Guys, I'm so excited to share this wedding with you! Nick and Chloe got marred at the farm back in May and it was absolutely beautiful! I loved the soft, romantic style that graced the entire event. From the bridesmaids dresses, to the flowers, to the rolling hills, it was all stunning. Brett and Jessica Photography captured every moment so beautifully it was difficult to only share a few!
It's been a big year for family Weddings. If you saw last weeks blog post you know, my little brother just got married at the farm, and earlier this year we had two more family weddings!! Today I want to share a little bit from my cousin Mikey's wedding!
Mikey and Jennifer grew up in the same town, went to the same schools, but it wasn't until Jen went off to college that Mikey and Jenny became a thing. After moving together from New Jersey, to Alabama, and finally to the great commonwealth of Virginia, the two tied the knot here at the farm. People often ask about what rainy day weddings look like at the farm, well this one was rainy, and it's one of our absolute favorites of all our weddings!! The smell of lavender was in the air, and the barn has never looked better with farm tables, and gorgeous florals from Amanda Veronee. Here's a peak into this gorgeous day!! Congratulations Mikey and Jennifer!!
I can't believe the big weekend is finally here!! My younger brother John and his beautiful fiance Kaylee will be tying the knot tomorrow at Big Spring. It's such a surreal and great honor that they chose to spend such a special day here at the farm, and we could not be happier for them!! Blessings on you two as you begin the adventure of marriage together! The Lord will do more than you could ask or imagine through each of you and the covenantal relationship that you are entering into, so enjoy and hold on tight!!!
Buddy, Jill, and Knox
One of the things that is great about this area is all the wineries and breweries that are based in the Blue Ridge Mountains! When my husband and I first moved here, I remember it was one of the first things that Buddy shared with us! He was so excited to tell us about all the great places in the area to get a cold brew or a nice glass of wine! We quickly fell in love with that aspect of our town too! One of our favorite breweries is located right here in Rockbridge county only four short miles from town.
Devil's Backbone Outpost is the bottling location for the Devil's Backbone brand. Most people are familiar with Devil's Backbone Base camp, located in Nelson County, but few know of the brewery location that lies 60 miles west. Devil's Backbone is home to more than 15 draft beers, with brewery tours, flights, and growlers, it's the perfect place to share a drink with your buddies. They have everything from food truckts o trivia, to live music on their agenda. It truly is the place to be on any given night. You can find locals hanging out after work, or getting together for a meeting in the taproom.
We feel like one rule of thumb when it comes to trying new places, is that you can't go wrong when you head out to where the locals go! And that's definitely true for the taproom! Devil's Backbone is the perfect place for a groom and his men to spend the day before their wedding! You can start your afternoon with lunch in town, or check out the schedule for food truck times at the brewery. Then, head on in for a tour and a flight! For earlier weddings, head on out before the rehearsal the day before for the same great experience! Check out some photos from our latest visit and don't forget to drop by on your next day in town!
Last September, Will and Leah tied that knot at the farm and it was an unforgettable day! Will and Leah are such a fun and joyful couple! Everywhere you looked there was lots of laughter and big smiles. You could tell that everyone was excited for this sweet couple and couldn't help but celebrate the day with them. Not only was the day fun, but it truly was beautiful! I mean, there was even a perfect rainbow right before sunset! It doesn't get much better than that! Check out these images by Jillian Michelle Photoggraphy , we think you'll love them!
Big Spring in located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Most of you know that the property is surrounded by mountain views and green pastures. But what you may not have heard about is how great Lexington and Rockbridge County truly are. We found a gem when we moved here. We love it so much that we're regularly trying to convince all our friends to move here too! And we've gotten pretty close so far!
Today is the first of many show casing our favorite small town in a new blog series called, Big Spring's Backyard. There is so much to offer here, great food, beautiful views, local beer, historical sites and more! We'll be sharing some of our favorite things about Lexington and Rockbridge County that will make you never want to leave!
First, we want to start with our county's namesake, Natural Bridge. Only 20 minutes from main street Lexington, the state park is located in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Tourists travel from far and wide to see this natural wonder that's located right in our back yard!
The history of the bridge is fascinating. The legend of the Monocan Indians claims that the bridge appeared just as they needed it to escape from their enemy, calling it a miracle. It is believed that George Washington surveyed the land for Lord Fairfax in the 1750s. If you look closely, you can even see the initials GW carved on rock under the bridge. Furthermore, the bridge was owned by Thomas Jefferson until his heirs sold it in the 1800s!
