Thursday, October 12, 2017

7 Unique Ideas To Add A Personal Touch To Your Wedding Ceremony

Every wedding is as unique as the people that are tying the knot. Even when it follows tradition "by the book," you can still fit in a small detail or two that puts your own personal touch on your celebration at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. If you happen to be the type of Country Jewell couple that wants to steer away from tradition, then you may want to incorporate every idea we have for you in today's blog. Pick and choose what you like, then make it your own!



Give Everyone Flowers
Your wedding party doesn't have to be the only ones wearing flowers on the big day. Have the florist make boutonnieres and floral clips for all of your guests, and you can even let them serve as escort cards if you attach names and table numbers. This could be an affordable option if you are hosting a small wedding. If you're a DIY bride (or groom,) make them yourself from silk flowers. Then everyone at the wedding has something special to dress up with. 

Skip the Flowers
If you aren't particularly "flower people," get creative and substitute something else that you do like. A bouquet made of brooches won't wilt after the wedding, and your bridesmaids could carry dressy clutches, lanterns, parasols, dreamcatchers, or other items that work well with the wedding theme. As for the fellas, get ideas for the groom's favorite things and use items like fancy fishing lures, golf tees, action figures, or anything that fits his personality in place of blooms for the boutonnieres. 

Pre-Ceremony Slideshow
Lots of couples put time and effort into making a slideshow full of photos from their lives before the wedding day, but often at the reception, guests are too preoccupied with reception activities and visiting with each other to really pay attention to it. Instead, play the slideshow before the ceremony while everyone is seated and waiting for everything to begin. You can still run it on a loop at the reception later too. 

Get a Friend Ordained
One sure way to personalize a ceremony to fit the two of you perfectly is to have a close mutual friend or beloved family member that knows you both very well perform the ceremony. It's quick and easy to get ordained online, and that person is sure to have some great stories to share, plus you'll be a lot more at ease with someone special to you both bringing you together as man and wife.  

Crowd Participation
Rather than having someone come up front and read your favorite passage about love and marriage, print it in the program and let your guests recite it out loud together. There are also some wonderful unity ceremonies that involve all of your guests, like a Ring Warming Ceremony where everyone touches and blesses the wedding rings, or a Reverse Unity Candle Ceremony that has the couple light a single candle together, then use that flame to light candles held by everyone else until "love is glowing" all around . 

Be Your Own Ushers
A great way to get the receiving line moving and get back to the altar for pictures after the ceremony is to be your own ushers. After you've made your walk down the aisle as the new Mr. & Mrs., release guests row by row starting at the back. They can congratulate and hug you as they pass, and by the time you get to the front row, you're back at the altar for photos and the guests are well on their way to the reception. 

Dance To Your Reception
If you take all of your wedding photos before the ceremony, you can head straight to the reception along with your guests. Choose a fun, upbeat song to dance back down the aisle to, and have your guests follow you "conga line style" on to the reception site. Either use live musicians that can follow you or have someone in charge of carrying a wireless speaker. 



Those are just a few ways that you can add something new and fun to your celebration at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. Talk over some different possibilities with your fiance, and once you get the conversation started, you're sure to come up with some great ideas that are perfect for the two of you at your Country Jewell wedding. It's your special day, have fun with it and make it all your own! 


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, October 4, 2017

Creative Alternatives For Your Wedding Guest Book

A wedding guest book is a nice way to keep a record of the people that were able to share your special day with you. Often, that book gets put away in a box of memories from your rustic wedding in Tennessee and rarely, if ever, gets looked through. There are lots of incredible guest book alternative ideas that use items you can put on display after the wedding to see and enjoy. Country Jewell has a few of those ideas for you in today's blog .


Quilt Squares
This can be done in a couple of different ways. You can put out a basket of square pieces of fabric for guests to sign with a fabric marker, and then after the wedding have those pieces turned into a quilt. The other option is to hang an already made quilt on the wall or set it out on a large table and let guests sign that. You can think of your wonderful friends every time you cuddle up as a couple under it! 

Puzzle Pieces
Turn a pretty picture of the two of you, possibly your engagement photo, into a giant puzzle. Most stores that develop photos can do this for you. Start with all of the pieces in a bowl or jar. After guests sign the back of a piece, they can lay it out on the table. As the night progresses and everyone signs in, you will eventually have your completed puzzle put together with their help. Use a puzzle glue to hold it all together after the wedding to display it, or keep it in pieces as a fun puzzle to put together when you're feeling nostalgic. If you're not a puzzle couple, we've also seen this done with Jenga pieces.   

