Unique Guest Book Ideas

Guests books at a wedding are great for preserving memories of all the family and friends that were there to celebrate with you and your husband on your special day, but they don’t all have to be the like traditional satin covered books-yours can be as unique as you are.

Nature Lover

If you and your fiancé have a love of the great outdoors, you could have your guests sign a canoe paddle as your guest book; instead of storing it in a closet, hang it on the wall or above a door of your home. A tree stump could also make a lovely conversation piece; you could use a plate stand to display it for years to come.

Game-changer

Do you and your future husband enjoy playing board games? You could buy  your favorite, like Jenga, and have each of your guests write a small note a game piece. You could also make a personalized jigsaw puzzle and have everyone sign the back. A double sided frame would allow you to show off your puzzle and allow you to see the signatures without covering them up.

Book- Worm

Do you enjoy getting lost in a good book? Have your guests put pen to paper and leave you messages in the pages of your favorite novel or use a dictionary and ask your friends and family to circle words that will help remind you of your special day.

Globe Trotter

Is there a place that’s special to you or your fiancé, maybe the place you met, or where he popped the question? Find a state or city map and add a note to have your guests write their wedding wishes for you. If you’re having a destination wedding, you could find an atlas or a travel coffee book, of where the ceremony is being held and use that for everyone to autograph.

Rock-it-Out

Do you or your fiancé play an instrument, or are you part of a band? Consider using an inexpensive copy of your instrument to let your guests leave their mark on. Another option is to find a favorite Vinyl LP or album cover and use a metallic pen to sign.

One of a Kind

If you’re wanting to have a truly unique guest book find a special print or picture,  and ask your guests to add their thumbprints to the canvas; Etsy has many fabulous designs for you to choose from.

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.

Enchanted Brides photo shoot

Live, Laugh, Love Weddings is featured in the Summer/ Fall edition of Enchanted Brides magazine; we made the cover!

You can view an online edition here.

Special thanks to Jennie Andrews Photography, All Occasions Party Rentals, Samuel Franklin Florist, Sugarbuzz Bakers, and make-up artist Amanda McKnight. The article begins on pg. 42.

A Wedding you’ll Fall in Love with:

After moving to a new home, the July fourth festivities, and losing power for a day and a half in 90 degree weather (which was awesome), I have been musing about the Fall wedding season.

I love Fall: the colors, the cooler temperatures, crisp air, and Pumpkin-spice Lattes; I absolutely cannot wait.

Lately, I’ve been loving the pairing of yellow and grey; on their own you wouldn’t think these colors would mesh, but together they make a uniquely retro combination that is perfect for a wedding in the Fall. Using the design website, Polyvore, I joined the yellow and grey with a rich teal and an organic burlap.

I love using color where it isn’t expected, and the teal pumps for the bridesmaids gives a perfect pop to the grey Dessy dress. Wedding Paper Divas have an unbelievable collection of invitations that you can customize and preview on their website. In choosing flowers for any event, it’s important to look at what’s in season, your florist would know which ones are. If you do have your heart set on a specific flower that’s off season, they would most likely be able to ship it in; however, it would probably be pricey to do so.

For this Fall design, I scoured to find specific flowers that were in season and matched our colors, (of course, a professional florist would have no problem with picking flowers to match your wedding); I absolutely love the combination of the yellow pom-pom Billy Balls and the orangey Dahlias. The options are endless!

Color Scheme Ideas

After saying “Yes!” to your prince charming, choosing a color scheme should be the first thing that happens when planning a wedding. Color schemes set the tone and style of your wedding, everything is planned around them: the invitations, the flowers, the cake, the linens, the dresses. To some Brides, picking out a color scheme is no task at all, but to some it can be slightly aggravating.

            Here are a few ideas on how to choose a color scheme:

Summer, Spring, Winter, or Fall?

There are a few questions you should ask yourself to help narrow down to a specific color scheme. One suggestion is to take some inspiration from colors that you usually see in a specific season. For example, a Winter wedding could tie from holiday décor with bolder colors like deep reds with accents of whites, icy blues or silver. Design websites like Polyvore, are great because they can help you design beautiful color schemes for your wedding.

Home Improvement

One of the best ways to pick out a color scheme is to head to a home improvement store and walk down the paint isle. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer free paint chip samples in a variety of color families. What’s awesome about this is a paint swatch usually has a lighter shade, a darker shade, and a more neutral option all on one sample. You can also go to a fabric store like Jo-Ann or Hobby Lobby and ask for an associate to cut you a fabric swatch; there may or may not be a charge for this but it should be no more than a dollar and some change.

Childhood Flick

Is there a favorite movie you watched over and over growing up? Take some inspiration from a favorite childhood film, and use it as part of your color scheme. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the focus of the design, but it could be used as an accent color. One of my Brides loved the Wizard of Oz growing up, so for her wedding she tied in small accents of red. Florist, Samuel Franklin, added coffee berries to the bouquets, the groomsmen wore red ties, and the groom tied in his sense of style by wearing Red Converse shoes that complimented her Ruby pumps!

Cover art

If you or your fiancé are art lovers, consider taking a favorite painting and using that to design your wedding. Take a close look at what colors and shades the artist used to compliment the main subject in the piece.  Do the same thing with a favorite book jacket or a CD cover.

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.