Venue Feature: Belle Farm

We recently had the pleasure of visiting Belle Farm, a wedding venue south of Birmingham. If you’re looking for a beautiful and charming outdoor venue, this may be just the one for you!

Here are the details:

Location - 15390 Co Rd 55, Sterrett, AL 35147

Capacity - 275

Price - Since pricing varied depending on your needs, we recommend contacting Belle Farms to get an estimate!

Belle Farm has all you need for a beautiful ceremony and reception (or even a rehearsal dinner)! They have a beautiful bridal suite for you and your bridesmaids to get ready as well as two separate rooms for the girls and guys to get ready in the reception space (see below). These kind and talented owners were so thoughtful and deliberate in creating the perfect venue. In short, they thought of everything! We took some photos during the visit so you can see all that this lovely venue has to offer.

THE BRIDAL SUITE

THE CEREMONY

THE RECEPTION

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BUSTLE BRIDES AT BELLE FARMS

Bride: Trina Ware, Photographer:  Jett Walker Photography

Bride: Trina Ware, Photographer: Jett Walker Photography

Bride: Chelsi Ganus, Photographer:  Flatwoods Photography

Bride: Chelsi Ganus, Photographer: Flatwoods Photography

The Owners of Belle Farm! Photographer:  Flatwoods Photography

The Owners of Belle Farm! Photographer: Flatwoods Photography

Dixie’s Guide to the Art of the Thank You Note

Thank you note obligations can seem daunting, especially if you fall behind. But our Southern mothers raised us to know that this form of etiquette was never to be overlooked. We were taught to always acknowledge our thanks in a written form.

Our mothers’ opinion on this matter was not unfounded. The queen of etiquette herself also mandates the handwritten note: According to The Emily Post Institute, the “the handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes simply as a medium and sends the message that you care enough to invest yourself personally in acknowledging another.”

So if thank you notes tend to ever linger on your to-do list, please allow us to share a few of our guaranteed-to-make-them-smile thank you note tips... 

  • Designate a Special Spot - Create a cozy nook in your home specifically devoted to your note writing.  Holly Hollon, Dixie Design’s Creative Consultant, has a beautiful secretary desk (shown above) that has inspired us to do this very thing:

Last Christmas my mother gave me a secretary. I have an office in my home, but it is full to the brim with art supplies and my work, my address list and stationery would easily get lost in there and delay in me writing thank you notes. I filled the secretary in my living room with my stationery and all the things needed to write a note. This helped me in having a designated spot to pen notes promptly, consider a special place in your home to store your stationery, a nice pen and stamps.

  • Thoughtfully Choose Your Stationery - While we certainly have a plethora of lovely personalized options available here, the possibilities are endless! Have fun with your notes, so that they reflect your personality in the design. Also, we have learned so much from Interior Designer Holly Holden’s take on the traditional approach to thank you notes from her tutorial here. Fun fact... Holly designates the fold-over stationery card, rather than the the flat note card, as the most formal note.

  • Date It - Etiquette Expert Lee Cordone, of DoSayGive, says to always include this when you are writing notes you think someone may keep. 

  • Greeting - This may seem completely obvious, but check and re-check the spelling of your recipient’s name. You do not want a misspelling to be their first impression of your note!

  • A First Line Challenge - Holly Holden, in the same video mentioned above, challenges thank you note writers to never begin the first sentence with the word “I.” She says it presumes you are more important than the person to whom you are writing. So we encourage you go beyond the formulaic “thank you so much for xyz” to creatively express how much the gift meant to you and why. We always love to read how our gift is being used in thank you notes we receive.

  • Make Your Recipient Smile - We borrowed this advice from the talented Event Planner Kalee Baker of Kalee Baker Events. She is a firm believer in the power of a well-written thank you note: "Each day is a gift, so always include a memory or leave them with a kind, positive thought."

