Archive for the ‘Wedding Vendors’ Category

It’s not that we forgot about Wedding Wednesday this week, it’s just that we haven’t really had any time to write. In fact, Ryan is gone on a business trip for the second time this month…he’s only been home for one week in April so far. But we’ve been making the most of the weekends and the time we do get to have together this month.

Here’s what’s going on in our world wedding-wise: we met with a couple of our wedding vendors over the past week. Yes, it has been six months since we got married, and we’re still hanging out with our vendors. (Insert lesson here on the importance of picking vendors you mesh well with.) We had actually been trying to schedule a time with Jonathon and Sharon of Jonathon Campbell Photography for quite a while, but one of us kept having something come up. On Thursday, our worlds finally aligned, and we met them for dinner at Taco Mamacita (yum!) and then walked over to Studio Wed (a one-stop wedding shop in Edgehill) to discuss our wedding album and see what Jonathon had put together so far. We had such a great time laughing and hanging out that I didn’t even notice it was almost midnight until we got in the car to go home! Can’t wait to see the finished product! From what we’ve seen, it’s going to be fabulous! On a side note, the Studio Wed space seems like a fun place to start the wedding planning process, and at least three of our vendors are associated with the space, so they definitely know how to pick ’em. 🙂

On Sunday we met Eugene and Heather Brown of 2Duce2 Videography to get some more wedding DVDs. We didn’t have very long to chat, but we did get to see their new space and catch up for minute. We’re excited to pass out the wedding DVDs. We just realized that there are still close family members and friends (even members of the wedding party) who haven’t got to see it yet! It might be time for a movie night!


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Happy Wedding Wednesday! This week we’re going all the way back to 2008 to talk about how we picked out our rings.

When I was in college, half of the girls I lived with got engaged and they had all these wedding magazines everywhere and every time I would look through them, I would see this ring that I thought was so beautiful, which was weird for me because I wasn’t one of those girls who had all the details of their wedding planned out or anything. Like, I always thought I would never really be that picky about that stuff or anything. But every time I saw that ring I just felt like I had to have it, and I would tear out the ad. I even gave it to my ex-boyfriend when we were going to go ring shopping (but we broke up the Wednesday before the weekend when we were supposed to go). So this time around when Ryan and I started talking rings, I saw some other ads and looked at some online, but nothing really appealed to me. And all I could think about was how I really loved that one ring way back then, and I would probably love it now more than anything else I was seeing. The only problem was, I couldn’t find a copy of the ad, and that was like 6 years ago. So I searched my mom’s house looking for it and went through tons of my old college papers…but nothing…

And then I started to worry that I would never find a ring that I really liked and so then I would never be able to get married, because who could live the rest of their life with a ring on their finger that they hated? What kind of statement would that make about the marriage they were in? I just couldn’t live like that. (Yes, I can be a little dramatic.)

So there I was, about to give up hope and I’m talking to God about it and I’m telling him how distraught I am and how much I wish I could just remember the name of the designer who made that ring, and when I got up, it just came to me—Verragio. So I went straight to the computer and Googled it, and within minutes, I had found the exact ring! Here is a link to the specific design on Verragio’s website.

So Ryan found some places in Nashville that carried Verragio and then found a store in Green Hills that has the exact ring—Genesis Diamonds. I went and tried it on the following Saturday, and there were none in the store that I liked nearly as much as that one. It had been calling my name for years! And Ryan agreed that it was the perfect one for me.

One of the things I love the most about this particular setting is that you can see the entire diamond–nothing is hidden.

Ryan later returned to Genesis without me to pick out the diamond that would be made into my very own version of the ring I loved so much. Even though I knew the setting, I didn’t lay eyes on my ring until the day that he surprised me with a proposal.

As for our experience with Genesis, we loved working with them and would definitely recommend them. They never seemed pushy at all, and they gave us (at least in our opinion) a great deal. My ring appraised for twice as much as they charged us. We also bought my wedding band from them, and probably would have bought Ryan’s band from them as well if they offered engraving on Tungsten bands. We’ll talk more about Ryan’s band and our engravings later.

I’ll leave you with this image by the fabulous Serah of Zoey Lee Photography (it’s the closest thing I have to a close up of the ring).

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Day 2 of wedding dress shopping took me, my mom, my older sister Brook and my BM Kelly all over middle Tennessee. It was a full day! We started at the Bridal Warehouse in Goodlettsville, which reminded me a lot of David’s Bridal, but a little cheaper probably. They were helpful, but the experience definitely wasn’t as nice as it had been at the high-end bridal boutiques in Nashville. Guess that’s part of the whole “get what you pay for” thing. While we are in that area, we also stopped at Second Time Around, a consignment store in Hendersonville that Mrs. Cheap had written about in a wedding article she wrote. I didn’t find anything that I liked in my size; the selection is obviously dependant on what they have gotten in from consignment customers. They were nice enough to call me when an empire waist dress in my size came in. But I had already found my dream dress by then.

