Category: Autumn

Willow Pond Farmstead – Coats, NC

Is this your first time here? Start at the Welcome Page!

I interrupt your regularly scheduled ceremony recaps to bring you a visit to a (new-to-me!) wedding venue in Coats, NC. I just learned of the Willow Pond Farmstead last week and the owners, Nancy and Rick, were kind enough to invite me out for a visit!

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While Nancy and Rick have lived on the property since 1990, they didn’t host their first wedding until 2000. Even then, they were just doing it for a friend and had no intentions of becoming a wedding venue. One thing led to another and they now host weddings on weekends in May and October every year in order to support their work raising rare breeds of livestock and farm animals. Yes, you heard right… only May and October! That means opportunities are limited and there is only one weekend left for 2015… May 8-10th (Mother’s Day weekend). So if you are as in love with this little gem as I am, jump on this opportunity!

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This spot in front of the “Y Barn” is a popular one for ceremonies since the deck offers a kind of stage for the couple and bridal party while guests are seated on the lawn. Another great thing about Willow Pond Farmstead is that they provide chairs and tables for up to 150 people! (My little iphone picture does NOT do it justice… make sure you check out pictures on their site from previous ceremonies.)

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This is the serene view of “Lake Fran” and the geese from the deck of the Y Barn. The pond is affectionately named Lake Fran after the hurricane in 1996 that took down more than 350 trees on the property and allowed them to build the lake. Timber from the fallen trees was used to build many of the structures on the property, including the “W Barn” where reception dinners usually take place.

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This shot is of the side of the “W Barn” where guests often have cocktails before dinner and dancing. There are also two adorable apartments upstairs in the barn (one for the bride and one for the groom!) that each have balconies overlooking the pond.

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Brides getting married at Willow Pond Farmstead have the opportunity to arrive in style in one of the two Model T Ford’s on the property that have been restored by Rick! How neat!

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I just loved everything about this venue, but some highlights are:

  • Rentals are for the whole weekend, no being rushed out before the next wedding
  • Couples can bring in their own caterers, florists, bakers, music, etc…
  • Hay rides are offered during receptions – at no extra charge!
  • Chairs and tables are available on site – at no extra charge!
  • The Model T’s are available – at no extra charge!
  • (Are you seeing a trend?) One fee covers everything so there are no surprises!
  • Lots of twinkly white lights already hung in both barns… love that.

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I had such a lovely time meeting Nancy and Rick and was so impressed with this beautiful venue. I am honored to be on their preferred vendor list and hope I will be spending a lot of time there!

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An Autumn Backyard Wedding + Ring Warming Ceremony

Is this your first time here? Start at the Welcome page!

I love an autumn wedding! I was married in October and took the seasonal theme as far as I could with oranges, browns, and yellows… pumpkins, hay bails, and burlap… caramel apples, barbeque pork, and s’mores around a campfire. You get the idea!

On Saturday, October 5th, 2013 I was fortunate enough to officiate a beautiful autumn wedding in the high country of North Carolina. There is no better place to be in the fall, is there? Lindsay and Evan chose to have their ceremony and reception in Evan’s parent’s beautifully landscaped backyard. A covered deck was finished just for the event, and Evan’s mother, Porsha, used reclaimed objects from an old family barn, as well as accents of wicker, burlap, and mason jars to completely transform the area.

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The couple chose to incorporate a beautiful, intimate tradition into their wedding called a ring warming ceremony (or, “warming of the rings”). In a ring warming ceremony, the officiant lets guests know at the beginning of the ceremony that the rings are making their way through the assembled guests. Guests are asked to hold the rings for a moment, say a silent wish, prayer, or blessing for the couple, and pass the rings to the next guest. The rings make their way to the front and are brought forward when the officiant asks for them. It is a beautiful way to involve all of your guests in your ceremony!

Ring Warming

A few options for ring warming wording:

Option 1 from The Wedding Gurus

Option 2 includes logistics

Option 3 with a family twist + video link

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