A Bench
A wooden bench ties in nicely with a rustic wedding theme, and it is something that can be displayed in the entrance of your home, or possibly on the front porch. Let your guests pen their happy wishes for your future directly on the bench with permanent markers or paint pens, and then seal the signatures in with a clear stain. 

photo credit WhereBridesGo.com 
Mementos
This takes a little creativity on your part to come up with something that matches your "couple personality." If you're big wine drinkers, you could have guests sign corks that you've collected and place them into a pretty jar or shadowbox. For couples that live near a river or stream, polished rocks that you've collected from the water can hold signatures. You could even set out a notepad for guests to write on with happy memories, wishes for your future, or even marriage advice. Have them deposit those into a container that you can open and read after the wedding, or possibly on your first anniversary. 

Photo Frames
There will be lots of gorgeous photographs taken at your wedding that you will want to display afterwards. Let your guests sign a a picture frame mat or collage that you can put your photos into later. It will look wonderful on the wall of your home for all to see. 

Wall Hangings 
You can even turn your guests' signatures into a piece of artwork to hang on the wall. A canvas print of a bare tree is perfect for a fall wedding. Guests can put colorful fingerprints on it to resemble autumn leaves and sign next to them. Another pretty option is to put your initials and wedding date on a plain wooden wall hanging and let guests sign that.    

Calendars
This is a great way to get all of your friend's birthdays and anniversaries in your datebook without having to track them down yourself. Ask everyone to fill in important dates on the calendar. While you will only be able to display this calendar for a year, it's a great way to colllect this information for future knowledge. Another option would be to have them sign an address book. Then you've also got their address so that you can send them holiday cards or future invitations. 


That should be enough ideas to get your creative juices flowing. You might also find some inspiration from taking a tour of our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. Witnessing the beauty of Country Jewell in person will put all kinds of unique and wonderful wedding ideas in your mind. Once you book your date, we can help you make those ideas a beautiful 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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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

7 Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Want To Take Home

You don't have to give favors to the guests at your rustic wedding near Knoxville, but it's a nice way to thank them for coming. Wedding favors are also a great way to add a little fun to the celebration. You don't want to put time, effort, and money into favors that will be left on the table though, so Country Jewell has a few ideas for you that everyone should be excited to take home with them. 


Food
One favor that is always a hit with wedding guests is anything edible. S'mores kits to take home can be fun for a fall wedding. Specialty donuts or muffins make a great favor that guests can enjoy the next morning, or as a late night snack. Condiments, such as hot sauces or honey, or packages of gum or mints are nice too, especially if you add a funny label or it ties in with your wedding theme somehow. And of course, everyone loves a bag that they are free to fill up at a well-stocked candy bar. 

Personalized Cups
Your guests are going to need something to drink out of at the reception. Let those cups double as a favor by ordering personalized plastic stadium cups that they can use again at home. You can also scour the thrift stores for an eclectic mix of cool glasses for your guests to use and take with them. In place of glasses, personalized koozies always seem to be a popular favor too.   

Photos
Let your guests take home a fun photo from the reception, printed out and ready to frame. With a little bit of tech savvy, you can fairly easily set up a photo spot connected to a printer so that you can make souvenir pictures in minutes. Polaroid cameras do the developing work for you. There are also many wedding vendors that offer a photobooth service where they take care of all of the setup and execution, and guests get a cute photo strip to take home. 


Candles
Every household is improved with a lovely scented candle. You should easily be able to find them in your wedding colors. If you purchase glass candles, a personalized wedding label can be printed on stickers and added. If you really want to get fancy, make your own and come up with a signature wedding scent! Maybe something similar to the flowers used at the wedding or a food that is being served at the reception. 

Plants
Potted plants can do double-duty as both a table decoration and a favor that your guests can take home with them. If you write their names on the pots, then they're doing triple-duty by also serving as a place card! You could even give away packets of seeds for your guests to plant at their own home, with a cute label stating how they can "Watch your love grow!" 

Hangover Kits
If you expect your wedding guests to do a lot of drinking at your reception, hangover kits as favors can be both funny and useful. Wrap water bottles with personalized wedding labels, then pair them with helpful items such as headache reliever, antacids, and maybe a pair of sunglasses. You should be able to find sample sizes of the medications at most grocery stores. 

