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When Your ‘Something Blue’ Is Your Bridesmaids’

Looking to incorporate a few wedding traditions in a super stylish way? Why not take cue from Mary Corder and Josh’s Big Day have your Bridesmaids’ be your ‘something blue’? Complete with Alyssa Joy Photography behind the lens this is one celebration that you’re sure to love. See it all for yourself in The Vault!

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From Alyssa Joy PhotographyThere is so much to be learned from Mary Corder and Josh and the way they planned their big day. They thought through each and every detail and tradition to make the event most personal to them. The couple has one sibling each, so instead of a big bridal party, they knew they wanted only their siblings at the front, as the maid of honor and best man. To honor her girlfriends, Mary Corder invited her would-be bridesmaids to instead be her Something Blues. The “blues” got to wear any blue dress of their choice, spend time in the bridal loft on wedding day, and sit in reserved seating at the ceremony. This unique spin on the traditional wedding party is just one example of why this wedding was such a personalized day. Mary Corder and Josh were both so grateful for each of their wedding vendors and really chose people who not only were very talented but that they also really “clicked” with. From the very beginning of the wedding planning process, I felt so appreciated as their photographer but also felt like a friend! This connection really made the wedding day itself so wonderful, and I believe it really shows in their photographs.

From the Bride… We didn’t meet in a coffee shop or take a class together in college. We didn’t grow up together or meet through mutual friends. We met on the apparently not-so-silly dating app Tinder, and while I never thought that would be my story, I love to share it because it led me to Josh.

After a marathon of a first date – nearly 7 hours long, best friends and even a sibling (!) included – we promised each other we’d skip the games. We promised to be real and honest and not to wait 8 minutes to respond to text messages just for the sake of waiting.

Fast forward 13 months and Josh was on his knee in my parents’ home, shaking wildly and forgetting the majority of his proposal spiel. (Lucky for him, only one line really matters after all!)

It didn’t take us long to find the venue of our wildest dreams, and then I headed to New York with my mom and sister to find the dress. I had scheduled several appointments and only ended up going to one. I fell in love with Sarah Seven’s Lafayette gown in her flagship shop on Lafayette Street, and then Sarah herself showed up to my appointment. Needless to say, the dress felt totally meant to be.

Our wedding day was truly magical. Josh challenged me early on to really think through the checklist of wedding to do’s and traditions and opt only for the ones that felt personal to us. Our vision was for an intimate and incredibly personalized day, including handwritten vows, a guest list of under 100, a team of vendors who felt more like friends, and breaks in our wedding day timeline for us to just be together and soak it all in. (Perks of having your ceremony and reception in the same place, which we highly recommend when possible!)

I credit our florist, Rosemary and Finch, to making our day beautiful. Mary Love and I met for coffee when I was beginning the vendor hunt, and we immediately clicked. I just knew I had to work with her! I decided very early that I wanted our wedding florals to be wild, white and cream, with plenty of greenery. (What can I say – I just love neutrals!) Mary Love took my vision and ran with it in the most extraordinary way. One of my favorite moments of my wedding day was seeing my bouquet for the first time. I’ll never forget it.

My biggest piece of advice for couples would be to set time aside on the wedding day to be together, breathe, and take it all in. Our planner, Kasey, advised us to take a break from the hustle and bustle to eat together in the bridal loft alone after the ceremony while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. I’m so grateful for those first moments as husband and wife, and that I got to spend them with Josh and not buzzing around trying to greet guests or pose for photos.

Bottom line: your wedding should be about you and your spouse. Skip the traditions that don’t give you the feels, choose vendors you genuinely like having around, and take time to sit back and take it all in. Too often weddings are planned for the guests when really, it should be about you.

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Vault CTA

Photography: Alyssa Joy Photography | Cinematography: Evan Bruce | Event Planning: Toast of Tennessee | Floral Design: Rosemary & Finch Floral Design | Ceremony Venue: The Cordelle | Reception Venue: The Cordelle | Bride's Shoes: Seychelles "Would I Lie" Flat | Catering: The Chef & I | Hair + Makeup: Kelley Kirker | Calligraphy: Script Merchant Calligraphy | DJ: Russ Pollard | Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss | Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven ("Lafayette" gown with custom lace sleeves) | Cinematography Editor: Josh Harrell (The Groom) | Desserts: Flour & Yolk | Groom's Glasses: Warby Parker | Photography - Assistance: Kristen Fields | Rentals: Southern Events

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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Vault CTA

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

Fancy yourself a floral fanatic? See our favorite tips below!

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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 (http://laurenkelp.com/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 Design Group, Inc. | Candles: Paddywax | Chef: Dan Forberg | Chef: Tony Galzin | Co-Host & Graphics Designer: Ashley Cooper Desgin | Co-Host & Wine: Kendall-Jackson | Dessert: Tea-rriffic! | Flower Shop: FLWR Shop | Furniture & Table Decor: Jessica Foley | Host & Founder: Constance Higley | Venue & Florals: FLWR Shop