Winter Projects 2015/2016

At the end of each year, we reflect over all of the weddings of the year and ponder any changes or improvements that we might want to consider for our Winter Projects List.  We comb over pictures to see if we need to add some landscaping, add a focal point, create a sign, add more lighting, and such.  We weigh the possibilities, debate the pros and cons of a decision, evaluate the budget and timeline, and proceed slowly and carefully.  We are always thinking of ways to improve our venue and to pamper our brides more.  This winter has been no different as we indeed found several projects that we felt worthy to tackle.

Winter is still here and we are still in the middle of our long “to-do-list” so I thought maybe the best way to begin revealing our projects was to do it through this Farm Blog.  As we begin to complete some of the tasks – I will take photos and post them here.  I will just update the blog as we continue to move forward.  As spring approaches – more will be completed.  Landscaping can be completed and we can make a final showcase of all that is new.  Updates of our Barn Layout (in and out) will be added to the Bridal Survival Guide link.  We are so excited about these new changes and we hope you will be too.

First up………….new Farmhouse Tables have been made for the stage area.  We still have our barnwood tables but we are using them elsewhere.  We wanted to elevate our game a bit by making some tables that were nicer – prettier – fancier – but still rustic.  These were built with old wood but we were able to make them pop and come alive.

I gotta thank my husband David for persevering with these tables.  To use the old wood “with character” means a huge challenge in taming them to conform to a table design….but, they were well worth it.  Nothing like old wood….add some stains and a good layer of poly and….well, they are beautiful.  We have made three of them.  This will allow you to again potentially use them for your sweetheart table or for several head tables.  No need for linens (unless you just prefer the look).  Can you imagine some doilies or lace down the middle of these?  They will seat 8 per table – less of course if you butt them together.  They are approximately 6 ft. long and 32 inches wide.

Next update will be soon – within the week, I hope.  Next…….it will be Birdhouses!

 

Winter weather meant a switcheroo in our work schedule so let me skip the birdhouse and show you an inside project that is virtually completed.

 

Our infamous stall buffet room has a slight upgrade.  We took the buffet shelf off of the wall.  We created a very long table down the center of the room.  This way it allows two lanes of traffic to run down the buffet line at the same time – making for a quicker process.  Yeah!

barn buffet table

And…..we put a nice large old chandelier overhead to add a bit of light and ambiance.

 

Now – does anybody notice what is missing?  Yes?   No?  We moved our funky olive bucket pendent lights from this room….but don’t worry – we have a new home for them.   But – that is for another day and another revelation to come.

 

~ Margie

It Is All About The Details

As I like to state as often as possible, we are so pleased that we have such talented photographers accompany our sweet brides to visually capture their special day.  And so blessed that so often, these photographers not only take many detail shots of our farm/barn/venue but that they happily share these with us to use how we can.  I wanted to share some of these “detail pics” that capture so many of the little things that help to create the mood of our farm.

 

Thank you to all our talented and generous photographers.                                    ~ Margie

Best of 2015 – Magazine Worthy Pictures of 2015 (Top 20)

Each year I comb through all of the photos from all of our weddings (that have been submitted) to remember, to reflect, to even anguish over selecting what I consider my top picks of the year.  We are so awed by the talent of the photographers who come here to the farm.  Some are our regulars and some are first timers to the farm.  They all certainly do an amazing job as they showcase their bride AND make us look beautiful.  Thanks to all of our brides and photographers who shared their day and their photos with us. There is just something extra special about these photos – an angle, some photographic special effect, a portrait quality to them, the backdrop, the pose, just something creative that stands above the rest.  As you look through them – you can just imagine it showing up in a wedding magazine or some ad for jewelry or cologne…..oh how I wish that were true!  Here we go…..in no specific order of favor.         (P.S.  Feel free to to comment about which picture you like best!)

 

“Got My Truck – Will Travel” –  Wow!  Love this one from all sorts of angles.  Love turquoise – so wish I had a truck just like this for my own.  Kelsi is a stunning bride, indeed, but this pose makes her eyes look very melancholy…plus whether by design or by surprise, you can see Kelsi’s reflection in the rear view mirror too.                Caressa Rogers Photography

turquoise bride, vintage outdoor wedding, farm wedding

“Fields of Clover”     Jenny was our Bohemian free spirited type bride.  Her beautiful lace vintage dress was a true fit for her. We suggested to the photographer to head down in the field to take advantage of the field of red clover – a rare opportunity for the clover comes up thick, blooms quickly, then fades away.  This shot with Jenny’s contemplative pose and her vintage laced dress combined all into this awesome shot.                                          In His Image Photography

bride in clover

 

“The Heavens Proclaim”    This just seems like the ultimate barn wedding photo….it captures it all; Old barn wood, draped white curtains, lights twinkling in the background, old trolley doors, and an adorable bride and groom.  Now I will also say that the photographer certainly captured those magnificent clouds which makes this photo dazzle.          Heather Warnock Photography

by the tucker doors

 

“The Dress Awaiting The Bride”       I rarely pick a favorites that doesn’t show either the bride or the groom but this one is an exception.  It just seems so artistic.  Lots of colors going on and the vintage flair of the farmhouse comes alive.  The old mirrors hanging on the wall – with one of them capturing the reflection of our infamous “jersey cow” painting…and the distressed turquoise walls of the restroom somehow glow with the wedding dress hanging on the hanger – as if a spotlight were shining on the gown.  This should be an ad for a designer wedding dress boutique.                             Eden Luquire Photography

 

