Celebrate: Belle Meade Plantation

Sometimes in Nashville I feel like that new kid in school. I go to several things a week where I know no one, but put on my cool new kicks (or pumps nowadays), a smile, and introduce myself to anyone who isn’t clearly in a closed conversation.  This meeting was no different, I just didn’t think that by the end of it I’d have said “Sure, let’s do a shoot in a month” when I knew just about no one in town at the time.

Fortunately, Nashville is full of AMAZING people who all want to work together and help one another out, and I wasn’t the only one willing to jump on board to do a photo shoot in the winter when you just don’t know what kind of weather you’re going to get.  Lucky for me, not only did the sun come out, but so did some of the finest vendors around.

I wanted to do something different at Belle Meade, which is hard because it’s gorgeous and historic and it’s hosted a million weddings before!  So when I started rambling with a vision and I only got half-crazy stares back, I knew we could make this work.  Together, this is the beautiful shoot at Belle Meade that I am thrilled to be a part of.

Enjoy!

Styling & Design: Christina Logan Design
Venue: Belle Meade Plantation
Photography: Abigail Bobo Photography
Florals: Brocade Designs
Rentals: Southern Events
Draping: Events Plus
Lighting: Bright Events
Stationery/Paper: Delicate & Lovely
Catering: Beyond Details
Cake: Twisted Fig Designs
Gown: The Bride Room
Hair: Dominique Calvillo
Make-up: Amanda Morgan

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Indulge: Summer is Coming…

While the “official” start of summer is still a month away, we all know that Memorial Day Weekend is where the summer parties get started! Temperatures are starting to climb all over the country, meaning this is the time to fire up the BBQ, fill that cooler with ice and goodies, and to start celebrating the summer season.

Today at CLD we are whipping up a tasty dessert that is a fantastic ending to any type of food fiesta. It features nectarines, although any stone-fruit will work! Stone fruits (plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, or any new hybrid of those), are starting to pop up at local farmers markets. They have a fairly limited season, so grab them up while you can! This dish is perfect for those that may be not 100% ripe yet, as they get to soak up some butter and sugar to soften up 🙂

Nectarine Up-Side-Down Cake

IMG_3478Adapted from recipe from damndelicious.net

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 nectarines, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick wedges

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl combine flour, sugar, soda, salt. Gently stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, half of the melted butter, and eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir with a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix, just stir until ingredients are just combined.
  • In either a cast-iron skillet or 9-inch cake pan, add the remaining melted butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Scatter the brown sugar over the pan, followed by the slices of nectarines–in an artful manner, of course!
  • Pour the cake mixture over the top of the nectarines and smooth the top.
  • Bake approximately 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool for about 10-15 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan.
  • Place a plate/cutting board large enough to cover the pan on top of it, then flip the whole thing over, and remove the pan.  Viola!

IMG_3452

This recipe is also easy to divide in half for smaller parties. No matter where you are this weekend or what/if you are celebrating, please be safe and responsible! Hoping everyone has a fantastic long weekend!!

Meet: The Cordelle, Nashville

Cordelle, a commune in the Loire Valley of France, is also a new commune of social gatherings now located in downtown Nashville.  The historic Rutledge Hill area of Nashville abodes this renovated home turned grand event space, named The Cordelle. With an understated vibe yet upholding high end finishes, the space is perfectly malleable to all different clientele.

Why do we love The Cordelle?  Other than the fact that the owners, three sisters, did a stint of time in our beloved California, it is the warm, refinished wood flooring, the lush grass yard and the perfect balcony to host a cocktail hour that charmed us.  It is the intimate yet spacious bridal suite upstairs that can double as a VIP room for Nashville’s elite.  It is the perfect location of being downtown but not feeling downtown, that has us wanting to host our own soiree here.

We invite you to take a tour of their website and schedule a time to see it in person, as their launch party just happened last week and the place is already booking up quickly!

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Admire: Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas!

While Christina is blissfully celebrating the oh-so-awesome news of the nearing addition to our CLD family, the other half of CLD was out touring Las Vegas! And as a wedding planners, of course the first thing we think about in Vegas is weddings!

We know that in recent years Vegas may not be the first place you think about when it comes to weddings thanks to The Hangover, Britney Spears’ 51-hour-whirlwind-wedding, and much, much more. But if you take a closer look, Vegas has so much to offer not just in terms of an expansive variety of venues, but so much inspiration too.

