Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Great Reviews From Country Jewell Weddings & Events

We host a lot of beautiful ceremonies and receptions every year at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. Each one is unique, and we do our very best at Country Jewell to make sure every bride and groom, as well as their guests, have the best day ever. 





The great big smiles on everyone's faces during the event generally let us know that everyone is having a good time, but we know for sure when we hear back about the experience after the event is over. This is why we welcome reviews. Facebook seems to be the most popular outlet for our guests' feedback. Here are a few of our most recent reviews. 


"I found Country Jewell online. We live in Ohio and after talking to Claudia we booked the venue and never looked back. But when we pulled in the night before our wedding all my dreams about how I wanted our day to go came true. The venue was beautiful and clean, the grounds were perfection and the food and cake were amazing. We hit the lottery with Country Jewell. We could not have ordered better weather and Hope, the photographer, was absolutely the best. Hal, the DJ, was engaging and made me feel confident our guests would be able to dance the night away! Claudia had everything packed up for us when our night was over and we were able to leave and tend to our guests back at the lake! So Claudia and staff......thank you!! Thank you for giving us the day of our dreams. We will never forget this most amazing day!!
Love,
Gary and Tammy Waire
" Facebook review

"I had my wedding here and Claudia and her partner (didn't catch her name) made my wedding day absolutely perfect. My husband and I love the atmosphere here, and so will you!!"
~Makenzie S, Facebook review

"I had my wedding with Claudia June 18th and it was amazing. She and her staff were so talented and helpful and the day was absolutely perfect. Not only was it beautiful but it was a total blast from beginning to end. Thank you so much, ya'll are truly a blessing!"
~Janet B, Facebook review


Wedding aren't the only event that takes place at Country Jewell. We also host many engagement parties, anniversaries, holiday parties, business retreats, birthdays, and much more. The scenic beauty and charming atmosphere make everyone feel right at home. 

"I had my parents surprise anniversary party here...it was wonderful! Claudia is so sweet and great to work with. Her venue is beautiful and clean. She directed my caterer and DJ with set-up which helped me while I set out my decorations. My family had a great experience and made a lot memories that night!"
~Lindsey, Facebook review 


If you are looking for a gorgeous place to get married, or to hold any other type of celebration, stop by our scenic event venue near Knoxville and take a look. We will be happy to show you around, listen to your story, and help to make your event vision a reality. Weddings and events at Country Jewell are sure to be happy memories for everyone involved for many years to come. Thank you to all of the people that took the time to leave a review for us. We would love to hear from even more of 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
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

7 Tips For Staying Organized During Wedding Planning

January is designated as "Get Organized Month," so it's a great time to focus on a few things that you can do to stay organized while you are planning a wedding in the Knoxville area. There are lots and lots of tasks involved in pulling off a successful wedding, and the best way to stay as stress-free as possible is to keep everything organized. Country Jewell has a few tips to help make that happen. 


Consider hiring a wedding planner.
Some couples are afraid that if they hire a wedding planner, they will lose creative control over the wedding. While some planners may be a bit controlling, they aren't all like that. If you take the time to interview them until you find one that clicks with the two of you, you will be happy that you did. A good wedding coordinator will take your lead, but is there to offer experienced advice to make the planning simpler. They will keep you on track so that everything gets done in a timely manner before the big day.

Personalize a wedding planning checklist.
There are all kinds of wedding planning checklists out there written to cover a broad range of possibilities. Find one that is detailed enough to cover every aspect of the wedding you are planning, then start eliminating any tasks that don't pertain to your particular event, and also add any that aren't already included. Your wedding will be unique, and a personalized checklist better helps to make your vision a reality.

Plan on paper or online?
Do you still prefer paper lists to virtual ones on the computer or your mobile device, or vice versa? It's really not a bad idea to embrace and utilize both systems. Even if you want to do everything online, there is bound to be some paper items that you will need to keep track of, so you will want to have a plan for keeping those organized. 

The benefit to keeping track of your wedding planning online is that you will always have access to your notes, no matter where you are, and everything will still be there and can be reprinted if any paper pieces get misplaced. Also, many online organizers can be shared with others, like your soon-to-be-spouse, your wedding party, your parents, or any person you believe should be able to get to the information. There are settings you may choose so that other people can only view the items, or they may be allowed to make edits.   