“Barn Wedding Venue”        Again – this shot seems to capture it all.  This taken in almost the same spot as the earlier photo but the angle is different – so is the bride, groom, and photographer.  This one includes our infamous hitching post and actually shows most of our venue name – always a plus when you need to advertise!  The time of year is a bit different too – showcasing all of that Queen Anne’s Lace flowers in the background and the full flower combinations around the hitching post poll too.                                                                                           Lindsey Edwards Photography

 

by hitching post

“Engulfed in the Sunflowers”     Brides love the sunflowers and if we could figure out how to have a field of them in bloom all wedding season – we would be tickled pink (tickled yellow?).  Megan and Brett just lucked out. The rich color of the sunflower blossom just captures the attention right off the bat.  Even the foggy glare to this picture just seems to highlight the flowers as they shadow the bride and groom’s kiss.  We are a farm wedding venue even more so than a barn wedding venue….and this certainly seems to shout “farm wedding.”                                                              In His Image Photography

In His Images

“Just You and Me in the Middle of Nowhere”     Many winning combinations here again win the day.  The rich cranberry colored vintage couch – our gorgeous bride and groom with delightful smiles (almost a snicker) on their faces – fields of gently waving gold hay stalks in the background – and sun rays peeping through the trees….all come together – posed right – angle great – expression is perfect by Abby and Matthew.                                 Eden Luquire Photography

 

by Eden Luquire Photography

“Flower Child”       Kate is certainly no child but she has that whimsical look of the 60’s flower child.  Kate should be a model for she was stunning in virtually every photo in her gallery.  This one pops again because of the great combinations.  First – the close-up version was so much more captivating than the other one which is four feet back.  This close up captures the detailing on the vintage sofa fabric and tufts – the intensity of Kate’s eyes – the specific batch of flowers in her bouquet – each curly strand of her hair – the silky trimmings of her veil – and with the deep green background of the pasture behind her – it strikes gold!                                                Nathan M. Bivens Photography

 

Nathan M. Bivens Photography

“Pinterest Here I Come”      I am confident that if I post this picture on Pinterest – it will be forever pinned by upcoming brides.  This picture (and the whole gallery actually) should get picked up by one of those on-line wedding blogs.  This picture shows off not only a beautiful happy couple – but you can just tell that this couple had fun on their wedding day!  Kaitllyn’s infectious smile and Brennon’s suspenders & bowtie show off their relaxed attitudes.  With an antiqued tint to this picture and the wagon, quilts, and haybales to set the stage – this photo will win me plenty of “pins” for my collection.        Blue Vinyl Creative

farm wedding, barn wedding, bride groom on haywagon, thank you sign, Blue Vinyl Creative

“Gone With the Wind”        The vines on our Milk-house sure do put on a show even when not in bloom.  The draping vine gives this a whimsical garden effect right off, then add the contrasting red roof trim and the red door plus the bright white arched window – it sets the mood and the stage automatically for this bride and groom pose.  Letting her veil blow in the wind as the final amazing touch.  Kelley’s expression is darn cute too.                                The Connections Photo

 

The Connections Photo

 

“Princess For A Day”    Each bride hopefully feels like a princess but often the flower girls feel like that as well.  I don’t remember the relationship between bride Christen with her beautiful flower girl but it must be a special one.  This photo photographic wise has a vintage tint to it….with the early spring greens in the background slightly diluted so that the details of the subjects can be highlighted.  This picture showcases a verb more than an action.  This bride is showing that caring attitude.  It exudes a sweetness about it…..where the brides shares the limelight.                                            Simmons Photography

Simmons Photography

 

“So I Can Kiss You Anytime I Want”        We have had some stunning vintage vehicles show up at our weddings this year and they all have made some memorable shots as my gallery will attest this year.  The angle of this shot again showcases a barn venue in the background with the lighting adding a blue hue to part of it – adding some needed color to this night time shot.  With some well placed spotlights – Jen and Mike’s kiss are well lit and become the main theme of the photo.  Classic automobile gets its just due but we all are drawn to the bride and groom making out in the back seat!           NB Photography

 

NB Photography

 

 

“Timeless”         Likely the same vehicle as before – this classic car is indeed timeless which is an easy symbolism for a wedding.  This photo actually showcases Beth and John’s wedding theme as well….it was truly an elegant and classy event.  This picture could easily be a wedding ring ad or a men’s suit…..the fall colors in the background add to the floral adorned automobile and Beth looks almost giddy.                                                   Imago Photography

 

Imago Photography

 

 

“Love Is In Bloom”         Same vine but twice each season – it blooms these beautiful dainty white sprigs that are so fitting for a wedding photo backdrop such as this.  All of the white blossoms add to the white wedding dress and Autumn’s extra long bridal veil.  This old vintage sofa that has begun to show wear and tear from all of its uses still puts on a show.  It sets the mood.  The barn red door and cow bell at some accent colors but again….the focal point is Evan kissing his bride.

