Thursday, February 5, 2015

LOVE is in the air, a wedding at red gate farm

Some of you may remember me mentioning, at least a time or two, that we were having a fall wedding right here at Red Gate Farm... and I thought February, think love, would be a fabulous month to finally get around to sharing this with you.  I was really trying to get this done yesterday, February 4th, as 4 months ago on October 4th we were honored to offer up our barn and yard for the fall wedding of my niece.  Have you ever had well over 200 people at your home?  Well it was a huge undertaking involving much more than just a few days leading up to the wedding but THAT is for another post.

I'll warn you now, there's a TON of pictures, but if you're up to it let me show you around just a bit... you might want to grab your coffee... or tea... or hot cocoa first.

Wedding guests parked down the road a bit in our neighbor's field.  Our field was planted with corn up until the morning of the wedding (yes, they came and cut the corn the day before the wedding and finished up a couple of hours before show time) so guests parked down the road and were ferried, country style (think Kubota) up the road to be greeted at the front of our yard.

 A chalkboard and a vintage wheelbarrow overflowing with pumpkins welcomed the guests...

Our old fence pickets pointed the guests in the right direction, bringing them in the side of our "yard" and around the garage...

And around the corner to face the east end of the barn.  Sprinkles were in the air, not the yummy cupcake kind but the wet kind, so a covered area was set up over the guest book.

My niece had flowers in cute little boxes (thanks to Craigslist).  These same boxes of flowers adorned the tables for the reception.

We had placed the sign in area at the corner of our pump house.  You may recognize the little table from my own daughter's wedding...the pumpkins were all grown here at Red Gate Farm.

An up close of a cute frame of my niece's.

My chalkboard easel... a friend of the bride's did the lettering on this one.

And a view from the back.  Old milk cans and pumpkins up the aisle.  The chicken coop on the right was still lined with flowers... dahlias and zinnias.  We were fortunate to have a very mild late summer, early fall and most flowers were still looking great.

A bit closer in you can see the "Mr. & Mrs." burlap banners hanging on the barn doors above.  Those white painted doors always look a bit off to me so the mother of the bride made burlap banners to cover some of the white glare!

Borrowed hay bales, baskets of mums, vintage market baskets, pumpkins and sheers from Ikea finished off the wedding area.

Turning around you can see our house, flowers and gardens still looking good for early October, and an old piece of farm equipment decorated with flowers and pumpkins.... it also covers a hump in the driveway, must keep the tripping hazards to a minimum!

Some of the collection of vintage Farmall tractors were pulled out to park in front of the barn.

Which, of course, was thoroughly enjoyed by the younger crowd.

The getaway vehicle for the bride and groom was the only car allowed to park at the house.

And here is the corn being finished up just before the wedding is to start.

The missed spot...

Some of the Wave Petunias I planted from seed adorned the tops of the old  milk cans.

This view really shows off the "mr and mrs" banners and you can see that even at the beginning of October there were still sunflowers growing and blooming!  Crazy weather for us.

Up close...

Mums and pumpkins... throw in a bit of hay and if this doesn't say "fall" I don't know what does.

And inside the barn?  Well that's where the party will really get started... so come on inside and I'll give you a bit of a tour... of course chalkboards like this one were sprinkled around to help pass on information to the many guests.  Most of the chalkboards were made using the glass (or acrylic) in the frames and black poster sided paper... I bought a huge roll on Amazon for just this purpose.  The benefit of this method is you don't have to paint anything and tracing your image onto the glass is super easy... cut a piece of black paper to fit and you have a "chalkboard" message!

Some of you may know the history of our barn, some may not.  The barn that was on our property when we bought it was in need of repair.  My husband had begun the huge task of repairing the barn but unfortunately an unusual November windstorm back in 2006 caused it to collapse.  Over the next few years he, my father and my son worked to rebuild the barn in the same spot.  It was finished a few years ago but the second floor lofts and much of the lighting were just finished last summer... one of the many projects to get the barn "wedding ready."  Fortunately some bits and pieces of the old barn were salvaged to add character to the barn.... like this door and hanging hardware.

The door is actually hung on a support beam and not needed as a door but on the other side of this door is was the food serving area and an unsightly (huge) compressor that is hardwired and not an item that was movable for the event.  We added a cute burlap "mr and mrs" banner and more Ikea sheers.  The same sheers that were swags for the ceremony area and also cover the unsightly compressor on the other side... at $5 for two HUGE panels these things are the best!  We used some at my daughter's wedding and I've used them at baby showers too.  Super lightweight so they can hang in many different ways, very versatile and affordable for any party/event.

Here is a view from the end... still during set up as it's not quite finished yet... a chalkboard keepsake for the bride and groom.  I did make this in my normal chalkboard method.  The old door to the right is from our original barn and is covering the unsightly compressor.

