Renovations of the Past and Renovations to Come – Part II

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  Shortly after Jill and John got married, they called me and asked “would it be okay if we lived in the old farmhouse?”  I admit I was surprised because the old house was far from appealing and it was a stretch to consider it “livable.” Yet – their interest in coming to the farm to live was, of course, very appealing to us and so the answer was “of course, you can!”
  The wheels of change moved very slowly at first. Stabilizing the house was priority number one since it need some securing at the foundation – needed a chiropractor (of sorts) to level up some of the sagging joists, and a one-of-many trips to Lowe’s for lumber and hardware.

  My husband, David, has had a lot of experience with building since he helped oversee the building of our own house and the subsequent repairs. Jill’s husband, John, has been around some construction crews and brought energy and exuberance  to the equation.  Jill and I (plus family and friends on way too many occasions) helped with demolition, clean up, running to the store, organizing the mess, running to the dump, segregating the boards for future uses,cleaning and sanding – and more cleaning and sanding.  I swear there was 100 years worth of dust and squirrels nests packed into those walls.  My mother was the cook but considering that during this extended year long episode – Jill, John, and David all maintained jobs so it was a huge help to have my mother cook us supper so we can eat and crash each evening.
  We peeled layers after layers of wallpaper off of the walls and discovered beautiful boards hiding behind it all.  We salvaged any board, trim, or door that was feasibly possible.  But admittedly – what started out as a simple face-lift slowly began to morph into a full blown renovation.  Thankfully, that evolution played out slowly.  I am sure if we knew how complex and extensive the needs of this old house were from the beginning – we wouldn’t have had the inclination to tackle them. But many things in life are that way and fortunately – as we sweated through each complicated task – we saw glimpses of the treasure that this farmhouse could become.

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  Piece by piece, board by board, we took them off, figured out whether we could salvage them somehow. If we could – then they were set aside to be sanded. If not, then we replaced it. But our budget was very tight and so partly out of necessity and partly out of a desire to maintain the old timey feel of the farmhouse, we repurposed and reused as much as possible.  I think I sanded boards non-stop for about 3 months but the beauty of the farmhouse with those board walls has made it worth it. 
  After a couple of dozen drawings had been hashed over, a good floor plan was decided on by opening up a wall and creating a great-room effect. Adding a bathroom off the back kept the floor plan simple and the budget on track. Very little of the work was contracted out and for sure – we can relish the fact that this was a labor of love. All of Jill and John’s sweat equity turned an old eye sore into a home and mine and David’s contributions helped to facilitate a new beginning for the farm with an extended family unit. Jill was pregnant through much of this and the time clock was ticking to get to a “move-in-ready” stage before the arrival of baby number one.

  The house was deemed “livable” (though not finished) just in time for baby number one (Tucker) to arrive. We had promised everyone that we would have an Open House to show off our progress.  So many had helped and watched and encouraged us along our way that to finally be able to show our fruits of labor was a huge milestone.
  The renovations did not stop then. Anybody who has owned an old house can tell you that the projects never end. We like to think that we have made the old farmhouse young again – given her a new life to start a new generation with a new family. We do know that we have left her better than we found her. Let me show you a few side by side photos.
The farmhouse as we found her (in the mid-70’s)  and the farmhouse last month.

 
Believe it or not – the photo on the left is John in the “now” Bridal room. The room had layers of linoleum on the floor and layers of that old-fashioned wallpaper that is more like cardboard glued to the wall and to the ceiling. Behind all of that gunk was original wood floors in fairly good shape and great board walls and ceiling – all just needed a good scrubbing and some layers of paint. (I say the word “just” lightly but in reality – this was weeks worth of effort.)
   The same room is pictured below. This photo was taken a few months ago. Huge change, huh?
  And of course, the saga continues. The farmhouse is a slew of projects inside and out. Jill has perfected repurposing and turned this old decrepid house not only into a home but into an attractive and quaint reflection of the past – bringing out the best of her features for many to love and admire.
  When part III begins, I will take a glance back at the farm and how it too has evolved over these many years.  Till next time – Margie

Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come – Part I

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  We have recently made an announcement that High Point Farms has purchased one of our neighbor’s houses and we are in the midst of converting it into future “guest lodging”; i.e The Bluebird Cottage.  We went from purchase, to planning its renovations, to some light demolition, to some reconstruction, and beginning to complete our phase one.  As I wait just a bit for our “reveal” photos, I thought it tmight be interesting to take a small journey back in time a bit – to show you where the farm has come from – prior to its makeover as well as the old farmhouse.  Now that we have 3 years under our belt, I feel like I can show the before and after pictures and tell a bit of the story.
   Let me start with the farmhouse.  The above picture is what the farmhouse looked like in the mid-70’s when my parents first purchased the farm.  Their initial plan was to renovate and expand the farmhouse but after pulling off the back lean-to part of the rear of the house, they discovered some structural damages that were going to cause too much of a challenge – so they opted to build a new house instead.   Here are a few of those early farmhouse pictures – the one on the left shows the back of the farmhouse as it looked at the time of purchase. The photo on the right shows where the lean-to porch and bathroom coming off of the rear of the house had been removed revealing many of its structural issues.

  After my parents went to their Plan B, the farmhouse just “sat” for years.The back torn off area had been boarded up to “stop the bleeding.”  It became more or less a storage building for old furniture and such. Even when I got married – we opted to build our own farmhouse on a far corner of the farm property. Again – years passed and the farmhouse continued to sit.  We would patch the farmhouse  roof, replace some doors, do what we could to keep the farmhouse standing – hoping that somehow, someday, we would have the resources to tackle something more significant.. 
  The farmhouse became a backdrop of the past. Some people would tell us ” you need to just bulldoze down that old house!” while some would lament “you should restore that old house – it has history with so many various families from the valley.” We always had hope that someday – we would be able to restore it….in the meantime, I was busy raising my kids and had plenty on my plate besides a major makeover of the farmhouse.
  Nine years ago, a twist of fate happened.  Jill (my daughter and partner in thiswedding venue) decided to get married here at the farm. She wanted to get married out in the hayfield under the shadow of Lookout Mountain – and she said we would have the reception in the barn. Back then – barn weddings were barely heard of. We were not the first but it was very uncommon and none near here that I am aware of.  With the wedding being held in the front field – we decided a little sprucing up of the farmhouse would be in order…and little did we know then that this would be the beginning of more than their marriage but the beginning of a huge change for our families and of the farm.
  More to come as the story continues with the transition of the barn – watch for Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come –  Part II.

A Tribute To My Mom

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  The matron of the farm is my mother – kindly referred to as Mimi – by her grandchildren and now almost everybody.  It was my mother (and father) who purchased the farm many years ago. Her love of the farm is renowned by any of those who know her. Her bedroom faces High Point on the mountain and she draws such peace and comfort from this view.  She has the beauty of the clouds rolling in from the southwest and the awesome foliage of the ridges to the east. She is the mother hen who watches over the comings and goings of the barn activities. She has also lead by her example with opening up the farm over her many years to friends and family and to her church. She is quick to share a meal at her table with others or to share a pack of seeds from her flower garden to any new acquaintance. 
  My mother has been very supportive of our wedding business. We feel as though it has in some ways been an extension of the pattern set before us all these years as we have opened up our homes and the farm to many different groups over the years. We have had family reunions, class reunions, Easter Sun Rise Services, Annual Prairie Day outings for the whole fourth grade class, local widows come to harvest turnip greens, Annual Down on the Farm for a local church, Fall  Hoe-Down, Homecoming Week Preparations, Annual Rowing Club End of the Season Barn parties, Halloween Parties, Movie Night in the Barn, 4-H Horse Club Meetings, and the list goes on. My mother rarely meets a stranger and if she does – she doesn’t allow them to be a stranger for long. Her hospitality is legendary and I aim to continue her legacy.
  My mother has always had a green thumb – she came by it naturally as her mother was a gardener 24-7. It is a passion that has been passed down both to me and to Jill as well but my mother, still today, works her garden daily.  I joke to others that my mother will be on her death-bed asking somebody to weed her flower bed until she returns. It is her joy and her creative passion that takes her back to her flower garden every day. There are stories to be told of half of the flowers and bushes growing around her yard.  Most of the flowers at the venue and at Jill’s farmhouse came from seeds, cuttings, or transplants from “Mimi’s” yard. She has helped to beautify the farm with year-around color from her Beauty-Berry bush, her rare spring Poppy flowers, an array of dazzling lilies,  a row of knock-Out roses, and a list that would be a hundred long if I could remember them all.

