Kimberly and Trevor – A Garden Wedding

   Kimberly had a very clear vision of what her wedding day would be like.  She had her collection of pinterest pictures to help convey this very garden theme influence.  It was so much fun building on her wishes to create this backdrop for her.
Trevor, the groom, is military (obviously) and it was important for this to play an important role too.  He in his uniform, Kimberly’s maid in blue striped dresses, and a special American flag hung on the barn celebrated and honored his service.
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Rankin/Gestosani Wedding

  What a what wedding this was and such a wonderful couple to get to know.  You can tell by this photo that this couple just has sass….attitude……and here to have a great time making memories.
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Spring and Summer Brides Share Their Photos – Part 3 (Kate and Will)

   We are excited about all of our brides and try to treat them special.  That said – some of our brides and their weddings just stand out.  For the brides who share their wedding photos – I create a folder and pick a slew of my favorites to share here and on facebook.  This helps me to remember each bride and to relish their weddings.  A picture does paint a thousand words.  Some of our weddings just stand out amongst the pack of others….and there are many different reasons for these that shine extra bright.  Sometimes it is the story behind the scenes….sometimes it is the unusual circumstances of the wedding…sometimes it is just a friendship that develops between us and our brides…again….many different reasons.  Kate and Will’s wedding is one of those stand outs.
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Spring and Summer Brides Share Their Photos – Part 2 (Sarah and Spencer)

   I am not sure where to begin with this wedding gallery.  Sarah, the bride, as you can plainly see is a naturally beautiful bride. Her style – her gown – her jewelry choice – and her bouquet paint a very elegant flair.  Add to this,  the backdrop of the farmhouse porch with coral honeysuckle blossoms climbing up the ancient brick column – a turquoise porch swing waiting behind her – and the amazing blue hues of the porch ceiling crowning the photo with color.  The deep green foliage just makes her white flowing gown just pop off the page.  Photos like this is nothing short of art.  Photographer Charlie Gann of Blue Vinyl Creative has this knack of stepping back in time with a vintage flair about his photos.
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Spring and Summer Brides Share Their Photos – Part 1 (Maggie K.)

   I am always excited – virtually giddy – when the gallery of photos from our weddings are shared with us by brides or photographers.  We are honored to see them and grateful that we can share them with you and often use them on our website.
We are affirmed by our brides that they appreciate how we, as part of our approach and philosophy, allow our brides to make this venue their own by using their own vendors, by being able to script their day as they see it, and create a look that is their vision.
Let me share photos from Maggie K.’s wedding earlier this year.  Maggie’s wedding was a destination event as she lived in Florida. What made it more complicated was she is a career woman with lots on her plate and after the wedding, the newlyweds were moving to the northeast.  Honeymoon plans would have to wait.  Decorating emails were passed back and forth so we could create the look that was “just so Maggie.”  She was an easy going bride to deal with and the day turned out beautiful from every angle – as these photos will show.
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Creative Ideas for Your Sign In

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   It is amazing to see the many options that a bride of today has versus the bride of thirty years ago.  Options in all areas such as what sort of facility (yes – like a barn!) to what sort of food to provide to what her bridal party wears to whether she even has a wedding cake or not.  This same flexibility goes also to her Sign-In options.  We love seeing the different ideas that are brought here to the farm plus there are many ideas on pinterest too.  The Barn at High Point Farms has a pinterest page where many of these have been pinned for your convenience.  With our unique selection of various vintage or barnwood tables – your cute presentation of whatever you decide can be carried off in country farm style.  Usually our haywagon is selected as an All-In-One Sign In/Gift Table display but again – your choices here are almost endless.
Let me run through a few of my favorites here….and as always…..let this day reflect YOU, the bride – and of course your groom.
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New Options For the Farmhouse

vintage farmhouse, vintage wedding, barn weddings, farm weddings, old farmhouse

  The old vintage farmhouse has always been an integral part of our farm venue. It sets the stage for being a farm where people live and a way of life began. The farmhouse which was built before the Civil War not only shows off an era that we now refer to as “vintage” but it demonstrates that “there are good things that do endure the test of time.” It helps bring together the feelings of timeless beauty and adds the ambiance of a family homestead.
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However You Envision It

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   One of the exciting and advantageous features about our farm venue is that we allow our brides to set up their ceremony and reception however they envision it.  Just when we think we have seen it all, another great idea is revealed and another feasible option has been established.  It is wonderful from our angle to see how each of our weddings creates a different flair from the next one which is how a wedding should be – a reflection of the bride and groom and just how they would want it.    

