December 31st is always a good day to reflect. It’s a day that you can sit and think back on all of the things – good and bad – that the year has had to offer. There is an importance to that, we think. It makes you stop and appreciate all that you’ve accomplished in a year and enjoy where you are in life right now before your mind starts to wander to setting goals and what the future will hold in the upcoming year.
With 2016 only hours away from making its entrance into the world, we couldn’t think of a better time to reflect and share with all of you a few of our milestones of 2015! This year has been such a tremendously great first full year for Rasberry Greene. It’s been a year of new friendships, of construction, of new beginnings and traditions, and of joy.
Every week this year we thought, how can we love our couples and families more? And every week our hearts grew a little larger as we welcomed new couples and their families to The Gin. – Lauren Zumwalt
Jan 1, 2015 ~ Booking for Rasberry Greene officially begins!
A project like this doesn’t come about by accident. It starts with a vision, a desire to create and to see a dream come to life.
For Donnie Zumwalt, the best way to share the joy he experiences caring for this beautiful land is to invite others in just as the Rasberry/Nester family did for him so many years ago. After years of watching his father-in-law carefully tending to this incredible place, he eventually took over as caretaker. Together, he and Lauren decided that the little tree farm was too beautiful to keep to themselves – and Rasberry Greene was born!
With the dream set into action, a slab for The Gin was poured. And with a slab comes the foundation for all the events and memories that are to come. On January 1st, 2015, booking for Rasberry Greene officially began!
Win The Gin
We kicked off 2015 the best way we knew how; a #winthegin giveaway! With the #winthegin giveaway, our followers were able to win a wedding at Rasberry Greene! The winner had their pick of all 2015 wedding dates at The Gin. We loved being able to start the year off with this fun giveaway that took place on through our social media. We were so happy to see just how many people wanted to get married in our neck of the woods before the The Gin was even completed!
Here comes The Gin!
Now, the dream is starting to take shape. The walls for The Gin are finally starting to come up, and for the first time, we can see a glimpse of the grand structure Donnie and Lauren sketched and resketched, planned and envisioned for so long. Soon, happy souls will fill this space as families are joined, beloved traditions come to life and promises that will be spoken beneath the trees.
We could finally say it, “Here comes The Gin!”
“Your Story in the Details” Launch
You see, we feel like your story is the most beautiful part of your wedding day and the foundation for years of happy marriage to come. We want to help you tell it!
So, we started a series to help you to connect with the folks, right here at home in Mississippi, who can help you bring your memories and moments – your story – to life.
Each craftsman or artist in this series agreed to not only introduce us to their incredible Mississippi-made products or services, but also to share their story and the deeper meaning behind the items they create or the service they provide.
This was one of our favorite blog series in 2015! We can’t wait to keep expanding this list in 2016.
First Proposal at The Gin
More and more we find ourselves playing host to moments – a stolen glance, a quick kiss or squeeze of the hand. It seems the trees are echoing our collective joy and calling out to others to join us here in this quiet place, to revel in happiness beneath their branches.
These moments, experienced, cherished and remembered for years to come, are what inspired us to open up every inch of this beautiful place to the talented people who so beautifully capture each glance, kiss and embrace.
This engagement session was so special to us because Chad and Beka were our first couple to actually get engaged on our property! Chad surprised Beka with an intimate proposal on the porch of The Gin. A few months later they returned to Rasberry Greene with photographer Brooke Davis to take their breathtaking engagement photos among the trees.
First wedding in The Gin
When the Rasberry Greene team gathered together to imagine the future of this beautiful place nestled deep in the Piney Woods of South Mississippi, an image of a particular bride emerged time and again.
We told stories of her quintessential southern childhood – growing up helping her Grandpa in the yard, learning to cook in her Grandma’s kitchen. She grew up amidst a swirl of stories of times gone by, imagining a simple, love-filled home for herself one day, where she would make new stories of her own.
