Thursday, August 25, 2016

11 Helpful Wedding Planning Resources

If you are in the process of planning your wedding, it is very likely that you have never done this before. It's difficult to know exactly where to begin, but there are loads of resources out there that can walk you through every single bit of the process. Country Jewell has put a few of these together for you to take a look at. 




Wedding Books
In this day and age, most couples get a lot of their information online. That being said, we still believe in the power of a good book. Sometimes it's nice to have something in-hand that you can curl up with and study, making notes as you go. You will most likely find a website related to many of these books to reference also.

  • Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette: This was traditionally thought of as the bride's handbook, but it was originally written in 1922. Emily's great-great-grandchildren, Anna & Lizzie Post, have updated those ideas to fit modern-day situations. There are plenty of tips for handling your wedding in an elegant way. (www.EmilyPost.com)
  • Offbeat Bride: Creative alternatives for the independent-thinking couple fill this book. Ariel Meadows humorously recounts her own wedding-planning tale, as well as a few other examples. Reading it lets you know that if you want to do something that some may consider unconventional, it's perfectly okay! You will find tips, tricks, and friendly encouragement for having the wedding you truly desire. (www.OffbeatBride.com
  • The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer: Here you will find this popular wedding website's information in your own hands. There are tons of ideas, worksheets, checklists, etiquette, calendars, and more. There is even a section of answers to frequently asked questions.
  • A Practical Wedding: Here you will find creative ideas for planning an absolutely amazing wedding, but without breaking the bank. You will discover ways to host the a meaningful celebration that can fit within your budget. 
  • Bride's Thank-You Note Handbook: Thank you notes are an important but time-consuming task. This book makes it all a little easier by giving tips for writing thoughtful, prompt, hand-written thank you notes for every type of gift. You will even find examples that you can follow. It may save you lots of time and worry.



Wedding Resources Online
If you prefer to search the internet for your inspiration, the following online sites will be extremely helpful with your planning. 

  • TheKnot.com: We mentioned their organizer above. Online you will find just about everything you could possibly need to plan a wedding. Links for vendors in your area, reviews, checklists, registries, budgeting tips, ideas, real wedding spotlights, and much more. Sign up for free and start exploring. You can even build a website for your own wedding. 
  • WeddingWire.com: Here is another option for a free, one-stop website for everything "wedding." You can access planning tools, local wedding vendors, inspiration, open discussions, tons of reviews, and much more. You can also build a wedding website for your own special day for guests to access.  
  • Pinterest.com: It's the rare person that hasn't heard all about Pinterest, and there's even a good chance that you may have started a wedding board before you got engaged. Simply type in anything that you want to know about and you will immediately have all kinds of inspiration from other people that have shared pages online that they love. Save your favorites into titled boards of your own. Not only will you get visual inspiration, but the links will take you to pages that tell you how to make it happen.
  • Google Drive: This is not a website, but rather an online cloud to keep all of your thoughts, ideas, photos, and more organized in one convenient place. You can sync it to your mobile devices so that you always have access to your information. You can even invite people to share certain files if you need to work together.
  • WeddingBlogs100.com: This site claims to feature the 100 best wedding blogs in the world. No matter what your style, you are sure to find a blog here that is right up your alley. All aspects of weddings are covered within these 100 blog links. 
  • KnoxvilleWeddings.com: Here you can find local Knoxville wedding vendors, plus all kinds of helpful wedding tips for every part of your wedding, plus fun wedding facts and information. There is even a link to WhereBridesGo.com, with the tagline "Where Brides Go, For What Brides Love," full of wedding accessories and wedding party gifts. 


Those resources will help you to get the general wedding planning started. When you are ready to plan your ceremony and reception at our Knoxville rustic wedding venue, we will be happy to help you with the details. Country Jewell is a beautiful place to begin with, and with a little research and inspiration from some of the resources above, your wedding can reflect exactly who you are as a couple in a very memorable way. 




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, August 18, 2016

7 of Our Favorite Rustic Wedding Ideas

Every wedding is different because each one reflects the couple that is getting married. There are innumerable directions that you can go for the look and feel you are wanting. Here at our rustic wedding barn venue near Knoxville, we get to see lots of charming, country-style weddings. We adore this type of theme and never get tired of seeing the different ways that each couple approaches it. 

If you have been considering throwing a rustic wedding, Country Jewell may be the best place for you. Here are a few of our favorite ideas from some of the rustic-themed weddings that we have witnessed. 


