Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wedding Planning Jobs To Give To Family Members

With so many things happening on your wedding day, as well as the days leading up to your rustic wedding near Knoxville, there are lots of different ways to include family members that want to help. Between planning your Country Jewell wedding and the many tasks to take care of on the actual day, you should have no problem finding something for everyone to do. 


This week we'll cover some ideas for tasks to dole out during the planning stages, and next week we'll discuss jobs that family member's can handle on the wedding day. Even if you want to take care of the majority of the wedding planning yourself, you can still find small tasks for family members that want to help out. Sometimes giving an overly-helpful person a specific job to take care of will keep them from constantly pushing their ideas on you, while allowing them to feel useful. It also takes some of the more menial tasks off of your plate, freeing up your time to work on the big stuff. 

Stuff Invitations
After you've picked out your wedding invitations, decided on the wording, and placed the order, you still have to put all the pieces into the envelopes and address them. This is a wonderful task to put a group of family members on. They can set up an assembly line and get it all taken care of in a much more timely manner than you doing it all by yourself. 

Gather Addresses
Once you have your guest list finalized, you need to gather current mailing addresses for everyone on that list. This is a perfect thing to delegate to a family member. 

Craft Favors & Decor
If you have a lot of DIY projects planned for your wedding, don't you dare try to do it all by yourself! Even with the best time management, those things always seem to eat up more time than you would expect. Let your crafty family members get to work on these with you. They will love seeing their handiwork on the wedding day.  

Help Plan a Bridal Shower
For those family members that are trying to influence the wedding planning decisions that you are making, let them plan a different party to take their mind off of your wedding decisions. They can host a family bridal shower and party-plan to their heart's content. 

Gather Family Photos
Featuring family wedding photos at your ceremony or reception is a wonderful way to pay tribute to all of the love that both sides of your families have shared up until this day. Finding all of those photos can be time consuming though. Another family member will be able to take care of this for you while you work on other tasks.  


Even the smallest task can make your family members feel like they are an important part of your special day at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. They get to feel like a part of "Team Wedding," and you get to take a few planning tasks off of your plate so that you can focus on the bigger stuff. 

Next week, we'll conclude our Family Happiness Month-themed blogs with jobs that you can give family members on the actual wedding day. Country Jewell has some wonderful ideas so that both the bride's and the groom's families can be included on your 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

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sweet Ways To Welcome New Family Members At Your Wedding

We started our family-themed blogs for August in honor of Family Fun Month last week with 7 Ideas For Hosting A Fun Family Reunion. This week, we are turning our focus back to weddings at Country Jewell with ideas on how to welcome the family members you are gaining due to your new marriage. Whether it be in-laws, children from previous marriages, or a bunch of distant cousins, everyone will feel like one big family on your special day. 


In-Laws
When you get married, you not only gain a spouse, but also new parents, grandparents, and siblings. There are a few things that you can do before and during your wedding to show them that you are excited to add their family to yours.  

  • Gifts - Find a special memento that says something like, "Thank you for raising the wonderful man/woman that I fell in love with!" Let them know you appreciate not only the person they raised, but them too. 
  • Toasts - The same thing can be said in a toast directed at your new in-laws. Take a moment during the reception to publicly tell them you are thrilled to be a part of their family.
  • Planning - You can make your future spouse's family feel like a part of the wedding by letting them assist you with some of the planning details. Even the smallest assistance or using one of their suggestions can make them feel like a part of "team wedding." 
  • Unity Ceremony - There are unity ceremonies that incorporate both sides of the family instead of just the bride and groom. One example is the wine ceremony. Each set of parents brings up a carafe of wine, one white and one red. These are blended together by being poured into a single glass that the bride and groom drink from. This symbolizes the blending of the two families.  

Children
If one or both of you already has children from before the marriage, you will want to let them know that they are an important part of this union too. We've got a few ideas on how to make them feel like a special part of your wedding day. 

