Five Ways To Keep Guests Entertained at a Reception While Waiting for the Bride and Groom

While planning their wedding, savvy couples will take some time to consider ways to provide entertainment for their guests during cocktail hour. The time between a guest’s arrival to the wedding reception and the bride and groom’s grand entrance is at risk of feeling like nothing more than an awkward waiting game. However, with a little bit of forward planning, a couple can turn that ‘just waiting for the real fun to start’ feeling into a fun, engaging time for guests to mix, mingle, and start the celebration.

Here are five ways to keep your guests entertained while waiting for bride and groom make their grand entrance:


This is a great time to bust out a photo booth! While many couples choose to have the photo booth running after dinner, that can actually create a bit of a competition for guests attention, drawing them away from the dance floor. When a photo booth is running from the beginning of the reception, guests have a chance to start having fun right away.


Another way to captivate your guests is to offer live entertainment. Whether it’s a solo musician, a string quartet or a bartender who juggles glasses, a live performer has a way of drawing the crowd’s attention and creating a fun, celebratory vibe.

Special Notes Entertainment, Pop Rox Band, image by JOPHOTO

Depending on the atmosphere you are creating for your wedding, there are plenty of different types of games you can make available to kick off your reception with a lot of fun. Outdoor weddings can have large lawn games like horseshoes, corn hole, or croquet, while indoor weddings can have a board game area or a small game on each table.


The best wedding receptions are the ones where both families, as well as the friends of the couple, get to know each other a bit and have an incredible time together. A great way to get guests acquainted early on is to prepare a few icebreakers. An easy way to do this is to create a ‘trivia’ questionnaire where guests need to mingle with family members to find the right answers. You can also ask your DJ for some suggestions and ways that they can get people mingling – they will definitely have a few ideas!


Last, but certainly not least, there’s nothing like great food to get a party started. Tray passed appetizers will keep people moving throughout the room, while a unique ‘food bar’ will draw guests in. Popcorn bars and candy bars are a lot of fun, while a gourmet cheese bar or a make-your-own martini bar can add a touch of class for an elegant or formal wedding reception. 12380186_10206563129851235_1560755730_n

Photo Credits:


Farrah’s Photography


For the Love of Cake


Chocolate-RosesEvery bride dreams of the perfect wedding. The Foothills Bridal Connection is excited to make that possible for you through one of the best bakers in East Tennessee, Cheryl McMillan. With close attention to detail and the fresh ingredients she uses, Cheryl ensures each cake is perfectly suited for the wedding theme.

1394382_684910091549422_1969944003_nCheryl’s delicious and picture perfect cakes are sure to be the second most beautiful center piece of the reception (the first thing being the bride, of course.) Fresh and never frozen allows for the bride to chose from a variety of combinations while creating her dream cake.

Chandelier-CakeCustom ordered to the couple’s desire, each cake is wonderfully composed into a true masterpiece. Whether the style be modern or vintage, Cheryl strives to create a cake that captures bride’s and groom’s personalities and tastes harmoniously. Contact Cheryl McMillan for a consult and be sure to bring any pictures or even your wedding invitations to help with inspiration for a design.

Cheryl McMillan: (865) 318-1628 9430 S Northshore Dr. Suite 104 Knoxville, TN

Foothills Bridal Connection: (865) 724-1218 143 Cherokee Heights Dr. Maryville, TN

Victorian Lakefront Wedding Venue


Foothills Bridal Connection is delighted to introduce a prestigious venue option for our brides! Meadhaven is a gorgeous Victorian-style home located on Fort Loudon Lake in Lousiville. This spacious, historic property has several locations from which to select your preferred ceremony site including Lakeside, Orchard, & Gardens. With an incredible view of the lake and stunning East Tennessee sunsets, this event venue has just about everything you could be looking for in an outdoor wedding venue.

Meadhaven has wedding packages to fit any size wedding ceremony and reception:

* For the ceremony – use of the outdoor facility for a two hour rehearsal at your
selected ceremony site, bride and groom changing suites, and ceremony chairs
including setup and takedown.
* For the reception – a pole tent, dance floor, food & beverage tables, guest tables including basic linens, along with chairs for guest seating are included.1102726_653720958005406_534731705_o

Custom packages and upgrades are available upon request. This exclusive venue offers only two bookings per month in order to ensure every wedding they host is treated with the utmost priority.

For more information about Meadhaven, please call Foothills Bridal Connection at 865-724-1218. Store hours are Monday-Friday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.;

10150704_10203719021081836_5294319343957605643_nWalk-ins are welcome, or you may schedule an appointment with one of our planning specialists to get started marking off your wedding to-do list today! OR- Call Meadhaven Owner, Kerela Cox today to check availability or schedule a time to take a tour of this beautiful property!10178055_10203719020961833_966058918565512947_n

Sullivan Photography


10661736_10152775873458809_2812572372099595636_oFoothills Bridal Connection is proud to introduce our brides to Stephany Sullivan, the founder of Sullivan Photography. Not just your everyday photographer, Stephany is passionate about her clients and their needs.