   The bride above, Hannah, choice a favorite spot but she brought in a specialty crafted large wooden cross.  It was stunning and it meant so much to her to have the cross set as her backdrop for her ceremony.  
    Most of our brides pick “the lawn” as their ceremony site partly due to the beautiful scenic views that are in the backdrop – that as well as having the animals in the pasture showing up in their photos.  Some aim towards the knoll and some aim towards the valley. 
    Jennifer picked a unique angle – towards the High Point Farm gate sign.  It provided a nice long walk from the barn down the aisle – allowing the bride to relish every moment of the ceremony.  The sun at their backs and the trees overhead made this a beautiful new option.
   One of the reasons to select “the lawn” as the ceremony site is that it makes for such a grand exit from the barn and entrance to the ceremony when coming out of the large tin doors and flowing curtains.  What a gorgeous and picturesque photo op – it is hard to deny this.
   Some of our brides have found a way to get the ambiance of the grove and the grand entrance of coming onto the lawn by having their ceremony tucked up under the grove trees but having their guests seating on the lawn aiming at the grove trees. 
   Then there is the grove.  Intimate and much more cozy and rustic.
   But even the grove has versatility.  Though the above location is the favorite –  hanging lanterns or frames or swathes of material from the trees, other brides envision a different look amongst the trees – letting the tree be a focal point.
   Then consider the indoor “barn weddings” that take place and a few out in the hayfield with the peak of High Point – Lookout Mountain over-shadowing you – it really does allow our brides and all of these weddings to take on their own individuality. 
   So BRIDES – as you plan your grand day – think outside the box – dare to be yourself – let yourself this day be however you envision it.

   Till next time – Margie

Renovations of the Past and Renovations to Come – Part IV – The Final Countdown

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   A renovations novel was never my intentions.  Our winter projects took on a life of their own and they have consumed all of our available moments for months now. We are finally on the home-stretch.  Our first wedding is April 4th – just over a month away…5 weeks to be exact and we are on schedule.
   Our best photos will come as our spring weddings approach and our amazing photographers will capture each bit of detail that we have so painstakingly created.  It is evident that my talent is not photography as I sift through my cell phone snapshots for this blog but hopefully you will get a glimpse of our efforts and see the metamorphosis come to life over this next month and beyond.
   The Dance Hall is a 30 foot x 36 foot addition onto the existing barn. It has windows on all sides.  We have collected old barn wood from far and wide (it seems) for it was important to have the authenticity of the old weather wood continue throughout our facility.  We hope that it blends in with the rest of the barn and though we have altered some of the layout of our garden area to make room for it – it has opened up opportunities to do some exciting things with this side of the garden too.

