Lauren and Jon’s Tennessee Lake House Wedding

Being a second wedding for both Lauren and Jon, the couple wanted to make their special day different from their more traditional first weddings. They did so by exchanging their written vows in an intimate ceremony by the lake at sunset as their immediate families looked on, and followed it with an outdoor celebration of dinner, dancing, and marshmallow toasting.

In the words of the bride: “Our wedding day was our perfect day! We wanted to have a very intimate day focused on each other and our families, so we chose to have a backyard wedding with only our parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews. It was the perfect setting, and a day filled with love, laughter and great food!”

A huge thanks to Jenna Henderson for sharing their beautiful second wedding with us!

nashville wedding

Lauren, 30 & Jon, 32

Mount Juliet, TN

Wedding Date: October 18, 2014

Number of Guests: 10 adults, 8 kids

Wedding Cost: ~$10,000 – 15,000 including lodging for our families

Wedding Ceremony Location: Backyard of lake house

Wedding Reception Location: Patio of lake house

gerbera daisy wedding bouquet groom's boutonniere nashville intimate wedding nashville intimate wedding baby wedding guest flower girls hugging

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

As a second wedding for both of us, we really wanted to focus the day on each other and our families. We wanted to make the wedding very distinct from our first weddings (which were the more traditional route), and be really special. We also wanted to have a really nice setting and food, and didn’t want to spend an outrageous amount of money (which is inevitable if you have a large party!).

bride touching groom's face nashville wedding nashville wedding first look session small wedding in nashville nashville wedding

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

The most difficult part was finding a venue! Most venues are not set up for an intimate gathering, and even if they can accommodate it, they charge really expensive rates for such a small gathering! We were fortunate that we were able to find a beautiful home to rent and the owner allowed us to have the wedding in the backyard.

nashville wedding bride and groom portrait nashville wedding

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, that’s why we kept it to immediate family only – parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews. We know that if we extended beyond that to close friends and family we’d have to triple the size – and risk more feelings being hurt by not having other friends and family invited. When we said it was immediate family, everyone understood and accepted that.

nashville lakeside wedding nashville wedding

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Not really – everyone understood, though we did feel bad sometimes telling people. We actually had a dinner party/reception with our families and a party with our friends at a later date, so we did get to celebrate with everyone even though they were not there for the actual ceremony.

nashville wedding nashville wedding nashville wedding lakeside wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Sharing our own vows with each other for the first time during the ceremony. Writing our own vows was certainly a challenge, but it made the day so much more intimate and special. It’s also something we will cherish forever.

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What were the highlights of the reception?

Our nieces and nephews dancing! They were so cute and fun. They are seriously great dancers!

outdoor tables set up for reception dinner nashville intimate wedding outdoor wedding table setting intimate wedding nashville nashville intimate wedding backyard wedding reception wedding drink dispensers tub filled with ice and drinks mason jar cups guest holding wedding menu

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Getting able to spend time with both sides of our family together. In a traditional setting, there’s not really the opportunity for your parents to spend a lot of time with your new in-laws because everyone’s busy mingling with their own families. In this setting, everyone was able to truly enjoy each other’s company and get to know one another – which is important to us because our families live in different states.

Also, I think not being stressed out about accommodating a large number of guests. When it’s just family, you can be flexible and adjust on the fly, and nothing is an issue. For example, on the afternoon of our wedding, we decided we wanted to have the ceremony about 15-20 minutes earlier than scheduled to catch the optimal sunset time and we were able to make the change no problem!

outdoor reception dinner bride and groom at reception dinner guitarist performing at wedding bride and groom first dance wedding guests around bonfire bride and groom toasting marshmallows bride and groom kissing by bonfire

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Don’t worry about what everyone else will think. At the end of the day, it’s your day, and you should celebrate the way in which you feel most comfortable. Get a great photographer (or videographer) so you can share those great moments with everyone else after the wedding. Also, having a reception/party for others was a great way to keep the intimate setting but still be able to involve and celebrate with others.

nashville lakeside wedding


Photographer: Jenna Henderson

Venue: Private home, Old Hickory Lake, Nashville, TN

Catering: Chef & I

Florist: Belles Fleurs 

Rentals: Southern Events 

Hair & Makeup: Rachel Cothron

Minister: Brandon Rich

Ceremony Musician: Chris Marks

Reception Musician: Brandon Stiles

Dress: Winnie Couture

Suit: Ted Baker

Sash: Etsy


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Find your Style with Wedding Paper Divas

