Let’s face it – Monday mornings don’t get a whole lot of love. But today, SMPers, that’s all about to change. You see, when Adam Barnes and Hart To Heart Media shared this classic Southern soiree set at The Clifton Inn, we knew it’d be just the thing to kick a week off right. Just A Little Ditty designed the day, Floral Images Design Studio crafted the blooms, and you can get your swoon on all morning long.
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From The Bride…We started dating in July of 2008. We had actually met about 6 months earlier while I was still in college at the University of Richmond, through a mutual friend (and future groomsman) who I went to college with and who grew up with Chris, but it wasn’t until I had graduated and decided to stay in Richmond that we met again playing on the same intramural kickball team. Chris asked me to go out to dinner one night and as they say, the rest is history. Four and a half years later, Chris proposed to me while we were at my parents house in Wintergreen, VA. After multiple vacations, birthdays and Christmases together, I never expected him to pick a random Saturday night in Wintergreen to propose, so it was an amazing surprise.
We had known we’d have our wedding somewhere around Charlottesville or Wintergreen, as it was a central destination for most of our guests, with us and so many others coming from Richmond. Chris is from Lexington, VA and my parents spend half the year in Wintergreen, so it just made perfect sense. Finding our venue was more stressful than I would have imagined – I knew Charlottesville was a popular wedding destination, but I didn’t realize just how popular it had become until I started calling various venues around the area and found out almost all were booked solid well over a year in advance. We had heard about The Clifton Inn from my sister – it was actually one of the places she had originally suggested Chris take me to the weekend he was going to propose. As soon as I started looking into it, I knew we needed to visit, and when we found out they only had two weekends available that Fall, we immediately scheduled a visit and booked it the following day.
Our favorite thing about Clifton was that it really feels like a home. We loved that we had free reign over the entire property and that our family and close friends in our wedding party could stay there with us the entire weekend and not have to worry about running from venue to venue all weekend. Once everyone arrived Friday we were there to stay.
There are two things from our wedding day we’ve said we got really lucky with. The first was the weather! We knew we’d be risking cold weather when we picked late October, and leading up to it I was so nervous it’d be too cold to have an outdoor ceremony and cocktail reception on the front lawn. Luckily the weather cooperated as best it could – it was sunny and clear all day and even though it was chilly, at the advice of Maureen and Dickie earlier in the week, we had heaters and blankets set out for our guests to use during the ceremony and cocktails so everyone could stay warm.
The second was the band – they were amazing! From the beginning of the wedding planning process, the most important thing for us as far as the reception went was that we wanted everyone to have fun and we knew we wanted everyone, ourselves included, to be out on the dance floor for as long as possible. As soon as the band started playing, we danced pretty much the entire night surrounded by our family and friends.
When I saw the guests stand up as my dad and I were coming around the house to walk down the aisle was really a “wow moment”. Because Chris and I had done a first look, I wasn’t nervous and was very relaxed the entire time leading up to the ceremony, but seeing all of family and friends at that moment it hit me how momentous this was. It’s such a rush of emotions seeing everyone you love there to celebrate the two of you and it’s such a wonderful memory.
“Rustic chic” was the term that came to mind the first time we met with Dickie and Maureen at Clifton to begin going through all the details. I knew I wanted our wedding to feel very easygoing, not casual by any means but not stuffy or over the top, and I wanted to incorporate the relaxed nature of Clifton. It was really important to both of us for everyone to have fun and I think the decor and design reflected that relaxed natural atmosphere, particularly the farm tables and plantation bar. The color scheme was very neutral – lots of whites and tans – with pops of greenery from the flowers. We had handwritten chalkboard menus set up along the dinner stations and candles and lights everywhere.
My favorite fashion detail of the day was actually my engagement ring. The main diamond of my engagement ring was taken from my mother’s engagement ring. She passed away when I was five years old, and having her diamond has been so special for me and was even more so the day of, as it is a piece of her that got to be there with me. I also loved everything about my dress. I absolutely loved the lace details and it was so comfortable and easy to wear – I didn’t want to take it off!
Photography: Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography | Cinematography: Hart To Heart Media | Event Planning: Just A Little Ditty | Floral Design: Floral Images Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau | Invitations: Parklife Press | Wedding Bands: Tacori | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: The Clifton Inn | Hair And Makeup: Avenue 42 | Calligraphy: Ginny Rogan | Lighting: Blue Ridge AV & Lighting | Groom's Attire: Jos. A Banks | Ceremony Music: Plum Blossom String Quartet | Reception Band: Jump Street Band | Rentals: Festive Fare | Rentals: Stonegate Event Rentals | Tent: Skyline Tent Company | Transportation: Groome Transportation | Wedding Venue: The Clifton Inn