10 Barn Weddings: Blue!

It's been a while since I've written a new 10 Barn Weddings, so I had a lot of fun going through tons and tons of gorgeous weddings for this post! While deciding what the theme should be this time around, I realized I've never done a post on blue weddings! And I'm not even sure why, because we've put together a whoooole bunch of them. So many, in fact, that I had a hard time narrowing them down!

Blue as a wedding color is seriously underrated, y'all. Whether it's pale blue, navy, or any shade in between, you're bound to find another pop of color that will pair with it perfectly. And it is perfect paired with just a simple neutral, too. It works for themes from rustic to glam, and The Barn looks so pretty in blue! Here are just a few of my favorite BLUE BEAUTIES!  

A blue, yellow and red color palette. A bold, super fun dessert table. Mismatched bridesmaids' dresses in bold, bright colors. The prettiest bridal gown EVER. Summery, sweet, bright bouquets and florals. Rustic chic details with serious garden vibes. An amazing altar... Those were just a few of the highlights of Alyssa + Matt's colorful summer wedding. This wedding in one word: FUN!

Tara + Casey's color palette included slate blue, a pale watercolor blue, ivory and gold. It was understated, classic, romantic and lovely. It was proof that blue is beautiful enough on its own, without the addition of a bright pop of color! Their bouquets were very classic, with blue hydrangeas and white peonies. They had simply elegant blue, ivory and gold reception tables. And they had one of the prettiest cakes ever: a marbled blue cake with gold trim and a custom gold calligraphy cake topper!  

Tomas Quiroga

Tomas Quiroga

Brandi + Rey paired navy and powder blue with burgundy, and my goodness, was it beautiful! One of the most unique, unexpected color palettes we've had in a while, for sure. Their florals were DELICIOUS... They were rich in color, and they absolutely made their wedding. Aside from the flowers, my favorite details from this wedding were: Brandi's simple, laidback dress. Their lovely naked cake. And the bridesmaids' mismatched dresses. This one was simple and super SWEET!

We're still swooning over Emily + Blake's Anthropologie-Ralph Lauren-book inspired wedding, with its blue, gold, champagne and chocolate color palette and amazing details! Seriously, the details were AMAZINGGGG. Chambray for days, deer antlers, vintage books, whiskey barrels, a stunning book backdrop, the naked cake to end all naked cakes, unbelievable bouquets, and so much more. This one was unforgettable!

Cara + Brock's wedding was classic and timeless, but it was full of style and fun details. Their color palette was blue, green and white, and Cara practically planned the entire design of the wedding around some pretty blue paisley tablecloths! These two were married inside The Barn, and it was nothing short of magical. Love, love, looooved their bouquets (full of hydrangeas!) and their BLUE (like really, really blue) reception tables. This was one of the most fun groups ever!

Navy and gold go together like weddings and pineapples... Say what?! Samantha + Matt chose navy and glittery gold for their color palette, and their wedding theme was PINEAPPLE-CHIC! No, really... There were pineapples everywhere, but this wedding managed to be glamorous, chic and absolutely stunning. Their bouquets were full of orange flowers and succulents, and I know the whole thing sounds like there was a lot going on, but it couldn't have come together more beautifully! You've gotta see this wedding and all the dreamy photography!

Jaime + Jake came all the way to The Barn from Hawaii! Their slate blue, ivory and burlap wedding was just stunning. It was rustic-meets-glam, with all kinds of special details. Just a few highlights: Jaime's swoon-worthy beige gown, traditional white florals with pops of blue, a fun lemonade bar, a glam head table backdrop, burlap AND sequins, homemade bacon jam favors, and bold, blue reception tables. 

Ally + Tyler's sweet summer wedding had a color palette of pale blue, blush, ivory and gray. The Barn looked SOOO amazing in pale blue, y'all! Their wedding was full of sweet, personal touches, from photos of the couple lining the aisle to a beautiful worship session during their ceremony. My personal fave details: the bouquets, the pale blue linens, the aisle decor, and their beautiful cake. This wedding was simple and understated, but SO pretty!

Lyndsey + Brad wanted a fun, romantic theme for their wedding, and that's exactly what they got! Their colors were navy, coral and gold, and their details were so fun! Chevron galore (even on the guys' bow ties!), coral flowers, adorable bow napkins on their tables, family heirlooms throughout their decor... There was a lot to love about this one! Fun fact: these two booked with The Barn before ever even seeing the place! 

