This sweet couple’s downtown Memphis engagement session is quintessentially “Memphis.” From the very beginning, it was clear that Carly and Cameron love life in their downtown home, and wanted to include meaningful places in their memories. We discussed their favorite haunts, like Tom Lee Park, and locations with special significance. The end result is a “very Memphis” engagement session.
Like any self-respecting Memphian, the first stop was the “M” bridge. We began their at sunrise, overlooking the Mississippi with the city skyline as our backdrop. Locals and tourists alike love Tom Lee Park.
Next, we moved closer to their downtown home in one of the historic buildings. The Orpheum is in the background of many of their pictures because they enjoy seeing shows together.
Of course, one cannot think of downtown Memphis without the trolley. During our time together, it glided by on its morning rounds- making quaint opportunities for pictures.
Finally, we meandered the pedestrian district of South Main. Morning light spilled over the building tops, breakfast scents tempted at every corner- making this a truly idyllic finale.
After touring the city and completing my first downtown session, I’m more excited than ever for their upcoming wedding at one of my favorite historic venues, The Woodruff-Fontaine!
*Update! Click here to see their gorgeous, “White Christmas” wedding.
A plethora of ceremony site options (some included below)
Honeymoon suite included
Groom’s room is detached from the main building, so there’s little worry about seeing the bride before First Look.
The site is yours for sixteen hours. Glorious breathing room in your schedule!
The bride’s suite!! (See below)
The gorgeous floor tiles, wood, carved ceilings, and chandeliers are all imported from Italy. Tuscan Ridge was a private residence before becoming a venue; apparently the owner was from Italy and wanted a piece of home.
Here is the delectable bride’s suite! The warm walls, and abundance of natural light make this room a photographer’s dream for swoon-worthy bridal portraits (for tips on how to achieve the best bridal/ getting ready moments, check here). Not to worry, discreet shades can be drawn for privacy. In addition to its beauty, Tuscan Ridge has one of the most functional bride rooms I’ve ever seen (hooks, outlets, mirrors, and racks galore).
Not only are there many options for ceremony, but there are plenty of cocktail spaces too. Here are a few:
Imagine how perfect this courtyard would be for a First Look! As a matter of interest, the groom’s room and honeymoon suite belong to the doors on the right.
We hope you decide to visit this venue and see its elegance for yourself! Welcome to Memphis, Tuscan Ridge! We love you already.
Wedding planning is special, but it can also be quite stressful. We’ve heard time and again that deciding on, and inviting guests is one of the top stressors. There are no general, one-size-fits-all answers to help with this; each family must draw their own conclusions. However, two ways you can facilitate this process are: discerning your wedding priorities, and investing in a fun, hassle-free way to set the tone for your wedding.
In order to help you, we put on our bridal detective shoes, and went through the full experience at Basic Invite. Here is what we loved:
Free address collection and addressed envelopes!
As a bride who self-addressed each invitation, I can’t tell you how valuable this is! Once you input your addresses, the envelopes arrive on your doorstep with the addresses already beautifully inscribed… for free!
While browsing the site, we couldn’t help but fall in love with a wedding invitation unlike any other we’ve encountered – seal and send invitations. The old-fashioned concept behind these invitations resonates with our sentimental hearts! The R.S.V.P. card, directions, invitation- everything- magically fit in one attractive, compact invitation.
There are so many color options- down to small variations in hue- with Basic Invite. Even the envelopes come in 40 different colors! Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. Your wedding colors are sure to be represented in their vast selection! Futhermore, when you browse items, the website will show you all the coordinating options that will compliment your choice- from envelope bands to unique favors such as personalized coasters.
Free, matching wedding websites
We love how Basic Invite helps you create such a cohesive first impression for your guests! They offer free wedding websites that you can customize to match your invitations! Your paper suite, and website are the first impressions your guests will have of your wedding, and Basic Invite provides all the tools you need for a cohesive, accurate expression of your wedding.
We ordered a range of products to see exactly how their products rate in person- they did not disappoint! The paper is beautifully weighted, high quality, and their colors are true-to-life. One item we simply had to see in person was their sailing themed save the dates. If you didn’t already know, Persuasion Photography is partially named for Jane Austen’s “Persuasion,” which involves many coastal and nautical themes. We simply had to find indulge in our nerdier side, and play with the idea of what the characters’ wedding would look like in modern day, and we thoroughly believe their celebration would involve nautical homage and sailing into the sunset. Their sailing themed save the date fits our visions perfectly! (To see more of this romantic, seaside cliff session that we featured on the card, click here).