  • In Closing - Depending on the depth of your relationship with your recipient, “Sincerely” is always a safe option, but we also love to use “Best” or “With Love.”

  • Late? - Don’t Fret! - We are of the mindset that a late thank you note is always much better than no note at all! 

Still feeling overwhelmed by a long list of thank notes? Do not fret over the length of each note! We are always of the mindset that the acknowledgement of gratitude is the most important piece in the note. So once you have expressed that sentiment, add something personal or a thoughtful well-wish of your recipient. This will ensure that your note appropriately tugs on the reader’s heartstrings.

Happy note writing!

Fondly,
The Dixie Team

Dixie Design Collective is a purveyor of semi-custom stationery and wedding paper, hand-designed by a collective of skilled artists, for discerning clients with a taste for luxurious, artfully driven paper without the lengthy design time or high price point.

Bustle Bride: Emma Freeze

Emma and Zach first met at Pelham High school. “I was a Junior and he was a Senior. We were set up by a mutual friend, and the rest is history!” They were married October 12, 2018 at ShellB Acres, and what a beautiful day it was!

Emma’s favorite part of the day was getting to take pictures with her husband, Zach. It gave them time to be alone together and soak in the moment.

We are so happy to share their beautiful wedding day with you all. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Freeze!

Another favorite memory was reading our written vows to each other. I pretty much laughed the whole time Zach was reading his - they were so funny but true! It was a true representation of our relationship and I’m so glad our guests got to witness that.

Artist Spotlight: Darcy Wilks

Recently, I visited Darcy Wilks’ art studio in Birmingham where she creates abstract art using paint and sawdust. She was beginning to work on a brand new piece, and she took me through the process of working with these materials.

Darcy enjoys working with sawdust because she loves using materials that would otherwise be thrown away. One day, Darcy saw someone preparing to throw away a box of sawdust, so she asked if she could have it. Along with paintings, Darcy also enjoys making abstract charcoal prints.

We are excited to share some photos of Darcy’s art, as well as some behind the scenes shots of her at work in her Birmingham studio!

It’s a Bustle Wedding!

Lisa Harris and Mason Boyd met at church 13 years ago and reconnected this past summer. They had their first date July 31, 2018, got engaged on New Year’s Eve, and were married February 9th, 2019. “To pull the wedding off so quickly, we kept it small and intimate, but still wanted to incorporate special touches,” Lisa said.

Lisa and Mason’s wedding became Bustle’s first ever wedding. Yes, we hosted their lovely wedding in our little dress shop! It was so special and beautiful, and we are so happy for this sweet couple and their family!

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Our cake was made by my 12-year-old daughter who insisted on making the cake from the second she learned we were engaged. It may not have been perfect, but it was beautiful and much more special than any cake from a high-end bakery.
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Bustle was the perfect place for us to get married. The white, clean and classic space was already beautiful, but it became simply magical just by adding lanterns on the porch, fairy lights inside and flowers.
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My “something old” was my husband’s Eagle Scout pin that his mom gave to me which I pinned inside my dress.
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Our wedding vendors were all personal friends which meant a lot and made every detail fun. I never once got stressed about the wedding and enjoyed working with people that I loved and who already knew me and I what I liked. Involving friends in the planning and ceremony was a nice way for us to include them despite having such a small ceremony.

Vendors:

Venue: Bustle Gowns

Flowers: Kindred Events

Photography: Jason Wallis (Instagram: @jasonwallis)

(With some photos by Claire H. Jackson)

Invitation: Mary Virginia Baugh (Instagram: @Marvisb)

Hair & Makeup: Celine Russell (Instagram: @celine.russell)

Business Spotlight: Wild Honey Flower Truck

We had the pleasure of hosting Birmingham’s Wild Honey Flower Truck at Bustle last week on the most beautiful spring Saturday ever. So many lovely people stopped by to create the prettiest bouquets, and we had such a fun time!

