Second Chances (Margaret and Russ by Alex Bee Photos)

I remember the first time that I met Margaret (and her mother) at the farm to talk about her wedding day and how we could decorate for the day.  I knew from that first meeting that this wedding would stand out as unique in many ways.  Turns out that I knew the family of her “soon to be in-laws” because they are valley-natives and her father-in-law to be is a well known local minister. Beyond that, the love story of Margaret and Russ is one of second chances.  They knew each other in high school – and I think they even had dated.  But after high school – their lives and their careers took different paths and into two very different directions.  Many years later – through facebook, I believe, they were reacquainted with each other and a renewed friendship began.  He, a military chaplain in Florida, and she, a professor at Auburn, soon realized that circumstances had given them an opportunity to begin again.

Margaret and Russ were a bit older than our typical bride and groom so this wedding had a bit of maturity to it that made it unique and thoughtful.  Margaret was stunning in her dress, and my goodness – she looked like she was in her twenties!  When Margaret and Russ were together – they were silly, often goofy with each other, and always laughing and endearing.  I think when you get that second chance – you realize you gotta hang on with dear life and relish each moment you have – take nothing for granted.  I am confident that Margaret and Russ live this way today as husband and wife.

The wedding was in the grove with a packed out house of guests to celebrate the day and rejoice with the couple.  Father in law, Rev. Ragon, performed the ceremony and Russ sealed it with a kiss.

Decorating for a bride begins with a conversation – who is she, want does she like to do, where is her passion and her heart, how can we incorporate her taste and her style and even the groom’s interests.  Creating a pinterest page is also helpful as I can share ideas that I think would fit and she can share her own as well. Margaret for sure is a kindred spirit of sorts.  She loves all things vintage.  She had begun to collect vintage hankies so we could display them and “offer them” as “Tears of Joy” for any of the ladies prior to the ceremony.  Vintage welcoming area with old sofas and such…..wash tin stand for the gift tub… old dictionary sign in table……..we pulled out the stops with old decor items to dot the whole venue with.  The signs – the caterers table – programs – sparklers – all had a vintage feel to them.


Margaret had also been collecting vintage tea towels and doilies and such – many of them turquoise which was one of her colors to utilize.  Right up my alley!  So, I purposed to use these as part of our table decor.  With her being a professor – adding the vintage books would fit right in.  She also collects milkglass so we just infused so much of that into the table decor.  My old turquoise blue mason jars are always stunning so we pulled it all together to create a unique look that seemed to fit Margaret to a tee.  Her head table was put right dab in the center of the barn so that instead of being “on the stage”….she was in the middle of the barn and surrounded by her guests.  Those barnwood tables dress us quite nicely don’t they?  Of course at such an event – vintage china to set the proper mood for the reception.

Speaking of milkglass – she outdid me on this front for sure.  She had a huge milkglass container collection that we used for her candy bar.  Now – this was no ordinary candy bar.  It was set up in the buffet room (24 feet long, let me state….) and we packed those vessels to the gill on that bar from one end to the other full of candy galore.  What a presentation – what a sweet sweet gift to her guests as they packed their gift bags full of such an array of choices.

The horse ring was transformed into a lounge of sorts with haybale sofas strewn with pillows……turquoise coffee tables…….a bonfire brewing……and baskets of warm blankets to cuddle with.   They even had live music playing for their guests – inside and out….early in the evening and into the night!

This is what 1000 paper birds strung on string looks like….it made for a beautiful backdrop as it swayed a bit in the breeze.

Margaret selected some awesome vendors:  Slim Pickin’s Band – A Food Attitude Catering Company – Alex Bee Photography – and Mayflowers Florist.

The plans were made and executed.  The guests surely felt wanted and spoiled.  The mood was genuine and very supportive.  The newly weds were all smiles and “married.”  I deem it a successful day!

sparkler send off

I often think on this wedding and of Margaret and Russ.  I am not sure whether they are in Florida or Alabama (or both).  I can’t help but wish that they were down the street….they seem like family – as do so many of our brides do.  Maybe they will come visit sometime.                        ~ Margie