Jacquie Rives Photography

Jacquie Rives Photography

 

“Who Will Smile First?”        It is not often that I pick as one of my favorites a photo of strictly the guys.  Why?  They just don’t make a knock out statement like a beautiful bride but when looking for photographic magic – I couldn’t help but be attracted to this shot of the guys – even with their somber faced pose.  This works again because of the unique combinations.  The barn backdrop helps (yep – I am prejudiced there…..) but you then have Joshua and all of his groomsmen.  It actually adds an interesting element in that they all come in different shapes sizes and heights.  If this was a staged photo shoot – I swear they would’ve looked for this sort of variety.  It adds a twist that the groom, Joshua, is in full suit but that his guys adorn their suspenders, bowties, and rolled up sleeves…..love this combination!  Throw in the magic again of those sunflowers….those well placed sunflowers as if they were Photo-shopped in but of course they were not.                                          Caressa Rogers

Caressa Rogers Photography

“Sneaking Off To the Garden To Kiss”        Wow….this should heat you up.  This perfect pose puts the light onto Autumn and Evan to where they look like they are glowing on the outside as much as they are on the inside.  The rich colors of the fuchsia Cox’s Comb flower on one side and the deep yellow Sunflower on the other….help to make this photo pop.

Jacquie Rives Photography

 

 

 

 

 

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bride and groom in garden, The Barn at High Point Farms

 

 

 

“On Top of the World”            We have these special places around the farm that we often suggest to our photographers so they can capture a whole new perspective.  This one puts you high enough above the farm that it takes on the feel of a totally different location.  With Lookout Mountain behind you as your equal – it makes you feel as though you are on top of the world.  The depth that it gives a photo is amazing!  Ken looks all dapper and poses like a pro.  Kelly has actually had some modeling experience and sets her stance very well for this shot.  It has sas and attitude somehow.         Cooper and Co Photos

multicultural wedding, farm wedding, Georgia wedding, The Barn at High Point Farms, Cooper and Co Photography

 

 

“Beautiful From Behind”       Oh, to be young again when a photo from behind was as stunning as a photo from the front side!  Kennedy does this angle well.  The black and white version helps showcase the barn door slats – the beautiful veil and ruffled features of her wedding gown – her long curly hair – and Kennedy’s beautiful figure.  I see one or two of these done every year here and this one is one of the nicer ones – the effect, the pose of the hands and arms, and the tint of the outside all done with perfection.                                                                                               Imago Photography

 

 

farm wedding, barn wedding

 

 

 

“In the Deep Depths of the Forest”      Photographer, John Shim has the knack of finding the most unimaginable spots around the farm to create the most incredible pictures.  Often times when the gallery is sent to me, it takes me a few moments to figure out where in the heck was he when he took this photo!  This particular angle and whatever funky technique he does to create this foggy backdrop makes it look like he has taken Chandler into the deepest corner of the forest.  The ivy climbing the tree and the crazy limbs of the cedar – all play into the theme here.  Chandler with her many maids in their many shades of blues all add to this soft woodsy chic (is there such a term?) picture.                                             John Shim Photography

row of bridesmaids

 

 

“Red Hot Romance”     I have not even seen the full gallery yet of Becca and Phillip yet but this teaser photo definitely caught my eye from the get-go.  I do love these old vehicles….and this truck is a doozie for sure!  Love it.  It sets there by the garden to draw attention but it can’t quite hold a candle to Phillip grabbing Becca for a dramatic dip and kiss.  Between the truck – the pose – and the kiss – this photo is a definitely eye catcher.                                         Tiffany Beth Photo

vintage truck wedding farm wedding garden barn wedding tiffany beth photo

 

 

 

 

Year End Review – A Sampling From Most of Our Weddings

Wow – 2015 was an amazing year!  Each year we feel more blessed than the year before.  I did not get a gallery from all of my brides (so sad…..weep, weep), but most of the brides (and their photographers) were very generous to share their best wedding photos with us….to show off to our fans, to post on Facebook, and to utilize on our website.  I could not tout our wedding farm without their generosity and to all of our brides who write such sweet reviews for us.  Thank you Thank you!!!

I am compiling my Best of 2015 photos currently but it seems as though this task is getting tougher and tougher each year. So, I wanted this year to show off all of our brides (the ones who have sent me photos, of course) so you can see them all.  Each one was beautiful and special…and cherished by so many family and guests.  Let me show two pictures from each participating brides’ gallery that caught my eye.  Enjoy.

 

 

By Eden Luquire Photography

 

By Jacquie Rives Photography

 

 

By Tiffany Beth Photo

 

 

By Imago Photography

 

 

 

By  John Shim

 

 

By Simmons Photography

 

 

 

By Perfect Capture Photography

 

 

By Dotson Photo

 

 

By Imago Photography

 

By Woven and Spun Photography

 

By NB Photography

 

By In His Image Photography

 

By Blue Vinyl Creative

 

By Angel Wings Photography

 

By Nathan M. Bivens Photography

 

 

 

By Imago Photography

 

 

The Connections Photo

 

 

By Cooper and Co. Photo

 

 

By Carissa Rogers Photography

 

 

By Imago Photography

 

By Heather Warnock Photography

 

 

Unsure who photographer is

 

 

By Taylor Fricks Photography

 

 

By Kenney Photography

 

 

By Finnegan Photography

 

By Lindsey Edwards Photography

 

 

By Suzanne Marie Smith Photography

 

 

By Alex Bee Photo

 

 

By KC Photography

 

 

In His Image Photography

 

 

 

Our Christmas Goat Tale

We often portray our farm as a fantasy land.  Our talented photographers take pictures of our garden, animals, venue, and everything and make it look portrait ready.  My husband labors all week to make the grounds beautiful.  There is much behind the scene that is done to make wedding day dazzle.  But reality is that we are a real farm – a real place – real people  and life on the farm is often complicated – often a struggle – and often burdened with reality.  Let me jump right in and tell you the true story – our Christmas goat tale.