Owners, Josh and Kelsey Sizemore, launched their business in November of 2018 and we are so glad they did! Here are some photos from the most perfect flower truck day!

Photo by: Claire H. Jackson

Photo by: Claire H. Jackson

Photo by: Laura Barry Starnes

Photography:

Lauren Barry Starnes (@laurenstarnes_)

Claire Hovater Jackson (@clairehovaterjackson)

Cuteness alert!

How cute are these cosmetic bags!? They’re easy to order and so affordable at only $14.99/ea. Fill them with treats for all your bridesmaids or give as hostess gifts. {You’re probably going to want one for yourself as well.}

Venue Spotlight: The Theodore

We recently paid a visit to the new wedding and event venue, The Theodore, located in downtown Birmingham. We were treated to a private tour by owner, Cindy Rhoden. The space is not only beautiful, but was carefully designed to be both functional and accessible. For example, the loading docks are designed to allow caterers, florists and other wedding pros to load/unload easily and to slip in and out unnoticed by guests.

The Theodore has the space to host more guests than most venues, with max capacity being 860 guests. The grand historical rooms are a perfect canvas for a wide variety of weddings and events, and booking The Theodore includes rental of their chairs and stage. The venue also has a chic, cozy room for small meetings/presentations or for the bride and groom to share a moment together before joining their reception. 

Take a peek at a few of the pics from our tour of this fab new Birmingham wedding venue!

Bustle Bride: Dee Repici

Dee Repici and Blake Boland met years ago at work and quickly hit it off! After a considerable amount of thought and planning, they decided to join their families. They had two wedding ceremonies to celebrate. The first was a beautiful wedding ceremony on May 25th, 2018 in Birmingham, surrounded by their families and their four children, Harper, Carter, Henley, and Claire. Their second was a private romantic ceremony in Positano, Italy, on June 1st, 2018.

We are so happy for Dee and Blake and are so excited to share their beautiful weddings with you. What a dream!

Positano Ceremony:

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Our entire trip to Positano was a dream! We especially loved walking through the streets of the city in our wedding attire and hearing the travelers and locals applaud and exclaim “Congratulazioni!” and “Bella sposa!”
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Birmingham Ceremony:

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Our favorite part of the Birmingham ceremony was the first look. Since this ceremony was mainly for our four children, having the first look just between the two of us was very memorable.
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Vendors:

Birmingham, AL

Photography - Photos By Heart

Videography - FWD Digital

Florals - RD Designs

Hair & Makeup - Brittany Massey

Venue - Redmont Hotel

Cake made by my then 8-year-old daughter Claire

Harpist - Charla Murray

Positano, Italy

Photography - Maison Pestea

Videography - Luigi DeGregorio

Wedding Planner - Capri Moments (flowers, boat, Vespa, cake, etc.)

Hair & Makeup - Alessandro Mancini 

Ceremony Venue - Marincanto Hotel

Mandolin and Guitar - Giuseppe Rispoli

Bustle Bride: Anna Elizabeth (Griffin) Price

Anna Elizabeth (Griffin) Price first met Grant at a church she was visiting. A friend of hers was planning to introduce them to each other that day, but they locked eyes before she had a chance to. From that moment, Anna had a feeling Grant would change her future forever, and she was right! They dated for 2 years after that, and then he proposed Aug 11th 2018. Grant and Anna got married, December 1st, in the same church they first saw each other in. We are so happy to share their wedding with you today!

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It was a perfect day! Thanks to friends and family, it went seamlessly. My favorite part was, of course, seeing him for the first time. I didn’t think my heart could beat that fast.
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My second favorite part was getting to drive away from the church as a married couple. That was such a real moment for us. I am so thankful for him, and the joy he brings to my life as my husband.
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Vendors:

Photographers - Evan and Sarah Travers 

Hair & Makeup - Abby Robertson

Cake - Kathy Brodock

Dress - Bustle Gowns

Flowers - Hannah Howard