Tuesday, June 19, 2018

10 Ways to Cleverly Use Mason Jars at Your Wedding

If you are in the process of planning a rustic wedding in Tennessee, it is very likely that mason jars are on your shopping list. They are a staple for rustic wedding decor, and the perfect item to use for a variety of different ideas. Country Jewell has seen this done successfully in many different ways. Here are 10 that you may want to use for your own wedding. 


1. Flower Vases
This is probably the most common use for mason jars at weddings. They make excellent vases for holding floral arrangments for reception table centerpieces. You can also place a few empty ones on the head table to hold the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets during the reception. 

2. Candle Holders
Another item commonly used inside mason jars for centerpieces is candles. They contain the wax from melting votives nicely, and you can also put water inside them for floating candles. If you're into DIY candle-making, mason jars can be filled with wicks and wax in your wedding colors, making the entire item the candle rather than just a candle holder.   

3. Aisle Decorations
Mason jars can also be filled with flowers or flameless candles and placed on the ground on either side of the aisle that the bride will be walking down. If you wrap a pretty ribbon or string around the top, these decorations can also be hung from shepherd's hooks or the outside of the chairs on either side of the aisle.  


4. Drink Glasses
There is no better cup to drink out of at a rustic wedding than a mason jar! It fits the theme beautifully and can hold quite a bit of the beverage of your choice. Many today even come with handles attached specifically for this purpose!  

5. Escort Cards 
Go one step further and put guests' names and table numbers on the mason jar drink glasses. When they get to the reception, they will be able to easily find their seat and grab a drink on the way. 

6. Utensil Holders
Another thing that can fit neatly inside a mason jar is most of each guest's place setting. Put a pretty napkin inside, then place the utensils, straw, and anything else they may need for dinner inside too. They can be placed on a table at the beginning of the buffet line for guests to pick up.   

7. Place Cards
You can also place the utensil-holding mason jars at each place setting. Then, all you have to do is add the guest's name that will be sitting there and you instantly have your place cards taken care of! They fill out the decor on the reception tables too, meaning your centerpieces can be simpler yet the table will look full and beautiful. 

8. Dessert
You can cook baked goods directly inside mason jars like cakes and pies, meaning you won't need extra plates on the dessert table. They are also wonderful for holding non-baked desserts that can be layered and could even double as ice cream sundae bowls.  


9. Wedding Party Gifts 
Mason jars can be used as pretty containers for thoughtful items that your wedding party can use. For the ladies, you can make a "spa in a jar" by filling it with sample-sized lotion bottles, face masks or creams, nail polish, emery boards, etc... For the gentleman, possibly things they may need before the ceremony like gum, mints, snacks, and items like that, or single-serving bottles of their favorite booze and mini cans of soda or other mixers. 

10. Favors
These incredible jars can also be used to hold favors for your wedding guests to take home with them. Attach a note thanking them for joining you on this special day and fill the jar with candies, homemade treats, or the ingredients and a recipe for your favorite cookies. 


Those are just a few very simple ideas for ways that you can incorporate mason jars into your decor at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. Next week we'll have some great ideas for what you can do with all of those mason jar decorations after your Country Jewell wedding too! 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Show Your Dad Some Love on Your Wedding Day

Even though Father’s Day only comes around once a year, we know you love and cherish your father the other 364 days just as much. Why not go the extra mile on your wedding day to make sure your dad feels that love and appreciation? After all, he is the man who loved you first! Before walking with him down the aisle at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville, remind your father of the V.I.P. he is. Here are a few sweet gestures for you to use for your wedding here at Country Jewell.


New Twist on the Father/Daughter Dance
The father/daughter dance is a sweet, sentimental tradition in which most brides partake during their wedding reception. Why not choreograph a special routine for when that time comes? Getting together for dance rehearsals with your dad will not only give you a break from the often hectic wedding planning, but it will also mean the world to your father to get to spend a little extra time with you.

