It was a perfect June wedding for the marriage of Brittney Markel & Matt Schelich. This fun loving couple came together with their family and friends for one unforgettable weekend in Nashville. The beautiful bride got ready in her suite at the Marriott Vanderbilt with her four bridesmaids in tow (3 are sisters!) and the couple had their first look at the Parthenon. Then St. Edward’s Catholic Church set the stage for the couple’s Catholic ceremony, as the bride’s father walked his fourth and last daughter down the aisle. After the ceremony, the guests partied at the Marriott Vanderbilt ballroom which was vibrantly decorated in pinks, greens, and oranges. A decadent four course dinner, open bar, and Las Vegas style band made for a reception that no one wanted to leave!
Since Mr. Markel had shelled out some serious cash for not one but four daughter’s weddings, they were looking for inspired, professional, AND affordable photography and videography for their daughter’s big day. COMPLETE Music.Video.Photo. delivers just that, leaving our couples extra money to spend on things like food, drinks, decor, and entertainment!
Photographer: COMPLETE Music.Video.Photo.
Videographer: COMPLETE Music.Video.Photo.
Venue & Catering: Marriott at Vanderbilt
One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How much does a wedding cake cost?” Just like everything else that you spend on your wedding, it varies
considerably according to your budget. How much does a bride spend on her wedding dress? Some brides are happy to purchase a $99 discount dress while others travel to Atlanta, Boston, Dallas or New York to find the perfect designer wedding dress that may cost $10,000.00. And, of course, there are all the prices in between.
So how do you determine your budget? First, you must first know what the market price is in your area. Do some research and find out what is reasonable BEFORE you set your budget. Take some time to look at websites in your area to see what is available. Attending a bridal show is a great way to see sample cakes, talk to designers and most importantly taste their cakes. Of course, your cake is the centerpiece of your reception and you do want your guests to appreciate its beauty, but they will remember the taste of your cake for much longer than they will remember what it looked like. Wedding Cake is dessert! When you look at the prices listed, remember that the prices are approximate and the more detail and embellishments you choose, the more your cake will cost.
Once you have decided the type of cake you want and determined your budget, it’s time to narrow down what companies may be the best choice for you. Remember to do your research BEFORE you go to a Consultation and Tasting. Be prepared with colors, pictures, and questions because it will make your appointment that much more enjoyable and you’ll be able to make the most of your appointment. Also, don’t make too many appointments. This can overwhelm you and become confusing. If you’ve done your research, two appointments, at the most three should be sufficient to make your decision. Consultation appointments are not entertainment even though they are a lot of fun, lol.
When you are comparing Cake Designers, compare apples to apples. Be sure to get quotes on the same type of designs, flavors and packages. If you go to a grocery store and get a quote on a buttercream cake with pearl dots on it, don’t go to a Cake Designer and ask for a fondant cake with swags, bows and sugar flowers and then compare those two prices. Be consistent.
To help you decide who to book your Consultation and Tasting appointment with, below are four examples of the type of places you can choose to do your wedding cake. The approximate prices below are for the Nashville and surrounding area market.
Hobbyist Cake Person:
This is a person that may or may not have taken some classes on decorating cakes. They are not licensed and health inspected. You might have a good experience or may have a disaster. Remember to consider that a professional will have endorsements, independent reviews and a good reputation. You have to ask yourself if it’s worth the risk. If someone volunteers to make your wedding cake as a gift for your wedding, please be sure they are qualified. Gramma may have a delicious recipe for chocolate cake, but she may never have built a wedding cake before. It is a feat of engineering to properly structure a stacked wedding cake. You only have one wedding day. There are no “do-overs!”
Grocery Store Bakery:
Approximately $2.50 to $3.50 per serving. You are going to be limited to a “point and pick” cake and usually a choice of 3 flavors such as vanilla, chocolate or
marble. Also, most grocery stores buy their icing in big buckets and their cakes come in to the store already baked and frozen. They don’t conduct personal Consultations and Tastings and do not provide custom designed cakes.
Approximately $3.00 to $5.00 per serving. Usually they have more styles to choose from, but it is usually still a “point and pick” system. They do have tastings, but they also do birthday cakes, donuts, cookies and other pastries and don’t devote themselves solely to the art of cakes.
Cake Designers & Cake Artists:
Prices start at about $4.00 per serving and up for buttercream – $5.00 and up for fondant. Remember the more labor and details, the more your cake will cost. Many Cake Designers do custom designs and one of a kind originals. They often have many flavors to choose from and they devote themselves to specialty, gourmet cakes.
