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

 

 

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.

wildflower wedding bouquet

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!

outdoor wedding vintage furniture

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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.

outdoor wedding tree ghost chairs

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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wedding with dog

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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wedding welcome sign calligraphy

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calligraphy on mirror

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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

Shinrin-Yoku – Learning to Take in the Forest

I hadn’t heard of Shinrin-yoku until last winter, when I came across an article explaining the restorative, calming, benefits of the practice. There are full studies on the effects of forest bathing being held in Japan, noting reduced blood pressure, improved mood, increased energy levels, improved sleep, an increased ability to focus and even accelerated recovery from surgery or illness.

Having purchased this property while working in a fairly stressful job, I can attest to how just taking ten minutes to breathe outdoors here, staring up at the tree canopy or sitting on the ground did far more to calm my racing mind than a glass of wine.

The concept of Shinrin Yoku is simple: visit a natural area and walk in a relaxed manner. I would argue, one does not even need to walk — simply choose a spot, and sit still. Oh, and leave your electronic leash (cell phone) in the car.

The science behind it is fascinating, for example, many trees give off organic compounds that support our “natural killer” cells that are part of our immune system’s way of fighting cancer.

Over the last few months, Dave and I have done more digging into elements of the practice of Shinrin-yoku. We have found it’s best if you can take in nature through all five senses, and we have noted that many of us busy Americans need to be coached in what “walking slowly” is. No fitbit. No hiking. No goal except to simply relax.

To that end, Dave and I have decided to host a Shinrin-yoku workshop here at Oakleaf on Oct 22nd. We will practice breathing, take a guided, slow walk through the forest, enjoy site-made tea and refreshments and learn how to fully engage with the beauty of the wild — and meet some like-minded folks interested in the benefits of the forest.

We decided on a Sunday, so you can start your week off right.

It’s better than a hike, I promise. Get tickets here.

Cris (and Dave)

 

 

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Summer’s Last Hurrah Dinner

Confession time: I, Cris, am a tableware hoarder.

chiniserie, dye, table setting, table, dining, outdoor

I’ve wanted an excuse to create an “ocean” themed table for ages, ever since I first found this vase some years ago. As time went on, I found more pieces that related to it — flower holders, salt and pepper shakers…

And then it just happens that my family has three birthdays in September. And that one of those persons is usually not in town.

And it also just so happens that Mom and Dad come back from the Bahamas with yummy things like lobster and crab that Dad found while snorkeling. And suddenly a table concept was born. With only a day left before the last day of summer, it was to be Summer’s Last Hurrah — a nod to all the fun and joys of summer, with a menu to match.

Bonus: I had to play with dye to make the linens I needed for an “ocean” theme. Gosh, how terrible.

Friends, I give you Summer’s Last Hurrah.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take many photos of the meal itself. We had crab, rockfish, lobster, roasted vegetables, the best rice pilaf ever…. and then for dessert we had Key Lime pie, blueberry cheesecake and a strawberry cake. It was fabulous.

I was also terrible about taking photos of the crowd — but it’s family and sometimes that feels awkward, no? We had a great time. And, I can say the front porch can easily dine 16.

I had so much fun making the linens I’m not at all opposed to making some for anyone who wants some. I’m still working out specific color abilities with dye, but I’d do my best to get colors you like 😉

Setting tables is a serious passion of mine — I’m so grateful to have Oakleaf, with all its various places to set up to my heart’s content virtually anything I can dream up, and so many family and friends who put up with my madness.

Happy first day of Fall!

Cris.

 

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