When Derek and I booked our wedding venue, Birdsong Barn, it was a mess. The tables were uncovered, the chairs were scattered, there were minimal decorations, and none of the twinkle lights were on. It was a disorganized barn, plain and simple.
But we looked passed that and saw the potential. There was a beautiful wedding venue there, somewhere, and though it would take some work to bring it out, we knew it would be worth it.
So we booked the venue and started planning. I became a Pinterest addict and started obsessively following Birdsong Barn’s Facebook page for inspiration. Slowly, I developed this crazy vision of what our “rustic snowflake” wedding should look like and I’m pretty sure I was the only one who saw it. My ideas were questioned (over and over again), but I stuck to my guns and I’m so glad I did. To all future brides out there, don’t let anyone ever talk you out of your vision! It’s YOUR wedding day, not theirs, and you’ll be so happy you stuck with your original plans.
With the help of our amazing family and friends (and Luanne from Birdsong Barn <– who is AMAZING by the way), Derek and I made that crazy “rustic snowflake” idea a reality and that once “disorganized barn” became the coziest wedding reception site we could have ever asked for. I can’t tell you how many compliments we received about our venue. It really was a beautiful site.
I may have planned out all the details for the reception, but it truly was our amazing family and Luanne who pulled it all together. While I was getting my hair and make-up done the morning of the wedding, they were setting the site up and I owe them more than they’ll ever know.
Here are a few of my favorite detail shots of how everything came out:
There was a bench by the entrance of the barn that my aunt draped with the snowflake quilt that was a gift from a family friend at my bridal shower, a snowflake pillow my aunt made herself out of burlap, and a navy blue D & M we had spray painted ourselves. The “…and they loved” sign and antique jug were Birdsong’s.
The Tuesday before the wedding I asked my parents if they would help me make a couple of chalkboard wedding programs for the wedding. My dad had some spare wood in the garage that my mom painted with chalkboard paint. Once the chalkboard was dry, my dad made the frame using crown molding he bought from Lowes and spray painted a pretty metallic color.
The night before the ceremony my bridesmaid, Ashley, wrote out the the ceremony timeline on one chalkboard and the wedding party on the other. She used a chalk paint marker to write the words and we used snowflake stamps dipped in chalk for the snowflakes. We actually found the best approach for getting the snowflakes just right was rubbing the oversized stamps on the giant circular hand chalk my parents have by their pool table. It was my mom’s idea and it worked like a charm.
The wedding alter came with the venue. My aunt draped it with burlap and added the baby’s breath (the chandelier was already there). She also added the “flocked trees” for a snowy effect. The “trees” were branches my dad had cut and flocked with snow-in-a-can, then put in buckets.
For the aisle decorations, we filled mason jars with baby’s breath that hung from shepard hooks (which were also borrowed from the venue).
One of the things I loved about Birdsong Barn was the “treasure trove” of decorations we had access to. Luanne had a whole garage of supplies that we could borrow from. Like this beautiful antique desk that stood at the entrance way.
On the desk were the prints I bought in Boston over the summer and framed with Ikea frames, our scrapbook guestbook (which was a hit, by the way), and a snowflake “welcome” sign I found at Joanne’s for 75% off the week after christmas.
Next to the sign-in table, was the gift and escort card table.
The “cards” suitcase was another thing that belonged to the venue. Thank goodness, too, because I totally forgot to get one before hand.
and across was the sparkler send-off table.
Now let’s look at the tables.
The table cloths and burlap runners all belonged to the venue (and were included in the original price, not extra – yay!). The champagne glasses and silverware were the caterer’s (also not extra – yay!).
I had some fun the day after Christmas going from Target to Target collecting various discounted snowflake decorations for the wedding. One of the things I found were the snowflake place holders for our table numbers. I ended up with 20 of them of all different colors.
The mason jars were all courtesy of my aunts, who were hot gluing burlap, snowflake ribbons, and ornaments the day before. Have I mentioned how grateful I am for each and every member of my family? Seriously. We collected mason jars for months leading up the wedding and then borrowed some from Luanne to fill in the gaps the day of. No two mason jars were decorated exactly alike, just like no two snowflakes are ever exactly alike.
The jars were also filled with rock salt and clear glitter; and battery operated candles were placed in the center to resemble glowing snow once it grew dark.
Every table also had out “I Spy” games for our guests to play through the evening.
Here’s the sweetheart table. Please note the space heater to the left of the table that was there “just in case” but was never used.
The “Mr.” and “Mrs.” chairs belonged the the venue and Luanne personalizes the window panes behind the sweetheart table for every wedding.
My FAVORITE table – the desert table!
Everything on this table was a HIT. My two cousins, Angela and Christina, baked a variety of beautifully decorated cupcakes for the occasion as their wedding gift for Derek and me. I’m sad I never had a chance to try one – they were gone before the night was over (I’ll take that as a good sign that everyone loved them). Also on display below you’ll see the congo bars my Aunt Carol made and a blueberry pie my mother-in-law made as the groom’s cake (it’s Derek’s favorite dessert in the whole wide world and I wanted to surprise him with it).
Coooookkkkkiiiieeesss!!!! Look! I got my cookies in a basket (thanks, Grandma, for letting me borrow them!
The cookies were also a hit. We set out to-go bags so guests could take a cookie home as their favor, but I think the majority of folks ate them on site. We had 150 guests, 175 cookies, and by the end of the night all that was left was a handful of broken cookies, that’s it. Everyone loved them! By the way, the cookies were from Sunrise Bakery in Titusville and if you’re ever in Titusville, please stop in and have one of their cookies. They’re freakin’ unbelievable.
My uncle really outdid himself on the cake. I started to tear up the first time I saw it, it was so beautiful.
My uncle is not a professional by any means. Cake decorating is merely a favorite a hobby of his and the wedding cake was our wedding gift from him. We had talked on and off about what the cake should be, but mainly I gave him complete creative control. I thought it was going to be two simple cakes, but it ended up being a four tier masterpiece. It was perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
The best part was it tasted good, too. Underneath the gorgeous decorations was my grandmother’s famous red velvet recipe and cream cheese icing. I know I’m really bias, but it was the best wedding cake I’ve ever had.
So there you have it. I’m sure I’ll go into more details for the main reception post, but I wanted to share some of the details first.
What was the favorite detail you remember from your wedding? Mine was the cake!
Photo credits: Andrea Hubbell Photography