A traditional and rustic wedding may seem like an oxymoron, but this gorgeous Virginia couple pulled it off in the most beautiful day imaginable. From the slate blue Amsale bridesmaids’ dresses that inspired the color palette to the bluegrass band at the ceremony and cocktail hour to the Bride’s gorgeous crochet-lace from Monique Lhuillier, this day is a Southern wedding dream. See all the beauty from Rachel May Photography and Ians Creations in THE VAULT!
From The Bride…I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and that is where Billy and I met, at UVA, so how could we not choose Charlottesville as our setting?! :) But my definition and memories of Charlottesville were different from most, as I was raised near Monticello looking out on the Blue Ridge Mountains, before Charlottesville was the bustling town and destination it is today, so I always envisioned my wedding away from the University and Downtown Mall, out in the mountains on a beautiful farm or estate. I definitely wanted an outdoor setting, and I was drawn to barns as these reminded me of the beautiful farm homes in and around Charlottesville. Billy and I fell in love with Verulam right away–between the magnificent mountain views, the barn that felt so unique and unlike any other reception venue we have ever seen, and finally for the clean slate aspect of the venue as a whole. I felt like we could really make the day and every moment and detail that came with it truly encapsulate our vision coming to life. Verulam was like a blank slate with so many incredible options for how the day could unfold.
I wanted the colors to blend in with the setting, which was largely outdoors in nature, and to be honest it was really anchored around Amsale’s slate blue bridesmaid dresses. The color was perfection against the estate, outdoors and barn, and given how much it popped against the backgrounds I wanted everything else to match it and really blend in with it. We decided early against black tie given the venue, so we chose navy suits and ties, and then everything else was a shade of white, ivory, grey and light blue. The color palette was simple yet elegant, and subtle yet memorable. I just love looking at the colors in the pictures, I feel like they were meant for that venue. I also liked the rustic nature of the venue but did not want the wedding to feel too casual, so envisioned elegant accents that would make the wedding feel formal yet unique.
We had some really fun additions that I have never seen at a wedding before, that were really must-haves in the end for me and Billy. The bluegrass band playing both ceremony and cocktail music was such a nice touch for the outdoor setting. The drone was Billy’s idea and actually worked out to be such an awesome addition, because the guests loved our use of new technology and the video footage that the drone caught was great. Finally, as soon as we saw Verulam I envisioned a lot of walking for our guests, but instead of it being a burden I wanted everyone to enjoy it and participate, so we led the guests to the barn with the sunset in the backdrop (also offered flip flops for the walk!) and I think everyone thought this was such a cool and different way to move from cocktails to the reception. Oh, and late night we offered homemade donuts from Carpe Donut’s donut tent, which were a huge hit!
My favorite moment was when Billy and I snuck off during during for sunset shots. We hopped the fence and went off with our photographer and videographer to capture the moment. It was 10 minutes of just us, enjoying the setting, sunset and time together, right before the reception kicked off. That moment was absolutely perfect.
Amy Webb from Blue Ridge Floral really ran with my vision of simple whites, garland on the table, and lots of mercury glass and candles. She incorporated greys and blues into the bouquets as well, which looked perfect with the dresses.
My gown was a labor of love…it is a beautiful crochet lace from Monique Lhuillier that was altered and hemmed perfectly to fit me that day. Brenda Hill is the master seamstress that pulled that off, because that dress has no boning, just a simple slip so it fits right to the body, and it was ABSOLUTELY perfect.
Our favors were donuts from Carpe Donut, in favor boxes provided by Carpe with stickers I made from Etsy to match our colors.
Our cake was Albemarle Baking Company, almond cake with vanilla icing. I envisioned simple with elegant flowers, which Amy provided for the bakery. Also Billy’s sister, Elisabeth, is a master carver and hand carved our cake stand. It was one of the best surprises I could have imagined for that day!!
Bridesmaid dresses were Amsale, suits were OWNONLY (custom suits), ties were Ferragamo (groomsmen gifts), earrings were Kate Spade (bridesmaid gifts).
Hair was Elle Style Studio, and they included my grandma’s pearls as a hairpiece, that was my something borrowed :)
My piece of advice was be have a vision in mind and plan, plan, plan but in the end, just go with it, and take in every moment and appreciate the whole day for what it is, because it will truly be the best day of your life!!
Photography: Rachel May Photography | Cinematography: Ians Creations | Event Planning: Kennon Ibbeken | Floral Design: Blue Ridge Floral | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Albemarle Baking Co | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Stephanie Parker | Hair: Elle Style Studio | Band: The Business | Ties: Ferragamo | Groomsmen's Attire: OWNONLY | Venue: Verulam Farm | Ceremony + Cocktail Music: Bent Mountain Trio | Desserts: Carpe Donut | Earrings: Kate Spade | Photo Booth: Mox Box | Rentals: Stonegate Event Rentals