Choosing the date for your wedding in Nashville ranks up there in importance in the wedding planning process, along with choosing your wedding planner, venue, photographer, and caterer. The time of year you decide to tie the knot will dictate how the rest of your wedding planning will go and will stick with you for the rest of your life (on your anniversary!). In the Greater Nashville area, spring and fall months are typically thought of as "wedding season" making them the most sought after, but there is so much more to it than that.
Deciding on which season to have your wedding might have you a bit frazzled. They each have pros and cons, and if you don’t have a specific date in mind then you’re left with a whopping 365 options to have to choose from, so to shed some light on this fairly important decision read on for our tips to the four seasons to help you along.
We recommend that you use the process of elimination. If you can’t take the heat or don't do well in the cold then avoid choosing the winter or summer at all costs. With the more mild temperatures in fall and spring, be realistic about your specific needs and comfort level and opt for one of those two seasons.
Think about when you are at your happiest. Is it at a bonfire in the fall, at a barbecue in the summer, or playing in the winter snow? It's all about what you love and what makes you happy.
You also need to consider the weather. If you are highly sensitive to attendance and punctuality then having a winter wedding with the increased potential for inclement weather, late guests or last minute cancellations, winter isn’t a wise choice. On the other hand, prices are often far more reasonable during spring and summer with their local lack of popularity so they might be the perfect option for those on a tight budget. In some areas the fall and spring tend to bring heavy rainfall and the potential for tornadoes. So unless you're choosing an entirely indoor venue or a venue with an excellent rain backup plan, the spring and fall months run a higher risk of foul weather than the rest of the year.
Make sure your season fits your venue. For instance, a perfect outdoor location looks even better in the spring and fall, however, it may be too hot in the summer. Take all that you have envisioned into account and figure out which season will best capture your vision of what your wedding should look like. Is it outside and warm, or is it cold and cozy? Also will the most important people in your life be able to make it on the selected date? These are just a couple of questions you should consider first and foremost.
Another way to easily determine the right season for you is by selecting what colors, flowers and decor speaks to you. The design lines are often blurred, but if you like a darker palette with neutrals, a fall or winter wedding might be for you. If your heart is set on bright pink peonies, you'll want to choose spring. Although resources are wide ranging, we always suggest going with the season for the freshest and most affordable florals. After all, every season has its ideal color palette, mainly determined by the outside surroundings and flowers in season at the time.
Keep in mind the dress code. While dressing for the occasion is always key, this rule also works the other way around. If you have a vision of what you, your wedding party, and even guests will wear, choose a time of year that is appropriate. While black tie is seasonally universal, we simply cannot recommend it for an outdoor wedding in July. However, if you're in love with a lightweight strapless gown and you envision your bridesmaids in tea length dresses, the warmer seasons are best for you.
March, April, May
March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. April showers bring May flowers. These are the traditional sayings that correlate with the lovely spring months that we love so dearly. Emerging from the cold of winter, spring is such a welcoming time to choose to host your special day. The snow is gone, trees are budding and flowers are beginning to bloom. Some people consider this to be the most beautiful season of all, and it’s thought to be a season of rebirth, growth and purity. Without many conflicts, St. Patrick's Day, Passover, and Easter are the only holidays in the spring, your guests are likely to be available to attend. And after the drab, loneliness of winter, your friends will probably be busting at the seams to get out and celebrate with you!
The warming temperatures give way to a plethora of seasonal flowers at your fingertips. Envision tulips, crocuses, hibiscus flowers, daffodils and peonies, just to name a few. The chance for rain on your wedding day is relatively high in spring, and you could even get a freak snowstorm, so it’s best to plan your spring reception indoors just to be safe. A partly cloudy springtime sky, however, makes for some of the best photos whereas bright summer sunlight can cause harsh shadows and squinting guests.
Spring always seems to be a gamble though simply because the weather is so unpredictable! Will it be sunny and warm, or is a cold snap going to hit? Even still, the gamble may be worth it because if you can land one of those quintessential spring days, your wedding will be utterly perfect. In the spring, however, you might begin to encounter the raising of vendor prices and competition with other brides for vendors and venues.
Fun fact: In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck and a sign of future prosperity.
June, July, August
These hot months offer long days full of sunlight and vacation time. Many of your wedding guests will be able to get away from their busy lives to attend your wedding thanks to more relaxed work schedules and school breaks. Far removed from the holidays, your guests are more likely to have a little extra room in their budgets for nice wedding gifts; not to mention, almost every variety of flower is in season so your bouquet options are practically endless not to mention all the lovely fruits and veggies that are in season, so you will have countless decor options and a buffet table full of the most delicious edibles.
