Chanteclaire Farm

Groom Fashion

Chanteclaire Farm has certainly seen more than its fair share of beautiful brides in gorgeous gowns, but our grooms are equally as fashionable and cut quite a dashing figure.  While you may think men's fashion doesn't provide the variety of options that wedding gowns afford, you would be surprised at how creative and sophisticated our grooms manage to be for their big day.  It's true that when everyones heads turn to watch the bride glide down the aisle, the bride has eyes only for her man.  Our grooms give their brides something great to see.  We find ourselves drawn to the men that focus on the details to make sure they stand out.  Here are a few of our favorite groom fashions over the past few seasons.

Photocredit: The Happy Couple              The fun colors and coordinating patterns of the tie and pocket square                                                                                                        make this groom's look really pop.

Photocredit: The Happy Couple              The fun colors and coordinating patterns of the tie and pocket square                                                                                                        make this groom's look really pop.

Photocredit: Grace Photography                                   Bowties and suspenders hit the mark for this groom's party.

Photocredit: Grace Photography                                   Bowties and suspenders hit the mark for this groom's party.

Photocredit: Kirsten Smith                        The paisley tie and unique boutonniere really pop against this gray suit.

Photocredit: Kirsten Smith                        The paisley tie and unique boutonniere really pop against this gray suit.

Photocredit: Amberlee Christey                               After this couple's butterfly release, the groom had an addition                                                                                                                          to his boutonniere look.

Photocredit: Amberlee Christey                               After this couple's butterfly release, the groom had an addition                                                                                                                          to his boutonniere look.

Photocredit: Sonlight Imaging                        Who says the groom has to wear a three piece suit?  Wearing a vest is                                                                                       trendy, and perfect for hot summer weddings.

Photocredit: Sonlight Imaging                        Who says the groom has to wear a three piece suit?  Wearing a vest is                                                                                       trendy, and perfect for hot summer weddings.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                                   Gorgeous gray with a pop of color make for a striking combo.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                                   Gorgeous gray with a pop of color make for a striking combo.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography               A tartan tie with matching pocket square is ultra chic...extra points for                                                                                                        matching the bride's bouquet wrap.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography               A tartan tie with matching pocket square is ultra chic...extra points for                                                                                                        matching the bride's bouquet wrap.

Photocredit: Vicki Grafton         Your initials and wedding date in your suit jacket is a hidden, but adorable, detail.

Photocredit: Vicki Grafton         Your initials and wedding date in your suit jacket is a hidden, but adorable, detail.

Photocredit: Amberlee Christey              This gorgeous gold pocket watch is the perfect accent for the groom who                                                                                 knows the importance of making it to the ceremony on time.

Photocredit: Amberlee Christey              This gorgeous gold pocket watch is the perfect accent for the groom who                                                                                 knows the importance of making it to the ceremony on time.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                      A message from the bride sewn into the groom's tie is a lovely idea.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                      A message from the bride sewn into the groom's tie is a lovely idea.

Photocredit: Higher Focus                                             We were in love with this group's matching jeans and boots.

Photocredit: Higher Focus                                             We were in love with this group's matching jeans and boots.

Photocredit: Higher Focus                                                                                                A belt buckle fit for a groom.

Photocredit: Higher Focus                                                                                                A belt buckle fit for a groom.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography          This daring groom rocked quite the dashing hat.  And who says denim has                                                                                to be styled casually?  This denim tux is gorgeous.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography          This daring groom rocked quite the dashing hat.  And who says denim has                                                                                to be styled casually?  This denim tux is gorgeous.

Photocredit: Vicki Grafton    The argyle socks and perfect fit of this suit make this groom's look an instant classic.

Photocredit: Vicki Grafton    The argyle socks and perfect fit of this suit make this groom's look an instant classic.

Photocredit: Kelsey Kradel                               A three piece suit is a classic that will never be out of style.  Try fun                                                                                                   colors, like navy, to give it a fresh spin.

Photocredit: Kelsey Kradel                               A three piece suit is a classic that will never be out of style.  Try fun                                                                                                   colors, like navy, to give it a fresh spin.

Photocredit: Amanda Briscoe                                                                                           We love a well tailored suit.

Photocredit: Amanda Briscoe                                                                                           We love a well tailored suit.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                   There's no better opportunity to have your own custom suit created                                                                              than your big day.  We especially love the fun lining this groom chose.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                   There's no better opportunity to have your own custom suit created                                                                              than your big day.  We especially love the fun lining this groom chose.

