The ‘I do’s & don’ts’ of catering…

For better or worse, hiring a caterer can be one of the most daunting tasks when planning a wedding. It’s food, after all. Food is what brings people together. At your rehearsal dinner or reception, it can unite or…not. So, Sammy B’s Co-owner and Catering Manager Gina Stradley agreed to share some important tips and mistakes to avoid when working with caterers.

1. Don’t cut corners (i.e., be honest about your budget)
I’m naturally artistic, and as a caterer, this is where I work very hard to make my clients’ visions come to life. However, there are limits. I hate to be the one to ruin culinary dreams for a couple, so YOU MUST CREATE AND UNDERSTAND your budget. A caterer will be honest with you and help you discern what’s doable and what’s a no-go. You want a caterer that’s not afraid to say “no.” If they are offering something that seems too good to be true, it is.

2. Let your caterer guide you with the menu.
Odds are this is your first time planning the food for a wedding reception. Your caterer has likely done this hundreds or thousands of times. Take advantage of their expertise. We know that in the heat summer cheese sweats and fruit attracts flies. We know good alternatives. And I promise you that our goal is to make it look as beautiful as you imagined.

3. Make a list and check it twice.
Include everyone, not just those on the guest list (add a few more for those guests who don’t RSVP. Trust me there’s always a handful!). Your photographer, florist, wait staff, planner are all working to make your day spectacular and unless you don’t mind them leaving to grab a burger, include them in your head count so there’s enough food.

4. Meet/interview your caterer.
Unless you’ve tasted the food or experienced the professionalism of the caterer personally, you need to set up an in-person or phone consultation. It isn’t until you get face (or phone) time with the caterer that you can really know what he or she is all about, and vice-versa. This is the first opportunity to show you their style. Anyone can print beautiful brochures and have a fancy website. The proof is in the product.

5. Don’t curate your menu around one person’s taste.
If you have special dietary needs or restrictions, the time to let your caterer know is as soon as possible. The sooner I know about your strawberry allergy or hatred of onion, the more gracefully the catering team can work around it. However, this is not an excuse to push your beliefs or restrictions on the rest of your family and friends. It’s my responsibility to please the wedding couple and all of their guests, and that includes “meat-and-potatoes-only” Uncle Fred and “there-must-be-a-fish-option” crazy cousin. Thankfully, there’s a happy medium that falls between gluten-free everything and well-done filet mignon for 300. We can help you create the perfect menu that everyone will remember as fondly as the first dance.

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Here comes the bride…The Estate at Cherokee Dock

Whether you are hosting hundreds of family and friends for epic all-weekend wedding festivities or looking for an intimate way to say “I do,” The Estate at Cherokee Dock can make your dreams come true.

Once home to legendary country songstress, Reba McEntire, in recent years the mansion and lush 14-acre estate has been transformed into an event center. The mansion is just under 13,000 square-feet and hosts eight bedrooms with king or queen size beds, indoor/outdoor ceremony sites and a movie theatre.

“We can comfortably sleep up to 40 guests,” said Kelly Uldrich, The Estate at Cherokee Dock’s Social Media Manager. Uldrich described two of the popular wedding options
they offer. “We have an elopement or intimate wedding option and we also have a wedding weekend option as well,” she said. “The wedding weekend offering is something that really sets us apart.”

With the wedding weekend option, the bride and groom have access to the property for the entire weekend.

“On Friday night, they would have the rehearsal dinner. Vendors and your wedding planner would set up and the bridal party would spend the night in the top level of the mansion. The groomsmen would stay in our Groom’s Quarters, which is our fully furnished apartment above the stables,” Uldrich explained. The wedding would take place on Saturday, including a reception and even an after-after party if you choose to do so. Then on Sunday, the couple could host a “Send-Off Brunch.”

“It slows down the process,” Uldrich said. “I remember with my own wedding, it all happened so fast – like a dream. Having a wedding weekend slows the pace and lets the bride and groom really savor every minute with their family and friends before going off on their honeymoon.”

