Do you want to know what never, ever, ever gets old in my book? The classic soiree at the beautiful vineyard. It will always be stunning, relevant, and timeless, especially when the sweet couple thinks to add their own personality in such a perfect way – like these two love birds did. Toss Jen Fariello Photography into the mix, and oh my goodness, you’ve got a gallery that will be visited for years. Decades, even.

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Francesco and I met in Charlottesville, Virginia where I was a medical student at the time. On our first date, we intended to have one drink and meet up with our respective friends afterwards – however, 5 hours later the bar was closing and we were still chatting happily over that one drink. We had our second date the very next day. He proposed a year and a half later on the deck of a cruise ship under the stars.

We knew we wanted our wedding to be in Charlottesville, in a country setting, and to have a fun, casual atmosphere. When we first visited Pippin Hill, it was still a construction site (read: building foundation and mud), and I had a hard time envisioning what it would look like. Francesco was the one who could picture it and convinced me it would be beautiful. We are foodies, and their mission to use fresh local produce in creative and delicious ways was the deal clincher. We moved to Zurich, Switzerland shortly after visiting the venue about a year before the wedding, and the first time Francesco got to see the finished Pippin Hill was at our rehearsal! He was definitely right – it was even more beautiful than we had imagined.

Our inspiration was to create a warm, lighthearted mood, and we decided to do this with neutrals, earthy tones and soft pinks, peaches and greens.  Pippin Hill is a vineyard with a large event space designed as a classed-up vintage barn, and we used accents of birch and burlap to fit with their natural wood and antique décor. Francesco’s parents run a catering company in Washington, D.C., and his mother stepped in to provide her floral genius to create our look. My crafty touches were to decorate mason jars for flowers and votives, create vintage photo-frame table numbers and homemade program fans for the hot Virginia May weather.

Some of our favorite details of the day: we set aside time after the “first look” before the ceremony to sit together and read each other our
handwritten vows in privacy. Having that moment alone really brought home the meaning and emotion of the words. We have multiple religious backgrounds in our families, so we incorporated aspects of both Jewish and Catholic traditions into our ceremony – my father read Corinthians, and we stood under a chuppah and broke a mazel tov glass. Our cake was topped by the well-worn bride-and-groom that has graced the cakes of my parents’ wedding as well as my brother’s wedding. Our favors were “honey bunches,” delicious cookies made by Cville Coffee, a local favorite coffee shop owned by a friend of Francesco’s. I spent innumerable hours there studying during medical school, and these treats kept me going! Another favorite was the photo booth with on-site printing set up by Jen Fariello. Guests got to take home a copy of their photos as a favor and place a second copy in our guestbook. The ridiculous props kept everyone laughing, and I could spend hours pouring over our beautiful, hilarious guestbook. Finally, a late-night donut stand with fresh coffee and donuts was the perfect cap to the evening.

Our most treasured memories of the night are the countless moments spent laughing and celebrating with our family and friends. These are my favorite photos, as well – the ones that capture the mood of the night.  We could not possibly have asked for more.

Photographer: Jen Fariello Photography / Floral Designer: Paris Caterers / Invitation Designer: Designs by DVB / Cake: Maliha Creations / Wedding Gown Designer: Augusta Jones / Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: J.Crew / Bride’s jewelry: Diamond Dream / Band: The Dickens / Favors: C’ville Coffee / Donuts: Carpe Donut / Venue: Pippin Hill Farm / Tent: Sperry Tents VA / Officiant: Reverend Claire Goodman

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