This park makes a great morning trip. Once you arrive, the bridge is only a short declining walk down to the river bed that flows under the huge stone arch. The park also includes Cedar Creek trail, a short 1 mile walk through the bridge. Stop and learn about Native American life at the Monocan Village, admire the creek, caves, and finish at Lace Falls. End the morning with lunch and you have yourself a beautiful day trip. Natural Bridge is the perfect activity for out of town guests, or to experience together as a newly married couple following your big day!
You've got to check out this Wonder of the World for yourself!! In the meantime, enjoy some of our pictures from our latest visit!
Wedding season is in full swing and we're off to a great start! We've had a handful of great celebrations at the farm this season and we're looking forward to many more! With it being almost summer, you may be expecting bright, green, summery images with lots of inspiration for spring and summer brides. But, we realize that this is the time that our fall brides start kicking it in high gear! Wedding planning is cyclical. You start off running in order to book all your vendors , set your day, and plan your bridal party. Then, you can breathe and you have time to dream! But, before you know it, you're at a place where you need to make a thousand decisions!
We can 't give you all the answers, but we can send a little inspiration to all our fall brides! Zach and Kari's wedding was a beautiful day, full of love and sweet, intentional touches, complete with the Virginia Tech Hokie! It was a wonderful day captured by our very own, Jillian Michelle Photography. We hope you'll love it just as much as we do!!
Hey y'all! We've been keeping a little secret for the past few months that we've been dying to tell you! My wife, Jill, can attest, I am the worst secret keeper. I have successfully surprised her on two occasions, when I first asked her out in college (I had no chance so she definitely didn't see that coming), and when I asked her to marry me! Every other surprise attempt has been varying levels of failure. She always figures me out!! So I'm impressed I made it this long on this one with y'all! About 8 months ago, one of our dear friends and fellow Lexington locals started helping us out with administrative, social media, and client care stuff. She has been such a blessing to Big Spring, to our couples, and to our family, and it's been awesome to watch her grow the role she was given into something really special. So without further ado, let's meet Mary Margaret!
Tell us about your family! My husband Tim and I have been married for three years now! We met in college, the very first day to be exact, and have been together ever since! We lived in Charlotte for two years while Tim was working for the minor league baseball team there. Then in 2014, we moved to Lexington so he could work at Rockbridge Alum Springs, a Young Life Camp. We absolutely love Lexington and can't believe we ever thought a big city was for us! Just this past December, we welcomed our baby girl! Anna Beth was born on Christmas Eve, which will forever be remembered as one of the best days of my life! We are smitten, to say the least. She has the best smile and loves people!
So how did you find out about Big Spring? Tim and I knew Buddy and Jill in college and we shared a lot of mutual friends. Though we didn't keep in touch, we had heard through the grapevine that they had recently moved to Lexington. When we started planning our first visit to the area, we immediately reached out to them! Once we moved here, we reconnected with Buddy and Jill and learned about all they were doing at Big Spring. We've loved watching the farm grow and have enjoyed being a part of it!
Where did you go to college, and what did you study? After fighting my parents on the whole "in state" thing, I visited Christopher Newport University and fell in love! Though my stubbornness tried to fight it, I eventually succumbed and attended CNU. It was by far one of the best decisions of my life! I still love that place. I met some great people who are still some of my best friends. I studied English and Secondary Education. I've taught Middle School English for the past four years.
What's one of your favorite memories from your wedding day? There are so many good ones it's hard to pick a favorite! I think the best thing about any wedding day is that all of your favorite people, from all walks of life, are in one place to celebrate you and your spouse. It didn't really occur to me how excited other people were for us until I saw them all at the reception and spoke to our friends and family. I loved greeting our guests after dinner with my new husband. I've never felt so loved or celebrated. So many people traveled so far to be with us and it meant so much! Not only did we walk away from that day married, but encouraged by the love and support poured out to us!
Describe your ideal day off! I love to be outside! A perfect day off would start with a cup of coffee and some time reading in my favorite chair. Then, a short run and a quick check-in with the garden to see what's bloomed! The rest of the day I would spend outside with my family. Hiking,swimming, walking downtown, or picnicing in our own yard are all good with me. Just give me my two favorite people and some sunshine and I'm happy! I'd end the day with a nice leisurely dinner with friends (a steak if I'm being specific) and a glass of wine!
You're an English Teacher right? What's your favorite book? Oh, this is such a hard question! I love Anne of Green Gables. It's such a happy book that transports you to a simpler time and fosters imagination and confidence in your identity. It is just the sweetest book. Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Tom Sawyer, Sarah, Plain and Tall, and anything by Jen Hatmaker (she's hilarious and real, check her out!) are other favorites. Can you tell I'm a historical fiction nerd?
