Picture Time! Chris and Jordan

   I can’t quite say that I wait patiently for new wedding photos to get sent my way but I do wait with huge anticipation.  As I see an array of pictures and enjoy each bride’s uniqueness, I relish a handful of each wedding as worthy to be placed on the website. I love these photographers who come out – their fresh perspective to the farm and to their client.  I am always amazed at the stunning beauty that is captured by each.
   The wedding of Chris and Jordan was photographed by Zach Robbins – a young talented friend of theirs who has demonstrated a clear talent for photography.  I will attach my most favoritez(top five)- though it was difficult to choose which ones!  These pictures ring true to the cliche “a picture paints a thousand words.”  Not only do they capture the essence of this sweet and special couple but it highlights the farms most special features!  I hope you enjoy these photos.
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Weddings Can Be Fun For the Kids Too

We just completed our June 11th wedding – Chris and Jordan. It was spectacular and beautiful and they certainly had an amazing group of friends and family that pitched in to facilitate this wedding.  I was struck by how much fun the children had today. There was a passel of them all decked out in their outfits – boys in gray trousers laced with suspenders with rolled up white shirt sleeves and yellow bow ties, then girls all in pale yellow eyelet sundresses.They were running here and there – checking out the barn and the old house porch swing. Croquet entertained them for a bit but then – then – we hooked a lead rope to Sweet Pea – one of our goats – and brought her to meet the children. 
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Goat at a farm wedding – Photo courtesy of HP Farms

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Goat at barn wedding – Photo Courtesy of HP Farms

That was it – checkmate! They took turns leading Sweet Pea from one low branch to another so she could nibble on pear tree leaves and maple leaves. Being in charge of the lead rope became a badge of honor as they managed to lead an animal likely twice their weight this way then that. It was a huge hit. Unfortunately, there will surely be a couple of parents who will have to explain to their kids later on  as to why exactly they cannot own a goat – but it made for a wonderful memory for the younger crew.

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Firetruck at Farm Wedding – Photo by Jenn and Travis Photography

One funny thing that happened was a conversation with Tucker – my 3 year old grandson. He has to put up with both his mom and me telling him things such as “we have to do this or that to get ready for the wedding….” or “people are coming later to have their wedding….” and to a 3-year old, all bets are off as to what and how they translate new information.  Last wedding, he was thrilled that a fire truck and two police cars showed up HIS FARM. He had no idea that it was because the groom was a firefighter and most of his friends were either cops or firefighters. But, as today’s event got rolling, he couldn’t figure out “where” the firetrucks and police cars were hiding! Somehow he just thought that firetrucks and police cars would come at each and every wedding. Unfortunately – or fortunately – they will not. Each wedding has its uniqueness and its flair.  No fire engines but a bunch of kids all giddy as they enjoyed the simple pleasure of life – endless lawns to run in, sitting in the porch swing, and playing with the farm critters. So, weddings CAN be fun for kids too!

Blessings From Heaven

The cicadas have finally come and gone. Fortunately our trees and garden were not particularly effected by their once every 13 year ravenous food frenzy. As they departed, a rare drought and heat wave has permeated the south condemning us to two weeks of mid-90’s temperatures and no rainfall.  We were so proud of our beautiful sod area behind the barn that we have been very faithful to set the sprinklers on almost every day to keep it nice and lush but we cannot water the whole farm. Our vegetable garden has suffered a bit and with the heat wave, it was difficult to find the desire to tackle even the weeding.  As we began to prepare for this weekend’s wedding, we began to pray for some much needed rain – if not for ourselves but for a boost of green for our upcoming bride.  The week has been long and hard here on the farm. We had to put down one of my best horses – Passion – after an ankle break a month ago continued to get worse and her health deteriorated. It was a tough day yesterday – very emotional, stressful, and fraught with complicated logistics. On top of the that – we had square bales sitting in the field that needed to be hauled to the barn. But all the tasks were completed last night – and we dropped into bed exhausted. Today we had a farm tour from a girl from Murfreesboro who was tickled pink to find a real barn. We considered her a good luck charm because we got that much needed rain right about the time she showed up. The wind blew and thunder pounded and rain came down in sheets. Jill and the boys and I just stood there on the porch and enjoyed the blessed event – rain – rain from heaven.  Rain that if it had come the day before – would’ve made a very louzy day horrible. But rain today – was truly a special event. It felt like a cleansing of the week’s sadness. It felt like it was brought to us as a special blessing for the upcoming bride to be to make her special day all pretty and cheery.  It is a blessing – the blessing from heaven.

I Love It When Pictures Come In!

