Vintage Southern Weddings at Magnolia HIll

Vintage Southern Weddings at Magnolia HIll
Southern Romantic Weddings and Receptions at Alda's Magnolia Hill • 5110 Stageoach Road, Little Rock, Arkansas | call: 501-690-2574

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Guest Book


The Guest Book

            Instead of pen and paper guest book, think about a way to personalize your guest’s signature for keeping and remembering who attended your wedding. If you ask your mother, she will probably tell you that she had a guest book and pen as everyone who entered the church foyer signed his or her name. After the wedding the guest book was most likely never opened again and placed in a drawer for safe keeping. Oh my, how tradition has changed!


            The custom of having guests sign around a framed photo has been around forever. Pictures from an engagement session that are made into a book with pages for guests to sign create an interesting keepsake. A fun twist on that is to snap a Polaroid picture of each guest, secure it in a blank book and have them write a short note to the bride and groom.
            Of course it does not have to be a Guest “Book” at all…maybe it is a boat oar for guests to sign if you love the water. Smooth stones displayed in a vase to be used as a décor piece in your new home will have both meaning and memories. Set up a vintage typewriter and allow guests to type words of advice to the bride and groom. How much fun will it be to read through all of the typed notes after the wedding? 


Smooth stones are easy to sign with a felt tip pen.

 A favorite guestbook lately has been to have guests sign fabric squares with a permanent marker. Someone who loves you very much may then make the squares into a quilt!
A log slice becomes a keepsake when sanded extra smooth and signed with a felt tip pen.

Monogram Wedding Quilt Signature Guest Book by WaterPenny on Etsy,


            Search and find a guestbook that fits your personality. A football fan groom asked for a non-traditional guest book by bringing a football and sign:  “In lieu of a traditional guest book please leave your autograph on THE FOOTBALL to remind us of your celebrated presence here today.”  An English teacher chose her favorite book, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and asked guests to sign a page. An airplane pilot groom asked guests to sign a vintage wooden propeller.   

            Check on line stores for a large monogram letter and have your guests sign. Later, the initial may serve as a sentimental piece of décor in your new home.  Or check the Dollar store for an oval white platter. Guests sign with a permanent marker. After it is baked in the oven, the signatures are permanent. Propped up on an easel, the platter is a most memorable décor item for your new home. 
            After the wedding, let your guest book be a part of your new home and not found tucked away in a drawer!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Smell and Taste of Fall

A friend just recently shared with me, that when she got out of her car at our wedding venue, she could smell the bonfire....Love!!!  That is the nice thing about being in the country in the fall...the smell and warmth of a bonfire.




Traditionally Chrysanthemums are the most popular choice for fall. Bring a whole 8-inch pot indoors and celebrate the season with the vast selection of warm toasty colors. Find an old enamel saucepan to set the flowerpot inside. If there is extra room, add a few colorful pansies. Fill in any showing space at the top with sheet moss.
My favorite thing to do in the fall is to take a “gathering” walk through our woods. The canvas of colors is bright flame of yellow, crimson and orange. I return with a handful of colorful leaves, berries and top-heavy grasses. Some I bring indoors and display in a tall crystal vase yet, they make a beautiful arrangement to leave by my back door in an old watering can. For an indoor centerpiece, a hollowed out pumpkin with a mason jar inside to hold water can hold colorful leaves and bright yellow mums.  A bit of bittersweet woven in the arrangement or honeysuckle vines curling give added interest. Let a few leaves fall onto the table.





An Unplugged Wedding




            It seems that everyone who attends a wedding these days has a cell phone in their hand, pocket or purse. Decide before your wedding day if you would like to address the issue of everyone taking his or her own pictures of your wedding day. For some, it is quite all right to do so, and for others it is a thorn in their side. After all, a bride usually pays hard earned money for a professional photographer to capture all the special moments, without cousin Ethyl standing up with her cell phone in the middle of a tearful “I do”. 

             For me, the best solution is to totally let the professionals handle the ceremony and guests soak up all the emotional vows, as they are encouraged to put down their phones. They can then laugh, clap, and dab a tear as they become emotionally involved in the most important part of the day. This can be accomplished several ways. You might have your officiate speak to the fact at the beginning of the ceremony that the couple respectfully requests that all cell phones and cameras be turned off. (The paid professional photographer will love that for they won’t have to dodge interference.) When the officiate makes the announcement, people seem to take serious note.
            You might also put a note in the program as you encourage guests to  “unplug, turn off, and tune in to the moment” of your wedding ceremony. Although many churches do not have camera policies, more and more couples are drifting toward an unplugged wedding and ask guests to turn off their devices. A professional photographer once told me, “One thing there is absolutely nothing I can do to combat is a flash from a guest photographer’s camera.” A program note might include something to the fact,
The bride and groom have asked that you share in their wedding ceremony fully and not through the lens of a camera or cell phone.”

            At the reception perhaps is a different story….a chalkboard sign with “Share your photos on Intagram with  #masonandnicole” will let guests know you are encouraging the sharing of photos. Graciousness and hospitality are what the south is all about, so add a bit of tech etiquette, as there are mannerly ways of letting guests know your thoughts on an Unplugged Wedding.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
                                                                                         Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Engagement Photos

 Fall is one of the most beautiful times to take a moment and get those memorable engagement photos. I wanted to share with you some of the love we have here at Magnolia Hill. From casual to formal, they are all most memorable. There is just something magical as you look back years later on those photos of "The Engagement". I think it wise to step back and enjoy every minute of the beginning process of planning a life together....especially here at Magnolia Hill !
  Leading up to your wedding you might choose to have an engagement session which just gives you the chance to have engagement pictures taken of your and your fiance and gives you the chance to work with your wedding photographer before the wedding day.

