Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Holiday Bride: Dos and Don'ts

The holidays are such a season filled with love!  Family is together, everyone is filled with joy from the most wonderful time of the year. There are many pros to having your wedding day on a notable holiday, such as Christmas or New Year’s, but there can also be things the holiday bride might need to be aware of when planning her big day.  So on our Wednesday morning meeting, we decided to brainstorm a few tips to help!

Embrace the season.
You are sharing your wedding with a holiday to make it that much more special (and it might even help you remember your anniversary).  Give subtle nods to the season without going overboard and making more about the holiday instead of you.

Bah Humbug
Not to be a Bah Humbug, but note that with the holidays, vendors will be substantially more, so let your budget reflect that.  Also, travel for guests will more expensive.  Give your guests as much time as possible to book flights and hotels with your Save the Dates and invitations.  This will also be reflected in your RSVPs, so expect a lower guest count. Many of your guests will be unable to attend due to holiday parties and Christmas travel.

Stocking Stuffer
The holidays are expensive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save! Utilize the décor at the church and incorporate elements already available in the season: winter spices and holiday greens. This will cut your costs as well.  You can also play up the soft lighting with the twinkle lights that are sure to be at ever corner and on every banister! It gives a beautiful ambiance and keeps you from having to buy a 100 votive candles.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The DIY Bride

Dear Bride-To-Be,

Your wedding is approaching and the bills seem to be piling up! Stop and take a minute to see where you might to be able to save a little money on your wedding costs. I know it might seem like one more thing to add to an endless list, you might consider taking on a little DIY project for some of your decorations and who knows you may have fun in the process and feel like those decorations reflect your personality. Your wedding day will have that personal touch you can’t find anywhere else. To help ease some of the stress you could even have a weekend get together with all your bridesmaids and make a party out of the project! Then you can use the money elsewhere or towards a nice, relaxing honeymoon.  Let us share a few ideas with you:

At one of our recent weddings, our team decorated the church with numerous succulents that the bride herself planted and grew in recycled beer bottles that she had cut the necks off of to use. So ingenious! So let’s say a bottle of beer is about $3 and the succulent is about $2, you have a $5 decoration right there! Now you may say, “A potted plant as a decoration? No thank you!”  But the DIY project is your personal touch. So if you are an artist- display your artwork; if you are a baker, make your favorite snack as a favor; if you are the socialite, create your own signature drink. Take your idea and run with it! By doing this, not only are you saving money, you are giving your wedding a personal touch that your guests will enjoy, and at the end of the day, you can give away your DIY project, like the potted succulents, as wedding favors (which is exactly what the bride did for this wedding) as a cute memento of your union for family and friends.

Using a board, nails, and white string, the bride created another decoration for her wedding – the soon-to-be couple’s last name in string art. This was displayed on the welcome table and was the first thing guests saw when they walked into the church entry, a simple yet fun decoration.

Finally, the father of the bride stepped in to help with the next decoration that was the star of the event (except the couple of course).

What made these three do-it-yourself decorations so great for this wedding is the fact that the church needed very little decorating, so they added just the right touch to the church and each had a story behind them. There are countless ideas for do-it-yourself wedding projects on Tumblr, Pinterest, and blogs, you just have to find what suits your needs, and the sky is the limit, so give it a try!

Best Wishes,


Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Spring Wedding Trends

           April Showers bring May flowers. It also brings this years spring wedding trends. We have seen        
    five that you will be seeing throughout this season.

            Rose Gold

Move over blushing bride. Rose gold is here to bring the light pink hue to this years wedding. Not only is it a softer take on the bold gold, it pairs with almost all of this seasons color combinations. Think of it as the floral or pastel of metals. It is spring. “Florals for spring? Ground breaking”.  –Devil Wears Prada

Edible Favors

After a long night of dancing the night away, party guests might be ready for a late night snack or maybe something to nibble on while they travel back home the next day. Why not send them home with an edible favor? Maybe you and your significant other love Krispy Kreme donuts? Maybe Moon Pies are your thing? Maybe you really love moon shine and want your guests to have a good time after your wedding. What ever your palate may desire will be perfect take home gift for your guests.


Every bride should feel like a princess on her wedding day, but why feel like a princess when you can feel like a goddess? This isn’t a spin on your sororitys toga party. This is Aphrodite walking down the aisle to her wedding. There’s nothing simple about this trend as you become one with the earth and have flowers in your hair. It is an effortless looking trend. This trend also transcends outfits and has morphed into an atmosphere. You will see it take many forms from flower-crafted crowns to jewels adorning her fantastically unconventional outfit.