Brittany + Tyler also chose navy, coral and gold as their wedding colors! Their theme was rustic-chic, and their wedding was oh, so sweet. Details we loved: coral flowers (the ranunculus bouts were precious!), Brittany's dresses (she wore two!), the bridesmaids' navy lace dresses, s'mores favors, and glittery gold throughout their decor.

Meet The Team: Lesleigh Smith, Owner and Creative Director

Mother. Wife. Event Planner Extraordinaire. Boot Lover. Travel Connoisseur. Boss Lady. Those are just a few roles played by Lesleigh Smith, the Owner and Creative Director at The Barn. 

There is a lot to learn about Lesleigh and how she ended up in a tiny town in Arkansas, built a barn wedding venue, and turned it into one of the best venues in the country. In fact, it's way too much to tell you about in one post, so I'm splitting it up into two. Today you'll get to meet Lesleigh, and next week, I'll tell you the story of how she built The Barn and turned it into what it is today! Meet Lesleigh Smith!

Lesleigh is married to Ken, and they have a 9-year-old son, Kolton. Lesleigh was born in Texas and spent most of her life there, but she went to junior high and high school in Arkansas. Before moving back to Arkansas, Lesleigh lived in Fort Worth, Texas. She owned and operated an event design business. Before that, she worked in the pharmaceutical and oil/petroleum industries doing large scale events and luxury travel around the world. She even once planned a barn wedding for the VP's Secretary!... Yes, that VP. 

Lesleigh has been in the wedding industry for 16 years. She studied at Baylor University, but surprisingly, her degree isn't wedding-related. "I studied graphic design, which is what I initially did," she said. "I started out as a graphic designer for ConAgra in Carrollton, Texas, designing packaging for beans and rice!" How amazing is that?! From designing packages for beans and rice to owning her own event design company and then owning a top-rated wedding venue! 

Just a few random things about Lesleigh. She LOVES to travel with her family. "Via plane though," she said. "I'm not a fan of driving anywhere." She likes to build things, and she's all about power tools! (One of my favorite things about Lesleigh is that she's not afraid to pick up a nail gun or a circular saw and build something amazing... She built pretty much all the awesome stuff you've seen at The Barn. Girl power!) She loves marketing and brainstorming. 

She also loves boots, chips and salsa ("Like LOVE them," she said. "Like you don't get it... I LOVE LOVE them.") and TEXAS! "I can see myself living there again and having a venue there," she said. Is that a hint?! Wink, wink.  

When I asked Lesleigh what a normal day in her job looks like, she literally said "bahahahahaha times eternity." HA!

"There is no such thing as a 'normal' day at The Barn," she said. "Some days I'm sitting behind my computer, all dang day, answering brides' emails, writing contracts, sending out custom quotes, etc. Some days I'm in my old beat up work truck with my chainsaw, cutting down limbs or cleaning up the grounds. And then other days I'm deep in brainstorming for upcoming wedding designs, or setting up for a wedding." 

Lesleigh's favorite thing about her job: ALL of it! "But I really love that I can lay in the grass and stare at the clouds and just think about all the things I want to do that I think would be awesome," she said. "Then I take those crazy ideas and apply them to upcoming weddings, or pitch my ideas to upcoming brides, and we get to do them!"

Lesleigh has built one of the most successful wedding venues literally from the ground up. She has a dream job, and she didn't get there by getting lucky! This woman works harder than just about anyone I've ever met, and she's one of the most talented people in the biz. She also balances work with play better than anyone, which is one thing that I and so many others admire about her!  

Just for fun, I want to tell you about a few of Lesleigh's favorite weddings! Hint: she has a TON of favorites! "I seriously remember every. single. wedding. we've ever done (and that's a lot) and I remember what made each of them unique," she said. "The ones that come to us and say, 'Just do whatever, I trust y'all' are most definitely the most fun for me to brainstorm and plan, because I can change things and change my mind on things up until the moment they arrive - and it's so much fun!"

