Charlottesville Wedding from Katelyn James
September 11, 2013
RusticWeddings in WineriesSummer Weddings
Southern weddings are the cream to my coffee. The sweet spot in my hectic days. And when it happens to be the most darling minty pink "I do" captured through the lens of Katelyn James? Even better. Tack on planning from Amore Events by Cody with floral pretties by Couture Designs, and it's official -- today is going to be oh so good.
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From the Bride... After dating for over four years, Bob popped the question while we were on vacation in Napa Valley. Since that moment, we knew we wanted our wedding venue to somehow represent that amazing day we shared in California.

In the months following, we immediately jumped into wedding planning mode. Bob and I spent months researching and visiting countless venues. One weekend I suggested we make a trip to Charlottesville, a town I had loved since I visited my cousin at UVA when I was in high school. We toured a handful of locations, but from the moment we drove up the driveway to Pippin Hill, Bob and I knew we found the perfect venue. I remember driving home from Pippin being able to visualize our entire wedding in my head. The breathtaking panoramic views, beautiful architecture, and overall feel was everything we dreamed of; a true reminder of the day we were engaged.

Our inspiration really came from the natural beauty surrounding Pippin Hill along with the venue's ambiance. We wanted the beautiful view from Pippin Hill to take center stage, so we chose a neutral color palette of gray, peach, ivory and blush, then accented that with coral and mint for a pop of color. Our wedding was intended to be chic, elegant, and a little rustic. Once I finally choose a dress, we added little hints of lace for a soft and romantic feel.

Bob and I wanted our day to be unique and true to our personalities. The details really made this possible. Being a graphic designer, not only was I able to envision these things, but I was lucky enough to be able to create them myself. Over the years I've had the opportunity to design hundreds of wedding invitations for other brides, so the true challenge came when I had to create my own. Once we booked Pippin, I had the inspiration to get started. I created a simple and elegant invitation incorporating my favorite color, the soft minty aqua, along with a subtle wood grain pattern. I had so much fun designing the coordinating pieces and making them interactive for our guests. We included a music request card in addition to a "love letter," where our guests were encouraged to send us advice, share memories, or even draw a picture! Receiving the responses and seeing what our friends and family requested and wrote in the "love note" portion was so exciting. The invitations set the overall tone and the details didn't stop there, we were just getting started! From the favor packaging to the hand-painted escort sign and the custom corn hole boards to the hand-sewn ring bearer flags, Bob and I designed, cut, painted, assembled and crafted for a good portion of our engagement. The best part of it all was that we tackled all these projects as a team. It was so amazing to see all our hard work come together on our wedding day.

Aside from all the details, we also really tried to incorporate our personalities and thoughtful touches into the wedding. Bob and I are both foodies, so mini bottles of olive oil and soy sauce we the perfect favors for us. Over the course of our engagement, we collected tons of wine corks that were used to create a huge "M" for the welcome table as well as our place card holders. The runner was sewn by my mother out of vintage doilies for the sweetheart table and pieces of lace from her wedding dress were integrated into my bouquet. Bob's close friend read a Traditional Irish Blessing, a reading that reminded many of the guests of the days of summer camp when they were kids. It was so moving to see how many people were affected by this reading, there wasn't a dry eye in the audience. We also wrote our own wedding vows for the ceremony. It was so important to us to share those intimate words with the most important people in our lives.

I wish I could have stopped time during our wedding day, but it was filled with so many wonderful memories: getting ready in the beautiful bridal loft, seeing each other before the ceremony, the look in my Dad's eyes before we walked down the aisle, the amazing speeches given by our childhood best friends, my cathedral length veil blowing right off of my head during the ceremony, and just being surrounded by our loved ones. Our DJ ended the night with "Country Roads," which has become a tradition amongst our group of friends. I remember dancing with Bob in the middle, as everyone circled around us and sang along. As we were surrounded by all of our closest friends and family, Bob looked into my eyes and said "never forget this moment."

Our photographer, Katelyn James (and her hubby, Michael!), did such an amazing job capturing all the details and emotions during the wedding. We will treasure those images forever. A big thanks to Cody Grannis, our fantastic wedding planner, and all our other vendors for making our wedding day flawless. We could not have possibly asked for more.