Friday, February 16, 2018

5 Creative Save-the-Date Ideas for Your Wedding

The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day (aka "Engagement Season") greatly increased the number of couples that are now ready to start planning a wedding. If you want to give guests early notice about your ceremony and reception, you will need to send out Save-the-Dates. Country Jewell has a few creative ideas to impress your guests.   


Postcard
A wedding invitation is the formal invite to your special day, so you don't want to spend too much of your budget on the save-the-dates. Postcards are less expensive to mail than a card with an envelope (35 cents vs. 50 cents each.) You can get creative with the front of the postcard by using a photo of the two of you, or possibly a calendar with the date cleverly shown on the front. If you are planning a destination wedding, you might want to use postcards from the city where you will be getting married. Adding a short, handwritten message on the back is a nice, personalized touch.    

Magnet
Putting your save-the-date information on a magnet allows your guests to immediately stick it on the refrigerator, keeping it in plain sight so that your wedding excitement stays fresh in their minds. The front of the magnet can be done similar to the postcard ideas above, but this one will have to be put into an envelope to mail out.  

Mini-Calendar
There are lots of cute min-calendars available online that can be personalized, but a plain calendar will do the trick too. When you place it into the envelope, have it open to your wedding month and either circle the date with a heart or place a heart sticker on the date. You should also include a short note or letter cluing them in to what the calendar is all about, in case they don't get the idea right away.  

Photo Stickers
Most places that print photos can also put your pictures on small stickers, and there are many places online that you can order them from too. Send the stickers, with the backs still on them, attached to a paper save-the-date that instructs your guests to place the stickers on your future wedding date on their own calendar at home. 

Email
Another option is to send an email save-the-date. These don't have to cost you anything but a little time to create them, or you can spend a little bit and use a website that will allow you to personalize an animated email card. It can include a link to save your wedding date directly to their online calendar plus a link to your wedding website if you will be creating one.


Information to Include
Wedding save-the-dates only need to have very basic information for your guests. They are exactly what the name implies, a notice to save the date so that they have a chance to make plans to attend. You should include:

  • Your names (obviously!) 
  • Wedding date (or dates if it's an entire weekend)
  • Location (the city for sure, the venue if you already have it booked)
  • Notice that a formal invitation will follow
If you have a wedding website, this information can also be included on your save-the-dates. These should be mailed out about 6 months before the wedding to allow your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements. 


Our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville is an excellent location for a destination wedding. Country Jewell itself seems to be set apart from the rest of the world, allowing you and your guests to enjoy a completely private experience on your wedding day, yet still located in a spot that is central to many options for your guests' entertainment and lodging needs. We are less than 10 minutes off of I-75, putting us near Knoxville, Norris Lake, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. We know both you and your guests will absolutely love it here. Let us know if you'd like for us to "save the date" for your wedding! 



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, February 7, 2018

Valentine's Day Romance for Everyday Life and Your Wedding

February is a very romantic month. Not only does it contain Valentine's Day, but it is also labeled "Creative Romance Month" and "National Weddings Month." This seems like the perfect time for Country Jewell to highlight a few creatively romantic ideas that can both be incorporated into your wedding at our beautiful rustic wedding venue near Knoxville and your daily life. (Valentine's Day is a great time to start making one or more of these a tradition for the two of you!) 


Love Letters
Handwritten love letters are rare for most people, so receiving one from your sweetheart is an extra special treat. It is a lovely tradition for couples to write love letters to each other to be delivered on the wedding day while each is getting ready for the ceremony. You can also do this for other romantic occasions, or simply "just because" any time you feel like writing down your feelings and making your special someone smile. 

Don't stop there. While a handwritten love note is the ultimate, go a step further. Occasionally leave little notes around the house for them to find on post-its or other small scraps of paper. The occasional text full of sweet nothings is sure to make them very, very happy and keep that romance alive too. For the big occasions though, put pen to paper and seal it with a kiss! 