Crafted Drink Stations

These are becoming increasingly popular recently. Guests are now able to enjoy a variety of drink options and the set up of the drinks is usually its own decoration.  You can usually have a variation of teas or lemonade and even a variation of craft beers or the couple's favorite liquor for your guests to enjoy. Bourbon bars have become a trend in itself. Guests enjoy a signature drink or their own creations. 


Calligraphy displays a sense of patience and style and is also beautiful. Whether its gold lettering on a colored card, black ink against a white paper, or even chalk on a chalkboard, we can’t get enough of calligraphy.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Blossoms and Wedding Tips: May Flowers Tells All

We are in for a treat today. Mayflowers is telling all in the world of spring flowers! Keep reading for tips, tricks and inspiration for your spring wedding:

At May Flowers we love working with brides and weddings in any season, but we especially love spring weddings because of the variety of flowers available and the fabulous spring color palettes. There are lots of ways to approach choosing wedding flowers, but one of the easiest ways is to start with color. Once you’ve got a color palette determined, your florist can make suggestions about which flowers will fit well with the décor of the venue, the wedding party’s outfits and the overall feel of your wedding.

For a romantic blush and ivory wedding, fluffy flowers like garden roses, hydrangeas, peonies and
ranunculus work fabulously. Adding velvet dusty miller, pink astilbe or silver brunia berries really completes the romantic feel of the bouquet with a little bit of texture. These bouquets work well as tight mounds, but you could also create a looser bouquet and add green or pink hanging amaranthus to give it graceful asymmetry.

One of the best things about spring is a blooming garden. This atmosphere can be recreated with pastel wedding flowers of many different textures. Hydrangeas are always a good option along with roses, anemones, lisianthus, delphinium, and daisies. There are also several options for greenery, like maidenhair or sword fern fronds, eucalyptus, or a salal and ruscus combination. These bouquets often combine lots of different varieties of flowers so they can be on the large side. They are typically looser to create a more fresh-picked feel that can be accentuated by hanging amaranthus, ivy or ferns.

For a brighter and more whimsical bouquet, go for flowers like dahlias, anemones, proteas, roses and ranunculus. These flowers will fit almost any color palette because they come in so many different colors. Good choices for textural flowers or pops of color are yellow billy balls, Dr. Seuss-esque green trick, sweet William and fragrant wax flower. Greenery options include seeded eucalyptus, ferns and salal.

Whether they come in with no specific ideas beyond colors or a whole Pinterest page dedicated to flowers, May Flowers will work together with brides and grooms to create their perfect wedding day. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Assemble a Wedding Invitation in 6 Easy Steps

Are you looking at those boxes of your wedding invitations and telling yourself that you need to send them out? You just don’t know where to start. Well here are the steps to assembling a proper wedding invitation:

Step 1: Lay your wedding invitation down with the wording facing up.

Step 2: Place your reception card or order of service card, wording side up, on top of the invitation. If you have a wrap included in the invitation, place under the wrap. 

Step 3: Tuck your response card, wording side up, under its envelope flap and place on top of the reception card.

Step 4: Repeat this process for all other enclosure cards like direction cards and accommodation cards.

Step 5: Place your invitation suite (all wording should face up) inside the inner envelope. Wondering what your inner envelope is for?

Step 6: Place your inner envelope inside the outer mailing envelope with the front of the inner envelope facing you.

Read how to address wedding invitations to learn how to properly address your mailing envelopes.


Just a little added tip for when you start the addressing process. Make a spreadsheet that includes all your guest list in alphabetical order. Also have slots for the following:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Invitation 
  • Addressed 
  • Sent 
  • RSVP
  • Gift
  • Thank You Note
This spreadsheet will help you before and after the wedding!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Garrett Nudd: How To Get The Perfect Shot on Your Wedding Day

Garrett Nudd is sharing his secrets and 5 top tips on how to get the picture perfect shot on your wedding day:

"Almost every couple that hires me to photograph their wedding tells me that photography is one of their biggest priorities. Of course I always consider that to be a compliment, as well as quite a responsibility.  

Occasionally they ask me what are some things that they can do to help me get the perfect shot. Below are my top five suggestions for getting the perfect shots at your wedding.

1. Schedule adequate time for pictures.  Yes, it is important to hire a photographer who can work quickly and churn out good quality shots in mere minutes and not hours, but work with him/her in advance to determine how much time you need to set aside for pictures. I usually request 60-90 minutes, figuring that if things are running behind, I've padded the schedule with enough time to still get the necessary shots without throwing off the schedule for the rest of the day. 

