Posts Tagged ‘Wedding’

Nashville Area Attractions

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens


I believe this is one of the most beautiful things in Nashville. It is an extensive garden and art museum and wow…it is beautiful. I would highly recommend it if you want something low key and beautiful. The Chihuly exhibit will be there through the end of October and it will take your breath away.


Centennial Park/Parthenon

This is one of the iconic places of Nashville and also how Nashville became “The Athens of the South”. If you don’t stop by while you visit Nashville you must be out of your mind. Centennial Park is a cornerstone of our city and the Parthenon sets this park apart from all others. It is an accurate replica of the Parthenon in Greece. Just standing in the park and admiring its beauty suits me but you can also visit the art museum inside if you like.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Nashville’s version of a sexy and hip art museum bringing fine art from all over the world. Another one of my favorite places and worth seeing if you give a hoot about art at all. The exhibits change every few months but every piece is worth seeing


Union Station

When you drive by The Frist, make sure you check out Union Station. It’s free to take a gander and worth the stop. I have brought family here and would recommend it to anyone who likes to appreciate yester year. The Union Station was once a 19th century train station converted to a hotel. Word is, it was scheduled to be torn down before it was saved and converted. Check out their website for more fun facts and how to book a room


Broadway/Downtown/Honky Tonks/Bluebird Cafe

Nashville is the Music City and no trip would be complete without a visit to what made us famous. Even if you despise country music I can guarantee you will have a good time downtown and specifically at the Honky Tonk bars. Brandon puts a full endorsement on this activity even though he isn’t very fond of country music. They are a draw for locals and tourists alike so don’t forget to check this off your list.


Shelby Street Bridge 

A pedestrian bridge that crosses the Cumberland River and leads you from Downtown Nashville to the Titans Stadium parking lot. It offers the most beautiful view of downtown Nashville night or day. What’s more it’s free to take a walk along the bridge and enjoy the beautiful October weather. This has become one of Brandon and I’s favorite things to do.

The Hermitage

Located in Hermitage, TN on the outskirts of Nashville the Hermitage is another gateway to the rich and sometimes heartbreaking story of the South. Originally the home of President Andrew Jackson you can thoroughly understand his life as well as the lives of the slaves who worked this plantation. It is a beautiful place and offers a lot of perspective.


Belle Meade Plantation

Another window into Nashville’s past is Belle Meade plantation currently located in the most affluent part of the city. It was once a horse farm and is now preserved as a museum and event venue. If you want to get a feel for the wealth and history associated with plantations in the South you can’t go wrong.


Farmer’s Market

Fall is an amazing time to visit the Nashville Farmer’s Market and highly recommend a quick stop. One of the things I have really appreciated about living here is the readily available fresh fruits and vegetables. I love this place and come here multiple times a month! There are restaurants and vendors available all the time.


Grand Ole Opry/Ryman

If you are a fan of country music, music, or just want to really explore an important part of Nashville check out the Ryman. Located in Downtown Nashville it is really the epicenter, where country music really took off and first location of the Grand Ole Opry. Although typically Grand Ole Opry concerts take place at the Grand Ole Opry house in Donelson (suburb) they have been moved back to their beginning location because of the May 2010 flood. If a concert isn’t in the budget or schedule you can tour the facility and the museum.


Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame is quintessential Nashville but I wouldn’t recommend going unless you really LOVE country music. It is everything you need to know or could ever care about. Also, it’s a little pricey. I have heard it is worth every dime but something Brandon and I just haven’t been able to cough up the money for yet.


Art Scene-Downtown, East Nashville, Belmont/Hillsboro Village

Nashville has a beautiful and amazing art scene I would recommend checking out if you are at all interested. There are art galleries everywhere by the main ones are in the areas listed above. You could spend days just wondering through them. Also, on the first Saturday of each month there is free art crawl downtown which is one of my favorite activities ever!

Have a drink in East Nashville-Everything from Holland House to 3 Crow

Brandon and I love this neighborhood and will be moving to this side of town within the next year or so. It is a fun and trendy place with tons to do especially involving the food and drink scene. There are some upscale bars as well as some low key beer joints. We will be happy to show you our favorite spots should you get the hankering for a yummy cocktail, beer, or a sweet tea.


Belcourt Theatre 

Located in the Hillsboro Village area near Belmont this is a fun and not so obviously touristy place to check out, particularly if you are movie buff. They play independent and foreign films as well as some awesome documentaries. They serve drinks (of all kinds if you catch my drift) and your support helps keep and old theatre alive and well for many generations to come. It’s definitely a piece of Nashville’s history.


Adventure Science Center

If you have kiddos or just really want to crazy on some science check out the adventure science center. I have plans to take my nephew there as soon as he is big enough. Although I have not visited, Brandon did and said it was tons of fun for all ages.


