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

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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

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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

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

How To Pull Off The Perfect Wedding Sparkler Exit

Since the 4th of July is right around the corner, and fireworks are a big part of this patriotic holiday, it seemed like a great time to talk about wedding sparkler exits. They make for a beautiful and memorable exit from our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville, and the photographs are amazing.



There are a few things that you need to know to pull off a successful wedding sparkler exit at Country Jewell. It takes special sparklers, safety precautions, and pre-planning to get the look you are hoping for. The following guidelines will help to make that happen.

Don't buy short sparklers.
The tiny sparklers that come in a box at every 4th of July fireworks stand will not last long enough for you to run through before they burn out. You will need to find the longest ones possible so that your photographer has time to capture all of those incredible pictures. The best ones are around 36 inches long and will burn for about 3.5 minutes.  

Talk to the venue. 
You will need to request permission and talk over safety guidelines and rules with Country Jewell before you can plan for your sparkler exit. This can only be done in specific areas so that it is safe for you, your guests, and the venue itself.  

Coordinate the timing. 
Your photographer will give you instructions on the best way to run through the sparklers so that they can get the best pictures possible. You don't want to go through too fast, and they will probably have you stop in the middle of the aisle or at the end for an incredible kiss while the "sparks are flying." 

Keep guests informed. 
Make sure that you have a sign up or a listing in your wedding program letting guests know that there will be a sparkler exit at a specific time. This lets them know to stick around if they don't want to miss it. Also, have your DJ announce when it is time so that the guests that stayed for it know when to head outside.

Don't hand out sparklers early.
Wait until the guests are lining up for the big exit before handing out the sparklers. It is way too tempting for some people to light them before it's actually sparkler time if they have them in hand early. You will want to make sure that you have someone you trust in charge of this task.  



Give directions to guests.
The DJ, your wedding coordinator, or someone you've given the task to will need to give all of the guests a few guidelines before the sparklers are lit. Let them know how the lighting will happen, to give the couple, and each other, plenty of space, and where to dispose of the used sparklers when it's over. 

Have plenty of room.
Make sure that your guests make a wide enough path that you can make it through without getting hit by the sparklers. The guests should also be far enough apart from each other to safely wave the sparklers, but close enough together that it makes a solid wall of light. 

Lighting the sparklers.
Matches and small lighters won't get the job done in an efficient manner. Have a few long-reach lighters available and start lighting guests' sparklers at both ends of the line, and in the middle too if possible. Once a few are lit, guests should be able to light more off of each others sparklers. 

Don't leave kids unattended. 
Make sure that small children have the assistance of an adult if they will be holding a sparkler. You might even consider giving children glow sticks to wave instead of the sparklers. These are much less dangerous and the kids will still have them to play with after the lit sparklers burn out. 

Sparkler disposal.
One very important safety precaution that you need to make happen is having a place for guests to put the sparklers after it's all over. The best way to do this is to have a couple of metal buckets filled with sand or water at the end of the line that everyone can place their sparklers into on the way back into the reception hall. Do not throw them away in a plastic trash bag until they are completely cooled off.



A sparkler exit is always a wonderful grand finale to a reception at our rustic wedding barn near Knoxville. Just let us know that you are interested in doing this when you book Country Jewell, and we'll be happy to guide you through it. 


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, June 21, 2017

Keep Your Wedding Party Cool At An Outdoor Wedding

Lots of our summer wedding tips give advice on how to keep your guests cool at your scenic outdoor wedding near Knoxville, but what about the wedding party? They won't be able to use handheld fans while they are standing at the alter with you, and it's particularly important that everyone looks fresh and cool for all of those wedding photos that will be taken. Country Jewell has a few tips to keep you and your wedding party from looking like you're melting!


For the Ladies
It can be difficult on a hot summer day to keep your makeup and hair looking fresh after the beautician is done with you. If you'll be taking a lot of photos before the ceremony, you'll be getting ready early in the morning and that look needs to last. 

Powder based or oil-free makeup is going to require a lot less maintenance than a liquid-based one. An even better solution is to have a professional airbrush your makeup on. This process gives you a finished look that is water-proof, defending against both sweat and happy tears. For touch-ups throughout the day, have face blotters on hand. These are highly absorbent pieces of paper that can absorb oil and sweat without taking off all of your makeup.  

When it comes to your hair, the easiest way to stay cool outdoors is to choose an up-do. You can ask your hairdresser to create a style that can be let down once you're indoors for the reception if you've always dreamed of wearing it down and flowing with your bridal gown. You'll get two fabulous looks for one special day.  


For the Fellas
The worst thing that you can do to a groom and his groomsmen is to put them in a full suit at an outdoor wedding. Try to find light fabrics in light colors for the guys to wear so that the heat doesn't get the best of them. If you want a few formal photos, the jacket can be reserved for the ceremony and pictures, but take it off in between to cool down. An informal wedding gives the men a little more freedom in what they can wear, or skip wearing. A nice shirt can replace the suit jacket altogether, or a vest can be a cooler option. 