Some of her faves:
*Michelle + Chad: "It was during our first year and I remember meeting with Michelle at a coffee house before The Barn was even built," she said. "She had so much trust in my vision (because back then, barn venues weren't really a 'thing' like they are now), so this was a big deal."
*Emily + Casey, because of their teepees and head table backdrop. It was memorable and super Pinteresty!
*Gail + Bryan: "I loved the originality of the different bouquets, the guys' attire and the offbeat whimsy (before boho weddings were trendy)," she said.
*Lucas + Bayley: "Because duh, it was our kickoff wedding and he's my brother," she said."
*Mackenzie + Tyler: "We had to change some things close to the end of her wedding, which were kind of drastic," she said. "She put total faith in me and the team to make things amazing."
*Brittany + Jason: Any wedding that is pulled off in THREE days and looks as magical as that one is unforgettable!
*Morgan + Wager: We had TONS of creative freedom with that one, which is a huge deal!
*Nikki + Scott: "I LOVE LOVE LOVE dinner party weddings, and that one was fancy and awesome," she said.
*Our corporate Christmas parties: They're always GORGEOUS!
*Bethany + Jamie: "Leopard print should be incorporated in little amounts in every wedding, and her colors were perfection - slate blue, blush and marsala," she said. "I mean WOW!" 

Check back next Thursday to read Lesleigh's inspiration for building an all-inclusive barn wedding venue and just how The Barn became what it is today! xoxo

Tara + Casey's Classic Summer Wedding

Oh, sweet summertime. Is there anything sweeter than a June wedding? This one was romantic, intimate, and absolutely stunning. With a pretty, understated color palette and a classic-but-unique theme, this wedding couldn't have been more lovely! You won't want to miss this couple's dreamy altar, fun favors, fabulous cake, pretty drinks, or beautiful, classic reception tables! 

BJ Matthews from B.Matthews Creative is the creative genius behind these magical, breathtaking photos. Y'all are going to L-O-V-E these!

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Tara and Casey were married at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch on June 18, 2016. Their colors were ivory, slate blue, a pale watercolor blue, and gold. Blue is both the bride and groom's favorite color, so a color scheme with shades of blue only made sense! "We wanted something that was classic but also unique and not too traditional," Tara said. If I had to define the vibe of this wedding, it would be modern-meets-traditional-Southern-chic. I'm pretty great at nailing down wedding themes, huh?! ;) 

Tara's wedding day look was classic, simple, and unbelievably beautiful. She wore a ruched, strapless bridal gown from David's Bridal that was simple, but stunning and so flattering on her. It had just a touch of bling on a sash around her waist. She accessorized with a statement-making long veil and the most beautiful headband. She finished off her look with a pearl bracelet and custom blue Converse sneakers that had "Mrs. Canady" stitched on the sides. Tara, you couldn't have been a lovelier bride!

Tara's bridesmaids wore pale blue knee-length dresses from Danielle's Bridal. They each chose a different neckline, which made for a fun but classic look. The groom and his guys wore classic dark gray suits with blue ties. Perfect for this sweet summer wedding! "Instead of having a maid of honor, I had my brother as my man of honor because we are so close and he's so important to me," Tara said. We love men of honor! :)

Tara chose classic white and blue flowers for her bouquets, and they were SOOO fantastic. Her bridal bouquet (which she said was one of her favorite details of the day) included gorgeous, fabulous white peonies and just a touch of greenery. It was tied off with her grandfather's handkerchief. We always adore special details like those! "He was like a second dad to me, so it was very important to me to have something of his with me," Tara said.

The bridesmaids carried bouquets similar to Tara's, but with the addition of blue hydrangeas. Classic and stunning!

Tara and Casey chose to have a first look before their ceremony, and the photos of those private moments together before all the craziness of the day are SO sweet. Casey couldn't keep his eyes (or his lips!) off his bride. These two are madly in love, and it shows. I adore his look of anticipation before he sees his beautiful bride, and then the unforgettable look on his face as he turns around!

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Everything was magical and it all absolutely surpassed my expectations. It flew by because we were having so much fun and there was nothing to stress or worry about. It was all gorgeous and it took my breath away!
— Tara

Tara and Casey's ceremony decor was classic with a few modern touches. Their altar (another of Tara's favorite details) was definitely one of the dreamiest altars ever. It included sheer, white drapes and hanging flowers. The aisle was lined with jars full of white flowers on shepherds hooks. Their ceremony details were understated, but truly magical! Their guestbook table had a beautiful blue and white arrangement, custom wedding programs, and a fun, unique guestbook. 