Photocredit: Derek & Diane                                                                     What could be better than a man in uniform?

Photocredit: Derek & Diane                                                                     What could be better than a man in uniform?

Photocredit: Cassidy Duhon                                          Classic black and white with a skinny tie always looks chic.

Photocredit: Cassidy Duhon                                          Classic black and white with a skinny tie always looks chic.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                                                                       A classic tuxedo is never out of style

Photocredit: Karlo Photography                                                                       A classic tuxedo is never out of style

Where We Come From-Part 2

A Wedding Barn is Born

Chanteclaire Farm in the early 2000s

Chanteclaire Farm in the early 2000s

In 2000 Christiane and Fred Bergheim purchased the Elder Hill farm in order to transform it into the area's only professional farm wedding venue.  The Bergheims had previously owned Cornish Manor restaurant in Oakland and a French bakery before that, so they brought decades of catering and wedding experience to the new business.

 

The barn at Chanteclaire Farm prior to renovation

The barn at Chanteclaire Farm prior to renovation

Before the barn was opened for events, a major renovation occurred.  The flooring in the upper level where hay had been stored was almost completely deteriorated.

A view of both stories of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm prior to renovation

A view of both stories of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm prior to renovation

The Bergheims replaced it with hardwood Ash flooring reinforced with steel and concrete supports to create a safe and attractive dining and dancing area. 

The top story of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm during renovation.  The ceiling work has been completed, and work has begun on installing the gorgeous Ash hardwood floors.

The top story of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm during renovation.  The ceiling work has been completed, and work has begun on installing the gorgeous Ash hardwood floors.

The basement where the cows were housed required repair to three walls.  The floor was stained to mimic old European stone. 

A closer view of the lower story of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm.  Shown prominently are the supports which would be created with steel and concrete to ensure a safe and beautiful dance floor in the reception space above.

A closer view of the lower story of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm.  Shown prominently are the supports which would be created with steel and concrete to ensure a safe and beautiful dance floor in the reception space above.

The barn was completely closed in and insulated to keep out unwanted critters.  A commercial kitchen was added, and designed to be so warm and inviting that it looks like a dream from a magazine.  Four bathrooms were built, along with decking and awnings.  

The upper story of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm during renovation.  Note the work occurring on the roof.

The upper story of the barn at Chanteclaire Farm during renovation.  Note the work occurring on the roof.

Christiane added eclectic touches all over the barn, creating a highly decorated venue.  This is where our "quirky European sensibilities" began. A French native with a heavy accent and dramatic flair, Christiane forged the original aesthetic of the barn from her intense and colorful creativity.

In 2001 Chanteclaire Farm opened its doors for weddings....

An original ad for Chanteclaire Farm

An original ad for Chanteclaire Farm

A 2003 ad for Chanteclaire Farm

A 2003 ad for Chanteclaire Farm

From 2001 through 2010 Christiane and Fred grew the Chanteclaire Farm wedding business.  They laid the foundation for our process of controlling event timing and flow.  Christiane developed some signature menu items like slow cooked braised beef and chicken stuffed with apples and brie.  They formed a relationship with Jonny Rock, owner of Sounds Fun Entertainment, that resulted in a permanent installation of sound and light equipment.  Twenty speakers were positioned throughout the facility, creating unrivaled sound quality.  Christiane cooked, decorated the cakes, and managed the planning process, while Fred maintained the property and the administrative tasks.  

The outdoor wedding ceremony location in the early 2000s

The outdoor wedding ceremony location in the early 2000s

The Lower Grange, home of cocktail hour, in the early 2000s.  

The Lower Grange, home of cocktail hour, in the early 2000s.  

The reception space in the early 2000s.

The reception space in the early 2000s.

A wedding cake created by Christiane 

A wedding cake created by Christiane 

In 2010 the Bergheims sold the business to Leigh Clarke and retired to Myrtle Beach.  They follow the activities of Chanteclaire Farm actively and still keep in touch with Leigh.  In Part 3, we explore the most recent updates and changes at Chanteclaire Farm.

