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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Mantle Party

Thanks, Sarah, for hosting the Fall Mantle Party.  Here's a close-up of my mantle from last year.  I haven't been able to find pumpkins yet here in Georgia.  The weather was so wet here this year.  That might have had something to do with the lateness of their arrival.

In our living room, this was the arrangement I came up with.

I'm not usually one to change out mantles seasonally, but I do a fall mantle and then I do an arrangement for Christmas.  I really do not like those over-tweaked, over-decorated mantles that are so in vogue in cyberspace. 

This starts with four different sized grapevine pumpkins, and then I add real pumpkins, gourds, and a few faux pieces.

Here's the left side of the arrangement.
I have this great set of horns that I've filled with faux flowers and feathers,......

and I've raised them on a few leather-bound books.

And on the right side, I've added a birch covered candle and a white pumpkin......
to this wonderful old iron doorstop from France.

And all of this sits under this beautiful seascape that is the best piece of art in our house, by far!
Not too busy, I hope!
And it all sits on this fabulous, carved mantle.  It's definitely the best improvement we made to this house.  It used to be a very boring, traditional colonial brick raised hearth. but we felt it needed more of a nod to the French feel of this house.
And then we added these beams to continue the feel.  How do you like it for fall?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Welcome Fall!

On this first full day of fall, I want to wish everyone a wonderful autumn season.  I am always so conflicted at this juncture, as I am so reluctant to say goodbye to summer and all it's specialness.  But then, it seems that a switch is thrown and I am suddenly ready for all the beauty of fall.  I'm ready for sweaters, for heartier meals, for football, and most of all for fall entertaining.  People who spend the summer away are back and it is so exciting to get together and catch up.  Here's a photo of our driveway gates taken last fall.  We don't have pumpkins or corn stalks out yet here in Georgia, but I'm stalking (no pun intended) the garden centers and I'll be decorating asap.  I'm hoping to welcome many of our dear friends through these gates for fall!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chukkar Farm Wedding - Part III

Here's the photos from this beautiful wedding that I have been posting about.  You can see the post about the venue here and one about the décor here.  Follow me and you'll have the experience of attending this very fun event. 

Follow the parking signs at Chukkar Farm Polo Club.  I hope you wore flats or wedges, as heels will not work on all of the grass and lanes you'll be walking on.
Don't park here! 

From the parking area, walk down this lane into the meadow. Did I tell you that it was a perfect summer evening?
Grab a program, made into a fan and backed with that cool arrow pattern in coral and turquoise.
You'll come to a small area that sits a bit lower than the rest of the field.  That's where this bride and groom chose to have the ceremony.  That gave the wedding guests the appearance of walking along a ridge as they approached the ceremony area.  I wish I had a photo of them as they walked from the club house down to the ceremony, but I thought it would be rude to stand up and shoot. 

I want you to see this arbor that the groom made for the bride.  It was such a charming labor of love.
Don't you just love it?
I got this shot of the metal cross earlier in the day. 

As the guests gathered, this trio played simple bluegrass music.  That's my friend John in the background getting into his robe.

Pastor John and his wife, Pastor Judy are dear, dear friends of ours and also of the bride and her family.  I know they were so very happy to be marrying these two special young people.  Their words to the couple were so personal and so loving.  It was everything you'd want for your wedding.

Here come the bridesmaids!  They had a long walk through the meadow, but they all arrived looking so beautiful and calm.

This little flower girl took her job so seriously and threw petals till her entire basket was empty.  I'm sorry I missed a picture of her sister, a fellow flower girl.

Here's the brides maids, flower girls and ring bearers.  All of the girls had dresses, custom made of the same greige fabric in the styles of their choice.  Doesn't it look great?

And at last the bride and her parents arrive.  Doesn't Bobby look so proud?  And doesn't Carol look beautiful.  And the bride????????  Stunning!

One of the ring bearers elected to ring bells instead of carry a pillow.  That's his mom giving him a "good job, buddy".

I loved that he didn't want his berries pinned onto his shirt, so they tucked them into his pocket.  I never got one photo of the groomsmen, but just imagine eight very handsome men in this same outfit in a grown up version.  I especially regret that I didn't get a shot of the bride's twin brother's face as his sister took this big step.  He's next, though.  He's engaged to be married in just a few months, and he and his bride-to-be are just as gorgeous.

Look at the joy on these people's faces!  This is what it's about, folks!!!!
And look at the love on hers!

The new Mr. and Mrs.!!!!!!!!!

Judy and John dismiss the guests to walk back up the meadow for the reception.

This is some recessional, isn't it?

So, then, down the lane you go, past the cattle gates decorated with French flower buckets filled with loose fresh flowers.
Keep walking.  Did you grab a water bottle at the gates?
Grab you escort card......

from this clever display......

and find your seat.

I didn't get photos of the first dance, or the blessing, but when your table's number was called, you went to get your a food truck!!!!!  (Note that it even matches the bride's colors!) Oh, Mama!!! Was this food good!  I mean, it's a mac and cheese truck for goodness sakes!  We had a choice of entrée, but everyone licked their plate from the mac and cheese.  This was so perfect for this fun, casual wedding and we never had better food at a wedding.....ever!

