California To Georgia – Wedding of Julia and Russell (Summer 2016)

Every bride comes with her own story – her own likes and expectations for her wedding day – her own family history and friend dynamics – and her own style and vision.  That is as it should be, but I must say that Julia and Russell’s wedding likely gets top honors on being the most unique wedding that we had last year.

Though we get a handful of brides each year who have chosen us as a “destination wedding venue” we are still often surprised to hear and realize that brides are coming from far away to our simple farm in Georgia. Same is true of Julia who is from Canada and works in Los Angeles as an actress.  She contacted us almost a year prior to her wedding date to inquire about pricing and details but quickly booked her destination wedding with us.  Julia and her fiance, Russell, began to make detailed plans for their wedding day and for actually their wedding adventure with their best friends. With this being purely destination – Julia did not even see the venue until she arrived the day before.  These brides (and likely all brides) really rely and appreciate on all of our attention to communication, advice, and solutions.  We are honored to be trusted with that need.

Most all of the bridal party were not “just friends” of Julia & Russell – but co-workers….in fact, fellow actors who all lived and worked in California.  So, they planned this special trip for the whole bunch of them….to come to the South and stay at a river-side cabin out near Benton, TN (about an hour away from the city) for several days….to just enjoy some fun time and to enjoy each other even before the wedding day.  Swimming in the mountain river, sharing meals and laughter, and doing some DIY wedding preparations made for a memorable week – I am sure!

Sharing the responsibilities not only helped lightened the load for the bride and groom, but it also made each little detail extra special knowing that it was done by their friends.  These cute seat assignments were a personal touch to our rustic wedding venue.

Julia’s style?  Well – a bit of Bohemian influence – yes but mix that with a bit of hippie free-spirit with a definite touch of “old-time-Hollywood” glamour and style.  Each bridesmaid had their own unique dress and one-of-a-kind hat or head dressing.  Were those dresses borrowed from a Studio Costume Bank or just carefully chosen by each?….I don’t know but I could easily imagine either.  Being a by-stander to the wedding – it often felt like I was watching some vintage hollywood glamour movie… any moment, I expected to hear Russell begin to sing…or break into a dance routine.   That said – these folks new how to dance!  Swing, of course, but nothing seemed to unfamiliar to them!

Evidently, Julia and Russell had friends who had gotten married in many different type of venues; on the beach, in the city, in the mountains, etc. so as they pondered where they would love to get married – a charming Southern wedding at a barn venue seemed like the perfect place and a perfect experience for them, their best friends, and of course their family and other guests.

Julia is a beautiful woman who is well suited for being an actor – the camera is very fond of her!  She picked a stunning vintage dress that was very simply designed but it was very light, sheer, and was perfect for an August wedding.  Now – Russell was just a hoot!   He was like a kid….laughing, being silly as often as he could, but oh – with all of his craziness…this guy was so in love with this gal!

With so much DIY about this wedding – no one is surprised that their bouquets were too.  They all took to just sitting around laughing and talk with each other as they carefully made each of their bouquets with the flowers that had purchased locally.

Their ceremony and vows were very unique (no surprise) but still solemn, sincere, and touching.  Look at their eyes – both of them…no hesitation here but a piercing intentional purpose.

And….the kiss……no one would expect any less than this kiss would be full throttle….and it was!

After the ceremony, it was just a casual laid back time for all.  Great music by more friends that so easily soothed the soul.  One of the musicians told us that it doesn’t get any better than this… sit on a cool old vintage sofa under the shade of the grove with the goats and horses as your audience in the back and their friends all around them as they all enjoyed the beauty of this place.    Of course, I thought, “Music to my ears!”

And….I guess all of those acting classes have paid off…..when the photographer starts snapping shots…..there was no need for instructions from the photographer to the attendants like usual, i.e. “stand here, guys look left, try to give me an expression of surprise, relax your smile”, etc. etc. etc.   They always looked like they were posing for a magazine ad or something…..and unlike most weddings – everybody relished every moment in front of the camera!  LOL! 

Beginning to end….it was all very special and unique….and just as Julia wanted….and that is just the perfect approach to any wedding….make it you…think outside the box…..have fun with the day….and dare to be a bit different.


Well………..another wedding that was a success  and made such a major memory for all of her friends….and me too!                                                                                                                     ~ Margie