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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding next May. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Now that we have all of our big vendors and our venue selected, it’s time to start deciding on the fun details for our wedding! Before we get into the more elaborate design elements, let’s first chat about the most basic, yet crucial, detail: our color palette!

Deciding on a palette was actually a bit easier than I expected: we simply chose our favorite colors! My favorites are pink and gold, and Zack’s is blue. From there, we narrowed our focus and chose specific shades within that palette: blush and fuchsia for me, and navy (a great classic choice!) for Zack.

During our initial design-planning meeting with the Rebecca Rose Events team, we sifted through a variety of linen swatches to choose colors and patterns we loved. While we are keeping the colors above as our core colors, we also discovered that we really loved the look of incorporating accent tones of soft grey, French blue, and peach into our palette. I know that might sound like an overload of colors, but I promise it is going to be so beautiful!

Now that we have our color palette determined, we have had fun going through different ways to incorporate it into our wedding details! One of the most exciting (at least for me!) ways to do this has been gathering inspiration for our bridal party attire.

Photo on left by Erich McVey via Wedding Chicks

Zack almost immediately knew what he wanted his groomsmen to wear for our wedding. Since navy is one of our main wedding colors, it made sense for the groomsmen to be in navy suits! He really likes the look of a classic white oxford for his groomsmen, with blush ties to tie the look together. We both agreed that brown shoes would look the most dapper to finish things off. He might be switching it up and doing something a little bit different for his look, but we’re keeping that part as much a secret as my wedding dress!

I didn’t personally have as clear a vision for my ladies, however. Zack and I agreed that blush dresses would be best, since they would pop nicely against the groomsmen’s navy suits. I also knew I loved the look of mismatched bridesmaid dresses, and hoped to find dresses that flattered each of my gals’ body types and style preferences. My biggest dilemma was choosing between long and short dresses.

Since we are getting married in May, my first thought was to have them wear short dresses, since it might be warm (and I want them to be as comfortable as possible!). But, I also adore the femininity of long dresses; the silhouettes they create are so flowy and beautiful, and I want my ladies to feel their most gorgeous on our big day!

I talked through my ideas with our planners, and Becca recommended long bridesmaid dresses for a number of reasons. Most of my bridesmaids are either a bit on the short side, or a bit on the tall side. So, if they were to all be wearing short dresses, their hemlines would fall at varying heights when they were standing next to each other for pictures. I hadn’t even thought about this, but Becca pointed out that having all of my bridesmaids in long dresses would make everything look more cohesive in our wedding photos, which is important since they will be wearing different styles of dresses! She also mentioned how beautifully Perry Vaile captures the flow and movement of long dresses, which is one of the things that attracted me most to her photography.

With that decision made, it was really time to have fun browsing online for beautiful bridesmaids dresses! I adore a mix of soft romantic silhouettes and modern details (think sequins, tulle, and petals!), and quickly fell in love with the dresses from BHLDN and from designer Adrianna Papell. I hope my ladies love these looks as well! I know they are going to look gorgeous for our outdoor spring wedding.

Friends, I’d love to know: where did you have the best luck finding beautiful and unique bridesmaids dresses? Did you shop local at boutiques, or online at your favorite stores or larger shops that carry bridesmaids dresses?

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Erin reply

    Does anyone know where this tie is from or what brand it is? I’ve been looking for something just like this and haven’t had any success. Thanks!

  2. avatar Tina Barker reply

    Love the suit, what store or website is it from? And the tie also… Thanks

  3. avatar Matthew Cummins reply

    Hey! We came across your story through Pinterest, and we loveeee the tie Zac wore for your wedding. My fiancée and I are getting married in May and literally want that exact tie for my suit. We’d really appreciate any suggestions on where to get it. Thanks!

    • avatar Sahil Tyagi reply

      Hello Matthew!

      I also love the tie. Did you ever get a response?


  4. avatar Sahil Tyagi reply


    I love the look of the groomsmen. I was looking at something similar for my prom! Where did they get their blush pink ties from? Was it somewhere online?


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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding in May. In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

One of the very first things Zack and I talked about after getting engaged was where we wanted to get married. Both the city and the type of venue were up for grabs, as I am from Winston-Salem, NC and he is from right outside Knoxville, TN. When we got engaged, he was living in Knoxville and I was living in Nashville, but we knew I would soon be moving to Knoxville, too. So, we had a few options on where to get married!

While I love Winston-Salem and cherish it as my hometown, I’ve never envisioned getting married there. The two of us have made only a few memories in Winston-Salem, and Tennessee felt more like our home. Deciding between Nashville and Knoxville, however, was a little challenging. Nashville has so many beautiful wedding venues, and is such a fun Southern city – somewhere I knew our friends would love to visit! However, Knoxville also has a wide variety of gorgeous venues. The fact that it would be our home both during and after our engagement really sealed the deal for us. We loved the idea of being able to plan all of the details with local vendors, instead of needing to travel to Nashville or Winston-Salem for venue tours and vendor meetings.