And dessert?

The bride and groom did not want a wedding cake and opted, instead, for a S'mores bar!!!!  And boy, was it a hit!  I wish I had photos of the guests giggling with sticky, gooey fingers and going back again and again.  These pictures of the s'mores bar were taken early in the afternoon, and things were not unpackaged yet, but you get the idea.

There were several of these little baby hibachi's to roast your flavored marshmallows.

See the Reeses cups?  Well, you've never had a smore if you haven't made it with this.  Just saying.  I'm glad I snapped these early, even if it wasn't done, because after dinner, I couldn't have possibly gotten a shot with all of the people crushing around here.
And to remember the evening, we were all invited to have a photo taken with this variety of props.  Boas, swords, pick. 

And this is what the little ring bearer picked!!!!!  Don't you love little boys?????
Here's your take home individual s'more kit tagged with "S'more Love"!  A sweet friend of the mother of the bride's put these all together for them.  See the heart and arrow again?  There were so many, many wonderful details here.  My kind of event, for sure!
The bride and groom are still on their honeymoon, but I'm sure they will come back to a lifetime of happiness.  This wedding was certainly a celebration of for each other, love of family, and love of good friends.  I couldn't wish them anything more. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chukkar Farm Wedding - Part II - Decor

These two creative young people had a clear vision of what they wanted this event to look like.  The bride is a graphic designer, and the groom is a woodworker, among their many other talents.  And even though they were definite with their desires, they were so very lovely to work with and easy to please.  There was a small army of loving friends who gathered at 9 am the morning of the wedding to transform the dream into reality. If you missed yesterday's post about the venue, Chukkar Farm Polo Club, you can see it here.
I never made the bridal bouquet before, but this loose, gathered design was easy to do.  We arrived to buckets of flowers, so we started with the most special pieces to be sure we had enough of the most lovely flowers.  Coral and turquoise were the colors used throughout the planning with lots of burlap and natural colors.  These coral ranunculus, peach David Austin garden roses, white delphinium, and several varieties of mums were the basis for these bouquets.  The bridesmaids bouquets were smaller versions of this. 
The men's boutonnieres were so simple and perfect.  We just wrapped coral hyperninum berries and a bit of greenery with twine.  It looked so cute on their suspenders.
These were the flower girls' baskets.  You can't really see here, but they were birch bark baskets that we trimmed out with burlap and a touch of baby's breath.
Early in the morning, we attempted to put the tablecloths out in the gravel area between the barn and the party pavilion.  The wind was so strong that we had to tip the chairs to keep the cloths on the tables.  This slowed us down just a bit, but by afternoon, the wind died down and we got back to work.
This is the look as it was coming together.
Here is the centerpiece with the glittered chipboard table number leaned against the mercury glass candle holder.
You can see that the bride wanted just a suggestion of meadow flowers on each table, and it was beautiful like that.
The children had their own picnic tables.
The non-alcoholic beverages were set up in front of the barn.
The party pavilion across the gravel area was beginning to look like this!
And at the entrance to the pavilion, the white wine was chilled in an old baby bathtub and the curtains were held back with burlap bows and large bunches of baby's breath.
The vintage canoe was fitted out with plastic to hold ice for drinks and decorated with ferns.  Note the "J + H" vinyl cutout custom made for them, which you'll see re-occur several places in the décor.
I just had to show you this again so you could see the "staff" that was helping make critical decisions!
This old sideboard served the red wine.
The flowers were simple and colorful.

What's a southern wedding without cornhole?  Can you see the heart decal again?  Sorry for the glare.

This cute tee-pee was another design element that the bride included.

The top was decorated with burlap, lace and some flowers.  More glittered chipboard letters spelled out "love" and swung gently in the wind.

Inside were a collection of pillows and a lace tablecloth on the grass.  I love this pillow fabric and you'll see this design and these colors lots of other places.  Even the invitation had this unique element.

Many places had these slabs of tree trunks topped with lanterns.

What a cute way to offer sparklers on this old washstand.


Vases with candles in them, wrapped with twine hung from the equestrian equipment.

Near the bar area, around the dance floor, the small cocktail tables were given a cheerful little nod.

This old trunk on the industrial lorry was lined with an old lace tablecloth for gifts.

This is the bar before the set-ups were brought in.

The flowers on the bar carried through the bride's color selections.
In front of the club house, we set this old rocking chair with a simple tin of flowers and a chicken wire-lined picture frame.

It held the escort cards!  See the heart and arrow design again?
Here's the bride's beautiful mother.  She's a dear friend of mine and she's just as pretty inside as out.  All the women in the wedding party were wearing these matching kimonos while working on the décor and getting hair and make-up done.  They looked so cute and were just a darling group of women and were SOOOO much fun to work with. 
Tomorrow's post will be the actual wedding photos.  It's a stunner!


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