Celebrating the Sparkle in Your Eye and the Star in the Sky

Holiday Card 2014It’s that time of year again! Time to unveil one of my favorite personal shoots of the year…the annual holiday card photo shoot just for you!

These shoots started a few years back to showcase Nashville’s fine collection of talent with a passion for bridal fashion. From bridal gown designer/boutique to hair and make up stylists to set design to lighting production and everyone in between–the Who’s Who of Nashville’s bridal fashion–our mission is to show that brides access to the high end magazine look for their bridal portraiture right here in Music City.

I believe bridal portraits are the most important portraits of a woman’s lifetime, meant to portray her at a pinnacle of her style and elegance. I also believe that the wedding dress is the most important–and often the most decadent–dress a woman will ever wear.

And making the most important portrait of your life in the most important dress of your life is pretty much what we love most. This is your time to shine!

So here’s to you this holiday season as we celebrate the sparkle in your eye and the star in the sky. Cheers to another stellar year!





P.S. Big thanks to these talented professionals for their marvelous work on this shoot. Make sure they’re a part of your wedding day plans.
The Bride Room / Bridal boutique (gorgeous Jenny Packham gown)
Modern Trousseau / Bridal boutique (lovely feather stole)
Amy Lynn Larwig / Hair and make-up stylist
Bright Event Productions / Set and lighting production
Salome Steinmann / Model



Keeping It Real…Your Local Alternatives To That Other Pumpkin Spice Latte

Written by Gregory Byerline on October 15, 2014 at 7:58 am
Filed under Decadent • Tags: , , ,
Mayan Mocha from Frothy Monkey

Mayan Mocha from Frothy Monkey

Nashville continues to foster a stellar coffee scene. What’s an It City without a great coffee buzz, right?

This past year has seen neighborhood shops expand into additional neighborhoods as well as the debut of new shops in upcoming neighborhoods. Even suburbia is becoming more and more abuzz with local coffee purveyors dedicated to a decadent cup, providing delicious Fall drink creations as superior alternatives to the national chain located that has overtaken Generica.

Tune Town foodies, however, prefer to keep it local and keep it real.

With that in mind, I’m pleased to present this year’s line-up of signature Fall drinks crafted by local baristas at locally-owned and operated coffee shops to tease your taste buds and please your palette with real/natural ingredients, which is important to know after what was recently revealed to be in the Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (big thanks to the Foodbabe for that revelation; seriously click that link and read for yourself).

So with no further ado, ladies and gentlemen, grab your mugs….and brace yourself. You’ll find everything from simple less-is-more to sophisticated more-is-definitely-more.

Bongo Java’s family of establishments runs a barista contest every year, and the 1st and 2nd place winners from each location earn a spot on the seasonal menu plus bragging rights for years to come. Here’s what these winners have crafted for you. All Bongo drinks 12oz unless noted.

Equinox from Hot & Cold

Equinox from Hot & Cold (photo courtesy of Michelle Thompson)

Bongo Java East (East Nashville)
1st Place (Hannah) – Johnny Appleseed … Apple-chai simple, caramel, sesame oil, espresso, milk, topped with cider whip and toasted sesame
2nd Place (Jamie) – Corn Maize … Masa, brown sugar, salt, cayenne, espresso, and milk, garnished with pink pepper (4oz)

Bongo Java (Belmont)
1st Place (Derek) – Fox in the Snow … Juniper simple, espresso, and milk topped with sage whipped cream
2nd Place (E.J.) – Sweater Weather … Black walnut, vanilla bourbon, dark honey, clove, espresso and milk

Bongo Java Omni (SoBro)
1st Place (Brandon) – Pomander … Double espresso topped with orange and clove Italian meringue
2nd Place (Aaron) – Blonde Redhead … Cocoa Butter, sweet potato, honey and orange blossom water, espresso, served with sweet potato whip on side

Fido (Hillsboro Village)
1st Place (Mackenzie) – Football Season … Salted apple caramel, espresso, and milk garnished with pink salt
2nd Place (John) – Finkle’s Fudge … Fall spiced peanut butter marshmallow fudge espresso and milk

Hot & Cold (Hillsboro Village)
1st Place (Jordan) – Equinox … Double espresso topped with toasted sweet potato marshmallow
2nd Place (Josh) – Chili Cook Off … Savory Chili spices, brown sugar, butter, espresso served as Americano (8oz)

Barista Parlor (East Nashville)
The Green Fig … Roasted fig, sherry, pear (6oz served hot)
Black Strap Elixir … Lemongrass, molasses, ginger, orange peel (decaf)
Clover Croft … Espresso, ginger ale, apple, aromatic bitters

Pumpkin Pie Latte from Bond Coffee Co

Pumpkin Pie Latte from Bond Coffee Co

Bond Coffee Company (The Gulch)
Pumpkin Pie Latte … Pumpkin Pie Sauce and Vanilla with a dash of ground cinnamon are mixed with a double shot of espresso and topped with steamed milk.
Pumpkin Spice Latte … Adding a twist on the usual Pumpkin Spice Latte, Bond takes the edge off the spice by adding Vanilla.