However, these sunny wedding days are not quite that simple. The temperature is definitely something to take into account. While it may look like a glorious day outside, if it is 100 degrees, you are going to be one sweaty bride with a bunch of hot and sticky guests. The chance of rain spoiling your big day is minimal, but long, outdoor ceremonies can leave your guests hot, sweaty and restless. If you’re planning your ceremony outside then consider putting your program on a hand held fan and passing out cold bottles of water to your guests.
Fun fact: Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, is one of the most popular summer wedding dates. For those of you planning weddings in the next couple of years, Summer Solstice will occur on June 21, 2018 (a Thursday); June 21, 2019 (a Friday); June 20, 2020 (a Saturday); and June 21, 2021 (a Sunday).
September, October, November
The leaves are turning red, orange and gold, and the refreshing cool crispness has filled the air. Fall is such a romantic season, and the more mild temperatures can sometimes make for a more enjoyable wedding experience.
The colors of fall are somewhat all over the map and make for some of the most stunning wedding photos imaginable. Think yellow sunflowers, ruby red and gold leaves and bright orange pumpkins everywhere. However, autumn weddings in Nashville are so very loved! With happier party guests and far less bugs, a plethora of pumpkins and some very festive and unique wedding themes you can truly embrace the season. The only issue is that everyone else has chosen to embrace autumn as well.
In these months, the starting of school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur could create some possible conflicts. There are also fewer flowers in season, so you may have to be willing to re-imagine your ideal floral arrangements. And if you and your man are a football fanatics, the fall will prove to be a difficult time to have a wedding with the potential conflict of game schedules. What if you accidentally plan your wedding in the middle of the biggest game of the season? You can just go ahead and count on venues and vendors to be harder to book with steeper prices because of all the competition. Autumn weddings can be costly. Because it’s peak wedding season, most venues and wedding vendors up their fees. And the main thing that would probably keep your guests away would be another wedding conflicting with yours.
However, if you’ve always dreamt of having a wedding outdoors, now is the time. With enough heat lamps, you could even host your reception outside. If you prefer to simply enjoy while the sun is up, however, we would suggest bringing the party inside for dancing and dessert when it starts getting chilly after the sun sets, and give your guests a heads up to bring jackets and wraps allowing them to enjoy the beautiful fall weather for your ceremony and cocktails.
Budget tip: Since autumn weddings tend to be the most pricey, plan to have your wedding on a day other than Saturday, which is the most popular day to get married. Opting for a Friday or Sunday wedding instead will save you money and because most venues tend not to get booked up on those days, you’ll have a better chance of getting your dream venue.
December, January, February
I don't think any five year old girls dream of a cold wedding day as they try on their mother's slip and high heels and trip down the hallway, pretending to walk down the aisle to their prince charming; however, I think these months are hidden gems not to be overlooked! Winter weddings are so romantic, and even a little magical. With the festive spirit of Christmas all around you, you can have one of the most romantic, joyful weddings, more than any other time of the year.
Cozy fires in fireplaces, evergreen trees, snowy winter wonderlands, less wedding competition thus the ability to negotiate prices, and more vendor and venue availability make winter weddings very appealing for brides and grooms. After all, Christmas is everybody’s favorite time of year, right? It’s always fun to add a little snowflake or snowman here or there, especially for December weddings. But there is no rule that states winter wedding must have or include a Christmas theme, so you can make it a Christmasy event, or not, it’s absolutely up to you.
There is just something so romantic about the sun setting earlier, wrapping up in warm coats and furs, and snuggling up to your date for warmth. But for all of the pros, there are still some cons to a winter soirée. There is a lot of dead foliage outside making for less beautiful landscapes and pushing pictures indoors. And Christmas. While it is such a good thing, it can create many conflicts for your special day. Traveling can be more expensive and difficult around the holidays, not to mention that money will most likely be a bit tighter for people, too! However, with winter being the wedding off-season, many venues will give discounted rates to fill the holes in their schedules. And there is always the chance that you could have more guests able to attend if you plan your wedding around the holidays (such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve and spring break) because most people take time off then anyway.
Fun fact: Flowers tend to last the longest in the colder winter temperatures so your bouquets and floral arrangements will keep their form throughout the day.
No matter when you plan to have your wedding it will be a special day you’ll never forget, so don’t stress about it. Just remember not to plan on it going off without even the slightest hitch. It’s those little imperfections that will make your wedding day a memory of a lifetime.