In conclusion, we loved the whole experience that Basic Invite has to offer, and feel that they are a great tool for a well-curated, fun, stress free vendor to add to your wedding team.
Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to the lovely face behind Infinity Events– one of the best event coordinators/ wedding planners in Memphis! (Click here to see an inspiration shoot she styled for us!) Based on all the engagement announcements we’re seeing on social media, the timing for you to meet Emma Cockerham is perfect. In the past, we’ve interviewed other vendors (floral designers, hair stylists, and makeup artists). We want to help you get to know some of the professionals in the Memphis wedding industry.
How did you become a Wedding Planner?
After graduating from University of Memphis with a Business and Marketing degree, I began working in the hospitality industry. I started at a front desk and soon moved through the Sales & Catering department working in Guest Services and then in Corporate Event Planning. My husband and I had started a Supper Club with some of our friends from college in order to make a point to get together about once a month. Through this group, we got to know a newly engaged couple very well and would talk about their journey through wedding planning. After many conversations about vendors, colors and themes, this couple asked me why I didn’t plan weddings. I told them all of the reasons why I hadn’t attempted to start a business, but, after a while, I admitted that being my own boss and planning weddings would be my dream career choice. Their persistence and faith in me is how Infinity Events began. We are still very close friends (even our 1 year olds have play dates together), and I owe them everything for pushing me towards accomplishing my dream.
How long have you been a Wedding Planner, and what kinds of training/ certification/ career highlights have you had?
Since it’s conception 3.5 years ago, Infinity Events has grown significantly. I hired Mandy Martin as my assistant about two years ago, and she has since been taking on her own couples as well. She and I both became Certified Wedding Planners in August of 2018 through The Bridal Society;
What’s the hardest part of your job?
It’s funny when someone asks me this. I go through in my head the challenges that we face day to day, and try to pin-point the hardest part. The reality is that working in wedding planning can be super stressful, but when you find your passion in life, is it really work? I love what I do, and even when I face challenges, I come out the other side exhilarated and full of joy. With that being said, and to answer your question, I think that the hardest part is being able to shift through a couple’s vision and be able to give them their dream. Learning to work within parental and budgetary constraints while doing this is a challenge with every couple. In the end, it is worth the heartache to help them create magic!
What’s the best part of your job?
Honestly, I don’t think I could give just one! I have three! First, I love the relationships that I have the opportunity to build with my couples. We consider that a HUGE part of the Infinity Events client experience because we don’t see clients as just clients, they become our friends. I am always so bummed after the wedding is over because we won’t get to hang out quite as much! Second, literally there is nothing better than when your vision and hard work comes to life on the day of the wedding. I get so excited and emotional when it looks the way I hoped it would, and I love to love on my vendors for making it happen for the couple! Third, we love love! The planners and coordinators who work with Infinity Events all have this in common. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of each and every love story. It is a weird wedding that I don’t get teary-eyed at least once because I get to be a witness to so much ooey-gooey, perfect love!
Inspiration source(s) (art, nature, public figures etc)?
First and foremost, my husband’s undying support of me and my following my dream is a huge motivation and inspiration every single day. He is my partner in life and a wonderful daddy to our son. Secondly, my mother coordinated my wedding, as well as helped me plan the whole thing. It was a beautiful day and so many of the principles that Infinity Events is based on stemmed from her and how she made it perfect for me. In the thick of things however, my inspiration definitely comes from the hearts of my couples. I love that with each new couple comes a new vision, personality and love story. It makes every project new and fun!
Bridal tip to avoid looking dated in 10 years?
Instead of only thinking trendy or budget-friendly, instead shift your paradigm to individuality. If there are touches or details within your wedding that make guests say, “only they would do that,” then you’ve won! Something that is a depiction of your personality as a couple is never wrong. In 10 years, if you’re no longer into that, it’s a memory of how the two of you were when you tied the knot, rather than trends that are out of style.
Most common wedding day mistake you encounter?