Post Wedding Cocktails 
Let your wedding guests toast your marriage one more time the morning after the wedding with adorable Mimosa or Bloody Mary kits. For the Mimosas, use a pretty ribbon to tie together a single-serve bottle of champagne with a small container of orange juice, or bag the champagne up with an actual orange. The Bloody Mary kits can contain mini bottles of vodka tied together with small containers of Bloody Mary mix. Non-alcoholic versions can be made of these for younger guests and people that don't drink with just the juices, or maybe a sparkling water. 


Those are just a few of the clever ideas we've seen used for wedding favors at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville that guests have really liked. There are tons more where those came from. Look to your wedding theme and favorite things for the inspiration for favors you can give away at your own Country Jewell wedding. Chances are, if you like it, your guests will 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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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Ideas We Love For Fall Weddings

Fall wedding season is upon us! We love each season for its own unique reasons, and today Country Jewell has listed 5 of our favorite autumn wedding ideas that we expect to see over the next couple of months. If you're just beginning to plan your wedding at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville for next year, you may want to incorporate a few of these. Some are simple enough to even be added to weddings happening this year. 


Colorful Leaves
All of those gorgeous colors that appear in the trees, and eventually on the ground as the leaves fall, are a perfect natural color scheme for any fall wedding. You can use leaves in rich shades in lots of different ways. For example, the flower girl can carry a basket full of colorful leaves to sprinkle down the aisle instead of flower petals. Guests can even throw them instead of confetti or bird seed. That will make some amazing photographs with the leaves falling all around the two of you! 

They can easily be incorporated into centerpiece arrangements, and leaves of many colors make wonderful table runners. Your florist may even be able to creatively incorporate this natural decor into the gentleman's boutonnieres. 

Pumpkins
Nothing says fall like pumpkins! You see them everywhere this time of year. Their natural orange color is beautiful on its own, or you can jazz them up by painting them a solid white or gold color to use for decoration. They make excellent decor placed on either side of the ceremony aisle, and you can even carve them out and use them to hold candles that glow romantically once the sun goes down. Mini pumpkins can be used to hold tealights on the reception tables, and they are also great escort cards that double as favors when you paint guest's names on them. 


Sunflowers
These big, bright, beautiful blooms bring a cheery look to any bouquet or centerpiece. You could even wear one in your hair. Sunflowers look grand on their own, and we've also seen lots of them used together to make some impressive pomanders. 

If you'll be using a lot of sunflowers in your wedding decor, it would make perfect sense to give guests pretty bags of edible sunflower seeds for a wedding favor, or the type of seeds that they can plant at home and "watch your love grow."   

Apples
Apples are abundant in autumn, and they are a great addition to any buffet table. Apple pies will be well-received on a dessert table, especially if you pair each slice with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. You could also set up a caramel apple making station, with melted caramel and chocolate, plus additional toppings to sprinkle on, like chopped nuts or small candies. An apple cider bar is a great idea too. Have hot apple cider available with tasty mix-ins for guests to add like whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and vanilla.   

Chill-Fighters 
The apple cider bar will help to keep your guests warm when the weather gets a bit chilly. Another way to offer everyone at your wedding some comfort form the cold is to have baskets of blankets, throws, or shawls available during the reception. For the bride, bring along a cute denim jacket or plaid shirt to put on over you wedding dress. This look makes for some extremely adorable fall wedding photos.


Those are just a few of the great things we've seen done at past celebrations at our scenic wedding venue in Tennessee. We are anxiously looking forward to seeing what this year's fall brides and grooms will bring to Country Jewell. 


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, September 13, 2017

Bigger Isn't Always Better! - The Benefits of Hosting a Small Wedding

Hosting a wedding doesn't mean that you have to invite every person you've ever crossed paths with, plus family members you've never even met. Sometimes a smaller ceremony and reception with your nearest and dearest is the best idea for a couple. Our small rustic wedding venue near Knoxville has hosted many celebrations over the years, and we can vouch for the fact that even though the guest lists may have been on the smaller side, the love and excitement surrounding the weddings were huge!


There are lots of benefits to hosting a smaller wedding of 100 of fewer guests at Country Jewell. If these sound great to you, we may just be the perfect wedding venue in Tennessee for you!

It can be less expensive.
Some of your budget may not depend on the size of your guest list, like the bridal gown you choose, but a lot of your budget is affected by the number of people you invite. For example, food, drinks, linen rentals, invitations and postage, favors, and other similar items will cost a lot more if you have more guests to buy for. The smaller the guest list, the easier it will be to cut back in multiple areas of your budget. 

