Party with the Farley's : BTS
Acres of farmland, a covered bridge, a gazebo, beautiful ceremony site, and a fully renovated bridal space for the chicest of brides, Athena Farm & Vineyard was everything Abby & Taylor were looking for when it came to their vintage, rustic, romantic wedding in May. What they weren't looking for was a rainstorm for the ages, and a complete change of plans on the biggest day of their lives.
*The rain gods did cut us a bit of a break, so we could grab a few outdoor shots on the wedding day!
It has been a few weeks now since the wedding, but I can't help but revisting the photographs we received last week from the oh so talented Alex Chaney Photography and fawning over each image. They are filled with so much love, happiness, joy, and wedded bliss, that you would never know we flipped all of the couples carefully mapped out plans, on their head, and started from scratch, all less than 12 hours before Abby walked down the aisle. I have told the story a few times since the wedding, but I thought I would share it here because 1) It's a true testament of what R+O stands for as a company 2) It was made possible by the help of the bride and grooms amazing family and friends 3) It is a perfect example of the type of bride every vendor in the industry wants to work for. So I put together a bit of a timeline to recap the days events. If I wasn't actually coordinating it all, I wouldn't have believed it went off without a hitch, but here it is: Wednesday, May 24, 2:30pm We arrive at the wedding venue. It has been raining for a day straight, leaving us with "Plan B" - to move the reception under a white tent instead of having it on the stone patio. The only problem is, the ground under the tent is now muddy, and will be remedied by covering the mud with hay. I knew this "solution" wouldn't sit well with Abby because she didn't like the hay at our first venue visit prior to today. But, it was the day before and I promised her we would make it work. Which wasn't a lie, we did make it work. Just not at that venue. Not under that tent, and sans any trace of hay. :) Wednesday, May 24, 7:00pm The rehearsal has been moved to a hotel within 5 minutes of the venue site. Into the ballroom. We run through the order of the ceremony, grab some amazing catered BBQ from L&R in Hurricane, and start discussing details of the big day. I could tell Abby was a little uneasy but I knew the weather was weighing on her. It wasn't supposed to let up for another 2 days. But after having everyone, really, everyone, tell her she would be married come tomorrow evening regardless of the weather, we left the rehearsal with no change in the plan, other than an extra tent be set up at the ceremony site. We would set it up through the rain and literally weather the storm. Thursday, May 25, The Wedding day, 4:40am I receive a text from Abby, asking if it would be possible to get pictures earlier than scheduled. The rain was supposed to break for a few hours that morning, and I knew she had been checking the forecast. I woke up to the text and immediately my heart sank seeing what time she had sent it. I knew she probably hadn't slept and I felt horrible. This stupid weather! It was the one thing I couldn't control and there wasn't any way of preventing it. I, of course told her we could take them as early as she wanted. Thursday, May 25, 6:50am The forecast is staying at 100% chance of rain from 6pm on. 100%, way to really sock it to us. Not even 95%. 100. Abby texts me and says she wants to move the wedding inside, because not only is it going to be raining, it's also calling for a high of 50 degrees. She decides she wants to move in into the hotel ballroom where the rehearsal dinner had taken place the night before. So here we are at plan C. Moving the wedding to the hotel. We now are awaiting confirmation from the manager who is getting in at 8am. Casually waiting an hour to confirm if we can change wedding locations. NBD. I start to make little cards to pass out when guests arrive at the farm, giving them the new wedding location and address. (spoiler alert: these cards will not be used and plan C was never put into place) Thursday, May 25, 8:30am The hotel manager tells us there is a leak in the roof of the hotel ballroom and therefore we cannot have the reception there. We are back to square one. Now, I'm even more at a loss for what I can do to ease Abby's nerves. Thanks weather. Plan D, anyone? Thursday, May 25 9:00am I head to the farm where Abby and the girls are getting ready, we are still sans dry wedding venue, but we are exhausting every venue in the area to try to find a place that will take us in. The few places I drove to or called had exclusive catering agreements (fun) or had alcohol stipulations. With no luck, and resorting back to plan B, I arrive at the farm, and Abby looks so happy and calm. She is getting the final touches on her makeup (which was flawless) and hair before we start on some first look and pre-ceremony photos. She was collected and at peace with the events of the past 24 hours and now it was up to us to carry out all of her plans no matter where the location.
nothing to see here, just a calm beautiful bride.