Relive A Memory
Every year, be it on your anniversary, Valentine's Day, or some other important date, recreate something that is special to the two of you. Pick a restaurant or a particular meal to enjoy only on that date each year, or possibly drink one certain type of wine you don't drink on a regular basis, making it unique to that romantic moment. You could even recreate your first date every year. You can begin this tradition at your wedding, or if you already have something in mind from your time dating, incorporate it into your wedding day. 

Make A New Memory
If you're the adventurous type of couple that prefers to try something new and different together every chance that you get, promise to pick out a new adventure to share with each other every year. It doesn't particularly have to be romantic. As long as it is something you can experience together, it is bound to bring you closer together, which is always wonderful for romance. 

You can bring this idea of trying something new into your wedding planning by searching for a unique unity ceremony to share or by learning a choreographed dance to perform at your reception. If it's something you haven't done before, give it a try!    

Take An Annual Photo
This is an excellent way to watch the progression of your love and life together over the years. Strike the same post every year and take a photo to add to a collection. If the picture can also be taken in the same place annually, even better, or go the opposite direction and make sure you find a brand new location each year. If you have not yet gotten married, make sure that you take this photo on your wedding day, and for already married couples, pick one of your wedding photos to inspire your recreated pose. 

Renew Your Vows 
This can be done in a big way like getting married all over again, or simply by going back over the vows that you made to each other in private. If this is something that you might want to do, have your wedding vows framed or saved on paper in a special place to keep them safe until you want to get them back out again. Another option is to watch the video from your wedding or flip through the album of photos from that amazing day.  


There are two main themes throughout the ideas suggested above. One is togetherness, and the other is reminding your loved one of how special they are to you. For those of you yet to get married, start some traditions that can be incorporated into your big day at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville, and for everyone that has already tied the knot, start a tradition now, possibly pulling inspiration from your own wedding day. From all of us here at Country Jewell, have a wonderfully romantic Valentine's Day full of love! 

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, January 31, 2018

7 Things You Should Do After You Get Engaged

Congratulations, you're engaged! Once the initial excitement of the moment dies down enough for you to concentrate, you will probably wonder what your next steps should be. You may want to immediately start planning that fabulous wedding you will have at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville, but there are a few other tasks you will want to tackle first. Country Jewell in Heiskell has come up with a list of the important ones for you. 


Enjoy the Moment! 
Even though you may be tempted to start shouting it from the rooftops right away, it doesn't hurt to keep this magical moment between just the two of you for a little while. Privately take this time to celebrate together before sharing the news with your family and friends. 

Get Your Nails Done
Once you start spreading the news, people are going to start asking to see your beautiful new engagement ring. Your left hand will be the center of attention, so getting a manicure will guarantee that it is looking its best. No one wants a dingy fingernail taking attention away from that brand new ring. 

Share the Good News
Don't make a post on social media to the general public before you've had a chance to share this special news with your family and closest friends. Telling them in person is best, but if that's not possible, maybe you can set up a video chat to let them know. Once all of the important people have been told, go ahead and share it with the world! 

You might even consider throwing an engagement party to tell everyone at once. Our rustic event venue near Knoxville is a wonderful setting for this. Throwing that party here is excellent practice for getting ready to host a ceremony and reception at Country Jewell too! 

Think About Ring Insurance
Hopefully, nothing bad will ever happen to your engagement ring, but it's always better to be safe than sorry with an important item like that. Jewelers will often appraise a ring for free for the insurance company if it was purchased at their store.

Start the Guest List
You don't have to decide on the final guest list right away, but you do need to get an idea about the size of the wedding that you will be planning. Small weddings are a lot easier to plan for, and celebrations with 100 or fewer guests are the perfect size for a Country Jewell wedding. 

Book Your Wedding Venue
If you want to ensure that another couple won't book your desired date before you get the chance, you'll want to call Country Jewell as soon as you are sure about the wedding day. If you are a bit more flexible and don't have a specific date in mind, the dates that are still open on our calendar can help you to narrow down the special day. Once that's set, you can move on to other wedding planning tasks, like deciding on a budget and picking your wedding party. 

Schedule Engagement Photos
The earlier you can get these done, the better. That way you will have lots of gorgeous photos of the two of you to use for things like announcements or save-the-date cards. It's best if you find the photographer that you want to shoot your wedding first because many of them will offer engagement photos as a part of your wedding package. 