If you could go anywhere in the world (pretend you don't have a 4 month old haha!), where would you go? Italy! I've wanted to go to Italy since I was a little girl! I'm not completely sure what sparked that dream, but I have a feeling it had something to do with gelato and pasta. :)
What's one of your favorite things about working at Big Spring? I truly love seeing how unique each couple's day is. It's sometimes hard to believe that couples can create such different atmospheres at the same venue, but their personalities as a couple always shine through. I also love that I get to play a small part in the best day of their lives. It's pretty special to be a part of that. Our weekly play dates with our buddy Knox are pretty great too!
Thanks MM, we love you!!
There is one prop that we think doesn't get utilized enough! Our wooden spools are a great, rustic addition to any wedding and have so much character! We have a few options to share with you today, though the possibilities are endless!
At their ceremony, most couples opt to have a wine barrel under the trellis, or nothing at all, but we love seeing the spool accenting the space! And how beautiful are those flowers?
Spools and ferns lining the aisles? Yes please! So simple and classic!
This might be one of our favorites! Both spools framed the sliding doors to the barn and were decorated with flowers, guest book, and pictures of the sweet couple!
We can imagine these props housing cakes, gifts, and even hor d'oeuvres! They are such a fun and simple addition to the space, whether in the barn or on the grounds! We can't wait to see what creative ideas our couples come up with next!
Today we want to share with you our last wedding of 2016! It was an unusually cold November day, but the chill could not steal joy away from Ali and Alex! The trees were orange and preparing for winter, the bridesmaids wore red, and the groomsmen were looking sharp in their gray suits! We love the rich and bold color that filled the day. The barn looked ready for an elegant dinner party, all dressed in red and gold! Ali and Alex are full of love and joy that can't be missed! The last image explains it all! Enjoy dear friends!
Photography: Jillian Michelle Photography
One of our favorite props here at Big Spring are the Wine and Bourbon barrels. They provide a natural and vintage look that enhances the elegance of the property. Two of the barrels, the bourbon barrels, are a darker color and appear a little more rustic, with aged metal and worn wood. The wine barrel on the other-hand, is a lighter wood with less age, but still perfectly antiqued.
Not only do they fit nicely with the aesthetic, but they are very functional as well! Most frequently, couples choose to use one of the three barrels at the alter. They make beautiful stands for floral pieces that can enhance the alter space. We've also had couples use them to display communion elements, Unity candles, and other special additions to their ceremony!
The barrels also work well in the reception space! They are the perfect size to display a wedding cake! One of the benefits of using the barrel to display the cake is that the barrel takes up minimal space. Dessert tables are beautiful, but if you're concerned about having space for all your guests and the dance floor, a tall and thin structure to display a single dessert is a great solution! Plus, the barrel requires no additional decoration! You can simply let your baker's artistry shine on the top of a perfect easel!
Of course we've had couples get creative and use the barrels as decorations themselves. The barrels have framed the ceremony entry way, accented tent structures, housed drink stations and hor d'oeuvres, and displayed sparklers. We're sure there are even more ways you could make use of this prop to fit your needs on your wedding day! We can't wait to see all the new things our couples think of!
Justine and RJ's wedding was bright and beautiful! We love how they chose muted colors for their linens and attire, but included striking roses in their florals! University Florist did a fantastic job! Justine's dress was elegant and stunning and the classic suspenders that the gentlemen wore have us grinning from ear to ear! Justine and RJ, thanks for letting us be a part of your day! We loved every minute of it!
Special thanks to Jillian Michelle Photography for sharing such beautiful images!
Today we want to share with you one of our favorite weddings!! Chris and Sarah got married at the farm a few years ago and we still love their stunning images by Katelyn James!! Their wedding was relaxed, fun, and simply beautiful! We love how their wedding enhanced the beauty of the farm with simple decorations, wood slab accents, potted plants, and white hydrangeas. Enjoy this classic, timeless wedding!
Today in our wedding prop series we'll be sharing some images of the tree stumps that we have on site! These stumps are a natural accent to the already beautiful landscape! The stumps are most frequently used to line the aisle way and add some interest to the walking space, however they can be used in so many other ways to add personal touches to your day!
These first two images today don't actually have any stumps in it, but we wanted to show you how simply beautiful the aisle can be without additional accents. We say this time and time again, the farm is beautiful on its own and beautiful with decorations!
This next set of photos shows the use of multiple stumps dressed with beautiful arrangements that compliment the wedding party. We love this elegant, garden-style feel to the ceremony space!