We then drove all the way out to Murfreesboro, to visit A Bride’s Storey. Even though we called ahead and had an appointment, they were really busy that day and didn’t have time to help. We felt like we were wedding dress shopping pros at that point and just helped ourselves. With my sister and BM helping pick out dresses and my mom helping me get into the dresses, we did a pretty good job of helping ourselves. They did have some nice dresses in their shop and some reasonable prices, but they didn’t have anything that I just had to have. I took the lack of service as a bad sign, so I would have had to find a really incredible deal there to actually purchase anything from them. We stopped by Fashion Atelier on our way out because we saw a sign about wedding dresses. We found out that it is actually a seamstress shop and Tatyana, the owner of the shop, makes custom wedding gowns. She was very nice and had some pictures of some nice gowns, but when I asked her about lace gowns, she said I could probably get a better deal with a manufactured gown since lace is so expensive. She was more than happy to make one for me though. I decided that I should probably stick with the cheaper route and we continued on our way to Franklin.

The first place we went in Franklin was the Bridal Gallery of Franklin. The girls working there were nice and attentive and we were the only ones in the store at the time. By this time, I was exhausted from the four places we had already been that day, but I was also determined. So we found several dresses for me to try on, and pushed through. So glad I did. There were two dresses at this store that I absolutely loved, and for the first time, when I came out of the dressing room, everyone just oohed and aahed.  I was a little torn between the two dresses, but I just knew that I would be perfectly happy in either one of them on my wedding day. Wedding dress shopping Day 2—success! We had our last appointment for the day at David’s Bridal, so we decided to go ahead and keep our appointment to make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything. From this experience, I can tell you that even if you have an appointment, do NOT go to David’s Bridal on a Saturday. That place was a mad house! I didn’t really find anything in David’s Bridal that was for me. I found a couple that could have been, but they were nothing compared to the two dresses I found at the Bridal Gallery, and the ones at David’s Bridal were also more expensive! Contrary to popular belief, David’s Bridal does not have the least expensive wedding gowns.

When I got home that evening, I realized that the two dresses I loved so much (and everyone else loved on me), were the two dresses that I had in my wedding planning notebook! I was so happy to know that the dresses I initially loved were the ones that looked the best on me.

The next week as I was still trying to decide between the two dresses, I got an email from The White Room in Lebanon saying they were having a 10% off sale for Columbus Day. I immediately called and asked if they had the two dresses I liked—and they did! I made an appointment for Saturday, February 14 (last Valentine’s Day), and me and my sisters went out to Lebanon that morning to make the ultimate dress decision. (While my sweet fiancé watched two of my nephews so my sister could come with me—how perfect is he?) I had such a great experience with The White Room. Ashley was the one who helped me try on all the dresses, and she was very attentive. I tried on several other dresses just to make sure, but when I put on the original dress I fell in love with, the one I saw on Ashley’s Bride Guide, we all just knew. It was the perfect dress for me. And I bought it that day. It was $100 less than it had been at the Bridal Gallery, and it was 10% off which meant even more significant savings.

So yes, I bought my dress on Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t think of a more perfect present for the man I love. When I got back to town, Ryan and I had a date at Savannah Tea Company, which happened to be our cake vendor for the wedding. They have an annual Valentine’s Day Tea, which is a 5-course meal. We definitely recommend it. We also recommend them for cake, but we’ll talk about that in another blog. After that we went to Macy’s and Williams Sonoma to register for wedding gifts. All in all it was a very romantic and fruitful Valentine’s Day.

Here is my beautiful dress that I bought that day:

On a side note, it turned out to be fate that I got that email from The White Room and did not get my dress from the Bridal Gallery in Franklin as they ended up going out of business and locking their doors so that several brides, some who had already even paid full price for their gowns, were not able to get to their dresses. I’m not sure exactly how that worked out for everyone, but my friend Lora was involved with that, and they did end up getting their money back on their credit card after a lot of hassle. Someone was definitely looking out for me during the wedding planning process and on our wedding day.

We hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day this year!

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In honor of Valentine’s Day 2010 (our first ever married Valentine’s Day!!!), I thought I would do a recap of last year’s Valentine’s Day, which was a very important day in our wedding planning journey.

It was the day I bought The Dress.