It is like opening up a present – all giddy and anxious. This is how it is when the photographers send in their photo shoot pictures.  Tough decision then for me is which ones to use and post on my website – so many of them are good and memorable.  I hope that the bride (or client) is as tickled pink as I am to view them!  Here are a few of the best ones from Janelle and Brian’s wedding.
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So, I think these were my winners. Each photo is very unique and looks like a piece of artwork. Jenn and Travis Photography did an excellent job capturing this special couple and we are pleased with our she captured our farm!
Next couple of pictures are from a photo shoot for a young child named Claire. Since we have opened up our farm venue to photographers free of charge this year (by permission only and with restrictions), we are excited to have made contact with so many local photographers. Hopefully this short term offer will help us both get the word out about the farm – and their photography.
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Spring at the Farm

Hallelujah!  Spring is here and the color comes instant and vibrant.  You just tend to forget about that unique shade of green that happens only in the spring but it is stunning when it arrives.  Like a breath of fresh air or more likely like seeing an old friend after a long wait – but spring is finally here at High Point Farms.  Not only is the grass green but our vintage pear trees have bloomed in full again this year – meaning another bumper crop of pears for our old ladies of the farm.
We have blooming bushes – forsythia and such. We have perennials popping their heads up around the barn. I must say that our old barn just instantly has a facelift now that spring has arrived.  Now…brides can so much easier see the beauty of the place.
So, enjoy a few pictures of the place. We have friends riding horses, Tucker playing in the tall grasses, and new projects being completed.  Hopefully you can enjoy the transition with me.
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Wedding Fair

Deciding to start this business over the Christmas holidays – as you know – has put everything into a fast pace. Making plans, setting up the business side of this venture, shifting the animals out of the barn, cleaning up and sprucing up – all of this takes time and energy.  We soon realized that come March – that there was a flurry of Wedding Fairs being hosted by various companies. Most of these Wedding Fairs were booked months ago. Most were quite expensive. We were still busy with logistics so the whole fair thing threw us off guard a bit. We did run across one unique Wedding Fair who called the event, “This Ain’t Your Moma’s Wedding,” which hosted an array of vendors who typically approached things outside the box. I say that in the most complimentary way, mind you. There were videographers, belly dancers, homemade crafters making all sorts of unique products for weddings, etc. We were automatically drawn to this wedding fair for obvious reasons – an outdoor or barn wedding just isn’t your typical venue.  Unfortunately – the event hall was small and they were already book. But – luck shined on us with a phone call less than two weeks prior to the show stating that an opening was available if we were interested.  Yes – of course!
As excited as we were to have this wonderful opportunity – it meant creating a vendor booth that would help “paint out thousand words” – and to showcase visually the possibilities of an outdoor or barn wedding to these brides to be that would be attending.  We actually had quite a bit of fun doing this.  Building a set, bringing some ambiance in the form of watering tins, weather vane, a haybale draped in a quilt for seating, some fresh sunflowers, and such. We hung some of our best wedding pictures along a make-shift clothes line dotted with vintage hankerchiefs and actually our special “idea book” was a huge hit too as brides soaked up all of our wonderful pictures and suggestions.  We had a great time meeting the other vendors and all of the potential customers.  Jill even brought baby Finn (6 mos.) who was also a hit as he loves women – and there was no shortage of women at this event. All in all, I think we did our maiden voyage to the world of Wedding Fairs pretty well.  We were tired but pleased with the days course.
I think the two best “winners” of the day were …first –  a woman who came up and looked at our pictures and with frustration all over her face stated “Oh, I wish I had found you guys earlier!  I already have my venue secured at Laurelwood on Signal Mountain but your barn is exactly what I had wanted but just couldn’t find!”  Yes, sad that she won’t be a customer but wow – that she preferred us over Laurelwood – a very elegant high end barn type venue.
And, second a woman who along with her friend came into the booth and you could see the change of expression in her face as she looked at our pictures. I think she had never even pondered the thought of an outdoor or barn wedding before and now that she stood there looking at these gorgeous pictures and the  vibrant colors that set the background of each photo – you could see her brain working before my very eyes and she stated “wow, I had never thought of this before but this would be so cool!”  It was just delightful to watch inspiration at work.
Anyway….a good day meeting lots of people – both customers and vendors alike.  We have several of these unique vendors that we can now suggest to our clients….to help create this magical event at our Barn at High Point Farms – a day that will linger in their dreams and memories for a lifetime.
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March-The Clock Ticking

