Pictures That Make You Want To Smile

Great wedding pictures where the couple smiled from start to finish.  Just happy people who showed their love for each other all over their faces but also just seemed to have a fun time with their friends and family too!  No stress for this couple!

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Military Blues – Wedding of Sabrina and Jaylen (SHINE Photography)

Sabrina was one of those “military brides in waiting” where their lives were on hold while waiting for enough leave to do a wedding.  This wedding was planned on the cuff as the opportunity arose.  Many details to be worked out but the date was set.  These military couples just have a bit of my heart.  Not only am I grateful to all of our military for their sacrifices and commitment, but I easily sympathize with the challenges of the other side of the coin – what the brides and families deal with as they adapt to a challenging lifestyle.  So, when we get a military couple – we work real hard to accommodate them.

Jaylen and Sabrina were high school sweethearts and everybody who has known them long knew that this couple would eventually marry and stay together forever.  When you see the couple in person – it is overtly obvious that they love each other for they both just light up in the presence of the other.


Sabrina is a natural beauty.  She chose a gorgeous tiered wedding gown and it looked stunning just hanging on the door but look how amazing it looks on Sabrina at the barn doorway!  This is a great pose and captured well by the photographer, Kent, at SHINE Photography.


When I am talking with the brides about the decorating aspect of their wedding, I always inquire about the groom and his interests or hobbies so I can somehow infuse a bit of “him” into the wedding details.   Obviously Jaylen’s military side was included both in the color theme as well as him wearing his military blues.  But Sabrina was quick to tell me, “Jaylen LOVES muscle cars….He will stop in mid-conversation if a muscle car passes by.”  So….I began the task of searching high and low for somebody I knew who had a muscle car who might be willing to bring it by for some photo ops.  Muscle cars are a very defined group of vehicles – mostly from the 60’s.  It was very difficult to locate for most of those classic owners are very protective of their vehicles and don’t just even drive them around.  BUT…..I did find a generous friend of my brother who offered to come do this because they too wanted to do something special for one of our military men.  Yeah!  Fortunately – the photographer agreed to take some car shots to give the man for his generosity.  So….keeping this a secret was certainly a challenge but we succeeded.  We blind-folded Jaylen and brought him to the hayfield.  His expression was priceless.  The car (Chevelle) was in mint condition – plus it was  BLUE!  It must have been a fine feeling to sit behind the wheel on those luxurious leather seats with your baby doll beside you and imagine cruising down the highway.  Jaylen couldn’t imagine this day being any better than it was already going to be!


Sabrina wanted a vintage flair with a touch of elegance.  She wanted blues and whites with accents of gold.  The delphiniums put on a display.





The day ended as most do with a line up of friends and family having a sparkler send off.  This angle of the barn just shows up so dramatically in the evening as you can get a glimpse of the lights hanging in the backdrop.  Mr. and Mrs. with one final kiss before they depart for the cheering crowd!  Another wedding success and a new life begins.                                                                                                                                    ~ Margie


Rustic Chic Wedding – Photos by Nashville Wedding Collection

Southern weddings can exhibit themselves in several different fashions but the wedding of Caroline and Matt had that rustic chic flair with all the elegance of an upscale event but with that rustic charm that the farm and barn brings to an event.  This perfect match up of vintage elegance and rustic features is what we do best.  Caroline had a clear vision of what her day was to look like – and lavender…..was front and center!

What a beautiful line up of bridesmaids!  Just as pretty from the back side as the front side – and that is saying something!

Caroline prepped at the farmhouse.  She sat on my Papa’s barber chair during part of her primping – he would’ve been so tickled to know that his chair was still being used today.  Matt and the boys took over Mimi’s Guest House.  It looks like they needed a couple of drinks to keep chilled.

The photographers of the day were Anthony and Brittany from Nashville Wedding Collection.  New to the farm, they were delighted with the many new opportunities that the farm provides.  I must say, these two photos of Caroline’s shoes are nothing but art.  Either of these would be well suited in a bridal magazine touting the shoe vendor.  Stunning!


Caroline and Matt didn’t want to see each other prior to the ceremony but did exchange love letters.  Anticipation……perfect recipe for a wedding.  Caroline made poster boards and brought them to be signed as a “sign in.”  These will make great framed additions to their new home.