I’ve never been one of those girls who had her wedding dress envisioned from the time she was a little girl. In fact, when looking through bridal magazines, it was rare that I would see anything that really stuck out to me. Nothing really looked like me. Thankfully, after I was officially engaged, that changed a little. In fact, one day while I was checking out Ashley’s Bride Guide, I found a dress that I absolutely loved on her site! She had posted a recap of one of the bridal shows and had a picture of a dress from The White Room. I wasn’t sure who the dress was by, but I knew I loved it. Then, when I was flipping through some of my bridal magazines, I found a couple of dresses I loved, and one of them happened to be the exact dress from the Ashley’s Bride Guide post! I was excited about my preliminary research, but you never really know how a dress is going to look on you (or any article of clothing for that matter), so I just took the print-outs and magazine pages and stuffed them in my wedding planning binder for future use.

Last January, I took a couple days off work to go wedding dress shopping, one day with just me and my mom and one day with my mom and sisters (although my younger sister got sick, so my bridesmaid Kelly came with us instead). I decided to just start fresh and see what looked the best on me. I didn’t even bring my wedding planning binder. Day 1 with my mom was a very snowy day; in fact, we were a little worried about traffic conditions and almost called the wedding dress search off for the day. But after going back and forth about it for an hour or so, we finally agreed to push through and get out and officially begin the search for the dress. We braved three Nashville wedding dress boutiques in the snow that day: The Bride Room, Arzelle’s and b. Hughes Bridal Formal. I made appointments at each of these places, and they were all really nice as I was trying on dresses. The Bride Room was especially nice, and had I found the perfect dress there, I would have definitely bought from them. I found a few that I liked at each of the places, but none were perfect. Well, except for maybe the $10,000 Oscar de la Renta dresses I tried on. I love b. Hughes and the lady helping us was so nice and attentive, but I just didn’t have the budget for a $10,000 dress. Although she did tell me that I’m “definitely an Oscar girl.” I would have to agree. Those Oscar dresses fit me perfectly. This one was probably my favorite:

We ended Day 1 with some ideas of what looked good and what didn’t, but no solid leads. We did have a great time though. Trying on wedding dresses was so much more fun than I thought it was going to be. I felt like a princess!

Sometime in between Day 1 and Day 2, I went to Faccio Bridal in Franklin on one of my lunch breaks to see what they had. They had some beautiful dresses in stock, but none that really stuck out to me, and the price range was a little more than what I had decided to spend.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 Tomorrow!

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Ok ok, I know I said I would post our love story a week ago…but did anyone really expect me to do anything on time? 🙂 Maybe I should have made a resolution to be more punctual and timely in 2010. But that would probably just be too much pressure…

We would like to be more consistent with our blog. We just need to decide how consistent we want to be. I love daily blogs because they are just so dependable. However, I don’t think I have enough time on my hands for a daily blog. I’ll have to think about this some more and discuss it with the hubs and get back to you about this goal. Ryan’s last post was about us being one of 2Duce2’s top 5 videos of 2009. If you haven’t yet, be sure to show us some love and vote for us by going to 2Duce2’s Blog and putting our name and number in the comment section (#4 Ryan and Savannah).

In other exciting wedding-related news, we received another shout out on Ashley’s Bride Guide (ABG) yesterday! Even though the wedding is over, I still love weddings and check ABG on a regular basis. In fact, I still toy with the idea of getting into the wedding industry myself one day. The question is—could I plan an awesome event like my own wedding for a complete stranger? I’m just not sure… But that’s a blog for another day. Ashley featured us in her post on the best 2009 weddings as one of the best overall. In fact, what she said exactly was, “We saw so many beautiful Nashville weddings, each as spectacular as the next but the one that just stands out, the one that is still our favorite for 2009 is the wedding of Savannah and Ryan, a.k.a. the ‘Red Chuck Taylors’ wedding as so many readers like to call it.” How awesome is that?!?! It just makes me so proud and makes my heart happy. We decided from the very beginning that we just wanted our wedding to be an awesome time for our family and friends and a true reflection of us and our love for one another. I think that’s exactly what we pulled off. 🙂 Check out Ashley’s complete post of the best 2009 weddings here.

Now as far as the love story is concerned…that is the goal for tomorrow. 🙂

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Hello all! I promise, I will write a blog in 2010. But real quick, our wedding teaser received more than 500 views since October 3 on 2Duce2’s Blog, our wedding videographer, making us one of the top five most viewed teasers on their site. They are having a contest for the best teaser, and we have been entered due to our high traffic.

If you would be so kind and show us some more love, head over to 2Duce2’s Blog and vote for us as your favorite wedding teaser of 2009. Just head over to 2Duce2’s Blog, which is totally awesome by the way, and read the Top 5 | 2009 post. At the bottom, add a comment and vote for us (#4 – Ryan and Savannah). Make sure you put the number and the name in your comment.

