A fairytale romance deserves a fairytale wedding and this, loves, is both. A stunning American bride, her dapper English groom and a traditional meets awesome affair that will leave you speechless. Think a breathtaking Vera Wang gown, a beautiful Keswick Hall setting and teal blue hues that are all kinds of pretty. See it all captured by the amazing Jen Fariello in the full gallery.
And a beautiful film from Shaking Hands Productions? Yes, please.
From Jen Fariello Photography… Ronda and Hugo met during a random chance encounter when Ronda was visiting an American friend who had relocated to London, England. It turned out that Ronda’s friend and Hugo share mutual friends in the UK, so a conversation was struck up. A few days later, Ronda returned to America never thinking she would ever see Hugo again. But over the course of the next few months Ronda and Hugo stayed in touch and developed a friendship, getting to know each other on an emotional level whereby they decided that they wanted to meet again in person. Despite the physical distance between them, they both knew that something just felt right and that an opportunity to have made a connection with someone so special could not go to waste. After over a year of traveling back and forth across the pond between London and Virginia, Hugo proposed to Ronda in London and they began planning their special day.
Ronda and Hugo chose to get married in Ronda’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia at Grace Episcopal Church with the reception following at Keswick Hall. The couple felt that the natural beauty of the venues and surrounding area, combined with Southern hospitality for which the area is renowned, would be enjoyable for their US and European guests. The wedding party enjoyed the sense of excitement and camaraderie of all staying under one roof at Keswick Hall. It proved to be a perfect location not only for those guests whom wished to explore the wealth of local attractions but also for those whom just wanted to kick back and relax by the pool.
Ronda and Hugo wanted to have a summertime wedding that hinted at subtle sophistication. Deep turquoise, celadon green, ivory and splashes of metallics were used to devise a rich yet calming palate of colors. Mercury glasses filled with candles throughout the reception room added a special soft glow of light. Tasteful elements of a travel theme were incorporated into parts of the day by creating a custom wedding logo in the form of a passport stamp that adorned welcome booklets for out-of-town guests, personalized napkins, “boarding pass” escort cards and wedding favors (guests took home custom luggage tags and personalized coffee mugs).
Ronda and Hugo wanted to nod to her American and his English heritage during both the ceremony and the reception. At the church, alongside the wedding program, vintage English handkerchiefs were offered to guests as they entered. During the ceremony, the English hymn “Jerusalem” was sung. At the reception, American-inspired hors d’oeuvres including Virginia ham and cheddar biscuits were passed along with the signature cocktail – a favorite English summer punch known as Pimm’s cocktails. Hugo chose to wear traditional English morning attire, consisting of a waistcoat and tails on the big day. Ronda, wearing Vera Wang, was given two pieces of family jewelry from Hugo which she incorporated into her look.
Ronda’s most vivid memories of the day are their first kiss at the alter and an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and love when she looked around the reception room and saw so many friends, some new and some old, who traveled from very near and very far to be there to celebrate. Hugo’s most vivid memories of the day include Ronda’s entrance in the church and their first dance. Their favorite photos include snaps of them walking down the aisle together after the ceremony, leaving the church amidst a shower of rose petals, seated and posed with their entire wedding party, a private moment in the woods with the Keswick Hall stately sitting in the background, and the energy and fun captured on their guests’ faces dancing at the reception.
Photography: Jen Fariello Photography | Coordination: Soiree | Flowers: Floral Images | Wedding Dress: "Esther" Vera Wang Luxe Collection | Cake: Favorite Cakes | Ceremony: Grace Episcopal Church | Reception: Keswick Hall | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Hair: Top Knot Studio | Lighting: Blue Ridge Light Forms | Bridesmaids Gifts- Custom Hand Bags: Just A Little Ditty | Invitations & Papers: Rock Paper Scissors | Make-up Artist: Lauren Carroll | Rentals: Festive Fare | Video: Shaking Hands Productions | Wedding Dress Belt For Reception: Oscar De La Renta