Burlap & Lace

The rough look of burlap against the soft, romantic look of lace creates a marvelous atmosphere for a wedding. It can be used, well, everywhere! Chair decor, table runners, wrapped around candles or vases for a centerpiece, woven into bouquets and boutonnieres, on wedding programs... the list goes on and on.  


Mason Jars

This is another very versatile rustic wedding prop that can be used in a wide variety of different ways. They are available in many sizes from large to small. We love it when a couple personalizes them and places them as a drinking glass at each place setting as a favor for guests to take home. They also make perfect vases, candle holders, utensil holders at the buffet, and so much more. 




Yard Games

Take advantage of the outdoor areas if your rustic wedding will be happen during pleasant weather. Fun games like cornhole, horseshoes, ring toss, and more can be set up to keep everyone entertained during cocktail hour and during the reception if they need a break from the dance floor.  


Homemade Desserts Table

A table full of your family's favorite recipe desserts gives off a very "homey" vibe. Homemade pies, cookies, dessert bars... the possibilities are endless. Even though everyone loves wedding cake, your guests will appreciate having other choices too. 


Hay Bales for Seating

Colorful quilts over bales of hay make for very unique seating that is perfect for an outdoor country wedding. Guests will only be seated on them for a short time during the ceremony, but they make excellent extra seating during the reception for anyone wanting to wander back outside. Those hay bales are also nice for displaying some types of wedding decor on too.


Lots of Baby's Breath

A little bit of this lovely flower goes a long way, and it's not terribly expensive compared to other floral options. It resembles the look of lace, which as we mentioned earlier, is a great accent for a rustic wedding. You can use baby's breath as filler with more expensive blooms, but big bunches of it alone look wonderful too. 


Themed Guest Books

Instead of the traditional book filled with lined pages for guests to sign, we love seeing unique guest books that fit in with the rustic theme. Pallet wall hangings with the wedding date & couple's names, a cut piece of a large tree, or even a wooden bench.   

Country Jewell, Knoxville wedding venue, rustic wedding

Our rustic wedding barn near Knoxville already has its own charming decor that really does not need anything added to it. This makes it possible for you to have a beautiful wedding without having to spend a lot of time and energy on the decorations. We will provide the memorable atmosphere for your ceremony and reception at Country Jewell, and any added elements that you decide to incorporate from your own imagination will make it extra special. If you know that a charming rustic wedding is exactly what you want, stop by and let us show you everything that Country Jewell has to offer. 


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, August 11, 2016

Fun Family Reunion Planning Ideas

Continuing with last week's theme of August being Family Fun Month, today we've come up with a few excellent ideas for hosting a family reunion near Knoxville. The scenic landscapes and historic buildings at Country Jewell make it the perfect place to reconnect with your extended family.

Country Jewell, Knoxville, event venue, family reunions,


If your family has grown due to marriages and births, and relatives have moved away from each other, an annual family reunion is a wonderful way to keep everyone updated, close, and in touch. Here are a few fun ideas for some things to do while you are all together. 


Catch up through photographs

Even if your family makes the effort to meet up every year, a lot can change during that short time. Pictures are a great way to catch everyone up and get conversations started. Ask family members to mail photos to the person in charge of organizing the event, or sign up for a share site online.

These photos can be used to create a running slideshow at the reunion. You can also put together a scrapbook or even frame a few photographs to use as decoration around the room. Set up a photo area for everyone to take group pictures at the reunion. You could even use an instant camera to take pictures that could be displayed right away on a wall or family tree type mural.


Share "secret" family recipes

Most families have at least one dish that everyone looks forward to having when they get together. These foods are the perfect thing to feed everyone buffet-style during the reunion. If you prefer to let someone else do the cooking so that you can spend your time visiting and enjoying the day, ask family members to submit their own favorite recipes and put together a family cookbook for everybody to take back home with them.  


Update your family directory

This is the very best time to make sure that everyone has each other's correct contact information. You can do it the old-fashioned way by having everybody enter their info into a guest book to be shared later. A quicker way to take care of this is to set up a computer at the reunion that everyone can simply type any updates that need to be made into. Those files can then be shared with each other digitally. 

Wear name tags

Some might think that this sounds impersonal for a family gathering, but if you haven't seen someone for a year or more, they could look a lot different than you remember. This is especially true with growing children. Name tags can save everyone the awkwardness of asking "Who are you?" Go an extra step and make name tags large enough to add details like "son of...." or "married to..." to help everyone know how you are all related. 