Keep everything in one designated spot.
The most important thing to do, whether you plan on paper, online, or both, is to pick one place for it all. A physical wedding binder should have enough room to hold everything, and a special spot in your home where you always put it when you're done with it. An online planning portal should have one main folder with smaller folders inside to keep you organized. Some of the items that you should keep together are:

  • Your personalized planning checklist
  • A calendar with appointments, deadlines, and important dates
  • Contact lists for every single person or vendor that is involved in your wedding. (wedding party, parents, officiant, rental shop, seamstress, etc...)
  • Wedding Day/Weekend Schedule
  • Signed contracts
  • Copies of all stationery (save-the-dates, invitations, menus, programs, etc...)
  • Directions to venue
  • List of songs
  • RSVPs
  • Gifts received/ thank yous sent
  • Copy of vows
  • Room set-up map & seating chart
  • Budget & receipts  
  • Marriage license 

Set up a temporary email address.
It's easy for emails to get lost in your inbox if you receive a lot on a regular basis. Make sure that you see everything that is wedding-related by setting up a temporary email address specifically for the wedding. This way all of that correspondence is all in one place for easy reference. Once the wedding is over, you can shut down the temporary email to avoid getting spam from vendors you no longer need. If there are vendors that you would like to keep in touch with, you can give them your regular email address after the wedding. 

Number your RSVP cards.
If you are sending out RSVP cards with your invitations, inconspicuously number them in a tiny corner on the back, or with some type of invisible ink. Place the same number next to that name on your guest list. It is not uncommon for people to mail the RSVP back to you, but forget to put their name on it. In that case, you can simply check the number on the back and know exactly who it belongs to.  

Schedule weekly time off.
Even if all of your tasks are organized perfectly, if you don't take a break once in a while, your brain will be overwhelmed! Schedule time every week to do something that is not wedding related to give yourself a break. That way you will stay fresh, and tackling the next task will seem easier. 


Staying organized during wedding planning will make everything run a lot smoother. You can always ask advice from the talented staff at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. We've seen a lot of weddings over the years, and if you get stuck, we just may know the answer. We always do our best at Country Jewell to help our brides and grooms have the most amazing wedding possible. Best of luck with your planning. We can't wait to see how it turns out! 


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, January 4, 2017

15 Fun Wedding Facts For National Trivia Day

January 4 is National Trivia Day, and all of us here at Country Jewell love weddings and everything about them. Those two facts wouldn't normally go together, but combining them gave us the inspiration to write a blog filled with fun wedding trivia. Some of these will be merely interesting to you, but some of them may give you a little inspiration when you start planning your ceremony and reception at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. Have fun reading! 


1. Wearing a white wedding dress became a tradition after Queen Victoria got married in white on February 10, 1940.

2. In Japan, while their brides traditionally always wore white, they would often change to a brightly colored dress, usually red, at some point during the celebration.

3. Bright colors are worn by brides in India for the wedding ceremony, and those gowns are often covered with intricate designs and details. Instead of a veil to cover their heads, Indian women wear saris. 

4. The bridal veil originally was worn to disguise the bride from evil spirits that might be jealous of her happiness and try to ruin it. 

5. Irish weddings use bells to keep the evil spirits away from the bride and groom. Some brides even carry small bells in their bouquet for added protection.

6. While diamonds are generally the jewel chosen for an engagement ring (because diamonds are forever), a sapphire in a wedding ring represents marital happiness.

7. Wedding rings go on the fourth finger of the left hand because the belief is that the vein in that finger leads directly to the heart.

8. Ever wonder why a bride is expected to have "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?" Each of those things symbolizes:

  • Old = the bride's past, her family, and tradition
  • New = future happiness and good fortune
  • Borrowed = This should come from a happily married person in the hopes that their good fortune will rub off on you.
  • Blue = fidelity and love. 

9. Don't jump with fright if you spot a spider on your wedding dress. Discovering one of those little guys on your bridal gown is supposed to bring good luck! 

10. Another occurrence that might seem bad but is actually said to be lucky is rain on your wedding day. Hindus believe that the natural shower brings fertility and cleansing to the couple. 

11. Do you want to sweeten your marriage? Then pick a wedding dress that you can wear gloves with and place a sugar cube inside one of those gloves.

12. The song that most people refer to as "Here Comes The Bride" is by Wagner and actually titled the "Bridal Chorus." It is from the 1850 opera "Lohengrin.

13. People often have Jordan Almonds as favors at a wedding. While this isn't a candy often eaten on a regular basis, it is significant for weddings because the almonds have a bittersweet taste, which represents life, and the sugar coating is added in the hopes that the marriage will have more sweet than bitter. When given in amounts of five, each almond represents a wish for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity. 

