wedding, be sure to consult a local events calendar to ensure that you will be able to reserve enough hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests. The Hutton Hotel, The Hermitage Hotel and Union Station are some of Nashville’s most beautiful and unique hotels offering easy access to the city.
3. Let someone else lead the way.
Planning a wedding may sound like a dream, but it’s a process that can get hectic and overwhelming before you know it. Instead of tackling every detail yourself, pick a wedding planner to help coordinate each step, which will leave you with time to relax and relish time with your family and friends. Amos Gott, an award-winning event planner, is one of the city’s best and tackles everything from florals to place settings. Deanna Burks Events is also an incredible resource that creates extraordinary events!
4. Choose custom invitations.
Designing invitations can be such a fun part of the wedding planning process, but some brides dread it. From save-the-date cards to personalized programs for guests, there are lots of decisions to be made around paper. To achieve a professional look, consult The Paper Place or Ink Nashville, both of whom have some incredible designs. Valorie Ward Cole Calligraphy is also a great resource for hand-done calligraphy, which takes formal wedding invites to the next level.
5. Make a meal plan.
Food is an essential part of all wedding celebrations, and there are countless ways to construct a wedding feast, from buffets with carving stations to build-your-own biscuit bars. To help prepare a menu that is fresh, sophisticated and guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of guests, seek assistance from the food pros at Tinwings or Kristen Winston Catering, regarded as one of the best catering chefs in the city.
6. Find flowers to fit your style.
Whether you are picking floral designs for a bridesmaid luncheon or the wedding ceremony itself, you want to have a diversity of options so that you can create arrangements that speak to the season. Rebel Hill Florist and Flower Mart are two of the most trusted local resources for beautiful flowers. The knowledgeable staff at both businesses can help you make decisions that reflect your personal style.
7. Summon the fashion police.
Choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses and corresponding accessories can be one of the tougher decisions for a bride, because it can be challenging to find a style that suits all of her bridal party. In order to make this easier, make an appointment at Bella Bridesmaids and go with your wedding party to the boutique. That way, you can all decide on a shape and color that pleases the majority. It can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your girlfriends. Plus, the staff at Bella Bridesmaids makes it super easy to order.
8. Register for gifts.
Your family and friends will be pleased to know that you’ve made a detailed inventory of desired wedding gifts. In order to ensure you get stylish, tasteful and unique items that you won’t find at just any store, visit AshBlue and Epergne. For beautiful china, dishware and keepsake items, checkout Corzine & Co., The Registry and Harpeth Gallery to find timeless pieces that will last a lifetime.
9. Capture the moment.
Every bride wants beautiful photographs to help them remember their special day. To capture all of the great moments with the groom, the bridal party, family and friends, have one of the best professional photographers on hand throughout the day and into the evening. Leila Grossman, Ashley Hylbert, Tausha Ann and Heather Sisemore are responsible for all of the gorgeous photography on StyleBlueprint, and their wedding portfolios are just as impressive!
10. Let them eat cake.
When you have a cake created by a local bakery, such as Dessert Designs, it’s likely to be the centerpiece of the wedding reception. These intricate and detailed cakes are works of art and add another element of sophistication to your celebration. They also taste incredible and are baked and iced with only gourmet ingredients.
11. Schedule a hair trial.
There’s nothing worse than getting your hair done for an event and hating the results. In order to avoid a wedding hair mishap, schedule a trial run several weeks before the wedding to test out a style or two. Be sure to bring your veil or crown to ensure that the style can accommodate it comfortably. When it comes to the big day, you’ll be grateful that you did a test run before walking down the aisle! Find some of the best hair salons for wedding hair here.
12. Apply the finishing touch.
Your wedding makeup has to feel just so — sophisticated but not overdone, elegant but not dated. Fortunately, Nashville has a handful of amazing cosmetic stores that offer incredible makeup services for special events. In Green Hills alone, you’ll find Daniel Cole Collection, Private Edition, Woo Skincare, The Cosmetic Market and Therapy Systems, all of which pride themselves on incredible products and amazing application by trained artists.
With your wedding day field guide at the ready, making the decisions for your big day should be easy as pie. Remember to slow down and enjoy it, and call in the experts to do what they do best. You’ll be glad you did!