Friday, September 28, 2012

A Soaring 60's Wedding

One of my favorite girls in the whole world was married on Saturday in splendid 60's style. Set behind a restored log cabin on the property Beatles tunes floated through the air in classical strains.  We were feeling the love. As the bridesmaids emerged barefoot (some pregnant) with lacy short Mexican dresses, we were reminded of the bride's wonderful grandmother, who embraced the 60's with the exuberance of teenager. I know Anna was smiling.

Our very own "Pretty Woman."

The wedding ceremony was magical, as a breeze rustled the trees and hushed for a blessing. A Blue Jay flitted over the radiant bride and groom.

After the ceremony, we blew bubbles that hovered and surrounded the new Mr. and Mrs. R., like a thousand kisses and wishes.

                     The bride's sister skipped down the aisle because...that is what she is like.

                          After the ceremony we gathered by the pool for champagne and tid bits.

Randy McManus created the beautiful swan the topiaries with fluffy orchid tails and gerbera daisies floated in the Tommy Church quatrefoil pool. 

Randy McManus of Randy McManus Designs, Inc. and Joe Curran of 1703 Restaurant in Winston Salem collaborated with the bride and her Mother to set a scene that perfectly telegraphs their joie de vivre. The glorious tents are from Premier Special Event Services.  

 "Ghost" chairs echo the clear tent, while the simple clean linens let the flowers and exquisite place settings take front stage. 

The chartreuse pillows at the best friends' table and the sweets tables were the perfect counterpoint to the orange and pink flowers, grounding the lightness of the surroundings. The china came from Panache Party Rentals.

Joe Curran and Randy McManus used 8 different rental companies from around the country to assemble this remarkable soiree.

 Big Swing and the Ball Room Blasters have performed and recorded with the musical legends of our era. Their repertoire includes the big band classics, Motown, soul, rock, and pop. The highlight for me was their version of Secret Agent Man, celebrating the bride's father who was a Secret Service agent starting with a young John Kennedy continuing through Nancy Regan. He's got some great stories--trust me all complimentary. We can't get any dirt out of him.

              Notice the fresh slices of orange floating in each glass and that every table has a different arrangement. 

Chartreuse orchids are captured in glass. The variations in heights on the tables added terrific dimension to the scene and keep the guests wending their way through a yellow brick road of color.  

I thought the use of cascading bougainvillea was stunning. Randy warned me that if you are planning to use bougainvillea in North Carolina, you must buy a ton of it to make sure you're not caught while it is napping. It will take a spontaneous bloom break, so they babied baskets of it throughout the summer. The thorns are another issue!

How chic are these night club bars? I feel like I died and went to Beverly Hills.

Some of the furniture came from the bride's grandmother's collection from the 1960's still residing in the pool house. I'm telling you, these people are fun. I am also telling you there are lessons in keeping the things you love and not bowing to fashion. It always comes back--it is way back! The disco ball still swirls there and later we'll take you to the after party.

           One of the well mannered flower girls eyeing the sweets. Honestly, she did not dive in.

After the dancing, the stalwart revelers repaired to the disco (pool house) for Krispy Kreme and for some-- a dip. We have some wet silk dresses dripping from hangers, but I guess I should be relieved.

Black lights are still making teeth whiter at Mr. and Mrs. K.'s 

Talkin about my generation!!
More Later!
Thank You Mr. and Mrs. K.
and Mrs. R.
for the best party ever!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sustainable Farming in Bethania North Carolina

In our last post, we wrote about Stauber Farm, a meticulously preserved North Carolina Moravian farmstead. Sustainable farming is at  the tip of every artisanal tongue these days, yet Stauber Farm has miraculously been in the hands of only four conscientious stewards since the early 1800's. There is a good amount of concientousness in this pre-revolutionary frontier outpost turned tobacco boomtown. We are lucky to have so much of our past still with us and functioning, despite the "Barbarians at the Gate." I am talking about the leveraged buy out craze of the 80's and 90's and subsequent merger mania that took so many of our  treasured benefactors to farther fields. The good news is that preservation was in the hands of founding fathers and mothers for long enough to avoid destruction. Lamar and Charles Taft have remained staunch preservationists, so now we are moving into the house. The welcoming back porch, as we are back door friends

 We enter through a welcoming screened porch and admire the seedlings that are being protected for the cooler fall vegetable garden.

The Moravians were famous for their fine building, iron work and wood craft skills.

If you have ever shivered walking past a plastic door in a newly constructed house, fear not. Here you will find heart pine, original hardware and brick--made on the place. Actually the walls are insulated with brick, and they help withstand fire. 

This technique is called brick nogging, but lets admire Lamar's interior touches. The chandelier in the dining room is authentic and very old.

The ultimate Thanksgiving wedding location 

Thank you again Charles and Lamar for your famous hospitality, delicious fresh eggs and conscientious 
tour guides!

More Later!!
Don't forget to visit our flash sale
sharing discounted prices from
some of our top vendors

Product in the media
House Beautiful October 2012
the Best! p.30

Chinright Side Table

Jaqcqui Coffee Table

As seen in House Beautiful Oct. 2012 issue
Melissa Rufty Instant Room p. 45

This is a great issue!! 
Don't miss
Legendary Rooms for Americans Abroad
leading with Tony Duquette's and Hutton Wilkinson's Palazzo Brandolini

It's a great round-up!!