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With V6, a brand new website and our exciting Southern Living announcement brewing, the holidays snuck up on us this year! Before we could say “scuppernong,” our Third Annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition was before us! Of the many exciting things we get to do around this time of year (like our launch party), this event is definitely one of our favorites. It always marks the beginning of the merriest season and gives the SW gals a lot more time to talk to our readers and friends (and to eat lots of candy). We met our very own Kristin Winchester at our first Gingerbread Barn Building event, so it will always have a soft spot in our hearts.

Be sure to check out our live stream of the event on our Ustream channel. You get to hear Emily and I talk like sports commentators, as we take this competition very seriously. Huge hugs to the lovely Robyn Van Dyke for spending the evening with us and capturing all of the action!

The Carolina Inn is magical during the holidays. We were so lucky that they hosted us for a third year!

We saw so many familiar faces this year and were happy to welcome back some old pros at the gingerbread craft. We love that our former editor, Whitney and former intern, Melissa came! Aprons are encouraged, and it put a big smile on our faces to see so many people donning their favorites.

Y’all, the competition gets fierce as time runs out! Gingerbread barn builders are only given three rules: 1) you must build your barn within the bounds of your plate, 2) you may only use edible items and 3) you must be finished within 75 minutes! We snapped a quick photo by the Carolina Inn’s Christmas tree before we began judging.

We inspected many fine barns as we made our way around the room. We love hearing each group’s inspiration, their execution strategy and the explanation of their final product. We gave out prizes to some honorable mentions, including the lovely buildings below.

Above, on the left: Two-year-old Grace’s barn didn’t get an honorable mention, but kudos to such a young competitor! On the right: Honorable mention for Most Structurally Sound.

Above, on the left: Honorable mention for Most Architecturally Creative. On the right: Honorable mention for Most Festive. This barn featured a barnyard animal holiday party, in which the guests were instructed to “BYOH” or bring your own hay :)

Below: Honorable mention for Most Creative Story. This poor gingerbread barn was devastated by a hurricane, but its residents (who survived the brunt of the storm by climbing to the roof) are ready to rebuild for the holidays.

Finally, it was time to announce our winners! Anticipation filled the air…

…and these lovely gals won! Their structural integrity, red barn wood and happy reindeer stole our hearts!

We are giving giant hugs to everyone who came out to celebrate the season with us — we had so much fun with y’all! If you weren’t able to make it, we hope to see you next year.

Be sure to check out our Second Annual Gingerbread Barn Building Recap and our First Annual Gingerbread Barn Building Recap for plenty of holiday inspiration!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
2 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    All of the barns were so impressive!

  2. avatar Maghon reply

    LOVED that night! It was my first introduction to southern weddings and I haven’t stopped reading since! Thanks so much!

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Since I’m sure many of you are (or are soon to be) elbow deep in flour and sprinkles making cookies for friends and Santa, I’m sure our recap of our second annual Gingerbread Barn Building competition comes at the right time! This year, we saw twice as many people come out to build the sweetest barns below the Mason-Dixon and the competition was fierce, y’all. Thankfully, we had the great pleasure of meeting Anna Kirby, who was on hand to document the festivities.

We gathered at The Carolina Inn, where our good friends Heidi and Melissa had set up a hot chocolate and cookie station for us. Readers, friends and vendors came rolling in with their best holiday aprons and then got to work brainstorming the best barn concept.

In addition to the Carolina Inn, we loved partnering with Hammond’s Candies again for this event! They gave us plenty of peppermint, green and red candies, chocolate-filled delectables and giant candy canes to build with. The Southern Weddings ladies may or may not have stolen a piece or two from the candy table at multiple times during the night.

All of our contestants were so creative. The only limitations we put in place were that the barn has to be confined to the plates we gave them and that all of it has to be edible. With those two things in mind, our competitors took off with their ideas! We saw everything from barns with wedding ceremonies inside to plantations with cows and windmills!

We also had a ton of fun showing off V5, especially because some of our guests were vendors who contributed to the issue.

At the end of the night, we had to give the first place prize to the ladies who dreamed up this next creation: a gingerbread plantation with a barn, windmill, cow pasture (with little footprints!) and silo. They even had one of the cows breaking through the fence! Too cute.

We want to give a giant thanks again to our event sponsors, The Carolina Inn, Hammond’s Candies and Anna Kirby and to everyone who came out to celebrate the holidays with us. Spending time with our readers is always one of our favorite things to do (especially when accompanied by sweets and hot chocolate).

Happy Holidays, y’all!

Anna Kirby is a member of our fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
7 Comments
  1. avatar Anna Kirby reply

    It was a blast, thanks girls!!

  2. avatar Dee Shore reply

    It was so much fun being part of this event on Ustream! The winning house was a delicious masterpiece lol. Did anyone ended up eating their houses?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Yay! We’re so glad you tuned in, Dee! A lot of people brought theirs home to eat (always my favorite part), but a few people chose to leave theirs behind because they didn’t think the barns would survive the bumpy car ride home!

  3. avatar Kathryn reply

    I love the intense photo of my SIL placing our roof! And of course I like the photo of my candy designs ready to decorate the barn. Everything looks so pretty, and we had a great time building our barn! Thank you for letting us participate!

  4. avatar Jessica Clinch reply

    This was such a fun night, and there were so many creative barns! I love seeing the pictures too! Thanks for having us :)

  5. avatar Ornament Swap + Gingerbread Barn Building! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] to join us! For a peek at the masterful creations from last year’s barn builders, look here. As you can see, most attendees choose to work in groups! For readers near and far, we’re so […]

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Now that December (and therefore all Christmas-related things!) is only a few days away, the holidays are at the forefront of our minds. We’re ready for another fierce competition of the South’s Gingerbread Barn Building finest. Want to be one of them? RSVP today! Just want to hang with the SW gals and build a barn full of sweets that you’ll tear down and eat the next day? This event is for you, too!

We’re really excited that The Carolina Inn and Hammond’s Candies is sponsoring this event again. Experience tells us that it’s a match made in holiday heaven! Anna Kirby will be joining us to catch all the magic, so come with your game face on!

So are you ready to join us for a night of sugar highs and Christmas cheer? Email me ([email protected]) with “Gingerbread Barn Building” in the subject line and tell me you’ll be there!

See y’all soon!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
4 Comments
  1. avatar Amanda reply

    Can’t wait!!!!

  2. avatar anna dean reply

    so excited!!!

  3. avatar Jessica Clinch reply

    I cannot wait! My best friend and I have been practicing our gingerbread cookie/barn decorating skills, and we’re so excited to see the fabulous candy we can use at the event!

  4. avatar Nicole reply

    Yay! Can’t wait to see all of y’all there! The box of goodies I opened up from Hammond’s today is amazing.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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