Charlottesville Wedding at Ash Lawn-Highland by Jon Schaaf Photography
July 9, 2012
RusticEstate Weddings
Now this is how you start a new work week. With a sweet Virginia wedding under the stars and a couple so adorable you just want to squeeze them. It's all downright darling with splashes of steal-worthy style. From the lace and bud vase ceremony alter to the stunning ceiling poof display at the reception, Jon Schaaf Photography captured every so-pretty-you-can't-help-but-smile detail and it's all sitting pretty right here!
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From the Bride... Michael and I met during a year-long leadership program through the Fellows Initiative. We, along with 13 other recent college graduates, attended seminary classes together, volunteered together, shared meals together and lived in close community with one another in Charlottesville, Virginia. Within days we were smitten, and within months we had fallen for each other deeply. Michael proposed as the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains on the deck of a home where we had shared some of our favorite memories. A weekend full of surprise parties and toasts with friends who had traveled near and far followed. Michael even got my mom to fly in from Chicago. It was perfect.

When we sat down to plan our wedding, a few things stood out: We wanted the day to reflect our love for each other, our love for our family and friends, and ultimately our love for Christ. We wanted to get married outside, somewhere that would showcase the beauty of Virginia. And we wanted to throw an awesome dance party. We quickly chose Ash Lawn-Highland, the historic home of James Monroe, for our venue. The many private gardens, views of the mountains and tented pavilion suited our vision perfectly. The rest of the planning was truly a labor of love. As a budding stylist, I was excited to handle much of the decor and details myself, and thankfully, we are blessed with some amazingly talented friends and family. Almost all of the vendors are close friends, and that made the day so much more meaningful. The decor reflected the softness of the Virginia landscape. We chose a mostly neutral color palette with some soft greens and blush pinks thrown in. My mom, sisters, bridesmaids and I made or found most of the items that detailed the space. Michael created a rad dance playlist for the reception, and I surprised him with a late-night food station featuring ice cream cones (his favorite dessert). The whole evening was so full of love.

Perhaps my two favorite moments (if I have to choose!) of the day were the ceremony and taking a moment alone with my husband at the reception. We wanted the ceremony to be really personal, so we chose to sing two of our favorite hymns and to read two of our favorite Bible passages. We also had our musicians (my aunt and a close friend) perform the song "Dancing in the Minefields" by Andrew Peterson, a song that both of us love. Then at the reception, a family friend recommended that we take a moment to ourselves, and I'm so glad we did. Just as the sun was setting, we walked out into a field and looked back at the twinkling reception where all our closest family and friends were dancing. That moment is something I'll remember forever.

Wedding Photography: Jon Schaaf Photography / Wedding Venue: Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville, Virginia / Event Design + Planning: Mallory Joyce (The Bride) / Floral Design: Floral Designs by Jacquelyn Collmus / Wedding Day Coordination: Ashley Coe, A Friend of the Bride / Wedding Cinematography: Meet+Cute Films / Catering: Traditions Fine Catering / Desserts: Maddy Picker of Sweet Madeline / Late-Night Ice Cream Cones: Chaps Ice Cream / Wedding Invitations: Grip Design in Chicago, Illinois / Programs: Maureen Lovett / Ceremony Music: Josephine Lee-McConkey (The Bride's Aunt) + Sam Bush of The Hill and Wood / Photo Booth: Blinkbooth / Rentals: Festive Fare / Wedding Dress: La Sposa / Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade / Bride's Reception Hair Flower: EmersonMade / Bride's Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. / Bride's Getaway Outfit: Anthropologie / Hair + Makeup: Lora Elaine / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Various / Men's Suits: Jos. A Bank