   The Dance Hall will be air conditioned (or heated as needed) which will make this a delightful addition for any of our summer weddings. Just having a room to refresh in will be a benefit.  With windows all along the inside wall – separating the Dance Hall from the main interior part of the barn – guests can have the option of sitting at their tables and watching the dancing while still able to have a conversation – but not foregoing their option of watching the activities in the next room.  The angle of the photo above  is looking north into what use to be the raised bed area but now is the new addition.  The large windows will let some look out and some look in.  The old galvanized horse trough will be over flowing with flowers.  A backdoor and ramp will provide an additional exit.  Plenty of lighting has been added too to allow plenty of outdoor mingling into the night time hours.
   We love our funky doors and we have added another beautiful weathered red door to our collection.  We are just now beginning to work on our landscaping.  These few warms days tempt us to put out all of our plantings but we will take it slowly as the frost can still be lethal.  We have peas popping their heads out already in the garden.  We have garlic already 6-8 inches tall.  Broccoli, lettuces, and cabbages are in the raised beds and loving this weather.  We have rosemary and lavender already up and bushy.  Blueberry bushes have been transplanted and all of them have buds ready to bloom soon.  March is planting time for so many things and we will utilize this time well.  Colors begin to take hold and the farm takes on its role quite nicely.
   We have added an old gate and official walkway so that guests can feel like they are welcomed “into” our garden.  On one side will be our blueberry bushes, garlic, rosemary and lavender and on the other side will be a trellis of sugar snap peas.  Guests will enjoy their stroll through the garden.  We have a bit more planned for this area too so you will be a bit more surprised when you come for your visit.
   The inside of the Dance Hall is almost completed.  One more day from the A/C company to complete the construction phase.  We have strung lights this week and we LOVE the new effect that it has.  Sorry for the photo that doesn’t quite show it but it will dazzle you when you come.  We also created a neat chandelier.  I was inspired by the latest Footloose movie scene where they had a slew of mason jars hanging from the center of their barn…so with that inspiration – we took our own slant at it…..hanging from a large wooden wheel at the center of the wood beam.  The minilights come from the outside coming in towards the chandelier.  Again – the walls are wood planks…from floor to ceiling.  The floor is concrete and slick enough to boot scoot and boogie.  We have a few decor projects that we are working on which again – will be one of our few lingering surprises once you come visit.  This addition should make a wonderful large room for your DJ to have his speakers, give you and your friends plenty of room to dance, and allow some seating in the back – all while any non-dancers can watch the activities from the lawn or from the barn….and as we stated…you can dance the night away in comfort now!
   And…at night it shows the beauty of the lights twinkling inside.  I can’t wait till our first wedding – it is almost time to boogie.  Now – where are my dancing shoes?
   Do you know what this is?  Any country folk reading my blog?  This is an old timey chicken feeder – before plastic.  Well – any idea what you can do with an old chicken feeder?  Take some of the parts out of it – drill a whole in the bottom of it – attach a pendant light – yep – create some really funky lights for our new bar.
   Yep – our new inside bar located across the way from the caterers  room.  Two great pendant lights hanging over a bar well suited for your bartender to be able to stash his tins of wine or kegs of beer – hiding some of that clutter – and giving a cute and rustic bar with two windows (other side) that can open when the Bar Is Open.  This still leaves the option for using the Pear Patio for drinks but maybe it will be best used for non-alcoholic drinks while leaving the bar to hide the clutter of the boxes of wine or tubs of ice.  Either way…it provides more options for our brides…and we love doing that!
   So for now this is the end of the sneak peak at our major renovations.  There are bits of other little projects that we have been working on – we have been busy bees all winter long – making improvements that we are hopeful that you will be delighted with.  Our faithful followers get the sneak previews first and we thank you whole-heartedly for being faithful…but I would love to hear from  you.  Please leave a comment and share our blog and our facebook page with your friends.  We are still a relatively unknown commodity and the networking media has a huge potential chain reaction for us.  We are a unique venue and not necessarily a perfect fit for all brides but we would love the opportunity to introduce ourselves to them so that they can have the option to choose us if they do love us.  We look forward to our 2014 weddings and hope to hear from many of you soon.  Take care and God bless.   Margie

Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come -  Part V – The Dance Hall Is Introduced

     2014 begins year four for The Barn at High Point Farm – The Wedding Venue.  It has been an exciting, often surprising, and evolving three years. As we have moved forward, we see improvements that we would like to add and  reinvest in our property with a change. 

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     One of our first major changes was converting a couple of our stalls into the Buffet Room.  It was a sensible idea to transform unused space into a food room but it did present some challenges. But – hanging a wall of miscellaneous windows on either end of the Buffet Room helped to jump-start the look.  Talking my husband into drilling holes into some antique store olive buckets to create some funky pendent lights was an interesting plea but he obliged like he does with so many of our odd requests.  The rest came together and we look back now and wonder how we hosted wedding without our Buffet Room.  

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     Year two had us add the Foyer to the front of the barn.  This was a huge decision and expense but it was vital that I find a way to protect the inside of the barn from inclement weather.  I, of course, don’t have the ability to control the weather for my brides but I wanted to make sure that they could still carry on no matter what the weather was.  The foyer not only provided doors to close in order to protect the barn but it added character inside and out.