Nashville Zoo

You must be crazy not to love the zoo. Nashville’s is all around pretty good for a city of this size and once again, a prime spot for the young ones to have a grand ole time.


Away from Nashville

Jack Daniels Distillery

If you like whiskey, want to check out the brewing process, or just want to check a rich piece of Southern History the distillery is only about an hour and a half drive from Nashville.


Greenways/State Parks/Metro Parks

Nashville is beautiful. Tennessee is beautiful. Even if you aren’t an outdoorsy person (I’m not) please make it a plan to go somewhere green while you are here. (Shout to my AZ family!) I am constantly struck by how freaking gorgeous this place is. It really is what sets Tennessee apart.



Historic Franklin

About a half an hour drive from my house downtown Franklin is like stepping into a movie. In my mind it is what people picture when they think of America (sidewalks, perfectly manicured streets and Southern influenced architecture). It’s is really beautiful to just walk the streets and grab a bite to eat. The other good thing is that is on the way to Arrington Vineyards (more info to come) and Natchez Trace.


Natchez Trace

Hop in the car and start driving and check out some of the most beautiful scenery the state of TN has to offer. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at the famous Loveless Café.



About a 3 ½ hour drive west from Nashville. Home of famous BBQ, Graceland, and the Civil Rights Museum it may be worth it if you are going to be in town awhile. Otherwise I would save it for another trip (one which you can invite me on).


Also about a three hour drive but going east Knoxville is the home of Brandon’s beloved University of TN. Gatlinburg is the jumping off point for the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly World and other magnificent attractions. Although beautiful and worth a trip, I would caution against doing it in one day. Brandon and I made an overnight trip here on my first trip to TN and so it will always hold a special place in my heart.


Two hour drive Southeast of Nashville and another TN jewel with plenty to keep you busy. Brandon and I fell in love when we visited last Christmas.


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Well, by now, everyone should have gotten their wedding invitations.  If you did not, you should soon.

I’d like to start off this post by thanking my brother Thomas for his hard work on these invitations.  (If anyone out there needs some freelance design work for invitations of any type, I’d suggest emailing Thomas).

The invitations went through a lot of progressions.  Shannon and I both wanted something a little different than your typical wedding invitations.  We wanted to have a consistent look and feel through our save-the-dates, invitations, and response cards.  We wanted something that fit our personalities, and something that would make people smile.

So, Thomas went to work.  We gave him some ideas of some stuff we liked – and he gave us some preliminary samples.  Want to see?  Ask, and you shall receive.

Pay close attention here, because the end result will be a combination of the two.  We liked the invitation on the right, but didn’t really like the colors (we’re having a fall-themed wedding and the green really didn’t work for us).  However, the invitation on the left had more elements of our save-the-dates.  What to do?

I know – go to Thomas and give him revisions.  So, let’s see what he came back with?  See below:

We were really encouraged by this item – colors are great, fall leaves look great.  One issue – we both felt it was a little too busy.  So… what to do?  Go back to Thomas with more revisions.  He came back with 6 options – basically three different invitations with a slight variation:

Needless to say, this is quite a process.  So, we finally decided which one we liked the most (third item, above).  But, once more, after looking at it closely, we still felt it wasn’t close enough in feel to our save-the-dates.  What to do?  I think you know the answer to that question.  Here’s what Thomas produced:

I think at this point, you’d be happy to know (for Thomas’ sake) that we were thrilled with this invitation.  Looks like we had finally found it!  Thomas did an incredible job, and thanks to the good folks at UPrinting, we were able to get high quality invitations printed for a great price.  So, the final invitation is featured above, and what’s an invitation without a response card?  (Note: Rustic, Whimsical, Elegance)

Reply Card Front

Reply Card Back

So, again, a special thanks to my brother, Thomas Cox.  He’s the freakin man.

Invitations, Envelopes, Response Cards

Oh, and if you’ve gotten your invitations, you’ve probably noticed the stamps.  We ordered those from Zazzle.com – they were on sale so they didn’t end up costing much more than normal stamps – and they’re awesome.

I think that’s all!

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So, sometimes you’re lucky enough to know someone who will do favors for you.

In our case, that person is Cory Woods.  Cory was my manager when I worked at Pizza Hut.  Cory is also an aspiring caterer.  Shannon and I are getting married.  As it just so happened, Shannon and I needed a caterer.

So we discussed the possibility with Cory and he was thrilled to have the opportunity to cater our wedding.  He is catering the wedding at close to cost – which is a big plus for a wedding on a tight budget.

