Wedding Woos Wednesday-A Wedding “On the House”

I have always been an know,  a “the glass is half full” kind of girl. I look on the bright side, I find something to laugh about in life’s most devastating moments. However, when it comes to contests…I’m out. If there were 99 door prize drawings and 100 people….you guessed it, everyone but me would win. Not being negative, I laugh at this, it’s just the way it is.

“So what does this have to do with weddings, or Riverside Cottage”, you may be asking. It actually has a lot to do with weddings. If you attend the Faye Mann/Times Daily Bridal Show at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center (if you don’t—you should:), then you know that in the January show a complete wedding package is given away to one VERY lucky bride.

If you are like me, thinking I would never win this, because I NEVER win anything. Think again!!! Someone wins..why not you? This past January 2012, Bride, Martha Norton literally jumped out of her seat and screamed like crazy when she heard her name called as Grand Prize winner. Martha won a complete wedding, honeymoon and spending money for the honeymoon included!

Riverside Cottage Wedding and Event Venue was the sponsor for the wedding and reception location. On May 12th, 2012 Martha Norton and David Godsey were united in marriage at the beautiful Riverside Cottage in Tuscumbia. Alabama.  Chair and tables provided by Party Pros, cake by Sugar on Top, bridesmaids dresses by Burch and Hatfield, flowers by Kaleidoscope Florist, bridal portrait by Portraits by Sharie, Save the Day Designs provided wedding invitations, Cherry Tree Lane provided the wedding gown and Mary’s Bridal provided the Tuxedo’s. Wow! What an incredible package!

Martha did what I encourage every Riverside Cottage bride to do, “make it your own”. Let your personality shine through in you wedding. Whether it’s wearing cowboy boots with your wedding gown, camo vests with the tux, or donning a Sarah Burton by Alexander McQueen Gown as did Kate Middleton in her fairy tale wedding. The bridal party followed by the bride and her father all danced down the aisle. It was a beautiful wedding.

I managed to take some shots of the wedding with my own camera to share with you. If you are longing for an outside wedding, then you are at the right place!  The pictures of Riverside Cottage are gorgeous but everyone who visits our venue says, “the pictures do no do Riverside Cottage justice”.  Call for an appointment to view the venue or just to get more information.

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Why Attend a Wedding Venue Open House?

Since we are having our first Bridal Open House this Sunday, we thought we’d take a moment to share with our friends why they’d even want to attend a bridal open house.

Free Wedding Venue Tours

The best way to check out a venue to see if it will fit your wedding style is to visit it. You can look online at pictures via the wbsite, blog and facebook, but you will never get a great feel for the mood and atmosphere of a venue if you don’t visit it.  To fully experience it, you must engage yourself at the venue, notice the possible photo opportunities, check out the bride’s changing room, see if the reception area is suitable, and of course walk the ceremony site.


Visiting the venue during an open house allows you to see the venue in action. At an open house you’re able to take note of how full the ceremony and reception site seem when it’s full of people. How loud is it?  Is there room for a band or DJ and dancing even with a packed venue? These are all things that you will notice as you walk through a wedding venue during an open house that you might never notice on a personal tour.

Food and Drink Tasting

The vendor selection is another wonderful aspect of a wedding venue open house is . Many times the wedding venue will have their preferred vendors on hand, enabling you to sample appetizers, beverages and wedding cakes. Vendors are often available to answer any questions you might have. Table linens will be gracing the reception tables, event designers and floral designers will have the venue dressed in full wedding splendor, the DJ’s will be on hand, the ceremony site will be complete with chairs and arch, and much more. This is a great opportunity to meet and converse with all types of vendors to see if any are a perfect fit for your wedding.

Not only will you get to converse with the preferred vendors, you will get to see how they interact with others. What’s their demeanor, are they polite and quick to answer questions, are they flexible? Is the DJ fun and approachable? These are things that you can take quick notice of at an open house that you wouldn’t be able to do at a one-on-one meeting.

Take advantage of our  Riverside Cottage BridalOpen House on Sunday March 25, 2012 from 2-5 PM to see not only what our amazing venue has to offer, but what our favorite vendors have to offer as well.

