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Meet Jennifer! The Newest Team Member at CJ’s Off the Square

The new spring season also included a new addition to the team at CJ’s Off the Square – we are thrilled to finally introduced you to her today!  Passionate and dedicated, Jennifer Bland joined our staff in March – we asked her a few questions below to help everyone get to know her a little better…

Jennifer, Wedding and Event Planner, CJ's Off the Square

Q: So, tell us a little about what drew you the weddings and events?
A:  I have always loved planning and organizing social events, and there is no social event more important or enjoyable than a wedding!

Q: Favorite type of event to plan:
A: Weddings are certainly my favorite, especially summertime weddings, because the weather is so warm and welcoming! In my spare time, I love planning and hosting dinner parties.

Q: What do you most like about the wedding planning process?
A: I love meeting with a newly engaged couple to learn more about them and their objectives for the wedding: How did they meet? What are they interested in personally? What is important for them in their wedding? This gives me a great perspective on them as a couple and allows me to help make their vision come together!

Q: Favorite detail of a wedding:
A: Flowers, flowers, flowers!

Q: Favorite moment of a wedding:
A: For me, the exchanging of vows will always be the most powerful and meaningful part of the wedding. While the reception and party are always so much fun, it’s great to remember the reason we’re all getting together!

Q: What trends are you looking forward to in 2014 (and beyond)?
A: I am seeing more and more couples embracing less traditional customs and opting for more unique strategies that highlight their personalities and individuality. One example is using the couple’s favorite deserts instead of a wedding cake.

Q: Do you have any advice for couples or companies who need a venue for an event?
A: I always tell couples or companies to think about the style and feel of your event prior to venue searching. Not every venue will fit your style no matter how you decorate.  It is also helpful to have a good idea of your guest list prior to venue searching. You will want a venue that can accommodate all of your guests comfortably at your reception.

Q: What do you do for fun (outside of work)?  Other personal tidbits you would like to share?
A:I enjoy traveling with my husband, reading, running, and playing with my dog Fenway. My friends and family mean everything to me, and I’m always thinking about the next iteration of my home’s interior design!

We are thrilled to welcome her to the team… You can connect with Jennifer at the number and email below.  Looking forward to sharing her talent and passion for events with all our clients!

615-216-7576 ext 102
Jennifer@cjsoffthesquare.com

Thanks to Jenna Henderson for the great photo!

Meet the Pros | Kristyn Hogan

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Company:

Kristyn Hogan – Matt & I have know each other since we were 13 years old and have been married for 6 years. We love being partners in life and in our work but because of our business name, I get most of the credit, which he seems to be okay with. :)

We’re Known for: 

Sprited, Fresh & Timeless wedding photographs.

What we do for fun (when not working):

We love a good strategy game, comedy or book. But right now most of our free time is taken up by our sweet little 11 acres in the countryside, where we are building our home and learning how to raise a few chickens!

Favorite Nashville Area Hang:

Percy Priest Yacht Club! Matt & I love to sail and often when there is good wind and free time, you’ll find us there.

What got you in to photography? And what interested you in shooting weddings?

My mom always loved photography when I was a child so I started learning in the dark room when I was about 12. I fell in love and ended up studying photography in college and photographed my first wedding at the age of 18. It’s been 10 years since that first wedding and it’s been such an incredible journey doing something I love so much.

What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer? 

First & foremost, I think you should connect with your photographer. Not only their work but their personality. They’ll be around you a lot on one of the most important days of your life, so you want to enjoy being around them, just like every other guest at your wedding! Beyond that, a solid reputation, professional business practices and a respectful, joyful attitude are invaluable when it comes to not only your wedding photographer but all your wedding vendors. It’s a day you can’t just do over and having professional people who care about you and make you feel well taken care of is priceless. 

Do you have any advice for brides and grooms who are uncomfortable in front of the camera? 

I always say being uncomfortable in front of the camera at first has no affect on our photographs because we are not photographing poses or “looking good.” We’re documenting relationships, love and honest joy. While you may feel awkward in front of a camera and not know what to do with your hands or how to look, you know how to love each other and that’s all we need to capture beautiful memories. Plus, we like to laugh a lot, which helps!

Where is the most unique location you have shot a wedding?

We’ve photographed weddings in Barbados, Aruba, Jamaica, Mexico, the Bahamas, Florida, Colorado, Connecticut, all over the Midwest and of course, home sweet home Tennessee, so it’s really hard to pick one! As much as we have loved traveling the world to photograph weddings, some of our favorite wedding memories have been of our amazing couples here in Tennessee. Nashville welcomed us with open arms when we moved here years ago and the people & weddings here have truly stolen our hearts. 

Your brides seem to always have the BEST wedding shoes! What are some of your favorites?

