Conner + Austin Wedding

So, so excited to share with you a few shots from Conner & Austin’s wedding the first weekend of October! The weather was just perfect — warm while the sun was up, then gradually cooling as the sun settled behind Sand Mountain.

Photography: Kelsey Dawn Photo

Florals: Melia Worley

Chairs: Something Vintage

 

 

Renovations Galore (part 1)

The month of August, we undertook a few big projects. One that I will reveal later, is our new parking lot (which is SUPER exciting all by itself!). But first, I wanted to reveal the big change in the ceremony area behind the barn:

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IT’S LEVEL! And it has grass. And brick steps. And steps leading down to the trail where folks like to explore and some of the BEST wedding photos happen among the rocks.

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Here is how it looked a couple of months ago for a photoshoot — you can see it isn’t quite flat, but it also slopes quite a bit off the barn. We had added five feet of dirt earlier in 2017 and it compacted enough for use just in time for weddings last November, but over time it was still settling and nowhere near as level as we wanted it to be. Plus the grass from seed kept dying. We went for sod this time.

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I went digging for how much this space behind the barn has changed since we bought the land just over two years ago — I found this one, from January 2017 (with Cookie in it, which made me sad all over again).

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You can see how MUCH it sloped — there was barely a useable area back here at all, certainly nothing for ceremonies.

And now, with 2 feet more of dirt in some places, plus rock — we treated it like a golf course, after a friend’s excellent suggestion. We have a couple inches of rock below the topsoil — that way, the ground dries faster than if it were only dirt alone. Drainage considerations on a mountain are serious stuff:

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We did most all of this leveling by HAND you guys. That means shovels, and wheelbarrows, and sore bodies. There’s no way to get equipment through the barn, and to go around back is a little dangerous for machinery… and still slow. So by hand it was. We have the muscles to prove it. For a while we were looking pretty svelte too… but I think a few quarts of ice cream may have caught up with us since then.

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The first little set of stairs are reclaimed brick from an old chimney in St Elmo, set with railroad ties to make them pretty long. They were not leveled yet in this shot– just placed down so we knew we had enough of them.

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Same view, from a few months ago with our photoshoot with Hillary Leah.

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One last before and after! We’re so thrilled to have it looking like…. an event space!

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Next post… parking!

A Summer Styled Shoot

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This styled wedding shoot was six months in planning, and just kept getting bigger! What started out as an email from photographer Hillary Leah wanting to take photos eventually grew into a bigger shoot with 10 fabulous Chattanooga area wedding vendors.

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Plates & silverware: Chattanooga Tent  |  Goblets, Candles: The Copper Quail  |  Floral: Creekside Flower Farm  |  Linen: Avocado Hand Dyed Runner by Nade Studio  |  Pottery: Facture Goods

We love styled shoots. It’s like putting together a “dream team” of vendors you’d love to work with more without the pressure and timeclock of an actual event. The creativity flows, everyone has a little time to visit and get to know one another… and they’re just fun.

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Creekside Flower Farm is a stone’s throw away from us. Morgan grows all the wildflowers AND makes arrangements and floral decor – isn’t this bouquet stunning?

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Kerry Dransoff is the bomb! She created this stunning wedding updo, tucking in a few leaves as accent

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We are in love with these little gold and marble tables, paired with vintage furnishings from The Copper Quail. They made our deck look so styling!

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We were delighted to meet Steve of Decor 1601, and to see our barn draped in soft white fabric! There are so many visions we have for this place, it was delightful to see this come to life.

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The invitations were jaw-dropping, on specialty paper, watercolored and gold leafed… and even wax sealed. Laura of Laura Lines Calligraphy is so beyond talented.

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The “ceremony” took place on our Front Lawn, in front of our massive old oak tree. We’ve no idea how old this tree is, but three people would be needed to circle it.

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Ghost chairs from Luma Designs allow the forest to take center stage. Draping by Decor 1601, ivy from our grounds added by Creekside Flower Farm.

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‘Reception’ was held behind the barn — we never grow tired of those rocks…

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Bs Sweets made the ombre & gold cake — looks so perfect on The Copper Quail’s bar cart!

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It was our model’s 2nd wedding anniversary on the day of the shoot. They stayed the night at the Cottage and we made arrangements for their sweet pooch to join on the fun!

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Makeup by Haley Settles

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Links and special thanks to allllll the vendors and artists whose work is in this shoot!

Photography: Hillary Leah

Cake: Bssweets

Vintage Furnishings, candlesticks, goblets: The Copper Quail

Ghost Chairs: Luma Designs

Plates: Chattanooga Tent

Draping: Decor 1601

Design Coordination: Khloe and Bailey with Wildflower Wedding Planning

Makeup: Haley Settles

Hair: Kerry Dransoff

Wildflowers: Creekside Flower Farm

Invitations: Laura Lines Calligraphy

Gold-edge Pottery: Facturegoods

Dyed Linen: Nade Studio

Oakleaf Cottage Wedding Featured in Junebug Weddings!