The possibilities here are seemingly endless. While most think that Vegas weddings either take place very quickly in a little chapel or in a huge ballroom at a casino, there is so much more! Poolside settings are available at almost every major resort, each with their own unique touches. How cool would it be to get married overlooking the iconic fountains at the Bellagio? You totally can. Do you want an Italian-inspired (or even Parisian) wedding without having to fly across the world? You can get married in the Italian halls of the Venetian (complete with a romantic gondola ride!), or under the slightly-smaller-version of the Eiffel Tower at Paris. Wynn and Encore offer everything from tranquil garden settings, modern and edgy ballrooms, or a complete Zen vibe by utilizing their spa!

Just walking the strip and checking out all of the amazing sights has made this wedding planner giddy! Fun, romance, glamour, and love–Vegas has it all 🙂

Image courtesy of Vegas.com

Image courtesy of Vegas.com

Gondolas at the Venetian

Gondolas at the Venetian

Modern at Planet Hollywood

Modern at Planet Hollywood

Bellagio Fountains

Bellagio Fountains

Tranquil spa setting at the Wynn!

Tranquil spa setting at the Wynn!

Garden ceremonies at the Wynn.

Garden ceremonies at the Wynn.

Vintage Priscilla Presley. Where else would the King have gotten married?

Vintage Priscilla Presley. Where else would the King have gotten married?

Loving Las Vegas!

Loving Las Vegas!

Baby: Something Personal …

Hey there!  I’m writing this blog on the most beautiful day, staring out my office windows and watching people walk their dogs, garden their lawns and enjoy the afternoon.  It is such a peaceful day, I decided to get a little personal and share some fun details of life outside of CLD.

If you read our blog regularly, you’ll know that we tend to always touch on the perimeter of personal, but never get too in depth as we think this blog is here for you and should be about you. But sometimes, there are little moments in life that are meant to be shared, and news (ahem, bumps) that are harder to hide than others … so that is why we are taking a little glimpse into the latest news of Christina Logan Design, and that is that we have a new little member on his way, just in time to help out with the fall season weddings!

If you follow us on Facebook, you already know, but Paul and I are expecting our first baby!  While he was on the fence of knowing the gender ahead of time, I KNEW I had to know (umm, the planner doesn’t stray far on the big details).  Since this kind of news is rare, we had to make it fun!  With some help of family and friends, we decided to find out with a balloon reveal on our front porch to commemorate the occasion at home.

We took a big family poll (50% guessed girl, 50% guessed boy), and right before the balloons dropped, we looked at each other and both said our final guess – GIRL!  Boy were we surprised and over the moon …

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Looks like it’s just me and the boys for now!  My three favorite guys, I’m all set.

Special thanks to Mama Lo for being the secret keeper and blowing up the balloons!  Photo creds to a dear friend, Lindsay 🙂

Meet: The Butter End Cakery

If you ever wondered why people get into the wedding-planning business, let us give you the inside scoop: it’s all about the cake. Don’t get us wrong–celebrations, love, romance, decorating, beautiful locations–those are all a big reason for why we do what we do. But we can’t lie, when it comes to cake. As wedding planners, we get to try and eat lots of different cakes and it is awesome.

So earlier this spring when we covered the slew of Hollywood’s New Year’s Weddings, we were flabbergasted and freaking out over this to-die-for upside-down chandelier wedding cake featured at Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting’s Fire & Ice wedding.  As luck would have it, a few weeks later, we had the chance to sample and meet the incredible team behind this work of art: The Butter End Cakery!

Originally opened in 2008, The Butter End Cakery is in a fabulous, light filled shop in Santa Monica where head baker Kimberly Bailey and her team create their show-stopping confections. Creating everything from elaborate 3-D cakes to classic wedding cakes to divine small desserts, the visual artistry at this shop is beyond compare. And did we mention that everything tastes fabulous?  Using only the finest ingredients, the Butter End continues to showcase their artistry with fabulous flavor combinations (we are still lusting after the Coconut Cake with Passionfruit Frosting… and we don’t usually like coconut!)

Be sure to check their full gallery of amazing cakes and goodies, as well as their delicious full menu at The Butter End.

Classic wedding elegance.

Classic wedding elegance.