To see more wedding cake from bakers in the Nashville and Middle Tn area, please visit out cake gallery.
You’re on the hunt for cost saving ideas, looking for ways to stretch your wedding dollar just a little bit farther.
But in your search, you stumble across an idea that is more likely to bust your wedding budget than cut costs. Take my advice and skip the following if you would rather save than splurge.
DIY Projects: I am borderline crafty at best. Anything beyond a glue gun and I take my cue to hand things off to the nearest professional. Remember, having a fiancé does not make you Martha Stewart. Be realistic about your crafting skills (and available free time) when taking on a DIY project. While a hand-stenciling ceremony program for 200 guests seems easy enough, project costs quickly add up with extra supplies to make up for your mistakes. In the end
would have been cheaper and easier to hand off this project to a pro. Look to the internet for crafters selling their goods… my favorite site is Etsy.com as it brings together great vendors from across the country at reasonable prices.
Dummy Cakes: Brides may think they have landed on a million dollar idea with a dummy wedding cake. A bait and switch, wedding guests are served from ‘less’ expensive sheet cake from the kitchen, while layers of decorated Styrofoam sit in the place of the bridal cake. Sounds ingenious, right? Wrong. Dummy cakes assume cake costs are most impacted by the amount of sugar, flour and eggs. In reality, the time and labor to decorate and build the cake, regardless as to whether your baker is decorating Styrofoam or real cake, have the most impact on costs. Instead, opt for a simpler design or overall smaller production to save money.
Heavy Hors d’ oeuvres Wedding Menu: Similar to the dummy cake, heavy hors d’oeuvres are labor intensive requiring a kitchen staff to spend hours meticulously creating the tiny edibles. Often this makes a selection of appetizers as costly as a full meal (even if your intention was to offer light refreshments). If your aim is to keep your catering cost at a minimum, ask the chef for the more economical menu options. The more choice you can give a chef to use seasonal foods or follow a special deal from a distributor, the lower your per person price.
Insider Tip: Economical or not, be realistic about food costs. How much does it cost when you and your fiancé go out for an evening of dinner and drinks? Just because you’re working with a larger crowd, doesn’t mean bulk rates make that much of an impact. Food still costs what it costs. Most caters can’t do much with $10 per person when you consider taxes and service fees.
Skipping the Wedding Planner: When my sink is leaking, I call a plumber. When my oil needs to be changed, I swing by Jiffy Lube. I have learned the hard way that jumping headfirst into a task in which I have no business often results in high levels of stress, repeat trips to Home Depot (battling crazy Nashville drivers, nonetheless) and spending way more money than initially planned. More often than not, brides regret not hiring a planner to help with all the details that seemingly come to a head leading up to the big day. Planning a wedding is no easy task. Take my advice; consult with a wedding planner about having him or her take over some of these details. In the end, their insider knowledge will likely save you more than invested in their services.
Have you found other wedding savings that turned out to be a bust? Leave a comment below!
Today’s brides and grooms are placing great emphasis on self-expression with the design of their wedding celebrations. They want to ensure every detail, from the menu selection to the attire of the wedding party, reflects their personal style and taste. While most couples still honor the grand tradition of the wedding cake, many are choosing to add on outrageous groom’s cakes, cake pops, chocolate fondue stations, chocolate-dipped strawberry “trees”, and candy favor displays. I’m not complaining – trust me!
Buyer beware… It is crucial that you read and understand your wedding vendor contracts before you sign on the dotted line.
As a larger allergy to anything longer than 140 characters, Americans don’t read – anything. We regularly sign up for memberships, credit cards or beneift programs without so much as glance at the fine print. After all, it’s the same old legal jargon. But buyers beware… It is crucial that you read and understand your vendor contracts before you sign on the dotted line.
How does one navigate through confusing contracts filled with legal jargon and cancellations fees? The fact that this is a legally bidding document should create enough motivation for more than just a skimming. While wedding contracts use common legal jargon, reading the details is crucial. Not important, crucial. Misunderstanding payment schedules, cancellations fees and general acts of god type inclusions can easily lead to busted budgets, tied hands and mistakes that come to a head on the one day you don’t want them to.
Full Discloser: I am not a lawyer, just a lowly wedding expert. Please use the following advice as a suggestive guide only. For specific situations or questions, I recommend reaching out to a legal professional.