14. Be careful picking out your gift registry items. Apparently, receiving knives as a gift is a bad thing because people used to think that it symbolized a broken relationship. To ward off those bad vibes, it is suggested that you give the person gifting the knives a penny. That way, you're "buying" them instead of getting them as a present.  

15. The word "honeymoon" originated from an ancient Norse tradition. Newly married couples used to go into hiding for 30 days (or one moon) after the wedding, and a family member would bring them a cup of honey wine each day.



Traditions and old tales and superstitions can sometimes spark an idea for something wonderful to add to your own wedding. There are lots of different chances during both the ceremony and reception at your rustic wedding near Knoxville where you can put in all sorts of personal touches. The history behind Country Jewell itself only adds to the beautiful story being created on 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

Like us on Facebook
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Creative Ideas For A New Year's Eve Wedding

If you happen to be newly engaged and are possibly considering a New Year's Eve wedding next year, there are lots of fun ways that you can incorporate classic New Year's traditions into your reception. While some people prefer to steer away from holiday weddings, this is an occasion where everyone is looking for an awesome party to attend anyway. Country Jewell has a few great ideas that will make your celebration that awesome party they are searching for!


Start Late
If you want to keep partying long enough to last past midnight, then you'll want to begin the festivities late in the evening. Too early and you risk guests getting tired, or even worse, bored before the new year rolls in. Plan the ceremony for after dinner time, followed by late-night appetizers throughout the evening. Another option would be to host a dinner before the ceremony, then get married just before midnight at the reception.

Serve Traditional Foods
You can incorporate foods that are traditionally considered to bring good luck to the diner in the coming year. Some say that pork is the only meat that you should eat on this particular holiday. The reasoning is that chickens scratch backwards, cows stand still, but pigs root forward, just as you should move forward into the new year rather than looking back.

Lentils are another food that is said to bring good luck when eaten, helping to usher in a prosperous new year. Some seem to think that it may be because the roundness resembles coins. As a matter of fact, round foods are encouraged in general on New Year's Eve.

Make sure that you have a lot of white grapes available for all of your guests to nibble on at midnight too. In Spain, it is customary to eat one grape for each month of the year at midnight, taking in a grape at every midnight strike of the clock.  

Get Ready For The Countdown
In addition to having plenty of white grapes handy, midnight toasts are a must. Most people expect a champagne toast at midnight, but if you aren't a drinker, there's always sparkling cider to replace it with. Your band or DJ should be able to pull off an entertaining countdown to midnight, and make sure that they have "Auld Lang Syne" cued up to dance to after everyone indulges in their romantic midnight kiss. 

You will also want to make sure that noisemakers get passed out before the clock strikes twelve. One way to get them to everyone could be to incorporate them into the table settings or even the centerpieces. Making a lot of noise at midnight isn't just for fun. It was originally done to scare away any evil spirits that might try to follow you into the new year. Top it all off with a fun balloon drop and maybe even a few sparklers.   

Have Fun With Favors
New Year's Eve lends to some pretty cute favor ideas. You could send everyone home with pocket calendars for the coming year, and maybe even go the extra step of inserting a few special dates to remember. Hangover kits are a great idea for a reception that includes drinking. A small bag with some aspirin, a bottle of water, gum, antacids, and possibly breath mints. Whatever they might possibly need for "the morning after."  

Last but not least, don't forget about the black eyed peas. This is one final tradition to send your guests home with. Eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day is said to bring good luck and financial good fortune for the coming year. They suggest that you strive to eat one pea for every day of the coming year on January 1st. 


A Whole Year To Plan
While these ideas are a bit late for this year, you've got an entire year to plan an amazing New Year's Eve 2018 wedding at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. If this sounds like a good possibility for your ceremony and reception, give us a call at Country Jewell before the date gets booked. What a wonderful way to start your brand new life 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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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fun Holiday Activities For Family Gatherings

The holidays are here! Many people will be getting together with family and friends over the next week to celebrate the season. Once the food is eaten and the presents are opened, you may be needing a few ideas for how to keep everyone entertained. Country Jewell has put together some great activities that we've discovered over the years from parties held at our Knoxville special event venue. 




Play Games
There's a good chance that someone opened a brand new game for Christmas that you can all give a try. You can also have a pile of favorite board games stacked to the side to choose from, and see how many you can play your way through.

Another alternative is to put a holiday twist on some classic games, like "Name That Tune," Christmas Carol version, or Christmas movie "Pictionary" or "Charades." For the more active families, you could even set up a few "Minute To Win It" style relay games and take part in some friendly competition. 