Who says you need florals for everything? Don't get me wrong, I love flowers galore, but these images show the stunning natural beauty of bare stumps framing the aisle. The intricacies of each piece of wood seem to tell as story, just as a wedding days tells the story of a sweet couple in love.
Our last pictures are great pieces of inspiration if you want to add some floral accents, while saving some money. The first image shows simple vases filled with baby's breath topping the wood. While the second image has potted plants lining the aisle. Both are beautiful and keep in step with the overall look of the rest of the wedding!
All of our images today show the tree stumps being used to line the ceremony aisle. However, that is not where the creativity ends! The stumps could be used to frame the ceremony entrance and welcome guests holding waters, fans, or orders of service. A dessert table can have height and texture when these are used atop a farm table or barrel to display cake, donuts, cupcakes, or utensils. Of course, the size of these particular tree limbs lend themselves well to sitting! We can envision a beautiful kids area on the lawn where children can sit to snack, rest, or color! Or, the wood can create a relaxed place for adult guests to enjoy their cocktails by the water or fire! Ultimately, the possibilities are quite endless and each couple can tailor the trees to reflect the personality of the day!
Just last spring, Brandon and Summer tied the knot at the farm and it was a beautiful celebration!! Along with their family and friends, Brandon and Summer worked so hard to create a welcoming and creative space. From the wood board ceremony entry, offering fans and flowers to their guests, to the decadent dessert display, this wedding was so inviting! We love the genuine portraits that Stephanie Messick captured of their day. Brandon and Summer's love truly radiated and we are so grateful to have been a part of their celebration! Enjoy some of our favorites!
Venue: Big Spring Farm, Lexington, Virginia | Wedding Coordinator: Kristin Corrigan |Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography | Hair and Makeup: First Look Artistry | Caterer: Hogback Mountain BBQ | Florist: University Florist | Baker: Bubblecake | DJ: DJ Greyhound | Stationery: Minted.com | Dress Designer: Watters: Betsy Robinson Bridal | Rentals: Hogback Mountain BBQ
A lot of our couples are continually inspired by images of past weddings we've had at the farm. We get a lot of questions about what props belong to Big Spring, which props couples have brought in themselves, and then how to utilize them. We've seen all sorts of creative and original ideas for how to make the indoor and outdoor spaces extra beautiful here at the farm and we want to share them with you!
Today is our first installment of a new blog series that will cover various ideas for how to make the most of the props we offer. Over the course of the series, we will be sharing pictures from past weddings and inspiration images for the different props we offer. We'll address everything from the Trellis, to farm tables, tree stumps, wine barrels and more!
This week we'll be talking about the ceremony trellis that dresses the ceremony site. The trellis is a beautiful structure made from cherry and cedar tree limbs. It's a four-legged structure that measures 7 feet high and 7 feet wide that adds depth and focus to the outdoor space. We've seen some stunning designs including full flower garlands, simple drapery, elegant greenery, and eclectic hangings. Many couples have left the trellis to its natural look, without adding any additional elements, which is always just as striking. I hope these images are not only helpful but inspiring!
Our first trellis inspiration is the most natural and organic use of the structure. Christine and Matt decided to let the tree branches and rich texture in the trellis to do all the talking.
Next, we have Kaitlyn and Michael who chose simple flowers and white drapery for their ceremony. We love how these flowers compliment the natural fall beauty of their day!
Here we have another example of how to dress the trellis for your ceremony. Megan and Scott kept it simple by framing the trellis in white drapery and tying it back with a coordinating ribbon.
Santana and Dwight decided on a more dramatic look for the trellis. It is accented with an abundance of white drapery that adds dramatic interest, while the simple greenery keeps it classy and timeless.
This design may be the most creative we've seen! The trellis is decorated with streamer like draping and if you look closely, you can see the small globes, filled with greenery, hanging from the wood!
Lastly, we have a full floral design that adds beautiful texture and entrance to the trellis.
Brooke and Ben got married this past summer on a beautiful day in June! The day was magical, full of all the things they love, Disney and Southern Charm! From seersucker suits and bow ties to carriages and hidden Mickeys, this wedding was a beautiful reflection of the couple! To top it off, Ty and Ashley Herrinton photographed the celebration and the images are nothing short of amazing! Brooke and Ben's day was such a fairy tale, and Brooke planned the entire thing herself!! (You can check her out more of her work over at Brooke Shehan Events !)
We were so fortunate to be a part of Brooke and Ben's special day! Brooke and Ben, thank you for inviting us to be a part of your celebration!