Design a Special Boutonniere
Try reaching out to your florist to design a unique boutonniere for your dad. Since all the men in the bridal party typically have the same boutonniere, it will be special for the father of the bride to stand out. Plus, it will let your dad know that you put some extra time into thinking of him.

First Look – With Dad
On your special day, it's a safe bet that your dad will get emotional when he sees you all dressed up and ready to walk down the aisle – whether he shows it or not! Have your photographer capture that special moment when your father sees your wedding dress for the first time. His reaction will be priceless, and you’ll have the memory captured for years to come.

Mark His Reception Seat
On your wedding day, your dad will proudly wear the title “Father of the Bride.” It’s common to have special signs made for the reception to mark the chairs of the bride and groom, but your parents have special titles that they hold in high regard as well. Mark your father’s seat with a sign or something even more personal, such as a photo of the two of you from your childhood or a sentimental gift.

For Fathers Who Have Passed
Many brides’ fathers can’t be with them on their wedding day. It’s still nice on this special day to honor your father’s memory in some way. Some brides choose to place a photograph in a seat reserved for the father of the bride where he would have been sitting. There are also more personal ways to remember your dad, such as playing his favorite song at the reception or placing his favorite ball cap on his chair. Anything that is a symbol or your memories of him will be meaningful.



Though your wedding most likely won’t be held on Father’s Day, there are many ways to make him feel special on your big day here at Country Jewell. Remember, the man walking you down the aisle is just as important as the one you’re walking towards. Try out some of these sweet gestures at your own wedding at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville, or we bet you can even come up with a few more of your own! Either way, take the time to thank your father for all he’s done leading up to your wedding day.



A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

9 Fun Ideas For How To Exit Your Wedding In Style

After a long, successful, wonderful wedding day, you can plan one last fun surprise for your guests with a creative wedding exit to wrap up the celebration. Leave everyone with a final "WOW" moment when you exit our rustic wedding barn near Knoxville once the party starts winding down. 


Rice was the traditional item to toss at the bride and groom as they exited the church. This act was meant to be a symbol of showering the couple with abundance and fertility. People stopped doing this due to reports about the uncooked rice being harmful to birds that ate the pieces left on the ground. The good news is, that is just a rumor and birds are not harmed this way. 

Still, if you don't like the idea of rice stuck in your hair, bouquet, and folds of your beautiful bridal gown, there are plenty of creative alternatives to this tradition. Some of these ideas are perfect for your walk down the aisle after the ceremony, others are ideal for your reception exit, and some work equally well for both. Always check with your venue first to make sure the following ideas go along with their rules. 


Rice Alternatives
There are a lot of great things that your wedding guests can shower you with instead of rice. Colorful rose petals will look beautiful in photos and smell wonderful as they are thrown. Confetti provides another colorful exit, and confetti poppers make it easy to pass out and toss. There are biodegradable confetti options available too that means any pieces left on the ground after cleanup will be eco-friendly.  

Themed Items
This definitely makes for a very unique exit. Pull ideas either from your wedding theme, your occupations, or your favorite things. If one of you is a pilot or you will be leaving on a plane immediately after the reception, paper airplanes would be cool to have your guests fly over your heads. For big sports fans, let your guests shake pom poms in your wedding colors as you make your exit. Mini beach balls could be colorful, fun, and perfect for a summer wedding. 

Ribbon Wands
Ribbon wands are an excellent way to enjoy a colorful wedding exit, but without a lot of stuff on the ground to be cleaned up once you're gone. Long, colorful streamers are fastened to the end of a stick. Small bells can also be added so there is a delicate ringing while the wands are being waved. 

Bubbles
Thousands of lovely bubbles floating all around the two of you as you walk through the line of wedding guests bidding you farewell provides for some very dreamy photos. Also, since the bubbles disappear after they pop, this is another idea with no cleanup needed. 