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  Even now – I find it amazing how well she handles the realities of our farm weddings.  The flood of people that come each weekend, the late night beat of Gangnam Style echoing through the farm, brides posing for the camera in her front yard, touring brides coming by at inconvenient times, driveways being clogged with vehicles, and weekends that run  till midnight. Yet, she takes it all in strides and enjoys watching from her window.  She asks about each wedding and each bride. She watches the cars pull in. She waits for the bride to head towards the barn to get a glimpse of her in her wedding dress.  Even when I make a mad dash to her house in search of some odd necessity that is needed at the barn; a coffee filter, a punch bowl, some plastic forks, a cutting knife, etc…she graciously  rummages through her cabinets to help find it so I can dash out to the barn to rescue the day.  I have so often pilfered her china plates, her vintage napkins stash, and her bread baskets to fulfill my decorating duties…and she does so with pride knowing that she has contributing someway – somehow to the cause. She follows my blog, shares any new wedding FB photos with her friends, and looks forward to the next wedding.  I am blessed and fortunate to have her here on the farm and for her to be a part of this wild and crazy journey of the Barn at High Point Farms.  I offer this blog as a tribute to her – my mom.

A New Trend

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  We have many of our brides who are opting to add our Vintage China Collection Package to their special day. You can see by the photo how elegant the presentation is – the whole marrying of the rustic barn and  (as shown here) the barn wood tables with the beauty of the old vintage china.  It becomes part of the overall presentation as well as raises the level of your event by letting your guest eat off of real plates – plus the charm of these old vintage patterns are just stunning.
  But – we have seen a new trend which I am enamored by – it is to serve your food “family dining style” instead of  style.  What this entails is setting out your china on the tables and then having your food put into vintage bowls and platters placed at each table. Your guests pass around the food thus the term “family dining style”.
  This eliminates all of the back and forth from the tables to the buffet room.  It also encourages more conversation at the tables.  It becomes a complete package.  We have seen this done several times now and we are now getting more requests for the extended package – which includes my vintage platters of all sizes, vintage bowls, and even having tea cups available for those who wish to have coffee with their desserts. 
   When it comes to desserts – we still see the dessert smorgasbord being a very popular crowd pleaser…in the same way that our brides like choices – so do your guests.  Some of the weddings have the guests find their way to the dessert table that often has not only a variety of cakes and cupcakes – but pies and cake balls, cookies and fudge – even a candy bar. Some of the weddings have the desserts already placed on the vintage dessert plates – and then have servers walk around offering a variety of choices – while their guests are still at their tables.  It is like fine dining at a high end restaurant.
  It is just fun to see the variety of approaches but I will say that I do like this one (family style dining).  It makes it an intimate affair to be seated at the table passing around food – it makes it feel like you are seated with family.  I love to see the ladies admiring my old plates and such….I have quite a fetish with these plates. They have been acquired from a variety of trips from estate sales, to thrift stores, to antique shops, and ebay.  I have many people tell me when they sell me a few pieces that “my mother would be so tickled to know that these plates will be enjoyed by so many at a wedding!”….These patterns are so beautiful that it makes it difficult to pick my favorites. It is a labor intensive Add On but it pleases me to make them available to you and to see the reaction of your guests as they feel like they have been treated to a very special occasion – as they should feel!
  Here is a gallery of my favorites from the platter and bowl collection.

Forgive Me, Father, It Has Been 3 Mos. Since My Last Confession

   This is my first reaction as I sit down to write a new blog entry.  It has been such a long time since the last entry that I feel as though I have dropped the ball a bit.  I have people all the time telling me that they follow my blog – and I am awed and quite grateful.  At some level, the blog is a bit of a confession – maybe a tad of therapy too.  I do hope that you find it informative and yes, just a bit enjoyable too.
   May 6, 2013 was the last blog entry.  May and June were both packed fulled of weddings and ultimately my responsibility lies in doing all we can do to prepare for each wedding that is coming next….so Facebook entries and Blog entries fall lower on my to-do list.  As July rolled around – we take off the month for summer projects and for our vacation.  It was a nice reprieve and food for the soul to be in the North Carolina mountains with all of my family. If I was slow to return phone calls or emails – please forgive…..we actually had no cell or internet service during that week.  They say that it is good for you to set your cell phone aside for a vacation – it is not recommended when you have a aged mother back home, a slew of critters to oversee, and a crew of construction workers finishing up a project….but we survived.