RSVP management is something that I believe is overlooked and undervalued so often. The couple then ends up over-paying or severely under-providing for their guests. Don’t worry! In 2/3 of our packages, we help you by taking your RSVP management off your plate!
Pro advice for wedding day?
At the very least, hire a professional Coordinator! Our job on the day of the wedding, besides vendor and timeline management, is to find the fires and put them out before they ever reach the client’s ears or affect anything about the wedding. If it isn’t your coordinator, it will almost always get to the couple and stress them out. Our goal is for our couples to have a stress-free wedding day that they will actually remember. We strive to make every client’s wedding day experience timeless, memorable and infinite.
Favorite current trend for brides?
I am so digging the geometric shapes for wedding décor. I love seeing the creative ways folks are using this trend, and am so not ready for it to go out of style!
What is your dream assignment?
My dream assignment would be to fully plan an entire wedding weekend without strict budgetary constraints. I would love to have the opportunity to be 100% creative and put into reality a dreamy weekend escape for the couple and their guests!
What is your own dream wedding/ renewal?
I would LOVE to have a vow renewal with my husband knowing what I do now! There are so many incredible venues and vendors that would make this event so dreamy, but some details I wouldn’t spare on the expense this time around are: swoon-worthy flowers, an incredible DJ, fabulous food presentation and full place settings.
Beach or mountains?
Beach all the way!
Movies or books?
Honestly, I go through phases. But there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book.
Whether you’re a groom, or shopping for the groom, it’s important to know all about the classic tuxedo. For this topic, we’re excited to introduce a guest in the house- James Williams Sartorial! Hot on the heels of our blog series for grooms (see here for the first installment), we’re honored to host an expert in men’s fashion. Not only does Mr. Williams give you all the necessary advice for dressing like James Bond, he provides insight into the history of the pieces that make our Downton Abbey loving hearts go pitter-patter! Without further ado, we are pleased to present, James M. Williams Sartorial:
The Classic Tuxedo
Tuxedo coat (Dinner Jacket) by James M Williams Sartorial Nashville, TN
The history of the tuxedo date back to 1860s London. At the time, the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) wanted a slightly modified garment -one that was shorter, without a tail, to be worn at informal dinners. His tailor cut the garment that became a royal evening coat known as the dinner jacket.
The tuxedo has become a pillar of sartorial elegance lasting well over 100 years. There are subtle details that can be adjusted to preference, though the goal remains “understated simplicity.” A Vest or Waistcoat is an optional piece and could complete an elegant 3-piece ensemble.
Details: Hidden button placket (Shirt) Shawl lapel (Coat) by James M. Williams Sartorial Nashville, TN
The Fit of the tuxedo is of top importance. An inexpensive tuxedo can be tailored well, and may evoke the appearance of an expensive garment. It should be tailored to fit in the chest and stomach. Taped sleeves can also reveal a striking silhouette. The coat sleeves should fall at the wrist bone while the Dinner Shirt sleeves should land a ½ inch or ¾ inch lower — near to the base of the thumb. A good way to tell if a Coat & Shirt fit well is how this area sits. There is personal preference as to how much is shown as some prefer slight visibility of their cufflinks.
Details: ½ inch Satin sleeve splicing ¼ inch shirt cuff visibility Functional buttonholes by James M. Williams Nashville, TN
Tuxedo pants are characterized by having a Satin stripe along the outseam. Subtle variations and personal style options for pants could include: pleats, satin waistband, side pull tabs or side adjustment buttons, bottom cuffs.
The Dinner Shirt pairs with your tuxedo and is different from a standard suit shirt. It may have classic or modern variations. A classic dinner shirt may have a wing-tip collar, front-bib, accordion pleats, French cuffs, and holes for shirt studs. Modern dinner shirts may forgo the studs and accordion pleats while opting for a small spread collar and fashionable colored buttons. (above)
Calvin Klein Black patent leather oxfords by James M. Williams Nashville, TN
The classic shoe for a tuxedo ensemble is a black whole cut Oxford in patent leather. Some gentleman opt for patent leather Loafers or velvet Loafers.
The Bow Tie is the classic and traditional neckwear for the tuxedo. It is usually crafted in either a black Satin or Grosgrain fabric.