Big thanks to 2Duce2 for making an absolutely amazing wedding teaser and video. We are so blessed to have you guys be part of the most beautiful day of our life.

We are also blessed to have so many friends vote for us! =)

Love you all!

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The big plan for our wedding recaps was to start at the beginning and work our way through the process. And I think we will do that eventually… 🙂 But Sunday night’s episode of Desperate Housewives reminded me about our premarital counseling and how thankful I am for that experience, and I’ve been thinking about it all week. So what better time to blog about that than when I am feeling inspired?

I always knew that I want to do premarital counseling. Coming from a divorced home, it had always been important to me to find ways to overcome such a fate for myself and my future husband. Divorce is messy and painful, and it leaves so many scars in the lives of those who have been through it. I learned at an early age that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves, and I vowed then and there to not become part of that statistic. I also learned somewhere along the way that couples who go through premarital counseling are less likely to get divorced. I wanted to do premarital counseling to give myself that fighting chance. Not to mention, residents of the state of Tennessee have to pay $99 for a marriage license, but there is a $60 discount for couples who go through pre-marital counseling. More likely to stick together and $60 off? I’ll take it!

So this is where Terry Smith comes into the picture.

Ryan and I have been attending church with the Family of God at Woodmont Hills for some time now. So when we were discussing our premarital counseling options, Woodmont Hills seemed like the perfect place to start. We called the church office and were directed to Terry Smith for our counseling and quickly had our first appointment scheduled.

To be honest, I was actually a little nervous on the way to our first session. I had heard several horror stories about how uncomfortable, awkward, pointless or painful premarital counseling had been for friends and acquaintances of mine. And between those horror stories and the information I derived from the movie “License to Wed” with Mandy Moore and Robin Williams, the picture I had in my mind wasn’t a very good one.

After our first meeting with Terry, all of those fears were laid to rest. We spent the first session learning about Terry’s approach to premarital counseling, which mainly focused on creating a genogram for each of us. A genogram is a lot like a family tree, but it goes into more depth by also taking other important relationships into consideration and allowing you to visualize the patterns between the relationships in your life. It was such an amazing experience for both of us—a meaningful discovery process that forced us to be honest and open with one another. Hopefully, we can go into more details about the counseling experience in another post down the road. The overall message we learned during this process is that as much as we try to overcome negative feelings and experiences from our past, they are still inside and have the potential to negatively affect our relationships today. We have to consciously choose to not let those childhood defense mechanisms rule our lives. But even more importantly, we need to take the time to be aware of one another’s past and the reasons why we may react the way we do. When you know that, so many things a person does in a relationship make so much more sense.  

If you read the subject line of this post, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Desperate Housewives. Well, in Sunday’s episode, Tom and Lynette (who are married) hire this older gentleman Roy to be their handyman and do some projects around the house. But every time Lynette tells Roy to do something, he goes around her and asks Tom what he wants. When Lynette confronts Roy about this, Roy tells her that Tom is the man of the house, and he is just trying to show him the respect he deserves for that position. Lynette immediately fires Roy and later tells her husband Tom what happened. So Tom goes to Roy and explains it all to him. He says that Lynette grew up without a father and with an alcoholic mother, so she had to be responsible for everything. He goes on to say that as a result, Lynette has a fear of things falling apart and feels a need to control things. He says that even though Lynette can’t control everything, she can control Tom, if he lets her. She he does. Because it makes her feel safe. And that is his job as her husband—to make her feel safe.

Sounds like Tom went through one of Terry Smith’s classes. Even though Lynette might have control issues that she needs to work on, Tom knows his wife and he loves her and he realizes that her actions now are a result of what she went through in her past. He doesn’t yell about it or try to force her to change. He just acknowledges it and gives her what she needs. How beautiful is that?

And that’s why I’m so thankful for our premarital counseling. Because even though we haven’t quite perfected it yet, it gave us that foundation of knowing one another’s past and patterns in relationships.

 I have a tendency to be a little long-winded. I think Ryan might have summed up everything I’m trying to say here in a couple sentences. He said he thinks one of the big reasons people fight is because they don’t put themselves in the other person’s shoes (and we’re guilty of that too). What Terry taught us to remember is that we are all broken, and we need to be sensitive to that.

By the way, we definitely recommend Terry Smith at Woodmont Hills to anyone looking for premarital counseling. You can get the church’s contact information here: http://www.woodmont.org/. Terry also has a blog for his poetry that you can check out here: http://yourstorymatters2him.wordpress.com/.

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