Map it out

This can be both educational and a great way to decorate an area of the event room. Put up a big map or use a globe and let everyone mark where they are now living. It can be very interesting to see exactly how far out your family tree reaches. 

Designate age-appropriate areas

You will all want to be together at certain points during the day, but let's face it, young children will have a lot more fun if they have their own area full of activities and people their own age. The same goes for teenagers. They are too old to hang out at the kids' table, but too cool to be forced to converse with the grownups. The adults will probably appreciate having a corner all to themselves too. 


Give out fun awards

These can always be good for a laugh if you decide to give prizes for things like "most likely to make grandma lose her temper" or "aunt with the wettest cheek kiss." If you have a competitive family, give them something to strive for at the next reunion like "visited Mom & Dad the most since the last reunion" or "has the most kids."  

Host your next family reunion at Country Jewell!

You may rent our rustic event venue near Knoxville for 4 hours at a time during the week, Monday - Thursday, or in 4-6 hour blocks on weekends, Friday - Sunday, and on holidays. In addition to the beautiful landscaping, spacious celebration area, and charming atmosphere, you will also have access to:

  • 20 folding tables
  • 100 folding chairs
  • warming/serving kitchen
  • refrigerator
  • oven
  • microwave 

Country Jewell, Knoxville, event venue, family reunions,

Country Jewell is a wonderful place to host all types of celebrations. Some members of your family may want to come back to us to host their engagement party, wedding, anniversary, or other special event in their life. We hope to see you all again and again. We'd love to be a part of your happy family 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, August 2, 2016

8 Great Ways to Incorporate Family Into Your Wedding

August is Family Fun Month, so it seemed like the perfect time to talk about ways to incorporate the loved ones that you are related to into your wedding. Country Jewell is a marvelous place to host a ceremony and reception filled with family and friends. Our rustic wedding barn near Knoxville has plenty of room for everyone to spread out and have a great time.


Incorporate Family Into Your Ceremony

Marriage is all about two people that have fallen in love becoming a family together. This also means that they are joining their two existing families. There are lots of ways that you can symbolize and honor this at your wedding.

  • The Rose Ceremony - This is a lovely unity ceremony for families. You have three vases up front near the couple. Each mother claims a vase for their side of the family and puts a rose for each member of the immediate family into it, including the bride and groom. Those two roses can be personalized in some way. At a set time during the ceremony, the couple combine both sets of flowers into the center vase, symbolizing the blossoming of their new family.
  • Let them lead you down the aisle. - Instead of just having Dad walk the bride down the aisle, let your family form a processional to announce your entrance. The groom's family can do the same for him before he enters too.
  • Use family members as your wedding party. - Instead of asking friends to stand as your attendants, use your closest family members instead. 
  • Display family photos. - Place framed photos of all of your family members wedding pictures at the entrance to the ceremony or on the gift table. You can also use other family photos that show the members of your families off. Another way to do this is to make a slide show from all of the photographs to be played during a song at the ceremony or during the reception later.    


Family Fun at the Reception

The wedding reception is the time for both sides of your families to get to know each other and have some fun together. Here are a few ways that you can make that happen.

  • Play games. - Lawn games are tons of fun at receptions. Set up a few games outside to encourage a bit of friendly competition. If you prefer to keep everyone indoors, set up a classic board game station at a table or two. Video game stations can be lots of fun too, especially if there are teenagers at your wedding.
  • Set up a kids' table. - Although many children at weddings will spend most of their time on the dance floor, it's a great idea to have an area featuring kid-friendly activities to keep them entertained while the grownups party. Coloring books, games, bubbles, and kid-friendly snacks are wonderful things to include. 
  • Use Grandma's secret recipe. - Give your caterer one of your relative's recipes for something that your family has grown to love and beg for at every family gathering.
  • Have a dance competition. - Do you have a family that loves kicking up their heels on the dance floor? Throw a dance party and let your guests hold up signs scoring each of the competitors' smooth moves




Those are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Our wedding venue near Knoxville is a great place for your families to get to know each other. The scenic grounds are excellent for family photographs too. A wedding at Country Jewell is a day that everyone of every age can enjoy. 



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
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

All The Music Needed For Your Wedding - Part 2: The Reception

Last week's blog highlighted all the music needed for your wedding ceremony, and today we are moving on to the reception. You have said your vows, and not it is time to get the celebration started! Below you will find the areas where music should be added, as well as a few fun and romantic song selections from Country Jewell.  