What’s the most popular wedding day of all time, you ask?
It was July 7, 2007 (think “7-7-7” the top jackpot on a slot machine).
More than 38,000 weddings occurred around the world that day!
Happy wedding planning!
When going to a bridal salon dreaming of finding your perfect fairytale wedding dress you usually envision the traditional choice which is a white wedding dress. However, modern bridal salons offer more options now than ever. Currently, a soft ivory gown is the most popular choice for brides looking for an alternative to a white wedding dress. This keeps you from deviating too much from the traditional option. That said, white versus ivory, Does it really matter? Yes, it does!
The differences between ivory, cream or white are highly significant when it comes to the subject of wedding gowns and flowers. Ivory should not be viewed as another shade of white like eggshell, diamond white, off-white, cream or ecru. In terms of color, white is stark white, pristine and mixes no shades of any other color. It is pure like milk. Keep in mind that when determining whether to go for ivory or white for your wedding dress, your skin tone is one of the important factors to consider.
Why We Love It: A true white dress conveys a sense of innocence and freshness. It conveys a youthful quality and feel. White gowns are very specific. They are perfect for a winter wonderland wedding or a summer beachside destination wedding.
Will You Look Good In It: Pure white is best for brides with natural golden or darker skin tones. If you’re fair or have yellow undertones in your skin, the bright color of true white can wash you out, especially in photographs, and no one wants that!
Why We Love It: Ivory has a much more formal feel than white. It a richer, creamier shade exuding a more luxurious and sumptuous feel.
Will You Look Good In It: Another reason to love ivory is that this decadent hue flatters everyone. Ivory is a easier to wear for most skin tones. It offers a richness and warmth that white simply cannot.
Choosing a wedding dress that complements your natural skin tone is the secret to looking your best on your wedding day. When deciding whether to go for an ivory or a white wedding dress, your skin tone should be the number one priority and consideration.
Clear white is the purest and brightest form of white. It is an excellent color for dark-skinned women or women who are light-skinned with olive or ivory skin. The pure white is complimented by yellow undertones. However, women with these skin tones should avoid wearing dresses with yellow undertones such as ivory since earth toned colors will make your skin tone appear dull and drab. Ivory is a delicate color with hints of warm undertones and is somewhat similar to cream in its quality. If you have fair skin, the best colors for you are shades that have ivory or yellow undertones. Avoid opting for the cooler tones found in that pure white gown. Ivory has a slight tint of creaminess. The warm yellow undertones compliment most skin types. Cream tends toward the warm, off-white tends towards the cool. Cream tends to be palely yellow with some sand tones. Off-white tends to use grays and browns as tones.
Most women love wearing the unsullied color called white for their wedding gown. However, a more and more brides are opting for ivory shades in their wedding gowns. As per old wives tale, white is the color for virgin brides but it holds little relevance in today’s world. Whether you want white or ivory, this is a personal choice. The ultimate decision should rest on your skin tone. Some brides may find that white can be too austere where as ivory, having a touch of cream, can actually be flattering to pale complexions.
The better choice for lighter skin tones is an ivory or antique white. Women with medium to dark-toned skin can often pull off a diamond white beautifully. Bright whites on darker skin tones are stunning!
With regards to flowers, they are available in so many shades. If you prefer white, cream, ivory or just want to be bold and add a pop of color, just be sure it is something that not only complements your gown, but that it is something you love. Some flowers work well with all ivories, whites, and creams such as calla lilies and hydrangeas. There are also beautiful flowers that are available in stark white like roses, gladiolus, carnations, gardenias, paper whites, stephanotis, and stock. Your florist can help determine what type and which shade of flower works best.
That said, the color white has always been associated with purity and innocence. This is why it is the reason it has become the most common color selected by brides. However, did you know that it was actually Queen Victoria who started the trend of wearing a white dress to the wedding when she did so on her own wedding day. Since that moment, women started to spend a lot of money on buying a white wedding dress, despite wearing it only once in their lives.
The white versus ivory wedding dress skin tone matching problem is not the only consideration to keep in mind since there are many colors which you can choose from to suit your own personality and style. If white and ivory are not what you like, you’re in luck! Top fashion designers have focused on adding more unique colors and fabrics to their wedding dress collections. These wedding gown colors are not limited to other shades of white like cream or ivory.
Some of the more modern wedding dresses come in rose, blush, lavender and champagne. These options allow the bride to shine in a color that best reflects her personality and style. Rum pink is a newer popular choice for women. It has pink undertones but when photographed it can look like a clear white dress. Another popular alternative is champagne. It is a delicate color with a warm undertone that is similar to a deep ivory. We recommend that you try out these colors and see how you look and feel when you are wearing it. You never know. You might love it!