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We have to tell you about an amazing couple — more than once we have gushed at how incredible it was that they had hiked to the bottom of Cloudland Canyon State Park for those waterfall photos … without breaking a sweat, messing up makeup, or even slightly staining that beautiful dress. They came out looking as fresh and amazing as when they left!

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But what we haven’t said much of is this — when Rachel and Josh first came to see our barn, it looked like this:

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No concrete. No walls. No deck. There may not have even been rocks in the section of driveway out to the barn, meaning they had to walk through some mud.

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They didn’t blink. They trusted us. We never once received a panic message or call.

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Their day was beautiful — the stage of Fall where all the golds are out, and the deep russets and tangerine-like hues are still holding back, letting the filtered sunlight fall golden. They and their family and friends spent the day before and the day of setting up everything they had brought with them. It looked like magic.

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Head over to Junebug Weddings to see more!

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Photography: Amber Phinisee Photography, videography by her husband, Tyler  Dress: Daughters of Simone via The Sentimentalist  Florals: Luella Floral  Furniture: Heirlooms Vintage Rentals

Styled Shoot with our New Farm Tables!

We are soooo excited to say this: we built farm tables for our barn!

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And even more exciting, they are stepping out in style thanks to a photoshoot pulled together by Molly of Molly Nicole Details, flowers by Christy of MayFlowers, and photographed by adventure and elopement photographer Alyssa Smithley.

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Molly brought in chairs from Luma Designs to complement the aged gray tones of our tables, and created the beautiful setting. We adore her — she has such an eye for pulling together the unusual — we are in love with the copper flatware!

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Word among the Chattanooga wedding vendors has it that Christy is one of the BEST florists around — we have a wedding or two coming up with her, and we couldn’t be more excited. Aren’t these florals stunning?

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Want to see more? And maybe more images around our Cottage? Alyssa wrote up a blog post about the shoot and included gobs more beautiful photos than what you see here (this is a teaser, straight up).

Getting married? Contact us about our wedding packages! We are perfect for elopement and destination weddings, our Cottage sleeps 9 guests in style, we include shuttle service to and from our parking area (so our 28 forested acres feel like an exclusive park!), are on hand throughout your planning process and with you the day of — and now we have… TABLES!

More good things coming!

Cris & Dave

Why You Need a Day of Wedding Coordinator

Back in January, Dave and I had an idea that it would be nice to do more of an “introduction” to the vendors on our preferred vendor list so our engaged couples could get a better sense of who these folks are and why they are on our list.

For this initial Wedding Blog post, we’re talking to Jessica, of Jessica Ann Wedding Co.   Jessica is a Day of Wedding Coordinator (DOC) who moved to the Chattanooga area in 2015 and bravely but excitedly stepped out into this new world that is the South.


You started offering DOC services in California, where you used to live. Can you tell us what drew you into the wedding industry?

Let me just first say that you and Dave have done an absolutely beautiful job of transforming this little piece of earth into a place that feels like a kaleidoscope of magic and etherealness.

My husband and I had a four-month engagement and there was nothing I didn’t have planned out to a tee! Then I realized someone had to take my hard work and incredibly detailed timeline and make it happen. I sure couldn’t do it and neither did I want to! And I definitely didn’t want anyone involved in or at our wedding to take on the tedious job. Hiring a DOC was one of the BEST decision I made for our day. I worried about nothing and my day ran beautifully. Ever since then, I’ve found myself drawn into the wedding industry, specifically the role of a DOC. I first hand know how vitally important they are and I love the process.

What exactly does a DOC do?

I guess the real question is, what don’t they do? Haha. The interesting thing is, DOC are not just day of, we are a month-long BFF to our brides!  We coordinate the logistics of your wedding day to make sure that everything that you have spent months planning runs exactly how you envisioned. From the arrival times of the florist, limo pick up and drop offs to packing all your gifts and goodies at the end of the night, the day-of coordinator will have it all taken care of.

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Is a DOC generally for smaller weddings, or are they even more needed for big weddings and working side-by-side with an Event Planner?

A DOC is for any size wedding. I’ve worked weddings with a total of 45 people including the bridal party! The amount of people isn’t really what determines the necessity of a DOC or not, it’s how you want to remember your wedding! The value of having one is invaluable.

Some venues have an “event planner” whose role is to ensure the logistics of items the venue provides are in place. For instance, tables, chairs, benches, and other specialty items they may offer. They don’t necessarily run your day, they run the venue leaving the importance of a DOC even greater!

Being a small venue, we’ve had a lot of potential brides wanting to appoint a friend or relative to be in charge of coordinating details during the day. While I can see this may make sense for a really small wedding of 30 people, at what point do you think a DOC is needed?

