18 Romantic Date Ideas For This Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year again! You’ve been together for a few years now and the ideas of what to get your significant other are starting to get so stressful–especially since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! No worries, ladies and gents. If you live in the Knoxville area, we’ve got you covered. For starters, it helps that you live in the 3rd Most Romantic City in the country, but also, we’ve prepared a list of charming date and gift ideas to make your special person feel…well…special!

Knoxville sky line


Let’s start with the best part…food!

The Melting PotPrepare your wallet if you choose this unique, interactive dining experience, but it is absolutely worth it! The dim lighting is perfect for a romantic date, and cooking your own meal sets the tone for plenty of laughs and lots of time to enjoy just being with each other.

Ruth’s Chris Steak HouseAbsolutely fabulous! Hands down, if you and your special someone are craving the most delicious steak and wine that you’ve ever had, then this is the place to go!

NAMA Sushi Bar. If you’re a sushi fanatic, then load up the car and head to either the downtown Knoxville or Kingston Pike location! Consistently voted the number one sushi restaurant in Knoxville.

Altruda’sCraving Italian? You must go here! The menu is a never-ending list of delicious entrees, and did we mention they have peanut butter pie for dessert… Uh, yes please!

Icon Ultra LoungeLocated on the 5th floor of the Sunsphere, this restaurant is an iconic part of Knoxville, and you’re guaranteed the best views!

Tupelo Honey CaféThe perfect spot for a relaxing brunch to start the day of love. This restaurant is located in Market Square and is well-known for their delicious biscuits and homemade jam–trust us, they don’t disappoint!

The Crown and GooseSuch a cute and quirky little gastropub located in the Old City. It will almost make you want to move to England!


Romantic date ideas for couples


Not big foodies or simply content with a #5 8-count from Chick-fil-a? Try these activities for the perfect date night!

Ice Skating at the Ice ChaletWe know here in Knoxville, the weather has been a little crazy, but how cute would an ice skating date be?! Bundled up kisses and your favorite person all in one–nothing gets better than that!
Painting with a TwistWe pass this place on our way to work every morning and have heard only great things. This step-by-step art class is a great idea for a Valentine’s date, AND you can bring your own wine! Yay!

Ballroom Dancing Lessons at Dance TonightWhat a fantastic excuse to put on a fancy dress and learn some new moves. No more excuses about not having an occasion to wear that beautiful sparkling evening gown that takes up so much space in your closet. Ladies, tonight, you’re going dancing!

Couple’s Spa Day. Is the new year already causing you stress and exhaustion? This is a perfect excuse to relax, enjoy yourself and also, give a great gift to your partner! This gift is really killing two birds with one stone, so what more could you ask for?!

Stay in for warm snuggles, order a pizza, and watch a good RomCom. For you busy bees out there, you may not want to get dressed up and re-shower for a full night of activities, and that’s okay! If a movie is involved, it’s a date! We always recommend About Time, Serendipity, and of course, anything featuring Ryan Gosling.


Romantic date ideas


But what will I buy him?

Cook him a great meal. Enough with the microwave meals and Totino’s Pizza. Take out the fine china and your best recipe book and whip up something that will have his mouth watering for more (P.S. if you don’t have a cookbook, head over to Pinterest for some fabulous inspiration!). He may even want to join in!

Something he will actually use. A wallet, shaving set, a new pair of jeans. Figure out what he is truly needing and head on to the mall.

Chocolates! Everybody loves a box of chocolates. Yes–even big, strong, independent men!


Romantic date ideas


But what will I buy her?

Jewelry. The number one thing that will come to anyone’s mind when you ask what to get a woman! Every lady loves a little bit of frosting, and what a great way to tell her that you love her than with fine jewelry?

Flowers and Chocolates. This may be obvious, but one of our very favorite things about Valentine’s Day is the heart shaped box of chocolates! It’s such a yummy surprise to bite in to each one to find out what it is! (and pretend you’re in the scene from Legally Blonde or The Vow)

Something Hand-Made. Finally, make this a day to overly show your appreciation for each other! Some men aren’t the most creative crayon in the crayon box, but when they try, it really shows us women how much they love and cherish us. Thoughtfulness is every girl’s love language!

767 Days Later

These two waited 767 days to say ‘I do,’ so to say this day was highly anticipated is an understatement. Milestone Pictures perfectly captured every moment and feeling in this wedding video. An adorable (and creative!) first look, Jennifer’s classic look and cathedral veil, and a dance floor that wasn’t empty the entire night – it was a truly unforgettable event!

Picture Perfect Gifts For Mother’s Day

PhotoBarn, a printing company located right here in East Tennessee, joined us + our newest vendor, Ben Finch Photography, out at the farm recently to shoot their featured Mother’s Day products. They are known for creating lasting memories for their clients by printing not only on canvas, but also on wood blocks, boards, and burlap. This gives each photo a truly unique, finished look. PhotoBarn’s products make beautiful, one-of-a-kind gifts (or personal splurges!), but rather than us try to convince you, just take a look for yourself!