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     Adding our red trolly doors on the east side of the barn and creating a gravel loop was also a key addition.  This made for better access for vendors and guests as well as produced better flow and access into the barn..  Again – the doors added more than functionality but much character.  I do love my doors.

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     Re-doing the lounge by adding a Family Restroom with a changing station and an extra toilet (handicapped accessible to boot) plus adding hot water to our farm sink made for some very appreciated improvements. 
     Adding a Caterer’s Room in a stall also helped with the general logistics of the food presentation.  Caterers seem quite tickled to have tables and electricity.  Families are grateful that there are a couple of refrigerators plus the ability to tuck all of the mess of the food prep out of sight a bit.
     Adding an extension onto the barn towards the grove was also more of a logistic improvement making it easier for haybales to be stored close to the grove, making it easier for the music providers to have covered access to both the grove and the lawn, and even giving more space and “back door” options for our caterers.

     There were other changes over these years….to the farm and to the broader wedding venue;  Improving the grove so it could be a viable option for ceremonies, adding pathways and rock patios, improving the Groom’s Room, and adding a restroom to the Bridal Preparation area.  As our previous blog has told, we added the Bluebird Cottage to help provide a solution to some of the requests that we have had.  To have an option for guest lodging, to have a nearby option for the bride/groom so they do not have to travel far after their wedding festivities, and to be an option for a large bridal party to have a more spacious place to prepare – all of these now have another option. As we improve – we are able to see the fruits of our labor and how they are being utilized and even appreciated.  We do aim to please.

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     Now for this winter 2013/2014.  Winter is the only time we really have to do our projects but winter is also a very challenging time to get anything accomplished outside.  This year especially since the temps have regularly been frigid.  But….drum roll….we introduce our new addition – The Dance Hall.  It is only in stage one of completion but is beginning to take shape so I wanted to share the news with you.

     The Dance Hall is a 30 ft. x 36 ft. wing that is joined to the barn but will be closed in to be a heated/air-conditioned room to fit the needs of several purposes.  First – a great room for dancing.  On the wall that connects the original barn to the Dance Hall is a wall of windows so that those who remain in the main section of the barn can easily watch the festivities going on inside the dance hall.  One of our signature philosophies is the  open feel and the many doors of our barn so that the lines blur between in and out; that people don’t feel like they are stuck in a closed barn but that the many doors (and windows now) help you see out to various areas – whether to the Pear Tree Patio or to the garden or to the pasture and now….to the Dance Hall.  It means that while you are dancing the night away – that you can do so now in comfort.  This also means that during the day – if Granny comes early – that there is a room that she (and others) could go into to keep comfortable. It is another indoor option for a rain scenario ceremony for those smaller weddings.  This also means that the Foyer now becomes the Stage.  The head table or the photo or cake tables can be on display better and prettier.  This also just gives more room for tables and chairs for those larger weddings.  There are just many pluses to new addition!  Can you begin to imagine the possibilities?
     The picture above shows Jill’s oldest son, Tucker.  He helped me sweep and clean up the Dance Hall before our weekend tours.  The construction mess is continual but it felt good to sweep the floor.  He was a wonderful helper that day. I told him one day he will find it difficult to remember a day when we didn’t have the Dance Hall.
     We have been collecting barn wood for quite sometime now so that the outside will be wearing old aged barn wood so that it blends with the rest of the barn – so it will look as though it has always been here.  There is still much to do.  Adding the barn wood siding on all sides, electrical, insulating, painting windows, adding the interior, creating a funky chandelier to hang, furnishing it with some seating, landscaping, lighting,  and such….so I will likely add some more photos later. We will have it completed prior to the beginning of our wedding season – so no fretting now!   But..if you are a 2014 bride….make plans to utilize this area and then it also gives you more options for the Foyer area.
     There is one more winter project that is up our proverbial sleeve.  It does not get the priority that this project does so until we launch it – I will hold off giving you any clues.  You will just have to put up with this teaser and wonder – imagine – what in the world are these girls up to?
     Till later – Margie
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