PUBLISHED ON April 18, 2019
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come.
This all started off as a dream/vision from God. Something that we could only hope for. Something that we weren’t 100% sure about. But with a lot of help from God, friends and our community, we have been able to build what we dreamed of.
We were hoping and dreaming of this for such a long time, that we were afraid it might be just that. Sometimes Chad and I would look at each other and say, “Are we in over our heads?”
I remember one of the first things we did to our barn was take down the horse stall walls (which we saved and reused as farmhouse tables). I was so nervous. What if we messed up and “destroyed” this 100 year old horse barn for nothing?
With the help of these people, we accomplished a lot that day. I remember it being so cold, that we took breaks warming up in the truck (that was blasting heat) right beside the barn. We worked outside all day. But what that day taught me was, that this was actually going to happen.
This is what we got done that day. All the walls (and stalls) were gone, and it felt like true progress. I could start to see how this could be real. Chad has always been the visionary in the group. He can see things that I wouldn’t have ever thought about. He was more confident in the vision.
For almost the past two years, every free moment we’ve had, has been working on this venue. I have apologized to several friends and family (to whom I haven’t really seen much of) for not being around for certain parties or events. For those of you who own your own small business, you know that if you don’t put in the work-it doesn’t happen.
I will say that this property has brought Chad and I closer together. We knew when we went into this venture that it would either make us or break us. Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would work this hard. Never…still to this day, my family will say, “Lori, I didn’t know you could do that,” or “I’m shocked at how hard you all work.” My response is always, “that’s what happens when you are married to Chad.”
Chad is the hardest working person I have ever met (which is saying a lot for those of you that know my mom). His energy and passion are contagious and makes you want to fight and work hard for the task at hand. I am amazed at his vision, his ability to inspire and the love he has for others.
Still to this day, we get overwhelmed with projects that we want to do. Each week we try and focus on something (big or small) to cross off the list. And I know that we will ALWAYS be wanting to improve our property. I think that just comes with the territory.
We have forced ourselves to remember that this entire property is a long-term project. During times that we are overwhelmed, it’s important to remember the quote at the top, “What is now proved was once only imagined.”
This helps us reflect on how much work has actuallybeen accomplished. I remember talking with Chad and saying, “can you imagine what this place will look like in a year? or two years?” Sometimes we still do this with hope of what’s to come.
So as I wrap up this blog post, a BIG thank you (if you are still reading this) to everyone who has helped us. From the people who helped us paint, do physical work, assist on wedding days and read our blog-we appreciate all of it.
Each encouraging word to social media comments, it means so much to us. We feel so much love and support from so many of you.
Until next time (or project),
-Chad and Lori
We got to meet Justin and Alisha earlier this spring. When they came to visit us, they were very laid back and approachable. When the visit was over, they said, “we want to go ahead and book now.” This was our first bride to actually book on the spot!
When we have visits, we never pressure anyone to book right then and there (unless you just want to). We want you to take time, think about it, pray about it-to make sure we are the right fit for you. So when Justin and Alisha booked with us on their first visit, that was a boost of confidence!
When it came to their wedding day, it was just as relaxed as they are. No one was stressed out or running around doing last minute details. Alisha had already planned out and put together all the big (and small) details for the wedding.
There was a beautiful boho vibe all throughout each aspect. From the centerpieces, to her dress, to the arbor that they built for their ceremony-everything flowed together.
I love this sweet moment between her and her daughter right before she walked out to meet Justin.
During the ceremony, we witnessed something we had never seen before. It was a family painting that represented the joining of two families. I loved this concept because this is something that they can have in their home for years to come.
The weather could NOT have been better. It was everything you wanted a June day to be. Low humidity and temperatures in the low 80s (and no chance of rain).
Congratulations Justin and Alisha! We loved hosting your wedding and seeing all the new details you brought to the table. You made our venue look and feel bohemian in a way that no other bride has.
Praying blessings over your marriage.
-Chad and Lori
Photos by JBW Photography (and a few by Lori for the blog)
Let me start by saying, this was one of our favorite weddings HANDS DOWN! There’s a lot of reasons for this, but for now let’s focus on the location of the wedding.
The weather for this weekend was calling for 100% chance of rain. During the rehearsal dinner Cheyenne and her wedding coordinator had decided to set up the ceremony site inside the barn (just to be safe). This way, there was no worry about what the weather would do. Let’s just say, what they did to our barn, WAS. STUNNING.
I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start with Cheyenne and her bridesmaids. They spent the night and got ready in the bridal cottage.
Luckily, it was not raining so we were able to take photos right outside the bridal cottage. We were in love with all these dresses because they were the same color palate but different styles and colors. Cheyenne had some pretty amazing bridesmaids who helped her get ready and assisted with photos. Spoiler alert: it took about three bridesmaids to achieve the photo below-
Another aspect that made Cheyenne and Caleb’s day so awesome was their florals. Travis from Blossom Barn in Rockwood, TN was wonderful. He helped transform the barn with florals and dropping. Here’s another shot of Cheyenne’s bouquet-
The florals were carried out all throughout the day. They definitely added elegance to the overall “feel” of the day. Here’s a couple of detail shots that we were able to snag-
The groomsmen were pretty fly too. We can’t forget about them. They ALL wore bright socks and were just a fun group of guys.
Now that we have caught you up on all the details prior to the wedding, let’s talk about THE actual ceremony. Like we stated earlier, the barn had been transformed into the ceremony space. The florals, draping and lights all helped create an intimate ceremony for all 160 guest.
We were able to the move the arbor (that’s normally in the field) right outside the barn; if it started to rain, we would be able to shut the barn doors. We loved seeing the spaced transformed.
