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They Began Dating in 7th Grade. See How Their Wedding Day Turned Out!

Though they met when she was the new girl in school in fifth grade, and started “dating” in seventh grade, this Bride and Groom didn’t officially start dating until freshman year when her father’s “no dating until high school” rule expired. A year later, they shared their first kiss. And the rest is history — until their winter wedding. See every sweet moment, captured by Texture Photo, in The Vault!

Rustic Venue

From The Bride…Davis and I met when we were just twelve years old. I had just moved to Knoxville from Colorado and we both were going to the same school. Keep in mind this is fifth grade and I was the new girl in school. Not the new girl that everyone wants to be friends with, but more the weird one that showed up in a pink camo backpack and pigtails. Needless to say Davis didn’t fall in love with me right then and there. Fast forward to seventh grade and we had home room together. By this point I had lost the pigtails and camo backpack and was a little less awkward. I remember thinking Davis was so cute and wondering if there was a chance that he would ever like me. At this point in time not many people had cell phones and so Davis and I would email back and forth. I look back on those emails and laugh at the amount of times we ask who each other likes and how many times we answer with “I’ll tell you if you tell me”. Each time we would always say each other, and each time it was like we had no idea. Davis and I say we started dating in 7th grade because without the title, we did. We talked all the time and honestly grew up together. My dad had a rule though that I wasn’t allowed to “officially” date until I was a freshman in high school. As soon as that day came, Davis asked me out and we started dating! My dad also had a rule that Davis had to wait a year to kiss me. His reasoning behind this was that if a boy can’t wait a year for something then it isn’t that important to him. He wanted Davis to know how important it really was. Davis has always been so kind and respectful. I am amazed at how caring he was even at such a young age. In middle school sports aren’t that relevant so when I went to my first high school football game and heard Davis’ name over the intercom more times than I can count, I realized I really needed to learn more about football. Our high school experience was somewhat of a dream. Davis went on to break a national football record and I was able to cheer him on in the stands every game. We went through so many stages of life together, it is hard to remember a time when Davis wasn’t my best friend. We went to college together at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga where Davis played football. After our freshman year we knew that Chattanooga wasn’t our home and decided to transfer to the University of Tennessee Knoxville. This leads us to our Junior year of college.

Davis was a ranch hand at one of our family friends ranch in Knoxville. I would go up there with him some days to take care of the horses and just watch him. These were some of my favorite days because it felt like we were escaping reality for a little bit. In February of 2015 Davis said that one of the horses was hurt and he was going to go up to the ranch if I wanted to come. Of course I said yes and he came and picked me up. We drove up to the ranch and he told me that the medicine was on the top level of the barn and he asked me if I could go get it. I didn’t expect a thing and went up the stairs. That is when I saw hundreds of candles lining the floor, bistro lights draped across the ceiling, and a huge projector that said “Press Play”. I went up to the computer and in a moment of panic forgot his password. I shouted down, “Davis what is your password” and the crisis was averted. The video started playing and it was hundreds of photos and videos documenting our whole life together. From pigtails and camo back packs to where we were that day, Davis had it all in that video. At the end it said turn around and when I did there was Davis, with Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheehan playing in the background, walking towards me. I wish I could remember all that he said to me in those few minutes. Before I knew it he was down on one knee and my absolute best friend was proposing to me. It was a whirlwind of emotions when we walked downstairs to our whole family cheering us on. I can honestly say that I have never known a man to love so completely and so mindfully as Davis Howell. That day, up until our wedding, was the very best day of my life.

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Photography: Texture Photo | Floral Design: Swank Floral Creations | Wedding Dress: Sweet Elegance Bridal | Cake: Cheryl McMillan Cake Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bari Jay | Makeup: Southern Belle Beauty | Hair: Grow Knoxville | DJ: Ogle Entertainment | Venue: Hunter Valley Farm | Coffee Sleeves: Four Things Paper | Men's Socks: Ace And Everett | Signage: Southern Timber

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Spring into Wedding Season with This Inspiration

Spring awakening is here and it’s all thanks to this inspo from Julie Paisley. Layered with delicate blooms and fresh design details courtesy of Cedarwood Weddings, this is one gallery that’s introducing new life into our favorite season. Complete with Designs in Paper goods and a spring cocktail we’ve just got to try, we’ve got it all in The Vault!

From Cedarwood WeddingsInspired by the early delicate blooms on the flowering trees that grace Cedarwood’s stately historic grounds, our design team styled an intimate garden wedding to celebrate the symphony of spring.

Adorned in a pure white Sarah Seven gown and the most delicate hellebores floral crown, the bride is the epitome of fresh beauty as she says “I Do” to her love surrounded by petals in the estate gardens. The groom’s fashionable pale grey suit compliments the delicate color palette with an earthy balance.

An ethereal table is adorned with cut crystal and glimmering glass atop flowing organza, completed by an abundance of spring’s prettiest blooms. Keeping the tabletop fresh and light, we used muted color with pops of rosy petals and fresh green stems to mimic the delight of our garden’s flowers at first bloom.