2. To see or not to see, that is the question. Gone are the days when it was taboo for brides and grooms to see each other before their wedding. If you are after the perfect picture there are few things more special and wrought with photographic opportunity than a private "first look" between the bride and groom. The emotions are real, the lighting can be ideal, and so is the opportunity to capture the perfect shot. 

3. If it's portraits that you are after and the weather doesn't cooperate, don't hesitate to ask your photographer to do a follow-up shoot after returning from your honeymoon. Sure, it's a little bit of effort to get your hair and make-up done again, but what girl doesn't love dressing up? And it'll give you a good excuse to get back into your dress.  

4. Trust your photographer. Select a photographer that you trust and then trust her/him to do the job you hired them to do. If you provide your photographer with a five-page shot list chances are he/she will spend more time looking at the list than he will capturing moments. The best moments come and go in a split second and a good photographer will be alert and attentive to everything that is going on, so that she/he can anticipate moments that are about to happen.  

5. Speaking of capturing moments, moments are something that you can't stage or re-create. I always recommend for my clients to really be present in the moment and consider the significance of their wedding day. Think about their family and everything that the wedding represents. And give your photographer an all-access pass. Trust him/her to capture the story-telling moments that you will be able to someday share with your children."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Start Pedaling Your Way to Fun

Your wedding is all planned. NOW it is time to celebrate! Engagement parties, showers, bachelorette & bachelor parties!


You have a birthday approaching and you don’t want to just go to dinner again.

You are wanting to do something unique, but still fun! Well throw that idea of another boring dinner or party out the window. We are happy to recommend Pints & Peddles! Pints & Peddles is perfect for any celebration- girls’ night out, pub crawl, graduation celebration, a birthday party or  bachelor/bachelorette party.

Pedals & Pints is so accommodating. You just book, bring 15 of your friends and a cooler of your favorite beverages that are less than 5% alcohol and start pedaling your way to one fun night that you won’t soon forget. The price is very reasonable and can be booked as an entire “bike” or per seat.

Established by true blue locals, Chattanooga Pints & Pedals is the original and ultimate bike pedal tour and bar crawl on wheels in Chattanooga. Chattanooga has such a plethora of awesome bars and restaurants both downtown and in the Southside
. Pints and Pedals will take you on a bicycle tour of all the cool spots in town. Pints and Pedals is the ideal choice for your party on wheels.

You won’t have to worry about breaking a sweat throughout the night, the Pints & Pedals bar crawl bicycle is hand crafted with super lightweight materials for easy pedaling. No stretchy shorts required!!

Go to Pedals and Pints today to book your next celebration!

They are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram- follow them today. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The New Girls in Town!

Its a New Year and Soirees is trying some new things, such as two new addition! Cureton Gannon and Kelsey Sue Matheny became part of the Soirees team at the beginning of this year. With 6 month under their belt, they wanted to share their ups, downs and all-arounds:

I have always enjoyed planning and facilitating events, but I never thought I would choose it as a career or learn so much about myself in the process. Since joining the Soirées team in early August 2014, I have helped plan more than 10-15 weddings. As a graduate with a Bachelors in Public Relations from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, I never really saw myself in the wedding planning business. However, after interning and working full-time for several agencies, I feel like I have found a home.

Not only are the clients and ladies I work with so wonderful, I love the aspect that I come in every day and not know what to expect. I’ve learned about floor plan designs, GOBOs and other foreign words that are event lingo. Being a public relations practitioner I knew that more went into planning an event than the attendees would ever realize, but I was skeptical that it would be much more than the average events I had planned in the past. Well Soirées has proved me wrong and I have found a new appreciation and understanding for the event “behind-the-scenes.” I have always been drawn to details within an event, whether it be a birthday or a wedding extravaganza. However, now each event takes on a life of its own. Each party or wedding has its own message to give its guests and as a coordinator I have the distinct privilege of being able to create it. I cannot wait to see how I am able to grow in this career. It is not about the ideas, it is all about making the ideas come to life.

Kelsey Sue
Chattanooga has been my home-base for most of my life. I love this city, but never thought I would be pursing my dreams here in this awesome town. I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina while I was in high school and college, then decided that Chattanooga is where I call home. Event and wedding planning has always been a passion and dream of mine. During those years, my friends and family were wonderful and encouraged me to make it happen.

After I moved back to the Scenic City and had been living here for 10 months, the opportunity to pursue my dreams presented itself and I reached out to Soirées for an internship. It turned out that they were hiring for their winter season. I knew then that this was the way that the Lord was blessing me with my career. I was hired in August and have learned and enjoyed more and more aspects of event coordination. Being a part of one of the most memorable days of a client’s life and making every little detail come together on their wedding day, birthday or corporate event is truly the best feeling I could possibly have.