We tried last year “goat family planning”.  I can hear you guys laughing already.  But without intervening into the breeding habits of our goats – a male goat would get every single female pregnant in a week’s time…..which means all of our baby goats would be born within a week of each other.  This not  only is overwhelming but it robs the chance from many of our brides to take their own “baby goat pictures.”  We do like to spread the love so we thought we would intervene and dose out on a regimen the access of our billy goat to the females to solve this dilemma.  A baby goat or two born each month meant that “Lucky” (our billy) could get lucky twice a month.  This would allow Lucky to have female companionship in a segregated pasture for a whole month and in a pasture FAR AWAY from the eyes of the guests at the venue.  We didn’t want “those kind of pictures” in the backdrop of our wedding photos!  But, try as we might – Lucky escaped one day……ONE DAY…..and got into the pasture full of our “maids in waiting”.  It is a lesson of “where there is a will there is a way”.  With gestation of a goat at 5 months…..it was several months later that we discovered not one….not two…but four goats had been impregnated but this mere one day escape.  How lucky can one billy get?

Unfortunately the calendar circumstance of this all meant that these babies would be born at Christmas time.  No – not in the fall where our many brides could’ve enjoyed the selection.  No – not in the spring of the year where the pastures would be green and full but in the busy hectic schedule of Christmas.  And so it was determined – and so they did begin to deliver.  A few days prior to Christmas – female one delivers two gorgeous babies.  Fortunately the warm spell meant no fretting over potentially chilled babies.  The following day the second girl delivers two babies.  Again – the warm weather was a nice relief.  In fact – the rest of the herd ventured off to look for greener pastures.  And  you all know – “that greener pastures are always found on the other side” which meant that the goats found a way over the fence.  Luck had it that I was heading out the driveway and happened to look southeasterly and spotted what I swear was a goat in the far distance.  Surely not!  Surely, actually.  Gave a quick call to Jill and made a u-turn and headed to the goat barn.  Goats were gone and looked like they were headed to the golf course – heavens help us if they made it that far off!  Now being a farm girl and having goats that know my voice……I belted out a very very loud…..and very familiar “BaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaBies!   Baaaaaaaaaaaaaabies!  I am confident most valley residents heard my call but more importantly – my sweet but wayward goats heard me as well.  They turned direction and began heading home.  I had sloshed through the wetlands just in case but they kept heading home and met me in route.  At least that….at least they came when called.  We all headed to the barn where they were rewarded with feed.  They were contained in the paddock…and I, with muddy boots, headed towards my delayed appointment.

Christmas Eve.  I ventured to the goat barn to check on the baby goats and assumed that I would find a new batch of babies.  Nope….not this time.  Weather was warm – almost hot – grounds were mushy – and we knew that rains were coming later, so the decision to let the goats out “for a bit” seemed doable.  I eventually headed to the creek pasture to check on them around 11 a.m.  This is when I took our Rudolph pictures….for my annual posts about seeing Rudolph.  Hombre’ seemed to enjoy the antlers this year.  So I took a slew of them and watched the goats head up the hill into the privet laden woods.

I headed back to post pictures.  Christmas Eve there was much to do before the evening came.  Both Jill and I both were consumed by chores….and so checking back on the goats scooted further back.  It was around 3 p.m. before I headed back.  I again found those wayward goats of mine on the neighboring pasture but just barely.  They again responded quickly to my holler and came a-running.  I got everybody situated again.  In the hubbub of it all – we did not notice that we were one short.  Not just one short – but one “pregnant and due soon” female short.  Well, we both darted off to Christmas Eve events…and if you remember – that is the evening that the next deluge of rain began as well.  All Christmas Eve, all that night – all day Christmas Day….it rained – it poured – it flooded – it gully washed – it was a goat floater – it was historic. (Get the picture?….lots and lots of rain.)

I had actually popped down to the barn twice that day – quickly – just to double check on the babies and such.  The rain was so intense – and my schedule so tight – no lingering was even pondered.  Quick checks – gave out some books of hay and some feed but headed back to the house for festivities.  After a long day, I was actually bathed and in bed by 9:30 p.m. when Jill gave me a call as she was headed home from her in-laws. She asked if I had “done goats” and I said – last check was 5 p.m. so you might oughta check on them before you head to your house.  She quickly got back to me that we were missing one goat……(missing String Bean who was due.)  Jill and John walked around the barn several times looking in every corner – in and out of the barn.  No String Bean anywhere.  The awful truth was that if she was not there – then she was likely not there on Christmas Eve when the goats came from across the fence towards home either.  This gut wrenching fact painted the picture all too clearly that she had evidently gone into labor sometime earlier on Christmas eve – either while up in the woods on the hill or across the fence into the neighboring pastures.  Worse yet was that she had delivered alone…without the protection of the herd (or Bear – our guard dog) – and had endured 36 hours of historic rains and floods.  Jill and John  had looked towards the creek but not only was the whole lowland flooded from hillside to hillside but the water was almost over the bridge.  There was no way to go looking in the rain in the dark for a missing goat.  Needless to say – I was very restless all night long imaging the worse.  What would I find – if I could find her?  Would I find a half eaten carcass?…..a half-dead goat who had incurred birthing difficulties?……I totally drenched and feverish Moma goat standing over two drenched dead babies?  Sorry – my mind was imagining it all and my descriptions only paint a picture for you of the realities that we often face here on the farm.