Here are some of my favorite Engagement photos at Magnolia Hill...
















We were honored  to be a part of a heartfelt moment...

Whatever stage of life you and your sweetheart are in, make sure you’re capturing these memories!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Persimmon Tree Predictions

There are several Persimmon trees on our property, and I LOVE to eat them and crack open the seed. The Old Farmers Almanac ( and my 92 year old daddy) used to say what kind of winter we would have. In each seed will be a knife, spoon, or fork. So far 99% of my seeds have been spoons, but here is a knife I think.

If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!
If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be "cut" by icy, cutting winds.


The fruit begins to ripen every October and is delicious. They fall from tree as they ripen especially on a windy day. Our horses love them too, as well as the deer and racoons. The ground underneath the tree is trampled every morning as we can tell it was a busy night when they are ripe in the fall.

Two "spoons" and one "knife" in this persimmon

99% of our persimmons have had spoons.     



Delilah foraging for Persimmons that have dropped to the ground.

 Looks like we better get out the snow shovels...I will let ya'll know if I find a fork!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Glass Slippers


  Glass Slippers

For your dream wedding, comfortable shoes are a must.
            Christian Louboutin says, “Shoes are just a pedestal. What interest me is the power of the woman who wears them.  And this could never be more true than on wedding day. Shoes are one of the most important elements of wedding day.
            Actually you should pick your shoes before you start your dress fitting.  Your seamstress will mark the proper length so bring the shoes you are going to wear to your fitting. Decide do you want heels or flats, for both can be stylish, but one will definitely be more comfortable.  
            If you are used to wearing heels, go ahead and wear them on wedding day. But if heels are not your common “go to” item in your closet then the most swoon-worthy pair of shoes can not put a smile on your face if your feet are “killing” you. If you are using an outdoor venue, then think about the walk…especially if the ground is wet. Wedges seem to be a popular choice for outdoor weddings.  You might think about flats or even ballet style slippers for the ultimate comfort shoe.  
            If you do decide to go with the six-inch heels, wear them prior to the wedding so you can get used to walking in them. Break them in by gently wearing them especially when you have your portrait.  Bottom line, wear a pair of shoes that are easy to walk in and do not hurt your feet. Remember too, you have a night of dancing ahead of you too!
            Think about the color of your shoes, but don’t limit yourself to just white. Perhaps the shoes are your “something blue”.  You might want a bit of color and any shoe color can be worn. And of course a popular trend is to wear western boots under a beautiful wedding gown.  An easy choice if you are used to wearing boots for they are always comfortable.
            Even with the most comfortable shoes, bring a second pair that you can change into and let your feet rest. Enjoy every minute with your prince charming and glass slippers on wedding day. 



Tradtionally, the higher the hem, the lower the heel....these bridesmaids here have it perfect.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wedding Trends 2015


Wedding Trends 2015

             Keeping in tune with trends makes a wedding seem fresh and stylish and it seems everything old is new again…with a twist on tradition. There are so many little details that a bride must decide on when planning her special day. The day itself becomes a cherished memory and all of the little details make it special and very personal. Trends and traditions are all a part of making your wedding one of a kind and personal. 


            It seems the trend has flipped…from inside weddings to outdoor weddings…a return to nature so speak. Some of these trends have been around for a while, but they seem to becoming more prominent for 2015.  The return to nature translates not necessarily to rustic, but leaning toward a vintage trend. Hand tied bouquets with a traditional teardrop shape are making a return…bouquets that look fresh picked and lots of ribbons. Lace wedding gowns, with vintage details revisit the past. 

            A glance to the past is showcased in a meaningful way with homemade favors and locally sourced organic food, with vintage inspired packaging labels.  Drinks iced down in an old boat or galvanized washtubs add a welcoming vintage flair. Nostalgic food is a revisit to childhood by serving classic childhood favorites…all in a meaningful way. Think homemade Banana Pudding, Peanut Butter Pie, or Oreo Cheesecake instead of traditional chocolate grooms cake. Ask for the grooms favorite and incorporate it into the reception as a traditional Grooms Table. 
Milk and Cookie Shots on a Silver Tray

Home Made Banana Pudding
            One of the biggest trends in table décor is the addition of Mercury glass. My great-grandmother had several pieces and the vintage feel adds a bit of sparkle to any theme or table setting. Grouped together, with small flower arrangements it gives an altogether, vintage, luscious look. Mercury glass is seeing a popular revival.

Mercury Glass & Silver Teapot

            Years past, a guest would sign in upon arrival with a feather pin in a small guest book. Today guests may sign everything from stones, platters, quilts and boat paddles. The item may then be used as décor in the new home and enjoyed on a daily basis. 

            Bottom line, the biggest trend is expecting the unexpected. Surprise guests with fireworks, Confetti cannons, or a White Dove release. Put a modern twist on an old tradition that is personal and meaningful. Little details make the wedding meaningful especially with a touch of family tradition…a grandfathers pocket watch, a grandmother’s broach, a family Bible to carry the rings are all tiny details with huge heartstrings attached.  From the moment of engagement, write down little things you would like to incorporate into your wedding day…both old and new!

What are some personal, sentimental details for your wedding?