I seriously had no idea where to start planning my wedding. Since The Candyman and I are paying for this on our own, I need to keep budget at the forefront of my mind at all times.
Let me back up just a bit. The Candyman and I were off for the Christmas holidays in December 2008. We were doing a giant loop from Nashville to his hometown, around to my parents place and then back around to Nashville. The Candyman proposed while we were in his hometown on December 22, 2o08. Hilarity and mayhem ensured shortly thereafter both at his house and then mine. We returned home to "ring" in the new year in the comfort of our own home. We were driving somewhere and The Candman saw a billboard for a Bridal Show occurring the very next day. "We should go," says The Candyman. "Good idea!" says I. Yeah....right.
Bridal Shows are a necessary evil. Do not go in blind like I did. Know that you are entering hell and plan for it. DO NOT register with David's Bridal (I was smart enough to avoid that one). You could be like the hyper-freakish brides who had mailing labels pre-printed, ready to slap onto registration cards at every booth. G'head. I'm just not that kind of bride.
At any rate, I did hook up with some cool folks who were amazing, helpful, informative and incredibly expensive. Sad, but true. While I might not have chosen certain vendors due to budget restrictions, I'll for sure mention some if they come to mind or if I think people can benefit from them.
What The Candyman and I decided to do first and foremost was to secure a venue. Since neither of us is native to Nashville, we don't have a particular church or location that's special to us. However, being that we are both Southern in our roots, we felt that aspect should play a part.
After several extremely depressing visits to antebellum mansions, botanical gardens and restaurants, I happened upon the back page of an insert of The Nashville Scene bridal issues. We quickly made an appointment with Carlin McQuiddy at Mere Bulles in Brentwood.
- Sunday receptions are HALF PRICE!
- You can bring in your own wine and pay a $15 cork fee ($30 for Magnums) versus buying their in-house wines (I believe the cheapest bottle starts at $31).
- Carlin rocks.
- The food is awesome.
- The set-up (antebellum house) allows for all different sorts of styles.
- The decor is amazing and beautiful (except for maybe the chairs, but I can live with them).
- No deposit required, just a credit card to secure the date. You need to sign a contract too, but that isn't a huge deal. I haven't even signed mine yet.
- FREE tastings!
- LOTS of hotels in the area for out-of-town guests.
- Ample parking.
In discussing the options at Mere Bulles, we asked Carlin if she could suggest a nearby chapel. Next thing you know, we're booking our amazing little chapel, Owen Chapel. The website does not do it's cuteness factor any good whatsoever. It's small, sweet and exactly what we wanted. The chapel manager, Margaret Reed is a doll. Plan to have her chat you up at length. The greatest thing is that this beautiful chapel, built in 1867, has a the giant price tag of $250! We couldn't' be happier!