It’s no secret I think a bride should have a fabulous pair of shoes on her wedding day. :) There is just something about having an amazing pair of shoes on your wedding day and I love that while you don’t really have an excuse to wear your wedding dress out ever again, certain occasions allow for those shoes to be brought out again. A piece of the wedding day that carries on with you. A few of my favorites…

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We’ve seen some great engagement shoots from you – how do you choose such unique locations?

I love engagement sessions! I love that these sessions give our couples a couple hours out of the craziness of wedding preparation and working to just be together. To soak in this time in their lives and celebrate who they are together, as they are about to embark on a crazy wonderful adventure together! With that in mind, we always pick a location that reflects who they are together…what they enjoy doing together, what is meaningful to them. Sometimes it’s as simple as a beautiful field and other times it’s more extravagant, but it’s always, always a reflection of some part of them. When they look back on the photographs years from now, we want them to remember what this amazing time in their lives felt like and what great love they share. 

What shots would you share with us to best represent your wedding work?

On a wedding day, our focus is always to capture the amazing details, classic portraits and true relationships. While our portfolio is full of gorgeous details and timeless portraits, what I think is most important is the story of love on a wedding day. These photos represent that to me…a girl from South Africa & a boy from Australia meet on a boat in the Caribbean and elope in Nashville. The bride’s grandmother who just turned 102 years old resting her legs after doing a zumba workout right before the wedding. Priceless. The first look between two of the sweetest people you will ever meet. That kind of love lights up the world. And one of my favorite moments on a wedding day, right before the bride is walked down the aisle. We are so very honored to capture these memories. 

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My website: 

www.kristynhogan.com

My blog:

www.kristynhoganblog.com

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/NashvilleWeddings

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/KristynHogan

Phone:

615-962-3449

 

Meet the Pros | Linda Davis of Silver Strings

Nashville Silver Strings

The Company:  Silver Strings

Name: Linda Davis

I’m Known for:  Bringing a fresh approach to today’s popular music with a string trio or quartet.  I started arranging classic rock songs in 2001 after a friend asked me why I wasn’t playing things like “Purple Haze” with my quartet.  When I said that nobody arranged that kind of music for string quartet he simply said, “Duh!”  The light went on and I responded with, “Oh, I can do that!”, and the result has been a CD and a burgeoning library of classic and contemporary rock, many of which were requests for wedding ceremonies.

What I do for fun (when not working):   I absolutely love theater.  There are quite a number of wonderful acting companies and small theaters in the Nashville area that put on the most amazing performances.  I happen to be partial to playwright Sandy Smolen, whose labor of love, a musical called “All For A Song”, will be premiered at Chaffin’s Barn in Nashville starting July 11.  I can hardly wait for the opening night.

Favorite Nashville Area Hang:  I’d have to say my favorite hang is my own house, over a glass of wine and a fabulous dinner with friends.  I love putting together eclectic groups of friends to see where the conversations go.  With the friends we have conversations are always interesting and stimulating.

 Favorite Music: Duke Ellington said, “If it sounds good, it is good.”  From the teen thrill of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” to the Beethoven 5th Piano Concerto, my favorite music is whatever I’m listening to at that moment.  It’s all good.

What do you enjoy about doing weddings?  While I might grouse about arranging Radiohead, I actually love the choices and creativity of today’s couples and the challenges of breathing new life into their requests.  That adage “the customer is always right” still holds.  And what other job can boast so many smiles and so much joy?

What should every couple think about when choosing musicians for their ceremony?     When you interview musicians ask what is their repertoire and  experience and do they take requests.  Ask for examples of their work and then ask for references.  If you could see your wedding the way we [professionals] see it, you would know there are three things that set the tone for a wedding.  1)  How the bride looks in the dress. 2)  How the venue looks.  3)  How the music sounds .  Most of us take music for granted but music is so important, especially in a wedding where beauty and timing are everything.  This is the area where you need musicians who know what they’re doing.  Professional musicians may come with a higher price tag, but for good reason… They’re worth it!

What advice can you share to help couples pick the right kinds of songs for their special ceremony moments?  Go with what your heart tells you.  Here is your chance to showcase who you are as individuals and as a couple.  Music is the one element of a ceremony that can tweak the emotions, elevate the excitement of the moment and bring smiles as nothing else can.  Heck, if I had it to do over again I’d probably choose the aforementioned “A Whiter Shade of Pale” as part of my ceremony music just because it has meant so much to me over the years.  Some of the tunes we’ve performed at recent weddings include “Just Dance” (Lady Gaga), “Soul Meets Body” (Death Cab for Cutie) and “Come Away With Me” (Norah Jones).  Let your imagination soar.