Furry Attendants: Including Your Dog In Your Big Day

Photocredit: Leah Hewitt

Photocredit: Leah Hewitt

Chanteclaire Farm is no stranger to animals- after all, we were a working farm until the 1970s. Many of our couples choose to include their pups in their big day.  We understand the desire to have your fur babies be part of your festivities.  Weddings are all about celebrating with your nearest and dearest, and pets are part of our families.

Photocredit: Chad Heller

Photocredit: Chad Heller

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

We welcome your four-legged best friends to take part in your Chanteclaire wedding.  Here are some practical considerations to keep in mind when planning to include your furry friends. 

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Pet Personality

While each of our pups is perfect in our own eyes, be honest with yourself about your dog's personality.  Some dogs are fine with crowds and noise, while others may be intimidated by the hustle and bustle of a wedding day.  Make sure that you've seen how your pup reacts in a crowded, loud environment to test their readiness.  If Fido barks and jumps, you may want to consider pet training, or including them in a more quiet environment, such as pre-ceremony photography.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Practice Makes Perfect

No matter how well trained your dog is, this will probably be his first time making a trip down a wedding aisle.  Be sure to start practicing with your pup well in advance of the big day to make sure he is comfortable with his duties.  Make sure your pet is present at your wedding rehearsal, along with his day-of handler, so both can be confident in their tasks.

Photocredit: Higher Focus Studios

Photocredit: Higher Focus Studios

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Inform Your Guests

Please check with guests about any potential dog allergies prior to the big day.  Nothing can spoil the flow of a well-timed affair like a trip to the emergency room.  Most guests are delighted to celebrate with your pet, but it's best to make sure no serious problems will arise.

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Inform Your Photographer

Give your photographer a heads-up about your dog's involvement in your celebration, and make sure they are comfortable working with animals.  Your photographer will want to discuss which aspects of the day your dog will be present: pre-ceremony, ceremony, formal shots, etc.  You may want to give yourself extra time in your schedule to account for delays caused by Fido's unwillingness to pose for the camera...and for everyone to pet and cuddle.

Karlo Photography

Karlo Photography

Make Time to Play

Your wedding day is always jam packed with things to do, but make sure you take some time to play with your pet.  This has the benefit of letting your dog use her pent-up energy prior to her appearance, and helping you relax.

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Designate a Pet Sitter

If your dog is walking down the aisle, you will want to make sure a trusted friend is responsible for escorting them.  You will also want to put someone in charge of making sure your dog is well taken care of throughout the day when you are preoccupied with wedding tasks.

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Provisions

You spend a lot of timing choosing what options of food and beverages you're providing your guests, but don't forget about your pet's needs.  We recommend having bowls of food and water available.  The summer days can be pretty toasty at the farm, so be sure your pet is well hydrated.  It's also a good idea to have some bags handy in case Fido leaves you an unexpected wedding present.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Plan B

If your dog just isn't ready for the ruckus that is a wedding day, you can still make his presence felt during your celebration.  Consider having your pet take part in your engagement photos.  A popular idea at the farm has been to give your dog a starring role on your wedding cake.  Be creative, there are lots of ways to show guests that your dog is part of your family even if he can't attend.

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Let Them Eat Cake

When Leigh bought Chanteclaire Farm in 2011, she took on the task of decorating the wedding cakes herself.  The project is always a labor of love, with hours spent bending over each tier to create the couple's perfect vision.  Leigh has studied boxes full of magazines and combed the recesses of Pinterest to make sure that her creations are modern and gorgeous.  The results speak for themselves.

Naked Cakes

Naked cakes are all the rage, and Chanteclaire creates some gorgeous examples.  With cakes as moist and delicious as ours, your guests will never miss the extra icing.  This design lets local produce take a staring role.

Photocredit: Row 1- Karlo Photography Row 2- Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Happy Couple Photography Row 3- Chrisman Studio, Karlo Photography, Chrisman Studio, Higher Focus Studios

Tree Inspired

Our couples are often drawn to Chanteclaire Farm for the natural beauty that surrounds us.  What better way to honor that love of nature than with a tree inspired wedding cake?

Photocredit: Row 1- Leigh Hewitt Photography, Derek & Diane Photography, Karlo Photography, Grace Photography Row 2- Kirsten Smith Photography, Karlo Photography, Derek & Diane Photography, Derek & Diane Photography

Modern

Clean lines, unique shapes, and fun geometric patterns make for some stunning modern wedding cakes.

