Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Creative Rustic Winter Wedding Ideas

It's December, which means it's time for us to start enjoying the beauty of the creative rustic winter wedding decorations and ideas that the brides and grooms come up with at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. Today, we've decided to share a few of our favorite wedding planning ideas in case this is a theme you might like to use for your own Country Jewell wedding. 



Natural Elements
Flat slabs of wood cut from tree trunks look wonderful at a rustic wedding any time of the year. They have a wide variety of uses, such as centerpiece bases, cake stands, chargers under dinner plates, and you can even write on them and use them for signs around the ceremony and reception. 

For winter weddings, there are also some lovely natural elements that you can bring indoors to add to your wedding decor. Evergreen branches look gorgeous as table runners, and sprigs of it can be tied to many of the other items that you will be decorating with. Pine cones are also another seasonal piece of nature that make wonderful decorations. All of these natural greens and browns make a nice neutral palette that is perfect for a rustic wedding.  



Winter White
White is often associated with weddings, and in the winter it's a great color to use to resemble gorgeous, shimmery, newly fallen snow. Snowflakes are also great symbols to use in your decor this time of year. You can stick to an all-white theme and use silver or icy blues for accent colors, or you can go for a mostly white look with bright pops of color that stand out boldly against it. 

Mason jars with white candles inside give off a beautiful glow, and ribbons can be tied to the jars with those sprigs of evergreen we already mentioned. For even more of a romantic glow, strands of twinkle lights strewn all around the room are always a showstopper.  


Fun Favors 
Use the weather outside to inspire your choice of favors for the wedding guests. A basket full of blankets or throws can come in handy when there's a chill in the air. Another brilliant idea is to have a basket of cozy slippers for your guests to slip on their feet to dance the night away in. Couples do it all the time with flip-flops in the summer, and this is a nice winter twist. 

Other favor ideas could be warm mittens or gloves at everyone's place setting, or perhaps a pair of fuzzy socks to ward off "cold feet." (Those are never welcome at a wedding!) Mason jars filled with hot cocoa ingredients are a wonderful idea too. Add a cute saying, like "To have & to hold, in case you get cold" and instruct them to simply add hot water to the contents.  



Country Jewell is a beautiful venue before any decorations are added, but when our couples begin putting up the special touches that make their wedding unique, we are always happily surprised at how much more gorgeous this quaint rustic wedding venue near Knoxville can be. Come by soon and have a look at Country Jewell in person. We'd love to hear the wonderful ideas you have to add to it's rustic beauty! 

A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Country Jewell Through The Words Of Our Brides & Grooms

Our beautiful scenic wedding venue near Knoxville is a marvelous place to begin your life together as husband and wife. We do everything that we can to make sure the day goes as smoothly for you as possible. When a couple takes the time to write a review about their experience at Country Jewell after the wedding, we know we've done our job. 

Brittany Sidwell Photography, Country Jewell, Tennessee, weddings
photo by Brittany Sidwell Photography
Here are a few of our most recent reviews to give you an idea of what the Country Jewell experience can be for you. We are used to hearing back from the brides, but we were thrilled to see a couple of grooms chime in this time around too!

"We had our wedding here about a week ago and it couldn’t have been more perfect and beautiful! Claudia was awesome to work with and very patient with a scatter-brained bride! We absolutely had the best time here! Thank you Claudia and the Country Jewell!"
~Taylor Grant, Facebook review

"I would like to say that Claudia (the owner and manager of Country Jewell) has been one of the nicest, easiest to work with people I've ever met. My wife and I looked and looked for a wedding venue that was affordable and would let us bring our own food, and Country Jewell was able to do all of that and more! Claudia keeps the place very neat and clean, and it is very beautifully furnished. I highly recommend you give her a call and go by and check the place out, you won't be disappointed!"
~Ryan Carrell, Google review

"Not only did the venue include a site for the ceremony and the reception, but Claudia offered her time to help the day go smoothly."
~Kristen, WeddingWire review