If the fellas are worried about sweating too much and it showing, you can find underarm shields to put under a shirt which absorbs the excess moisture. These generally stick with an adhesive strip to the shirt material, but be careful that they don't come lose and slip out of place. 


For Everyone
The following tips work equally well for the guys and the girls. Make sure that you replenish your fluids and take a short, cooling break right before walking down the aisle and in between the ceremony and reception, and have the following things handy: 

  • Have LOTS of water on hand at all times.
  • Stick to the shady spots. If you want more shade than nature provides, possibly put up a small canopy tent, or have some cute umbrellas to carry. These can make for some adorable photos!  
  • Keep plenty of backup deodorant in your "get-ready" kit. Make sure it's the kind that will not leave any residue on your clothing. 
  • Don't forget the sunscreen! The sun can cause more problems than just heat. Keep your skin protected. 


Outdoor weddings are gorgeous, and even on the hottest days, there are ways to keep everyone cool enough that they still have a great time. The key is to plan ahead and be ready for anything. Outdoor ceremonies at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville take place nearby the indoor reception barn, so you won't have to be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Country Jewell weddings are beautiful, comfortable, convenient, and memorable for everyone in attendance, especially the bride and groom! 



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, June 15, 2017

9 Of Our Favorite Summer Wedding Ideas

Summer is officially here next week, which means it's time for summer wedding season at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. We've seen quite a few creative couples tie the knot over the years at Country Jewell, and today we're sharing 10 of our favorite ideas for a summer wedding.  


Keeping Your Cool
The weather really starts heating up once summer is here, so keeping your guests cool is an important thing to plan for. Wedding programs printed on fans is an excellent way to keep them comfortable during an outdoor ceremony. They can provide a nice breeze for themselves while staying informed about important wedding details.   

Bringing the Outdoors Inside
When it really gets hot outside, you'll probably be spending a lot of time inside our air-conditioned wedding barn once the party gets started. Bring some of the outdoor beauty in with you by incorporating it into your centerpieces and other wedding decor. Vases filled with seasonal wildflowers are an easy way to do this. Another way is to use colors that seem to say "Summer is here!" 

Sunny Colors
Bright, sunny, summery colors bring the same optimistic cheer to your wedding as a bright, sunny, summery day. Take inspiration from all of the beautiful plants in bloom outdoors, like the gorgeous greens of the trees and the rainbow of colors found on the flowers. The sun's yellow and orange shades make for a lovely color scheme, and those deep blue skies and fluffy white clouds decorating your view are another incredible place to borrow color ideas. 


Fruity Decor
Use some of the refreshing fruits that are in season this time of year to not only add flavor to your menu, but also to decorate your reception. A mason jar full of sliced lemons and limes bring lovely, fresh color to a table, and you can add sprigs of baby's breath coming out of the top for added flair. Centerpieces can also pull double duty if you make an arrangement of fruit for appetizers at the center of every table. It will look pretty, and your guests can have a snack while waiting for dinner to start.  

Outdoor Activities
Take advantage of the wonderful weather and offer a few activities for your guests to take part in outside. Lawn games are always lots of fun, and there's plenty of room at Country Jewell to set a few of these up. You can even find a spot on our grounds with some beautiful landscaping for a background and set up an area for guests to take fun photos.  

Refreshing Drinks
The beverages you serve for a summer wedding should be ice cold and refreshing. Containers filled with tea and lemonade where guests can help themselves is a great way to keep drinks available to them at all times. You can rent a frozen drink machine to serve icy, blended beverages. Add frozen chunks of fruit to punch bowls to keep them cold but not watered down. Last but not least, at a summer wedding is it very important that you make sure water is easily accessible to guests at all times.   


Naked Cakes
Keeping your cake inside our Tennessee wedding barn will keep any icing from melting in the heat. Another alternative to a cake covered in buttercream icing or fondant is to choose a "naked" wedding cake. Rather than frosting the outside, instead the baker only frosts between the cake layers and decorates the outside with flowers and fruits. It's a lighter dessert, and it is an especially wonderful look for a rustic wedding.  

Sundae Bars
Summer and ice cream go hand in hand. Offer your guests a cool dessert alternative by having a table full of sundae toppings and few of your favorite ice cream flavors. 

Sparkler Sendoffs
Another great outdoor activity that you can add to your wedding is an exciting sparkler exit. It's fun for the guests, it's a blast to run through that tunnel of light, and the pictures that your photographer will get from it are simply amazing. 


Summer is an amazing time for a wedding, especially at our breathtaking, scenic wedding venue near Knoxville. You've got the rolling landscapes and fresh Smoky Mountain air outside plus the rustic charm of our wedding chapel and event barn inside. If you are looking for the perfect place to get married, take a look at Country Jewell. We know you're going to love it here as much as we do! 


A delightfully quaint Knoxville wedding
& event venue.

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

Visit our website:  www.CountryJewell.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
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