"We didn't do a traditional guestbook," Tara said. "Instead, we had a shadow box with chicken wire inside, and people wrote their well wishes on a piece of paper and rolled them up and put it in the openings in the wire. It looks awesome and we love it!"

The fact that it’s all inclusive. Not only is it a beautiful place to get married but I didn’t have to worry about a thing! Cindy and Lesleigh are the best!
— Tara, on her favorite thing about The Barn

Tara said she and Casey wanted their ceremony to feel intimate and for their guests to be present in the moment. "We had an unplugged ceremony and everyone was very respectful of that and left cameras and phones put away," she said.

They also chose to incorporate a unique tradition: a beautiful handfasting ceremony! Tara's grandmother crocheted the cord used in the handfasting, which was an extra special detail. "We also worked together to write vows that fit us and that are our own," she said. Tara said one moment she'll never forget from her wedding day: how she felt walking down the aisle with her parents and seeing Casey waiting for her!

Tara and Casey's reception was full of classic blue, ivory and gold details. Their tables included white linens, blue runners, white candles on gold candlesticks, and blue and white floral arrangements in mismatched vases, jars and wooden boxes. They had navy, white and gold place settings. Their tables also incorporated a fun, unique detail: books! Tara loves to read, so it only made sense to use books in her decor! And they had a romantic sweetheart table just for the two of them.

Their cake, from theCakePlace, was another of Tara's favorite details. It was a marbled blue cake with gold details and a custom cake topper. They also had delicious signature drinks with the perfect presentation! 

Tara and Casey sent their guests off with some fun favors that also told a part of their story! "We met on a blind date at Starbucks, so that's how we decided on packets of coffee," Tara said. "We also did koozies that said our names and wedding date and had 'house divided' with Yankees and the Cardinals on the other side, because we are both huge baseball fans."

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One of the most unforgettable parts of their wedding day for Tara: her first dance with Casey. "We had a choreographed dance and took 3 dance lessons to prepare, and we both had so much fun doing that," she said. "It helped us to learn how to compromise and work together towards a goal."

Tara and Casey haven't yet taken their honeymoon, but they plan to go to St. Marteen this month! 

I always ask our brides for a little bit of feedback on our team and how they did, and this is what sweet Tara had to say! 

"I can't say enough good things about the whole team at The Barn (Lesleigh, Cindy, Kelsea, Ginger, The Cake Place, etc.)! Everyone was amazing and so helpful! Everything about it was stress free. Anytime I had a concern, Cindy was there to reassure me and calm me down. She was a lifesaver! You guys gave me the wedding of my dreams and beyond. Everything was 10 times more amazing that what I could've even hoped for!"

Tara and Casey, thank you so much for choosing to tie the knot at The Barn! We LOVED your sweet summer wedding and all the yummy details! We wish y'all the best, and have a great honeymoon! xoxoxoxoxo

Wedding Inspiration: Fall Reception Ideas

In keeping with our fall theme that began last Monday, let's talk about fall reception ideas! This post was also from last year, but I still love every idea in this post, so I wanted to share it again!

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I really hope receptions at The Barn this fall include the following things:
*Lots and lots (and lots) of gorgeous, romantic candlelight. Giant candelabras! Candles in mason jars! Lanterns (extra pretty if they're hanging above your reception tables)! No matter how you use them, just know that you can't have too many. They create a cozy, moody atmosphere that is perfect for fall weddings, and this look is stunning inside The Barn!
*Fall foods! A fun hot chocolate bar, a fall-themed dessert table with donuts and apple cider, fall cocktails (these recipes), mini pies, soup! 
*Pumpkins, duh. Paint them, cover them in glitter, or leave them their beautiful, natural colors (especially pretty if you use them in all sizes, shapes and colors). White pumpkins make a not-very-fall wedding theme/color palette feel totally fall appropriate!
*A bonfire + s'mores. The best reception entertainment. They're great all year round, but there's just something about sitting around a bonfire in the fall! 
*Burlap. We certainly use burlap in every season, but doesn't it just seem like it was made for fall weddings?! It's perfect for adding a little bit of texture to your reception tables, and it pairs beautifully with fall colors. It's also great for adding a fall vibe to a color palette that isn't very fall-ish. 
*A couple random decor items that I love for fall weddings: logs/wood and wheat (after our famous wheat wedding, I'm obsessed with it!).
*Fall favors. Caramel apples, mini pumpkins that double as place card holders, s'mores, all kinds of delicious popcorn.

