Vintage Southern Weddings at Magnolia HIll

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Closer Look...Christmas on the Porch

When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me that a front porch was a postcard that gave a glimpse of who lived inside the house. Back then, I was not quite sure what grandmother meant.  But now, years later, I see the front porch as my grandmother did. 

The porches in my life have been important threads in my family tapestry.  They were where the greetings and partings of family and friends took place.  Our time on the porch bound us together and I imagine our front porch in a rather old-fashioned manner, transforming it into an outdoor living room as people used to do before the days of television and air conditioners.  

Over the years of living in our house, I've collected stories and ideas about making the front porch special.  While the old adage about fences making good neighbors is probably true, I prefer to think that porches make good friends. 

Especially this Christmas season, I invite and welcome you to my front porch.

I think perhaps of all the seasons on the porch, winter is my favorite.  Above, a monogram personalizes a cheery wreath welcome at my door.

Our front porch is filled with greenery of Christmas-   pine, boxwood, juniper, fir, holly, cedar and of course....magnolia!

"Don we now our gay apparel..." The words of this favorite carol 
can be applied to our porch as velvet ribboned hurricanes light the 
stone entryway as the evening hours fade into darkness.  

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."
- W.T. Ellis

Fresh evergreens with silver birds, twigs, and bright red 
amaryllis offer a welcome in an antique concrete urn. 

My friend Ruth, remembered our antique sleigh down at the barn.  
She surprised me with a vintage thermos, sign and tartan red plaid blanket.

Black & white checked ribbon intertwined with fresh evergreen branches and red berries 
embellish a lantern for Santa and his tree. 

The past is brought to life as timeworn cobblestones on the porch columns
 come alive with red plaid ribbon.

To properly fill garden urns, fit them with watertight liners 
and plenty of floral foam.

Look closely and you will see a birds nest tucked in among the greens.  
I love our real birds in the aviary and work the theme into our Christmas trimmings. 

Beyond the traditional elements of Christmas, Buddy's red Chevy truck 
makes its way onto the porch. 

 A few more bright red truck welcoming accents 

Drive by at night to see Buddy's truck all aglow.

My grandparents were farmers...cotton farmers. 
As a nod to our heritage, we always have to have a bit of cotton in our decor. 

A few more red trucks !

Toss a blanket over your lap and enjoy a swing on the porch even in the winter.  
Bring a toasty cup of cocoa out to the front porch and listen to the quiet of winter - the creak of snow laden branches; the soft dripping of icicles; the sound of animals padding across the yard. Or simply be still and take in the quiet. 

The colors and textures seem to compliment each other 
on my bakers' rack with warmth and sweetness. 

Vintage wedding cake toppers from the 1940's are under glass and part of our white porch decor
 with white vases, more greenery and a bit of cotton.

                                               A vintage 1977 plate offers a sentiment...
                                 "All hearts go home for Christmas, for love is always there."

A delicate detailed display of deer on a silver tray are some of my childhood treasures. 

The deer inspiration adds a bit of coziness and 
Christmas cheer to a corner skirted table on the porch.

These stone steps leading up to the porch are quite special on their own. For a hundred years they have served as a stage for hellos, good-byes, hugs and kisses.  During the spring, summer and fall, weddings begin here as a bride steps out the front door, preparing to walk down the aisle and start a new life together.

But winter....During the bustling holidays, we eagerly await friends and family and those we love making the traditional journey home.

"Hellos, Good-bye's, Hugs, and Kisses" ...come in and get warm.
...Christmas on the porch !

Friday, November 25, 2016

On the Wings of A Dove

There is a beautiful old song, "On the Wings of  A  Dove",  and I have heard it sung by quite
 a few... Dolly Parton , Bette Midler, Crystal Gayle. I am always still amazed how these small white birds have such a rich meaning and bring with them a message each time we release them at the end of our wedding ceremony.  

It is no secret that I love our animals...

"On the wings of a snow-white dove
God sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above  
On the wings of a dove  

When troubles surround us, 
when evils come
The body grows weak  
The spirit grows numb 

When these things beset us, 
He doesn't forget us
He sends down His love 
On the wings of a dove  "

"Wings of a Dove' song written by Bob Ferguson in 1958
A white dove, as a sign of peace, and new beginnings...

"After forty days Noach opened the window of the ark which he had built; and he sent out a raven, which flew back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove, to see if the water had gone from the surface of the ground. But the dove found no place for her feet to rest, so she returned to him in the ark, because the water still covered the whole earth. He put out his hand, took her and brought her in to him in the ark. He waited another seven days and again sent the dove out from the ark. The dove came in to him in the evening, and there in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf, so Noach knew that the water had cleared from the earth. He waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, and she didn't return to him any more."
Genesis 8:6-12

 The first thing after being pronounced "husband and wife", the couple releases two white doves.  One of our team members release a dozen or so to soar overhead. The dove release brings forth a blessing to the couple, the ceremony and the marriage.

"From the past to the present, and into eternity, white doves have been and forever shall be a beautiful symbol of the Holy Spirit, love, hope, peace, and the soul."

 In all four of the Gospels  at the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, a dove was mentions.   After Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Sprit of God came from heaven and descended on him “like a dove”

After circling overhead and enjoying a flight, the doves return to the aviary.  Depending on the weather and temperature they can come home when ever they wish...usually after a couple of hours.

Doves are mentioned in the Bible about 48 times...always a symbol of the Holy Spirit. We read this account in Luke 3:21-22 “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; 
with you I am well pleased.”
Grace Starr Photography

Because doves choose one mate for life, and signify love, faithfulness, joy, and hope, including them in your wedding brings all of these elements to your ceremony in a stunning and unforgettably meaningful way that your family and guests will always remember.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Children of Magnolia Hill

“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.” 
                                                                                — Henry Ward Beecher

Children grow so quickly, they seem to grow from infants to handholding toddlers overnight. The children of Magnolia Hill weddings have made such a memory and  these bliss filled days are yet quickly gone in the blink of an eye.  Enjoy this peek of wonderment and joy.

I am so touched by the charm of these young children and thought you too, 
would enjoy a glimpse of some of the joyful faces that I get to see on wedding day. 
They are wise enough to know they have a special part to play 
and a very important job to do.

The delight and magnificent charm of these children...

Steps quicken as young feet walk down the aisle

Crisp white linen shirt and a smashing summer straw hat 
for this young member 
of the wedding party.
Distinctive femininity- A bit of tedious help in buttoning up a wedding gown.

As any professional knows, there is an art to holding up an important sign.

Bashful, yet gorgeous as they walk in the company of dear ones

A reverence for old things such as this renewed wagon holds new fond memories - this Flower Girl is arranged comfortably on a vintage quilt and adorned in wedding finery.

Giggles and laughter...remembering moments like this

The banner says, "Oh Happy Day!" And we ALL say, "Oh Happy Day!"

A hand hold...Lots of important conversations going on too...when a handsome boy 
meets a pretty girl in her finest dress.

All eyes are on a fashionable flower girl as she makes her way down the aisle

A noteworthy banner is being carried by the most distinguished of young gentlemen. 

Often it is the little moments that enrich our endearing memories.
Holding close to his heart for safe keeping, the rings on a family Bible.

Every moment of this thoughtful day is full of images that fill our lives and hearts.

A legacy of love in this glowing smile, and knowing the childhood pleasures of special days.  
It is the little blessings that help us to see just how lovely life can be.

Trying to adjust her perfect attire, little sister accompanies an affectionate helper.

Love is in the air...friends and family have gathered together.

In this graceful portrait, doesn't she just melt your heart? 

And with love and laughter, they lived happily ever after!