Morning eventually came and as you know – not only another warm warm day but the sun was out – the rain had scooted off to hammer some other part of the country.  But for now – a beautiful sunny day that would allow me to start my search without serious impediment.  I drove my buggy (golf cart) down towards the creek. Fortunately the water had rescinded enough that the road was not flooded and the bridge passable.  Both sides of the pasture looked like the rice fields of china but with slosh boots – it would be doable.  I could either hike up into the woods or slosh through the swamp lands towards my neighbors property.  Before I had to make that commitment – I just happened to look southward and see a white image.  Could it be?  Yes – I could faintly see the image of a goat grazing.  It was too far away to see anything else but I sent off a quick call to Jill.  She brought down her new all-terrain vehicle and it maneuvered the swamps easily.  It took us only to the fence line but even I was able to find a place to cross over and we headed towards String Bean.  The closer we came we could see she had not just one baby but two.  She was seemingly grazing without a care in the world – enjoying the green tender grass and the warmth of the sun on her back.  The two babies seemed no worse for the wear.  Two happy and healthy and actually – relatively dry sweet baby goats!  We carried babies and coaxed String Bean to follow as we trekked back over the hills through the woods over the fence – loaded them all into “Big Red” (the all-terrain vehicle) and took them back home to their nice warm stall.

 

Noah (for enduring the big flood) and Molly (for the Unsinkable Molly Brown who survived the sinking of the Titanic) are back on dry land and at home – no cares in the world.  If only goats could talk – maybe the story would’ve been more interesting.  I will say that because of the deluge of rain – the coyotes were surely held up in some cave somewhere.  Because of the deluge of rain – it probably diluted the smell of after-birth so that the coyotes had no idea that a potential feast was just over the hill.  My inclination is to believe that String Bean was just beginning to go into labor on Christmas Eve just about the time that I discovered that the herd was over the fence – then hollered – then the rest of the herd came running home.  I think that she was likely able to deliver her babies without incident and in the relatively dry pasture before the night set in and the rains began again.  I tend to think that she found her way back with her newborn babies slowly following her towards a hollow (we say it as “holler” here in the south) where there was a run down open-air shed barn.  I think that they huddled enough under an old tractor in this half usable shed – enough that they spent their first 24 hours mostly sleeping through the storms and nursing as they would in any location.  I think that of all the scenarios – this was the most fortunate.  I will say that it was our own Christmas miracle…..as simple as it was.  The odds were certainly not in String Beans favor nor her newborns but for the last of the Lucky offspring – these babies did get a bit of luck from their father.

Later that day – final moma goat had her baby out in the field – OUR FIELD!  For we will not be so trusting in our goats wayward inclinations again so soon.  Fortunately for our spring brides – we do have a few girls that are pregnant and hopefully – will be due this spring…right on cue!                                                                       ~ Margie

Bedazzling Barn Wedding (Beth and John by Imago Photography)

in hayfield with classic car

Bedazzling yes!….Synonyms like astounding, overwhelming, enchanting, and captivating and other great choices to describe this wedding.  It was certainly an interesting mix of elegance and luxury with a genuine embracing of our simple farm.  I think that combination is what made this wedding of Beth and John so unique.

view of the barn

It was no ordinary day here at the farm.  It felt more like being on location of a movie shoot for a major production.  Trucks of all sizes arrived at each side of the venue.  Organizers, coordinators, decorators, the tent crew, hired helpers, florists, caterers, and more and more consumed all areas of the barn.  Furniture, lights, sound equipment, decor of all sorts, drinks, flowers, pergola, a tent, extra lights, extra curtains and drapes…..all moving in and being directed here and there.  I would say it looked like a Texas two-step with the hustle and bustle of everyone doing something different but in sync with everybody else – organized chaos.

The flowers arrived and let me state – they were stunning.  Bouquets touted a beautiful soft orange/peach but still very earthy in style.  Tables with rustic boxes full of flowers and a decorated pergola outside for the ceremony.  Mayflowers – one of our florist vendors – did an amazing job which is quite typical.  The inside of the barn was transformed with drapes of fabric for each pole morphing the barn poles into regal white columns.

Beth and her girls were  being pampered by hair and make up specialists from SpaGo.  Imago Photography, one of our regulars here at the farm, was capturing each magic moment in a 360 degree access around the farm.  The colors were amazing – Beth’s wedding dress was stunning (I wish I had a very close up shot of the stitching and beading of this dress) and John looked stylish himself!

 

Choosing quality vendors – professionals – makes such a huge difference.  The prepping for this day certainly was like a three ring circus but these vendors knew their job and were very organized and spot on.  Victoria Love Events (Stephanie) coordinating the event with Libby (Libby Stroup Designs) overseeing the decorating and design details made each area of the venue look picture perfect.  The dancehall was transformed literally into a rustic chic lounge with lots of couches and vintage furniture pieces.  A photo booth dry up in the corner kept the smiles coming.  A band kept music going from beginning to the end.  A nice bonfire with lots of seating and “smores” to delight young and old.

wraps

Isn’t this such a cool idea?  “A gift for you to Have & To Hold in case you get cold….Beth and John.”  A pretty display, a practical way to keep your guest warm, and a sweet sweet favor to give to your guests.  Love it!  Pinterest anybody?

 

The ceremony was under the canopy of trees of the grove facing true north.  It was intimate, respectful and reverent.  With all the fanciful embellishments that made this wedding stand out – it did not take away from the fact that Beth and John embraced the relaxed atmosphere of our farm with its natural beauty yes….but also of our sweet goats.

I love this picture.  It certainly shouts “farm wedding” with the beauty of the natural backdrop plus the horses, goats, and even our dog Bear posing so perfectly for Imago.  Wow – Tim, the photographer, managed to get almost everybody’s attention here.  Even the goats are looking and listening to his commands.  Somehow this all works……elegance and farm.