Sparklers
Sparkler exits provide amazing wedding pictures, but they can be difficult to coordinate. Make sure that you buy the extra-long sparklers so that you have plenty of time to run through the aisle before they burn out. Have a few people in charge of lighting so that it happens quickly, and have buckets of water or sand for your guests to place their used sparklers in afterward. The timing for this type of exit needs to be fairly precise, and if you really want your photographer to get the perfect shot, you may be running through more than once. (It may feel staged, but totally worth it!)  


Candles
If you prefer less sparkle but still love the idea of leaving amidst a romantic glow, guests can line the aisle of your evening exit holding long taper candles. Once again, have a few people lighting them so the preparation for your exit goes quickly and smoothly.  

Glow Sticks
For this, you get bright lights with absolutely no fire involved! Much safer and a lot more colorful. You can pass the glow sticks out early enough for your guests to get some dancing in with them at the reception, and then when it is time for you to make your exit, they can make a runway for you with those glow sticks flashing in the air. 

Sky Lanterns
Flying paper lanterns are a popular way to create a dramatic wedding finale. They create a very ethereal ambiance, but guests will need guidance and teamwork to make them work correctly. If your venue allows these, make sure that your guests have detailed instructions on how to light them and let them go. You and your wedding party might want to do a practice run ahead of time so that you are able to assist others at the wedding.  

A Stylish Ride
You don't have to have things thrown at you or run through an aisle of anything to make a memorable exit. If you have some sort of impressive transportation to whisk you away after the wedding, that can make for an incredible exit too. Rent a classic car, limousine, or maybe even a horse-drawn carriage. If you're looking for something truly unique, a hot air balloon exit would definitely be something your guests will never forget!  


Making a grand exit when you leave our scenic wedding venue in Tennessee is an excellent way to end this special event, keeping the fun going until the very last moment. The natural setting at Country Jewell is a beautiful backdrop for most of the ideas above. Tell us what you have in mind, and we will do our best to make those ideas a reality. 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Creative Ideas for a Unique Wedding Ceremony or Reception Entrance

You don't have to do anything out of the ordinary when you make your first appearance at the ceremony and reception at our beautiful wedding venue in Tennessee, but some couples prefer to surprise their guests with something unique. Your imagination can most likely come up with all kinds of creative ideas, but here are a few from Country Jewell to get you started. Some work better for a ceremony entrance, others are best for entering the reception, and many could be used for either one. 


Ride In Style
Each of you can be dropped off separately at the top of the ceremony aisle in a unique vehicle. The person walking the bride down the aisle could also be in the vehicle or just waiting at the top of the aisle. 

The transportation could be a horse-drawn carriage, vintage automobile, or even a bicycle, possibly one built for two. You could also look to your professions for inspiration, for example, if you're marrying a fireman or policeman, use a fire truck or police cruiser. This type of entrance would work equally as well for your reception entrance too.  

Enter As a Couple
The tradition of a father walking a bride down the aisle comes from a time when she went straight from her parents' home to one with her new husband. This meant the father was "giving her away" to the groom. Today, many couples are getting married after years of living on their own or even living together. If you don't feel like you want someone symbolically giving you away, you and your groom can walk each other down the aisle, entering your new life together as a unified force. 

Choreograph It
You've likely seen many videos of wedding parties entering both ceremonies and receptions with a choreographed dance. If you and your friends are the goofy, fun-loving type that would really get into a performance like this and enjoy it, go for it. Pick a song that sums you up as a couple and put on your dancing shoes!  

Start a Flash Mob
A variation on the choreographed entrance is to bring a few of the wedding guests in on the show too. This would be much more of a stand-out surprise at the ceremony, but it could work well at the reception too. Have the wedding party get the moves started, and just when everyone thinks that's the big surprise, slowly have some of your guests join in one at a time until a whole bunch of people are a part of the entertainment.

