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Fair warning: I put far too many photos in this post. But when they’re as beautiful as these, can you blame me?? Of course, pretty much anything that Ali Harper points her camera toward turns to gold, but we started with a pretty beautiful venue, too…

I adored the paper suite that Ashley Buzzy McHugh put together — each part is actually a custom stamp, making these an easy and inexpensive project you could try at home!

Our gentlemen were looking oh so dapper in goods from Billy Reid. Love those polka dot bow ties!

Of course, the ladies were in fine form, as well (with a little help from Claudia Mejerle!). Lindsay Coletta Designs‘ bouquet was truly stunning, and included one of my favorites — hellebore!

I love this escort card display that Krista from Blue Eyed Yonder and Ashley put together. Washi tape makes a concept like this look so good with so little effort!

Our table was set under a lovely tree, next to the cutest trio of goats! (Nicole would have been happy.)

Ashley specifically handlettered each egg while she was on a trip to Georgia, because she didn’t want to have to ship them from California!

Remember those delicious dishes I talked about? Here they are! So yummy. Thank you, Sun In My Belly!

Krista hand-selected the perfect combination of white and light blue chairs to set around our table.

Love this sweet little guest book station. I adore the idea of having each guest sign their name as a witness to your marriage vows — in fact, that’s what I did at my own wedding!

The hand-wrapped favors came from Many Fold Farm, just down the road from Serenbe.

Chicken friends :)

I could not love this cake from Anne Kathleen more — the coconut flakes remind me of snowy feathers!

Finally, this vintage car from Krista’s collection could NOT have been more perfect for this color story if it had been ordered up special. And yes, y’all, she rents this beauty for weddings!

This gorgeous snippet from Anchor Heart Films puts everything gorgeously into motion — including that beautiful blush skirt from The Sentimentalist!

I would love to hear: What’s your favorite part from this editorial? I have the hardest time deciding, but I love the cake, the bride’s necklace and gown, and her bouquet — possibly equally :)

Ali Harper and Blue Eyed Yonder are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
19 Comments
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    AHHH! Love serenbe, love the earthy gothic feel of this shoot, and I REALLY love the bridal attire. The Sentimentalist is THE best new bridal store in Atlanta and I’m so glad to see it represented! OH, and Sun in My Belly is AWESOME. And so is Ali Harper! EEEeee!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    What a feast for the eyes, so beautiful and elegant. I love the dresses, especially the non-traditional wedding dress.

  3. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Amazing details and decor, we absolutely love all of it! So very many congratulations to the sweet couple!

    xo

    http://www.PlumPrettySugar.blogspot.com

  4. avatar Marilisa reply

    Good gracious, that video made my heart SWELL. I love how elegantly down-home-chic this shoot is. So much romance! That team of vendors is truly incredible.

  5. avatar Kat reply

    LOVING her bouquet!!! And that escort card display is so fun!

  6. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    Let’s see… the venue (who doesn’t love Georgia), the cake, the flowers, custom stamp… okay. Everything!

  7. avatar Haley Sheffield reply

    So in love with every part of this shoot. Every single vendor involved is just beyond talented.

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    […] for chickens is well-documented, so it is probably no surprise that we’re all smitten with Fine Feathered Fete! P.S. A big SW thank you to our sweet friend Kathryn at Snippet and Ink for sharing a preview of […]

  11. avatar christina reply

    where are the dresses from?

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  15. avatar Love is Everywhere reply

    I love the wedding gown! No different, simples and nice. The other details are amazing like: escort “cards”, the scenario, the cake! Really elegant and simple!

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Ladies, I just know you will love June’s Southern Bride of the Month. I loved her from today’s first interview question (what’s your name?), which she answered with an exclamation point! Anyone who’s that excited about answering basic questions is a winner in my book! Read on for more about Jordan and Steele’s upcoming Highlands celebration, and be sure to weigh in on her question at the end — definitely a common one!

Hi! What’s your name?
Jordan Easter!