This is the look that you want on your fiance’s face when you come around the corner and down the aisle.  The look of wonder – the look of awe – and the moment that any jitters flee.

A wedding in the grove is always very romantic and intimate.  We gently draped material in the trees and hung succulent filled lanterns from the trees.  Lanterns sat atop log stumps down the aisle with lots of white petals dotting the aisles.

Her decor choice was to have her lavender be on display along with other white flowers plus gold accents.  We purchased fresh lavender and coupled it with peonies and snow-ball blossoms from around the farm.  The vintage china always elevates the level of our event and it surely did so at Caroline’s wedding.  I added purple goblets and some of my vintage purple jars and it all came together.


Not only did Caroline have a cake topper to cut but she had someone specially make “mason jar cakes” which were some sort of custard…..made in several unique flavors.  We displayed them here in there – both on the cake table (making for a beautiful photo) as well as packing them in the old cupboard – just like grandma would’ve displayed them!

She rented our old vintage sofa.   It is an unusual print – sorta turquoise but not quite.  Something about those old high-back tufted sofas that make for a timeless elegant photo.  The photographer took good use of the couch with lots of photos.

I whisked them away in my golf buggy to secret places on the farm to take some magical photos.  They’re keepers – don’t you think?

The whole wedding party was a delight to be around and everybody smiled from morning to night.  What a fun day it was.

The bar was open til late and the dancing went on and on into the night.  Chalk up another awesome wedding!                   ~ Margie

Memorial Day – A Great Day To Celebrate a Military Wedding (Photos by Amanda May Photos)

Military weddings – we have a handful each year.  I have such a sympathetic heart for our soldiers from so many angles.  Most of them have experienced war zones, the loss of fellow soldiers, and often worse things.  All of them experience months away from family and loved ones with grueling pressures and responsibilities.  So for each military couple who comes to the farm to get married – I feel tickled to help facilitate this marriage under what often is short notice or after long delays or at least challenging timing.  There is just extra rejoicing when the marriage finally takes place!

Camila and Kevin were no different.  Stroll through these photos and notice the expressions on their faces.  Love wins out….most of the time….and it was Camila and Kevin’s turn to have their moment.

The decorating details were completed – the day was crisp and clear – the bridal party all prepped and ready – and all was well with the world .

The farm was ready too….with our eye candy that makes every day at the farm a pleasant one.

There ceremony was under the grove and oh….look at the groom’s face……love it!

It was a day to remember….a day to give thanks to another dedicated soldier for all that he does for me and the country….a day to root for those military families and all that they endure….and day to feel good about another beautiful wedding.

~ Margie

When Love Comes At Last

Each wedding and each bride has their own story.  Some are shared and some not.  The wedding of Pam and Todd is one of second chances of sorts.  A story of when you wait – and wait for love….and wonder if it will ever come your way.  It is a wonderful story of when love comes at last.

Pam met with me months before her wedding date to discuss handling her decorating and coordinating details. This woman oozes southern gentile and charm – she just does.  Her southern accent adds to that image too!  She  did modeling in her younger years but to look at her on wedding day – she could still dabble in that again if she wanted too.   She was an organized professional woman who knew some key elements of what she wanted…and color – these rich bright colors were a key element to creating this vision she had.

Several conversations later with the florist Tami (Flowers by Tami) – we came up with a consensus on the flower choices.  Adding all of the daisies and mixing in some anemones gave this flux of colors a very bright intense but spring look.  It really turned out stunning and a masterpiece of color infusions.  Mixing all of these colors with a table decor that suited her was an evolution as well.  She loved candles – rustic chunky ones – and lace too in order to create that magic “romantic rustic chic” effect.  Todd, the groom, loved to hunt and fish  – so when I suggested adding antlers to some of the tables – Pam jumped at the idea.  Somehow it all comes together and works…..and let’s the groom know that we were planning this day for him as well!

Pam works in the movie industry so she thought it would be cute to create a polaroid photo station.  All of my old cameras help to make the backdrop cute plus it gave an opportunity for Pam to display her various movie badges from some of the movies she has worked on.  I even brought out a pitchfork and my husbands garden hat.  It made for some cute props!….and for a very memorable photo sign in keep-sake for Pam and Todd.