Mother's Day wooden photo gift Mother's Day photo cubes Wooden wedding photo boards Mother's Day hanging photo gifts Mother's Day photo cube gifts Mother's Day home decor photo gift Mother's Day photo gifts Mother's Day photo cubes gift Mother's Day gift photo collage Mother's Day photo gifts Mother's Day photo gifts


Obsessed yet? Go show some love and support one of our new favorite local businesses – after all, Mother’s Day is only a week away!


| All photos by Ben Finch Photography |


Fall In Love With These 2014 Fall Wedding Trends

In case you missed it in our September newsletter, we’re celebrating the beginning of fall here at Castleton! It’s one of our absolute favorite times of year at the Farm! The foliage is morphing into a sea of bright yellows, burnt oranges, and deep reds and the temperatures are dropping. When is there a more enjoyable time to experience the beautiful East Tennessee mountains?!  So break out your favorite sweater and boots you’ve been waiting to wear since February. Cuddle up by the fire pit with a cup of steaming cider in one hand and a sweet, melting s’more in the other. It’s the season of fabulous weather, stunning scenery, college football, cozy blankets, and everything pumpkin.

2014 Fall Wedding Trends

We think this season’s wedding trends are to die for! From illusion necklines to lace bridesmaids dresses to pie bars at the reception, we’re excited to see it all! However, don’t get too caught up in the trends. Let your personality shine because after all, the day is about YOU!

Our Exclusive Vendor, florist Samuel Franklin told us to be on the lookout for muted tones and faded colors in this season’s florals. Flowers such as peachy calla lillies and peach stock are perfectly paired with pale gold accents. Leaves, vines, and whispy elements are used to create a seemingly messy, but elegant arrangement. White pumpkins are of course always encouraged for the fall season! Cascading bouquets are also becoming popular again.

2014 Fall Wedding Floral Trends



We recently celebrated Courtney + Alex, our first official fall wedding, and loved how they incorporated the season into their reception through a pie bar (we recommend the always delicious Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop) and s’mores as an alternative to cake! See more photos from their day here. Thanks, Katherine Birkbeck for capturing this beautiful couple so well!

Southern fall wedding 2014 Fall Wedding Trends Fall wedding trends. S'mores dessert bar

Danielle + Austin: A Southern, Black Tie Wedding Affair

Earlier this August, we helped celebrate the marriage of Danielle + Austin, daughter of one of our exclusive vendors, Cheryl McMillan from Cheryl McMillan Cake Design. It was hands down one of our favorite weddings to host! This couple’s love for each other is so evident, making them such a joy to work with. They are the reason we love what we do. Not to mention their big day was absolutely stunning! It was elegant, classy, and altogether a perfect day. Read all about their love story and wedding day and fall in love with these two as much as we have! P.S. Stay with us until the end to watch the cutest wedding video!

Southern wedding venue entrance Black tie wedding invitationsWedding dress photography

their story
Austin and I first met when we both transferred into Maryville College in fall of 2010. I was walking with a friend to the other side of campus and we passed a few guys standing in front of Thaw, which is the library at MC. I immediately said to my friend that I thought the one with the short hair was so cute. We were introduced and then we immediately became best friends.  I was seeing someone else at the time but Austin said that he liked me more than best friends but he respected our boundaries for our friendship and he told me that he would wait for me.  He was the first southern guy I really met and had a friendship with so I just thought he was crazy because NO Jersey guy would say that. Our first year at MC was great, we always had classes together, we’d hang out, and it was a great friendship and exactly what I needed after a huge transition with moving from NJ to TN. I even had Austin and a few of our friends over to have a big dinner at my house with my parents and Austin immediately clicked with my mom and dad. It was absolutely amazing! Right after the dinner was over, my mom asked me, “So when are you going to start dating Austin?” Clearly everyone else was on the same page. That next school year, exactly a year after we became best friends, we went back to school, were both single and immediately started dating. There was never a conversation about it, we just meshed together and we were officially an item. As for first dates, we really spent every single day together, we would eat every meal together at school with our friends, and when I would go to dance team practice, Austin was right outside at the baseball field because of course the baseball team and dance team were right next to each other. We would have classes together and would go study and do homework at the library together–well I would do homework and Austin would try to distract me! We’ve always had so much fun because our friendship was so strong and we never let that fade. Our love for each other just kind of happened.

The first time we said I love you and actually realized we were in love was great. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were sitting all the way in the nose bleed seats of the Predators game in December of 2011 and I had an overwhelming feeling of happiness and as I turned to him, he already knew what I was about to say because that’s how in sync we are with one another.  I finally let it spill out and without reservation he immediately told me he loved me back.  Now, as I look back on what seemed to be just an ordinary day, I realize that I will cherish that day forever because it was our first day of saying I love you for the rest of our lives. So we’ve been best friends since August of 2010 (four years) and we’ve been dating since November 26, 2011 (3 years).

