Way, way back in February, Southern Bride Magazine put a call out for a styled photo shoot that paid tribute to your home state. What started out as a text message conversation between vendor friends turned into this absolutely incredible experience allowing some of the most talented vendors in all of Alabama to create our own version of Sweet Home Alabama. The end result was this amazing Blackberry Brunch that ultimately made its way to Southern Bride Magazine.
There are a million things I could tell you about this photo shoot and how it all came together, but I think Katie with Wedding Belles Events said it best…
To us, Alabama is all about southern hospitality. It means pulling up an extra chair at dinner because “you know you’re welcome to stay.” It’s watching the game with old friends, eating momma’s famous blackberry pie, and long talks on the front porch with Grandpa. It’s about feeling right at home, even when you’re somewhere else. That southern charm is what keeps us here, loving and being proud to say we’re from Alabama. So, we invite you to come home with us….where the front door’s always open. Welcome to our sweet home, Alabama.
Beautiful floral arrangements provided by Simpson’s Florist featuring the Alabama state fruit, the blackberry
Make Up and Hair by The Transformation
Stationary and paper goods designed by Salt+Paperie
Bellini Bar and Vintage Rentals by Vintage on Macon
Naked Cake and Mini Pies by Just Crumbs
When designing a menu for something like this, your brain can go a little crazy, but I knew that I wanted parts of the menu to salute the many farmers in Alabama that work so hard to provide us with quality, locally grown produce. Because of that, we decided that an omelet bar featuring some local eggs and produce was the way to go.
In addition to paying tribute to our farmers, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to nod at all the grandmothers, mommas and aunts out there that have perfected the good ole Southern biscuit topped with homemade jams and jellies. It occurred to me that using a vintage baking station from Vintage on Macon would be the perfect piece for displaying what to some is just a yummy Southern treat, but to me is a memory of Sunday mornings in the kitchen with Grandmother.
That’s the thing that is so beautiful about growing up in the South, the fact that one bite of a specific treat can evoke a stroll down memory lane that can make you laugh and cry at the same time. That is way I chose to feature our Hog Wild Ham and Biscuit Bar.
Last, but not least, I wanted to have a little fun with some mini sweet breakfast treats. We went with Mini Pancakes topped with Lemon Curd, Fresh Berries and Mint served on a handmade Alabama shaped board made by a sweet man, Mr. Howard, that I’ve gone to church with for years. We also went with Berries and Yogurt Parfaits and Mini Cinnamon Roll Lollipops.
All of this awesomess was absolutely a team effort and I couldn’t think of a better team for pulling this off. All of these people possess a talent like none other and hearts of gold the size of…Alabama? 😉 Hahah! I’m so thankful to call you all friends and so grateful to work alongside you all.
As I said before, the ultimate goal was to submit this beautifully planned and executed event to Southern Bride Magazine in hopes that it would be featured in their Summer/Fall 2014 issue. Turns out they loved it as much as we did!
We were so excited when the issue finally came out that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a copy. If you follow my Facebook or Instagram accounts, you’ve already read all about it, but I feel like sometimes things are worth repeating. The following is a post I made on my social media accounts the night I picked up my first copies of the issue featuring our Sweet Home Alabama shoot and then realized my company had been featured in the same magazine more than once!
“There have been a few times on this journey of starting and running my own catering company that I have had to just stop and take a minute to pinch myself. Tonight is one of those nights. There is something so surreal and humbling about seeing the fruits of your labor in print. Even more surreal is that moment when you realize that your food has appeared in THREE different places in the same magazine.
If someone were to ask me about my “ultimate goal” for my company I think you would be shocked to find that it actually has nothing to do with being the best chef or caterer. It actually has nothing to do with food at all. It has more to do with encouraging and inspiring others to find their “pinch me” moment. So if you have a dream, go do it! Set goals and sprint toward them! Surround yourself with those that support you and encourage you to be the best version of yourself and when you achieve those goals, don’t forget where you came from.
Here’s hoping that I never forget to count my blessing and praise through my trials because we’ve come a long way, baby!” -Ashley Smith, June 2014