The goats are just universally loved….how else can you explain it?  It was so good hearted of Beth and John to have their goat pictures…..Sweet Pea seemed smittened as well.

The food was SO delicious.  Prime Rib – yum!  Foodworks astounded us all with their variety of tasties.  The guests dined in and out.  Music by the band “The Communicators” got everybody tapping their toes and heading to the dance floor.

The cakes – won’t forget these anytime soon.  How stunning the bride’s cake looked.  It must’ve been amazing in taste as well as looks because there were no left overs for the “help” at nights end to taste-test…..and if you look real hard….the groom’s cake appears to be a plate full of fried bacon, silverware, and a whiskey shot glass sitting atop a whiskey barrel.  All edible as I hear but what an amazing feat to produce – thanks to The Yellow Cake Company here in Chattanooga…..picturesque and surely gets the unique award for the year.  Congrats to Kenya Brooks.   Gotta include a close up of this groom’s cake for you to admire.

grooms cake close up

I dare guess that this guest list has for the most part never been to a barn wedding…..no I did not ask, only my assumption.  But….I dare say as well that they were pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful setting this was for a wedding and what a wonderful memorable time they had here at the farm.

Just as the goats are universally loved – I see our farm in that light as well.  The beauty that surrounds our simple farm is nothing short of stunning.  Lookout Mountain sits above us with all of its splendor and at this time of year with all of its colors.  The farm mixes authenticity with history with nature with family…..if nothing else – we are real. There is not only simplicity around every corner but simple beauty as well.

This was a unique wedding in so many ways but on the other hand – a very similar story still.  Two lovebirds choose to come share their most special day with us here on the farm.  Two families and a host of friends anxiously come to support, celebrate, and be witnesses to the love and commitment of Beth and John.  Two people change the course of their lives and begin a new adventure.  A bride and groom forever share a memory and experience with us and our farm.  Dolled up or kept simple – this basic story is what we want to embrace.  Thank you for sharing your day with us!           ~ Margie

 

 

Second Chances (Margaret and Russ by Alex Bee Photos)

I remember the first time that I met Margaret (and her mother) at the farm to talk about her wedding day and how we could decorate for the day.  I knew from that first meeting that this wedding would stand out as unique in many ways.  Turns out that I knew the family of her “soon to be in-laws” because they are valley-natives and her father-in-law to be is a well known local minister. Beyond that, the love story of Margaret and Russ is one of second chances.  They knew each other in high school – and I think they even had dated.  But after high school – their lives and their careers took different paths and into two very different directions.  Many years later – through facebook, I believe, they were reacquainted with each other and a renewed friendship began.  He, a military chaplain in Florida, and she, a professor at Auburn, soon realized that circumstances had given them an opportunity to begin again.

Margaret and Russ were a bit older than our typical bride and groom so this wedding had a bit of maturity to it that made it unique and thoughtful.  Margaret was stunning in her dress, and my goodness – she looked like she was in her twenties!  When Margaret and Russ were together – they were silly, often goofy with each other, and always laughing and endearing.  I think when you get that second chance – you realize you gotta hang on with dear life and relish each moment you have – take nothing for granted.  I am confident that Margaret and Russ live this way today as husband and wife.

The wedding was in the grove with a packed out house of guests to celebrate the day and rejoice with the couple.  Father in law, Rev. Ragon, performed the ceremony and Russ sealed it with a kiss.

Decorating for a bride begins with a conversation – who is she, want does she like to do, where is her passion and her heart, how can we incorporate her taste and her style and even the groom’s interests.  Creating a pinterest page is also helpful as I can share ideas that I think would fit and she can share her own as well. Margaret for sure is a kindred spirit of sorts.  She loves all things vintage.  She had begun to collect vintage hankies so we could display them and “offer them” as “Tears of Joy” for any of the ladies prior to the ceremony.  Vintage welcoming area with old sofas and such…..wash tin stand for the gift tub…..an old dictionary sign in table……..we pulled out the stops with old decor items to dot the whole venue with.  The signs – the caterers table – programs – sparklers – all had a vintage feel to them.

 

Margaret had also been collecting vintage tea towels and doilies and such – many of them turquoise which was one of her colors to utilize.  Right up my alley!  So, I purposed to use these as part of our table decor.  With her being a professor – adding the vintage books would fit right in.  She also collects milkglass so we just infused so much of that into the table decor.  My old turquoise blue mason jars are always stunning so we pulled it all together to create a unique look that seemed to fit Margaret to a tee.  Her head table was put right dab in the center of the barn so that instead of being “on the stage”….she was in the middle of the barn and surrounded by her guests.  Those barnwood tables dress us quite nicely don’t they?  Of course at such an event – vintage china to set the proper mood for the reception.

Speaking of milkglass – she outdid me on this front for sure.  She had a huge milkglass container collection that we used for her candy bar.  Now – this was no ordinary candy bar.  It was set up in the buffet room (24 feet long, let me state….) and we packed those vessels to the gill on that bar from one end to the other full of candy galore.  What a presentation – what a sweet sweet gift to her guests as they packed their gift bags full of such an array of choices.

The horse ring was transformed into a lounge of sorts with haybale sofas strewn with pillows……turquoise coffee tables…….a bonfire brewing……and baskets of warm blankets to cuddle with.   They even had live music playing for their guests – inside and out….early in the evening and into the night!

This is what 1000 paper birds strung on string looks like….it made for a beautiful backdrop as it swayed a bit in the breeze.