The season has turned out to be a very eventful one. First the unusual winter snowfalls that lasted for several weeks followed by a two week stretch of unusually warm weather that ended up yesterday being fraught with extremely high winds and nearby tornadoes. Yesterday the sky turned an unusual hue and though you could hear the rain, there was an odd silence. I looked out my upstairs window to see the rain being blown completely horizontal from west to east followed within minutes to being blown horizontal from east to west. Once the hail began to hit the roof, all signs were to find shelter. Luckily, the hail lasted only a few seconds and the rain almost instantly stopped. Places in Chattanooga were not so lucky with several verified tornadoes being declared. The day today was sunny and mostly warm with a bit more nip in the air. One has to wonder what next week will bring.
Even with the odd weather, spring is still in the air. My vintage and very early daffodils finally popped their heads out of the ground. My pear trees are busting at the seams and will put on their annual display of blooms galore any day now. Even the sight of early perennials have prompted me to grab my garden knife and transplant a few newbies into my new flower beds. 
These last two weeks have been fruitful in regards to our Venue projects. Each new task completed brings a significant change to the look of things. We tore out the last few slats leftover from a cattle trough that was in the barn way back in ’76 when my parents purchased the farm from the Buckner family. They had used the barn for cows and the slats allowed just enough room for the cows to stick their heads through to eat the hay without letting the cows shift around between each other.  We had left only a few of these since we were more into horses. Removing the slats definitely opened up the inside area of the barn which will please the new customers – but there was this twinge of sadness to see this last remnant of the past leave. But, we look ahead and forward.
Jill and I had fun on Saturday stopping by the Estate of Confusion – a local salvage junk store that forces one to use their imagination. This place looks like an offshoot of the old TV series “Sanford and Sons” for it  has an array of miscellaneous who-knows-what. They had some interesting lights which we are pondering. It has old doors – though we passed this time. We did purchase a very old driveway gate that despite our husbands concern – will be revamped and add some cute garden appeal to one of our enclosed areas. We found some white fabric on sale in order to make our barn curtains and found a cute consignment shop on Main Street that had a vintage chalkboard sign that we just had to have. Those are the fun parts of creating this business. Our budget doesn’t allow too much of this until we complete those other “necessity” chores – but it was therapy for the soul.
I will attach a few pictures showing a beautiful rainbow, the warm but colorless days of winter, and the joy of children on the farm.  Next blog will surely show signs of color!
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Snow Blankets the Farm

Pictures are finally in – and all of us here at High Point Farms can say that they survived the huge Christmas snow. People often remark how quite it is on the farm – sheltered a bit from the noise of the highway. But when such a large blanket of snow sits across the property, it is quiet enough to put a baby asleep. Of course, the silence only lasts until the children run out in the snow to play.
Snow somehow turns regular objects into works of art. A fence post and page fence magically turn into a dazzling masterpiece – all because of the elements of the snow and the ice and how it straddles each tiny object.  I will share a few of the better snow pictures we took and let you determine for yourself if they look magical or not.
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THE DECISION

THE DECISION:        January is a month of new resolutions and fresh starts. Daughter (and co-conspirator) Jill and I have been batting around this new idea for months -the “if we did’s” and the “what we could do’s” and the “why and why not’s” have all been chit-chatted about between each other and amongst the rest of the family.  I guess we see the possibilities more than the downside because it appears as though we are moving forward with this new idea – to open up our farm to weddings and events!  Thinking back, we really were surprised at how unique and extraordinary Jill’s wedding in 2005 turned out to be. The farm looked great – the visitors were all floored by the effect – and it was picture perfect in so many ways. So, to tackle the details once again will require a very long to-do-list, some money for repairs, lots of time for renovations, and plenty of sweat equity from any and all family members. Jill reminds me that “brides are picking their dates now” so the clock is ticking. With a slew of baby goats being born over the Christmas holidays and the weather turning out to be one of the colder and snowier winters – the challenge has just increased ten-fold. The barn is still full of hay and plenty of critters. Mucking out the barn will come in time for we still need the shelter of the barn. But the short days of winter and the colorless hue of the farm in January forces us to remember…..remember how green things turn in spring – that special shade of green that only comes from the spring grasses – the joy as our old stock of daffodils are the first to bloom in early February – and to remember the beauty of that summer day in June 2005.  Unfortunately – a newcomer to High Point Farms has no such memory. Luckily we have the pictures of Jillian and John’s wedding to show off. We have so many more ideas now than earlier. We have had time now to mull over our new vision and we see the possibilities. Even all of our friends and family may end up being a bit surprised at some of our ideas…but for now, a shout out to all of the family – “All hands on deck….” and let’s get to the list.  Build a door?…pull up a fence?…..clean out the tack room?…..let’s begin.
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