Some gents do however, opt for a long black necktie and that is totally okay.
The finishing touch on a Tuxedo is the addition of the Pocket Square. A variety of folds are chosen such as: the square fold (above), three stairs, puff, or a single point fold.
In case you didn’t know, ‘tis the season for mistletoe, the romantic glow of a Christmas tree… and engagements galore! It really is the most wonderful time of the year- unless you are stressed over how to pick the right engagement ring! Yes, gentlemen, this one’s for you (ladies, send him a link and a hint!). Not only are you asking the biggest question of your life, you have to worry about making a permanent fashion choice for your loved one- and trying to keep it a secret. Fear not, we’ve gathered some inspiration from Blue Nile with a guide on how to pick the right engagement ring.
Here is Blue Niles’s questionnaire, and our favorite tips on how to pick the right engagement ring:
1. Ask her mom or bestie.
When looking for the right engagement ring, it’s probably easiest to go directly to someone who knows her best. Does she tell everything to her mom, sister, or best friend? There’s a good chance she’s been sharing her ring dreams with her closest confidants, and they’ll be a bountiful source of information for you.
2. Look at the jewelry she already has.
Either take note of the pieces she wears most often, or peek at her jewelry box. Does she choose yellow gold, rose gold, or silver tones? Does she prefer simple, ornate, modern, or vintage looks? A sure way to gain insight into her taste it to browse her Pinterest boards– let’s be real, every lady has one!
3. Trace the perfect fit.
Once you feel comfortable about her taste and style, how do you choose the right ring size without giving away your secret? One of our favorite tips is to trace a ring she already has. Bring this paper on your shopping trip to insure a good fit.
4. Know the 4Cs
When it comes to finding the right diamond, you’ll need to brush up on the 4 Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat. Below is a wonderful guide here that will equip you for your trip to the jeweler! You may wish to discuss these criteria with your “spy” from tip number one to see which of the Cs is most important to her.
Proposal stories are so much fun to tell! However, it’s even more fun when you have images that bring the memories to life! You may plan the most gorgeous proposal in the world, and find her dream ring- but in the end, you know she’ll want to share pictures! Consider bringing another secret accomplice into the proposal: a professional photographer. We’re skilled at discretion, and capturing important moments without interfering. Hiring a photographer will just elevate the proposal experience even more- and help both of you reflect and recall the event more clearly.
We were recently blessed by participating in a very important vow renewal. Once we heard the story behind this occasion, we immediately began praying for his job. When we learned that we’d be documenting Gina and Phil’s vow renewal, we were ecstatic! Not only were the Little Rock, AR, couple celebrating their anniversary… it was a surprise for Gina! Her wonderful husband, family, and friends planned the ultimate anniversary surprise for their beloved lady.
Not only was this an anniversary gift from Phil to his forever bride, it was a celebration for Gina and her victories. Since May, she has been battling a very rare form of cancer. This was the perfect opportunity to lavish Gina with the love, support, and joy she deserved.
Phil enlisted family, and friends to create this memory. One of their friends, a former event coordinator, sourced vendors, and donated her home as a venue. Her beautifully renovated barn was the ideal space for this occasion. Many loving hands collaborated on the charming decorations and homemade touches.
It was a joy to see all the talent that showed up to honor Gina! We met Wallace Videography through the course of the day, and enjoyed the delicious catering from The Pasta Grill.
If you read this post about our purpose and mission, you’ll see that we deeply believe in using our passion to bless others, show Christ’s love, and contribute to the strengthening of relationships and families. Being part of Gina and Phil’s touching vow renewal was an absolute dream come true for us!
Please join us in keeping the Flake family in your prayers, their battle is ongoing.
Today concludes our series for gentlemen; we’re discussing how to choose your groomsmen. If you read about the problems many grooms encounter (here), you’ll remember that some of these issues can be avoided altogether by being intentional when choosing with whom to stand at your wedding. Brides receive tons of helpful advice about selecting bridesmaids- but again, you gents tend to fall by the wayside.
First, take a look at this guide for forming a practical guest list- it also doubles as a great starting point for how to choose your groomsmen. Of course, discuss bridal party numbers with your fiancé before making any hard and fast decisions; however, ask any coordinator and they’ll confirm that your numbers don’t have to match (In fact, at our own wedding, he had more groomsmen than I had bridesmaids- take a wild guess which of us is the extrovert). With these conditions in mind, proceed with these following tips in mind:
Is He Responsible?