   Speaking of “projects”…..we have completed our summer project: a restroom exclusively for the bridal room.  Up till now – Jill (and family) graciously shared their bathroom with brides for their needs.  One can only imagine how challenging this was to do with having three young children.  So, we have not only added a restroom exclusively to be used by our brides – but we have revamped our Bridal Preparation Room a bit …taking out the Jenny Lind bed, adding some additional seating, and…..I found an awesome Victorian love seat that  is “right at home” beside the cow (look at the pictures before you jump to any conclusions).
   Mirrors, mirrors, and more mirrors – enough for everybody, I think.  The new Powder Room is a beautiful turquoise hue aged to perfection (hopefully).  I found this awesome antique dresser at Sugar Plum Antiques and persuaded my favorite Handy Man (Steve Woodward at Woodward Enterprises) to add the enamelware dishpan as a sink.  He doesn’t even give me the crazy look anymore when I suggest a new project.  I added some color and just the right knobs – and it seems to fit the room just wonderfully.
   I can just imagine what awesome photos some of our expert photographers can do with the bride – and her dress – in this room.  We have accented it with a dash of red to add a bit more pizazz!   Did I need more pizazz?…oh yes….let’s add just a bit!
   I love shopping with my daughter (and partner) Jill.  We are different in some ways – sure – but give us an antique shop or yard sale and we gravitate to the same items almost instantly.  We found this old farmhouse screen door and just knew it would be a good fit for this room.   Make a little privacy curtain out of one of those old vintage tablecloths – well…perfect!
   Finally – a funky shabby chic rag curtain mixing in the turquoise, the red, a bit of vintage patterns, some burlap and lace.  We hope that you love it like we do.  Either way – the toilet is new and works!……so I think you will be quite happy!….and Jill’s kids can pee in their own toilet when they need to – life is good!

   Now that the confession is off of my chest……I can be pondering my next blog.

   Have a blessed day!                        Margie

We Allow Your Creativity to Shine

   One of our hallmark features is that we allow our brides to come here and “make this wedding her own.”  This is incorporated in many different ways, but we feel that though we have set the stage – decorated the barn and the areas around the farm with natural eye candy plus bits of rustic and vintage decor – that we then allow the bride to come in and let her own creativity shine.
   We have many options as far as how the ceremony can be set up and even where.  Choices, choices but we see brides gravitate almost instantly to one place.  Some brides just love the feel of the intimacy of the grove. Some like the grand exit from the barn towards the lawn while some love the mountain backdrop of the open hayfield. But within the choices, we still allow the brides to think outside the box in ways to make this wedding reflect her and her style and her vision for her special day.
   Whether it is renting our pergola and dressing it up with flowers or material or grapevine wreathes, etc. or bringing your own – with some reasonable restrictions – we allow these ceremony additions.
   Sometimes the additions are more subtle like hanging things from the trees. (Please no nailing to our trees or to our barn.)
    As we tout – we have created the stage so that you don’t have to start from a bare-bones barn to transform…..we have the backdrop complete, but you can set the theme and make your table decor and such whatever you want.  It is amazing how just the infusion of certain colors or decorating styles (rustic, vintage, shabby chic, etc.) can change the mood from one wedding to the other.
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Whether a Country/Western Theme

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Shabby Chic

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Vintage theme…..

   Even in and around the barn, there are some allowances (and some rules) for hanging decor from the walls and infusing more of your theme  inside the barn.
   Of course, another biggie is that we allow you to use your own  vendors.  Yes – we have a suggestion page with a list of vendors who have come here – proven themselves as professionals – AND received positive feedback from their brides….BUT…..we allow you to use the vendors that you want……..no demand to use us (we don’t cater) for your everything. This means you can go fancy upscale or BBQ or Jambalaya or a taco bar or bring in specialty vendors like the Good Dog cart vendor or Nana’s Frozen Custard or Blackbird Baking Co. etc.  You pick your own photographer – have a photo booth – hire a decorator or hire us. You can have your church family bring food. You can bring a DJ or let your friend bring his sound system and guitar.  We try as often as possible to say yes to these choices.
  When I think I have seen it all – a bride comes along and surprises me with unique decor or props or themes.  It is really awesome, from our perspective even, that our farm venue – as unique and specific genre as it is – still is able to be transformed into a place that looks different from each wedding to the next.  The little things seem to make a difference and I think that is great.   It seems to please our brides. Let me show off a few of some unique flairs.
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Ashley has always had a “thing” about unicorns and our boy Jack accommodated the costume.