When we first met Taylor, we knew we had found her.
Taylor and Zaniel will forever be remembered as the first couple to be married in The Gin at Rasberry Greene, and we couldn’t have asked for a better first love story to grace this beautiful place.
Details come to life
You know that love is poured into a place when you get excited over tiny details such as lighting and little gems of decorations. We were so excited to see the huge, industrial chandelier go up in The Gin, as well as the matte black sconces that really tie in the feel that The Gin gives off. This might seem like a small milestone to some, but here at Rasberry Greene, we were so excited to really see all these details come to life!
Rasberry Greene shirts are here!
We absolutely love seeing folks out and about in our shirts. We swell with thankfulness because we wouldn’t be here without the support of the community and friends that we have gained throughout this year. Seeing the shirts on people are just little reminders of that fact! And we think they’re pretty stylish and comfortable! We might be a little biased though..
Geometric Inspired Wedding at Rasberry Greene
Since we first pushed back the gates at Rasberry Greene, we have played host to a unique array of talented Mississippi wedding vendors, photographers, stylists and the most talented dreamers among us.
Sharing the results of these ideas, the moments captured, is such an honor for us.
This gorgeous styled shoot from BlackBird Creative is a great representation of local creatives getting together to make something that inspires us. We are so happy that these local creatives feel inspired by our grounds and are able to use them to make astonishing work where no photoshoot or project looks the same as the last. Keep doing what you’re doing, guys!
Blue Ribbon Vendor, y’all!
The heart of any wedding in the South is representative of the culture of the people who live here. They’re full of love, family tradition and recipes, and stories that have been passed down for generations. At Rasberry Greene, we love to celebrate weddings because we love to celebrate family heritage, and we’re always looking for others who feel the same.
Southern Weddings Magazine is the South’s premier wedding publication. At SW they choose to honor the love, the stories, and the traditions that are the beating heart of your wedding day. Simply, they love weddings. They want their brides to have access to every credible resource imaginable, because we’re all family here!
Any company that treats their brides as family is our kind of people! That’s why when we found out we were chosen as a Southern Weddings Blue Ribbon Vendor, we were over the moon. We felt like we were nestled in among a group of folks that has the same love for people’s stories and tradition that we hold so dearly.
Cotton Gin Market
Supporting local Mississippi creators, artists, and storytellers is something that we have believed in since the very beginning.
We believe in the hard work and passion that our neighbors and friends pour into their work every single day. We believe in the dreams and stories that lead each craftsman and collector to do what they so lovingly do. And we believe in the powerful community and impact of small town makers.
This strong belief in our fellow local vendors has led us to the creation of a new, local, annual event – The Cotton Gin Market.
The stunning diversity of our vendors is what truly made this the event not to miss. Hailing from every corner of the magnolia state, each one of the vendors was more unique than the next. From up-cycled masterpieces and home-made delicacies, to quirky crocheted cacti, to amazing live performances from Honeyboy & Boots; Oh, Jeremiah; and more.
The Cotton Gin Market really flooded our grounds with more new people (we really like to call them friends) than we ever could imagine! We can’t wait to make this market bigger and better in 2016.
Additions to Rasberry Greene
We’re happy to round out this year with little additions to the Rasberry Greene grounds such as the fire pit and archway. We love seeing how each couple and family will use these additions differently because everyone has a different story to tell. And, you should know by now, that we absolutely love being able to tell people’s stories.
Looking forward to the year ahead
Now that we’ve taken the time to step back and enjoy the incredible year that we’ve had in 2015, it’s time to start looking toward 2016 with the most grateful of hearts. Thank you for being a part of the first year of Rasberry Greene!
The dream of this adventure has been years in the making. One might say it started over 80 years ago when Bill & Virgie Rasberry thought there was something special about this place, and continued through Joe & Betty Nester’s love and care of the land. We hope our first year has honored their memory and we look forward to the future as the story continues to unfold. – Lauren Zumwalt