Cocktail hour & dinner music - Just like the pre-ceremony music, let your DJ or band know the style that you prefer to be played during these times. They will most likely have wonderful suggestions for you. 

Wedding party reception entrance - Some couples, along with their wedding party, enter the reception to the same song they left the ceremony to, or you can choose something completely different. This is a great place to set the tone for the entire reception. 

  • Shut Up and Dance - Walk the Moon
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder
  • Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson (ft Bruno Mars)
  • Happy - Pharell Williams


First Dance - Your first dance together as man and wife is a beautiful moment, plus a romantic photo opportunity. If you don't have a special song as a couple already, start listening to the radio or researching love songs online. Once you start paying attention, you are sure to hear the words that sound as if they were written just for the two of you.  
  • At Last - Etta James
  • It Had To Be You - Frank Sinatra
  • Lucky - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
  • May I Have This Dance - Scott Krippayne
Country Jewell, Knoxville, weddings


Father/daughter dance - A sentimental song is sure to make everyone in the crowd tear up at this time. If you and dad have a goofy side, play something upbeat and surprise your guests. 
  • Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
  • I Loved Her First - Heartland
  • Tiny Dancer - Elton John

Mother/son dance - Just like with the father/daughter dance, go with something that fits the personality of the two of you. 
  • Through The Years - Kenny Rogers
  • My Wish - Rascal Flatts 
  • Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart

Anniversary dance - This is a special time when you ask all of the married couples at the reception to join you on the dance floor. A minute or so into the song, make the announcement, "If you have been married for 5 years or less, please have a seat." Periodically increase the number of years and continue having couples sit down until the one that has been married the longest is the last couple standing. A wonderful way to honor marriage! Some choose to give the final couple the bridal bouquet or some other type of prize.  
  • Still Crazy After All These Years - Paul Simon
  • You're Still the One - Shania Twain
  • As Time Goes By - Billie Holiday

Bouquet toss - You will want a song that is lively and fun to get all of the single girls out there, fighting for a chance to catch the bridal bouquet.
  • Single Ladies - Beyonce
  • Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar

Garter toss - The single men may need a little more coaxing than the ladies, so pick an irresistible tune for this one. 
  • Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
  • Legs - ZZ Top
  • Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins
Country Jewell, Knoxville, weddings


Cake cutting - A song here is only necessary if you will be making a big production out of cutting the cake. If you are simply cutting it and moving on to the next portion of the wedding, there really isn't a lot of time to hear a song.
  • How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
  • Sugar Sugar - The Archies
  • Sweetest Thing - U2

The last song of the night - This one isn't always thought about, but the final song will wrap the entire celebration up and cue your remaining guests that it was fun, but it's time to go home. 

  • Save The Last Dance For Me - Michael Buble
  • Closing Time - Semisonic
  • I've Had The Time Of My Life - Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes
  • Last Dance - Donna Summer

Country Jewell, Knoxville, weddings

There you have it. All of the music that you will need to choose for your Knoxville wedding ceremony and reception should be covered. Music is a marvelous way to inspire people to feel a certain way, and it's great for getting them out of their seats and onto the dance floor having the time of their life. This is a wedding planning decision that you can really have fun with, and Country Jewell has plenty of room for you to dance the night away in celebration.



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
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Friday, July 22, 2016

All The Music Needed For Your Wedding - Part 1: The Ceremony

Music is a very important part of your wedding day. It helps to set the mood, can bring a happy tear to your eye, and it gets people excited and racing to the dance floor at the reception. There are many places in your in wedding where the right song can elevate a good moment to an amazing one. 



Choosing all of the different songs to be used throughout your wedding is often an afterthought for couples. Country Jewell has put together a list for you so you can start thinking about the perfect music for each section of your wedding now and not have to rush to figure it all out at the last minute. 

This week is all about the ceremony music you will want to plan for, and next week we will go over reception music. Once you start picking it all out, you will be glad the task is out of the way and your wedding DJ will be thrilled that you are so prepared. 


Pre-ceremony music - You don't have to pick individual songs for the guests' arrival, but let the person in charge of your music know the type that you prefer. It should be welcoming and relaxing. If you don't have a particular kind in mind, your DJ or musicians will have excellent suggestions, and probably a perfect playlist already made up.

Family entrance - This is the beginning of the processional. Guests will be seated and the photographer will be snapping away. The song played here will let your guests know that the excitement is beginning.  