What’s your fiancé’s name?
My fiancé’s name is Steele Taylor!

Paul Johnson

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Steele and I met during our freshman year at Auburn University. We were introduced by two of our best friends (they are married now!) who always told us we would be great as a couple. We were in the same circle of friends through our freshman and sophomore years, and I always had the biggest crush on him! I even took him to our sorority Christmas social, but we remained friends until the end of our sophomore year, when he asked me out on a date.

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
Steele and I had a birthday party to attend for a coworker on Saturday night (December 8th), and earlier in the week Steele had asked if he could take me on a surprise date before the party. When he picked me up, we drove to Piedmont Park in the middle of Atlanta, and I still had no idea what we were doing. When we got out of the car, he told me we were taking a carriage ride around the park. When he told me that the carriage was “just over the hill,” I definitely knew something was going on.

When we got to the top of the hill and after he had talked for a minute, I heard someone yell my name. I turned to the left, and saw my brother running up the hill wearing a shirt that said “Will” on it (his name is Will, so I was a little confused at that point). Then I heard someone else yell my name and on the other side, his sister was running up the hill with a shirt that said “You.” Then to my right, my sister was yelling my name and running up the hill wearing a shirt that said “Marry.” By the time I had turned around to look at Steele, he was down on one knee. Immediately, our parents came running up behind our siblings. Family is so important to both of us so I was so excited that not only had he included them but literally had them be a part of the proposal! He had called my coworker earlier that week to tell her we wouldn’t make it because he was proposing, and then made reservations for all of us at Watershed in Atlanta. It was such a fun night celebrating with our families! (History behind the sapphires: Steele chose to use that stone because both his mom and grandmother have sapphires in their rings!)

When’s the big day?
Saturday, July 6th. I can’t believe it’s so soon!!

Where might you two be tying the knot?
In Highlands, North Carolina at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn!

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
I grew up in Austin, Texas but my family moved to Rosemary Beach, Florida during my freshman year at Auburn. Originally we wanted to get married in Rosemary Beach. However, when we got engaged, we found out that our church and the venue I loved in Rosemary was booked until 2014, and we wanted a shorter engagement. We knew we wanted a destination wedding and since Steele grew up vacationing in the Highlands area, we gave Old Edwards Inn a call. They had two summer dates open and once we saw the space, it was an easy decision! Even though we were disappointed in the beginning to not get married at the beach, we are so glad that we chose The Farm at Old Edwards Inn.

From the Old Edwards website

Tell us a little bit about the wedding you’re planning: style, theme, feel, colors?
A classic, elegant, and FUN summer wedding! I love all white so I am using my great-grandmother’s white tablecloths for the table linens and all the flowers are white and green with a touch of lamb’s ear to match the surrounding area of Highlands. (Flowers are blooming everywhere in the summer in Highlands — hydrangeas literally on the side of the road!!! Amazing.) Groomsmen will wear navy suits with a custom green Vineyard Vines tie and my bridesmaids are wearing LulaKate short, navy bridesmaid dresses. I am pretty simple, so everything will be classic and clean-looking. I am excited about literally everything from the fabulous Old Edwards food to my coconut wedding cake from the most amazing bakery in the South, Pastry Art, to our awesome Mo-Town band! I am definitely counting down the days.

Ceremony set-up by Meg Smith via Snippet & Ink; low centerpiece photo by Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty; tall centerpiece photo by Jen Fariello via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Who or what has been most helpful and/or inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Hands down — my mom! She has great taste, and has been so helpful with sharing ideas and brainstorming. She has been a lifesaver throughout the entire process!

How have you involved your “community” (friends, family, etc.) in the wedding planning process?
I have a pretty large family, so it has been fun to involve my sister, aunts, cousins and grandmother. My mom’s sisters have been so helpful and are always sharing ideas. Our friends and wedding party have hosted parties and showers for us made us that much more excited for our wedding day!

