Y’all, I have officially finished my first semester of senior year at Elon University! Words cannot begin to express my emotions right now. On the one hand, I am bewildered that half of my last year in college has blown by so quickly. On the other hand, I am so excited to be done with final exams, to be home for the holiday break, and to have more time to devote to my non-school related passions. One of the things I’m most excited for is devoting more time to this blog! Today’s post is one that I’ve been itching to write about for quite some time- a recap of the Southern Weddings Gingerbread Barn Building Competition that I attended with Emily last Monday.
Everything started with this secret Pinterest board. About one week before the event, Pinterest had the brilliant idea of creating secret boards that can only be seen by the creator and the select individuals they invite to pin to that board. It was the perfect way for Emily and me to share our design ideas and plan of action without worrying that any other event attendees would copy our technique.
Granted, the majority of the pins we found were absolutely stunning, but a bit more exaggerated than the design we chose. The most useful pin was the one detailing the instructions for making a Graham Cracker Gingerbread house. Once we practiced and tweaked it to the shape of making a gingerbread barn, we were ready to roll.
After much anticipation, Monday finally arrived and Emily and I were off to the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC for the competition. I had seen pictures of the Gingerbread Barn Building Competition from last year, and noticed that the majority of people were wearing aprons. So, I decided to make my own apron with gold glitter fabric paint, gold tinsel, and an adorable adhesive reindeer adorning a bow!
Walking into the room where the event was held was such an incredible feeling. Not only because I saw all of the sweets that were available to create our barn, but also because of the time that I got to spend with the Southern Weddings ladies. I was immediately welcomed by Lara Casey and her precious daughter Grace (seriously, she is the cutest little girl with the biggest smile!). While I was making baby faces at Grace, Nicole came up to me and told me how much she liked my skirt. I was so thrilled that someone noticed, because I may or may not have (…definitely did) purchase it on sale from J.Crew Factory with this particular event in mind. Then, when Kristin saw me, she greeted me by name and we started chatting up a storm! She is one sassy but sweet lady, y’all. Throughout the evening, I also had the chance to talk to Emily Thomas, and told her how much I adored her perfectly pink apron. I had only met Lara and Emily once before at the V5 Launch Party, and had communicated with each of them briefly via email. However, these ladies made me feel as though I was at home at an event with some of my dearest friends!
Once I finished chatting with the SW ladies, Emily and I got straight to work creating our barn. Since both of us have interned with wedding planners and have a soft spot for barn weddings, we knew we wanted to showcase our barn hosting a wedding ceremony. Our original plan was to leave the front doors open so everyone could see the details of the ceremony. Unfortunately, the structure of the roof was too heavy, and could not be supported without the front doors.
Our barn did not place in the top 3, but Emily and I agree that it definitely earned a self-proclaimed honorable mention. My favorite details from our barn were the sugar wafers that we used as bales of hay for ceremony seating and for the shingles on the roof. I also loved the pearl-adorned aisle runner, the candy cane entrance, and the bow atop the doors. However, the bow was a part of the packaging for one of the sweets, so it was not allowed to be used in our design. We realized this after taking these pictures, and quickly made a green M&M wreath to take it’s place!
Back at Elon and after coming down from our sugar high, Emily and I whipped out our copies of V5 and had our own impromptu photo-shoot. The deadline for the V5 photo contest was also this Monday, which was convenient because Emily finally got her copy of V5 as a gift at the competition! We started off by goofing around a bit by the Christmas tree before taking our actual contest pictures. You can get a closer look at my skirt in these pictures!
We decided on two pictures- one of the two of us reading our “gifts” under the Christmas tree, and one of me sharing the V5 goodness with my apartment’s personal reindeer friend, Bella. I think she loves it as much as I do! The night was such a blast, and I cannot wait to see all that Southern Weddings does in the future!