Margaret selected some awesome vendors:  Slim Pickin’s Band – A Food Attitude Catering Company – Alex Bee Photography – and Mayflowers Florist.

The plans were made and executed.  The guests surely felt wanted and spoiled.  The mood was genuine and very supportive.  The newly weds were all smiles and “married.”  I deem it a successful day!

sparkler send off

I often think on this wedding and of Margaret and Russ.  I am not sure whether they are in Florida or Alabama (or both).  I can’t help but wish that they were down the street….they seem like family – as do so many of our brides do.  Maybe they will come visit sometime.                        ~ Margie

Southern Georgia Peach Wedding (Lindsey & Donald’s Wedding by Kenney Photography)

To take a first look at Lindsey and Donald – you see a very classy looking couple….and for sure – they were.  But this couple certainly had a fun side to them.  Fun with each other and a determination to have a wonderful upbeat time with their guest on wedding day.

Prep time with the girls at the farmhouse starts the day off with giggles and primping.  Decorating at the barn is being handled by me and Jill so it allows Lindsey just to have fun and of course to feel like a magazine model for a day with her photographer (Kenney Photography).  Every girl needs to have this opportunity.

funny early reveal

I don’t know the story behind this bit of a prank but this picture was part of their “early reveal” and it certainly gets the “most unique award” for the category.  As you can see – Lindsey and Donald like to think outside the box and put their own twist to things.

The wedding ceremony was under the grove – the men all looked so dapper in their deep navy attire – and the ladies – oooh, don’tcha just love that fuschia!

vintage wedding, vintage chair, vintage luggage

Decorating for Lindsey’s special day was a fun mix of vintage with a touch of elegance.  She wanted the old silver teapots for her table decor in honor of her mother.  She opted for the vintage china collection too to bring that bit of elegance then to her reception.  We had wash tins with vintage lace in them as the “gift tubs”.  We added touches of silver and fuschia everywhere.  She also wanted us to incorporate peaches in to the decor.  Though she wanted lots of babies breath for her flower bouquets she did love the idea of adding our Cox’s Comb fuchsia flowers to them to bring out the colors of her bridesmaid’s dresses.  That match up couldn’t have been any more perfect!  We added a touch of those same colors throughout – and wow….I love the way it turned out.

Part of the peach interest was that a good Georgia southern peach has that touch of fuschia in it plus Lindsey desperately wanted a peachy Sangria bar.  So – a Sangria Bar she got.  The funky sign and the old turquoise hutch made for a great bar set up so that guest could add whatever bits of fruit that they wanted.  Appetizer hour automatically became festive with the colors, the smells, the choices, and the wonderful food.

Plenty of dancing, laughing, food, and sparklers.  Mimi’s Guest House hosted the Honey Moon Suite – fortunately that photo session ended early!

 

 

sparkler send off barn wedding

The night ended but the journey has just begun.  Thank you Lindsey and Donald for sharing your day with us.                 ~ Margie

The Classic Southern Summer Wedding – Pics of Autumn & Evan by Jacquie Rives Photography

The day was September 5th – and by all accounts this was still a summer day.  The garden was in full bloom, flowers were strutting their colors, the days were warm and long and once again………love was in the air.

Autumn and Evan were that kind of couple that you had no trouble seeing on their faces how they felt about each other.  Not just smiles but there was delight….a twinkle in the eye.  Pictures do paint a thousand words.

 

Autumn was one of those brides that seemed to enjoy and actually relish each moment of the day.  No appearance of anxiousness or fretting but enjoyment.  She was intent in having fun and making memories all day long – and I think she succeeded. I am pretty sure that if the bride is happy on wedding day – likely everybody else at the venue is happy too!  Ya know, I think I like it when, as pictured above, the bride gets her wedding dress on without her bridesmaids around so they can come in and behold the site all at once.  So they can take it in all at once of the beautiful woman that now stands before them.

Autumn gave so much attention to the details of the decorating.  In fact, Autumn loves to decorate and coordinate weddings.  Likely one day she will have her own place and help make other brides’ day a happy and memorable one as well.  She collected vintage china for her reception.  She brought quilts for her haybale seating.  She had vintage tablecloths and even brought vintage teacups for a coffee bar.  She is a bride who knew what she wanted the details to look like and then enjoyed the time – the months of planning, prepping, buying, and even displaying them.  A girl after my own heart!  Her attention to these details surely was evident to the guests who came.  It was so “Autumn”…..so personal so her.

Everybody loves a good dessert smorgasbord and when it is laid out as pretty as this – it becomes a photographic gem to boot.  Does it all look scrumptious?

Jacquie Rives was her photographer and she was very generous with sharing her photos.  She took many detail shots that help paint the picture of the day.

Plenty of fun for all in the dancehall later in the evening with beautiful sparkler send off at the night’s end.

Another photo gallery that was way too difficult to select just a few.  Let me finish with a few of my favorite portrait shots of this beautiful bride, her fortunate husband, and of their classic southern summer wedding.