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Kaylin also wanted a door entry but these doors were “manned” by men and opened as she approached the wedding aisle.

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A family member hand-made this cross for the Hannah/Matt wedding this year. It made an awesome presence.

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Brian was a fireman – obviously.

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Katie had a vision – coming through the doors “towards” the ceremony…it did make for a grand entrance though was quite a challenge to arrange.

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Josh wore his respectable suit for the wedding ceremony but quickly changed into his comfy overalls for the reception.

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Alyson and Micah’s wedding was held at another location and the bridal party arrived in style in the Chattanooga Double Decker bus.

   The point is – this is YOUR SPECIAL DAY.  It is great that there are pictures and pinterest to stimulate your ideas and to help you visualize what you like….and there is no harm in copying some of these very creative and neat ideas – from table decor to bouquet ideas, etc. The key is that it is your choosing – your likes – your look – so these each wedding here can reflect our brides – YOU!  And – we love seeing it and being a witness to such an event.

sincerely – Margie

Information For Your Caterer

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   One of our hallmark features here at the farm is choices – whether that is the location of your ceremony or the layout of your reception or what you wear or from which door you come out of or what photographer you use or whether you want additional services or not or what caterer you use.  These various decisions not only helps you stay within your budget but it allows these weddings to reflect you and your look – your theme – your vision of this special day. 
   We do have a great Vendor Suggestion page link where we provide you with great vendors of various kind who have been here – proven themselves as worthy professionals to be included on our list PLUS they have received positive feedback from our brides.  This Vendor Suggestion page is a great first start to your hunt especially when selecting a caterer.  By choosing one of the vendors on our list – lets you know that they not only are qualified but that they understand the challenges of catering an event at an unusual venue like we have.  Outdoor weddings are becoming very commonplace but it does present special challenges.  We want you to be able to choose your caterer but it is very important that you inform them of our location – remember – you have toured our facilities but they have not.
   When we get a call from a new vendor and they ask “what kind of kitchen do you have?” we know right off that the bride has not communicated well with them.  Our venue surely presents challenges to them but we have seen many vendors successfully caterer here – from high end full course catering to simple basic barbecue meals.  It can be done but it is to be determined by the caterer whether they themselves are equipped “and willing” to meet those challenges.  That is where good communication with them is important.
   One more tidbit of information for you to ponder.  Consider the time of year when choosing what your menu is and even what kind of cake (or cake icing) or desserts you pick.  If you are a summer bride – choose items that can travel well, be kept cool easier, and don’t present an extra problem for your caterer.  Picking a butter cream icing for a cake that may sit out for a few hours before consumption just doesn’t make sense.  Your caterer should be a professional and a seasoned veteran and such affairs and his advice should be listened to.  Let him know that this is basically an outdoor venue of sorts and have a conversation about good and better choices.  Embrace the farm and its benefits by wisely choosing your attire – your menu – the time of day your ceremony begins – what you drink – and when you cut the cake.  I did say ‘cut the cake’ as a choice too.  If your cake is delivered at 3-4 p.m. for a 6-7 p.m. wedding – and you don’t “cut the cake” until 8:30 – then you may have a problem with the quality of the cake icing if you wait that long.  These are just considerations that you need to weigh when making your plans.
 


Let me review a few of the topics that would be important for you to convey to your caterer – if  they have not already been to our location.
1.  We are an authentic barn which means we are not air-conditioned nor heated.
2.  We have limited extra electricity so this means that any extra appliances (like coffee pots, warming trays, crock pots, etc.) should be VERY limited, used sparingly, and if they have any question about that – to contact us about it.
3.  Bunsen burners are allowed for the caterers even though we have a no-candle policy for the barn. We understand the need for the caterers to keep their food warm  and count of them to be extra careful with any open flame.
4. Currently, we have one refrigerator/freezer that they have access to. We have two large coolers that are often used to store ice in. Most of our brides use our Ice Vendor (also located on the Vendor Suggestion Page) who delivers the ice – unloads it and sets it where ever you need; typically loads some in the cast iron tub for drinks, maybe some in one of the wash tins, some in the large green coolers, and a few in the freezer….again – these are choices that you make – and decide who brings ice/how much/and where to put it.

