August 19, 2017
After Chris Brune passed his boards in early 2017, his girlfriend Heather Jansen surprised him with a winter weekend getaway nestled in the pines of Cashiers, N.C. After a few more visits throughout the year, this sleepy little town – only two-and-a-half hours away from their hometown of Atlanta – offered the couple the perfect retreat to spend quality time with each other. On Dec. 18, 2016, after cutting down their first Christmas tree at Sawyer Family Farmstead, Chris walked Heather to the top of the hill overlooking Lake Glenville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. He got down on one knee and proposed. Eight months later on top of that same hill on Aug. 19, 2018, the couple said, “I do.”
When looking for a venue, the couple wanted a place they could return to every year and relive the magic and the love from their wedding. They also wanted a place that had a natural beauty and a peaceful feeling. Sawyer Family Farmstead already had such a special meaning to the couple and after meeting the whole family that ran it (Tom, Myra and their daughter-in-law Nicole), they knew it was the place of their dreams.
Three days later, the couple set the date. Heather embarked on wedding dress shopping with her sister and maid of honor. Heather finally found the perfect one when she discovered a gown from the Netherlands.
“I added a few extra pieces of the floral lace to the bottom design to give it less structure and more organic design,” says Heather. The veil had floral and vine lace appliqué that matched the natural flowers at the wedding site. In keeping with tradition, Heather utilized her “something blue” in her veil by embroidering her initials and wedding date to pass along to a close friend or family member. The “something borrowed” consisted of lace from her mother’s wedding gown which wrapped the bouquet. Heather also sewed her late grandmother’s handkerchief into her dress which had the letter “B” on it, also Heather’s initial for her new last name.
The theme for the wedding was romantic, rustic elegance. The color palette was borrowed from the surroundings – shades of green from the Christmas trees, blues and silvers from the crystal-clear Lake Glenville, blushes from the sunset sky and whites from the wildflowers blooming around the ceremony pergola. The outdoor ceremony occurred on top of a hill overlooking beautiful Lake Glenville and the lush green Blue Ridge Mountains.
The couple chose a cello and guitar for the ceremony and cocktail hour music because the deep tones of the cello emulated the richness of the mountains while the guitar offered the lighthearted, carefree attitude of rural mountain life. The doors at the entrance to the aisle were gifted by close friends. Each of the bridesmaids’ dresses were chosen to fit each girl’s personality while keeping with the natural color palette.
The groomsmen complemented all the ladies perfectly in their summer grey suits with matching slate blue ties. The bouquets and centerpieces by The Blossom Jar featured anemones, tea roses, cafe au lait dahlias, ranunculus, lisianthus, dusty miller, blue thistle, and seeded eucalyptus.
From the hilltop ceremony, guests then traveled through the Christmas trees and over a bridge to the reception hall, where the tablescapes included an assortment of antique plates, lanterns and mercury glass votives. A stunning floral chandelier wreath coupled with cascading floral candelabras centered over the head farm table. Dinner was served family-style featuring some favorite Southern feel-good dishes – beef tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, shrimp & grits, and honey-roasted Brussel sprouts.
The cake was garnished with dogwood flowers – the state flower of Chris’s home state of Virginia and one of Heather’s favorite childhood climbing trees. The favors were Aquiesse Monterey Pine travel candles with personalized sky-blue matchbooks, so the guests could take the sweet smell of Sawyer’s Christmas tree farm home with them. For the exit, guests threw biodegradable snow – creating a truly magical feeling to the most memorable night.