Toni + A Wedding Planner In Nashville


We are chatting with Toni Carroll-Smith, owner and creative behind Celebrations by Design. An event boutique focused on creativity and all the details.

What inspired you to start Celebrations by Design?
The inspiration behind Celebrations by Design’s conception came from a creative mind wanting to see more…experience more…and being a part of a timeless memory!  As I would attending weddings, I would notice that my creative imagination would take over!   I would sit there and imagine different ways that the décor could have been, a different song selection, the fluidity of the actual events of the day.  Weddings not starting on time made no sense to me and it just made me start to pay more attention to any and all things that had to do with wedding and event planning and production!  I have always been creative and crafty so that helped me to bring different elements to the events that I helped with.  After a while it was no denying that I had a natural talent for events and weddings!  I wanted to help bring the best out of each and every event I had the privilege of working on!  I wanted to break the “cookie cutter” wedding and event trends!  I get pure enjoyment and fulfillment from weddings and events and I wanted to make that love contagious to others!  There is definitely and art to entertaining and it is definitely a part of my everyday life and sharing that gift with others just makes sense to me!




Are you a Nashville native?

No, I am not a Nashville native!  I am a West Tennessee native…born and raised in Jackson, TN!  I moved to Nashville in 1994.

What is the one quote/scripture you live by? I actually have (2) that go hand in hand for me!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13


What are some cool new venues you are digging in Nashville?

There are SO many venues right now that are fabulous that it makes it hard to narrow them down to just a few!  Selecting a venue for events and weddings is a creative process…it’s just not about the building itself!  The venue plays a very intricate part in the success of your event!  It is the foundation to the atmosphere that you want to create and this will evoke memories from your event that last a lifetime!



What is the craziest request you had to fulfill for a bride on her big day?

Oh MY!  I’ve had some doozies!  But I think the most memorable was a bride requesting a fog machine 30 minutes before the ceremony started!  She had a vision the night before of her coming out of a cloud of fog/smoke before she walked down the aisle!  Well…they forgot the remote so it didn’t happen! …not to mention it was not pre-approved and we weren’t in a well ventilated area plus in the end it worked out how it should have!

What is the hottest wedding trend for 2015-2016?

To me, the hottest wedding trends right now are pretty much what it is every year for me… making the couples wedding/reception more about them, their likes,  and dislikes!  This will never go out of style!

Here are a few examples that have caught my eye!

  1. Photography & Videography Drones are a great way to capture your event thought a bird’s eye view!
  2. Food Installations and presentations!  Caterers are making sure they are presenting menu items in more creative ways that mesh with the overall event design/theme. From suspended cakes, creative food truck introductions, elaborate pallets, and more.  Foodies are having a ball with this!
  3. Turning the unthinkable into perfection when it comes to venues!  Airplane hangars…barns…and family estates are becoming a blank canvas for event designers and professionals!
  4. While some are selecting to have a wild, out of the box wedding and reception…a lot of newbies are opting to have a timeless…yet formal celebration of love!
  5. On the technology side of things…I love how the bride and groom can see the pictures that guests have taken during their big day all in one place!


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