Finely calligraphed invitations and event paper suite repeat the dreamy romantic feel of the day, while a grand cake display with an aptly named cocktail celebrates the joy and sweetness that comes from the most famous season of love.

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Photography: Julie Paisley | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Patty Cakes | Invitations: Designs in Paper | Hair + Makeup: Leslie Ellis | Groom's Attire: Street Tuxedo | Venue: Cedarwood Weddings | Bridal Boutique: The Dress Theory | Floral Design + Event Design: Cedarwood Weddings

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Master the Art of a Large Dinner Party

Sometimes bigger is better. Usually that applies to candy stashes and shoe collections and once in awhile… dinner parties. Whether you have 4 guests or 40, there are a certain tricks of the trade that will have you entertaining with ease. Lauren Kelp promise it’s doable and if her pop up dinner party hosted with Ashley Cooper in Nashville is any indication, her tips will have you mastering the art of a large dinner party. See even more captured by Josh Ulmer in the VAULT.

Whether you are hosting a party for 2 of 200, setting the table and creating a space that allows your guests to feel relaxed and comfortable is key. Today we are going to show you how to set the perfect table for a big dinner party. What makes me an expert on this? Well, every few months the fabulous fashion illustrator & graphic designer Ashley Cooper and I pick a new city and host about 40 people – creatives, local influencers, photographers, designers, you name it – who are doing something interesting in their city for a big, fantastic, heartwarming dinner party.

We call these dinner parties Tablemakers ( where we are creating an event where everyone can eat great food, drink delicious wine, make new friends, and celebrate community.

Sounds fun, right? It is! Big dinner parties are my favorite & they are much easier than many people think. So call up your favorite caterer (or, heck, try it yourself!), invite 40 of your favorite people over, and let’s have a party!

STEP ONE: Picking the Perfect Place

I am a huge proponent of throwing dinner parties that feel intimate no matter the head count. Backyards, porches, dining rooms that spill into living rooms, front yards – whatever allows your guests to relax, feel comfortable, and stay awhile is the perfect place to throw a party in my book!

Entertaining rules are mostly there as guidelines, in my opinion, so it’s okay to tweak them depending on the situation. Is your living room larger than your dining room? Flip them! Push the sofas against the wall and move the harvest tables in so you can seat more people. Don’t worry, your friends will help you move the sofas back!

Don’t be afraid to play with different seating options. Once you’ve got the place picked out, now it’s time for a little logistics. Determine how many guests you want at your fabulous get-together so you can accurately configure seating. Maybe you have multiple long tables with benches instead of chairs or perhaps you’ve got several open seating options so people and eat and mingle as they see fit.

For our latest gathering, we hosted our guests in a historic home turned flower shop in the heart of East Nashville. We sat 40 new friends at harvest tables encircled around fresh flowers in the shops store front. It was intimate, but it allowed our guests to stay awhile & celebrate that community ambiance we hold dear.

STEP TWO: Setting the Table

Unless you are hosting a formal gathering, there is no need to set a full place setting. I say ditch the bread plates and think family style!

Whenever I host a large dinner party, I try to keep the place settings as minimal as possible so I have a ton of space in the middle of the table. This allows me to place the family style dishes, carafes of water, wine decanters, and bread baskets down the table so guests can serve themselves, grab seconds, and get to know their neighbors by serving them. Plus, it creates a relaxed ambiance & saves time on cleanup (and who doesn’t love that?)

Grab your favorite plates, mix and match your stemware, and have some fun with it!

STEP THREE: It’s All in the Details!

With the amount of large dinner parties we have thrown the best ones are always the gatherings that have a few extra little details. Set your dinner party apart by going a little bit above and showing your guests how thrilled you are they spent the evening at your party.

Set the tone to your dinner by placing the evening’s menu on top of the dinner plate – this makes for a lovely table decor as well. Go for something extra personal and write a fun fact about each guest on a small note card, place a note card in front of each place setting, & use them as ice-breakers. This is especially fun for parties where guests don’t know each other.

Send your guests off with a piece of the decor – like a mini potted plant or a small bouquet of flowers. Each little detail helps impact the dinner as a whole and creates a night your guests will not forget.

Above all else, remember to have fun! This is your night to celebrate with your friends & your community, so relax, have an extra glass of wine, and give yourself a pat on the back – you did it!

We’ve got another entertaining secret and we’re spilling the beans right here…

Photographer: Josh Ulmer | Stationary : Hester & Cook | Candles: Paddywax Candles | Chef: Dan Forberg | Chef: Tony Galzin | Co-Host & Graphics Designer: Ashley Cooper | Co-Host & Wine: Kendall-Jackson | Dessert: Tea-rriffic! | Flower Shop: FLWR Shop | Furniture & Table Decor: 12th Table | Host & Founder: Lauren Kelp | Venue & Florals: FLWR Shop