Aside from the white versus ivory question, it is equally as important to look into the type of fabric when shopping for your wedding dress because fabric can also have an impact on the color of the wedding dress.
Synthetic fabrics like taffetas, polyester blends and satins are the best options if you want to achieve a pure white color on your dress. This is also the best choice of color and fabric for women with dark skin tones. However, if you prefer to wear a dress with a natural white finish, such as those which have a diamond white effect, only select dresses made out of natural fibers. Opting for a dress made of natural fibers will help you achieve that slightly off-white effect.
For ivory, select a silk or satin fabric. Due to the reflective properties of the fabric, an ivory finish to the dress can be achieved much more effectively. We also suggest dresses made from silk crepe if you prefer an ivory wedding dress with a matte finish to it.
Always remember, no matter how great the style or design is, if the dress color and fabric do not suit your skin tone, then it will never look good on you.
Wedding guest lists are hard enough when you're only considering the needs of the bride, groom and each of your families. Add divorced and remarried parents into the mix, and it might seem like a puzzle that just can't be solved especially with twice as many family members to consider.
Blended families are the new norm. Many engaged couples are facing the same difficult question of how are they supposed to make sure that everyone feels included while ensuring that no one gets their feelings hurt. While this can often be a difficult question to answer, because every family is different, there are some guidelines you can follow step family wedding etiquette.
Of course, you need to take into consideration how long your parents have been remarried and how close you are with your stepfamilies. A good place to begin is always with your biological relatives; your mom and dad's families, and anyone you are close with from before your parents got divorced. Of course, you may have fallen out of touch with some relatives, depending on how the divorce went, so be sure to consider carefully where the cut-off line will be. Will you invite only grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins or will second cousins and great-aunts or great-uncles make the list as well?
When it comes to step-parents and step-siblings, try to be inclusive. Your step-parents should always be invited, with their names on the invitations alongside your parents', and you should include your step-siblings in your wedding either in the bridal party or be given an important role, such as giving a reading. Even if you are having an adults-only wedding and your step-siblings are under 18, treat them as you would your biological siblings, which means they should be on the guest list, but don't get a plus-one.
1. No matter how close you are with your step-parents, etiquette dictates that you recognize them.
How close you are with your step-parents will, of course, determine how much you wish to involve them. Whatever you do, don't leave them out completely. Your step-parent is very important to your mother or father and it would be rude not to include them in an appropriate way. Does this mean you have to let your stepfather walk you down the aisle? No, of course not. However, your stepfather should definitely be seated next to your mother during the ceremony, and should be announced along with your mother when they enter the reception.
2. Who should walk me down the aisle?
This is one of the most common questions we get from brides who's parents have remarried. The answer really boils down to one question – who are you closest with? If you grew up with your step-father and you have a close bond, he should be the one to walk you down the aisle. If you, grew up with your father and are much closer to him then it’s a no brainer, walk with your dad.
However, if you're especially blessed to be equally close with both of them and you want to honor each of them you have a few options.
1. Half & Half – One walks you halfway down the aisle, and then passes you off to the other, who walks you down the remainder of the aisle and hands you off to your groom.
2. Together – Each father takes an arm and completes the entire walk down the aisle with you.
3. Neither – While this is a new trend, it’s definitely an option, especially for brides who are not particularly close with either father. These brides can choose to have another male relative they are close with walk them down the aisle instead, such as an uncle or brother, walk with their mother down the aisle or opt to walk down the aisle with their groom. This last option is very modern, but is slowly growing in popularity.
3. How should we address the invitations?
Invitations are becoming exceptionally complicated to address. In the past, it was traditional for the bride’s father to pay for the wedding. This is why he bride’s father and mother are listed on the invitation together. "Mr. & Mrs. Jones."
However, if the bride’s parents are divorced, often both parental couples will help pay for the wedding. In these cases both couples need to be recognized on the invite, including the stepparents. "Mr. & Mrs. Jones and Mr. & Mrs. Smith"
Now of course, things can get complicated if the bride’s parents didn't change their last name when they remarried. In these cases it is best to simply put “Together with their families,” a strategy many couples are now choosing.
4. What about the dances?
If you are close with both your step-father and father it is best to give them both this honor. If you are not particularly close with your step-father, it is perfectly okay to only do a first dance with your Dad.