I think that’s a really great question! While it seems like a great idea, the fact is that your friend or family member wants to enjoy the wedding just like everyone else. The reality on any wedding day, without a leader, someone who knows the ins-and-outs of your day, has the increased potential to be chaotic and stressful. A DOC has worked with you and beside you and your vendors and knows all the details of your day. They are with you from morning until vendor departure and you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re enjoying themselves because their job is to ensure you, your family, and guests are!

What is something that relates to your role as a DOC that you wish brides knew?

Details and time. I am very, very detailed. My timeline begins when your feet hit the ground come wedding morning until they’re tucked into your getaway for send off. Nothing is left unknown or untimed. I’m involved with not just you but your vendors. Everyone is on the same page, with the same info, and the same timeline.

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What is a misconception you find brides often have on their wedding day?

A major misconception that happens more often then not is brides and bridal party thinking the photographer is the coordinator. I’ve seen it before as a guest at weddings and it can lead to confusion, frustration, and delays. Be warned, they aren’t and it’s best to have that knowledge before going into your day.

What’s your favorite thing about being a DOC?

My favorite thing about being a DOC is seeing the bride first thing on her wedding day. No dress, no makeup, usually in comfy’s and she’s beyond giddy her big day has finally arrived! She’s not stressed about anything because she knows I’m there. So I’m giddy right along with her, I end up jumping up and down.

What was the most innovative thing you saw at a wedding that really impressed you?

One of the sweetest things I thought to be unique and special was a couple who did a ‘warming of the rings.’ Basically, the couple had their guests pass their wedding bands around during the ceremony asking them to silently give a special blessing or wish for their marriage. It was quite a special moment!

I also had a Jewish/Christian wedding that very much impressed me. Not only were the Jewish wedding traditions very involved and interactive, but the details implemented around them were really beautiful. I’m also proud to say I’ve learned the correct names and pronunciations of four major Jewish wedding traditions!

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

I have several ways in which you can reach me!

By email: jessicaann.weddingco@gmail.com

Phone 707.849.4654

Instagram: @jessicaann.weddingco

Facebook: Jessica Ann Day of Wedding Coordinator

You can also check out my website at www.jessicaannwedding.com to see my list of services, weddings I’ve done, and more about who I am!

Our next wedding post will be about our favorite caterers: Foodworks! Photo credit for the above images goes to Austin & Rose Photography

 

 

Revealing the Barn

Well, kinda revealing. It’s not finished — but considering where we started a few months back, the transformation is coming along well.

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We had a deadline that we never expected would be tight, but with all the rain this spring it took for-ev-ah to get dirt and rock up here. Also, due to our location, a lot of work has to be done by hand. Mostly by two people. Myself, and Dave. I’ve got some pretty cool muscles going after slinging a pickaxe so often. Who needs a gym, when you are remodeling a barn on the side of a mountain?

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Our deck is complete, save we will be changing out the farm-fence look to tension wire in the very near future. It’s 16×50, and feels outright amazing – like you are in the treetops. After we stain it in a couple of months we can add pots and some minor furnishings out here for our Cottage guests to relax on while watching the sunset. We’ll be leaving lots of room for morning yoga, which some recent guests found the deck to be perfect for.

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Inside, we are still working as well. The floor will get poured SOON, and we have some really cool details that will go into that. After that, we can install the lighting on the posts (and down the center), and we will be using reclaimed brick on the posts to give the barn a different, but solid, look.

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Our first event, a rehearsal dinner, went super well. Everyone loved it, and we loved watching how guests spilled out to explore the property and trails, some assisting newly walking kiddos who held on to their parent’s fingers — both for balance and to pull Mommy and Daddy everywhere. We were completely exhausted, but even through that were thrilled to see how people interacted in the space. It’s just as we dreamed.

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We literally pulled our temporary bar together using the original lower stall doors about 2 hours before the event started. We were sooooo down to the wire. We’re happy it looks halfway decent, but looking forward to installing the original design with bar sinks and an undercabinet fridge. It will have a floating/locking island that can be used too, for greater versatility of space. But it dresses up nice.

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Early this week, we had a small group of people come through to have a look at our little construction project, so we set out a little wine and cheese. I loooove pulling greenery straight from the outdoors in decorating a space.

tired dog barn party

Our tripod dog, Cookie, was completely worn out from playing host/official greeter and spent the majority of two hours right about here.

Work continues out here — this week, Dave has been installing the beams and details on the ceilings on the sides of the barn. It has a steel structure, which is nice and sturdy but not terribly pretty. From here, it’s all cosmetics.

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We can’t wait to see what neat events will be in store for this place over the years, and have a number of great seminars and nature-related events in the works. Watch our events page or follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out!

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xoxo-

Cris & Dave