10462698_10152508339718809_7523326489488636540_nAfter meeting her, you will find she is easy-going and very professional. She likes to get to know her clients and bring out each unique personality. Allowing people to be themselves allows for natural pictures to be taken and ensures your satisfaction. There is no rule that says accomplishing goals can’t be fun, so why not have fun?

10461620_10152677940953809_6745190381673054048_nStephany majored in photography at the University of Tennessee and photographed her first wedding back in 2003. That was all it took, she fell in love with the art of photography and it has been her passion ever since.  Choosing Sullivan Photography guarantees beautifully captured moments from every stage of your journey together. Visit her website for pricing or give her a call and schedule a consult.

Sullivan Photography: (865) 705-7247

Foothills Bridal Connection: 143 Cherokee Heights Dr. Maryville, TN (865) 724-1218

Breathtaking Arrangements From a Professional Florist!

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Foothills Bridal Connection is excited to be partnered with Lisa Foster Floral Design to create wedding inspiration and design! With over 20 years of floral experience, Lisa is knowledgable in a wide variety of flowers, wild and domestic.

Lisa is a professional who is willing to work with any bride on any budget. That means a bride can have the bouquet of her dreams. By visiting Lisa Foster’s website you will find numerous testimonies of brides who had little to no idea what they wanted. She created custom flower arrangements for the entire wedding based off of what the bride favored, sometimes only knowing what colors the couple liked. 301747_2860420592656_1602933786_n

Those brides who know exactly what they want will be happy to find Lisa Foster Floral Design is there to meet each brides individual desires. Brides may also rent cast iron candelabras, crystal trees, and many other decorations. Having more than flowers alone provides an unexpected yet beautiful detail while still going with the flow of the overall theme.

Lisa Foster Floral Design: (865) 951- 0660, 6622 Kingston Pike. Knoxville, TN

Foothills Bridal Connection: (865) 724-1218,143 Cherokee Heights Drive. Maryville, TN

Looking for a Wedding Photographer?

11296_691304747617346_3059875365250185512_nHey Brides! There is exciting news at the Foothills Bridal Connection!! The Foothills Bridal Connection is now proudly partnering with Faith Photography! Faith Photography is a wonderful duo of Kelly Smith-Brewer and Alisha Massengill; that’s right, not one but TWO photographers!! Kelly and Alisha have devoted their life to photography. As Alisha beautifully stated: “Photography, to me, goes way beyond a photograph … it is the visual product, from behind my lens, of your special moment and experience.”

Kelly’s and Alisha‘s styles are very complimentary, giving two different views of your special day. Kelly sees the wide open space, big romantic picture while Alisha sees the details and more intimate style of your day. Together they make a wonderful team building relationships with their brides and grooms that last long beyond your wedding day.


Faith Photography offers several different personal photography packages that fit every Bride’s needs. Each package includes BOTH photographers. Kelly and Alisha become personally invested in their couples, and even see themselves as friends.

To find out more about Faith Photography, come by the Foothills Bridal Connection, located at 143 Cherokee Heights Drive Maryville, TN 37801, or call 865-724-1218. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Walk ins are welcome, or feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our planning specialists to assist with all your planning needs. We will even meet with you after store hours to make sure you have everything you need for the big day!


‘Cause every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man!


OK ladies, it’s time for the men of the big day. Foothills Bridal Connection is proud to introduce you to the best find in men’s formal wear, Savvi. Custom order all tuxedos, vests, ties and more for your groomsmen, and you are certain to have some sharp-looking men in your wedding pictures! Savvi has beautifully tailored, custom-made suits and vests, so you are sure to have a perfect match for the rest of the 464879_418178994881144_1476307572_owedding party.

Not only are there unlimited colors to chose from that match most of the bridesmaids dresses, they make every size, as well. Almost every wedding has a ring bearer, why not make sure yours is the most handsome little man there? Set up an appointment with Savvi to get free measurements! Have groomsmen from out of state? No problem! Customers may get measured in their area and have their measurements sent to Savvi Formalwear by phone. They strive to make the entire experience enjoyable while still providing the luxury of a low-cost. With great deals like a $40 off coupon per suit, and buy 5 get the 6th free, Savvi is impossible to pass up!













Savvi Formalwear
Knoxville Center Mall

3001 Knoxville Center Drive
Knoxville , TN 37924
Tel: 865-544-1515

Mon – Sat: 10am – 9pm
Sun: 1230pm – 6pm

Savvi Formalwear
Windsor Square Shopping Center
115 North Seven Oaks Drive
Knoxville , TN 37922
Phone: 865-531-9998
Mon – Fri: 10am – 8pm
Sat: 10pm – 5pm
Sun: 1pm – 5pm

Foothills Bridal Connection: 143 Cherokee Heights Dr. Maryville, TN 37803

Not just wedding favors, but great Christmas gifts, too!