Less scary than you think. Legal document, contract, lawsuit… these are scary words to everyone, which may shed some light as to why so many of us simply sign their life away, vendors included. No one wants to think about things going wrong or cancellation fees during initial dream-like wedding planning haze. Excitement peaked and so much to do, stopping to discuss the implications of late payments or non-refundable deposits is well, not sexy. So let’s do something profound and call this portion of the program your vendor agreement. Less scary than a contact, bride and vendor will agree as to how the next few months will work and what each person will bring to the table (2-way street). For example, Bride A promises to pay on time and Vendor A agrees to hold you date and fulfill the promised services.
Insider’s Tip: Vendors that tell you a contract is not necessary are not professional vendors. Walk – no run- in the other direction! While not only in place to protect the vendors interests, contracts are in place to protect our interests where the common what if’s are addressed. Transparency is key, too. I had a scripted message that walked couples and/or parents through the clauses of my venue contract. I used this to ensure that brides never came back to same, “You never mentioned that.” Be mindful of vendors that breeze over contract details. Often these vendors are more concerned about losing the sale than being up front.
Are the specifics correct? Put your reading glasses and careful read the entire document. We are looking for the specifics here…date, times, quantities, guest count, room layout, flower type, linen color and so on. The Devil is in the details and this is where mistakes are made, leading to wedding day stress and last minute budget increases. Better yet, have your fiancé or a parent double check the details for mistakes. With larger vendors in particular (think wedding venues), the proposal or event order passes down the line from the sales team to the operations team. The latter does not have access to an email sent regarding your request to remove the goat cheese from the salad. The operations team thinks in terms black and white and follows the event order verbatim… goat cheese and all.
Revisions and Additions. During the planning process changes will inevitably occur – the guest count will change, the budget will change and your original agreement will change. Put everything in writing. Everything. Verbal agreements are great until the coordinator you were working with leaves her job and the replacement is not as keen on fulfilling your verbal handshake. While some companies are not able to altar the copy of their contract (this is usually the case with larger corporations), adding a rider that address a specific statement in writing is a good way to add a layer of protection.
Because sometimes things just don’t work out. In the end we are humans working under our own value systems, carrying our own baggage and trying to do the best we can. Despite this, thing sometimes don’t work out. Ideally, you have read the handwriting on the wall and gotten out while the getting’s good (and cancellation fees low). And sometimes we don’t. Having an agreement in place generally makes it easier to find solutions that are civil and sane.
Insider Tip: Why cancellation fees and deposits? Imagine for a moment that you were hire to do a job and after you finished 60% of the work you were let go… your boss no longer need your services. Since you didn’t finish 100% of the project, he doesn’t see the need to pay you. Similarly, wedding vendors more often than not occur costs up front. If you decide to cancel your event a few weeks before the big day, their invested time and expenses are covered by way of cancellation fees and deposits. Companies that stand their ground are not trying to pull a fast one but rather protect the business interests that make them successful.
Do you have other questions about vendor contracts or maybe advice that would help couples planning their wedding? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of Getty Images.
Wedding gowns are not standard clothing items and require some thought and careful preparation before traveling to your wedding whether it is across town or to some island paradise.
I have seen brides carry gowns in every way imaginable. Most keep them in the large protective garment bags they were delivered in.
Before you choose and purchase your gown, you should plan the gown’s design, size and fabric around the location of your wedding venue. Traveling across town any gown can safely travel to your destination. But if your wedding is in another state or in another country airlines, airline handlers, and airline security must be considered. Choosing a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily and a design that is more manageable for packing is key. Think about the location and how the design of the gown works with the scenery and time of day for the wedding. A large ballroom gown is not easy to transport and really doesn’t look the part of a daytime island wedding or the rolling hills of Tuscany. Warmer climates call for lighter weight fabric and comfortable gowns.
Traveling by car across country is challenging enough for a destination wedding. So Packing your gown correctly is key. Using your original garment bag, hang your gown up in the car and let the train flow smoothly across the back seat or floor board depending on the size of your gown. Do not place any items on or near the dress for fear of wrinkling or damaging your gown. And by all means keep all food and drinks away from your precious cargo!
Airlines are a major consideration for your destination weddings. Even if flying to another city, similar care must be considered as if you were having your wedding in another country or island. It is not recommended that you check your gown like you do your luggage, but rather see if you can talk with the airlines and hang the gown up in one of the first-class or flight crew closets. Letting your dream gown be checked in like a piece of luggage is a disaster in the making. The gown might be lost, late in arrival, even damaged by conveyor machines or soiled beyond recognition by traveling beverages of other passengers.
