Farm weddings are some of my absolute faves. Full of character and charm without any of the fuss, they’re the kind of weddings that marry elegance and ease to perfection. So when one such wedding happens to include design and florals by Beehive Events and Jen Fariello working her magic behind the camera, you can pretty much count on something special. There’s an entire gallery packed with pretties (including one ah-maz-ing flower wall), and you can see it all right here!
From the Bride…I had always imagined my wedding would take place during the fall season, and in my mind Charlottesville, VA, in the fall is about as close to perfection as you can get. Richard and I both went to the University of Virginia (me undergrad, he Law School) so Charlottesville is a special place for both of us. Because the area is so beautiful, we knew we wanted to have an outdoor ceremony to take full advantage of the season. We searched and searched until we found our perfect location – Fat Cat Farm outside of Charlottesville. As soon as we met the owner, Shawn Cossette of Beehive Events, and saw the farm with its numerous barns and gorgeous landscape, we knew we found our perfect place.
The farm provided an easy and elegant backdrop for our wedding. It’s beautiful views, gardens and barns were very easy to use as inspiration and incorporate into our wedding. We wanted our wedding to feel effortless, laid-back and natural, while maintaining a graceful feel and highlighting the beauty of the farm. We also wanted simplicity – anything over-the-top just wouldn’t feel right in this type of setting (and also wasn’t us). The cocktail reception was in the garden and one of the barns was used as the backdrop for the ceremony. Fall served as the inspiration for the wedding colors – dark oranges, purples and pinks were dominant in the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, and the graphite color of the bridesmaids’ dresses gave it a modern feel. We incorporated such things as sorghum, millet, apples, herbs and chinaberry into everything from the ceremony programs to the escort cards to the table decorations. Our goal was to make all the details tie into the farm setting, and the resulting feel was very natural. Our wedding planner/designer, Shawn, did an amazing job.
When guests arrived for the ceremony, we wanted them to immediately have a drink in their hands. We decided to serve them mason jars filled with Potter’s Craft Cider, a sparkling hard apple cider made by one of Richard’s friends who lives in nearby Crozet. We thought it was the perfect Virginia welcome for our guests as they arrived at the farm. My favorite part about the ceremony was the incredible ceremony backdrop Beehive created for us. The ceremony took place in front of one of the barns. There was a doorway located behind our “altar,” and my mom had the idea to fill the doorway from top to bottom with all types of flowers. Our pastor requested a cross to be placed somewhere, so Beehive made a beautiful, simple birch cross to place on the top of the doorway. The resulting backdrop took my breath away and was one of my favorite wedding details, because it was like nothing I had seen before.
Our guest book idea was borrowed from my sister who married 3 months prior to me. She lent me her Polaroid camera so guests could take pictures during the reception, then pin their pictures and notes of well wishes to the picture frame, which we made ourselves. We purchased the frame for $8 from an amazing DC salvage store called Community Forklift , painted it in our backyard, and then covered corkboard with fabric and glued it all together. The wedding favors were spice jars filled with herbs from The Spice Diva, a local vendor. Richard and I designed, printed, cut and applied the labels ourselves. Our friends continue to tell us how they use the herbs in their cooking. We LOVED our vendors. Each and every one could not have been more wonderful to work with.
One of my favorite moments was just prior to my dad and I walking down the aisle, when we had a brief moment of alone time. We could see the guests, but they couldn’t see us. He and I both took a deep breath and looked at each other as if to say “let’s do this!” It was a special moment between us. Another favorite memory is of the first dance and father/daughter dance. We purposefully picked songs that were unique – “La Vie En Rose” sung by Louis Armstrong for our first dance, and “When You Need Me” by Bruce Springsteen for the father/daughter dance. We had never heard either song at a wedding before, which made it feel like we could call them our own. I will always treasure the photographs of these dances.
Wedding Photography: Jen Fariello | Wedding Design + Floral Design: Beehive Events | Venue: Fat Cat Farm | Invitations: Sprout and Bean Design | Caterering: Harvest Moon | Cake: Cakes By Rachel | Cider: Potters Craft Cider | Wedding Favors: The Spice Diva | | Ceremony Music: Plum Blossom | Reception Music: Neal Becton (DJ) | Hair + Makeup: Daphne Latham | Wedding Gown Designer: Alvina Valenta | Bride’s Necklace: Antique | Bride’s Earrings: A gift from Beijing | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Bridesmaid Necklaces: Queen Bee Designs