So, one evening a few weeks back, Cory arranged for us to have a tasting.  We were a little concerned, because if the food wasn’t what we expected we would’ve had no real fall back plan.

However, the food was amazing!  It was really everything we had wanted, plus a lot more.  I don’t know if Shannon wants to share the menu, so if she does, I’ll come back and edit this post later.

If anyone needs a capable, hard-working, eager-to-please caterer, definitely hit up Cory.  His food is great.  We’re really luckily that we found him and that he was able to do something for us that is going to be well within our budget.

Things are really coming together.  We have a laundry list of posts we want to do – we just need to find the time!

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So, I’m hoping a lot of people will visit the blog because they got our save-the-date notices in the mail.  As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to get back into the blogging spirit.

First of all, we’d like to thank my brother, Thomas Cox, for designing our Save-The-Dates.  They look incredible, in our opinion.  We’d also like to thank Jamie Clayton for getting the incredible shot of us used in the Save-The-Date.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks — and I have been very busy at my new job.  In addition, since Shannon and I have more free time TOGETHER we’ve been able to do a lot more things TOGETHER.  It’s great!

Some wedding related items: We’ve ordered the cake, we’ve ordered the chairs, she’s ordered her veil, we’ve seen our cake topper, we’ve nailed down a caterer, and we’ve visited the venue once more to get some inspiration and get some more photos (some of which will be published on here soon).  We also went through a short phase where we considered eloping, but one evening Shannon wore her dress around the apartment while I was away and it reminded her of why we weren’t eloping.

We’ve also narrowed our honeymoon registry options down to two websites (and for those of you who aren’t aware: we are doing a honeymoon registry so that we are actually able to take a honeymoon).

So – that’s the update for today.  Please subscribe to our blog or make sure to check in on it regularly.  We plan to do a lot of updating in the coming weeks and hope to keep our friends, family, and fans engaged.

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When I first began looking for bridesmaid dresses I had very little in mind as to what I wanted. I had some ideas in my head but it turned out I went a completely different route similar to how I chose my own dress. I knew that it had to be something involving the fall themed colors and something that would be comfortable to where in mid-October at an outdoor, casual ceremony. I had heard horror stories of girls having to wear dresses that were designed for winter in the middle of summer and read article after article regarding bridesmaids having to slap down hundreds of dollars down for a dress they would wear once. On top of that I had to revisit the conundrum of having my bridesmaids all over the place. The last thing was that they are all different shapes and sizes and personalities. Some are really girly and feminine wearing high heels and makeup every day. Some are more casual and relaxed and don’t wear a dress unless they have to.

So, at first I had thought I would go the traditional route and choose a dress for all of the girls to wear that were completely matching etc. However, the more I looked, the more I thought about giving them the option of choosing their own dress. I checked wedding site after site looking at pictures of dresses and at bridal parties. I thought the ones where the girls wore different dresses were cute and fun. Each girl got to express their personality and pick out a dress that could wear again. Plus, I knew that selfishly I wouldn’t have to put the time into picking out a dress and risk complaints or dissatisfaction from the girls. (Not that they would complain of course.)

Color was another issue all together as I didn’t know what direction we were exactly going with and was still in the middle of figuring that out. I had originally pictured a cranberry color but then through all of my research I ran across several pictures of chocolate dresses and started to fall in love. I considered all of my options including how I could use colors in other ways and how the groomsmen tuxes would look.

After all of these options and considerations I decided to go with chocolate dresses that the girls picked out themselves. I sought the opinion of the girls before they made my final decision and all seemed really happy with idea of picking up their own dresses. So in the end, that is route we went. The girls can choose their own dresses. I did ask for a few things. 1) They did buy a chocolate dress. 2) That it is not really short and it is not really long (due to the style of the wedding) 3) They buy it by May of this year (that way I know it is done and I can finish coordinating everything else).

I think this will look awesome and it turns out that it made for an awesome look when paired with the tuxes. Brandon will tell you more about that later.

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Sorry about the lack of updates people – please don’t abandon us!  We’ve had a lot going on – both wedding and otherwise.

Now that is the new year, we’re ready to kick this wedding planning into high gear!

For a while now, I’ve meant to write a blog to introduce my groomsmen to the world.  Luckily, I have been blessed with a great group of friends.  This is unfortunate in one regard, however – how am I supposed to narrow it down to just a handful?

It is also worth noting that Shannon and I have decided to have two maids-of-honor / best men each.

Best Men (In Alphabetical Order, sorted by last name):

Andrew Dillon

This is Andrew.  He’s been my best friend for the better part of 10 years.  We met in middle school – but became really good friends in High School.  Andrew and I have had a lot of adventures – in our early days those adventures typically involved Biology, laughing at others’ misfortune, video games, and trying to learn how to talk to girls.  In our later days, they typically involved road trips, music, drinking + laughing at others’ misfortune, video games, and trying to learn how to talk to girls.

