Romantically cozy—that’s what we’re deeming this Christmastime fete. Snapped up by Viera Photographics, it’s a day full of heart and warmth, and at the center of it all are two sweet and talented souls. The handsome Groom who just happened to score a Grammy last night. Congrats Chris! And the stunning Bride, Claire, whose character we all love watching on NBC’s Grimm. From good friend Rob of Bon Iver filling the air with music to Claire’s vintage dress, each moment will charm you, guaranteed.
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From the Bride… We met in New York in 2011 at a dinner party in Brooklyn, a set-up by our mutual friend, Alex Boling. I was living in LA at the time and Chris was living in the East Village in New York. We dated long distance until the following spring, when I moved to New York full time. Portland is now our home base since I have to be there to shoot Grimm and Chris tours most of the year.
We were married December 23rd at Blackberry Farm, a rustic resort in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and our favorite place on earth. Chris has played for many special events over the years, and it was the first place he took me on getaway as a couple. We’ve become great friends with so much of the staff that the place now feels like home.
There were 20 people total in attendance at the wedding…Our immediate family and grandparents, plus Chris’ best friend Rob Moose (Bon Iver), who played Bach’s 3rd movement of the C Major Sonata for solo violin for my walk down the aisle. I wore a vintage lace gown from 1937, purchased at Xtabay Vintage Bridal Salon in Portland, in the 11th hour. Chris’ touring schedule and my hiatus schedule made scheduling a wedding difficult… It was either the upcoming Christmas holiday or a year and a half from that Christmas, and I was just didn’t have the patience to wait that long. Also, the idea of spending an efficient but nutty three months planning sounded better than stressing about an event for over a year! Such a short timeline eliminated the custom order gown option, so I started scouring the racks.
I’m a frequent shopper at Xtabay, a vintage dress boutique in Portland, and the girls there know me and my taste fairly well. That lace gown had just arrived to the vintage bridal salon – they hadn’t even put it out on the rack yet – and it fit like a very delicate glove. Erin Schmitz, their marvelous seamstress, stitched up and reinforced some of the lace that had fallen apart over the years so that we were assured it would make it at least through the ceremony. I called it the James Bond dress, since it was bound to self-destruct immediately after the ceremony (it made it to the end of the night, but just barely!) The veil was vintage tulle sewn onto a 50′s era Juliette cap, also from Xtabay.
I did my own hair and makeup on the day, after getting some coaching from our Grimm makeup artists.Chris’ dark brown wool suit was custom made by Against Nature, a bespoke suit shop in New York City.
My sister Abbie officiated the ceremony, which we wrote by cobbling together pieces of old and traditional ceremonies. Our vows came from an old Irish ceremony I found and absolutely fell in love with:
By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me.
As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follow me.
As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart,
May thy presence be with me, Oh one that I love, ’til death comes to part us asunder.
Flowers were by Leah Teague of Flourish Floral, a local Knoxville designer, who created the gorgeous archway to Yallerhammer Pavilion.
Dinner was in the wine cellar at Blackberry Farm’s The Barn at Blackberry Farm. The menu featured grilled Carolina shrimp, guinea and dumplings and local Border Springs Farm lamb. The cake was a rich dark chocolate made by the Blackberry Farm pastry team, with mint chocolate chip ice cream, Chris’ favorite. Andy Chabot, Blackberry Farm’s wine director and a friend, curated a wine pairing using our favorite varietals and vintners.
We drank our first toast from my Grandmother’s Welsh Drinking cup, a tradition that’s been in the family for longer than I know!
Post dinner we retreated to one of the cottages for port and stilton cheese, fried black eyed peas and christmas carols accompanied by Chris, Rob, and my mother on flute (something she hasn’t done in at least a decade!).
We stayed on at Blackberry Farm after the wedding for Christmas with our family.
Photography: Viera Photographics | Floral Design: Flourish Floral | Bride's Lace Gown + Vintage Veil : Xtabay Vintage Bridal Salon In Portland | Ceremony And Reception: Blackberry Farm, TN | Dinner: The Barn At Blackberry Farm | Groom's Custom Suit: Against Nature In New York City | Musician : Rob Moose Of Bon Iver