Here are a few ideas I love for fall receptions!

MGB Photo, from Meagan + Alex's wedding at The Barn

MGB Photo, from Meagan + Alex's wedding at The Barn

The Kindred Collective, from Jordon + Nick's wedding at The Barn

The Kindred Collective, from Jordon + Nick's wedding at The Barn

Jen Brazil Photography, from Cathryn + Tyler's wedding at The Barn

Jen Brazil Photography, from Cathryn + Tyler's wedding at The Barn

JRowe Photography, from Jana + Robert's wedding at The Barn

JRowe Photography, from Jana + Robert's wedding at The Barn

Miles Witt Boyer, from Lauren + Jack's wedding at The Barn

Miles Witt Boyer, from Lauren + Jack's wedding at The Barn

Tryston Hines Photography, from Samantha + Dalton's wedding at The Barn

Tryston Hines Photography, from Samantha + Dalton's wedding at The Barn

Shingleur Photography, from Lindsy + Keith's wedding at The Barn

Shingleur Photography, from Lindsy + Keith's wedding at The Barn

I hope y'all had a great weekend! And I hope you're looking forward to fall. :)

xoxo,
Kelsi

Where Has The Barn Been Featured?! Part Two

One of the most rewarding things for The Barn staff is seeing one of our gorgeous weddings or styled shoots featured on a wedding publication. When something gets published that our team has worked so hard on, we know our hard work is really paying off! We are always THRILLED to see our beautiful Barn Brides (and grooms, of course!) and their stunning weddings in print or on popular wedding blogs. We've been featured many times over the past four years, by several different publications, and it never gets any less exciting! Last month, I posted about six places we've been featured, and here are a few more! 

100 Layer Cake

We weren't a bit surprised when Ashley + Derrick's gorgeous summer wedding was picked up by 100 Layer Cake a few years back! This romantic, whimsical wedding had a fun color palette (shades of pink, mint and gold) and so many great details. We're still swooning over Ashley's amazing, HUGE bouquet! All the flowers at this wedding were so great. And their cake table is a must-see! 

Lela & Lyla, from Kassie + Adam's wedding

Lela & Lyla, from Kassie + Adam's wedding

Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings is kind of like the wedding Bible. If you've been in the pages of Southern Weddings (or featured on their fabulous blog), you can know that you've made it. We were SOOOO beyond thrilled to see a few photos from Kassie + Adam's wedding in a recent issue of SW. We are also honored to be a Southern Weddings Blue Ribbon Vendor, and we think they sorta like us. This is what they had to say about us: "You know all of those gorgeous barn weddings we feature? The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch is the perfect place to hold a wedding just as lovely and personal. We so admire all of the love and hard work that went into recreating this farm for weddings!"

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style

This was another biggie! Our Winter 2012 styled shoot, styled by intern-turned-planner Victoria, was featured on Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, and we juuuuuust about lost it. Unfortunately, the link is no longer active, but just know that it was a big, BIG, thrilling, gratifying moment for The Barn!

Tracye Harned Photography, from Katie + Cory's wedding

Tracye Harned Photography, from Katie + Cory's wedding

WeldPorn

Nope, that's not a typo. Say what?! How does a pretty little barn wedding get featured on an Instagram account with a name like WeldPorn? When you're a super cool bride like Katie and you let your groom have a welding cake, you sorta become the talk of welding Instagram accounts. WeldPorn says, "She's a keeper!!! Any woman that lets you have a welder as a wedding cake is the one." We love being featured in totally random, not-wedding-related places. ;)

Wedding Wire & One Lovely Day

Katie + Joe's black and red rockabilly-themed wedding was unforgettable! It's still one of our most unique weddings to date. It had some super cool rock'n'roll-meets-pin-up-inspired details, including lots of polka dots, a tattoo station, pistols and a black wedding cake. The internet blew up over this wedding! It was featured on a few blogs, including Wedding Wire and One Lovely Day. We'll never forget this one!

Southern Celebrations Magazine

We were honored when Southern Celebrations Magazine named us the top wedding venue in Arkansas in their list of The Top Places to Get Married in The South. Thank you, Southern Celebrations! We think y'all are amazing, too! xoxo