Photocredit: Row 1- Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Leigh Clarke, Rebecca Kiger Fotografia Row 2- Karlo Photography, Higher Focus Studios, Life on Location, Leigh Clarke Row 3- Leigh Clark, Leigh Clarke, Higher Focus Studios, Leigh Clarke

Glitz and glam

Who says a country wedding can't sparkle and shine?

Photocredits: Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Leigh Clarke

The More the merrier

From cupcakes, to pies, to a farm favorite- Swedish Princess Cakes, Chanteclaire has options for the couple who aren't interested in a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Photocredit: Row 1-Julia Rendleman, Leigh Clarke, Kaypea Photography, Karlo Photography Row 2- KayPea Photography, Karlo Photography, Sonlight Images, Higher Focus Studios Row 3- Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Karlo Photography, Leigh Clarke

Rustic

Rustic cakes are some of our most popular.  Burlap, twine, and delicate florals make a beautiful statement on your cake.

Photography: Row 1- Amanda Ivy Photography, Amberlee Christey Photography, Karlo Photography, Photography by Amanda Row 2-Karlo Photography, Higher Focus Studios, Derek & Diane Photography, Amberlee Christey Photography Row 3- Higher Focus Studios, Higher Focus Studios, Amberlee Christey Photography, Leigh Clarke

Romantic

Dreamy and feminine, with hints of floral, ruffles, and scallops, romantic wedding cakes are a beautiful finishing touch for your wedding meal.

Photocredit: Row 1- Derek & Diane Photography, Kuirsta & Seth Photography, Kuirsta & Seth Photography, Karlo Photography Row 2- Karlo Photography, Kelsey Kradel Photography, With Love & Embers, Higher Focus Studios Row 3- Sonlight Imaging, Joyeuse Photography, Karlo Photography, Jamie Brashear Photography

Where We Come From- Part 1

A Farm is Born

Three miles southeast of Friendsville, MD lies a parcel of land known as Elder Hill.  While those frequenting our blog have come to know this area as Chanteclaire Farm, a breathtaking haven for elegant country weddings, the history of the spot runs much deeper.

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

Friendsville was named for it’s first European settler, John Friend.  If you spend any time in Garrett County, you are sure to run into several people with the surname Friend.  John first entered the area known to the Shawnee as the Hunter’s Bowl in the mid-1700’s.  By the 1820s lumber, coal, mining, and the railroad created a population big enough to sustain restaurants, saloons, three hotels, and an opera house. 

John’s grandson, Jonathan, purchased what is now Chanteclaire Farm in 1835 and had built the log cabin for himself and his family by 1840. 

From the article  Jonathan Friend House at Elder HIll , by Ina Claire Hicks-  Friendship News , May/June 1996

From the article Jonathan Friend House at Elder HIll, by Ina Claire Hicks- Friendship News, May/June 1996

Jon was known for building sides so straight you could immediately cover them with siding.  This is why, from the outside, the cabin looks sided, but inside you see the original log and chinking.  Our favorite part of the cabin, by far, is the attic.  Take a peek up there and you’ll see tree trunks, still with their bark, holding up the roof.  

By the late 1970s the cabin had fallen into disrepair.  In 1981 a Garrett County native who spent his childhood at the farm began restoring the cabin.  He dismantled the fascia of the cabin, rebuilt its supports, and then replaced every board and stone exactly as it had been.  To maintain historical integrity, each board and stone was numbered as it was removed, and replaced in its exact original location.

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

In 1870 Jon’s son built the bank barn in which we dine and dance today.  At this point the farm was fully productive, with cows in the lower level and hay upstairs.

 

By 1896 Jon’s grandson was now involved in the family farm, and they were prosperous enough to build the farmhouse where today’s brides love to ready themselves.  

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

These buildings are surrounded by half a dozen outbuildings holding farm equipment and sundries.  The old carriage house is a favorite for photos – you can still picture bringing horses to it and attaching them to the carriage for a ride into town.  Below, a cooling room stored milk and other goods the family wanted to be able to dip into the passing stream to keep cold.

Photocredit: Leigh Clarke

Photocredit: Leigh Clarke

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

Photocredit: A. Burns, 1980

Our connection to the community through the Friend family homes is one we cherish. John Friend’s descendants founded the Friend Family Association 40 years ago, including the National Headquarters and Family History Museum, both located in Friendsville, MD.  For more information, please visit their website at www.friendfamilyassociation.com.