The ceremony was under the canopy of the grove.  The vows were very purposeful and meaningful  Pam made sure that the kiss was unforgettable.  One thing that Pam and Todd did “right after being announced as Mr. and Mrs.” was very unique and I loved it.  They stood still – and did not rush back down the aisle.  The music was cued with the song “A Thousand Years.”  As it played…they stood there and relished the moment – the moment that they had been waiting for – for so long.   Pam even half sang half whispered some of the words to the song to Todd as they stood there.  The crowd was in tears as we sat there as we knew we were witnessing something special – something magical.

Todd loves to fish.  Pam asked if there was a way to infuse his fishing interests “somewhere in my decorating plans.”  I must admit – this was a first for such a request…..but… gear – I got that.  My husband is a fishing nut so I had rods and reels, tackle boxes full of lures, minnow buckets and cricket cages, so….this is what I came up with.  “The Catch of a Lifetime – Pam and Todd” gift station.  Todd kept eyeing all of the vintage lures that were in the tackle box and “hooked” into the fishing straw hat.

Todd was a gem as well.  A very handsome guy who had never married until that day.  He beamed the entire day.  No second thoughts only pure delight.  It showed all over his face.  And I heard so many nice and complimentary things people had to say about Todd – his character, his work ethic, his deep family ties, his friendships.

Another unique trend that Pam agreed to – one that we have seen more of this year.  Instead of having a head table on the stage – with bride and groom or maybe even with the whole bridal party….we are seeing where the bride has their sweetheart table on the main floor encircled by their guests instead of exalted and up on stage.  It gave such warmth to the occasion as many friends and family gave speeches and well-wishes to the family after dinner.

Here are a few other worthy photos to showcase – all photos by Candace Gentry Photography.  Thanks so much for sharing these with us.

And…one of the perks (yes – yes – so many to choose from)…one of the perks to hiring me as Day of Coordinator is that I can whisk you off in my golf cart to places around the farm so your photographer can have a field day taking some amazing shots in some unique places.

The evening was topped off with a bonfire, smores, sparkler send off, and a Royals Royce get-a-way!  It was a fun filled day for all….and very memorable for me.


~ Margie

When the Look Says It All

farm wedding, bride and groom by mountain, Erin Morrison Photography

Rachel and Brad got married in April 2016 here at the farm.  They are a good example of couples who come to get married but for various reasons – we have not gotten to know them.  And….that is fine – we are here to facilitate them – their wedding – and we are in charge of doing our part….the venue…..the landscape….the services, etc.  So, as I write this blog – I don’t have an endearing story to tell you – but when the look says it all – you know that there must be one.

This is one of those couple that just seem to smile and be cheery all day long…..but when the two of them were together – there whole face would just light up….such a cool thing to see.  Love….that what it is…but something still…..beyond that.  Adoration?  Pure delight?  Best friends?  Not quite sure….but it obvious.

Erin Morrison Photography did a great job capturing some of the artistic beauty of this old farmhouse.  I love the bouquet setting on the doily in the pantry with those vintage turquoise items as well as the symmetry of the wedding dress on the seamstress stand in the parlor.

Making Arrangements made the beautiful creations of the bouquets and again….I love it when the bridesmaid dresses aren’t all the same…but varying colors that blend with each other…..this allows the bouquets to really pop.

The grove weddings just seem magical and the lens choice by the photographer makes it feel like you are in a forest.

We made the rounds up on the hill and in the field….stopped to see if the Beau (the horse) would come over for a photo opp….but I am sure that my favorite poses are these last two shots… the tree tunnel.  Brad looks so GQ in his pose and his stature….and the final shot looks amazing……a contender for a large canvas in their home….love it.

Well – I hope the pictures dazzle you like they do me….congratulations to Erin Morrison Photography (and thanks for sharing) and I also hope that even in the photos that you can see for yourself….the look of love written all over the faces!     ~Margie

Even a DIY Bride Needs Help On Wedding Day

With Pinterest being such a hit with brides and women alike – it is no surprise that many brides handle the decorations for their wedding day with glee.  We see some very pinterest-inspired decor items and I love to see the creativity that comes to the farm.  This is all true of the recent bride Jo who is a very DIY bride in all sorts of ways.  In fact – she makes items occasionally for an Etsy page.  Yet – wedding preparations and the many details required often can consume a bride who has lots on her plate on a normal day…as is the case with Jo.