Bond Coffee also serves steamed Apple Cider, Dark Hot Chocolate, White Hot Chocolate, and a new gluten-free Vegan Mocha featuring Holy Kakow chocolate.

Carpe Artista Cafe (Smyrna)
Highlander Grogg … Maple-spice flavored coffee from Kaldi’s Coffee Roasters in St. Louis with a hint of Caribbean rum (house favorite)
Carved Pumpkin Cinnamon Latte
… Total Eclipse Espresso from Just Love Coffee Roasters in Murfreesboro with pumpkin pie syrup, cinnamon syrup, and milk is sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice
Fall Spice Festival Tea … Cinnamon herbal tea with apple cider syrup.
The Bonfire … Vanilla creme herbal tea steeped hot in almond milk with toasted marshmallow syrup, topped with caramel sauce drizzle.

Edgehill Café (Music Row)
The Leaf Latte … Housemade bourbon vanilla and pure maple syrup

Leaf Latte from Edgehill Cafe

Leaf Latte from Edgehill Cafe

Considered their signature drink by many, Headquarters is serving up their Spicy Mocha, which will clear the sinuses, making it a delicious, multi-purpose seasonal beverage. Extending the Headquarters fall drink line are the Mocha Chai, the Spicy Honey, Pumpkin Spice plus seasonal teas from High Garden Tea.

Frothy Monkey (12th South, 8th Ave S, Downtown Nashville, Franklin)
Mayan Mocha … Mocha sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, and cayenne pepper for a touch of spicy heat on the back end
Orange Cream Latte … White mocha sauce, vanilla syrup, and freshly squeezed orange juice
Spiced Apple Pie Latte … Diced apples, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, sugar

Red Bicycle (Germantown)
Chai Pie … Double espresso, Chai tea, milk, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon
Fall In A Cup … White mocha, caramel, and cinnamon

Sam & Zoe’s (100 Oaks)
Voted Best Coffee Shop for 2014 in the Toast of Music City poll, Sam & Zoe’s has again created the favorite Great Pumpkin Latte … Housemade pumpkin sauce with real pumpkin and organic spices.

They also brought back the Spiced Chai, Peanut Butter Mocha, and the Warm Hug made with white mocha with housemade caramel sauce.

Ugly Mugs (East Nashville)
Ugly Mugs reprises Hayride made with their Montana Gold (orange peel, cinnamon, clove) herbal tea steeped in local apple cider!
The Roasted Chestnut Tea Latte – Roasted Chestnut black tea with sweetened condensed milk made latte style with steamed milk


You know you want one, right? Or possibly even several. Cheers to these neighbors for keeping Nashville comfortable and cozy. Sophisticated comfort food in a mug. Let’s support our local coffee crafters as they support our love of Fall coffee drinks. What’s your favorite? I’ve tried many of these ready. Perhaps I’ll share my favorite with you…over a cup of coffee.







Sample Sale Saturday: Modern Trousseau

It’s Sample Sale Saturday! Here’s your round-up of Nashville-area sample sales.

"Pandora" by Modern Trousseau

“Pandora” by Modern Trousseau

Modern Trousseau Nashville is having a three-day sample sale September 25–27 from 10am to 5pm. First In = Best Dressed for a thorough selection of well-loved couture bridal gowns in luxurious lace and silk reduced up to 80% off the retail price…ready to take home the same day! Only one sample gown per style, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sample dresses are bridal size size 10 and 12 (typically a street dress size of 6 and 8).

Details for Modern Trousseau Sample Sale
Modern Trousseau at 425 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219 615-733-0155 (map)
September 25–27, 2014
Appointments Requested

Descriptives: Sophisticated, Lace, Silk

Perhaps the lovely gown pictured at the right is available in this sample sale. Modern Trousseau designs remain some of my favorites I’ve shot over the years, and the Nashville team will take great care of you.

Call to schedule your appointment!







A Valentine for the Lovely Ones

Valentine by Gregory ByerlineHappy Valentine’s Day, Lovely One!

Making custom holiday cards has been a love of mine for years, and Valentines are especially significant to make. It’s the holiday of love.

Cupid draws back his bow causing people to fall in love.

Poets spin phrases into heart-melting sentiments.

I chose this verse from Pablo Neruda, regarded as the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language, and it is significant because it uses one of my favorite words (“lovely”), which I write about here, and it speaks from an onlooker’s perspective of the beheld.

Lovely one,
Flower of the world,
Thus I see you,
Lovely one.
~pablo neruda

In 12 words, the poet expresses my purpose and perspective for each portrait session. You are a Lovely One.





P.S. I’m grateful to these Nashville professionals who helped make this Valentine possible:

The Dress Theory … couture dress boutique
Katie May … sleek, backless dress designer
SUNNYband … custom headpiece
Rebecca Red … hair & make-up
Laura Alford … real bride

© 2007–2018 Gregory Byerline. All rights reserved.