Weddings are absolutely beautiful days that represent the union of two people and two families.  Couples often put years of thought into the special touches that they want present on their special day, and they often call on age-old traditions to incorporate into their wedding ceremony. The wonderful thing is that almost all of the traditions have a fun backstory that makes them even more special to use!

Asking for the Daughter’s Hand

One of Stephanie’s favorite stories from the construction of the venue took place during the laying of the foundation for the pergola.  She was washing dishes at the sink and looked out to see a young man approach one of the masonry men. After she saw that the two men were finished talking, Stephanie went out to see if everything was okay.  It turns out, the younger man was there to ask permission of his future bride’s father. The father did give his permission that day, and the couple was married on the same pergola that next year.  

This tradition dates back to the days when bride families were paid dowries and continued when couples began to be allowed to choose their own life partners without their parents guidance. Now more of a formality, this practice shows respect for the life changing move the bride and groom is about to make. 

Burying the Bourbon 

This tradition is a southern one that helps to ward off bad weather on the wedding day.  Since weddings are held outside at much higher rates than northern weddings, they are also much more likely to be the victim of any of Mother Nature’s bursts of rain or cold.  In order to prevent anything other than a beautiful sunny day, tradition says to bury a bottle of bourbon near the ceremony site exactly one month before the couple weds. The type of bourbon doesn’t matter, but the bottle must be buried upside down and be completely full.  

Dad Walking the Bride Down the Aisle

While some margin of this tradition dates back to the idea that a bride is the possession of one family that transfers to another on her wedding day, a more modern take on this special moment is that the father is walking with his daughter one last time before he lets her go into the world of being a full-fledged adult.

Being Married on the Half Hour 

This simple tradition calls for the couple to be wed at a time when the hand on the clock is moving upward towards heaven.  The upward movement symbolizes that there will be many blessings brought forth for the newly wedded couple.

Being Married Under a Chuppah

This Jewish tradition calls for the couple to be married under a four cornered piece of fabric.  The fabric represents the new house they are forming AND calls for the public acknowledgement of them as a new couple.  It is a bonus if the couple can be married outdoors under the chuppah because the stars in the sky will help them to multiply, and they will have many children.  When a couple followed this tradition at our venue, they used a tallit, or prayer shawl, from one of their grandparents and secured it to the pergola.  

Tossing the Bouquet

This tradition came around to relieve the bride of some of the stress she was under on her special day.  In the olden days, folks who attended weddings believed that touching the bride, or even grabbing a piece of her dress, would give them the good fortune of getting married soon as well.  As a result, brides would often leave their wedding in shambles with their dresses ripped to shreds. Enter the bouquet toss. Tossing the bouquet allows wedding guests a chance to grab their own good luck while allowing the bride a much needed escape route.  

“Something Old, Something New”

This poem has been recited more times than any of us can tell.  The origin of it is somewhat vague, but the words themselves urge the bride to gather up items that are old, new, borrowed, and blue.  The “something old” represents continuity by allowing the bride to carry something from the past into the future, and it also offers protection for the babies that are to come.  The “something new” shows an optimistic outlook for the future and hope for all of the new adventures to come. “Something borrowed” is always borrowed for another happy bride who has had children to pass that same child bearing happiness onto the new bride.  “Something blue” doesn’t just stand for purity and fidelity, but it also helps ward off any evil that might make its way to the ceremony. The addition of the “sixpence in the left shoe” brings good fortune and prosperity to the new couple.  We recently commissioned a hand-lettered creation of this poem from local artisan Amberlee Carlson to hang in our bridal suite. 

That last line is especially meaningful to us.  You might remember from our last wedding blog that we named our farm “Six Penny Farm” because there are six Pences in our family, and we named our event space “Six Penny Hall” to reflect those origins. We are excited to pass a little of this tradition on to our brides, as we give each one a sixpence (along with a print of the poem that hangs in our bridal suite) when they book with us!

 

What’s in a name?  When you come to visit us here at Brix & Columns Vineyards, you will find out that we put a lot of thought into the naming of each step of our journey.  When we first built our house in 2007, we named our farm Six Penny Farm as a nod to the fact that we are the Pences and there are 6 of us: Mom, Dad, and four children.  Our friends and family loved the property and the views from our house, and several folks asked us if we would be open to the option of becoming a wedding venue.  

Our original farm sign.

Since we were juggling our careers, parenting, and farming, the option seemed a little daunting at the time. Fast forward 8 years and our eldest child, Taylor, was ready to get married.  As he was taking his big step into another chapter of life, we decided to take a big step into our own next chapter, and our wedding venue The Columns at Six Penny Farms was born! The name referenced both our farm and the stately columns at the front of our home. 