Jo is a mom and a military bride and as wedding day grew closer and closer – she cried “Uncle!” as she shot me an email inquiring about the possibility of me taking over the decorating and final details of the wedding day.  I rarely say no but it began a conversation as she sent me pictures and details of all of the DIY projects that she had already made and had set and ready for her wedding day.  With many details left to organize and a list of items still needed – it was better for her to pass the baton to me and let me use the precious treasures that she had already created and then for me to fill in the necessary items to produce the final product and to reflect “Jo” in all things.

This allowed Jo to be the bride – the princess for a day – and to allow her family and friends to just enjoy the day too.  Jo has three adorable children who weren’t so ready to allow Jo to be the bride “only” ……..but helpful family pitched in with that too.

Her heart banner was made with care – ready to be hung.  Precious pictures of Jo and Will with their family and througout their love story were sorted and brought.  Colors were decided and a plan was made.  A beautiful spring day with a ceremony under the rustic arbor….blending all things rustic – a touch of burlap – and of course…..turquoise.  With my stash of treasures from one theme to the other, it was easy to pull the whole theme together.  I am a turquoise nut myself so add extra accents was so very doable.  My vintage camera collection adds the hints of camera nostalgia to her polaroid sign in area…..which is always always fun for the guests and then leaves a lasting treasure for the bride.


Mason jars for each guest to claim for the night with chalkboard labels on them is always a cute idea.  The turquoise hutch just helps to display them.  A polaroid station to record each guest makes a delightful keepsake.  Haybale sofas are always a fun way to sit about at the farm and adds that touch of rustic chic to the layout.

Jo had made these darlin’ burlap silverware holders for each table setting.  In fact – she sells these on her Etsy page if you are interested in buying them….I will link it here. She sells them and other items, I hear.  They were adorable and made with care…a touch of lace and a touch of white beading too.  She had collected the turquoise and white gerber daisies and the burlap rosettes.  So…..a few pinterest page views later – we came up with a way to showcase her homemade treasures……looks cute, huh?

military table

One very sincere request from the groom, Will, was for me to create a “Missing Soldier Table” to honor all of the missing and POW soldiers.  We had never had such a thing represented at one of our weddings but what a noble gesture.  Our military knows all too well the cost in friends and in fellow soldiers, the cost of war.  Remembering them – even on a special day as this – was very important to Will.  A google search and pinterest picture gave me the information  needed to represent this just in the right manner.  Each aspect of the table meant certain things.  The framed statement goes over each element of the table and set up and its meaning….what an honor to do this for Will and for our military!

The day was magical and Jo indeed got to be the princess that she wanted – that surely every bride wants for that day.  A day that is as she imagined it but without the pressure, and without the work, and without the fretting.  Jo wrote a very sweet review for me days later.  Reviews are always nice to have and I appreciate them so…but this one indeed was so special.  She thanked me for “letting her be  a princess for a day……and that hiring Margie for Day of Coordinator and decorating for me was the best thing I could have done…”  Wow….what music to my ears!  I can’t control the weather….I can’t solve all behind the scene concerns….but to help facilitate the day….and to help create the vision for her day….and to help make things run smoothly….to help showcase her and her treasures… help create a day that will be a wonderful memory for her and all of her family and friends…..and to help make a bride feel so special… such a blessing for me to do and when it succeeds – it tops off the long tiring day with a smile on my face and contentment in my heart.

The weather couldn’t have been any better – her friends could not have been more supportive – and her photographer – J. Blanch Photography was able to capture it all so beautifully.  Another successful wedding – yeah!



Remembering Another Spring Wedding

Each year in early Spring we begin our wedding season.  The warm sunny days that pop in and out of our weeks during March let us know that wedding season is just around the corner.  We usually are coming off of a busy winter with our long projects list and are welcomed by the emerging neon grasses that greet us each spring.  It is just a color and hue that is hard to imagine but when you approach the barn it is the first thing that jumps out at you.

Even as Spring fights back some late frosts, the winter rye finds its stride and puts on a display for all to see.  Trees are beginning to bud out and even they add a feathery wisp of color to the palette.  Tulips begin to pop up and as if in concert – so do a list of other bushes and flowers begin to peep again. Our garden is alive all winter long with something growing and even the decorative cabbages know how to put on a show.