Once the wedding was over, we started doing family photos…then bridal party photos…then a personality pic (because everyone was tired of photos).
What was supposed to be a rainy day, ended up being beautiful. While it did rain some during the reception, it didn’t affect the party going on inside the barn. One of my favorite memories from the day was during the reception. Everyone was dancing and singing a Bruno Mars song when the power flickered. The lights came back on immediately, but it took the DJ a minute to reboot. Meanwhile, everyone just keep on singing and dancing and the DJ was able to mix back in the music like nothing had happened. It was so cool!
Caleb and Cheyenne, thank you for choosing us to host your wedding! We loved every second of it and hope you did too! Praying blessings over your life and marriage.
-Chad and Lori
On the morning of May 25th, Sara and her bridesmaids woke up and walked downstairs. They were the first set of ladies to have spent the night in our bridal cottage. Being able to have make up and hair professionals come to where the bride was at, makes things a lot more calm on a busy day.
The bridal cottage is a nice neutral background for photos. When Chad and I were designing this place, we wanted the walls to be simple and clean. We know that sometimes important moments can happen ANYWHERE in the house and we wanted each angle to be photograph-able. This is one of our favorite spots, and I believe that Sara has made this spot a MUST do for photos.
Sara was the perfect blend of a modern southern belle. The details and style of her dress truly reflects that. We love how simple (yet classic) her hair was, which contributed to the overall look and feel of the southern belle theme.
Mark and his groomsmen arrived at The Manor dressed and ready to go! They were able to beat the heat by hanging out on the front porch to do some photos. This group of guys were really a good set of groomsmen; in addition to being hilarious, they did whatever was needed on a wedding day (which can be a lot).
Mark and Sara did NOT do a first look but opted to have a moment without seeing each other. Mark’s groomsmen had got him down to the bridal cottage (while Sara was hiding) and got him ‘in place.’ Sara’s bridesmaids blindfolded Mark just to be sure he couldn’t see anything, while Sara got on the other side of the door. This moment was so beautiful. As an onlooker, I was about to burst with love and excitement for this couple.
The wedding was everything you wanted, with fantastic weather! Each family had contributed to making this a beautiful day.
One thing I really love about hosting weddings is getting to know the families. After it’s all said and done, I feel like I have been adopted by them and as a result, have about seven new Facebook friends afterwards. When the families are amazing, it really fills the day full of love.
Congratulations Mark and Sara! We were so honored to host your big day! We look forward to seeing you again soon!
This wedding was a very special one for Chad and I. If you are an avid reader of the blog, you will remember this couple. Jesse and Lauren decided to book their wedding with us when our barn was still a dirt floor. They saw the vision we had and believed in us. They too, are small business owners, so they understand what goes into operating and running a business.
**Side note, they own Title Boxing Club in Knoxville. They can totally help you with all your gym goals : ) End of side note**
Not only did they decide to get married here, but they came out and helped us develop our property last spring. Here’s a throwback to one of those workdays:
Lauren was such a beautiful bride. From her flowers to dress, everything flowed together so naturally. Her photographer (Genna Sellers Photography) was able to capture some super sweet moments while she was getting ready in the bridal cottage.
Another awesome photography spot is our front porch. As if we didn’t already love our porch enough, these photos just sent us overboard! Not only is it a nice secluded spot, but it perfectly enhances the term, “southern wedding.”
During the rehearsal dinner the night before, Lauren had decided to move her ceremony to the side porch (off the barn). It was calling for 100% chance of rain on her wedding day and she didn’t want to take any chances. On May 4th, it rained-A LOT. Luckily, the rain stopped about one hour before her ceremony and didn’t start again until about 10 pm that evening.
One of the best parts about this ceremony spot is you can hear the water running from our spring on the property. It is so peaceful and is a nice background filler for an intimate ceremony.
Congratulations Jesse and Lauren on a beautiful wedding! We can’t wait to see more photos and reminisce about all the moments on this special day!
To kick off our wedding season, we celebrated Julian and Ashton’s relationship. It was LITERALLY the perfect spring day. Everything was in bloom, which created a colorful backdrop for their wedding.
Ashton and her bridesmaids were the first group to get ready in our bridal cottage. In addition to being a great group of ladies, they made for AH-MAZ-ING models.
You could say the groomsmen were pretty good models too! They utilized their time before the wedding on the front porch of the manor.
The wedding itself went off without a hitch! Here are a few snapshots..
Congratulations to Julian and Ashton! Thank you for choosing us to host your big day! It was our pleasure to get to work with you all!
Happy Thursday everyone! I wanted to update you on our progress in the bridal cottage. While we are not completely finished with the upstairs, we are finished with the downstairs. The photo above is of our staircase, which is what you see as soon as you walk in.
Once you make it into our living area, you would see this.
This area has beautiful natural light that shines through the original house windows. From our last wedding, we’ve seen this area used a lot in bridal portraits.
Keeping “open concept” in mind, we have our living room opening up to the kitchen area. We are pleased with our cabinets and countertops (that we purchased from Cabinets Direct) as well as our appliances (from Patterson’s).
Truth be told, when we purchased this house, the kitchen was actually in the bridal suite. We moved the kitchen into the living area to create a space for our brides and bridesmaids to get ready. Just past the kitchen is our bridal suite.
We made sure to multiple outlets in this room as well as several hangers for everyone to hang their dresses on.
While we are not completely finished with this house, it feels great to be as far along as we are. Each wedding we learn something new that we can provide for our brides. We really enjoyed restoring and renovating this house and can’t wait to finish the upstairs!