We see a lot of vineyard weddings around here but this might be the first from the great state of Virginia. It is a lovely mix of everything that we adore about winery weddings but with a little Southern charm thrown in. The romantic, rosey hues are fine companions for the more rustic, but elegant, setting. Holland Photo Arts did what they do best and captured all the beauty that surrounded them. This is only a snippet of the pretty-in-pink, vintage infused Southern fête so make sure to spend some quality time in the full gallery!
When my husband Jeremy proposed, he fully expected me to already have the entire wedding planned and pull out my Monica-Gellar-style binder from under the bed. While I have dreamed of my wedding since before my first Barbie, I definitely did not have the wedding all mapped out, I just knew I wanted something relaxed, vintage chic and “style me pretty” inspired.
Jeremy is from Colorado and I am from the DC area where we call home, but we have family all over the country and virtually no family that live nearby. After looking at venues all over the country, we finally found Veritas Vineyard in Charlottesville, VA. It was the perfect combination of the things we both love. Jeremy loves the mountains and outdoors and my favorite place is my grandmother’s farm in Illinois. Veritas had the best of both worlds with a gorgeous mountain landscape and surrounding farm grounds and a classy barn-like venue. Once we had the venue selected, it was easier to describe the feel we were going for- romantic and casually elegant with personal touches. I really wanted a romantic, soft feel and opted for a soft pink and off-white for the colors, with black accents. We found ways to add “vintage” touches by wrapping lace around clear vases and using antique looking vases outside. I also used a piece of lace from my mother’s wedding dress to wrap around my bouquet as a little tribute to my mom.
We quickly learned how fast a wedding budget can disappear, and looked for ways to set priorities. My cousin (also a bridesmaid) is a wedding planner in her spare time and advised us to pick three things to focus on and then get creative with our budget on other things. That was some of the best advice we got at a time when we didn't know where to begin! It was pretty easy for us to narrow down our priorities to the venue, photography, and music. Luckily, the setting at Veritas was so gorgeous that we didn’t need a lot of extra decorations. We cut back in other areas by printing our own invitations through printablepress.com, getting my veil on etsy.com, going for low centerpieces (which met the intimate feel of the wedding more anyway), serving beer and wine, etc. My favorite part of the planning was finding ways to add personal touches through the finer details. We brought in a local beer (actually called Love beer, very appropriately) because Jeremy is a big fan of microbrews; added fresh raspberries to the pieces of cake as a tribute to my grandmother, since we always had fresh berries on her farm growing up; used an atlas as our guest book, in honor of our love of traveling; made our programs “fans” with different puzzles on the back to keep guests busy pre-ceremony, in honor of my love of games; had a cousin sing our first dance song, etc. For most of those details (like the beer, raspberries, etc) we had little frames placed nearby that said what it was and why it was important to us. Looking back on it now, all of the DIY, (budget-friendly) details that we added are what made the wedding feel like “us”.
Our photographers, Bill and Anne, really captured our excitement and all of the little moments that we wanted. It was beyond hot the day we got married (close to 100 degrees!), which made getting pictures outside more challenging. (Luckily, as a bride no one will ever tell you that you look sweaty, just that you are “glowing”!) We only had a short time for pictures right after the ceremony, so later on Bill and Anne quietly pulled us out of the reception for a few minutes to capture some shots outside as the sun went down. By that time it had cooled off tremendously and it gave us a second to catch our breath, take everything in, and have a moment to be alone… everyone was eating so it was a great time to slip out, unnoticed. Then we came back for toasts, cake, dancing, and s'mores before a sparkler send-off!
The wedding planning process was definitely different than how I had fantasized about it pre-engagement (in other words, somewhat stressful at times). But when it all came together, it was exactly what I had hoped for and even more than I could've imagined!
Photography: Holland Photo Arts / Coordinator: Barb Lundgren of Barb Wired / Venue: Veritas Vineyards / Officiant: Reverend Claire Goodman / Ceremony Musicians: Encore String Quartet + Hillary’s cousins, Larissa & Lucas / Baker: Teri Edwards of Cakes Unlimited / Floral Design: Hedge Fine Blooms / Reception Musicians: 10 Spot Band (through Sam Hill Entertainment) / Videographer: Linda Henry with Blue Mountain Weddings / Dress: Monique Lhuillier, Bliss line