This is a very exciting time in your life. Don't let the planning stress get to you, but instead remember to enjoy the moments as they happen. If you have any questions at all, our knowledgeable staff at Country Jewell may have the answers. We've seen many beautiful weddings over the years, and we can't wait to add yours to that list! 


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, January 24, 2018

7 Creative Ways To Make Your Wedding Unique

Your wedding guests will most likely be expecting a typical ceremony and reception when you invite them to join you at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville. Traditional weddings are wonderful, but if you want to shake things up a little bit, Country Jewell has come up with some creative ways to incorporate some additional fun to surprise everyone with. 


#1- Serve refreshments before the ceremony.
You don't have to make your guests wait until after the "I do's" to grab a drink. Set up a drink station with refreshing flavored waters, tea, or lemonade so that they can pour a drink to enjoy during the ceremony. You could even schedule the cocktail hour to happen before the ceremony with drinks and a few small appetizers for everyone before you walk down the aisle. 

#2 - Keep everyone well-fed all day.
Instead of the traditional ceremony followed by a cocktail hour with appetizers and then dinner followed by cake, spread out the food. Start by using the advice from tip #1 to feed everyone a little bit before the ceremony, then have a few more appetizers before dinner. Serve a light meal at the reception, then go ahead and cut the cake for any guests that need to leave early. 

As for the rest of the guests that stay to dance the night away, serve a snack midway through dancing. It could be a surprise appearance by a food truck, a dessert table with cookies and cupcakes, or maybe even a popcorn bar. If you're going late into the evening, have a few pizzas delivered for everyone to munch on before heading home or send them away with edible favors to enjoy on the ride home or the next morning. 

#3- Relive memories with each guest.
Many couples like to display photos from their relationship leading up to the wedding day as a part of their decorations. Some also display pictures from the weddings of other family members. Why not add your friends to the mix too? Display photos of yourself with particular guests or handwritten memories you have of them at their reception table. It's a very sweet and personalized gesture. This is a lot easier to do with a small, intimate wedding rather than a large one with lots of guests.  

#4- Act like kids again.
Kids always seem to be happy and having a great time. Take a cue from them and do something child-like that will put a smile on everyone's face. Rent a bounce house, play some goofy games, serve cotton candy and ice cream... you get the idea. The kind of stuff that grown-ups don't normally let themselves enjoy. You'll all go home with incredible memories of having an amazing time. You can be a grown-up again the next day.   

#5- Surprise them with your first dance.
Your first dance as husband and wife is a romantic moment, but if the song goes on too long, guests may lose interest and you might start feeling awkward having everyone stare at you both for so long. One way to avoid this is to have the DJ cut the music after a verse or two to shorten the song. A fun way to fix this problem is to have the DJ merge your romantic slow song into a fast dance midway through. You could even invite your wedding party or the entire room to join you on the dance floor at this point. It's a very lively way to get the party started. 

#6- Arrange for unique entertainment.
In addition to just having a DJ or live band perform at your wedding reception, think outside the box. You could have a professional dance troupe come in to perform for your guests. An impersonator or hypnotist would be very entertaining. Another creative option could be a close-up magician wandering around the room or a caricature artist on-hand to draw favors for your guests. 

#7- Set aside an area to chill out.
If you have some wedding guests that don't like to dance a lot or some that dance so much you know they'll need a place to take a break, set up an area away from the dance floor where they can all chill out for a while. A few comfortable chairs set off to the side of the room will do the trick. Inside our beautiful event barn near Knoxville, you could host dancing upstairs in the hayloft and set up a relaxing area downstairs after the reception tables have been moved out of the way.


Those are just a few fun ideas that you might want to add to your wedding plans to make the celebration unique and add an extra element of fun. When you visit us at Country Jewell in Heiskell, we would love to hear what type of fun ideas you have in mind. Between the both of us, your wedding will be one that you and all of your guests will enjoy and remember fondly for years to come! 