  • Announcements - Let the kid(s) make the wedding announcement by featuring them on the Save-The-Date holding a sign saying something like, "My mom is getting married!
  • Processional - They can walk as a part of the processional and stand up front as bridesmaids or groomsmen. You could also let them walk mom or dad down the aisle. This especially works well if the children are already adults.  
  • Vows - If the kids involved are not adults yet, it can be important to let them know that your new spouse promises to be there for all of you. Special vows specifically written to them can assure them that they are a big part of this new, blended family.  
  • Keepsakes - Newly married couples exchange rings, so a personalized keepsake, like a ring, necklace, or watch for children involved is a nice way to physically symbolize what vows state in words. 
  • Dance - After your first dance as husband and wife, invite the kids onto the dance floor and have a fun family dance. 
  • Unity Ceremony - Sand ceremonies are perfect for couples that are bringing children into the mix. Everyone involved can have their own color of sand so that their portion of the vase or frame is clearly visible. 

One & All
What about all of the extended family that you'll be gaining, as well as the new friends that your spouse is bringing with them? These ideas allow everyone to feel like a special part of your big day.

  • Seating - This is where that now popular sign "Pick a seat, not a side" comes into play. Gone are the days of separating the bride's friends and family from the groom's at the ceremony. Instead, remind everyone that you are all in this together and all are welcome.  
  • Traditions - Incorporating family traditions or customs into the celebration will honor that side of the family, plus introduce the other side to those things that are now a part of your life too. It can be done with decorations, music, or possibly the food being served. 
  • Photos - Set up an area to showcase your guests' wedding photos, both friends and family. They don't even have to be wedding photos. Instead, show off pictures from happy times that you have spent with the people you have invited to your wedding. 
Country Jewell, weddings, Knoxville, Heiskell TN

The wedding day is all about the bride and groom saying "I do" and pledging their lives to one another. There are a lot of people that helped you get to this point, and giving them a little bit of special attention can be a wonderful gesture. These are just a few ideas of things you can plan to do when you get married at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. There is a comfortable, family feel to Country Jewell which will make you and your guests feel welcome and at home while you are here. 


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 1, 2017

7 Ideas For Hosting A Fun Family Reunion

August is Family Fun Month, so our next few blogs will focus on celebrations including family. If you'll be hosting a family reunion near Knoxville in the near future, Country Jewell has the perfect place to host it, and today's blog has a few great ideas on how to keep everyone entertained while they are there. 


Map It Out
If your family has spread out over the years and all live in different areas of the state, the country, or even the world, it can be fun to see exactly where everyone is coming from. Have a large map at the reunion entrance so that everyone can mark where they now live on it for all to see. This can be set up along with a name tag table, because if your family members don't get to see each other often, wearing name tags is an easy way to avoid the embarrassing question of "Who are you?" 

Play Games
Ice-breaker games are great for getting the party going, especially if your group doesn't get together often. These will help everyone get comfortable and be more relaxed with each other. For competitive groups, plan a few relay races and host a family olympics. The games don't have to be overly organized. Your family may prefer to have a few board games and lawn games set out to play at their leisure throughout the day. 

Family Favorites
If there is an activity that always happens when your family gets together or a similar interest that you each seem to share, a family reunion is the perfect time to showcase that. Musical families can bring instruments along and "jam" together, and possibly even teach the younger kids some old classics. If you prefer something crafty, maybe everyone could work on their own quilt square and then spend some time sewing it together. 

Many families have recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. These definitely should be on the menu for the reunion dinner. You can also gather them into cookbooks to share with everyone, and increase the contents be asking each person to bring a new favorite recipe to add to the list. 


Tell Stories
When different generations come together, there is always something new to learn from each of them. Let the elders tell a few stories from their day, then have the younger family members chime in with a similar story from their modern-day lives. You could even turn the storytelling into a game and let everyone try to guess which family member the story being told is about.

Start a Time Capsule
Family reunions should be a regular occurrence. If not yearly, then maybe every 3-5 years. You can encourage this by having everyone bring something special with them to add to a time capsule. Then, make plans to open it back up at the next reunion and see how much everyone's tastes have changed. Don't forget to throw a group photo in their before sealing it up.   

Divide & Conquer
A multi-generational celebration means there are a lot of different age levels to keep entertained. Set up different areas of our rustic event venue near Knoxville to host age-appropriate activities. Young children need an area to run around and let off that youthful energy. Craft tables are nice too, and you can plan crafts for different ages. Teenagers may enjoy an area with a gaming system set up to challenge each other. Grown-ups may prefer a quieter area where they can talk and catch up with one another. Just plan to end the celebration by bringing all ages together for one last activity.  