A wedding represents the joining of two lives, and with that often comes the joining of two distinct – sometimes conflicting – styles. The planning process, however, is a great time for you to discover you own unique style that represents you perfectly as a couple, and we think the best place to start is with your wedding invitations.

wedding paper divas invitation suite

Wedding Paper Divas makes it easy for you to find and define your wedding style by offering hundreds of different designs to choose from – from traditional to modern, and everything in between – and the ability to customize your invitation suite just the way you want it.

wedding paper divas invitation suite

Getting started is easy. All you have to do is find an invitation design that you like, then click the VIEW SUITE link to see all your options. By selecting a suite, all your stationery – from your save-the-dates to your thank you cards – will have a central theme, and you’ll save money by purchasing everything you need at once. Once you’ve made your selection there are a number of add-ons available, such as belly bands and envelope liners, to help you create the perfect stationery package.

wedding paper divas invitation suite

In addition to all their great add-ons, Wedding Paper Divas also offers premium printing options, including letterpress and thermography, to help further customize the look of your stationery. Letterpress printing, with its impressed lettering and design, will add a timeless and luxurious look and feel to your invitations, while thermography printing will make your design jump off the page with its raised effect – either way, your invitations will look like a million bucks, but at a fraction of the cost. We call that a win-win!

wedding paper divas invitation suite

To get started on your suite, click here, and find your wedding style!

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7 Awesome Ideas for Group Shots

Wedding group shots are quite often hit and miss. It can be a nightmare to coordinate everyone, as well as trying to avoid it looking too cheesy. For a smaller gathering, you can work with your photographer to capture these beautiful moments with your loved ones in an artistic way. Whether you’re looking for shot ideas for your wedding party or your entire guest list, we’ve picked out seven ideas to inspire you.

1. The ‘All-In’ Portrait

If you are having a small wedding, get your photographer to take a shot of everyone on your guest list. It will be a wonderful keepsake in the years to come.

wedding guests

2. The Seated Shot 

Chairs, benches – even a dock, can make for a great photo composition.

wedding bridemaids photo

3. The Huddle

What better way to display your affection for your bridesmaids (or your family), than with a group hug?

huddle bridesmaids

4. Back to the Camera

Sometimes all it takes to add some interest to a photograph is to switch up the angle. This shot shows off the back of the dresses, and of course celebrates your friendship.

back wedding bridesmaids

5. Casual Poses

Forget trying to arrange your guests in a stiff format of height order or color coordination. This is such a simple idea that looks great. Use the different elements around you to create different layers of height in your image.

6. Behind The Scenes

We all know that the best images usually come from your photographer snapping away whilst you’re getting on with the day. Getting dressed with your friends is a classic image, especially for those who are really not in favor of posing.

7. Waist Up 

Share the love, with this cute shot. From the waist up, all eyes are on the couple and the scenery in the background is really at its best.

Photo one:; Photo two: Frosted Petticoat; Photo three:Belle the Magazine; Photo four: Lindsay Madden; Photo five:; Photo six:; Photo seven:

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Montego Bay’s Hidden Gem, Round Hill Hotel and Villas

Are you looking for breathtaking views, a romantic setting, as well as unparalleled service and accommodation for your dream destination wedding? Then look no further than Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Jamaica. Located in beautiful Montego Bay – with easy air access from major international cities, Round Hill is a hidden gem of a venue with spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea and the tropical rainforest.

Round Hill Resort

If an intimate atmosphere and dedicated service is what you’re after, Round Hill offers assured exclusivity that your wedding is the only for the weekend. Their on-site planners and hospital staff are there to provide stress-free planning and personalized service, making sure your every need is attended to during your stay.

bride portait at Round Hill Resort

The resort can accommodate anywhere from 2 up to 150 guests and offers a variety of venues for you to say I do – from golden sand beaches on the Caribbean Sea to the Hanover Terrace with its stunning views of the rainforest.

Round Hill Resort

Whether you choose one of the resort’s luxurious private villas with a swimming pool and dedicated staff or a Ralph Lauren inspired Oceanfront Hotel Room that opens to the Caribbean Sea or the Infinity Pool, your stay at Round Hill Hotel and Villas is one you won’t soon forget!

round hill pool round hill wedding

To learn more about what the resort has to offer – including an award winning chef and culinary team, exceptional services and wedding packages, and value added benefits available only to wedding couples – check out the Round Hill Hotel and Villas Website and their Facebook page.