You can get extravagant!
We realize that this sounds like the opposite of what we stated in our last point, but not really. You don't have to spend more money to be extravagant, but if your guest list is on the smaller side, you can put more money toward important items instead of dividing the same amount among multiple guests. This could mean more food or bigger favors for example, or ordering the fancier invitations because you are only sending out 50 instead of 200.  

It's more personal.
Everyone will want to spend some one-on-one time with the bride and groom. Having a large amount of guests can give you the feeling that you are being pulled in too many directions at once without enough time to spend with each guest. The fewer the guests, the easier it will be to truly interact with everyone in attendance. You can also make the experience extra special for each of them by personalizing favors for each person. Since you don't have to make as many, it's a lot easier to accomplish this task. 


Fewer decorations are needed.
Less guests means fewer reception tables to decorate. You can also cut back on other wedding accessories like programs, sparklers, favors, and more. Of course, while you may have less need for decorations, this is one of those areas where you can point any leftover budget and practice that extravagance we mentioned earlier!  

You can relax. 
Between the excitement and anticipation you'll be feeling on the morning  of your wedding, it may be difficult to relax completely. If you know that once everything gets started you'll be surrounded by your closest family and friends, that can be a comforting feeling. Rather than seeming like you are putting on a show for a giant audience, it's an intimate gathering of all of the people you love.


Country Jewell offers a warm sense of Smoky Mountain tradition and enchantment for the backdrop to your wedding day. It's a beautiful, scenic venue for ceremonies and receptions with up to 100 guests. If the idea of planning a small wedding sounds perfect for you, give us a call so that you can come out and tour the best wedding venue near Knoxville. You're going to love it as much as we do! 


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, September 6, 2017

Great Wedding Gift Ideas For Your Future Spouse

There are a lot of people that you will want to thank for helping you plan and execute your wedding at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville, like parents, bridesmaids, and groomsmen, for example. There is one very special person in particular that you will want to spend a little extra time figuring out the perfect gift for... your soon-to-be spouse! 


It should be sentimental, personal, and above all, reflect your personality and love for each other. Country Jewell has come up with a few ideas that might work for you. 

A Hand-Written Letter
In this day and age, putting pen to paper and writing a letter is a rare thing. It adds a personal touch that a text, email, or even a card simply cannot duplicate. Take a little time to write a special love note to your future spouse. Tell them all about why and how you fell in love with them, and share your hopes and dreams for your life together. If you enjoy the letter-writing, you might want to go the extra mile and write a few more letters to be saved and opened at important moments in your life; your first fight, when you buy your first home, the birth of your first child, etc...    

Jewelry
Jewelry is always a good gift that can last a lifetime. It's especially nice if it can be personalized or engraved with the wedding date, your names, and possibly a sweet saying. For the bride, she may already have her wedding day jewelry picked out, but you can find a special piece to be worn on future occasions, and maybe even passed down to your children one day. Pick something out containing her favorite stone, her birthstone, or the gem designated for the month you are getting married in. For the groom, a nice watch is something he can wear on a daily basis. Cufflinks are a good addition to a man's wardrobe too, especially if he will be wearing a suit on the wedding day that requires them.   

Surprise Deliveries
Instead of one big present, consider sending lots of little ones leading up to the ceremony. Start the day with cute little gestures, like a breakfast delivery of muffins and coffee, followed later by a beautiful plant for your new home (lasts much longer than a flower delivery,) a funny pair of socks to fend off "cold feet, then maybe later send a bottle of champagne and fancy glasses for them to share with their attendants. Think of little things that will brighten their day and put a smile on their face. Send occasional texts with sweet messages, or you could even make a video message for them to watch. End the string of surprises by having the maid of honor or best man deliver the final gift shortly before the walk down the aisle. 

Special Photos
Put together a scrapbook of all of the photos you've taken since you began dating, chronicling your relationship so far. You can even leave a page or two at the end for adding wedding photos. Another idea is to pick your favorite picture of the two of you and commission a local artist to turn it into a painting. Some women choose to have intimate boudoir photos taken for the groom's eyes only. Fellas, your bride might appreciate photos of you like that too.  

Future Dates
Your wedding is a promise to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of your lives. Give a wedding gift that symbolizes your promise of a wonderful future together by planning special outings for the coming year. Find one fun thing to do together at least once a month for the first year of your marriage, like concert tickets, sporting events, dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant, and other things that you enjoy doing as a couple. Pack these all together, and you could even include a calendar with all of the dates already penciled in. 