Thursday, May 25, 11:00am | t minus 6 hours before the wedding. We were wrapping up photographs and both Abby and the groom, Taylor, were in good spirits, they got some gorgeous shots just before the clouds started setting back in. Abby's parents arrive and tell us they have found a smaller venue down the road that has agreed to let us have the wedding there. So now, we have to get all the decor. furniture, and flowers to the new venue. Luckily I had a team of 20 guys with a 18 wheeler who created an assembly line and they loaded and unloaded everything within 30 minutes while the groom casually drank a beer with his groomsmen back at the hotel. LOL JK. Taylor, in his dapper wedding attire, drove his truck down to where all the wedding goodies were stashed, unlocked his trailer, and he and a few others loaded it up and then unloaded it at venue #2. **side note: Taylor is the definition of "happy wife, happy life" btw. He kept saying all day "I just want Abby to be happy". "I'll do whatever Abby wants to do". He's married now, but it's proof there are great men out there ladies!
I literally was not as miffed as I look in this photo. It was an exciting moment! The groom seeing his bride for the first time! Maybe I need to work on my RBF.
I mean can you even stand how chic this shot is?
Victory! Abby's mother lands a venue Thursday, May 25, 1:30pm | t minus 3.5 hours before the wedding. This was the first time I remember looking at my phone to check the time after staring down the 10+ boxes at the other side of the new venue. I would be lying if I said a slight wave of panic didn't rush over me. There were family members who were helping set up, wiping down chairs, setting up chairs, and placing flowers in the bud vases, but there were boxes to be unpacked and I knew I couldn't possibly get everything out and on display in a few hours. And even if I could, we had gone from a sprawling farm with unlimited space, to an indoor barn with limited room.
My first hurdle was deciding what would be set up. We essentially had four corners to work with so Abby's beautifully curated plans had to take a backseat to necessity and practicality. The DJ had to have a corner, the wedding cake had to have a corner, the welcome table with guest book had to be at another, and her sweet memory table and custom drink station would take the 4th corner. That was it. My heart broke as I thumbed through the papers which contained all the pictures of the different set ups she had wanted. But I couldn't go back and forth on it and I had to stick the decision because 2 o'clock was quickly approaching. I decided I would set up the cake and dessert table first, and do a quick scan of the rest of the boxes to decide if we should even unpack them.
We also had to make the decision to have the ceremony in front of the entrance doors. It would make for better pictures, and would flow easier with Abby and her bridesmaids being in the back of the barn. They wouldn't have to be out in the rain at all, and the catering would have easier access to the floor to set up appetizers. Carrying on..
Thursday, May 25, 4:00pm We are nearing the end of set up, Floor still needs swept, the extra greenery needs to be put out of sight, I need to change out of my ratchet rain boots and black jeans, and a couple odds and ends need taken care of but it's fine because we still have an hour until the ceremony starts. Jk - here comes the first guest walking through the door. It was like when you have that dream that you show up at your graduation naked, or show up at your wedding and you forgot your dress. This was happening. I was going to work this wedding in rain boots. I told myself no one would notice and quickly started gathering the extra flowers and throwing them in the back. Grabbed a broom and swept the back of the venue as quickly as I could. The catering arrived and now we had to decide how we would set up dinner. Every inch of the venue was being utilized except the middle "aisle" where Abby would walk for the ceremony. We were going to have to flip the aisle after the ceremony. A ceremony aisle turned buffet line in less than 20 minutes. We had already set up tables in the back where the "bridal quarters" were and the venue's pretty vintage couches and vanity were quickly masked by plastic white folding tables covered with huge covered containers. Maybe Abby wouldn't notice all the food when she walked in. The entire party arrived and it was time to get organized and prep for the ceremony.
These bridesmaids and their dresses were stunning! *Not pictured food approx 2 feet in front of them, and the catering staff shoved in the corner, notice the mirror*
Thursday, May 25th, 5:45pm They are married! The ceremony was so sweet, and although we were out of the rain there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Alex captured some amazing photos and he made the entire day look effortless and beautiful!
...only known picture of my assistant and husband, Scott. Escorting the guys into the ceremony!
Shortly after the ceremony, we cleared the "aisle" and the catering staff, like a silent army, walked out with the folding tables, we draped them with cream linens, and set the food out. The cocktail hour would have to be nixed because of space, and the bar we were initially going to use was property of venue #1, meaning it didn't make the trip to venue #2.
After the dinner was served, catering removed all the food, gathered the linens, broke down the tables, and viola! The pathway made its third and final transformation of the night; the dance floor.
The wedding was perfect, everyone had such a good time, and the newlyweds were so happy with how everything turned out. We could NOT have finished and executed without the help of so many of their friends and family, the gracious and accommodating catering staff of Corner Gas & Grill, and as always, all of the moments captured by Alex Chaney Photography. It was such a crazy day but it was so worth my clients being happy with the end result and loving every minute of their wedding. I loved being able to create a new vision for them while still bringing out the details they loved.
And, it goes without saying, these photographs in the rain are EVERYTHING, and with all the rain we encountered, these two are destined for lifetime(s) of happiness together!