Each year we always have brides inquiring about spring weddings and ask “what is blooming” and “is it warm” and “would it be beautiful”….and though the temperatures can swing up and down….our spring weddings just seem to stand out – partly because the colors of the bouquets and the colors of the bridesmaids dresses have less competition.  The colors seem to pop off the page when you see them.  I think back to a wedding of Aubre and Dane in early Spring 2014… beautiful it all was.  Let me share a few highlights… by the talented Our Ampersand Photography.

Local girl snatched her an Alaskan Man’s Man.  A collision of two different worlds that came together to joyfully celebrate the union of these two beloved souls.  Her soft soft blush pink wedding dress was so stunning and unique but oh how it complimented her hair, her skin tones, and her personality!

Their wedding reminds me of that favorite wedding sign that states, “Once in a while in an ordinary life – God gives us a fairytale.”   There’s sure seem to fit the sign.  The dogwoods beginning to bloom and the coral honeysuckle vine touting its blossoms and even the crispness in the air all came together to “take your breath away” as you saw her come down the aisle and listened to their vows.

wedding dress hangs

Spring is a beautiful time of year for a wedding – especially when love is in the air……and a wealth of family and friends to share it with.

thinking of alaska

Take a look at their video and experience a taste of it yourself.  Credit to Limestone Films.

For now…..I will remember this beautiful wedding and wait impatiently for the photos and videos to trickle in from our 2016 spring weddings.  ~ Margie

Farm Flowers For Your Wedding

Anyone who comes to the farm always notices our wide variety of flowers that we have virtually everywhere.  It is just part of the ambiance and flavor of the farm.  We are blessed with much natural beauty but nothing says “old homeplace” like flower beds everywhere with heirloom flowers, vibrant perennials, variety of herbs, wildflowers, and our favorite annuals.

Jill and I came by our green thumbs legitimately.  My grandmother “Maw” (Amy Blankenship Long) was known for her East Ridge yard that was a showcase (on Frawley Road towards Camp Jordan).  She had flowers galore with a row of gorgeous roses along the road front but always something blooming somewhere all growing season.  She had a huge garden too.  Everything was immaculate – a full time job that my Papa helped to keep.  Many of the flowers and bushes around our farm actually came from plantings or cuttings from Maw and Papa’s yard.  My mother was a flower guru as all of her family and friends can attest.  I am that way and, for sure, Jill has that gene running crazy through her as well.  It does require a lot of time, effort, and love but it is in our blood and we fancy all of the memories and eye candy that our flowers give us.

Even beyond our flower beds, gardens, and raised beds – our hayfield and extended property puts on a display of wildflowers.  The hayfield by late spring looks more like a daisy and Queen Anne’s Lace garden more than it does a hayfield because of the large quantity of flowers that it boasts.  It does make for some beautiful photographs for our brides which is always – priority number one!

We actual handle the decorating for many of our brides each year and now more and more of them are asking for the whole flower scheme to be this wildflower mix – and the thought of “buying local” appeals to them…..and local in this circumstance takes on a new meaning. But incorporating flowers from our farm is very appealing to them.  Whether we infuse some of our flowers and herbs with a few specific purchased flowers – or we go “whole hog” and aim for that fresh garden flower look….we are certainly willing to have that conversation with you to see if it is a good fit.  Even the bouquets that we have agreed to do create (and we are not professional florists by any means)….have a “just gathered” look which is very popular right now.  Even years ago when Jill got married here at the farm – her bouquets had such a colorful mix and each bouquet looked slightly different….it was as if her bridesmaids strolled through the fields and gathered up flowers to form their bouquets….though it was a bit more work than just that, of course.  It was the look that she wished to achieve…..and it did work (pictured here in the middle photo).

To allow us to handle your venue flowers (and even potentially your bouquets)…it does require flexibility.  It is not like you can order a certain flower in May when it doesn’t begin to bloom until July.  You have to be willing to have a mix.  As I stated – we will often buy some bulk flowers and embellish then with our home grown ones to achieve the right look or color scheme.  So if you want have a conversation about that – just shoot us an email.  Like so many other categories – we like to provide ideas and options for our brides…and this is just another unique alternative that you can ponder.                        ~ Margie

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