The gift that you give to your spouse on your wedding day at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville doesn't have to be big and expensive. The important thing to keep in mind is that it has a special meaning to the two of you and is something that your future spouse will cherish. We hope that the ideas above help to get your creative juices flowing so that you can come up with the perfect idea for that very special person you love. If you see something that you would adore receiving yourself, by all means, please share our Country Jewell blog with our soon-to-be spouse!  


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, August 30, 2017

Wedding Party Duties - Who Does What?

When you are planning a wedding in Tennessee, the majority of tasks will be handled by the bride and groom. You don't have to do it all alone, though. The friends and family members that you ask to be in your wedding party make up a support team that can take care of many things for you. 



Country Jewell has compiled a list of traditional duties that each member of your wedding party is expected to handle. As with all of our wedding planning advice, this is simply a guideline of what is often done. Feel free to adjust it to meet your particular needs and the talents and personalities of the people in your wedding party. 

The Happy Couple
Technically, you are the wedding couple rather than members of the wedding party, but you should see yourselves as the captains of "Team Wedding." You will be asking people to help you with certain tasks, but all final decisions are yours. Your "job" is to convey your wedding wishes in a way so that the ones assisting you know what is expected of them. Oh, and one more "job" for the happy couple: REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN! 

Maid/Matron of Honor
This lovely lady is the bride's "2nd-in-command" over team wedding. (After the groom, of course!) She will be the one that you can call with questions, ideas, frustrations, and everything else. This is probably one of the people that knows you best, so she should be able to convey your wishes to others when you can't. For that reason, the maid of honor is the head bridesmaid, keeping the rest of the ladies in your wedding party on the same page. 

Before the wedding, she will make sure that plans are made for pre-wedding events, like the bridal shower and bachelorette party. On the wedding day, her job is to make sure that you have everything that you need, get you where you are going on time, hold your bouquet during the ceremony, and make sure your train is straightened and beautiful after you come down the aisle. This is also one of the people that will sign your marriage license as a witness. She may be asked to make a toast at the reception, and possibly hold on to the groom's ring until you place it on his finger. 



Bridesmaids
If your maid of honor cannot get to a task, one of these women can step up and handle it. They will all assist in the planning and executing of the bridal shower and bachelorette party, usually sharing the costs of throwing them. At the reception, they can take on a hostess role and offer answers and assistance to guests. Once the party gets started, these ladies can help to keep the crowd entertained and having fun all night long. 

Best Man
This fella is the groom's "go-to-guy." Just as your maid of honor is your backup, this man is the groom's. He can help your future husband with any wedding planning tasks he takes on. He is the one to make sure all of the groomsmen know what is expected of them, and he can help to make sure they are all correctly fitted for their suits or tuxedos. The best man is usually in charge of planning the bachelor party too.  

On wedding day, he needs to make sure that the groom gets to the church on time, and often is asked to hold the bride's ring until the ceremony, as well as the officiant's fee if it has not been collected before the wedding. He is the other witness to sign your marriage license, and is usually asked to give a toast at the reception. If the men's clothing is rented and needs to be returned, the best man is someone that can make sure that gets taken care of. 



Groomsmen
These men make up the groom's team of helpers, led by the best man. They will assist with planning and executing the bachelor party, and they usually share the costs of throwing it. At the reception, they can help the bridesmaids keep the wedding guests entertained and having a great time. They can be asked to help usher guests to their seats before the ceremony and act as greeters as people arrive.   

Ushers
Depending on the size and formality of your wedding, some couples choose not to have ushers. If you do, their job is to show up before the other guests so that they are able to help everyone find their seats. They can be in charge of greeting guests and answering any questions that may arise, such as the location of restrooms or where guests should go for the reception. Once the ceremony is over, the ushers will release the guests in an orderly fashion. 

Ring Bearer & Flower Girl
Children usually fill these roles, so there isn't much more expected of them than to make it down the aisle and look adorable. They should attend the wedding rehearsal so that they can get familiar with the other members of the wedding party, and also to practice and get comfortable with their walk down the aisle on wedding day. 


You will want to make sure that each of the members of your wedding party know what will be expected of them before they agree to be in your wedding. Most friends are happy to do the things listed above, plus more. When you choose to get married at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville, we're happy to help you with the venue preparations and offer advice when it is needed. We see a lot of successful weddings here at Country Jewell, and we can't wait to help you pull off the ceremony and reception of your dreams.  


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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