An Entryway
If you are getting married someplace with doors, keeping those closed until the big moment and then opening them for a grand entrance is simple. If your venue doesn't have doors, like our outdoor wedding gazebo near Knoxville, you can make your own. It could be an actual door decorated and set up for the bride or the couple to hide behind, or possibly an arch with a curtain to pull aside for the big reveal. 


A Sporty Entrance
For couples that are huge sports fans, consider entering like your favorite team. You could have the wedding party hold up a big banner announcing the new Mr. & Mrs. for the two of you to break through. Another idea is to have them form a tunnel and you can enter running underneath their arms. You could even have the maid of honor and best man hold up ends of a streamer for the two of you to run through, like a symbolical finish line. 

Romantic Silhouettes
Creative lighting and a projection screen can allow you to begin your entrance in silhouette before the grand entrance when you step out from behind it. For a silhouette reception entrance, consider starting your first dance in shadow, and when the music swells, twirl yourselves out into the spotlight. 

Mood Lighting
You can use specialty lighting to set the mood as you enter the room. Many DJs have special lighting equipment that can do all kinds of exciting things. You could have pictures displayed around the room, sayings, your names or a monogram. Another idea is to use a different colored light for the entrance of each member of the wedding party, leading up to multiple colors and flashing lights for the new Mr. & Mrs. 

A Festive Drop
Shower yourselves with something festive as you walk into the reception room. You could set up a balloon drop, or drop something smaller like confetti or a bunch of rose petals. It will all look amazing falling around you and will add to the decor for the rest of the evening.  

Parade In
In addition to the two of you and the wedding party, enter the reception parade-style with extra people. You could hire dancers to surround you or have a live singer lead you in like a grand marshall. For the bride's ceremony entrance, instead of just one flower girl dropping petals, use an entire group of them to parade in skipping and cascading flowers down the aisle. 


That should be plenty of different ideas to get your own creative juices flowing while you plan your entrance to our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. We'd love to hear all about any additional possibilities you can come up with too! Now that we've got you into Country Jewell, next week's blog will be filled with ideas on how you can make a creative exit. 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Things to Consider When Planning a Wedding Near a Holiday

Many holidays fall on a Monday, resulting in a 3-day weekend. It can be tempting to plan your wedding for that extended weekend, especially if it is a destination wedding. Other holidays hold a sentimental meaning for some couples, so they want to host their wedding day close to that holiday. 


There are a few obstacles that come with planning a wedding in Tennessee around a holiday that you are less likely to encounter if your ceremony and reception are held during a week that is holiday-free. Country Jewell has a list of some things you will want to take into consideration before deciding whether a holiday wedding is a good idea for you and your guests. 

Do Guests Already Have Plans?
Save-the-Dates are generally sent out about 6 months before the wedding date, but in the case of a holiday wedding, you may want to give even more notice. People tend to make their own plans on holidays, so the more notice that you give for your wedding date, the easier it will be for your guests to work it into their plans. 

Hosting a small wedding, like the kind that fits perfectly at our small wedding venue near Knoxville, can make it a little easier to coordinate with your guests, making sure that plans work best for as many of them as possible. Be aware, though, that trying to fit in both their holiday plans and your wedding may be difficult in some cases, so expect some of those guests to decline your invitation.     

Is There Time For Both?
On the other hand, long holiday weekends can also make it easier for some people to get away from work, especially if they have to travel from out of town to your wedding location. It will be extremely helpful for your guests when you share as many details about the wedding weekend as you can, as early as possible. 

The more they know about the timing of everything, the simpler it will be for them to work in both your wedding and their own holiday plans. This is a good factor to keep in mind during the wedding planning. You can either plan lots of activities to combine the holiday celebration with the wedding so your guests can do both at once, or you can limit the wedding activities, giving them enough time on their own to do their own thing.  


