Big Spring's Backyard: Devil's Backbone Outpost

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!

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Will and Leah

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!

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Big Spring's Backyard: Natural Bridge

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!

Zach and Kari

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!!

Friday Introductions!

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! 

-Buddy

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!! 

 

 

 

Wedding Props: Spools

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? 

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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!

Ali and Alex

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!

Wedding Props: Wine and Bourbon Barrels

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

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!

Chris and Sarah

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!

Wedding Props: Tree Stumps

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!

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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!

Brandon and Summer

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!

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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

Wedding Props: Trellis

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.  

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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. 

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Brooke and Ben

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!

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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 QuartetFour 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

Michael and Katelyn Maternity

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!! 

Jake and Anna

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!

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We're back!

It's been quite an exciting few months here at Big Spring. We welcomed our little boy, Knox Reid Powers back in December and could not be more in love! We've been snuggling up, getting to know our little guy this past month and it's been such a blessing! There are no words to describe the transformative power of becoming a parent and caring for a little life. 

We enjoyed our time away cherishing those fresh new moments with our new addition, but we're so excited to be back in the office! We're jumping into new projects and working hard to make this upcoming wedding season the best yet! 2017 couples, we can't wait to celebrate with you!!

Enjoy some of our favorite images of Knox! Many thanks to Katelyn James for capturing such sweet moments!

Big Spring Engagement | Corrin and MJ

Every once in a while we get to be a part of engagement sessions here at the farm! It's always so much fun to have couples roam the property with anticipation and excitement for their big day. We love that Big Spring isn't just a day of venue for our couples, but a place where they feel welcomed and want to return again and again. We love being a part of their stories! Corrin and MJ  are such a fun couple and we're so excited for their big day this coming June! We think you'll love this soft and geniunue session! Natalie Jayne Photography, thank you for sharing these beautiful images!

Kaitlyn and Evan

Kaitlyn and Evan's wedding day was nothing short of beautiful. Their style was unique and timeless. From Kaitlyn's soft, delicate gown, Evan's suspenders, to the amazing floral chandeliers that hung from the rafters, everything was eloquent and soft. Ashley Cox captured the day flawlessly, surprising no one when this wedding was featured by Snippet and Ink! Kaitlyn and Evan, thank you for letting us be a part of your day. It was truly a joy to witness! Enjoy some of our favorites!

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Photography: ASHLEY COX / Month of Coordination: EVENTS BY JACKLYN / Floral Design, Bride’s Floral Crown: WILD GREEN YONDER / Bride’s Dresses: CHRISTY DAWN / Bride’s Shoes: JEFFREY CAMPBELL / Bride’s Earrings: Bride’s own / Bridesmaid Dresses: JENNY YOO / Groom’s Shirt: TARGET/ Groom’s Bowtie: TIES.COM / Groom’s Shoes: Studio Ink, purchased at DSW / Groom and Groomsmen Suspenders: DOCKERS, purchased at Kohls / Groomsmen Ties: The Tie Bar / Stationery: Bride’s mom, Connie Reitz (including Save the Dates, Invitations, Seating Chart) / Rentals (Sound): AVIVA RENTALS / Officiant: Rev. Dr. David P. Harris / Ceremony & Music: Playlist created by Bride and Groom, manned and added to by Joey Launi / Catering: SOUTHERN INN / Beer: DEVIL’S BACKBONE BREWING COMPANY / Cake, Dessert: LITTLE APPLE PASTRY SHOP