First and foremost, can he handle the duties and expectations of being a groomsman? Not sure what those are? The Man Registry gives us an excellent picture of what the role of groomsman entails. Your wedding is a celebration- but it’s not a frat party; if your friend is prone to reliving his youth when there’s a free bar, then perhaps he (and everyone else in the bridal party) will enjoy himself more as a guest.
Most of all, even if he parties hard or is a prankster… can he be organized? We cannot emphasize this strongly enough- weddings require organization! Is he trustworthy with schedules, errands, money, planning meetings or parties, keeping taps on your emergency kit cleaning up after himself, business before play, and keeping you on task rather than the other way around.
Is He a Team Player?
How does he respond to authority or being “bossed around” by people he doesn’t know? Coordinators, family members, and photographers will all have requests and demands. How does he work with others to accomplish goals? Knowing how to choose your groomsmen isn’t so different from choosing fellow players in sports or colleagues for a project. Teamwork will be required for everything from dressing on the big day, to hauling heavy gifts or chairs- there’s no place for alpha dogs or slackers on the groom’s team!
Is He a Willing to Work Hard?
Like we mentioned above, there’s plenty of hard work involved in the duties of groomsman. Often, they act as taxis for out of town guests, lug wedding gifts, run all the errands, beast of burden for various items, plan and execute parties, clean up after celebrations… there are endless possibilities. Physical, mental, and social stamina are important qualities to look for in a your crew.
Is it Practical for Him?
Finally, this one is all about being considerate of your friend. Can he afford the expenses involved? There are costs such as: tux rental/ purchase, travel, accommodation, food, parties, gifts, and grooming (haircuts, shaves, etc). Beside the financial issue, is he able to commit to attendance? If he lives across the country, is expecting a baby on your wedding day, or is already stressed, think long and hard about whether or not you’re serving your friend well by making this request.
If, after consideration and discussion with your bride, the answer is “no,” see this post about honoring friends and family at your wedding, include him in your bachelor party, or give him another honorary role such as ceremony reader, usher, or spend extra time with him at an after party. Being intentional not only makes your life easier, it also, ultimately, is kinder to your friend.
We hope you found this helpful, and would love to hear your thoughts on how you’ll choose your groomsmen.
Welcome to day four of Gents’ Week at Persuasion(get caught up: groom’s emergency kit here, male perspective on First Look here, and tie skills here))! Today we’re addressing important things the groom and groomsmen should know for the wedding day. One of the biggest sources of wedding day frustration seems to be- dare I say it- the groom and groomsmen. Gentlemen, you are not at fault; you likely feel as though you’ve been abandoned on an alien planet full of hostiles, with no map or guide whatsoever. Preparation and planning is largely geared toward the bride, leaving most men in relative darkness about their own wedding. Not only is this approach rather insulting to the groom, it also sets the gentlemen up for logistical failure. Due to lack of knowledge, plans go awry- which causes stress, frustration, and even anger for everyone involved. Fear not, we want to equip you for success! here are the most common problems we see at most weddings- the great news is that these issues are 99% preventable! Here are things the groom and his groomsmen should know for the wedding day.
1.Act Like an Adult
This may sound harsh, and seem obvious- but it is the number one issue professionals, bridesmaids, brides, family members, and guests alike observe in groomsmen. Remember, you are making a huge life decision and taking on one of the biggest responsibilities of your life today- don’t trample the importance of the occasion by reliving your youth with your friends. Dedicate a separate time specifically for that purpose – not on your wedding day or the day before. (For more on this, see here about choosing your groomsmen).
2. Take Responsibility Seriously
Know exactly when you need to be where, what to wear at each location, and transportation logistics involved. Plan backward to give yourself enough time- similar to boarding a plane, give yourself more time than you possibly need. During downtime, don’t spend it drinking, or meandering. The group needs to stay together because much time is wasted in pursuit of stray groomsmen.
Pay strict attention at the rehearsal- you are responsible for knowing every piece of information given that evening, as it directly relates to your role in the wedding. If you are unclear about something, ask! Ask again- and again, if necessary. It’s probably not your fault if you don’t know something, but is definitely your responsibility to get answers.