Wedding Woo’s Wednesday-Wedding Invitations to Die For

I just picked up our Bridal Open House Invitations compliments of Save the Day Designs! Let’s open the package and what Jessica did for us!

Awesome! I love them! These are postcard size invitations and are perfect for our March 25th Bridal Open House at Riverside Cottage. I can’t say enough about Jessica’s work, she is amazing! Visit her for any of your wedding printing needs. She specializes in custom printed items and so much more! Here’s a few more of  Save the Day  Designs Wedding invitations and programs.

Save the Day Designs will be at our Bridal Open House. Be sure to stop by the Candy Bar table they  will have on display! You can visit Save the Day Designs at  213 North Court Street in Florence, AL or cal 256-712-5635. Tell them you heard about them from Riverside Cottage Wedding & Event Venue!

Make plans to attend our Bridal Open House on March 25th 2-5 PM! Visit to pre-register and to get more information!

Wedding Woo’s Wednesday-Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress for You!

It’s time for wedding dress shopping! Plan a girls day, invite your MOH, MOB, MOG, and don’t forget the tissues! When you find “The Dress”, there’s sure to be a few tears shed, it’s a beautiful once in a lifetime moment for you and the MOB …we have added some tips below that will prepare you to take the plunge!

  1. Match the dress to the style of your wedding-  For example: if you are having an outdoors wedding, do a flowy, lightweight dress without the 10 foot train (it may make walking difficult!).
  2. Pick a design that flatters your figure- Before you begin shopping, think about what styles look good on you and what you feel comfortable in. If you are clueless as to what flatters you –  start shopping and try on several different styles to get a feel for what’s right. Words of wisdom, listen to the bridal consultant. They are the professionals and can help find you the perfect fit that flatters you.

    Pick a design that flatters your figure

  3. Choose a color that looks best with your hair and skin coloring – Do you have a peaches and cream complexion with red hair?  Then most likely a white dress is not the dress for you- it will make you look washed out.  Look for an ivory or soft pink dress.  This is not your Mother’s 1980 something wedding and wedding dresses are not just white anymore.

    Choose a color that looks best with your hair and skin coloring

  4. Determine your budget before you begin looking at dresses- We have all seen an episode of, “Say Yes to the Dress” in which the bride finds her dream dress, but it is not even close to her realistic price range…don’t let this happen to you. Go into your appointment knowing your budget and what you can afford to spend. Let the consultant know your price so it is clear what dresses you should be trying on during your appointment.
  5. Sleep on it-  Don’t buy the first dress you try  on.  Keep looking.  Most people only buy one wedding dress in their lifetime.  Enjoy the process and find that perfect dress.  Don’t let pushy sales people talk  you into something that you may not want. If you are not loving it then that’s not the dress for you. Just like “knowing”when you found the perfect man for you, you will “just know” when you find “the dress’!

    If you're not loving it, then it's not the dress for you!

  6. Get a second opinion- The ultimate  decision is yours, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.  Find the dress that you think is “the one” and  go back to the store with the person who’s opinion you value most. All in all, remember YOU have to LOVE your dress!

    Find the dress that you think is “the one” and go back to the store with the person who’s opinion you value most.

  7. Know when to stop shopping- If you have found the dress that made your heart stop, don’t keep looking.  Remember there is a reason you chose that dress in the first place. There are millions of wedding dresses out there…don’t get overwhelmed by continuing to look, stay true to your dress! You’ve got a lot more planning to do, so consider this done and move on!

    Don't forget the tissue's, you'll need them when you find "the dress"!

When you find "the perfect dress" you'll "just know", just like when you found that perfect man!

If you have found the dress that made your heart stop, don’t keep looking.

These pics are not staged.  The photo’s here are actual photo’s of my own daughter’s wedding dress shopping experience here in the Shoals. As the MOB, this was an absolutely beautiful day, my daughter the MOG, the MOH and myself made a day of shopping for the dress and finished off with a girls night at my house! It was too fun, and a great opportunity to bond with Boyd’s Mom!  BTW-if you’re thinking you need to go to the larger cites to find your dress-think again! Ashley came from Birmingham to shop locally for her dress and she found the perfect dress right here in the Shoals. We have some awesome shops with great selections and prices.

