Intimate All-White Wedding in Charlottesville
August 12, 2015
Mid Atlantic
RusticHotels + Resorts WeddingsSummer Weddings
This crafty couple (he designed their wedding announcements; she handmade their wedding bands) pulled out all the stops for this (almost surprise!) intimate ceremony, to celebrate their love with 26 of their dearest family and friends. Photographer Mary Otanez captured this effortlessly elegant affair, chock full of inspirational details, and I can't get enough of all the bohemian beauty in the gallery here!
View as

From The Bride...It felt like it was the easiest wedding I have ever been to - and that was our goal! We wanted the wedding to be small and sweet but something that also reflected our personalities. We are both creative people so the details were important to us. Not in the since that we went crazy though. We hired people that we loved and that we knew would do an amazing job! Our florist, hair + make-up, and photographer are all good friends so we were pretty lucky.

I basically told Kelsey (Old Time Feeling / Florist) to do whatever she wanted. I know her work and admire her talent so I asked her to pretend it was her wedding! When she walked in with my bouquet I teared up - she just got it - it was huge and editorial.

Mary, our photographer, has been named one of the top 5 wedding photographers by Richmond Times and is one of my favorite people to work with. We had the best time getting ready with her there to capture the moment and make us laugh. I knew she was a rockstar so I was able to sip my champagne and just enjoy the moment!

Natalie, who owns Avenue 42 Style Studio, is the best makeup artist in Richmond. She's also a dear friend so not only did she make me feel like a total babe but she was also in the wedding. I really lucked out!

I have a jewelry company (Drift / Riot) so I designed and handcrafted our wedding bands. The bands are matching ouroboros (which is a snake eating itself) that represents eternity + rebirth. Both of our rings have diamonds from my Mom - but his is hidden under the snakes head - I love the surprises! In fact, our wedding started out as a surprise for my husband. He thought we were going to Elope with just four of our friends! I ended up caving in about two months out because I needed him to design the announcements - and I just couldn't keep it in anymore! He was super excited when he found out I already booked rooms for our families! (And thought I was crazy - but that's a part of the reason he married me!)

Evan, who is an art director / graphic designer, created the announcements we sent out for our extended family and friends to open on our wedding day. They included a pocket square that was hand printed by Studio Two Three in Richmond that had our wedding theme on it - which included ouroboros. I also made all of the ladies at our wedding snake earrings from my collection and the gentleman tie clips - We had a lot of had fun with it!

The guest list was only 26 people. We wanted to be able to enjoy our day and celebrate with our immediate family and best of friends. We had a pretty big engagement / dance party where we were able to celebrate with friends and family so didn't feel obligated to make it huge. We started planning a larger wedding but felt it got crazy expensive really quickly and we wanted to invest more in our future than just the day - and I have no regrets!

It ended up pouring rain about 2 hours before the wedding (they say that's good luck right?!) which created smoke over the blue ridge mountains - couldn't have asked for a more perfect setting and Mary knew just how to take advantage of the light!

But I think my favorite part was that we asked our guests to celebrate with us by wearing all white. I can't say I didn't get the idea from Solange Knowles... because I did - she's major! I was a little nervous how it might turn out but I absolutely loved it! Our family loved it too because they even more a part of the day!

As for the ceremony, we wanted this to be a more spiritual based ceremony so that we could incorporate our own hand-made cord for a hand-fasting. Hand-fasting is simply wrapping a cord around the bride and groom's hands after they have said their vows to one another. The hand-fasting knot that is tied is a symbolic representation of oneness between the couple. And before heading down as Mr. & Mrs. Cotter, we added a wine blessing at the end. It was a beautiful way to celebrate the start of our life together.

I loved our wedding because we did it our way and honoring who we are as a couple. We didn't throw the most epic amazing wedding ever but we did have everything we could have imagined and more. A lovely ceremony + celebration with the people that are by our side everyday!

Vault CTA