Before the days of high security measures, the airlines had many vacant seats and one could actually carry the gown on-board and place in the seat next to you. 911 has forever changed this for us. Today, you may have to purchase an extra ticket for your gown as a traveling companion or use a personal courier to assist with your gown. Talk to your travel planner and wedding planner for more advice and ideas as every location and airline has different needs. And if you are looking for the best wedding photographer for travel, give me a shout. I love traveling despite the security and the many different country requirements placed on photographers. This is another story to be told later!
In the case where I photographed Angie’s wedding in Italy, the wedding planner was able to roll Angie’s gown up and not wrinkle it. Alice helped Angie choose a streamline gown of lace and medium-length train to enable traveling to a foreign country. Alice hand carried the gown on the different planes with her!
Thecla’s wedding a couple of weeks ago in East Tennessee at Whitestone Inn all the guests either drove across country or flew in from Norway for the wedding. A large steamer was waiting for the arrival of all the bridesmaid’s gowns, Thecla’s gown and family wedding attire. In the below photograph you can barely see the large commercial steamer. Her Maggie Sottero gown was unpacked and allowed to hang a couple of days before the wedding giving it a perfect look for the wedding.
A little forethought in choosing the right travel wedding gown and some precautions in packing and travel are a must for a picture perfect wedding gown on one’s very special day!
I hope this article is helpful to you. It is something I have been wanting to write for some time and will probably elaborate more on it another time.
Good travels to you!
THE WEDDING CAKE IS TO THE RECEPTION WHAT THE BRIDAL GOWN IS TO THE CEREMONY!
The cake is to the wedding reception what the bridal gown is to the wedding ceremony. Your wedding cake is the centerpiece of your reception. Additionally, your groom’s cake can be the conversational piece of the evening. Sculpted cakes from sports paraphernalia, Star Wars, hunting trophies, race cars, tractors and even Mario Brothers are available to delight your groom and your guests. The sky’s the limit and your imagination can soar!
Are you an “over the top” flamboyant bride or a simple and sophisticated bride? Are you playful and whimsical? Do you want classic monochromatic color with lots of texture or do you want bold colors? Is your wedding a “period wedding” such as Art Deco, Victorian or are you looking for a traditional and classic cake? Do you prefer romantic, floral or clean and modern lines? How about architecture? Do you love Baroque moldings and historic venues such as the Union Station Hotel and the Hermitage Hotel? Maybe you are a Southern Bell and have chosen one of the Antebellum Mansions around the Nashville Area. Maybe a downtown industrial venue is just right for you. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted your wedding at Loew’s Vanderbilt Plaza or Belle Meade Plantation. There are no rights or wrongs. You choose your style. One thing I know for sure is that no bride wants to hear that her cake looks just like someone else’s cake.
Some brides do not want to look back at the decor and theme of their wedding day and think, “Oh my gosh, that’s so 2012!” And for those brides classic, traditional and sophisticated might be better. However, don’t be afraid to have your wedding day reflect the time that it took place! Choose what you love and you’ll always remember that your wedding was your dream wedding THEN. If red, black and white is something you love, listen to your heart. If romantic is your style, dream big with lace, moldings and beautiful sugar flowers! You are only limited by your imagination!
All cakes by Signature Cakes by Vicki
Texture is huge this year. At a recent Bridal Showcase, the Hilton Garden Inn-Nashville Vanderbilt spotlighted a few bridal trends for 2012.
This table is a great example with Connie Duglin Linen Apple Crinkle Taffeta under an Apple Damask cloth. The ivory chivari chairs from Music City Tents and Events have Apple Satin chair cushion covers with an apple organza chair sash in a basket weave on the back of the chair. Apple Satin Napkins placed on the silver beaded chargers. Branching Out Floral & Event Design kept with the theme with a mixture of white and apple green floral.
- A Pop of Color
A Chardonnay Eyelash Pintuck table cloth and Hot Cocoa Lamour napkin and highlighted by bright pink in the flowers and Flamingo Lamour chair cushion covers on gold chivari chairs.
There are so many ways that a wedding professioal can help. they are trained to find the solution to fit you perfectly. Here is how one TWESA member, photographer Jay Farrell, helped one couple recently.
In the recent past, I had the pleasure of working with a nice young couple who had not lived in the Nashville area for very long, and wanted nice elegant wedding party photography and bride and groom photography at a nice outdoor location….as they were having a private ceremony elsewhere. The only snag they were running into was knowing where to do the group portraits. Naturally, when showing up with a group, you draw attention and often most public venues require permits…..even park property.
