Planning the Big Day - All the Places Part 3

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Today is the last and final day of All the Places for this crazy wedding that Robby and I are planning. This is going to be a rather small post as I have two sessions that are calling my name to start editing! :D

The last venue that Robby and I went to look at (and absolutely fell in love with) was Mabry Hazen House right in the middle of Downtown Knoxville! We loved the idea of having a historic venue be apart of our wedding. Robby and I have a thing for history (especially me) so we were absolutely ecstatic to find Mabry Hazen House. I contacted Calvin, the director of the museum (YES, MHH is a museum), and we got to scheduling a visit to the house. 

It was of course, January/February when we toured, and AGAIN it was absolutely freezing (I didn't take any pictures on our initial visit, so all of the images below were taken in April). Calvin showed us the grounds where the ceremony and reception would both be and we could only imagine how much more beautiful it would be in May for the wedding. 

There is a gazebo on the grounds that has ample amounts of electrical outlets...a great place for the band or DJ to set up! 

One of my biggest requests is the fact that we definitely want Diesel to be there on our wedding day! Therefore, it is a huge deal to make sure that the venue is pet friendly. To our surprise, Calvin stated that the last owner of MHH, Miss Evelyn Hazen, was actually a pet lover. She occupied the house alone (along with many dogs and cats). In her will, she stipulated that if the house was to be sold, all profits would go to animal causes. This 100% stole our heart!!


This is the side of the house that would be in primary view during the ceremony and reception. Since the house is a museum, there only only about 2 rooms that guests would be able to see on the actual wedding day, and those would probably contain the remnants of what myself and the bridesmaids brought. However, we thought it would be great to have all of our out of town guests take a tour of the house on Friday leading up to wedding! :)


When Calvin took us on a tour of the inside of the house, Robby and I almost died!! There is so much history in this house from 3 different generations. Its absolutely amazing how much history one house can hold! 
Oh how I am in love with these doors...I could see many pictures right here on the big day!  

A little bit more history of the house: it was a vital part of the Civil War, both for the Union and Confederate forces!



As you can see, the venues that Robby and I looked at all definitely have a similarity. They are all historic homes that have amazing life around them. This is something that I have always seen as apart of my wedding day. I never saw myself in a ballroom or in a barn. I'm definitely a big old home kind of girl! :) 

Tomorrow, we will finally let everyone know which venue we chose for our wedding! We couldn't be happier with our choice and know our guests will absolutely love it too! 

Planning the Big Day ~ All the Places Part 2

Friday, April 20, 2012

I hope you all had a fantastic week! Mine has been oh so fun as wedding season is starting to swing back in full gear and I've dove a little bit farther in to the wedding planning world! Its insane being on this side of the process! You just really don't realize everything that is involved in planning a wedding! Wowza!

Ok, so I am absolutely in love with this next venue I'm going to share (what am I saying...I love ALL of these venues)! :) But this one is super special. I've known about Maple Grove Inn for about 5-6 years now. An old friend told me about it once when I was so keen on having my own Bed & Breakfast (any other girl who watched Gilmore Girls also had this dream at some point in time). Well, she told me about a quaint little B&B right down the road and told me I should just go check it out. Well, I drove down the road and could not believe what I saw...perfection! Literally, the exact Bed & Breakfast that I had always wanted. I was sitting in the parking lot, working up the nerve to go inside and ask if they were hiring when a whole slew of cars started pouring into the parking lot...it went from 1 little Suzuki to about 25 cars in 35 seconds! So my nervous little butt hi-tailed it out of there. Needless to say, that amazing little B&B always stayed in the back of my head. Fast forward 5 or 6 years to last summer. Jennie tells me I am going to be shooting a bridal luncheon at none other than...Maple Grove Inn!!! You've got to be kidding me! I actually get to see the inside! Yay!!!



I immediately fell in love with the house. A little history recap, the house was built in 1799 (ummmm thats 100 years before the Biltmore) and is one of Knoxville's oldest homes! I felt like I had struck gold...I probably just walked around the house for a good 10-15 minutes just taking all the antiques and oldness in! It was like being transported back to my Gammy's house, but much bigger!

Anyway, when Robby and I started talking about venues, I immediately wanted to show him MGI. Went went in...you guessed it, January, when it was bone freezing cold and walked around the outside of the home. Robby liked it...but I didn't want to get my hopes up. So we decided to make an appointment with Vicki and tour the house!

My favorite EVER!!! The driveway to the house is unbelievable...whether its winter or spring!