These photos are good enough to be submitted to one of those online wedding sites.  I hope that they will be.  Either way – they will make it easy for Autumn and Evan to remember this special day….and it lets the rest of you feel as if you had been there as well.  Thanks for sharing the photos and for making our farm look so good!                ~ Margie

My Memory Wall (Tribute to My Mother)

Well – it has been one year ago today that my sweet mother, Margie Willene Reynolds (a.k.a. “Mimi”), passed away.  In ways it feels like it was just a few months ago.  But I am fortunate in that there are so many things around the farm that remind me of her that it helps ease the pains.  She is infused – embedded with this place.  Here on the farm whether it is seeing her poppies or Cox’s Comb flowers blooming everywhere…..seeing that old park bench in the front flower bed where she would take a “sitting spell” after working up a sweat weeding her flower beds….adding a new colored bottle to her infamous bottle tree (she had this bottle tree LONG before it was cool to have such a thing in your yard)…..watching her old fashioned climbing rose bloom…..when I see bluebirds at their birdhouses or the hummingbirds begging for more food at her feeder…..sitting out on her screened in back porch…..looking towards High Point which was Moma’s beloved view to which seemed to anchor her here……or when I give each tour through her “Mimi’s Guest House”.  Opportunities abound to remember ………………………….and to smile.

 

As most of you know, I did a major make-over of her home earlier this year so that we could offer it for on-site lodging and wedding day usage.  I often to refer to it as my “therapy” as I tried so hard to not only do this renovation on a dime’s budget (oh, Moma would be tickled to know that I kept it on a tight budget) but it also gave me a creative outlet.  Mothers and daughters are a complicated duo.  So much alike – so much different – how do you reckon those two?  I did want to put my spin on things – my eclectic approach but I did not want to totally remove her either.  For the guests who come to Mimi’s Guest House (named in her honor of course), little do they know that this was once an old lady’s home.  Little do they know that there are touches of Mimi everywhere.

Her kitchen strainer becomes a pendant light cover….her revamped bookcases displaying many of her favorite books and china…..her brass chandelier repainted and given new life…..her hope chest from her childhood as a coffee table……her father’s dresser and her teapots set out as decor items……her old quilt on the back of a porch rocking chair…….her bed frame repainted to take on a whole new vibe….the auction flier from 1976 where they purchased the farm framed and posted…..some of her heirloom pictures and many of her own pieces of art hung on the walls….and the infamous “American Gothic” pose of Moma and Daddy with the tattered and torn old farmhouse in the background….and more.

One of the most heartfelt projects on this house though is what I refer to as “My Memory Wall.”

As you enter the foyer you have stairs going up and stairs going down.  There was old torn wallpaper on both sides – chest high and down.  As I pondered the possibilities of how to redo this, none of the traditional options clicked.  I then remembered one of the neat memories of our first year at the farm (back in 1976…..I was 18).  The old farmhouse had decrepit steps going from the main floor down to the root celler.  To help add a touch of “old-fashioned insulation” to this area – they had glued old newspapers in-between the studs in this stairwell.  The cool part was that it was from 1939.  We had a blast looking at that (ooooh, I wish I had kept part of it now….).  Funny seeing how much a piano went for – what “modern” meant back then in regards to a refrigerator or stove – what unusual classified ads were included.  Anyway – being inspired with this memory, I set out to do the same, in essence.  My mother was just shy of a pack rat of sorts.  She kept tons of pictures, memorabilia, old magazines, old encyclopedias, old letters, boxes and boxes of them…….to which I needed (and did) sort through after her death.  What to do with all of this?  It all meant something to her but keeping it all was so not practical when there were many others items to ponder their fate as well.  Ah, a memory wall.

To the casual “passerby” it looks like a funky “vintage farm” wallpaper.  I did try to disguise my purpose a bit.  I used old encyclopedias and cut out old farm pictures – cows, old tractors, cowboys, old farmers and such.  But – I also infused much more.  Look closely and you can see some photos of my mother – when a child with her dog, out on her lawn ready for prom, plowing the fields behind the mule….and more. Vintage newspaper clippings – love letters from my dad to her in their newlywed years – a classified advertisement for our Chattanooga home when it went up for sale before moving to the farm – pages from her infant baby book – pages from her childhood reader.

I added some zingers too….fun things!  Like a drawing from my brother, Terry, who drew their new house sitting out in the field with embedded old tires as “landscaping edges”….with a broke car out  front and such (bottom left).  He had told my parents that they were turning into Green Acres (that 70’s TV show about a couple of New Yorkers moving to the country).  So he drew it on the fly – gave it to Moma – got a good laugh out of it – but she kept it stashed away for all of those years…and now….it lives on the wall FOREVER!!!  I added the newspaper clipping that she had kept of the “engagement announcement for me and David from 1980.  I added one of our horse pedigree papers and even one of David’s grandfather’s pig pedigree papers (who knew pigs had pedigrees?).  Most people know of “Where is Waldo?” but here at the farm…..it is a fun exercise of the wit to come sit on the stairs and do a “Where is Mimi?” investigation.  The grandkids have fun pointing to a bare-butted kid and saying “Is this Mimi????” to which I say “nope – that is not her butt,” but they keep looking and do find pictures of her.  It gives us an opportunity to talk about her – see her as a young vibrant woman – tell stories of the past – and smile.

Mimis Guest House

 

I am indeed fortunate.  A walk through my own home which reveals things of hers that I so cherish as well.  Toll painted cutting boards she made back in the 60’s, a cupboard full of her china painted plates and vessels…..and much of her paintings both oil and watercolor – most of them were of her beloved farm.

So you can see….my mother was a talented woman with a multitude of interests.  She is gone but not forgotten.  Yes – today is a bit melancholy but how blessed I am to have a mother like her….and as time passes on – I realize it more and more.  Her influence was broad, her loving attention to others is renown, and her legacy continues.   Thanks for this indulgence in the more personal side of things…..giving me the opportunity to tout her helps me quite a bit today – it is almost like writing a letter to her to say “I love you.”

~Margie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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