White Elephant Gift Exchange
In addition to, or instead of, the regular present opening, a White Elephant Gift Exchange adds a bit of fun and mischief to gift giving. Everyone participating brings a wrapped gift, either something they already own and no longer want, or a new gift that fits within a pre-set price range. It's up to your group whether you bring useful presents or silly ones. 

All players pick a number, and player #1 begins the game by choosing a gift from the pile to unwrap. Next, of course, is player #2, but they have a choice: either open a new gift or steal the gift player #1 opened. If they steal, then player #1 gets to open a new gift. Later on during the game, once more presents have been opened, if you are stolen from, you have the choice to steal from someone else. The last person in the round that doesn't want to steal opens a gift, then play continues to the next player number.

Play continues in this way, with each player either stealing or opening, until everyone has gone. At the end, player #1 gets one last chance to steal if they so choose. There are numerous variations on this game that you can find online to help the game play go smoothly and fairly.  

Make Something
If you have a group of crafty individuals sharing the holidays with you, set up a work station where you can all make some items together. It can be a new ornament to hang on the tree, or maybe a holiday decoration to be used next year. You can even make something sweet to be eaten once it's finished, like building a gingerbread house together or decorating cutout sugar cookies. 

Establish A New Tradition
Finding a favorite story to read to the group year after year, like "The Night Before Christmas," is an excellent tradition that everyone will look forward to each year. Another option could be to choose a classic movie that is entertaining for any age, grab some snacks, turn down the lights, and settle down for a great seasonal movie. You could even change into your pajamas and start a movie marathon. Pick something that everyone finds fun and do it every year. 

Set Up A Photo Booth
Memories are a wonderful thing to cherish, and taking lots of pictures is a great way to share those memories with those that could not be at your celebration. Setting up a photo spot and providing a few clever holiday props is a wonderful way to encourage everyone to smile and say cheese. 



If you don't have the chance to celebrate Christmas with everyone that you would like to due to conflicting engagements, consider throwing a belated get-together after the holidays. You could even throw a "Happy New Year" party at some point in January at our rustic event venue near Knoxville when everyone is a little less busy. Whatever you end up doing, all of us at Country Jewell hope that you have a magnificent holiday season full of all of the things and people that you love. 


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
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Your Wedding Save-the-Date Questions Answered

Our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville is beloved by people that live here in the area, and many travelers passing by have had the chance to fall in love with its country charm too. When that happens, some of them decide to travel back to Country Jewell for a destination wedding. If you will be hosting a wedding outside of your hometown, sending Save-the-Dates is the best way to make sure most of your guests will make the trip with you.


Why Send Save-the-Dates?
These pre-invitations allow your guests enough time to make arrangements to attend your special day. While they are not necessary for weddings taking place close to home, you are welcome to send them out in that case if you want to. 

Generally, Save-the-Dates are reserved for destination weddings, where guests will need time to make travel arrangements, or for any that will take place over a holiday or busy weekend, where you will want to get on your guests' calendars before another event. Many couples now plan things to do during the days surrounding the wedding too, making an entire weekend out of the celebration. This would be another good reason to go ahead and send out Save-the-Dates. 

When Should They Be Mailed?
Right around 6 months before the wedding date is when you should be mailing your Save-the-Dates. An exception to this is if you will be getting married out of the country. That may require a little more planning for those invited, so you may want to send those out 8-10 months before the date. 


What Should They Say?
Right now, only the basics need to be shared with everyone. More details will be included on the actual invitation, and even more can be shared on a wedding website if you choose to have one. Make sure that your Save-the-Dates DO include:

  • The names of the bride & groom
  • The wedding date
  • The wedding location (city & state; the venue information can wait)
  • The wedding website address (if applicable)
  • "Formal Invitation To Follow" (Most people will realize this, but some do not and may start calling you for more details unless you use this phrase.)

Another thing that you most definitely want to include on your Save-the-Dates is a return address. That way if any don't make it to their destination, you can reach out to those people in another way or re-send it. Now, some things that you should NOT include on this correspondence are:


  • Registry information
  • RSVP information
  • Venue (This information can wait until later, but if your venue is booked and guests can make reservations for overnight stays there, you may want to go ahead and share this with them now.) 

Who Gets Them?
Everyone that you will be inviting to your wedding should receive a Save-the-Date, even your bridal party and parents. Address them the same way that you will be addressing the invitations. This will let everyone know if they should also make travel plans for children or "plus ones" that are also invited. 

Formal or Funny?
The type of Save-the-Date that you send out is totally and completely up to you. It does not need to match your wedding invitations, but it can if you would like for it to. This is a wonderful place to add in a little bit of your personality as a couple. If you are known for your great sense of humor, inject that into the style. 