Taylor and Laura celebrating on their special day!

We purchased a large event tent that we set up out back, and we planned on hosting cocktail hour on our back porch. All we were really missing was the perfect ceremony site.  We thought about which side of the house had the best views, and we quickly chose the view from our side porch. The panoramic views available there of rolling fields and blue-hued mountains are hard to beat.  We had the pergola built just in time for Taylor and Laura’s wedding (our inaugural ceremony), and we love the fact that their names and wedding date are signed in the concrete under the brick. Tune in to our next blog to hear the cutest story about the construction of the pergola!

Things went great for a few years, but it was hard to get a good night sleep anytime the tent was up and the night was windy.  All it took was a well-placed gust, and we would be scrambling the next morning to get everything set back in place for the day’s festivities.  

The event tent set up behind our house.

In the meantime, we were contacted by a local vineyard approached us about leasing land to grow grapes.  After coming to look, the vineyard owners said that the land was ideal for growing vines, but those vineyard owners eventually found some land closer to home. Once we realized our land had vineyard potential, we invited several other vineyard consultants out to look at our land, and we also began taking viticulture classes at Piedmont Valley Community College.  In the spring of 2016, we planted their first grapes (Petit Verdot and Viognier) and in the fall of that year we broke ground on the Brix & Columns Vineyard building. Since Brix is a wine term and Columns references both our original venue name and the columns that are a prominent feature of our Jeffersonian architecture, the name Brix & Columns combines both the wine and wedding elements of our operation!

A photo of the Brix & Columns building, the house, and the pergola.

Every step of our journey has helped us grow into the space we are now!

View More: http://joshgooden.pass.us/estlandHere at The Columns at Six Penny Farm wedding venue it is hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. Yes, in mid-January, it seems like it will be a long time until it gets warm. We look forward to the snows and winter rains we will receive yet during the rest of the winter. By mid-February typically tree pollen starts and not long after leaves start to appear on the trees. The grass will green up, blossoms will burst forth and before our couples know it, the last minute planning for weddings will be upon us.

If you are planning a wedding here at The Columns at Six Penny Farm don’t be surprised how quickly that big day will get here. We continue to make preparations for the spring wedding season. Call us if you have questions about planning for an upcoming wedding you have here with us. We get excited about your big day too! Keep us up to date on your plans so we can make sure the day is just as you planned.

While you may have planned for certain details for your wedding early on, you may now see your ideas are being fine-tuned. These last minute adjustments you make may be very exciting. You may have adjusted the colors you were going to use somewhat or decided to have more elaborate centerpiece or something simple and yet so very elegant. Maybe the groom will even have some helpful suggestions that you feel are just what was needed. Stranger things have happened! You may want to finalize the menu with your caterer in the near future depending on whether you have a spring, summer or fall wedding. If the groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, then make sure they have arranged for their fittings. This may require some planning especially if they are from out of town.

In any event, spring is on the way and your wedding day will soon be upon us with you here at The Columns at Six Penny Farm wedding venue. Enjoy every step along the way!

Farm Wedding Venue Near HarrisonburgOur beautiful, well-maintained farm adds charm to your wedding venue.

The farm is a 160-acre beef and hay farm located in McGaheysville, Virginia which is in Rockingham County a leading agricultural county for the state. Farms in the area yield a variety of products most typically poultry, beef, corn, and soybeans in addition to a wide variety of vegetables typically for the farms own family’s use.

For the locavore in you, Six Penny Farm produces food to use right on site.

Six penny farm raises a variety of products. We have traditionally raised Angus beef cattle, hay for our cattle as well as for some local stables and horse owners. We also have raspberries, chickens for meat and eggs. In addition we have fresh herbs, and a variety of vegetables have been grown as well. We have also started keeping some honeybees. The honeybee effort will produce some honey for consumption, but is also an effort to be a good steward of our farm and the land around us. Bees are so important for pollenating all kinds of crops.

Bring in the abundance of the Shenandoah Valley with local food sourcing.

You may want to have your caterer source much of what is used for your wedding locally. There is such an abundance grown locally that can be used for your receptions. Check with your caterer ahead of time to see if they have options that allow you to take advantage of locally produced foods. While there may be a lot of food that can be found locally, some of the food may not be in season when you are celebrating. Just ask ahead with your caterer to find what options they are aware of. We have berries, herbs, eggs, chicken and may have other ingredients that we may incorporate for our overnight guests and may also be available for wedding receptions with advance notice. The farm experience may be what makes your wedding or event standout as striking just the tone you are looking for as we are more than just a wedding venue.