Black tie wedding photos I’m a huge fan of this picture, because Austin, myself and my parents have such a close relationship, we literally double date and go out together and hang out together all the time. They are our role models for what amazing love looks like, for being great parents and for being just genuinely amazing people and Austin truly idolizes my dad, so this picture truly makes my heart happy to see such a beautiful connection and the happiness we all share is unlike any other relationship we have with anyone else. It’s one of a kind.



Michael and Kayla’s Carnival Themed Wedding!

Every now and then a wedding comes along that is completely over the top! In this case it is over the Big Top! I am talking CLOWNS, STILT WALKERS and FIRE DANCERS! In addition to cotton candy, root beer floats and carnival games! This wedding was not just fun to attend it was a ball to plan! Michael and Kayla’s Carnival themed wedding was one to remember. Check out the incredible video from Something Goode VideographyClick here to experience it for yourself!

Engagement Magic by Katherine Birkbeck Photography

castleton farms engagement session   castleton farms engagement session

vintage engagement session

Tennessee wedding blog

Tennessee wedding blog

Tennessee wedding blog

castleton farms engagement session

Tennessee wedding blog

farm engagement session

farm engagement session

Photography: Katherine Birkbeck Photography

Castleton’s Next Couple: Meredith and Spence

Castleton’s next wedding has been a long time (and a lot of long distance phone calls) in the making! What began six and a half years ago as a dinner date would turn into a love that would span the country and eventually the globe. During the course of their relationship Meredith and Spence would spend less than half of it living in the same city. A few years into their relationship Spence made the admirable decision to serve his country in the U.S. Army. After being relocated a couple times state side, he was deployed to the unstable country of Afghanistan. Meredith would have to give the love of her life a kiss and send her soldier off to war, not knowing when he would return to her. She realized quickly that the support of her family and friends would be indispensible while coping with the deployment Spence. After 8 long months in Afghanistan Spence safely returned home to Meredith! In only 25 days she will say, “I do” to her military hero and love of her life and celebrate with those same family and friends that we such a source of support! We are so excited to be apart of this celebration! Congratulations!

photography by:  akvogel

Featured Bride: Kayla Hyder











Of all the wonderful things we get to be a part of at Castleton Farms; from helping a bride plan her special day to standing by her side before she walks down the aisle, the absolute best is when I get to see into the special, intimate, personal moments that she will treasure for the rest of her marriage. Recently a bride as been sweet enough to share some of those moments with me and my eyes have been filled with tears more than once over the past week.

I want to introduce you to a very special Castleton Bride; Kayla. Kayla and her fiancé, Michael will be committing their lives to each other this Fall in a Vintage Carnival Themed wedding (and I for one can’t wait to see it come together)!

After Kayla’s recent wedding shower, she was sharing with the staff at Castleton Farms how totally perfect it was. So I asked her if I could share it on our blog and she said, “Absolutely!”

Of all the details that go into making an event prefect, some of the most important are that it is personal, heartfelt and sincere. Kayla’s shower had all of this and more. Held in the church she grew up in, she was surrounded by memories and a church family that has loved her for many years. More than just a venue, it is a place that holds a piece of her heart. Planning any event can add stress to your life, but Kayla chose to enjoy the time she and her mom spent preparing and made memories during the process she will treasure forever. (A great lesson from Kayla for all brides; the journey can be just as special as the destination!) Magazine worthy décor makes any event feel glamorous and great food is the icing on the cake (wink, wink), but Kayla added a very intimate item to her agenda that touched my heart. In light of her love for Hot Air Balloons she had a very unique balloon release! All of her guests wrote a wish for her and her future husband on a wishtag. They then read their wish for her and Michael out loud and tied it to their balloon. At the conclusion of the shower they released their wishes into the Heavens! How sweet is that! To have the people you love most in the world sharing their wishes for you and offering them up as prayers. Love! To top it off she received a special Bible from her cousin’s family and a custom handmade sign from a precious friend that read “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.”  What a beautiful image what marriage is really all about.

We all love beautiful things. And we at Castleton love to create beautiful weddings. But the most beautiful of all is the intimacy found in the true surrender of one person to another, trusting another person with everything we have that is private and precious and knowing it is as sacred to them as it is to us. Kayla, thank you for sharing with us that which is precious to you!






First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage: My Vintage Baby Shower

As an event planner at Castleton, I get to be a part of creating the perfect day for our special brides. Because of this I have been fortunate enough to share in many of our brides’ most precious moments, both leading up to and after the ceremony. Although they may not believe it at the time of the ceremony, for many, the best is still to come! Like the old playground rhyme goes “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage!” And I, like many of our Castleton Brides, am also expecting a new little bundle of joy! We are so excited about this new addition to our family and in true Castleton fashion this past weekend I had a super sweet white vintage baby shower that I want to share with you. I am so accustomed to creating, preparing and executing an event that it was wonderful to sit back and have the professionals at Let’s Have a Ball! Parties and Events take care of making the magic happen. Now I know how special the Castleton Brides must feel when we work so hard and go the extra mile to make their dreams a reality.