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, January 16, 2018

Why You Hear Bells At Weddings

Bells and wedding seem to go together. You may have heard someone utter the phrase "I hear wedding bells" when they are speaking about a couple that they think should get married. We've had lots of Country Jewell weddings, as well as bridal showers, incorporate bells for decorations. Our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville even has our very own giant wedding bell that couples ring after they utter their "I do's." Have you ever wondered how bells became a wedding symbol? If so, read on...


Good Luck and Fortune
In olden days, before you could let everyone know what was going on in your life through social media, news of important events was often announced by ringing the church's bells for the entire town to hear. Weddings are very special and happy celebrations, so the bells were always rung for these. Sometimes they were sounded before the wedding to celebrate the bride's and groom's newfound happiness, and they were always rung after the ceremony to announce the new marriage. 

Many thought the sound of the bells would bring the newlyweds luck and fortune. In Ireland, small bells are given to the couple as a wedding gift for this reason. Another reason for bells at weddings was because some cultures used to believe that the ringing of bells was necessary to scare away evil spirits that might wish to ruin the newlyweds' future happiness. 

Today, when you see bells used for decoration or on wedding-related stationery, it is usually two bells tied together at the top with ribbon and a bow. This is symbolic of the couple's new connection and the joining of their lives together. 


Ring for a Kiss
A very popular tradition that we see often at our wedding barn near Knoxville is the use of small bells for the guests to ring at the reception. People used to clink silverware against a glass as a signal for the bride and groom to share a kiss. This is still done today, but the use of small bells instead is a cute wedding detail, plus it brings the old tradition of bells ringing to your reception. 

We discovered a couple of reasons for why this is probably done. One myth was that the sound scared away demons so that the couple could safely kiss each other. Another story stated that the sound was meant to be a reminder for the couple of the vows they had just made. In our opinion, most people do it just because it is fun and pictures of newlyweds kissing at their wedding are the best! 

Country Jewell, weddings, Tennessee, bells  (1)

The Wedding Bell at Country Jewell
It's a favorite tradition here at our beautiful scenic wedding venue near Knoxville for the bride and groom to walk the path to our gorgeous wedding bell and ring it together. That bell has announced quite a few wonderful marriages over the years, and we expect it to be announcing many, many more in the future. When would you like to join us at Country Jewell and ring the bell with your new spouse?


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, January 11, 2018

Beautiful Weddings for All Seasons - Indoors and Outdoors

The beauty of Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains offers an enchanting atmosphere for all of the ceremonies and receptions that take place at our rustic wedding venue near Knoxville, no matter what the season. With breathtaking scenic views outdoors and charming indoor facilities, it's the perfect place to say "I do" in front of your family and friends. Whether it be spring, summer, winter, or fall, Country Jewell is a marvelous place to host your very special day.  

Scenic Wedding Gazebo
Our timeless outdoor wedding gazebo is a gorgeous spot to tie the knot! It is surrounded by lush landscapes, amazing mountain views, and all-around natural beauty. The vibrant colors of each season surround the gazebo, giving it a unique look depending on what time of year you are here. 



Outdoors you will also find meandering streams, spectacular landscaping, and a bubbling waterfall. There are multiple places on the grounds that offer incredible photo opportunities. In addition to the gazebo, there are also other impressive outdoor areas where you may wish to set up your ceremony. 




Charming Wedding Chapel
If you prefer to get married indoors, or if it's a time of year where that's simply the most comfortable option, our historic wedding chapel may be just what you are looking for. We took an old corn crib which was originally built in 1931 and turned it into a magical place to host a wedding ceremony. 

During the renovation, we were able to keep the original barn board walls. A stunning Victorian reproduction stained glass panel now hangs over the altar, giving the entire chapel a romantic ambiance. With its red oak floors and simple benches, the atmosphere is reminiscent of an old country church. The building is able to accommodate up to 45 people, which is perfect for a small, intimate ceremony. 





Rustic Special Event Barn
Our main special event building is a barn which may seem simple on the outside, but full of gorgeous rustic charm once you step indoors. It's a beautiful place to host your reception, allowing you to stay out of the cold in the winter and late fall, or get indoors to cool off when the summer heat is at its hottest. 



