Flowers were another important detail for me, but also one of the areas that is hardest on a budget. We like native plants, & I had the idea that was going to work at first. A sweet florist friend told me that local blooms actually aren’t all that affordable, so I researched what was in season once we picked the spring. I knew I wanted at least one type of native fern (maidenhair), mostly white or chartreuse flowers, & maybe 1-2 succulents that we could save. I also really wanted to use hydrangea & viburnum. I tried to find flowers & foliage that coordinated with our colors, & Pinterest was great for this part of the planning. I knew my wishlist was going to have to be edited, so I printed a few pictures & took them to Diane at Simply Unique. She had recently purchased the shop from the sweet couple that owned it when they decided to retire, & Ms. Betty told me that she would take great care of me. I couldn’t get over her willingness to work with our tiny budget & my giant list of expensive things that needed to be mostly replaced with affordable things. She took what I loved & figured out a way to add unique but inexpensive filler. She mentioned that she had hens & chicks in her yard at home, & agreed that I could bring maidenhair fern, rosemary, & a pincushion plant for her to add to our bouquets. Diane asked for me to come by a few days before to confirm that what she ordered would work, & I was overwhelmed with what she had done with our budget.
The shop was filled with frosted plastic tubs of beautiful flowers, & she had an assortment of natural accessories on the table. I had shown her a picture with expensive scabiosa pods, & she brought out large natural pods to which she added succulents & more of the green tick dianthus in the center that I loved. I took a woven placemat purchased on clearance at Target, & she added that to her stash for making our beautiful bouquets. She thought of all the extras, & made sure to have enough of the herbs & succulents for our boutonnieres. She even asked for a tray so that she could fashion an initial out of chartreuse button mums. The way everything worked with our already amazing wedding party made me incredibly happy, it just added to our outstanding day! We have several great florists in the area, but make sure to see Simply Unique for outstanding service on any special floral project!
We, along with Noelle & Brigid, made our favors that doubled as mini decorations with succulents, moss, soil & gravel from Stanley’s & the 2 big hardware stores, and jars that our friends & family saved (our youngest nephew worked on all the baby food jars, ha.)
Kim, Brigid & Taylor styled the whole reception area using mismatched flowers, containers, tablecloths, burlap & twine. We used one of our small tire planters as a centerpiece, & Julie & Brigid made special succulent centerpieces for us with vintage ceramic planters & tire planters that they painted (what a sweet gift!) Mom & Libby pitched in to make it all come together, & I heard Julie lit all of our tiny tea lights. They all got ready, & then filled rummage sale jars & glasses and metal containers with assorted carry-out flowers.
My now father-in-law & mother-in-law brought up the most gorgeous bouquets & boutonnieres from Simply Unique in Knoxville. I grabbed Aunt Faye when she arrived & had her put the xo tags on the favor jars, and to spruce up the iris & mint that my brother-in-law carted all the way from his mom’s yard in middle Tennessee so that we could have her there in spirit.
A few flowers even made it onto our outstanding & completely delicious cakes from MagPies Bakery, featured in this post. Our food from Holly’s eventful Dining rounded out our perfect day, accented with yummy sangria (thank you, bartender, for saving me that glass!) I couldn’t have paid a wedding planner to do it better (or have afforded it), & I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to repay all this work with the assortment of items we collected for everyone to use. Ashley & Jenny from Ashley Moreno Photography rocked their talent, we love our photos. The Valley View Lodge, featured in this post, really was a magical place when it’s atmosphere came together with all this decor, seriously incredible. We actually decided to use no additional lighting & less decor so that guests could enjoy the beauty of the lodge. They were accommodating as our party carried later into the evening, & allowed later check-in & an area to take our revelry after hours. Jessica made sure to keep us festive with a chilly run for the good champagne she had stowed in a planter at the lodge. ;)
Bob was amazing as the officiant, we loved having him perform our ceremony before his retirement; it was extra sweet of his wife Kay to play Simple Gifts for us on her lap dulcimer. Debra B. was an excellent coordinator, she did a perfect job of calmly getting all of us where we needed to be. Libby was such a great friend for Mom, a reminder of sweet family friends growing up, & so much extra help to all of us!
Our bridesmaid gifts were from j. crew, etsy, bliss & fizz. Groomsmen gifts were custom flasks from Liquid Courage (while they were still in Tennessee) & Inseine Creations bay rum shave soap (we also had our favorite Inseine Creations soap in a basket for our lodge guests.)
Extra thanks again to all of our sweet family & friends, & also our vendors, for going out of their way to make it such an amazing day!