Is It a High-Travel Holiday?
The holidays that people generally get out of town are the ones that hotels will be booked up further in advance than other weekends. This can also cause the price of travel, such as airfare or gas, to go up too, which means it will cost your guests more to get to your wedding. Advance notice and detailed information can help with this, but the added cost may deter some guests from attending. 

Keep vendor pricing in mind for yourself too. For example, florists may cost more around Valentine's Day when they are already in high demand. DJs and bands are needed for New Year's Eve celebrations so their prices may go up around that time of year.  


Each Holiday is Different 
Take the particular holiday you are planning to get married near into consideration. If it's one that people may have long-standing traditions connected to, they are less likely to break that tradition to attend your wedding. Also, holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are most often times to get together with family, so guests may be having to choose between their family and you, their friends. 

The upside is that you can use some holiday traditions as inspiration for your wedding. You can use the activities, decorations, and foods surrounding it to inspire some of your wedding planning choices. For example, snowflakes and cranberry cocktails for a Christmas wedding, and a red, white, and blue color scheme with a sparkler exit for a 4th of July wedding. For New Year's Eve weddings, you will want to start everything later than usual so that the party is still going at midnight instead of leaving your guests on their own looking for a place to count down the New Year at 11 pm.    

Don't Feel Guilty  
Last but certainly not least, if you have your heart set on getting married on a particular holiday, do it! Just make sure that you can allow yourself to not feel guilty about any guests that are unable to attend. On the flip side of that, it is courteous to let your guests know that they should not feel any guilt in turning down your invitation either. 


There are both good and bad factors surrounding the planning of a holiday wedding at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. You, as a couple, need to decide what is most important to you and make that work with the wedding planning you are doing. This is your special day at Country Jewell, and in the end, do what makes the two of you the happiest. 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

10 Things That Wedding Photographers Wish Couples Knew (#6-10)

Last week our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville shared the first half of our list of 10 things that wedding photographers wish couples knew (#1-5.) Today, we're continuing those tips with #6-10 so the wedding photos that you have taken at Country Jewell can be the best photos ever! 


#6
Lighting Makes A Big Difference
If your wedding will begin during the day and continue late into the evening, that gives you a lot of chances to take photos in a variety of different natural lighting situations. Your photographer should recognize the best opportunities, so be sure to listen to them if they want to pull you away for a moment because they see the possibility for a great shot. 

Professional photographers are skilled at making artificial light do some incredible things too. If they need to move you a little to get the right lighting, trust them. The pictures that come out of the suggestion will be well worth it.  

#7
Ask Guests To Unplug
Unplugged weddings are a wedding where guests are asked to put away their phones, cameras, and other mobile devices. A lot of wonderful wedding photos can be ruined because guests are in the photographer's way trying to get a picture of their own. Let the pros take the photos and convince your guests to just enjoy the moment. 

You can always request the "unplugged" treatment for the ceremony and let your guests take their own photos at the reception, as long as you remind them to stay out of the professional photographer's way. After all, you paid them to take pictures, so let them do their job.  

#8
Connect Your Vendors
This goes for most of your wedding vendors, not just the photographer. If you make sure that they all have the names and contact information for each other, it can be a lot easier for them to communicate and work together to make your wedding flow smoothly. Sometimes your photographer may need a certain person for a certain shot, and rather than running around the wedding venue to find them, they can instead reach out to other vendors for help.   

#9
Don't Wait To Order Prints
Even if you hire a photographer that gives you a digital copy of all of your wedding photos, don't put off ordering prints to frame, put in photo albums, and share with your family and friends. The longer you wait to get those wedding photos printed, the less likely you will ever get it done. They are going to be amazing, so pick out a  few to show off! 

#10
HAVE FUN
This advice is the most important! The planning is over, so relax and enjoy all of that hard work. The way you feel is going to show in all of the photos that are being taken. You deserve to have the best day ever, and when you do, your wedding photos are going to be unbelievably amazing! 