A week later (because I cannot contain my excitement) we went and toured the house. I was already hooked, but Robby fell in love immediately. Then, to top it off, Tom (the owner of the house) made Robby and I a cup of his own roasted coffee. Can I tell you how delicious this cup of coffee was?! I have never been able to drink black coffee, and I drank the ENTIRE cup, no problems! It was delicious!

Rob and I were excited, but didn't want to make any decisions until we saw all of the venues that were on our list (which weren't very many...you'll see all of them). We bid adue to Vicki and Tom and went on our way. Because I didn't have my camera with me on our initial trip, Robby and I decided to go back and have a gander at what Maple Grove Inn would look like in the spring. These are those pictures. Isn't it beautiful?!?!?!?



So thats Maple Grove Inn! Its definitely different than Watermelon Moon Farms which you can see HERE! So what do you think of Maple Grove Inn??
Next week, will be our last venue...its of course historic and an amazing home here in Knoxville! I can't wait to share the yummy gorgeousness with you! :)

Planning the Big Day ~ All the Places Part 1

Saturday, April 7, 2012

In light of what I will be doing later today, I thought it was a perfect day to discuss wedding venues!!!
I had a specific style of venue in mind and I couldn't waiver from that style. I wanted a plantation style home with loads and loads of charm. Something that wasn't too familiar in the wedding world (at least not here in East Tn) and something that made me feel comfortable. I know 100% my reasoning behind this and its because of my grandmother's house. I absolutely loved spending time at my grandmother's 1800's house that was originally a parsonage and later renovated to be a family home. This also goes along the lines of my love for the Biltmore! Vintage, antique, charm....these were all words that make me feel warm and fuzzy when I think about my wedding. 
If you read the previous Planning the Big Day blog that had loads of inspiration in it, then you may have already checked out our first venue that we visited! I ran across an AMAZING styled photo shoot on the Once Wed wedding blog and immediately fell in love with this quant little Lebanon, TN farm house. Oh, how the goats and chickens called to me. LIterally, I could imagine little goats and chickens running around and eating food that was fresh from the farm for our wedding. This place was perfect! But, if you know me at all, you know I love to research! Seriously, papers in college were my favorite thing because it meant I got to research! 
So off I went, emailing one of the owners of Watermelon Moon Farm, Emily. I might have given a muffled shriek of delight when she replied! ;) So Robby and I were off that following Saturday to Lebanon, TN to see what Watermelon Moon Farm had to offer! The only thing I never thought of was that would be the one weekend that we were threatening to have a snow storm...and what happened on the plateau?? Snow! Its was frigid outside, plus Robby came down with a mighty hefty version of the stomach bug. But, we braved the cold and pulled in to the adorable and delightful venue. (In my excitement of meeting Emily and seeing the house, I completely forgot to take a picture of the prettiest part...the FRONT! Forgive me, but you can always check out their website, it looks exactly the same!)
We were greated by a herd....literally! 


 We might have named one of them Billy (it was the obvious choice) because he was such a camera hog! 


The fantastic aspect of this venue is the freedom you have! Literally whatever ideas we had, Emily said they were 100% possible! Any caterer, any rental company, bands or DJ's could set up where ever they liked, etc! Now, it was January, and it was frigid, so we didn't get to see the farm in all its glory. There is a grape vine that grows behind the ceremony site and completely covers the fence (can you say magical?) and a butterfly herb garden. The area in the middle is surrounded by beautiful fresh flowers of all sorts (depending on the time of year) and vines that grow wild to make the venue a really fresh and organic feel. The porches are 100% yours and so is that most charming 2 bedroom and bath house in the back. 

(Look how old...the foundation is rocks! This is so my kind of place!)


And yes, the animals run wild, but Emily did say that she could tame the chickens and pheasants for the wedding and guests! :)



And last but not least, the ceremony site. This adorable old church window is situated at the back of the ceremony site and would be an adorable and picturesque backdrop! Even if you don't want the church window as the ceremony location, you can always opt to having the ceremony at another location on the property (Love the flexibility)!

After being outside for no more than 15 minutes, I couldn't feel my fingers, nose or ears. It was time to head back to the car. :( Emily and her husband were busy getting ready for the agricultural fair and we didn't want to keep them any longer than we already had so we decided to head to Nashville for some lunch. 
Watermelon Moon Farm is definitely a phenomenal location and I would love to go back and see it in full bloom! Plus, the pricing is unlike any venue in Knoxville, at least not like one with as much character and charm!!! 
Next week is a venue a little bit on the bigger side. Make sure to check back to see Maple Grove Inn
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