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Photo Five: James Christianson

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Ashley and Chase’s Paris Elopement at the Louvre

With their European vacation already booked, Ashely and Chase decided to make the most of their 36 hours in Paris by eloping in front of the Louvre. Without the added stress and pressures of a wedding to contend with, the couple felt free to celebrate their love for each other and their union in the way that felt most right to them – by popping champagne, eating macarons, and dancing around their hotel room!

A huge thanks to Brant Smith for sending over the photos and letting us share in Ashley and Chase’s joyous day.


Ashley, 28 & Chase, 32

Paris, France

Wedding Date: January 20, 2015

Number of Guests: 0

Wedding Ceremony Location: The Louvre

Wedding Reception Location: None

intimate Paris elopement


The Eiffel Tower bride in car Bride and groom holding hands detail of bride's gown train as they walk Bride and groom kising bride and groom kissing in front of Eiffel Tower bride and groom silhouette at sunset

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Our relationship is built on trust, love, humor, and most of all simplicity. As fast paced and overwhelming as our lives can be, we always find our grounding within each other. We celebrated our love for each other and our future life together without the added stress and pressures we felt would take away from the simplistic values that we share.

Paris street bride's shoes on windowsill dress hanging up bride getting her make-up done bride getting her make-up done bride getting her hair done bride putting on bracelet bride putting on earring bride putting on jacket

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

I had wonderful recommendations from our photographer Brant Smith. I am also a logistics machine, so we honestly didn’t have any.

groom tying his tie groom buttoning his jacket groom adjusting his jacket sleeves

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

When we decided to marry in Paris it was only a few short weeks before our planned vacation to Europe. With the last minute timing and extremely short visit to Paris, – 36 hours – it made it nearly impossible to accommodate guests.

bride walking to meet her groom bride riding in car bride getting out of car first look session in front of Eiffel Tower first look session in front of Eiffel Tower first look session in front of Eiffel Tower first look session in front of Eiffel Tower

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

We were firm with our decision to marry in Paris and told our close loved ones as soon as possible after we decided. We asked our family and friends to help us prepare for our day and be as involved as they would like to be. From the lovely bridal shower to the hand tailored suit, our family and friends could not have been more supportive.

bride and groom walking to the louvre bride and groom getting out of car bride and groom walking to the louvre elopement ceremony at the Louvre

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Because it was a crisp January afternoon, the courtyard of the Louvre felt private like it was reserved just for us. My personal highlight is that I have never seen my husband smile so big.

elopement ceremony at the Louvre elopement ceremony at the Louvre elopement ceremony at the Louvre bride giving ring to officiant bride puttingring on groom's finger elopement ceremony at the Louvre

What were the highlights of the reception?

We didn’t have one, but we did pop bottles of champagne, devour macarons, and dance around our suite to the French radio stations.

Bride and groom walking away from the Louvre elopement portrait Paris wedding portrait Paris elopement portrait bride and groom walking by the Louvre wedding portrait in Paris laneway wedding portrait by locks of love bride and groom putting lock on locks of love bridge wedding portrait in front of Eiffel Tower wedding portrait in front of Eiffel Tower

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Our day wasn’t spiked with seating chart blunders, linens that just didn’t quite match the centerpieces, or a little too tipsy bridesmaid. We didn’t need to cover our ears from noisy complaints or whining concerns. My hair fell out of place and a button on my dress popped, but there were no Aunt Anna Wintours to judge me, just a loving husband to brush my hair behind my ear and pinch the back of my dress to hold me together.

eiffel Tower at night paris bistro Paris Bistro sign Paris Bistro

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Know that having an intimate wedding does not mean sacrificing special moments with your family and friends. You can involve them in your planning as much as you like.

bride and groom kissing in Paris bistro


Photography: Brant Smith Photography. We can’t say enough about him; he is amazing. The photos are stunning! He knew the best places to shoot and was very flexible with our requests. He made our day perfection!

Hotel: Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero. The suite was beautiful and the location was excellent. They wrote us a sweet welcome note and congratulations note. They had champagne waiting in the room for us each night. We felt extremely well taken care of.

Hair and Makeup: Allison Depriestre. She was very sweet and very professional. She did a great job.

Car Service: Blacklane Service. A new 7 series picked us up right on time and at an unbeatable price.

Officiant: Une Belle Ceremonie. Professional and pleasant.


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