The same area with all the the bits and pieces added around the base of the easel.  Lots of galvanized items and more pumpkins.  The box is actually an old insulated milk bin for the days when the milkman delivered!  To the left is a long vintage, rustic bench we added in front of the hanging wooden door to keep the bottom from swinging as it's only attached at the top of the beam.  Behind the chalkboard are some LED branches that lite up this corner when it got dark.

A close up of my gift to the bride and groom... It's actually a mirror that I painted both the frame and the mirror... it was just the size and style I was looking for.  Chalkboard paint works well on mirrored or glass surfaces.

Looking up from the center area of the barn... this is the west loft that my husband finished the railings, stairs and flooring on last summer.  You can see some of the many, green enameled vintage lights that were hung.  The railing is two strands of rope that were festooned with a burlap and ribbon swag that my niece purchased in a lot of items (including the boxes I've mentioned already).  The length of these was perfect and after the wedding she left them with me!  I used them again for our Christmas in the Barn... they are just attached to the rope railing with clothes pins.

Against the post is my husband's birthday present,  vintage wood ladder.  Originally we thought we'd hang this above the bridal table with lights and such but since 200 feet of lights were swagged we thought it would detract or look too busy.

So instead it was positioned against this post and secured at the top.  You may have noticed this on my Christmas in the Barn as well.  The bottom is in a wooden box (to deter any would be climbers), hay, pumpkins, part of a metal weather vane and a pair of cowboy boots surround the bottom.  Hanging on it are vintage aqua jars with battery tea lights and the infamous "I DO" from my daughter's wedding.

The bridal table is set in front of the stage area built for the band.  This is actually a large door and they built a stage area outside of the actual barn to keep as much space in the barn available.  The stage was built with pallets, plywood, hay and tarps.  The groom made a custom metal and wood light box with their name and initials that lite up at night.

The bridal table was set with a collection of my vintage white tablecloths, a bit of lace, and lots of rustic items like more aqua jars, a small wood ladder, market baskets, flowers, pumpkins and the flashcards shown at the beginning of this post.

Lanterns and chalkboards from my daughter's wedding along with an engagement photo of the happy couple round out the front of the table.

A red lantern, apples and a bait bucket to hold the bride's bouquet... off to the left is the bar area being set up for the reception.

A found bench, wooden berry box and burlap "&" pillow.

And of course, Miss Bee... way back when she was just 4 months old!  (Can you believe she's now twice that age!)  She had a great time at the wedding and was actually my helper during set up the day before.

A view from one loft to the other... the open space in between on the first level was left open with no tables... it made it much easier for the flow of people.

Looking down on the stage and tables.

A little different view towards the "front" or south side of the barn.  You can see the tractors parked outside and down below a peak at the food area.  The open area in the middle is also where the lights are swagged across.

Close up of the flowers...  rustic and colorful.

The wooden boxes have a small glass vase inside to hold water.

The bride's bouquet was made by her sister (and maid of honor).  The ribbon has names of relatives and close friends that are no longer with us.
wedding photographer photo Caitlyn Jackson Photography
AND... the food table.  This table was also the same table (and spot) used for our Christmas in the Barn...we haven't actually changed much in this area since the wedding.  This huge table came from a local nursery that had purchased some buildings around their current spot.  Inside was this table... my husband had to haul it home on a trailer it is so long!  Rumor has it that it came out of an old school.  Perfect size and rustic-ness!  You may recognize the menu chalkboard from my daughter's wedding.

Lots of galvanized and rustic wood was used on the table.

And here, to the left, you can see the compressor all covered with sheers and lace!  This area is under one of the second floor lofts.

The beverage area with lemonade, ice tea and water...

Rolls in two vintage berry carts...

I collected vintage glass punch bowls to use for all the salads.  The idea was to have extras to swap out as food ran out.  One or two were borrowed but I rounded up 7 at our local thrift store, some with cups, some without... most were just $.99 to $2.99 and make wonderful serving bowls.

Dressing for the green salads is actually in small pitchers.  To label the them I painted 4 vintage metal trays with chalkboard paint... we placed the pitchers on each tray and wrote the name of the dressing on the actual tray.  No need for ladles this way!

The beverage area... this cabinet is actually the other half of the cabinet that is in my living room.  It was perfect for this use.  Metal chalkboards (from Michaels for just $.99!) let guests know what was in each dispenser.

A set of "LOVE" cups from Anthropolgie... and paper straws of course!  They had a wood grain pattern and were so cute.

The cake area was another part of my niece's craigslist find.  Two barrels and the top piece.  She made the "Fall in Love" red and glittered letters.  The cake is on one of my rustic, galvanized wash basins.  Upside down it was perfect to hold the cake.

More burlap, flowers and chalkboards.  The chalkboard to the right is from my daughter's wedding and listed the cake flavors as each layer was different.

The flowers around the base of the cake were the finishing touch!

My sister in law (the mother of the bride) took this photo later... one of my favorite shots from the wedding.  I like the whimsy-ness!