Wedding party entrance - A change in music will be the cue that it is time for the wedding party to make their way down the aisle. Your own personal tastes will decide whether this will be slow and sweet or upbeat and fun. 

Bride's entrance - The traditional "Here Comes the Bride" is actually titled the "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner. Pachelbel's "Canon in D" is also a classic. There is no rule though, and you are free to choose any song that you feel sums up everything that is about to happen.  Many couples decide to go with a sweet, romantic entrance, while others throw in something special to give the crowd a giggle. (The good part in the video below starts at 2:30 into it.)




Special ceremony music - You may want a close friend or family member to sing a special solo during the ceremony. The lyrics in a song for this will be the important thing to focus on. 

If you will be doing some type of unity ceremony, there will need to be something playing in the background while this happens. Make sure the song is only as long as the unity ceremony to avoid having to stand there awkwardly while it finishes. Fading it out when you are done is an easy way to accomplish this.   

Recessional - If you want to go the traditional route, the usual song is entitled the "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn. Some couples prefer to get the party started at this point and play something lively to dance back down the aisle to instead. Pick a song that makes you happy.  


Country Jewell, Knoxville, weddings

That should cover all of the areas in your ceremony where music is necessary. Next week, we will give you a few ideas for some great songs to include in all of the special moments of your wedding reception. Our Knoxville reception venue is an incredible place to party all night long with your family and friends. The perfect music makes it even more fun for everyone. 



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
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tips for Stress-Free Wedding Decorating

You have a million things to think about during the wedding planning process, many of which can cause you unnecessary stress. One of the more stressful tasks is getting your wedding venue decorated within a limited time frame on the wedding day.



Our rustic Knoxville wedding venue is already beautiful, and if you would like to add your own special touches, we can make arrangements to assist you with that. If you are wanting to do a lot of extra decorating, or if you are determined to do it all yourself, the following tips will help to keep your decorating at Country Jewell a little less stressful. 


Organization is Key

A well thought out and documented plan is the key to making sure everything gets done when and how it should. The more organized you keep your notes and decorations, the smoother the entire decorating process will go. 

Keep detailed notes about how you want everything to look. Set up a sample reception table and take a photo of it. When it's time to put centerpieces together, pull out the picture and recreate what is there. This also makes it easy for anyone helping you to understand how you want it to look.  

Make lists of everything that you need to have packed and sent to the venue. It's also wise to make a list of everything that needs to be brought home after the wedding is over too. That way, nothing gets overlooked or left behind. 


K.I.S.S.

Keep It Super Simple! (Because we think the more common "Keep It Simple Stupid" is just too mean.) If you know that you won't have a lot of time on the wedding day to spend decorating, then go with the "less is more" school of thought. Country Jewell's scenic grounds and historic buildings already look beautiful on their own. A few candles here and there may be all that you need to get the look you want. 

Favors are nice, but not a necessity. The chances are good that your guests won't even take home the favors that you spent time making and putting out. The same goes for seating charts and place cards. Unless you have family members that you need to keep separated, take the stress of planning a seating chart out of your to-do list.   




Make DIY Projects Early

Pinterest has made nearly every bride anxious to take the Do-It-Yourself approach to everything in her wedding. Only take on this challenge if you love crafting and have enough time to make everything that you have in mind. Begin all of your projects as soon as you can, even if the wedding is a year away. This assures that you will have plenty of time to finish what you have started without rushing around at the last minute.  


Hire a Professional

The easiest way to remain stress-free on your wedding day is to hire someone else to take care of the details. Hiring a wedding coordinator, even if just for a few hours, will allow you to focus on what's important, which is the fact that you are marrying the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. 

Let someone else sweat over the small stuff. When you do hire your own wedding vendors, make sure that they are reliable and trustworthy. You know that they will get their job done, and that is one less area that you will have to stress over. 

We have wedding packages at Country Jewell that offer assistance like this. We can take care of the food, the officiant, the DJ, and even the decorating in some cases. When you call us to book your wedding, let us know how much help that you are needing and we will find a package that works perfectly for you.  



Decorating your wedding ceremony and reception venues is a big job, but it doesn't have to be stressful one. Only take on what you can handle, and if it gets to be too much, go another direction. The tips above will go a long way in helping you to ease the stress of decorating your Knoxville wedding venue. Country Jewell is already pleasing to the eye, but we're here to help if you want to transform it into something personalized just for you. 




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
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