Open House February 4, 2017 – Part I

It sounded like a good idea… host an Open House in our off-season.  And….I do think that it was indeed a good idea but also an insane idea.  Why insane, you ask?  You did ask, right?  First – it is during off-season.  Shouldn’t we be taking it easy?…..sleeping in?……going on vacation?  Yep – we should, but we don’t.  For some reason, off-season means coming up with a long list of “winter projects” where we reinvest in our property – in our venue, to make it look better, function better, and offer more.  We began doing this after the very first year.  We were floored and awed that we had brides who wanted to come to our farm for their most special wedding day and share that day with us.  So….each year, we came up with a list of ways to improve.  This year, our list again was long so shortening our work schedule 5-6 weeks early surely wasn’t a brilliant idea.  It certainly made for a chaotic last couple of weeks….but……we hung in there and though not totally finished just yet – I think we put on a fair representation of our projects.

So….to continue the tease just a bit longer…..for now I will say that one of our winter projects has to do with the Farmhouse, and details will come in more specifics later this week.  For now – you can see that the Bridal Suite is ready for brides.  We did add a table to the room to help with more work space.  We also added air-conditioning to the room – a real bonafide system, so  no more window units (yeah!).

Second insanity reason is that it is February where the days can be 65 or 25…..and the sun can beam or there can be snow piled on the ground.  I guess we got good and bad.  The sun did shine (eventually) that morning but an hour prior to the Open House debut – it was a chilly 26 degrees.  Fortunately, we had patio heaters positioned inside the barn, the Dancehall set at a toasty 72 degrees, and the Guest House and Farmhouse were warm and cozy too.  The first hour was slow with only a few brave visitors but after that…..not only did the sun begin to burn off the frosty dew on the grass but the inside of the barn was warm enough to open up the doors and windows a bit.

There are actually two clues in the photo above.  Again….I am loving this bit of tease that I am putting  you through.

The third insanity reason was that from the time we decided to host this Open House to the time of the Open House was a total of 3 weeks.  Yikes!  Three weeks to schedule an event, finish as many of our projects as possible, invite a few vendors, figure out a schedule, make plans, get food, set up signs, and notify brides.  I did hear from several of you that you wanted to come but that your schedules did not permit.  I will think on this earlier next year and with more of a sound mind – I think I can have a whole year to plan, announce, prep, and execute it.

That said…..we were blessed with quite a few visitors – both interested brides who were checking us out as well as some of our booked brides who came to see the Open House and all of our secret reveals.  One of our photographers, Sabrina with Bri Sanders Photography was gracious to many of them and took a quick photo of them on the vintage couch.

We were also blessed to have a few volunteer vendors to come by to meet and greet our guests.  We had Double Portions Catering who brought an awesome aromatic grits casserole that had cheese, egg, and bacon in it – oh my, oh my!  My diet came to a grinding halt on Saturday!  She also had these Havarti Cheese biscuits that were soft and yummy to go along with the casserole.  Apparently breakfast buffets for “dinner” is a new wedding trend.  Fine by me!

We had two photographers come and set up displays to impress and showcase their talents.  Al with Mile Marker Images ….

and Sabrina with Bri Sanders Photography – who graciously supplied most of the photos journaling our Open House as well as our updates.  Thank you, Sabrina, for all of your help and generosity!

DJ Mark, With Class, LLC, came and kept the music going.  His Boze speakers always always sound good – even for an Open House we were all tapping our feet and had a angst to dance.


Riverside Beverages who offers a wide inventory of wines and beers and can deliver your drinks on wedding day could not come to the Open House but donated some sodas.  Needless to say – they were easily chilled and ready for anybody who was thirsty.

Sugar Chic Bakery in Ringgold, another one of our Preferred Vendors, could not make it to Open House.  Running a bakery is a 6-7 day a week job but they generously provided cake samples, carrot cake, and an assortment of Smores’ Bars, cookies, and cupcakes.  I set up a smorgasbord with all of her goodies (plus a few candies and such) in my vintage dessertware vessels and it made for eye candy as well as scrumptious delights for the taste buds.  Did I mention that I blew my diet on Saturday?  Yep – sure did.  It would be hard to decide what tasted best but I kinda think that even as good as that beautiful carrot cake was…..that it was her cake samples that won the day! Oh my…..I can’t describe how moist the cake part was and how delectable the icing was…..but….. order it….whatever it was – order it!

So have I wet your appetite for more pictures and more information?  Hope so.  Check in with us in a couple of days for Part II….as we document more of the specifics….what our projects produced….and what you can look forward to this year.  Thanks for being part of this journey with us.                                ~ Margie