Jen Fariello Photography. Three words that speak for themselves. Everything Jen sends our way looks like it’s out of the newest Romantic Comedy – with a leading lady so stunning, a groom so handsome, and a wedding that could make anyone green with envy. In short, everything she sends our way is wedding gold. Our galleries are ever prettier thanks to Jen, and today we’re adding another pretty soiree to the plethora of beauty.
My husband and I met at the University of Virginia when we were both undergraduates. After about a year of harboring shy crushes on one another, I asked him out on a date. He took me out for frozen yogurt at a place called Arch’s and the rest is college sweetheart history. During one of those first couple of days, he spontaneously asked me to dance to a Van Morrison song next to a lit fireplace in one of Jefferson’s original lawn rooms. Four years down the road when we were both living in Boston, he surprised me by recreating the moment during his proposal at the Taj Boston. I was returning from an Alumni Association event at UVA and he had a limo waiting for me at the airport, a beautiful suite at the hotel, Van Morrison playing on the stereo, and a lit fireplace to dance next to.
While we’re currently living in the northeast for graduate school and work, it’s no surprise that we chose to celebrate our marriage at UVA. Virginia is home and we couldn’t think of a more beautiful place than where we first met and fell in love. We had a Catholic ceremony at the UVA Chapel and a Southern/South American-themed reception at UVA’s Alumni Hall. We wanted to blend our different backgrounds in a multicultural way – his family has deep roots in Virginia and my family is Colombian – so we had a Southern-themed cocktail hour and a South American-themed dinner. The cocktail hour included a bluegrass band, mint juleps, mojitos, and Southern appetizers. Our reception had a salsa band, cornbread muffins with honey butter, traditional Colombian tamales, and sangria at the table. Our tables were named after the 13 gold coins traditionally carried in Colombian wedding ceremonies called “las arras” – each stands for a different aspect of a healthy marriage (love, respect, joy, among others). For our colors, we chose sangria, ivory, and hints of gold. Our favor baskets included handmade soaps made by my husband’s step-mother at the family farm and artisanal boxes from my family’s hometown in Colombia.
There are so many incredible moments from the day thanks to our wonderful friends and family, but my favorite has to be seeing him when I first entered the chapel. I felt my face light up and all the stress of the day completely disappear. As I got closer, I realized he had tears streaming down his face. I managed to keep it together but, once we were seated, I took out the napkin I borrowed from his step-mother and wiped his cheeks. I married my best friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Photographer: Jen Fariello Photography / Hair and Make-up: Jen Skriloff / Dried Lavender Floral Design: FayeMarie / Floral Design: DIY / Ceremony and Reception venue: UVA Chapel and UVA Alumni Hall Jefferson Ballroom / Caterer and Reception Coordinator: Harvest Moon Catering, Kelly Mahanes / Ceremony Cellist: Adrienne Gifford / Cocktail Hour Band: Bull Run Grass / Reception Band: Laura Sosa and Pa’ Gozar / Lighting Company: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting / Tres leches wedding cake: homemade by Mother of the Bride / Cake toppers: made by one of the bridesmaids / Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero / Lace shrug bolero: Alex Bridal / Veil: made by Mother of the Bride / Wedding bands engraved with our signatures: Belenky Brothers SoHo