Hey Brides! Having trouble looking for the perfect wedding favor or maybe even a Christmas gift? Choosing a gift can be a difficult process, but who doesn’t love a candle!? Using a candle as your favor or Christmas gift is a great option!IMG_4668-2

The Foothills Bridal Connection is glad to have Andrea’s Country Candles in the shop! Andrea Yeager, owner, makes all of her candles  100% homemade and natural! Her candles come in all shapes, sizes, and scents! They also come with the option of a wooden wick! These candles will make great wedding favors for any season! With Christmas just around the corner, candles are also always a great alternative.


Andrea has just released her new fall collection! Some of Andrea’s new fall scents are Blueberry cobbler, Sunday brunch, vanilla bean, campfire, Creme brûlée, salted Carmel, blueberry pumpkin patch, candy apple, gingerbread, Carmel apples, pumpkin spice, apple spice and baked apple pie.

Andrea’s jars range in shapes and sizes. Some of the options are 16 oz. mason jar, 8 oz. tumbler, 8 oz. tureen, 4 oz. mini mason jar, 4 oz. favor tin, and melts. The 4 oz. favor tins are very popular for wedding favors! They even come with lids for easy carry home from the reception!

To find out more about Andrea’s Country Candles, come by the Foothills Bridal Connection , 143 Cherokee Heights Drive Maryville, TN 37801, or call 865-724-1218. Store hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.


Bridal Bouquets and More!!


Foothills Bridal Connection is proud to bring to you one of the best florists in East Tennessee! Melissa Timm, owner/designer of Melissa Timm Designs, has partnered with Foothills Bridal to bring unique and beautiful designs for weddings and special events. These beautiful arrangements are sure to make for magazine-worthy photos that will be the center of many conversations throughout the wedding.

10383648_10152665367834528_291981374766801589_nWhen brides select Melissa Timm Designs as their florist, they find that they have a wide variety of flower colors and types to chose from. The bride may custom order her bouquet, table arrangements, and the bridesmaid’s and groomsmen’s flowers all at an affordable cost. Traditionally, about 10% of the total wedding budget should be dedicated to flower arrangements. Most flowers are available year round; however, be cautious of hydrangeas in July and August heat.

Melissa Timm Designs also offers vintage decorations and props that will add a little something extra to her already extraordinary arrangements. She custom designs for holiday events which is sure to make for a great photo opportunity.  The best time to schedule an initial appointment with the florist is after the venue is booked. The best way to know what flowers are seasonal or outdoor/indoor appropriate is to ask an expert.


Melissa Timm Designs: 8078 Kingston Pike-Suite 119 B-Knoxville,TN 37919 (865) 399-4916

Foothills Bridal Connection: 143 Cherokee Heights Dr. Maryville, TN 37803

Reception Entertainment and Favor Ideas, All-In-One

sidebarHey Brides! Remember attending your first bridal show and being flabbergasted by how much fun you were having at the photo booth? How about renting one for your reception? A photo booth is a great favor idea that all of the guests will be able to cherish because it captures the personalities of them with their friends. So, where do brides find the perfect photo booth company, and what are some things to consider when comparing booths?

Here are some important features to look for in a company that offers photo booth rentals:

  • Is the booth handicapped accessible?
  • How many people can fit in the booth at one time?
  • Will I get a copy of each photo strip? Will each participating guest also receive a copy?
  • Do you offer a scrapbook?
  • Do you include delivery, setup, and cleanup?
  • Do you supply props, or do I need to bring my own?
  • What is included in the rental package? How many hours of coverage is included?
  • Do you offer unlimited photos?
  • Is there an attendant operating the booth all night?

Memories in a Flash Photo Booth Rentals is proudly supported at the Foothills Bridal Connection. The owner, Betsy Allison, does everything she can to make sure her brides and20131214_065816174x259 the guests are 100% satisfied! Here are Betsy’s answers to the questions above. She is just a phone call away! Betsy makes sure that each participating guest and the married couple receive a copy of each photo. Each picture can be taken in black and white or color. Every guest will have the option to select their own style through props and placement. The bride and groom will also receive a CD copy of all the photos taken that day to archive the happy memories. Betsy also brings a large selection of props, from boas, oversized sunglasses, and accessories to hand-written signs, comical quotes, and fake mustaches! The booth will hold up to ten people, and is handicap-accessible! You can even add a scrapbook to your package for a small additional investment!

Memories in a Flash is currently running a special of $100.00 off of the premium package. Call today to receive this amazing deal! To find out more about Memories in a Flash, come by the Foothills Bridal Connection, located at 143 Cherokee Heights Drive Maryville, TN 37801, or call 865-724-1218. Store hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Walk ins are welcome, or feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our planning specialists to assist with all your planning needs.

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