Take LOTS of Photos
This is a lot easier to do nowadays since nearly everyone has a camera on their cell phone, and most people are never far from that phone. Technology makes it very easy to share these photos with each other too. Set up a photobooth-type area with props where everyone can get a little goofy for pics. Take lots of candid shots too, because it may be a while before you get all these people together again, but great photos will remind you how much fun you had and that you should do it again soon! And of course, don't forget to make the time for one big group picture while everyone is there.  

While you're at it, pull out photos from past reunions and display them at this celebration. After all, a big part of reunions is the chance to take a walk down memory lane together. Here's another thing that you can turn into a game. See if everyone can guess who is who in the old photos. 


Host a Country Jewell Family Reunion
Our scenic event venue near Knoxville is an excellent place to host your next family reunion. There is plenty of room, both indoors and out, for up to 100 guests to spread out and have some fun. You can make use of the beautifully landscaped outdoor areas, and the event barn has two levels, plus the following items for your group to use: 

  • 20 folding tables
  • 100 folding chairs
  • A warming/serving kitchen with:
    • a refrigerator
    • oven
    • microwave 

Country Jewell in Heiskell is available for all of your special celebrations. Our event venue can be rented for parties in 4-hour increments Monday-Thursday, and in 4 or 6-hour blocks Friday-Sunday and on holidays. Give us a call at 865-494-0552 to see if your desired date is available, then set up a time to stop by and see the place for yourself. It's the perfect spot for a happy and memorable family reunion!  


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, July 26, 2017

4 Plate-Free Wedding Appetizer Ideas.

Food is a very important part of a reception at our scenic wedding and event venue near Knoxville. If you will be hosting an all-day celebration, you may need more than just the main meal. Appetizers are a great way to keep guests happy after the ceremony until dinner is served, and some couples even choose to serve a few snacks before their "I do's" at Country Jewell. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, but it should taste great. 



During a cocktail hour or before the ceremony, your guests may not be in their seats at the reception tables yet. It can be awkward to socialize with a drink and a plate full of food in hand, and very difficult to participate in any lawn games you have set out to entertain everyone. Here are a few ideas for simple treats that don't require guests to carry a plate around with them. 

Grab & Go
Rather than expecting your guests to balance a plate of food, place small appetizers in easy to carry containers. A plastic cup that is flat on the bottom and can easily be set down if necessary can hold dip in the bottom and fruits, vegetables, cheeses, or crackers on top. You can even fill the bottoms of these cups with cocktail sauce for shrimp or with ketchup for a cup full of french fries. 

Cute paper bags of popcorn, chips, or some other type of crunchy snack is small and easy to carry. You can even opt for an edible container. Place fresh fruit in a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone for a fun treat.   

One-Bite Wonders
Another option is to have the food come to your guests by having servers carry passed hors d'oevures on trays. These should be small food that can be popped into your mouth in 1 or 2 bites. They only require that all guests have a napkin rather than a whole plate. Crackers topped with dips, cheeses, and other items work well for this. Bruschetta is also a wonderful option, or sandwiches cut into tiny, cute shapes. 

On a Stick
Toothpicks are excellent for serving bite-size foods, or you can opt for skewers and serve an entire row of yummy bites at once. Just about any type of food can be served on a stick: vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, and more! We've even seen slices of watermelon on a popsicle stick, making it easier and less messy to enjoy. 

Edible Centerpieces 
Once your guests are allowed to go to their seats at the reception table, you can have colorful centerpieces that also double as appetizers. An edible arrangement is fun and unique, and everyone can pick pieces off of it. One way to do it is with skewered food that resembles a floral arrangement, or you could use beautiful bowls and platters at different heights to hold the appetizers. This idea is also great for serving dessert. 



Deciding how to serve food to your guests is only one of many things to consider when you are planning a rustic wedding near Knoxville. As we mentioned earlier, the most important thing is that it tastes incredible. If you can make it unique and easy for guests, even better. Country Jewell is here to help if you have any questions about any part of the wedding planning process. All you have to do is ask, and we're thrilled to offer our expertise to make your wedding amazing! 


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, July 19, 2017

4 Reasons To Throw A Celebration At Country Jewell

Our scenic event venue near Knoxville is a wonderful place to gather your friends and family to celebrate... well... just about anything! There are many special occasions in every person's life, and sharing some of those with people you love and care about makes them even more significant. 