"Wonderful place for a wedding, anniversary, or birthday party. Serene country setting, just off Norris Freeway. Beautiful grounds with waterfalls and a quaint chapel. Just beautiful!"
~d jeanseau, Google review

Country Jewell, wedding venue near Knoxville, Heiskell TN

"I just went for a tour just now and she is so nice and sweet! Me and two of my bridesmaids loved her. I'm definitely booking with her! Her venue gives a very intimate vibe and feels that you are at home when you are there! Can't wait to marry my sweetie."
~Shelby Chambers, Facebook review

"We loved the place. Claudia Jewell is a jewel herself. We made the decision to be married there October 12th."
~Teresa Keck, Google review

"Great place for a wedding ceremony and the folks that run it are seasoned professionals."
~Chuck O'Connor, Facebook review

"My twin sister got married here a few years ago. I had my wedding here today & it was literally Perfect!! The owner, photographer, DJ, caterer, and everyone else were all very professional."
~Kristen Hubbell, Facebook review


If you like what you've just read in this blog, give our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville a call at 865-494-0552 so that we can give you an in-person tour of the entire place. We would love to help you host your wedding at Country Jewell, and once you set your eyes on it, we bet you're going to love it here as much as these past couples have! (We sure do!) 

A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fun Ideas For Your Holiday Parties

Thanksgiving has come and gone again, and we all find ourselves in the midst of the excitement of the holiday season. Country Jewell realizes that means it's time to start thinking about how to entertain all of the people you'll be celebrating the holidays with this year, so our rustic event venue near Knoxville came up with a few fun holiday party ideas to help you out.


We've seen a lot of wonderful parties here at Country Jewell in addition to the gorgeous weddings we often host. Our event barn is the perfect place to entertain family and friends, and the following ideas all work beautifully when you have your party right here with us. 

Festive Food & Drink
One thing that everyone always seems to remember the most from any celebration is the food. During the holidays, there are certain flavors that people most likely expect, so incorporating those can be important. These include gingerbread, peppermint, pumpkin spice, chocolate, sugar & spice... (We just realized, holidays include a lot of dessert flavors!) 

Serving gingerbread cookies is not only delicious, but you can make it do double duty by letting everyone decorate gingerbread men as an activity. If your group likes a challenge, maybe you could build an entire gingerbread village together! As for dinner, buffets work well to let everyone pick and choose what they like and feel comfortable going back for seconds. 

Drink stations are perfect for parties because it allows everyone to help themselves when their cup is empty. Jugs of self-serve water, tea, and punch make it easy. You might want to set up an apple cider, hot cocoa, and/or coffee station too. Set out delicious add-ins like cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, and other flavorful mix-ins so everyone can create their own special holiday drink.   


Fun Party Games
Most holiday parties include gifts, and you can turn those gifts into a game with a little planning. If everyone will be bringing a present with them, ask them to wrap it but not put a name on it. Then you can have a "White Elephant Gift Exchange," which is a game where guests take turns opening presents but are allowed to steal gifts from each other. You can find rules for a variety of ways to play this at WhiteElephantRules.com

This site also has some cute "Left - Right" story poems that are another way to decide who gets which present. It involves all guests starting with a gift and sitting in a circle, but as the story is read, presents are passed either left or right when that word is read. 

Another fun present-giving game is to wrap a gift in a box within multiple wrapped boxes, set a timer, and let guests take turns racing to get to the final box in the middle. When the timer goes off, the gift is passed to the next player, and the one that finally gets to the present gets to keep it. To make this even harder, you can make players wear oven mitts while they unwrap! It's quite funny to watch.    


Creative Decor
You can work party favors into the decor by making personalized ornaments for each guest and using those either in the centerpiece, on a tree in the middle of the room, or as place cards at their seat. Appetizers beautifully presented on stacked platters are excellent centerpieces that also keep guests fed until dinner is served. 