The maximum number of guests for a wedding is 500. The Estate at Cherokee Dock does not provide catering but welcomes all licensed caterers and vendors. Uldrich, who works with Venue Directors Daniel Spires and Aryn Meyer, said they found that having an open vendor policy for the property gave the bride and groom more options and the ability to customize their perfect day – rather than offer a one-size-fits-all inclusive package.

Another option The Estate at Cherokee Dock offers is their new elopement package.

“We provide seating for up to 25 family and friends, the ceremony can take place indoors or outside. The couple has two full hours of time and we provide a licensed officiant and photographer to capture their day,” she said. “The bride and groom can get ready on-site and we provide florals – the bouquet and boutonniere – based on what colors they would like.”

She shared that they recently hosted their first elopement wedding. The couple told their children that everyone was spending the night at the mansion, then surprised them the next morning with suits and ties to wear to their wedding.

“The children were very excited. It is nice to see those intimate moments,” Uldrich added.

“We want to make sure you feel like it is your special day, even if it is an intimate production.”

For more information on The Estate at Cherokee Dock, email info@cherokeedock.com.

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Best Dressed! 2019 Bridal Style Guide

There’s something about seeing a beautiful bride draped in an amazing gown that hits us all; young and old-right in the feels. Even if you’ve been married for decades, watching a friend or relative try on gowns has the power to make some consider how much more fun your wedding could be now that you have the money to spend on it. Some, not all. But still. It’s no surprise that this is the issue that leaves the Wilson Living team with serious wedding envy.

While white has traditionally been the go-to color for wedding gowns, today’s modern bride craves variety. Not just with length, neckline, and fabric. If fashion magazines and runways at Bridal Fashion week are any indication, today’s bride loves color. We’re not talking about ivory or cream. We’re talking pinks, blues, and grays. So, we couldn’t wait to show off this year’s gowns provided by our good friends with The White Room in Lebanon.

PRETTY IN PINK

If there’s one wedding trend that’s not going away, it’s the blush pink wedding gown. And why would it? Pink dresses add a perfect subtle hint of color. No wonder the color is a favorite of celebrity brides and wedding gown designers alike.


Fun and flirty is how you will feel while wearing this dress. This v-neck ball gown with a floral beaded bodice is complimented with a full ruffled skirt featuring a horsehair hem. Buttons align the zipper to complete the look.

India is wearing a Hamlet Crepe with wide cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline. Princess seams accent the bodice. A-line skirt with a slight back train. Cortnie is wearing a chiffon high-neck sleeveless gown in slate. It features hook closure at neck with a large keyhole back. Ruched cummerbund accents the waist. Soft gathers surround the skirt.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

A long sleeved beauty! This allover lace fit and flare gown may appear modest, but the V-neckline and low V-back add the perfect amount of flirtiness. Buttons are placed from the low back to the end of the chapel length train.

A long sleeved beauty! This allover lace fit and flare gown may appear modest, but the V-neckline and low V-back add the perfect amount of flirtiness. Buttons are placed from the low back to the end of the chapel length train.

Our bridesmaid, India is wearing a Bill Levkoff chiffon spaghetti strap gown with crisscross pleats embellishing the bodice. Ruched cummerbund accents the natural waist. Soft gathers adorn the front of the A-line skirt.

MEET OUR MODELS

Wilson County native Monica Duff is an instructor at Hot Yoga Lebanon and is currently working on a masters in exercise science and nutrition at David Lipscomb University. Monica served in the US Airforce before moving back to Lebanon. When she’s not busy guiding local yogis through a powerflow class or studying, she’s active in her church where she volunteers as a life group leader for 6th-grade girls. Monica plans to become a health coach and use this foundation to help young ladies and women learn to love their bodies physically, mentally & emotionally. PLUS, she’s single! We should do something about that!

17-year-old, India Mastin is a junior at Lebanon High School. An honor student, India is on the school’s cross-country team as well as track and field.