We offer lots of different event packages at Country Jewell to fit a variety of different needs. Here are just a few reasons why you should book a date with us in the near future. 


You're getting married!
Our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville is an excellent spot to say "I do!" The natural beauty surrounding Country Jewell will take your breath away, and the charming facilities offer multiple choices for a ceremony site. Our wedding chapel has an amazing stained glass window overlooking the altar, and the original barn board walls bring in a sense of history and enchantment.

The outdoor wedding gazebo is surrounded by lush landscapes and that amazing Smoky Mountain air. Outside you'll also find lovely beds of vibrantly colored flowers, ponds with meandering streams, bubbling waterfalls, neat stone paths, and white painted fences. All of these make amazing backdrops for some unbelievable wedding photos. 

The wedding barn is the site for an exciting reception with eating, drinking, and dancing. In addition to the actual wedding, this is a marvelous place to host an engagement party or come back to celebrate a wedding anniversary.  


It's a special occasion.
There are lots of those in the course of a year. Country Jewell is a wonderful spot to host a birthday or even get together for a holiday party. The charming and relaxed atmosphere makes everyone feel right at home and ready to celebrate something special.  

Country Jewell, Heiskell TN, event & wedding venue

It's time for a reunion.
If it has been a long time since you've gathered the extended family together in the same place, our beautiful event venue near Knoxville is the perfect place to do just that. It can be for a special occasion, such as a retirement or anniversary, or simply because it's been way too long. 

Everyone can enjoy dinner and activities inside the event barn, plus admire the beautiful atmosphere and gorgeous landscaping outside too. There is plenty of room for the entire clan to reconnect and make some new and lasting memories.   

Country Jewell, Heiskell TN, event & wedding venue

You need to get out of the office. 
Country Jewell is a great place to hold business meetings away from the office or schedule a relaxing retreat to team-build or thank your staff for a job well done. Bring everyone from work to our scenic meeting venue near Knoxville to enjoy the fresh air and gorgeous views to really get those creative juices flowing again. We offer breakfast or lunch meeting packages specifically for this. 

Country Jewell, Heiskell TN, event & wedding venue

When can we expect you?
Feel free to give us a call at 865-494-0552 to take a tour of Country Jewell before your next celebration. We would love to show you everything that our rustic event venue near Knoxville has to offer, and we believe once you've seen it, there's nowhere else you'd want to celebrate! 


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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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Creative Ideas For A Picnic Themed Wedding

The month of July is designated as National Picnic Month, which gave us the great idea to write about wonderful ways to incorporate a picnic theme into your wedding at our scenic outdoor event venue near Knoxville. The enchanting Smoky Mountains, gorgeous landscaping, and sheer natural beauty that surrounds Country Jewell makes you want to be outside as much as possible. A picnic-themed celebration ties in perfectly for that! 


Picnic Blankets
A picnic wedding simply isn't complete without a few colorful picnic blankets spread around. These are a nice spot for enjoying cocktail hour before the reception begins. Add a few throw pillows to each blanket for a bit of added comfort, and you can use some hay bales or lawn chairs for seating in case it is difficult for older guests to sit on the ground. 

Coolers full of canned beverages are a wonderful way to serve drinks, and you can give away personalized koozies as wedding favors. Cocktail food can be pre-packaged for each guests in a cute container, like a small cardboard to-go box or paper sack, so that the food travels easily. As the sun sets, the blankets will be an excellent spot for guests to lay out and do a little star-gazing. 

Reception Tables
Inside our rustic wedding barn reception area, checkered tablecloths bring bring the picnic theme indoors. Mason jars, glass bottles, or tin cans with pretty lace or colorful ribbons tied around them make sweet centerpieces that can be filled with wildflowers. You can even use these containers to hold the silverware for each table as a part of the centerpiece. 

Food & Drinks
What's your favorite picnic food? You can serve your guests a good ol' backyard BBQ type of meal with burgers, brats, ribs, etc... Just be sure to have plenty of wet wipes handy for everyone! Another option is a DIY sandwich bar with all the fixings, plus fresh fruit and bags of chips for sides. Sliced watermelon is a perfect picnic food, and if you place each slice on a stick, it's a little less messy to eat. 

Have big jugs of tea, lemonade, and some fruit-infused waters to drink. In addition to wedding cake, serve pie or cobbler for dessert. A really fun added touch would be to have an ice cream man swing by with his musical truck to serve along with the rest of the desserts. 