Another option many brides are now considering is to dance to a combined song where you begin the dance with one father, and then about two minutes in, switch off to your other father. In some cases, keeping the same song, and in others switching the song based on your personal preference.
5. How and where do I seat people?
We always recommend giving each new “social unit” their own family table! The bride and groom can either sit with the wedding party or at a sweetheart table just for them. Each new family then has their own table nearby. Place one to the left and one to the right for example. This way everyone will feel equally included, but you avoid awkwardness by not forcing the ex-wife to sit by the new wife.
Beyond that, it's up to your discretion, your venue, and your budget. If you're having a small wedding and don't have room to invite your stepmom's parents and sister (step-aunt) and her sister's family, you're not obligated to cut your best friends off the list in order to squeeze them in. However, if your parents have been remarried for decades and you've gotten close with your stepdad's family, you'll definitely want to add them to the list. Apply the same guidelines you used when determining which relatives to invite: If your grandparents, aunts, and uncles are on the guest list, your step-grandparents and your stepdad's siblings should be as well.
You have plans for monogrammed bar napkins, a super cool personalized photo booth, even table names that reflect your favorite date spots. Why stop there? Keep the creative personalization going by creating a signature wedding drink served during cocktail hour or all night at the bar.
Trust us. Your drink will trump a standard gin and tonic every time.
After all, you’ve already put so much thought into the details of your wedding from your dress to your flowers to your vows...don’t let the bar become an afterthought. Keep the beer and wine flowing, but when it comes to making a real “just married” statement, it’s all about the signature cocktail. With clever names and seasonal flavors, selecting the right cocktail might just be the personal touch you both have been looking for.
Go for Two
For most couples, a signature cocktail is about capturing the theme of the day rather than trying to match certain flavors with your joint personality traits. However, this doesn't mean you can't select a cocktail that still speaks to you. You can even choose to go with a "his" and "hers." He may want to serve a signature old fashioned, while you may be leaning toward something more light and refreshing. In the spirit of compromise, serve both! Don't worry about overwhelming the bartenders. Professional bar staff should always be prepared to accommodate the flow of guest so no one's waiting too long to get their hands on the tasty concoctions.
Start with Your Go-To Order
Only armed with amateur drink-making skills? Start by considering the flavors and drinks you gravitate toward on an average Saturday night out. In general, cocktails fall into four categories: strong like a Manhattan, sour like a Tom Collins, sweet like a French martini, or low alcohol, with something like sparkling wine as the base. The choice is yours, but we always suggest serving the low-alcohol option paired with the flavored blend of your choice from Nashville Craft Beverage Company. This will not only save money, and it will also keep your crazy Uncle from getting too rowdy on the dance floor.
Incorporate Trendy Flavors
If you're a vodka tonic kind of girl, use that as the base and then add of-the-moment flavors to make it more complex. Having delicious blends in so many seasonal flavors on offer from Nashville Craft Beverage Company are always great way to add flavor to a drink really inexpensively. Consider tossing a sprig of rosemary or sage to your final product as a tasteful trendy garnish and flavor booster.
Complement the Theme
Lean on the signature drink as yet another way to tie the evening together. By pairing your cocktails with food you can easily bring the meal full circle. An outdoor barn wedding is going to have a very different menu than a formal, sit-down wedding. Always consider the menu, your venue, and your overall theme and style.
Sometimes all it takes is a simple swap in glassware to make a cocktail fit your big day. You could take a very basic drink like a blueberry basil blend from Nashville Craft Beverage Company, pair it with sweet tea wine, put it into a martini glass, garnish it beautifully, and it becomes a fancy drink. Or you can throw it into a mason jar over ice, add a really cute straw, and it can go to an outdoor barn wedding.
Consider Your Guests
While this is your wedding, your guests may not have the same tastes so always try to create a cocktail that's both interesting and universally appealing. Think spirits like vodka and rum versus more polarizing gin and whiskey flavors. Even if you create a cocktail that is to die for, not everyone will be a fan. It is generally assumed that everyone will have two or maybe three signature cocktails, but people who drink wine will still drink wine. Your best bet is to estimate one to one-and-a-half signature cocktails per guest.
Don't Get Hung Up on Color
Your wedding colors may be red and cream, but that doesn't mean your drink needs to be the same shades. There might not be flavor blends naturally occurring in those colors which instead would have you adding large quantities of food dyes to your drinks leaving your guests to walk around with oddly colored teeth and tongues. Instead, bring your colors through with garnishes like a strawberry for that pop of red or with your fun bar accessories like straws and monogrammed napkins.