Bed Bath and Beyond joins our Bridal Open House

I received a call today from Bed Bath and Beyond today asking to be a part of our Bridal Open House! Of course, we said “Yes”. We are excited to have them join us as a Riverside Cottage partner. Be sure to stop by their table and sign up for their gift registry on Saturday March 25th from 2-5 PM at Riverside Cottage. Bed Bath and Beyond is also one of our door prize sponsors and they assured me they will have “very nice” prizes:) You don’t want to miss this event!!!  See you there!!!

Happily Ever After Begins at Riverside Cottage’s Bridal Open House- 03-25-12

Save the Date!!!  This is an event you don’t want to miss!

Who: Riverside Cottage Wedding &  Event Venue

Event: Annual Open House marketing our Venue and partnering with 12 local Wedding Vendors to present a Mock Wedding and Reception to newly engaged brides in the Shoals Area.

Date: March 25, 2012

Open House Hours: 2PM -5 PM

Where: Riverside Cottage Wedding & Event Venue

1595 PrideEstates Rd.,Tuscumbia,Alabama35674

Cost: Complimentary Admission

“Come enjoy some great food at a gorgeous venue and meet some of the best wedding vendors in the industry. Riverside Cottage Wedding & Event Venue is teaming up with some of The Shoals Area’s top wedding professionals for this first-ever Bridal Open House showcasing wedding and reception options for your storybook wedding at the beautiful Riverside Cottage located on the bluff overlooking theTennessee River. Cake and hors d’ oeuvres, awesome music, door prizes, and ideas galore for your special day!

Fresh wedding ideas and expertise from preferred vendors in the bridal industry

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cake – Weddings by Melissa

Allure Bridals Style 7132

Gowns, gowns & more gowns!- Mary’s Bridal

Exquisite floral designs-Tuscumbia, Florist

Tent provided by Party Pro’s

My fave! I'm sorta, I'm extremely partial..this was MY wedding invitation! Jessica did an awesome job on the invitations and the fans!

Candy buffet and invitations by Save the Day Designs

Chair, tables and linens by Riverside Cottage and All occasion Rentals

D.J. and sound by Universal Sound

Day of and Complete Wedding & Event Planning -Riverside Cottage

Transportation by Clydesdale Carriage Rides

Decorations and Designs-Celebrations by Beth Ann

Bridal makeup demonstrations-Reveal MedSpa

Photography-Portraits by Sharie’

The most sought after vendors in the Shoals will be on site to assist you in making your storybook wedding a success

Fantastic door prizes and discounts courtesy of our preferred vendors and partners

Check back—We have some fantastic door prizes

I will be giving  sneak peaks on door prizes soon!

Wedding Woo’s Wednesday-Why Should I Use a Wedding Inspiration Board?

The theme, the dress, the cake, the bouquet, the bridesmaid dresses, the centerpieces, the shoes, the favors, the linens. Gasp! Planning a wedding can often seem overwhelming. Bring it all together by creating an inspiration board and center your thoughts and ideas.

Riverside Cottage brides are discovering that their inspiration boards are a useful tool to help them comepletely visualize their wedding.  An inspiration board is comprised of snapshots and images of all aspects of the wedding, like the ceremony site, color swatches, flower ideas, the dress, table setting, etc.  The “feel” or the mood you want your wedding to evoke is captured in the inspiration board.

photography by Armosa Studios

Inspiration boards are a great planning tool that can be created digitally way or in a DIY collage. The digital version allows for flexibility. If you find something that you want to substitute on your inspiration board, it’s as simple as just click and delete.  Online resources are so plentiful, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Style Me Pretty, is hands down my fave web based  inspiration board maker.  Another great option is Polyvore, a free web-based application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web, is a great place to start. You are able to create sets composed of individual images using a surprisingly easy-to-use drag and drop editor.

If you are the more creative type, the DIY method may be just the thing for you. Begin by covering your inspiration board with fabric in the wedding color scheme. Then use tacky glue or push pins to add elements like magazine pictures, snapshots or swatches.

One look at her inspiration board can calm a stressed bride and provide a glimpse of her special day.