After deciding on the city, it was time to brainstorm wedding venues! I had always envisioned a church ceremony and an outdoor garden reception. Zack and I come from different religious backgrounds, and we really wanted to be respectful of both of our families. So, we gave it a lot of thought and decided that having our wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue would be the best option for us. Knowing that, we needed to look at venues that had plenty of space for us to accommodate the different aspects of our wedding day.

One of the first venues that caught my eye was Crescent Bend (above). The formal Italian garden behind the main house is one of the most stunning things I’ve ever laid eyes on! The view of the river from the gardens is also breathtaking. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that a gorgeous view and beautiful gardens do come at a high price point, which was outside the budget we allocated for our venue.

Eden Bliss Weddings

The next venue we considered was The Bleak House. I loved the fact that it is a confederate memorial hall; it has a lot of rich history and gorgeous architectural details. It also has a stunning arbor walkway that leads to a garden, something I had been hoping for. However, the garden was mostly greenery with very few actual flowers, so not quite the picture I had in my head.

Jennie Andrews

We then looked at The Historic Southern Railway Station, kind of by accident! We had been searching for vineyards in Knoxville, but quickly found they are hard to come by. However, the railway station is a part of Blue Slip Winery, and we love our wine! The interior of the Station is breathtaking. The Southern Ballroom has beautiful high ceilings and rich wood paneling, a pretty combination of my feminine style and Zack’s masculine taste. But, the only outdoor option was a platform next to the train station. It lacked greenery, something I couldn’t overlook.

After striking out with our first few options, we decided to think outside the box. Zack loves golfing, and he had the wonderful idea of looking at golf courses for our venue. I loved that idea–a golf course would provide us with the greenery I really wanted, as well as a rain back-up plan in the form of a club house or country club.

The first golf course we toured was Wind River. Zack and I absolutely fell in love when we stepped onto the property! The rolling greens are so gorgeous, the lake view is spectacular, and the country club is made of the most beautiful stone. We thought it was the one, but after speaking with our planners, we realized a few logistical details that would push the venue outside of our budget. The area behind the country club, where we had envisioned our reception, is mostly greenery with a little bit of concrete, meaning that we would need to bring in flooring to go under our tent, a fairly pricey thing to do. Wind River is also a 45-minute drive from downtown Knoxville, making it slightly inconvenient for our guests who will likely be staying in hotels closer to town. While we loved the venue, we had to be cautious about our budget and our guests’ comfort and convenience. So, we looked for other golf courses closer to town!

Bridesmaid photo by JoPhoto

Zack has played in golf tournaments at Gettysvue Golf and Country Club before, and remembered loving the course. While we were smitten by Wind River, after taking a tour, we truly fell in love with Gettysvue! It has the most spectacular view of the mountains, so we are hoping (if Mother Nature plays nice!) to have our ceremony outside at the top of the hill. I can envision it, and it’s stunning!

It also has a beautiful indoor ballroom, which will be the perfect setting for our dinner and possibly more if it does rain. A rain back-up plan was definitely a top priority! And the biggest factor that we love is that the carport area, which is right in front of the rolling green golf course, is the perfect flat spot for dancing, a bar, and a soft-seated lounge. No flooring needed under the tent! Gettysvue is within our budget, absolutely gorgeous, close to town for our guests, and Zack has played there before – making it truly special and personal for us!

While I envisioned one thing for our wedding ceremony and reception before we started in on venue tours, I am so happy with the different, more personal direction we decided to take. I really love that our venue is such a part of Zack’s personality and lifestyle, while some of the other wedding details are more reflective of my personality and ultra feminine style. I can’t wait to see how our amazing wedding planners transform it with all of our design details and an abundance of flowers! If you can’t get married in a garden, bring the garden to your venue – right?!

Friends, I’d love to hear: did you have a venue vision in mind before taking tours? And if so, did that change throughout your planning process, or did you go with your original idea? What helped you make your decision?

In case you missed a post…
The proposal
Choosing a wedding planner
Choosing a wedding photographer
Shopping for a gown

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh I bet Gettysvue is great! My roommate got married this past spring in Knoxville and she had her reception at The Foundry. It was fantastic, and guests staying downtown didn’t have to travel far once the party was over. So excited to see the rest of your planning as I live in Knoxville currently. :)

  2. avatar Caitlin Alexander reply

    I just HAVE to tell you how much I appreciate how you spoke about your budget!! Seriously! It’s totally refreshing to read a post from someone who is working within a budget to create a stunning day… thank you for being open about that lady! Xo!

    • avatar Jessica Clinch reply

      I’m just now seeing your comment Caitlin! I’m glad you appreciated my honesty about our budget! It is something to definitely consider closely, especially when it comes to wedding venues. While certain venues are gorgeous and I understand why they are a bit more expensive, we could not justify spending the majority of our budget on our venue! Each area of our wedding budget needs love :) xo!!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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