For favors there was small jars of apple butter.  Our apple trees produced like crazy so I offered to make jars of apple butter... about 168 to be exact!  I purchased round labels from Paper Source and stamped "A & C thank you"... a kraft paper colored cupcake liner (they make great jar toppers) and a bit of baker's twine finish them off.

My niece picked this cool display piece up at our local re-use it store!  Perfect to hold the jars!  I made this chalkboard for them.  It's actually an inexpensive poster frame from Ikea... originally bright blue but I painted it to look a bit like galvanized metal and then used my black paper....

We realized folks wouldn't know it was apple butter... so a vintage slate board fixed that.

A close up of the sign... my niece picked this off of Pinterest and I tweaked it using Publisher for size... print off and trace!  So easy to get exactly the look you want!

One of the things the bride wanted was a Hot Chocolate Bar... she had a picture, Pinterest of course, of one on a white vintage dresser and wanted to recreate it... unfortunately it was one of the items she cut due to lack of time.  I knew I had a number of the items to create this and so with a little help from the groom and my daughter, we surprised the bride with our version.

As you can see the white dresser didn't make it out of my sewing room due to lack of time and muscles since my husband was working on stair hand rails right up to the last minute but we recreated most everything else right down the chalkboard sign my daughter whipped up just before the event!

It was a HUGE hit with the little ladies from the bridal party and even many adults!

We used a folding table, vintage tablecloths, a fantastic brown plaid blanket, lots of galvanized items, additional LED branches but I must say my favorite thing was the HUGE marshmallows... did you know they came in JUMBO size at the grocery store?  So fun!

The bride to be and her groom... along with her sisters.

They chose to have a "first look" and used a vintage door from my husband's stash.

One of my favorite photos of the wedding... some of the wedding party watching the first look out the barn windows...

Most of the people photos are my sister in laws fabulous work... Here she is with the bride and my brother appears to want to be in just one more photo.

Another photo from the photographer... our walnut tree in the background and even our road!
Caitlin Jackson Photography
Standing just outside our house and looking towards the barn... guests are arriving.

Including three of my favorite people.. Miss Bee, my daughter and her husband.

Time for the ceremony!

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

The moms finish lighting a unity lantern instead of a candle.

More waiting...

And here comes the bride!

The happy couple after the ceremony.

Another wedding photographer photo... the bridal party in the Kubotas used to ferry guests make their way back to the barn to be introduced.  I don't know who liked these more... the big boys or the little boys!

The bartenders... they were the BEST dancers when the music started!

A little light and some sawdust on the floor and the party really began.

Bride and groom...

Outside looking in.

As the evening wore on the lights became so pretty.

Here you can really see how they were swagged... back and forth from one loft to the other.

The lighting was probably the most dramatic thing and yet so easy to do with two 100 foot strings and some brave souls on ladders.

Looking up...

Miss Bee and I enjoyed the view and the music for quite a while that night.
And that last minute cut cornfield?
Caitlin Jackson Photography

Didn't look so bad after all...


Thanks to my sister in law and her camera as well as a few wedding guests since not all photos are my own.

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  1. Wow! What a fantastic event.. beautiful decorations, amazing re-born barn, happy family and friends.. a huge success! Do I see Wedding Planner as a future job for you? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. I love your decorated barn and wedding decor! The Bride & Groom are adorable, and I <3 her beautiful dress! Congrats!!!! Pinning

  3. Wow, you guys know how to throw a wedding and party! Love the decor and all the little touches. Miss Bee is a cutie! Oh to do it again. We had a country wedding (in town at our Church and in my husband's small village's local arena.) aMy father-in-law drove us from their home to the local country arena for the reception in an antique wagon pulled by his pair of Percherons. I would have loved to have had you style the party. Congratulations to the bride and groom.

  4. What a great setting for a wedding! Loved seeing the pictures.

  5. What a beautiful place to have a wedding and what an undertaking too! I wish barn weddings were popular when I got married! I would love it!

  6. Chris, all I could do was "squeeeee....!!!" all the way through this!! I shall be back to check out more. I was temporarily distracted when you said that you started wave petunias from seed?! oh my. Love it all, and I will return to go more slowly through the pics!! Thank you so much for sharing.. looks like quite the undertaking, but oh so worth it! -Tammy

  7. Oh my staaaaaars! I just read every word and loved every picture. You throw a fabulous party lady! When my girl gets married, can you come down to California and we'll combine forces and have the most fabulous wedding ever! (And she's almost 14 so we've got a few years to coordinate this!) Really, we are such kindred spirits! Fabulous wedding and beautiful setting!

  8. Absolutely LOVEly! Well done!!! I'll pin n revisit this post often for inspiration I'm sure!

  9. Wow, those are all fantastic photos. You definitely have a gift for framing them. I liked all the decorations and the other accoutrements. What I find especially found striking was instead of a run-of-the-mill flower arrangement like any other wedding or a pile of pumpkins like any fall gathering, you seemed to have combined the techniques of the two. Very well done!

    Raymond Quinn @ River Oaks Plant House


Please, feel free to leave a comment... it really makes my day! Chris