Contact info (website, email, phone):  Visit the Silver Strings’ website at www.nashvillesilverstrings.com.  Email: linda@nashvillesilverstrings.com   Phone: 615-293-9730

 

 

 

Meet the Pros | Kickin’ Coffee and Tea Specialty Baristas

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The Company:  Kickin’ Coffee & Tea

My Name:  Cathy Hoormann

I’m Known for:  Treating friends like family and family like friends.

What I do for fun (when not making a delicious drink!): Playing Music and hanging out with family & friends.   I also like to cook and bum great ideas from my chef family at the Middle TN Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

Favorite places to eat and drink in the Nashville area: Wow, that is a tough question.  Kickin’ Coffee & Tea services over 200 restaurants in the greater Nashville area with custom blends and the equipment to brew them with.  So many great choices  – no matter where I find myself there are always delicious choices.

What types of events do you think benefit from having a unique beverage station?  There is something for every occasion and every age group:  coffees, espresso, latte, Iced Teas (some unique fruit options), Hot Teas,  Hot Chocolate, Italian Soda  – lots of combinations.  How about a float bar with ice cream, gelato, or sherbet? Our staff is also ABC certified to pour those adult beverages or create those yummi after dinner drinks.

How can couples personalize their beverage station? We can incorporate a favorite ingredient in the beverage.  If you love honey, how about a Bee Sting Latte (made with local honey)?   We also love to match our menu boards with your color schemes.

What are some trends you are seeing in weddings and events these days?  I have seen more pairing of food & beverage.  Also, action food stations seem to have become more popular.

What are some of your favorite unique beverages to make?  I love a beautiful layered latte, like our Mocha Magic or Peppermint Patty – Hot or Iced!!

Company contact info:

Cathy Hoormann

615-294-7849

info@kickincoffeeandtea.com

1202 South Graycroft Ave.

Madison, TN 37115

www.kickincoffeeandtea.com

 

Meet the Pros | Jessie Holloway Photography

Company: Jessie Holloway Photography

I’m Known for: Creating whimsical dream-like images with a rustic flair.

What I do for fun (when not working): I’m an Pinteresting junkie. When I’m not scouring photo/fashion/creative awesomeness via the site, I’m all about crafting and making pretty things to wear. Writing is also a passion of mine, and nothing beats a good journaling session with a cup of joe. It just warms my soul!

Favorite Nashville Area Hang: I just moved here in June, so I am still fairly new to the Nashville scene. I’ve fallen in  love with the Frothy Monkey and Fido’s. As you can imagine, anywhere where I can put in my headphones and edit is number one in my heart.

What got you in to photography? And what interested you in shooting weddings? I actually started shooting after I graduated from college in 2008. After getting a journalism/pr degree, I scoured the job market only to find slim pickings. I picked up my camera as a hobby, and slowly it kind of became a huge passion for me and I decided to pursue it as a career. I still feel so blessed that people actually want me to take their photos! I still feel like the same girl who was shooting her friends in a field on her starter camera. It has been such a great journey so far.

My decision to pursue wedding photography stemmed from my love for working with couples. It really is such an awesome thing to be able to document lovebirds and their walk down the aisle. It never ceases to amaze me how many different relationships and kinds of love there are out there.

What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?  I think couples should look for someone they feel comfortable with and who they really have a great connection with. Being able to be yourself in front of your photographer definitely shows in the photos!

Do you have any advice for brides and grooms who are uncomfortable in front of the camera? It is so nerve wracking being in front of the camera! Even I get a little squeamish when it’s time to take some new bio photos for my website. My best advice is to just be yourself. I know it sounds cliché, but being able to let loose in front of the camera allows your photographer to catch some awesome candids of you and your beau. So, when you feeling like laughing – let loose. Don’t worry about the outcome of the photos – it’s your photographer’s job to make the pictures look great! Just have fun and the rest will turn out awesome.

If all else fails and you’re still feeling jittery, have a glass of vino. :)

We have seen a lot of great location shoots for engagement pictures lately. How do you find the perfect setting for your couples? I have to say engagement sessions are some of my very favorites to shoot. I really get to know my couples during these, and the locations are always fun to get to discover.  I am open to traveling, so I have moseyed all over the place to get to photograph couples at their chosen location.

I actually request that couples ask friends or family if they have any land we can use. Requesting that clients do this helps to make sure every session is unique and different. It’s so important to me that everyone’s session is all their own- this is a once in a lifetime experience!

You have shot twice at CJ’s Off the Square now. What are your top 5 favorite shots?

My website: http://www.jessieholloway.com

My blog: http://www.jessiehollowayphotoblog.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jessiehollowayphoto

Twitter: @jessiekholloway

Phone: 931-267-4647