10-year-old Cortnie Ragsdale is 5th grader at Carroll Oakland in Lebanon. Cortnie is an honor student and a member of the school’s cross-country team.

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LET THEM EAT CAKE & other tasty treats!

It was a love of baking instilled in her from her own mother that started it all. And from that little spark, Italian Mama’s Bake Shop was born.

Lauren Costley lives in Mt. Juliet with her husband Brandon, their sons, Collin, Luke, daughter Tessa, and their fourth child, Barrett, just arrived on May 6th. When she isn’t mothering or working in the family hardware store and mechanical business with her father, then you’ll find Lauren in her kitchen – baking.

“I was very fortunate and blessed to grow up with a Mom (Sharon Caputo) who was always cooking and baking. So, naturally I have always loved to cook and bake, whether it to be for my family or my friends,” notes Lauren. “After my Mom passed away in 2008, I really started to cook more and more because it reminded me of our time together.”

A love of family and a love of cooking are an integral part of Lauren’s life these days. “When Brandon and I started our family I began to have an interest in baking even more. I loved to make my kids birthday cakes and cookies. My friends started asking to buy cakes and desserts from me and at first, I was reluctant but gave it a shot. From there I started doing a little advertising online with my sister-in-law and it’s now taken off! Everything I’ve done has been something I learned from my own mother or just getting in the kitchen and giving it a try.”

But Lauren readily agrees she could not have done this alone. While her husband isn’t one to bake, he will help her when needed running to the grocery for necessary ingredients or cleaning up behind her. Her boys, on the other hand, don’t mind pitching in when its Pizza night, but it’s little Tessa who loves to put on an apron and help mom out in the kitchen.

“My sister-in-law Gina will also help me out with larger cakes or large events like parties or weddings. She is very talented herself and that’s how our name came about. We are both full blooded Italian so we thought it fitting to be known as “Italian Mama’s” Bake Shop.

Italian Mama’s offers all sorts of different treats from Italian cookies, decorated buttercream iced sugar cookies, different flavors of scones and breakfast/brunch desserts, cupcakes, cakes, cake pops, and brownies. They also are becoming very well-known for their gorgeous wedding cakes. “

The wedding cake trends I see and just love are the simpler one tiered cakes,” comments Lauren. “It’s a more affordable way to have multiple cakes with different flavors and designs for your wedding. Also, the semi-naked cake with gold drip and the two-tiered fresh flower cake with gold brushed paint, are both very popular right now and those are the ones we did for the Wilson Living Magazine wedding photo shoot.”

Lauren still considers her baking more of a hobby than a full-time business but her select few clients are keeping her very busy these days and no doubt, with her talent, we will all be hearing more and more about this Italian Mama!

If you are interested in any of her tasty treats then you can reach her at (615) 306-6355 or at 2italianmamasbakery@gmail.com. You can also check her work out on Instagram or Facebook at @italianmamasbakery.

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Here’s to Love and Laughter & Happily Ever After!

  • This year’s styles definitely are stunners. From princess capes to off the shoulder dresses, to halter necklines, ball gowns, and high collars, this is definitely the year to find the perfect dress for your personal look! All dresses, veils, and jewelry pictured are available at The White Room with locations in Lebanon & Murfreesboro.

We love weddings. Two people, two families, coming together surrounded by those special people in their lives, to celebrate commitment, faith, and a future of hopes and dreams.

So, of course, weddings are a big deal and should be! This year, all the buzz surrounds the royal wedding. What will the American Princess-to-be wear? Who will be her bridesmaids? What fashions will they wear?

Wedding styles have come a long way from when Princess Diana stepped out of the royal carriage in a huge taffeta dress of bows and frills to marry Prince Charles. Today’s bride is a little older, a little more sophisticated and more determined than ever to insure her wedding dress fits her own personal style!

This year, Wilson Living Magazine, set out to find two brides-to-be that embodied this new, independent style for our wedding dress shoot. Nominations were taken from our readers and we were over-run with potential candidates. Ultimately, we chose two girls that were strikingly different to showcase all the latest 2018 wedding trends.