5. There is a fire extinguisher located in the buffet room.
6. The Buffet Room has one long shelf reaching almost 24 feet long for food set up. If they prefer to serve the plates for the buffet then they need to talk to you about any available extra tables that they can use and then if they need to bring linens for those tables.
7.  We have 6 garbage cans with bags and they are located in the Tack Room or in the Caterer’s Stall. We have extra bags if need be.    Avoid over-packing plastic garbage bags – for your benefit or ours. If I can’t pick them up – then they are too heavy.  HP Farms will automatically dispose up to 6 bags of garbage complimentary with your contract and any extra bags will be charged at $5 per bag and will be deducted from your security deposit.
8. We do expect your caterer to haul off his own grease and food liquids. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should your caterer dump tea, coffee, juices, food liquids, etc. on our floor or grasses. Any violation of this will ultimately be carried by you – the client.  I mention this only because we have seen the carelessness of some vendors who have poured green bean juice or left-over tea on our lawn – the same lawn where the next breed hopes to be vibrant and green for her walk to the ceremony.  Even large quantities of ice piled on our grasses will freeze then kill the grass so we are obviously very protective of our grasses and lawn. 
9. The caterer is responsible for cleaning up any messes that they have created – specifically the buffet room and the caterer’s room.
10. Unloading/loading of supplies – by you, your caterer, or decorator – is available on the driveway loop or the Farmhouse driveway. We actually now have one parking spot behind the farmhouse just for you…point is that the caterer’s vehicle should not be on the loop when guests begin to arrive!   If your caterer can come early enough to unload – then coming to the barn loop would be more convenient for him….but no unloading  is allowed on the loop within one hour of the ceremony time. Any late arrivals should follow the vendor parking sign which sends you behind the farmhouse.

11. NO VEHICLES SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED ON THE GRASSY AREAS AROUND THE BARN – please!  Once the cars have been unloaded – ask your helpers to then move the cars out of sight so that your venue area stays clear of the clutter of vehicles. By keeping others off the grass, it keeps the lawn nice for all of our brides – your special day and others.
12. We have a sink in the Tack Room for washing your hands but since our water supply comes from a well – we do not allow you to use this water for drinking purposes. Make sure your caterer knows this so they will bring in their own water supply for drinks.  Our limited water and sink area also means that this sink area should not be used by your caterer to wash dishes.
  So happy hunting!  Hopefully this information will be helpful to you.  If you have any questions – feel free to drop us an email or call Jill.

Margie

Vintage China

   Ooooh – La – La!  Don’t you just love the old vintage china.  I do say “China” loosely though for some of my vintage dishes are not china but still old and lovely all the same.  I have found pieces here and there – ebay of course, but at yard sales, estate sales, consignment shops, and little antique shops throughout the southeast. 
   It is an instant attraction for me……either the pattern grabs a hold of my heart or it doesn’t.  I keep the color palette soft and delicate so to blend well with most of our bride color choices.  But I am amazed at  the beauty of them…..love the ones with the rippled edges and actually…it would be a difficult chore to award any one pattern as my favorite.

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   The marrying of the two worlds…the rustic barn and the tables with white linens and adorned with such a beautiful array of dishes – just takes the level of your event to a higher level.  Each table groupings are selected by me as if it were one picture – each complimenting the next. The vintage china just becomes part of the extraordinary decor. You will see all of the ladies walking around the tables oohing and awwing over the treasured pieces….and as shabby chic has taken over the new generation – they too seem to appreciate the vintage look. Add to the look, the vintage silverware – old patterns and a bit of tarnish to boot but it brings the look full circle.