Fun Extra Touches
Wedding programs that double as fans allow guests to keep cool while they are outdoors enjoying the picnic blankets. Yard games will keep everyone entertained, and you might even set up a few relay races like at a family picnic. An actual picnic basket makes an excellent card holder on the gift table. Instead of a guest book, you can ask everyone to sign a wooden picnic basket or squares for a quilt that the couple can use for future picnics. 


A picnic theme is just one of the many ideas that can easily be incorporated into a ceremony and reception at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. It is made up of gorgeous outdoor areas paired with charming indoor spots to use. If you've been dreaming of a fantastic outdoor wedding that your guests will remember for many years to come, Country Jewell may be just what you're looking for! 

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 5, 2017

10 Adorable Alternatives To Throwing Petals For Your Flower Girl

An absolutely adorable moment in any wedding is when the sweet flower girl makes her way down the aisle. We've seen a variety of people of varying ages take over that role at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville, and occasionally, it's not even a girl! It's your wedding day, and you can choose anyone you like to sprinkle flower petals down your aisle. 


Of course, if you don't want to go with the traditional flower petals, that's also a choice you can make! Country Jewell has a list of 10 cute alternatives that any flower "person" would be happy to carry. 

Sprigs of Lavender
These are similar to flower petals, but just different enough to make your wedding unique. They look lovely, and as an added bonus, will give your wedding entrance a wonderful lavender scent. 

Feathers
If you'll be going for a "love birds" type of wedding theme, feathers are a good alternative to flower petals. They are natural, perfect for a spring or summer wedding, and float to the ground gracefully. Be wary of a windy day, though, because they catch the wind easily.  

Leaves
Another natural element that would look great sprinkled down the aisle is a handful of pretty leaves. It will tie in nicely with the scenic beauty of Country Jewell, and look especially stunning in the fall when the leaves have turned gorgeous shades of autumn colors. 


Pine Cones
We especially love this idea for a winter wedding. It brings in the smell of pine trees and thoughts of Christmas time. These would even look nice sprinkled in among a handful of fall leaves. 

Bubbles
Instead of putting things on the ground, fill the aisle's air with beauty! Give your flower girl a decorated bubble gun and let her "blow" them while she walks. 


Flower girls don't necessarily have to leave anything behind as they make their way down the aisle. Find an item that fits in with your theme somehow and let them carry it down the aisle as a prop. This can be a much easier option for younger children that don't quite understand the concept of evenly sprinkling something as they walk. 

Signs
This is a popular option. Children march down the ceremony aisle carrying signs, banners, or flags that let everyone know who is coming, usually in a very whimsical way. A few of the sayings we have seen are:

  • "Here comes the bride!" 
  • "Just wait until you see her!"
  • "Last chance to run!" 
  • "Happily ever after starts here!"
  • "Here comes the love of your life!"
  • "If you think I'm cute, wait 'til you see the bride!"

Balloons
If you will host a playful wedding, balloons are a perfect decoration. It can be a bouquet of small ones or one giant balloon. This is a wonderful way to get a shy child to make their way down the aisle. If they concentrate on following the balloon tied to their wrist, they may be less likely to worry about the people watching them. 


Pinwheels
Here's another idea full of fun and whimsy, and great for a spring or summer wedding. Large, colorful pinwheels will look gorgeous when they catch the breeze on the way down the aisle. 


A Magic Wand
Flower girls often resemble sweet little fairies, or pretty, pretty princesses. Why not give them an adorable magic wand to carry to complete the outfit? Little girls (and even many older ones) will love this, and if you tie lots of colorful ribbons cascading from it, it makes for a beautiful sight coming down the aisle.

An Umbrella
If your wedding is incorporating pretty parasols into the decor, the flower girl is the perfect person to pull off the look. It fits in nicely at a spring ceremony, playing off of the "April showers" idea, and these cute umbrellas are excellent for keeping summer sun at bay. 


The item that you decide to have your flower girl carry as she walks down the aisle is only a small part of the wedding, but it can be a beautiful and memorable one. Sometimes it's the smallest details that can really make your rustic wedding in Knoxville stand out. Country Jewell is an excellent backdrop for any wedding, no matter what the theme. Come on out and take a look for yourself. We know you will love it! 


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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