MEET THE GIRLS

Shelby Pomeroy

This gorgeous raven-haired beauty has been dating her fiancé, Evan Shelton, for three years, but they were friends for
two years before that. A hairstylist at Aqua Bella Day Spa & Hair Studio, she definitely knows what her own personal style is. Evan, a mechatronics engineering student at MTSU and employed for Johnson Technologies knew she was the one! The couple were engaged at a Christmas party where everyone was in on the surprise but Shelby. They were playing Dirty Santa where it had been arranged that Shelby would draw the highest number, and go last. She unwrapped her present to find a box that contained a bottle of wine and a note asking her to marry him. When she turned around, Evan was on his knee with a ring. And the rest, as they say, is history . . .

ABOVE: Shelby and fiance’ Evan Shelton plan to wed in 2019.  

Rachel Eatherly

A blonde, brown-eyed stunner, Rachel Eatherly grew up in Wilson County and met her fiancé, Will Painter, while at UT Knoxville. The couple first met in a conservation class, freshman year, but it wasn’t until Sophomore year that they began dating. After graduation, both returned to middle Tennessee, where Rachel is now a UT Extension Agent & Master Gardener Coordinator for Rutherford County and Will is opening, All Things Solutions, in Wilson County. ATS is a maintenance, landscaping and construction company. Flash forward to the summer of 2017, Will had taken Rachel fishing. It was a hot day and nothing was biting. Rachel was ready to go home! Will convinced her to keep fishing just a little longer and said, “try this one”. She turned around to get a different fly to tie on her fishing pole, and instead found Will down on one knee. And so the adventure begins . . .

ABOVE: Rachel Eatherly and Will Painter were married in May 2018.

 

 

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Say ‘I Do’ to a More Sculpted You

How brides can slim down without surgery and downtime

All eyes are on the bride on her wedding day. So, it’s no surprise most spend months preparing to walk down the aisle. That could include everything from teeth whitening and tanning to focusing on healthy eating habits.

For those looking to get rid of some unwanted abdominal fat before the big day, there’s an option that can get rid of those love handles without surgery or downtime: SculpSure.

Mt. Juliet’s Inspire Medical Weight Loss & Wellness team offers this service as part of their customizable treatment plans. SculpSure’s body contouring technology destroys targeted fat cells in 25 minutes, without damaging the skin.

Patients can expect to feel a cooling sensation, which helps keep their skin comfortable, followed by a deep warming, tingling sensation. The heat raises the temperature of the fat cells, which in return, damages their structural integrity. During the next three months, the damaged fat cells are then eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system, giving patients a leaner look.

Like with their other weight-loss solutions, Inspire performs an initial consultation with patients to figure out their specific goals and challenges. They also perform preliminary tests to figure out the best treatment approach.

In addition to SculpSure, they can also use fat-burning hormones, cleanses, B12 injections and other options to help patients reach their goals. They do weekly counseling with patients to help address the eating habits behind their health problems.

“We literally hold their hand and keep them accountable and keep asking the question of, ‘Why?’” explains Dr. Jason Burchard, president and CEO of Inspire Medical Weight Loss and Wellness. “‘Why do you want to change? Why are you eating?’”

Their programs can help brides or anyone looking to feel better, lose weight and become a healthier version of themselves.

Inspire is located just off of the interstate in Adams Lane Plaza at Providence (behind Cracker Barrel). For more information, visit Weightlossmtjuliet.com.

 

The first 20 callers who mention this article will get a free consultation and $100 off any treatment protocol. Call 615-453-8999 to schedule your consultation today.