We are big fans of photo booths at every celebration too. Nearly everyone at your party will have a cell phone with a camera on it, and a photo spot encourages them to capture memories throughout the night to share with each other. It doesn't need to be an actual booth. All you have to do is designate a special spot with a few decorations and set out props, like chalkboard signs, hats, funny glasses, etc... and let your guests at it. When staging a holiday photo spot, don't forget the mistletoe too!  


Country Jewell Events & Parties
Our rustic event venue near Knoxville is a wonderful place to host a party for your family and friends, not just during the holidays, but any time of year for all kinds of special occasions. There is plenty of room to accommodate up to 100 guests.

Downstairs offers lots of room for everyone. We have 20 folding tables and 100 folding chairs at your disposal. There is a warming/serving kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, and microwave. You are welcome to bring in your own food and drink, or Country Jewell can arrange to have the party catered. The spacious upstairs loft is also open to you, where you can dance, play games, sing karaoke, and all kinds of other fun activities.

The most important part of any holiday party is that you have fun spending time with friends and family. If you'd like to use our spacious event venue near Knoxville to do that, give us a call at 865-494-0552. Happy Holiday-Planning!  



A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Creative Ways To Say "Thank You" At Your Wedding

With Thanksgiving coming next week, our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville was inspired to come up with a few creative ways for you to say "Thank you" to your guests in addition to the expected thank you note after the wedding. These are all fairly simple ideas that will be easy to work into your Country Jewell ceremony and reception. 


Program Mentions
Everyone will be reading through your wedding program while they wait for the ceremony to begin. This is a great place to write a special thank you to everyone, or even to certain people in particular that had an extra hand in helping prepare for the wedding day. You could even pair it with a nice inspirational poem that sums up your feelings. 

Welcome Kits 
If you have a lot of guests coming from out of town, having welcome kits waiting for them in their hotel rooms is a lovely way to say thank you for coming from afar. It can contain some comforts of home that may come in handy during their travels and information about fun things to do in the area. Another wonderful way to show gratitude to out of town guests is by providing transportation for them to and from the wedding site.  

Love Notes
Surprise guests with a sweet thank you note waiting for them on their ceremony seat or at their place setting at the reception. If you are hosting a small wedding near Knoxville, you could even personally write each note so that it has special meaning for each recipient. Another option is to write one big loving thank you note meant for everyone on a sign or chalkboard placed somewhere noticeable at the wedding. 

A Toast
Instead of writing out your thanks to the guests, verbally let them know how much their attendance means to you through a toast at the reception. It can be as simple as "Thank you for coming to our wedding," or you or your new spouse can elaborate and make it more personal and heartfelt. 

Favors
Wedding favors aren't a necessity, but they are a great opportunity to say thank you to all of your guests. Give away something useful to show your gratitude, like a late-night snack packed up in case they danced so hard at the reception they would like a bite to eat when they get home. A "recovery kit" that can be used in the morning after a late night of partying can be useful too.  

Upgraded Thank You Notes
Thank you notes sent after the wedding should always be handwritten and personalized for each person receiving one. In addition to that, you can go a step further by including a picture of the two of you with them taken at the reception, or possibly a photo of you using the wedding gift that they gave to you. 


Your guests will be excited to spend this very special day with you at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. Making the effort to show them just how thankful you are is a wonderful gesture that they will greatly appreciate. It will make your celebration at Country Jewell that much more amazing.  


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Beautiful Wedding Tradition - 1,000 Origami Cranes

There are numerous traditions that can be incorporated into your scenic wedding near Knoxville to make it even more beautiful and meaningful. A good place to start looking for these traditions is within your family's heritage, or you can borrow a tradition that you have discovered that symbolizes what you wish for your marriage. Today, Country Jewell is exploring the gorgeous tradition of folding 1,000 paper cranes. 


Tradition Origins
This began as a Japanese tradition, but brides all over the world have fallen in love with both the beauty of using 1,000 paper cranes in their wedding day decor and the meaning behind it. Cranes are considered mystical and holy creatures in Japan, and  they are said to live 1,000 years. That is how the number of cranes was decided, one for each year of the crane's long life. 