Andrew is in Korea right now, but is coming back right before our wedding.  There are three things I can always count on Andrew for: Music knowledge, cursing, and correcting my grammar.

Seth Gleaves

This is Seth.  We also call him the Wop.  Not surprising, the story of how Seth became the Wop involves my other best man, poker, and alcohol.  Seth has been my best friend since 2nd grade.  How did we become best friends?  Well, thank you for asking.  In 2nd grade, Seth and I were in the same class.  In 2nd grade, Seth and I had the same Dick Tracy lunch box.  Friendship: born.

Seth and I have been through thick and thin together.  We’ve both been through some nasty heartbreak in the past – and I don’t know that either one of us would have gotten through it as well as we did without each other.  Luckily for both of us, we’ve each found our one.

I was the best-man at Seth’s wedding and it was a no-brainer that he would be one of mine.  He’s been my best friend for my entire life.

My Groomsmen

Thomas Cox

In case you couldn’t tell by the last name, Thomas is my older brother.  Thomas is almost four years older than me, is married, and has two beautiful little girls.  A lot of my personality was born from Thomas.  Who liked video games first?  Thomas.  Who liked comic books first?  Thomas.  Who played baseball first?  Thomas.  I’m sure you get the picture.

I did, however, get Thomas into beer.  At least somewhat.  Thomas and I have had a tenuous relationship, at times, but that was mostly in his teenage years.  After all, what teenage boy wants to hang out with his nerdy younger brother?  Not many.

In the past six years or so, Thomas and I have gotten much closer and talk just about every day.  He’s a cool kid – and I like him.

Alex Heidebreicht

No offense to anyone else listed here, but Alex is arguably my most handsome friend.  I mean, look at him.  He’s a stud.

Alex and I became good friends around the same time Andrew and I did (making friends through friends – hooray!).

Alex is one of the most genuine people I know – and while we haven’t ever been “best” friends, we’ve always been good friends.  I’ve always been able to count on him, and I hope the feeling is mutual.  Alex and I became really good friends after we started going to college together.  Hilltoppers, baby!  I spent a year in an apartment with Alex, and his twin brother, Aaron.

Alex is the type of friend that I know I can count on, in any situation.

Blake Jones

I would describe Blake as a man of many faces, and many outfits.  Why?  Because he is.  I may only see Blake once every month or so, but something is always different.  Sometimes he has a full beard.  Sometimes his head is shaved.  Sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes he’s wearing a vest and tie.  Other times he’s skinny jeans and a white t-shirt.

Blake and I became friends through Andrew Dillon, through alcohol, and through poker.  Blake and Andrew go way back – but Blake and I didn’t actually become friends until after I graduated high school.  Blake is my man-fiancée, and we are still engaged.  I remember proposing to him at my parent’s house.  It feels like so long ago.

Blake is one of the most caring people I know.  As a whole, he cares about his friends as much as he cares about himself – which is a virtue.

The X-Factor – The Officiant

So, for those who aren’t aware – you are about to become aware.  Shannon and I are having a secular wedding.  What does that mean?  That means that our wedding theme is anarchy, Satan, and witchcraft.

No, not really.  Shannon and I don’t adhere to any specific faith, and our religious views are unique in that they are our own.  So, we’re not being wed by a pastor or a priest – and our wedding isn’t going to have any religious aspects.

Who’s going to officiate the ceremony?  My other best friend.

Travis Vignon

I think he’s wearing this outfit to officiate the wedding.  Seriously.  He would.  If I asked him to.  ‘Cause he’s that type of friend.

In my adult life (as adult as I am, at least), Travis has been my best friend.  As a whole – we have the most in common now.  We like beer.  We like video games.  We like technology.  We like to laugh at people who do stupid things and can talk about politics and religion without getting pissed off at each other.  It’s fantastic.  Travis was the friend willing to secretly photograph my proposal to Shannon at BNA at midnight- despite the fact that he had to be at work the next morning.

Travis is married.  I’ve known his wife for longer than I have known him.  We graduated together, but I didn’t really become friends with Travis until after high school.  The reason Travis is officiating is because when we were trying to decide on the wedding party, we were facing a dilemma.  I had six guys in mind and Shannon had five women.  In addition, I have three best friends.  Three best men?  I can do two, but three just feels extraneous.  So, we decided to ask Travis if he would be willing to officiate.

He said yes and the rest is history.

So there you have it.  That’s my boys.  I put a lot of thought and consideration into each choice and am honored that each of these guys will be in my wedding.  I’m really, really excited and can’t wait!

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