Cocktail table photo by Joey + Jessica; hydrangea centerpiece photo by Katie Stoops via Southern Weddings

Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
I am and have always been OBSESSED with weddings. Before we were engaged, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. Once we got engaged and our location changed from the beach to the mountains, my vision definitely changed! I love a wedding that reflects the area, so everything from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the flowers changed once we decided on Highlands.

What part of wedding planning, if any, has made you the most anxious?
Without a doubt, the guest list. It has been the most stressful for both families! I am also very Type-A and have worked in event planning, so I am anxious that the day won’t go smoothly. Thankfully I serve a Father who takes that anxiety from us! I have spent a lot of time in prayer to give any anxiety and the entire day to the Lord. All that really matters when it is all said and done is that I will be Steele’s wife!

Bouquet photo by James Anderson; green and white bouquet photo by Martha Stewart Weddings; gardenia bouquet photo by Eric Kelley

What wedding-related decision have you been the most indecisive on?
Bridesmaid dresses! My roommate and I must have tried on every dress in Atlanta. It took me almost three months to decide, and every day I woke up and said “THIS is the dress!” …only to change my mind by the end of the day. It was a running joke with my roommate, who is also one of my bridesmaids.

One of Jordan’s lovely bridesmaids modeling her actual dress (!), and some bridesmaid bouquet inspiration by Fleur

Which part of your wedding have you been most intentional about planning?
The whole weekend! Since the Fourth of July falls two days before our wedding, we are starting the celebration on Thursday with Fourth of July party, then a welcome party for all of our guests on Friday night with live music from Tim Tyler, an Auburn favorite. Our goal was to make the whole weekend a celebration! We also both love good food, so we made sure our menu included all of our favorites.

How has the budgeting been? What’s your best budgeting tip?
Oh goodness! Budgeting is not my specialty! I have tried to do a lot on my own (example: programs, save the dates, etc.) and find the best deals I possibly can, but it isn’t always easy. My best tip is to keep track of expenses. I have kept a pretty detailed Excel spreadsheet, which has definitely helped.

Jordan + Steele’s invitation!

Tell us about the one that got away. Is there one dream thing or vendor you wish you could have fit into your budget?
Yes! I would have loved to have Inkspot Crow Films — they do fabulous work, but unfortunately they were booked and out of our budget. I chose instead to splurge on our AMAZING photographer, Paul Johnson Photography.

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes!!! It was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning! My mom, sister, future mother in-law and sister in-law drove to Birmingham (they have great bridal boutiques!) for the weekend and made three appointments in one day (we were determined to find the one!). I tried on so many beautiful dresses but still hadn’t found my dress. Before our last appointment of the day, we felt a little discouraged that we might not find it that weekend. At our last appointment, I tried on three dresses that the store had shipped in for me. I loved all three but when I put the third out of the three on, my younger sister burst into tears! She never cries, so we all knew that was it. I also didn’t want to take it off. It is a Lela Rose gown and it is perfect for a summer wedding in the mountains!

Left photo by Kate Webber via Style Me Pretty

Do you have a favorite Etsy or independent store you’d love to tell us about?
Etsy has been great! Jewelry By Jim’s Granddaughter made gold knot rings for when I asked my friends and family to be my bridesmaids (“Help Us Tie the Knot” was the theme). We also ordered personalized wine labels for welcome gifts for our guests, and I have purchased flower girl and hostess gifts on Etsy. I even ordered a vintage enameled box for the ring bearer to carry our rings!

What has been the best part of wedding planning? The worst part?
I have always loved weddings, so the whole process has been so much fun! It has been fun getting to talk to my mom every day and plan everything together. Steele and I have also gotten a lot closer over and learned a lot about each other. The worst part has been the stress that comes along with wedding planning!

Paul Johnson

What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your engagement?
To let the little things go and focus on the important things about a wedding! I have the tendency to dream big and go a little overboard on details that some people may not even remember. I have definitely had to learn to ask myself, “is this really necessary?”

Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
We are going to Sugar Beach in St. Lucia! We don’t have any plans except to relax and enjoy a vacation together.