According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish by the gods for their patience and dedication to the process. Other stories say that it will gain you happiness and good luck for eternity. The tradition was adopted into weddings as a wish for a long, harmonious, and happy marriage. 

Originally, the task of folding the cranes was assigned to the bride's father so the wish for many years of married bliss came to the couple from him. Later on, it became the responsibility of the bride, and often today it is a labor of love for the wedding couple to create together. It's a wonderful exercise for developing the patience, commitment, and communication needed for a successful marriage, plus it can be special time together for the two of you.   

Crane Colors
You may choose to make paper cranes from paper that matches your wedding colors, but you can also make a rainbow of cranes strung together, each of which represents something different. 

  • Dark Red - Inner beauty and inner strength
  • Red - Endless love
  • Pink - Happiness, tenderness, and friendship
  • Yellow - Overflowing creativity
  • Green - Long health
  • Blue - Unwavering loyalty
  • Purple - Deepened spirituality and elegance
  • White - Innocence and purity of heart
  • Ivory - Tradition
  • Brown - Grounded and down to earth
  • Orange - Enthusiasm and energy
  • Gold - Eternal love and loyalty
  • Black - Strength, power, and stability

Decorating Ideas
1,000 origami paper cranes turns out to be a LOT of cranes. There are plenty of different ways that you can incorporate them into your wedding decor, so none of your hard work will go to waste. Here are 10 wonderful ways that we have seen them used. 

  • Hang the paper cranes on strings that stretch from ceiling to floor as a ceremony backdrop.
  • Hang them from the trees at an outdoor wedding. They also look breathtaking hanging down from the gazebo at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville
  • Put them in your bridal bouquet, or make an entire bouquet out of just paper cranes. 
  • Use them as boutonnieres for the men.  
  • Paper cranes can hold place cards and be used as escort cards. 
  • They can be incorporated into the table centerpieces. 
  • Hang them from the ceiling over the dance floor.
  • Put them at every guest's place setting as a favor.
  • Place them on top of the wedding cake. 
  • Have your photographer take a photo with your wedding rings around two of the cranes' necks. 


If this is a tradition that you may want to use in your own wedding at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville, you will want to begin folding your cranes as early in the planning stages as possible. Today, it is also acceptable to let family and friends help you make them. When they arrive at your Country Jewell wedding, they will feel like they had a part in adding a special touch to this very special day. 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

5 Wedding Cliches You May Want To Avoid

The definition of cliche is "a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought; something that has become overly familiar or commonplace." Country Jewell knows that there are a lot of wedding planning decisions that you will have to make that may fall under this definition. 


Couples think a wedding has to have certain things, when in reality, there really aren't any rules you have to follow. (Well, except for the marriage certificate. That's a must, but all of the other decisions are yours to make.) There is a very fine line between tradition and a trend that needs to go away, or in some cases, never should have been. 

Today our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville has 5 often-used wedding cliches that you may want to avoid. If it's something that you like, by all means, go ahead and incorporate it into your wedding. Just know that you don't have to if you don't want to!   

Overused Music
Traditionally, brides walk down the aisle to Wagner's Bridal Chorus (aka - Here Comes The Bride) and the couples leave the ceremony to Mendelssohn's Wedding March. If you like these 2 songs, then use them. They are beautiful classics. On the other hand, if they seem extremely old-fashioned to you, then use any music that makes you happy. Dance down the aisle if you feel like it! As long as it reflects the two of you as a couple, it's the perfect song. 

The same goes for reception music. The Chicken Dance and forming a conga line are often wedding staples, but if you don't like these things, leave them out. When you supply your wedding DJ or band with a list of "must-have" songs, also give them a "DO NOT play, under any circumstances" list. If your guests want to hear a song you hate, they can play it at their own wedding!  