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Raised in a Barn

The romance of a rustic wedding in the stables of soon-to-be unveiled Tucker’s Gap Event Center

Photos by Jana Pastors, Kindred Moments Photography

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Credits

Photographer: Jana Pastors

Venue: Tucker’s Gap Event Center

Models: Kenzie Gaines, Libby Nave, Noah Baker, and La-Tanya Greene

Hair: Locks and Lashes

Makeup: Beauty Boutique

Wardrobe & Accessories: The White Room

Cake/Tablescape: Oh Crumbs Bakery

Flowers: Gardens on Main

 

click here About Our Venue

For this shoot, we were fortunate to partner with Tucker’s Gap Event Center at 2900 Callis Road in Lebanon. Although the shoot was in and around their equestrian barn on the property, a large event center is currently under construction scheduled for completion this summer. The brand new event center will mirror the rustic charm of the cedar, stone and ironwork style of the barn in this shoot. Tuckers Gap Event Center will be a 5000-square-foot climate-controlled venue, featuring indoor and outdoor spaces, formal gardens, suites for the bride and groom, a separate bar area, and catering kitchen. For booking, contact Event Center Coordinator Nancy Baker: (770) 906-0489.

About our Tablescape

Kitty Waters, owner of Oh Crumbs Bakery, created a four-tiered wedding cake with custom sugar roses and baby’s breath. The side desserts for the table were elegant sugar cookies decorated with royal icing, strawberry cupcakes, dainty pink raspberry macarons, and lemon cake pops. They all were decorated in white and tones of pink and burgundy, each easy for guests to pick up and nibble upon.

About Our Models

Kenzie Gaines is a dental hygienist from Mt. Juliet, TN. She is a real-life bride-to-be, and will be married to her sweetheart Wacey Russell in June at Tomlinson Family Farm. She met her fiancé at church in Lebanon , Tn. She thought he was really handsome and knew he came from a great family, so she introduced herself one day and they have been inseparable since. Together they like to go to church, exercise, and hang out with their friends.

Libby Nave is a junior at Friendship Christian School. She plays volleyball, tennis, and is involved with Youth Leadership Wilson.  She is considering sports medicine when she finishes high school. This was her first time modeling for a magazine spread, but nobody could have guessed: she was such a pro. In her free time, Libby likes to go to concerts, hang out with her friends, and participate in travel sports.

La-Tanya Greene is a student at MTSU studying Childhood Education. She has been modeling regularly in the Nashville area for the last few years.  She is originally from San Fernando, Trinidad. She likes shopping and eating everything she can get her hands on!

Noah Baker is Junior at Friendship Christian. He is an avid tennis player and a member of USTA (US Tennis Association) since he was 10. He loves to snowboard, wakeboard, and play and watch sports of call kinds; he also loves sports trivia and is a great cook (specialty is dessert – makes a mean molten lava cake). He attends Providence United Methodist Church and is involved in Service Club at FCS.

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Wedding Cocktails

Because your wedding deserves its own drink

By Brooke Porter, Market Basket Wine and Liquors

Shot at Capitol Theatre

 

It’s an easy gig: 1. Take five cocktail recipes created by the pros over at Market Basket Wine & Liquors. 2. Head over to Capitol Theatre in Lebanon to surround yourself with the art deco moods. 3. Mix the drinks, photograph the drinks, and taste the drinks.

Is your wedding upscale, even Gatsby? Blushing Bride might be your drink. Is it southern and sassy? Try the Country Girl Cosmo. Is it full of handmade, shabby chic detail? This Cucumber Elderflower Martini will make you wonder why you haven’t been muddling cucumbers in everything you imbibe.

No matter what your personality, there’s a drink here for you.

 Sunset on the Lake 

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What You Need

  • 2 oz. black cherry juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. Picker’s Blood Orange Vodka
  • 1 oz. Barsmith simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • Filthy Black Cherry, for garnish

How to Make It

  • Shake all ingredients with ice.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with a black cherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumber Elderflower Martini

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What You Need

  • 2 slices of cucumber (1 for muddling and 1 for garnish)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. Barsmith simple syrup
  • 1 oz. Square One organic cucumber vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • Splash of sparkling wine
  • Cucumber slice, for garnish

How to Make It

  • In a mixing glass, muddle cucumber in lemon juice and simple syrup.
  • Add ice, vodka, and liqueur.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Top with a splash of sparkling wine.
  • Garnish with cucumber slice.

