I don’t say this often enough, but it makes my heart so happy to have brides and grooms share their special days with us. That they let us in on their most treasured moments and joyous celebrations. But when a wedding like this comes along–we’re talking about a couple who fell in love in the 6th grade!–it really, truly hits me how lucky we are share in people’s stories every single day. Jen Fariello captured this Pippin Hill Farm affair to perfection, and you can watch the whole day unfold right here.
From the Bride…Although most people look back on their middle school days and cringe, those days hold a special place in my heart. Steve and I met on the first day of 6th grade and before we went on to high school were each other’s first love. We didn’t date in high school but remained friends, as we had several classes together each year. As the saying goes, absence made our hearts grow fonder, and we reconnected during our freshman year of college even though we went to separate schools six hours apart. We worked through long distance, studied abroad at the same time, and began a new part of life together when we moved to the Washington DC area. Seven years later, Steve proposed in front of the Georgetown Christmas tree.
We wanted our big day to represent the parts of life we love most and decided that a vineyard setting would be the perfect homage to our fondness of Italy, where Steve studied abroad and where we knew without question that we would honeymoon. Our research brought us to Charlottesville, a town we quickly grew to love, and after seeing the breathtaking views from Pippin Hill’s cozy porch, we knew we found our perfect venue.
From here, Pippin Hill’s ambience really guided the feel for our day. I loved the “rustic chicness” of the mercury glass mirrors on the Granary walls and used them as inspiration for our centerpieces, which were comprised of an eclectic mix of mercury glass vases and candles. The mercury glass theme also extended into the frames we used, and we named our tables after regions in Italy. Collecting all of these pieces over the months leading up to the wedding was a fun adventure in itself!
Steve and I also really enjoyed adding meaningful touches throughout the wedding. I’ve always loved the art of beautiful writing and took calligraphy classes as a child, so having beautifully written and addressed invitations was important to me. My matron of honor helped us design the printables for the ceremony and reception to coordinate with our invitation suite; she, Steve, and the ladies at our neighborhood Paper Source were so wonderful in helping to bring my crafting visions to life! During our ceremony, we included the Prayer of Saint Francis to honor Steve’s parents’ college alma mater, and our violin music was provided by one of my former students. Instead of offering a signature drink during the cocktail hour, we asked each member of our wedding party to create and name their own signature drink, and we shared their suggestions on menus at the bars. Our dinner music included the first wedding dance songs of our guests, and we also brought in a photobooth to highlight a tradition from our annual shore vacations. We also made sure to include tons of candles to help create the “hygge” feeling – one of coziness and candlelight shared with friends — that I loved during my time studying in Denmark. As our guests left, they each received a bar of Hand in Hand soap. A “one for one” company created by a college friend of mine, Hand in Hand Soap donates a bar of their sustainable suds to a child in need to prevent against water-related illness for every bar purchased. Steve and I loved that we were able to donate to an important cause while also giving our guests a fun treat!
While nothing can compare to the thrill of being announced as husband and wife, our fantastic wedding-day team helped to prepare a moment before the wedding that is a very close second. Adhering to the tradition of not seeing the bride on the wedding day was important to Steve, but I really wanted to have a special moment together before the ceremony. To compromise, we wrote each other notes and exchanged them, using a door as a divider to keep from seeing each other. It was such an emotional moment for us, and Jen captured our anticipation and excitement so beautifully!
Photographer: Jen Fariello Photography | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards | Cinematography: Paul Jones | Wedding Design + Planning: Julianne Giuliano, SOIREE |Floral Design: Couture Design | Invitations: Angelique, Ink | Cake + Desserts: Paradox Pastry | Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca | Bridesmaid’s Dress: J.Crew | Special Jewelry: Mother of the groom’s pearl ring (given to her by the father of the groom for their college graduation)| Hair: Lucas Shaffer | Makeup: Carolyn Thombs