   I am quite protective over my vintage china collection – my treasure. So these are rented out as a whole package which includes 1. the dinner plate, 2. fork/spoon/knife, 3. white or ivory cloth napkin (or a burlap colored linen napkin), and 4. dessert plates.  As stated above, I hand select each tables worth of place settings to coordinate them, set them out for you on the tables with the napkins and silverware. We handle busing these items after the initial reception time. We have dessert dishes stacked by or near the dessert area and bus those as well afterwards.  The price can be obtained by emailing me at highpoingfarms@gmail.com.  It is certainly not the cheap method of providing plates and such….but it certainly creates an impression than your guests will not forget and as I said – it brings your event to a more elegant level.  This package is very time consuming and my dishes are a treasured find.  Storing, selecting, transporting, placing, busing, cleaning, and packing safely for the next event means a lot of work and effort but worth considering for the bride who wants an unforgettable presentation.
   Another option for a budget minded bride is to use limited amounts of the china.  In small doses – which means renting just the dessert dishes – again, stacked near the dessert table. Another option is to have the vintage table setting just for the head table and/or for the parents table.  This still adds a bit of the vintage look but gives that special honor and flair to those most important.
   Then…..to add more attention – there is the vintage and mixed dessert-ware that I have also collected.  I will speak more on that later….but here is a couple of cute pictures to draw your interest.

Spring Is Here

    Spring is here but in so many ways it doesn’t feel like it.  Yet – the grass is neon green, the daffodils are blooming, perennials are peeping up, pear blossoms are debating a bloom event, the garden is filled with lettuces and broccoli plants, and our projects list has been mostly completed.  And – it is wedding time. 
   First, the projects.  We are anxious to show you all our improvements and additions.  As you look at this barn picture – you can see the rainbow over the barn…what an awesome miracle a rainbow it is….it amazes people of all ages.  You can also see the gravel pathway that we have created from the farmhouse (as well as from the new vendor parking area).

     As you approach the farm on Parrish Lane you will notice two sign choices – vendors and guests.  If you are a caterer, DJ, or the bride….you can drive up the driveway towards the old farmhouse.  The new post by the pear tree helps direct you to continue on towards the back of the farmhouse where there is a parking area with signage – one for caterer – one for DJ – one for our bride – and one for “unload only.”  This new approach allows the vendors to be busy with their unloading without clogging up the loop up around the back side of the barn – mainly for your guests.  Also – as you approach the back side of the barn – we have moved the hitching post out just a bit….showcasing it a bit better.  We have extended our gravel sidewalk around out to the drive….please don’t drive on this – this is just to be used as a walk path for you and your guests.
    We got the grass green, flowers planted and displayed all over, added many new flower areas like this old funky watering trough full of flowers, and yes – the red rooster is hiding amongst the daffodils. 
     And of course – the best sign that Spring is here – new baby goats.  Lulu produced triplets 6 days ago (day after St. Patty) with these adorable babies; O’Mally, Patrick, and Clover.
    So – we are ready for the brides and ready for another year of wonderful weddings.  Let’s go!

Margie

Update on More Winter Projects

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   Busy busy Bees we have been this winter. We should’ve been resting up for our busy season but we had so many ideas and improvements that we wanted to make. Our list is getting shorter so I thought I would post a few updates for your anticipated pleasure!
    First up is one of our favorite projects – our funky new lighting in the Buffet Room. These are actually old vintage Olive buckets…yep, Olive Buckets.  We have DIY’d them into hanging lights.  It  gives off a great ambiance to the room – don’t you think?  They are so cool we are trying to figure out how and where to put these also in our houses.

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    Next up we thought there was a need for an additional restroom.  This one is labeled “Family” so that it can serve many purposes. It is an additional restroom for the guys.  It also has a handicapped accessible toilet – raised to the proper level – plus it has bars on either side for better handicapped access.  We also installed a changing station for our mothers with infant children.  We often found them changing diapers on our vintage couch and thought we might want to find an alternative to that!  We have fun as usual decorating it “in theme”…with a few final touches coming later.  This also meant that we had to move the sink into the lounge across from the vintage sofa.  This actually helps so that as your guests enter the lounge – they can see  their choices much clearer now.

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   And…final for now but not my complete list, is a funky old light hung over the Tack Room (Lounge) Door entrance. This old light has been around from the time it hung over an old Well-House by the Farmhouse back in the mid-70’s. We got rid of the Well-House and packed away the light for some future use.  We have pondered its potential use in several locations over the years but now we have found a great home for it at the barn.
  So – till later when we get a few more completed, I will post another update.

sincerely – Margie


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