 

 

 

 

Honey Ginger Sidecar 

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What You Need

  • 1 oz. Presidente brandy
  • 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Barsmith Honey- ginger syrup
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

How to Make It

  • Shake all ingredients except lemon twist in a shaker with ice.
  • Strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed martini glass.
  • Garnish with lemon twist.

 

 

 

 

 

Country Girl Cosmo

(Southern take on the White Cosmopolitan)

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What You Need

  • 2 oz. Sugarlands Silver Cloud Moonshine
  • 1 oz. Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. white cranberry peach juice cocktail
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice

How to Make It

  • Shake all ingredients with ice
  • Strain into chilled martini glass
  • Choose dainty orchid to use as a garnish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blushing Bride 

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What You Need

  • 4 oz. sparkling wine
  • 1/2 oz. Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • dash of Barsmith Grenadine

How to Make It

  • Pour ingredients into a chilled fluted glass and stir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Basket Wine and Liquors is located at 1505 W. Main Street Lebanon, TN. They pride themselves on stocking the kind of wine they want to drink themselves, and helping a customer to new finds based on his or her individual tastes. Owner Brooke Porter contributes to a wine blog at www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com. Learn more at: (615) 449-7115 or www.marketbasketliquors.com.

 

The Capitol Theatre is a premier event venue in Lebanon, renovated in vintage art deco style. In addition to being a prime wedding location, Capitol is also host to live music shows, fundraiser events, and regularly plays old movies. They are located at 110 W. Main Street Lebanon, TN. Learn more at (615) 784-4014 or www.capitoltheatretn.com.

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Behind the Scenes: 2015 Wedding Shoot

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A Family Affair: 2015 Wedding Photos

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Credits

Photography: Jana Pastors, Kindred Moments Photography

Shoot Direction: Tilly Dillehay

Location: Covey Rise, wedding/event venue – Mt. Juliet, TN

Hair: Jessica Dodds and Haley Herbert, Locks and Lashes Barber & Studio

Makeup: Necole Bell, Beauty Boutique

Wardrobe & Accessories: The White Room

Flowers: Henderson’s Flower Shop

 

Our Models

Bride: Holly Lane

Holly Lane is Director of Brand Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Country Radio Seminar. She lives in Nashville, and this fall, she’ll be walking down the aisle for real. She met her fiancé, Mike Freeman, four years ago while watching a friend sit-in with the band at Robert’s. After being turned down for a date and her number, he finally got her to agree to a dance. When his group left, he wrote his number on a waitress ticket for her, assuming she’d never call. Well, she did, and they had their first date at the Bluebird Cafe the very next night. He popped the question just two hours after receiving her father’s blessing with a beautiful custom ring and 1930’s vintage ring box from one of her favorite local antique stores.

Bridesmaid: Callie Pittman

Callie is a musician and songwriter with indie band The Vespers. She lives with her husband Reed in Nashville, TN and represents Rodan + Fields product on the side.

Bridesmaid: Taylor Gaines

Taylor Gaines is a Jr. at Station Camp High School. She usually plays more of an athlete’s role than a model’s, having spent years on the basketball court and softball field, but you’ll agree that the camera seems to suit her just as well.

Mother of the Bride: Katrina Byrum

Katrina Byrum lives in College Grove, TN with her husband Bob. She is mother to eleven children and grandmother to four. She is a homemaker and is currently homeschooling seven of her kids, while the others have left the nest.

 

Our Venue

We were lucky enough to snag Covey Rise for this fall themed wedding shoot. The mansion, located in Mt. Juliet, was formerly a private residence but has been recently introduced to the public as an event venue.

It was hard to choose our shots at this location: between the rolling soybean fields, fountains, lake, orchard, pool, terraces, and gorgeous interior, we hardly knew where to begin. The simple problem is that at Covey Rise, everywhere you look is another vista, and every room suggests another photo.

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