Jordan + Steele are planning to serve a coconut cake… yum! Inspiration from Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom (photo by Barrett Doran) and Martha Stewart Weddings

Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
Soak in every moment! Our engagement has flown by faster than I ever imagined, and it has taken me until now to realize that I only get to do this once.

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
Everyone has told me that the entire day goes by in a blur. I know that is probably inevitable, but any advice on how to soak in and really enjoy our wedding day?

emily Written with love by Emily
8 Comments
  1. avatar Kat reply

    Hi Jordan! I’m a July bride too :) I definitely struggled with deciding on the ‘maids dresses and still struggle with the question “is this really necessary” when it comes to all the little details! One piece of advice SW very own Emily blogged about after her wedding really stuck with me and I vowed to do it the morning after my wedding: write EVERYTHING down! What you ate, how you felt, who you saw, what made you cry, etc. The photographer will capture SO much but only you know your heart! I plan to journal it all out the morning after on the honeymoon flight. Best wishes girl!!! I hope your day is everything you dreamed it’d be… and more :)

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Kat, you are too sweet to quote my own advice… but I still stand by it :) My other best tip for slowing the day down (which I’ve also written about before) is to plan out every detail of your morning: what time you’ll get up, where you’ll be, who else will be there, what you need to get done, what the room will look like, what you’ll wear, when you’ll get dressed, what you’ll eat, what you’ll listen to, etc. I firmly believe that how you start the day REALLY affects how the entire day feels, and if you can start your day in a relaxed, intentional way, it will get you off on a great foot. Also, stay in the moment: don’t go NEAR social media in any form. It will all be there to look at the next day, but you want to be present with the people in front of you!

  3. avatar Sloan reply

    I would absolutely agree with writing everything down. My husband and I married on May 4 and the next day, we still had vivid thoughts about everything, but they have definitely faded over time. I meant to write everything down and now that is my biggest regret!

  4. avatar Alexandria reply

    I’m getting married July 6th too!! We loved the idea of spending the holiday with our family and friends and then getting married! Plus some years it will allow us to easily travel for our anniversary! It just seemed like the perfect date! We did decide on a beach wedding because we found the most amazing new venue, the Koru Beach Klub, in Avon. Cape Hatteras was my grandfathers favorite lighthouse too, so it really means a lot that we are getting married there! Congratulations to you and I hope your day goes off without any problems. You’re so correct that its the best feeling to give your anxieties to God because everything is in his control!!

  5. avatar Joyce Cunningham reply

    I am a `old` bride of 1960 but the advice I would give is : remember that you have 5 senses and they all can help you remember. Every so often during your big day stop and LOOK in such a manner as taking a mental picture of friends and relatives who have come to wish you joy. SMELL whatever is in the air, TOUCH the different items around you, TASTE the item of that hour (kisses, desserts, meals,snacks). And HEAR the sounds (birds, breezes, music and especially what your soon to be husband is saying! GIVE THANKS to God for each wonder of the day. Best wishes!

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As you may know, we here at Southern Weddings have a little bit of an ongoing love affair with chickens. (Actually, all farm animals, to be perfectly honest!) So y’all know we just adore that Audrey + Zane tied the knot in her grandfather’s chicken house, and had a celebration made complete by feathered details galore!

Of course, we not only swoon for chickens in this office; we’re quite smitten with good ol’ Southern gentlemen, too! When meeting Zane for the first time, Audrey knew right off the bat he was a good one when he sweetly stood just-so to block the sun from her eyes. Way to go, Zane! For this farm-loving couple, it took just a few weeks after meeting to know they’d get married one day. Now, over four years later (yep, this one’s an oldie but goodie!), you can’t help but feel the love they have for each other right through the photos from Mark Elkins.