While postcards are very often used for Save-the-Date cards, you are not limited to that idea. A few fun options that we have seen are: calendar pages, magnets, photos to frame (with the couple holding a sign containing the important information), bookmarks, luggage tags, tickets... The only limit is your imagination.  


Our scenic Knoxville event venue is surrounded by a warm sense of Smoky Mountain tradition and enchantment. Once they see it, all of your guests will completely understand why you chose our charming country setting to say your "I do's." 

Country Jewell is just far enough away from the traffic, noise, and bustle of the cities, yet still close enough for all of your guests to find lovely places to stay and visit while they are in the area. If this sounds perfect to you, give us a call and let us tell you what a beautiful wedding day that we can help you host right here. 





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+

Friday, December 9, 2016

10 Great Ideas For Those Leftover Mason Jars From Your Wedding

Mason jars are a very popular wedding decoration that we see often at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. They fit the theme beautifully, and there are lots of creative ways for them to be used. The only problem may be what in the world you are going to do with all of those mason jars after the wedding is over. Well, Country Jewell has a few ideas for you. 

As we already mentioned, we have seen the versatile mason jar used in lots of different ways at the various weddings that have taken place here. Most often they are utilized in the centerpiece somehow, usually as floral vases or candle holders. Some couples chose to use mason jars for their guests to drink out of, others put them on the buffet line to hold utensils, and a few even incorporate them as favors. 




After the wedding, unless you used them as favors, you are going to have a lot left over. Unless you happen to know another bride that would like to take them off your hands, here are some great ideas for what to do with them instead of throwing those multi-functional items away. 


1. Gift Jars

With Christmas just around the corner, you've probably seen lots of small gift sets wrapped up neatly inside of mason jars. You can make a mini-spa gift and fill it with small bottles of hand lotion, nail polish, emery boards, and other items that pamper a person. Small bottles of alcohol and a mini can of soda tucked away inside make a mini bar right in the glass you can drink it out of. Another trip around the internet can also give you tons of recipes for cookies and more where the dry ingredients are layered inside the mason jar and a recipe is attached. 


2. Snack Holders
These work great for both people snacks and pet treats. You can also layer a salad in such a way that the dressing doesn't soak everything else before you're ready to eat it at lunchtime. The lid makes it a great soup container to take to work too. 

3. Baking "Pans"
Glass can go into an oven, which means filling a mason jar with cake batter, bread dough, or muffin mix will result in fresh and hot treats straight from the oven. We have even seen some recipes that allow you to bake a wonderful single-serving pie in them. 

4. Kitchen Containers

Foods like pasta and rice often come in a bag that is not resealable. A mason jar is the perfect thing to keep your leftover dried goods in. They can also hold other cooking and baking ingredients. The lid from a plastic Parmesan cheese container from the store even fits on the top of some jars to make a nice shaker.   

5. Desk Containers

These glass jars are great containers for all sorts of household items. Either plain or decorated with a fresh coat of paint or wrapped in some type of paper, they will keep all of your stuff neatly where it belongs. Pens, pencils, scissors, and more will always be where you expect them to be.

6. Bathroom Containers
Just like on your desk, there are lots of things in the bathroom that can be kept neatly in a mason jar. Q-tips, cotton balls, makeup sponges and brushes, bath salts... all sorts of things!

7. Waterproof Containers
If you like to go camping, use one to store your matches so that they stay nice and dry. The jars could also keep the scents from some aromatic foods locked away so that animals aren't as tempted to visit and examine what you're eating. 

8. Liquid Dispensers

You can find lots of fairly easy tutorials online that instruct you on how to add a pump to the jar lid. Then you can use it as a clever dispenser for soaps, lotions, and more.

9. Herb Garden
These are great little containers to line your kitchen window with. Fill them with a bit of dirt and plant your favorite herbs so you will have fresh ones whenever you need them.  

10. Vases or Candle Holders

There is no reason why you can't use them all around the house in the same way you used them at your wedding. As an added bonus, every time that you see one in a room, it will remind you of your very special wedding day.


Even if you use all of the ideas above, you may still have a few left over. Re-make a few of the things that you made for yourself and save them to give away for housewarming gifts, birthday presents, or any other time that you need a quick present. We love being able to see what everyone does with their mason jars at our Knoxville wedding and event venue. Share a few of the things that you have done with those jars after the wedding with Country Jewell too. We bet you've got a few more great ideas that we didn't even think of. 


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+