The Lewis Barn was originally built in 1929. It has been completely renovated, yet still retains a feeling of tradition, history, and enchantment. This rustic reception venue near Knoxville comfortably holds up to 100 guests. It is fully equipped with restrooms, a kitchen and serving area able to handle all of your catering needs, and an open seating area that can host a variety of table setups. The old hayloft upstairs offers a unique and fun spot for entertaining your wedding guests, as well as a great place for some really wonderful wedding photographs.  


Which season will you be here? 
No matter which season you are getting married in, our charming wedding venue near Knoxville is set up to offer you an amazing experience in all of them. Words and pictures can give you an idea of what to expect, but a visit to Country Jewell is the best way to understand just how amazing our special event venue is. We would love to give you a tour. Give us a call at 865-494-0552 to arrange a time to visit. 

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 3, 2018

7 Organization Tips To Make Wedding Planning Easier

Did you know that January is also known as "Get Organized Month?" When you are in the midst of planning a wedding in Tennessee, organization is key to getting things done, and also to keeping your sanity. Country Jewell has a few tips for you today that will be very helpful for getting all of your wedding tasks accomplished.   


Consider hiring a wedding planner.
You may want to think about fitting a wedding coordinator into your budget. Their experience and knowledge of planning weddings could very well end up saving you money in the long run, and it will definitely save you a lot of time. Some couples worry that a wedding planner will take over and they will lose control of the look of the event. A good planner will incorporate your ideas, not theirs, improving on them where possible and offering suggestions that will make everything easier. Less for you to worry about, but everything still gets done. 

Make a personalized planning checklist.
You will find many different wedding planning checklists online. These cover a broad range of possibilities. Search until you find one that covers everything that you want to incorporate into your special day, and then personalize it to match your particular plans. Take out unnecessary tasks that don't pertain to what you are doing, and add any that are missing. Your wedding will be unique, and a personalized checklist helps you make sure that your entire vision becomes a reality.  

Keep it together. 
Once you begin gathering lists, contact information, and general planning ideas, keep all of those things together in one place so that you can find everything that you need without a lot of searching. If you are keeping track of it all on paper, be sure to have a backup copy just in case you misplace anything. It's a good idea to have your future spouse or your maid of honor hold on to a copy. If you are staying organized digitally, either with a computer program or an app, share access to it with others that are helping you take care of everything. 


Delegate responsibilities. 
This is a little more of a stress-reliever than an organizing tip, but it's an important one for getting lots of things done in a small amount of time. People close to you will want to help, so let them. There are plenty of tasks to go around, and quite a few that can be accomplished without your direct input, like picking up the invitations at the printer, or even addressing them. Choose people that you know will get the job done to take certain tasks off of your list, and then all you have to do is make sure to double-check with them that it was accomplished. 

Create a wedding email address.
It will be a lot easier to keep track of wedding information by email if you set up a temporary address to use specifically for wedding stuff. That way it won't be mixed in with bills, emails from friends, and random newsletters you've signed up for, but rather all together in one easy to find place. You can also feel free to sign up for special discounts and newsletters from wedding vendors that you meet knowing that once the wedding is over, you can shut down that email address and not worry about continued "spam" from those vendors once you no longer need them.  

Mark your RSVP cards.
If you will be mailing RSVP cards along with your wedding invitations, it's a good idea to mark them in some way, like with a small inconspicuous number in the corner or with some type of invisible ink. It is more common than you would think for people to mail the cards back but forget to put their names on them! If you have marked the cards ahead of time, it will be easy to figure out who a blank one belongs to. 

Remember to take breaks. 
Even if all of your tasks are perfectly organized, if you don't take a break once in a while, your brain will be overwhelmed and unable to make any sense of it! Schedule regular time, at least once a week, to do something that is not wedding related. That way you will stay fresh, and tackling the next task will seem a lot easier. 


A little organization goes a long way, and when everything runs smoothly it will be a lot simpler for you both to simply enjoy the wedding and everything about your special day. We've seen a lot of weddings over the years here at Country Jewell, and the talented staff of wedding professionals at our scenic wedding venue near Knoxville is here to offer guidance and help to you in any way that we can to make your wedding day as amazing as possible.   


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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