3.Hire a Coordinator
The biggest lifesaver is hiring a wedding coordinator! He or she and their team will make sure all the timeline logistics are met, that each of you has/ knows the timeline, and that lack of knowledge on your part doesn’t impose on someone else’s wedding duties or experience. Treat your family and friends with due respect- don’t make them your gopher to find out what’s going on… that is part of what a wedding coordinator covers.
4.Elevate Your Tux Game
One of the most crucial things the groom and groomsmen should know for the wedding day is, Do NOT pick up suits/ tuxes the day of the wedding! Doing so destroys timelines, scatters people, and if a mistake has been made- frankly, you’re SOL.
Also, know how to style your attire. Discuss in advance what kind of knot your tie needs, how to fold a pocket square, where to place it, how to put on your bouttonniere, where is goes, and be sure to have a stash of bouttonniere pins on hand because there are never enough.
5.Agree on Cigars, etc, in Advance
Confer with your bride and coordinator what is the best time for you to enjoy a celebratory cigar or scotch. Generally, it should never be immediately before or after the ceremony (it ruins logistics, risks impairment, and leaves you smelling dreadful). Formal portraits also take place during this time and it is unfair to leave an entire group waiting for you to reappear.
When it’s time for pictures, please just leave your drinks behind. We always lose precious time trying to move, hide, and pry away cups and cans. Leave them where they are, come do pictures for a few designated minutes, then return to your libations.
We hope you feel a little more empowered, and confident with things the groom and groomsmen should know for the wedding day!
Despite popular belief, there is actually a lot that the groom and groomsmen have to do on the wedding day. Your regular duties are compounded by fact that you will be faced with the daunting task of knowing how to properly dress in your formal attire: from making sure you all have bouttonniere pins, to knowing the different between a Half Windsor, and Grantchester Knot and which one you’re supposed to wear (for help with tie knots, check our basic tutorial here, and this extensive resource here)! With so much on your mind, and too little time to spare, be sure that you come prepared to the wedding day- you need a groom’s emergency kit to help put out the million little fires that arise.
By preparing a groom’s emergency kit, you have a safety net that will put your mind at ease and remove potential stressors. Be sure delegate it to the most reliable of your groomsmen- your mom has enough on her plate (this simple, thoughtful gesture of letting your mother enjoy herself is one of many ways to honor your family on your wedding day. Click here for more ideas about that). Similar to a bride’s emergency kit, here is a list of no-fail items that never cease to be in demand on a wedding day.
Groom’s Emergency Kit List:
Granola/ Protein Bars (like Cliff or Kind bars)
Nuts (unsalted to prevent puffy faces in portraits- and swollen hands that might make your new ring uncomfortable)
Jerky/ meat sticks
High energy fruit such as apples, oranges, or dried apricots
Non-drowsy allergy meds
Tissues (for all those happy tears- or more realistically, for sweat and allergies)
Blister Band- aids
White chalk (It covers a multitude of sins on white fabric)
Stain wipe/ pen
Sewing kit (Even if you don’t know how to sew, someone’s relative or date will be able to help)
Superglue (From abrasions to broken shoe soles, this has you covered)
Duct tape (In a pinch, it’s great for hemming pants)
Mounting hook (in case you run out of places to hang clothing/ bags)
Blotting tissues (a necessity for sweltering summer days in a three piece suit!)
Colgate Whisps and floss
Boutonniere pins… because no one can ever find them!
Two extra pairs of black dress socks- someone always forgets.
At least 6 lint rollers (if someone is still in need, the duct tape mentioned above is also a great substitute)
No less than three copies of the timeline with detailed instructions of exactly where to meet and what to wear!
*Bonus tip: While it’s tempting to fill your kit with fun treats like cigars and mini bottles of liquor- don’t! Designate a special time to enjoy these indulgences with your best friends- preferably at a bachelor party, or during your reception. So many avoidable problems arise when alcohol, and jovial spirits come in contact with a group of men who may or may not be bored and/ or nervous.
You can easily assemble your groom’s emergency kit in an old tool box, a tackle box, or even a backpack. We hope this proves to be a valuable resource that will help you fully enjoy your wedding day!