If you are still looking for a photographer, or any other wedding vendors, the staff at Country Jewell can make some helpful suggestions. We work with lots of incredible wedding vendors all of the time, and we're good at matching couples with talented wedding professionals they can be comfortable with. When we all work as a team, your ceremony and reception at our beautiful wedding venue near Knoxville can be the one you've always dreamed of. 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

10 Things That Wedding Photographers Wish Couples Knew (#1-5)

May is National Photography Month, which seems like an excellent time to talk about all of those wonderful photos that you will be taking at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. Those photographs will contain sentimental wedding memories, so you want to make sure that you have every chance to capture those moments in the best way possible. 

Country Jewell has a list of 10 things that most wedding photographers wish all of their clients knew before the wedding. We'll cover the first half of that list today and continue this discussion in next week's blog. Going into your special day with this advice will help you to take the most gorgeous wedding photos possible. 



#1
You Get What You Pay For
If wedding photographs are at the top of your "important wedding items" list, make sure that you set a big chunk of your budget aside especially for a quality photographer. It's a lot more than pointing and clicking. You need someone with the proper equipment, a full knowledge of weddings, the skills to know correct angles and lighting, and the ability to spend hours editing the multitude of photos that will be taken. 

A friend of the family may have a nice camera, but if they don't know how weddings work or get distracted because they are also a guest, they could miss some very important shots. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a photography student who is willing to work for cheap to build their portfolio, but your safest bet for pictures that you can be proud of is to stick with a pro.  

#2
Hire Someone You "Click" With
Photos look best when you are comfortable and happy in them. Choosing a photographer that you get along with well will make it much easier to be yourself, and that will show in your pictures. It makes your photographer's job a lot easier too when you are all comfortable with each other. This also means that you are much less likely to notice the photographer during intimate moments, which allows them to capture those special shots without interrupting them. 

#3
Have a List To Discuss With Them
You will probably have a list of "must have" photos that you want, and this can only happen if your photographer is aware that you want them. Don't overdo it and come up with a list too long to ever accomplish, but do include family photos that you want to have. This includes the names of who needs to be in which picture, and it's always nice to warn your photographer of any issues or family drama that may surface when these people get together. 

Also, let your photographer know if there are any wedding items that you made yourself or that have a special meaning to you so they can make sure to get a few photos of those things. Make them aware of any surprises you have planned too, such as a specially choreographed dance, so they don't miss capturing it. It's not your photographer's job to create your wedding day timeline, but their experience allows them to be a great resource for fitting everything in as long as they know what needs to fit in.     

#4
Trust Your Photographer
They are the experts, so trust your photographer's suggestions. They know how to make the lighting work in your favor and what types of things look great on film. If you have a long list of photos that you found on Pinterest but they say that shot isn't going to work in this situation, they usually know best.

Your input is needed to give them an idea of what you are wanting, but they need to have the freedom to create. You hired them because you loved the photographs from their portfolio, so you need to trust that they will do the same amazing work for your wedding too. With that in mind, if you are uncomfortable with a photo or a pose feels unnatural, speak up and your photographer will create another shot that you can be happier with.   

#5
Be Yourself
Just because it's a wedding, you don't have to do traditional "wedding poses" for your photos. Be goofy it that's your personality, and be willing to be photographed getting a little silly. Incorporate some props that show off a favorite hobby, pastime, or favorite thing. 

Also, if you don't normally wear a lot of makeup, there's no reason that you need to pile it on for your wedding day. You'll end up with pictures of a person you don't recognize. Stay true to your own style and personality and you'll get some fantastic photos that you love. 



These first 5 tips are a great place to start, and next week our Country Jewell blog will have 5 more tips to help your wedding photos turn out incredible. Our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville makes a gorgeous backdrop for your photographs, and these 10 tips combined with the love that will be emanating from the two fo you are going to make wedding magic together! 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

6550 Hickory Valley Road
Heiskell, TN 37754
865-494-0552

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

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