The good stuff (from left to right): Vanilla cake with Vanilla Buttercream, Coconut Cake with Passionfruit buttercream, Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and Butter End's Signature Cake, Chocolate Almond Cherry Cake with Cherry Cream Cheese Marzipan. Whew!

The good stuff (from left to right): Vanilla cake with Vanilla Buttercream, Coconut Cake with Passionfruit buttercream, Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and Butter End’s Signature Cake, Chocolate Almond Cherry Cake with Cherry Cream Cheese Marzipan. Whew!

A movie masterpiece!

A movie masterpiece!

Elaborate designs are on display throughout the shop!

Elaborate designs are on display throughout the shop!

We were so grateful that they gave us a to-go box to share with our husbands 🙂 Thanks to the Butter End Cakery for making our day!

 

Know: Who pays what?

Weddings are all fun and beautiful, until you get down to the knitty gritty: how much is it gonna cost? Like most things in life, it comes down to who is paying for what, and how you can best manage your budget.  We all have big dreams for our day, but other than love (which is still the most important part!) very few of those things come for free. So where do you start?

1. Where is the money coming from?  We all know it is traditional for the parent’s of the bride to pay for the wedding, but did you know that in this same tradition, the groom’s side pays for the bridal bouquet, the groomsmen boutonnieres and the ladies corsages?  Nowadays, couples are contributing or even paying for their own weddings, and it is not uncommon for the groom’s family to give a monetary contribution.  Whatever your scenario may be, figure this out before planning.  As uncomfortable as these conversations may be, they are much easier than cancelling vendors or overspending down the line.

2. Be realistic. No matter your budget, you could always have more.  I have worked on $80,000 weddings that are pushing the budget, and I have worked on $25,000 weddings.  It doesn’t matter what your budget is, even millionaires overspend sometimes.  It is all about relativity.  Make sure to hire vendors that are in the correct price range for your budget.

3. Set your budget guidelines.  Work with a planner to give you an outline of how you should expect your expenses to go.  And stick to it.  If you go over in one area, cut back in another.

4. Choose your priorities and be willing to let other things slide.  Sadly, not everything can be a priority.  If you have a budget, then you need to choose the top 2-3 things that you want and be willing to compromise on some other items.

5. Don’t let the money eat away at you!  There are beautiful options in every budget, so relax a little and don’t get frustrated.  Don’t forget, you are getting married and it should be fun!!  Plus, you and your fiance are going to have to deal with finances for the rest of your life, so consider this your training course.

Indulge: Cinco Para Dos!

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner… on a Monday (sad face).

So why not get the party started a little early this weekend? We have a few recipes here that are just the right size for two so you can perfect them for the crowd you might have on Monday!

Pitcher

Chunky Guacamole

Guac afficionados unite! Avocados have finally become readily available almost everywhere, so this tasty treat is easy to always have ready.

1 ripe avocado

1/4 cup diced white onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Salt and Pepper

Your favorite hot sauce

Dice or cube the avocado (here’s a great tutorial) and put into a bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the avocado, then top with onion, cilantro, a good sprinkle of salt, 2 big grinds of pepper and as many dashes of hot sauces as your heart can handle!

Want your guac chunky? Run a small knife across the ingredients to slightly break up the avocado more, then stir ingredients together. Want it nice and smooth? Mash everything with the back of a spoon, a potato masher, or puree in a blender.

And another fun tip: if you don’t want to have that dreaded feeling of, “I went through the whole bag of chips again!” pick up a bag of baby bell peppers. Slice them in half and you have the perfect little dippers!

Guac

Citrus Margaritas for 2

I have this adorably small pitcher that holds just the right amount of liquid for about foursmall margaritas–once again perfect for 2!

Variety of citrus: lemon, orange,, grapefruit

6 ounces Tequila (a gold tequila works best for this, like a reposado or anejo)

2 ounces Triple Sec

2 ounces Agave Syrup

4 ounces fresh lime juice (about 4-6 limes)

Kosher salt

Slice up your citrus (about half of each type of fruit and put slices in a pitcher. Add all remaining liquid ingredients and gently stir with a spoon. You can slightly bruise or press into the citrus slices to release their flavor.  Fill the pitcher with ice and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, grab your favorite (small) glasses and run a slice of lime around the rim of the glass. Put the glass in a small layer of salt to coat and garnish your glass with a slice of citrus. Half pint mason jars work great for this!

Pitcher 2

Enjoy everything responsibly and have a great Cinco de Mayo!!