Videographer: Handspun Cinema | Florist: Just Kay’s Flowers | Dress: Becky’s Bridals and Formals | Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero | Bridesmaids Dresses: Becky’s Bridals and Formals – Jasmine Bridal | Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers | Bow Tie: Collard Greens | Groomsmen Attire: Becky’s Bridals and Formals – Michael Kors | String Quartet: Four Seasons String Quartet | DJ: Bill Knarr Entertainment | Hair: Kelly’s Salon | Makeup: B Flawless Salon | Cake: Connie Clements | Caterer: Effie Wallace, Kenney’s | Officiant: David Dickerson | Wedding Planner – Brooke Shehan Weddings and Events | Day of Coordinator: Patricia Jennings
We know that it can be so overwhelming planning a wedding. There are so many things to think about, vendors, decorations, timelines, transportation, guest list, and honeymoon! And that's just the short list! It can be easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to turn. If you're like us, what do you do when you don't know what to do? You google it. Sometimes you'll find exactly what you need, with the perfect list of all that you need to register for. Other times you find conflicting ideas, which seem to confuse you more. And still other times, you find absolutely nothing.
If you Google "farm weddings", you'll find articles that sing their praises and declare their pitfalls. We think this is because when you decide to host an event at a unique property, you are faced with an endless combination of variables that can cause stress or leave the couple at ease. The bottom line is, not every venue handles those variables the same. We love that each event at Big Spring is unique, but we don't think that means you should have to sacrifice any comfort or convenience on your big day! With that in mind, we have made some key improvements to our 150 year old barn that make each event not only stunningly special, but refined and easy to enjoy!
- Bathrooms: This is a big one and was posted on every page we read. It's no surprise because let's be real, it's a big deal! It's true, most barns are not equipped with a water closet and Big Spring was once one of those barns. But, we couldn't settle for a bathroom trailer anymore, so we built am out building off the side of the barn with high -quality design. Not only do our guest not have to worry about renting a portable bathrooms, they're provided with a Joanna Gaines inspired restroom!
- Climate control: Everyone wants an outside wedding until it's 95 degrees in September and 55 degrees in May! We don't want our guests to have to worry about untimely weather, which is why we've equipped the barn with heating and cooling. This allows for warm receptions in the fall and cool dance parties in July!
- Floors: One of the big concerns posted on various sites was that many barns don't have finished floors. Since barns were not created to be event venues, but designed to store hay, supplies, and livestock, most have dirt floors. However, here at Big Spring, our barn has been updated with finished floors for a more refined look! The barn doesn't house supplies in the off-season, but is exclusively used for events, which means you don't have to worry about muddy floors covered in hay!
- Off the beaten path: One of the allures of a farm wedding is that the event is "off the beaten" path, making you feel secluded from the outside world. However, this can prove difficult for guests since "off the beaten path" usually means far from restaurants, hotels, and shopping. Big spring has both the "off the beaten path" feel, without sacrificing distance from town. Lexington is only 15 minutes away and has a ton to offer its visitors! Great restaurants, luxury hotels, and small town charm!
We've done our best to make the barn at Big Spring comfortable, but we want Big Spring to be more than a barn venue, but a timeless place full of hospitality and beauty. The joy of a farm wedding is that couples get to host an event that feels like home, without the stress and preparation.
Ya'll, today we are sharing one of our favorite sessions from the farm! Our good friends Michael and Katelyn are expecting their little girl any day now! It was so fun sharing the anticipation of pregnancy with them! Now, we're just waiting for them to join us on the other side and share the joys (and hurdles) of parenthood!!
This past fall, Michael and Katelyn came out to the farm for a visit and Jill got to shoot some gorgeous maternity photos of our dear friends and their precious little one! We can't wait to meet this little girl! I guess we'll just enjoy these beauties while we anxiously await her arrival! We know her Mama and Daddy are anxious to see her sweet face! Enjoy these images of some beautiful people, inside and out!!
The winter months can be such a gift, drawing us to slow down, reflect on the previous year, and prepare for the season ahead. One of our favorite things to do is look back on past weddings and relish in the beauty and uniqueness of each one! We love how each couple is so different and their day reflects their own personal style. Looking back at Big Spring weddings certainly gets us fired up and excited for all that we do! Not to mention, these images can transport us to a time of lush greens and warm sunlight!
Today, we want to share with you the beautiful, warm images from Jake and Anna's wedding. We can't help but feel warm inside when we see their big smiles and rich love during a time of warm nights and sunshine! We hope this wedding warms you up too! Many thanks to Hannah Teague Photography for sharing them with us!