My sweet aunt is an amazing designer and seamstress, so I was so honored that she offered to make my dress! I wanted something a little unusual, and she was thrilled at the idea of using feathers to suit the feel of the wedding. We wanted to embrace the farm wedding, and since we were getting married in a chicken house, I thought feathers would be so fitting. My grandparents had had an egg business for years (they actually were the supplier for the first Chick-Fil-A!), so I wanted the dress to suit a farm girl! With several yards of silk dupioni and a down pillow, my Mom and I set off to South Carolina for a weekend of dress-making. My aunt, Evy Hawkins, designed and made my dress in a long weekend! It was absolutely perfect. I love the uneven textural earthiness of the ruched dupioni and the layers of feathers around the bottom. I’m so thankful my aunt volunteered her talent!

Describe your wedding flowers. 
Our wedding flowers were definitely a do-it-yourself project! We ordered yellow craspedia, white scabiosa, red gerrando daisies, and thistles. The boutonnieres were craspedia and feathers. We also gathered Queen Anne’s lace for arrangements at the reception. We planted wheatgrass in barnwood boxes my dad had made to go on the tables at the reception to tie in with the grass in the field. We planted a swath of red poppies along the side of the barn, and they were blooming gorgeously just in time for the wedding! A really special little detail to me was that in the sea of red poppies, there was one little sweet pink poppy that mysteriously came up. My Nannie (grandmother) had always planted those same pink poppies so it was like a little piece of her was there!

We did do a first look! We loved this! Our ceremony “aisle” wound across a ten-acre hayfield, so if we hadn’t done a first look, I wouldn’t have gotten to see the look on Zane’s face! We did a first look early that morning and I loved having that moment together, just the two of us, and our amazing photographer who captured it!

Y’all, aren’t these two just the cutest!?

Did you write your own vows? 
We had a good friend marry us, and he wrote most of the vows, with our input. He incorporated a song that was also sung at our wedding called “As Long as There’s You” by a bluegrass band called the Cluster Pluckers. They’re so meaningful to us because they really do capture how we feel.

Our wedding was all about life on a Southern farm, even down to the food. Since we had a morning wedding, we had a grits bar complete with various cheeses, bacon, green onions, tomatoes, etc, and biscuits with sausage, bacon, and assorted homemade jellies. We also had berries, watermelon, and homemade Southern spiced pecans from my great aunt’s trees and shelled by my great-aunts. There were mason jars in abundance, monogrammed table linens, and sweet tea of course! The favors were homemade Southern peach jam, made from local peaches from Hollandville, GA. Guests that were able sat on hay bales during the ceremony. Another detail that I felt is pretty Southern is that Zane wore khaki-colored seersucker.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
We are so thankful to my parents who went above and beyond and did so much work to get everything perfect! All of our vendors were amazing. I’m so thankful for the Elkins at Mark Elkins Photography. The pictures are an amazing reminder of our wedding!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
There were so many! My dad made chandeliers out of mason jars to hang in the reception barn that were amazing. I’m still using the barnwood boxes he made, too. I loved the feathers on my dress, and how we incorporated chicken feathers throughout — the flower girls threw chicken feathers instead of flower petals and when we left, everyone threw feathers instead of rice! We had some beautiful real chickens in a pen at the reception for kids to feed. Also, we had our rings placed inside blown egg shells and cracked them open when the time came to exchange them (much to the surprise of our guests!). It was nice to have a funny little lighthearted detail in the ceremony!