There were no coordinators or anything, so I told them I’d try to brainstorm and help them out. I struck out getting a permit at Radnor Lake, then suddenly I thought of Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro, where I had shot a wedding 2 years ago…..I remembered it was a really cool location with lots of neat textures and buildings, open land, etc. They saw it and loved it…..I contacted the park office and they were nice enough to grant us a free permit, and were glad I came to them rather than just showing up with a group of people. The bride and her helpers really did a great job with the styling and colors of the bridal party dresses and childrens’ clothes, very well coordinated. That and the location really worked well together to allow me some great photos to make their day special. They are well satisfied customers and I have new friends now, plus print orders and referral business. All turned out very well especially considering my assistant and I were the only wedding vendor. Congratulations Betty and Aaron!
I will not soon forget Cesar and Susan’s wedding day. Yes, it was a magical day full of love and commitment, but something else happened on that rainy first day of May in 2010… the great Nashville flood!
The wedding was scheduled for 6:30pm at the beautiful Riverwood Mansion in Nashville. Since we were doing the photos + video for Cesar and Susan, we had planned on arriving at Riverwood at 3:30 in the afternoon to shoot the rehearsal and then begin the photo session. It of course had been raining all day and I had to re-route a few times in order to even find passable roads. Fortunately, we made it… not knowing that the rain would continue off and on throughout the evening and reap unprecedented damage upon our great city!
Fortunately for us, the flood waters did not effect us at Riverwood. We only heard about the floating buildings and submerged highways via phone calls and facebook status updates!
Cesar and Susan decided to finish the reception as planned and they left at 11pm that night. Regardless of the weather, it was a beautiful wedding and the reception was full of music, dancing and a good time was had by all. Check out our blog to view the photos: Cesar + Susan :: Riverwood Mansion Wedding in Nashville :: Photography + Video
This is from Andy Morris, Andycam Weddings.
Tommy and Heather’s long awaited wedding day started out as a rainy Halloween morning. But by early afternoon the sun came out and provided the backdrop for another beautiful wedding and reception at the Historic Cedarwood Mansion.
Since this was my first “Halloween wedding,” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very impressed by the planning and design done by the team at Cedarwood. From the creatively carved pumpkins, table settings and floral arrangements (by Cedarwood’s Karen Wright) to the masquerade masks and china balls, this wedding was really fun to shoot…especially in High Definition! Check out some video still frames on my blog (Tommy+Heather HD Wedding Highlight Video :: Ceremony + Reception @ Cedarwood)
I really enjoyed doing this cake for a lovely lady! The occasion took place at the “The Factory” in Franklin,Tn.
I hope to have many more opportunities in the next year!!
On May 1st and 2nd, Nashville,TN was devastated by floods. It is just now that the real toll is being assessed.
It has come to our attention that several of our members have been severely effected, some to the point of total loss.
Here is the list we have so far:
1. Dynamic Video – Jennifer Fritz
2. Belle Meade Plantation – Linda Pittman
3. Pastor Red Michels – Red Michels
4. Debbie’s Weddings & Things – Debbie Martin
5. Robert Neser Photography – Robert Neser
If you know of any other TWESA members that have suffered as a result of the flooding, please let us know.
In the mean time, TWESA has decided to lend a helping hand by making donations to our members in need and we would like you to help too.
We are requesting that you donate $20 to help with this effort, but any amount will be appreciated.
We have made it easy for you, just click the Donate button and you are on your way.
TWESA has always reached out to give to the Greater Nashville community through our philanthropic efforts, this time it is our own that need your help. So please be generous.
Thank you for helping to support your fellow wedding professionals in Middle Tennessee.
Angie Commons (President) and the TWESA Board of Directors.
The team at The Bake Shoppe has had an entry nominated for the Best Celebration Cake of the Year at CaterSource this year.
The prestigious CATIE Award will be handed out March 10, 2010 at the Paris in Las Vegas.
The cake was designed for the Nashville Ronald McDonald house with the theme The Patchwork of Life.
Here are best wishes and a HUGE round of applause for the team at The Bake Shoppe, Amy Witcher, Shelly Santana, Nicole Wolfe, and Dawn Stoika
Details Nashville knows that photography is one of the most important elements of any wedding, party or event. You want someone that can capture the moments that will last a lifetime! Our experienced and creative photographers utilize top of the line equipment to capture the story of your day from the precious moments to the candid funny outtakes. We offer a variety of packages for engagements, weddings, parties, and family photography. Details Nashville also offers a wide variety of event services including videography, DJs, planning/coordination, catering and invitations. Give Details Nashville a call today to setup your consultation. We’re excited to celebrate with you!