Matching Bridesmaids
In the past bridesmaids have often been asked to wear matching dresses, but today it's perfectly acceptable to change up their looks a bit. You want them all to look similar, like a cohesive group, but this doesn't mean that they have to wear the exact same dress. 

For example, your bridesmaids could each wear varying shades of a certain color in the same style, or all be in the same color but given the freedom to pick their own dress style. They key is to have at least one element that ties the gowns together. 


Too Many Speeches
Wedding speeches can sometimes go on much longer than anyone has the patience to sit still for. Not everyone has to speak, and if you like, these can be skipped altogether. The two of you should at least say a quick thank you to the guests for coming, but it can be kept short and sweet. 

If you decide to let speeches happen at your wedding, a good way to keep them under control is to assign who will be speaking and give them a time limit. Also, to avoid any embarrassing things being said, talk to them about acceptable content too.   

The Cake Smash
Sure, this was probably unexpected and good for a laugh the first time it was done, but what a waste! You spent a lot of time getting ready, and you also spent a lot of time planning an amazing reception. If cake is smashed in your face, not only will your makeup, and possibly your hair and clothing, be ruined, but you'll miss a big chunk of the reception while you're in the bathroom cleaning yourself up. Talk to each other before the wedding and agree that this is a "tradition" that needs to be skipped. 

The Garter Toss 
This was originally done in the "days of old" as proof that the bride and groom had consummated the marriage. Guests would follow the couple to their room, and the groom would throw the garter out to show them that the marriage was official. Today we realize, that's none of their business! If you want to do this because you think it's funny, go ahead, but if you find it embarrassing, don't. This can easily be left out of the festivities.


As we tried to make clear throughout this blog, if one of these cliches is something that you like, then go ahead and use it for your wedding near Knoxville. The important thing is that you both realize that this is your party, and you may plan it any way that you like! Don't let anyone tell you that your wedding at Country Jewell has to have this or that. Make it your own! You'll be a lot happier if you do. 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+ 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How To Get A Marriage License In Tennessee

Among all of the wedding planning tasks that you need to do to get married in Tennessee, one of the items on your to-do list that absolutely cannot be skipped is obtaining a marriage license. Your Country Jewell wedding can be the most amazing ceremony in the history of weddings, but without that piece of paper, the marriage won't be official. 

Marriage license requirements vary from place to place, but the following instructions will allow you to get one in Knox County, Tennesee, where our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville is located. 



Apply online
Knox County allows couples to apply for their marriage license online to speed the process up. Simply visit www.KnoxCounty.org to fill out the pre-application, and then you may visit any of the locations listed on their page with the required items to complete the process. You don't have to apply online, but it could save you some valuable time. These locations are only open on weekdays and close between 4:30-5:30 pm. 

Items Needed
To pick up your marriage license from the County Clerk, you will need to have the following things with you: 

  • The fee: The cost is $97.50 unless you have completed the Premarital Preparation Course within a year of applying for your marriage license. If you present your notarized Certificate of Completion signed by the course provider, the cost is dropped to $37.50.  
  • Proof of date of birth: A certified birth certificate or government issued photo ID may be used for this.  
  • The bride and the groom: Both of you must be present to obtain the marriage license. If one of you cannot be there due to a disability, arrangements can be made with the County Clerk for that person to submit a notarized statement.  
  • Social Security Number

It's a simple process, yet one of the most important things on your wedding planning to-do list. Your wedding ceremony must take place within 30 days of obtaining the license, and it is good for use anywhere in the state. Pick a day within the 3 weeks before your ceremony at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville to get your marriage license and schedule it as an appointment, then add it to every calendar you own so you don't miss it. 


Since the both of you have to be there, make it a lunch date and spend the entire afternoon together, either finalizing wedding plans for your Country Jewell celebration or as a day to just relax and enjoy each other's company. Those types of days can be tough to make time for when you're planning a wedding, so use this time as an excuse to take off from work and have some fun together. 



A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Google+