Our wedding cake was a big white coconut cake with strawberry jam filling. We wanted something Southern and also something to go along with the feel of the wedding. What’s more southern than an old fashioned coconut cake? Our baker used large-shredded coconut that looked feathery like my dress as well! She put a nest on top, and in it we put two pottery chickens my cousin handmade for us.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
My cousins had grown up with Zane, so I had always heard about him but had never actually met him until we were 17 and 18. The moment we met, I was sitting on a bench with my cousin and he very sweetly stood so the sun wouldn’t be in my eyes — a real Southern man! It was just a few weeks before we both knew we would get married one day. We dated (long distance the whole time!) for four and a half years.
Tell us all about the proposal! 
It was over Christmas break and we were at my parents’ house (down the road from my grandparents’ farm). Early one morning, Zane asked if I wanted to go for a walk out in the field. I was really tired but he was so intent on going on a walk, so I went. We walked through the beautiful dew-covered fields to a big oak tree that I have always loved. He had hung several vintage lanterns in the tree and they were gently swinging in the breeze. As we neared the tree, I knew it was about to happen. Then he turned around, got down on one knee, and pulled a little white box out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. It was the perfect moment! We had openly talked about getting married and we knew we would get married, but he still made the proposal special. I was so glad we got to tell my Nannie that we were engaged! She passed away a couple of weeks later. She had always said Zane was easy to love! We ended up getting married near the site of the proposal on my grandparents’ farm in their hayfield with the reception in their old chicken house, the barn.

When did y’all get married? 
May 16th, 2009 at 9:30 am

How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
About 200

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
No readings really. We were thankful that one of our ministers said a prayer and our friend officiating the ceremony said some really nice things.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them.
Planning the music was Zane’s department! I thought he did the best job of it and made it so special. We really didn’t use any traditional wedding music. He found songs that fit us and the feel of the wedding beautifully. The wedding party walked in to Norman Blake’s “Fields of November” and the recessional was “Greenleaf Fancy,” both of which were played at Zane’s parents wedding as well! We are thankful to know some really talented musicians. My uncles and cousin, as well as Zane’s sisters and brother-in-law all performed. My dad and I walked in to Jerry Douglas’ “A Tribute to Peador O’Donnell,” which I think is one of the most beautiful and moving instrumental songs there is! We had a really meaningful hymn printed on the program that all our guests sang together. Zane’s sisters and brother-in-law sang, “As Long as There’s You” by the Cluster Pluckers. We looked for a long time for the perfect wedding song and when we heard that, we knew it was the one! I think they did a beautiful job. We also included cards in our invitations to all of our musically inclined friends to bring their guitars, dobros, fiddles, and mandolins for the reception and had some bluegrass picking under the trees.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
Our biggest challenge was definitely finding the time to get it all done! Zane and I were both in our last year of college — we graduated one weekend and got married the next weekend. With finishing school, finding jobs, moving 600 miles away, and wedding planning, we had a lot going on in a few short weeks, especially for a predominantly DIY wedding! Thank goodness for my amazing parents who did so much work to get everything done!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
There were so many! The whole day was amazing, but I think we most remember the feeling of walking back down the aisle and actually being married!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Our advice is without a doubt to do what’s “you!” If traditions are meaningful to you, by all means do them. If they aren’t meaningful to you, create your own traditions! Don’t do anything just because “that’s how it’s done.” You’ll be happiest (and your guests, who love you, will be thrilled too) if your wedding is an expression of you as a couple. We love all things farm-related, so we went with that because that’s where we are the happiest. Some of our friends love skeet shooting, so at their wedding we threw (empty) shotgun shells instead of rice — I loved that because it was so “them!”

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
After our wedding, we honeymooned in the mountains of Montana (which is so gorgeous in the spring!). Zane had found a job in Virginia Beach, VA, so we moved up here. We are now living in Portsmouth, VA and have two sweet kids, Camden and Lark. We live in the city now, but hope to live on a farm again one day!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    The yellow and the red is so gorgeous together. I love how feathery her dress is and that she carried it through into the cake. What a beautiful wedding.

  2. avatar Sharon Alexamder reply

    This was one of our all time favorite weddings! The bride’s gown had feathers around the bottom that set the design/tone for the event. Such fun details and great couple!

  3. avatar Alexis reply

    I’ve a WordPress blog with Arras theme. This site strangely shows different on different computers. On some computers, I see all 3 columsn, on other PC, I see only 1. On other PCs, some wiered things. Please somebody help me..

  4. avatar Lauren reply

    Where is this venue located? Is it a private residence or can it be rented?

  5. avatar Lance reply

    What venue is this?

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