The abundance of wedding planning resources in Knoxville can be overwhelming to many. There are so many wonderful Knoxville wedding vendors and wedding venues to choose from! Knoxville is full of talented wedding planners, wedding photographers, wedding florists, wedding DJ’s, caterers…the list goes on and on! Where are the best wedding planning shows? What are the best wedding planning apps, websites and forums? We took a minute to grab coffee with real-bride Madeline, who gave us her story of navigating wedding planning in Knoxville. She dishes on what worked–and what didn’t work–for her wedding near Knoxville.
RBP First tell us how you met your fiancé, Ben?
Madeline Ben and I became good friends in college but never dated. Honestly, we never even thought about dating. After a couple of years we just lost touch. Until a few years ago when my two best friends decided to re-connect Ben and I. We all just started hanging out as friends. Slowly, but surely that’s when we finally went from just a great friendship to a relationship.
RBP Was there a moment when you knew “He’s the one”?
Madeline I think there are too many moments to name just one. Everything just came so natural. I think a lot of that is because we were such good friends starting out that we could be 110% honest with each other.
RBP How has Ben been supportive/been there for wedding planning?
Madeline He’s been super supportive! He always encourages me to do what I want with the wedding but also lets me know what he would like. I value his input because I know it’s not just my day, but our day, so I want all those special little moments for him too! And it’s super helpful to have another person’s opinions. That helps me make decisions.
Wedding Planning in Knoxville
RBP What was the first thing you did when beginning to plan your wedding?
Madeline First thing — I celebrated! We were excited about the wedding, but before jumping in I took about a week to just reflect on everything that had happened during our engagement weekend! It was so exciting and such a whirlwind of a weekend!
Afterwards, we started looking at venues and thinking about guest lists. We made a list of venues and went through and ranked them. We narrowed it down to about 5 venues that we planned to tour. Key word – planned. We ended up touring two venues. We fell in absolute LOVE with the first venue and after seeing the second, we knew we had made our decision. We made sure that our officiant was good with the date and we booked that first venue!
RBP Did you attend any Knoxville Bridal Shows? Which ones were helpful?
Madeline The Pink Bride show was helpful because I was able to learn more about different vendors, stores for our registry, dresses, and basically all things wedding. It helped me think about all of the additional things that go in to a wedding.
I also attended a sample wedding dress sale at The Press Room, which was a neat way to see wedding dresses. Not gonna lie, it was a bit stressful and overwhelming for me. I think that’s sort of the point of the sample sale to get people in and out quickly, but I knew I couldn’t choose my wedding dress like that. But that was also the first time I looked at dresses, so that probably played a part too.
RBP Do you have any “must do’s” or “gotta haves” for wedding planning? (eg Apps, Magazines, tools, etc) or, has anything been super helpful that you would have struggled had you not had it?
Madeline One thing that has been super helpful for me is my month-of/day-of wedding planner. She has called me just about every month to make sure that I am doing well and if there are any questions that I need help with. She’s been super helpful with little details that I would have NEVER thought of.
My vendors have been a HUGE help for me as well! Ask your vendors for recommendations!! They work in the Knoxville wedding industry and know the good, the bad, and the ugly. They have been one of my biggest resources.
PINTEREST. I’m fairly certain you can find everything on Pinterest. I’ve found timelines, colors, games, and all of the ideas. I took a lot of the timelines from Pinterest and made my own little wedding planner and with my own to do list for each month. I try to work ahead as much as possible, but that doesn’t always work.
I love looking through magazines, so I’ve used my Tennessee Weddings magazine constantly! It has great ideas and customary wedding traditions that are always good to know.
RBP What is one thing you splurged on that you’re super excited about?
Madeline Cruze Farms Ice Cream Bar! This was something I debated on because of the cost, but Ben and I love ice cream, so we couldn’t not have it on our special day! I think some of our guests are excited about this too!
RBP How did you set your budget?
Madeline I probably did the budget thing a little backwards than how it’s suggested all over the internet. Everywhere online it says pick your budget first and go from there, which is great advice, but I had no idea how much a wedding costs or even how much certain vendors would cost. For me, I semi started planning before I decided on a budget because I didn’t know how to create a breakdown without knowing how much a venue versus a florist would cost. I also looked up a lot of budget breakdowns on Pinterest (Some do not seem realistic in the least bit haha). Once I booked my venue for my specific amount of guests, I started creating a breakdown of how much I could spend on all the other parts of the day and how much room I had to splurge on each, if there was any room to splurge haha.
We’re so excited for this sweet couple’s wedding at The Barn at Faith Farms this Summer! Stay tuned!