Elegant Autumn Virginia Vineyard Wedding
January 19, 2016
Mid Atlantic
Al FrescoWeddings in WineriesOutdoor Weddings
There's so much beauty in this Virginia vineyard wedding, that it seems unfair to have to sum it up in a few short sentences. Drawing inspiration from vineyard setting, the couple envisioned a day with loose, lush flowers and lots of greenery in a rich palette of bordeaux, blush and gold and full of special touches including "his" and "hers" bars, vintage velvet sofas from Paisley And Jade and a Top Gun serenade! See all the special details from Rachel May and East West in THE VAULT!
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From The Bride...One of the very first decisions my husband, Jim, and I made after getting engaged was the time of year we wanted to get married. We both enjoy the colder months of the year and I find something so romantic about winter time. We thought we wanted to have a winter wedding and then went to visit different venues, specifically for that time of year. Keswick Vineyards was the second venue we visited in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we instantly fell in love. The lush vines and gardens, breathtaking estate, and beautifully tented reception venue was far more than we expected and we knew in that moment that we wanted to get married there. We met with Keswick’s event staff to look at available dates and she asked what months we were looking to get married. Before I could tell her the winter months, she said that Fall weddings at Keswick fill up years in advance but they had one weekend date left and it happened to be the exact date that we were there visiting. I took another look outside and saw the panoramic beauty of Keswick and said, “We’ll take it!” My husband couldn’t have agreed more, it was so beautiful that you simply couldn’t say no. We chose our date and started planning a Fall wedding from that moment on.

After seeing the beauty of Keswick, I wanted to use the colors that we saw at the vineyard so we chose a bordeaux, blush, and gold color palette. My style vision remained the same from day one, loose, lush flowers with lots of greenery to bring in the natural beauty of the surroundings. We also wanted our guests to feel special so we had champagne to greet our guests, a string quartet, beautiful velvet vintage sofas and chairs, lots of family pictures, greenery and flowers. Inside the tent we had a settee for Jim and I, and farm tables with an amazing runner with lots of greenery and candles. Finally, we wanted dramatic lighting and chose to use pin lights to showcase the amazing centerpieces.

One unique element to our wedding that my husband and I knew we wanted from beginning was separate “his” and “her” bars. We not only had separate signature cocktails but we wanted to show our originality and share our favorite drinks with our guests but Jim and I simply have different tastes in cocktails. Jim loves craft beers – his bar was stocked with local Charlottesville craft beers and was decorated in a rustic theme with custom napkins, a wine barrel, and aluminum accents. I love champagne – my bar hosted different champagne cocktails and liquors and was styled in a modern, glamorous way with oversized balloons, gold polka dots, and a champagne tower. Our guests were able to enjoy both bars and the options we could provide were endless!

Other than marrying my best friend, I have to say that I have two favorite moments from our wedding; both of which were complete surprises. The first was my father-daughter dance. My father passed away when I was young so I knew from an early age that this dance was going to be incredibly special for our family and, while I knew that my dad would be right there with me during my wedding day, I wanted to do something special for him during my father-daughter dance. I’m fortunate enough to have the most amazing step-father and we planned a dance where I would start dancing with my brother, who happens to be the spitting image of my dad. On wedding day it went flawlessly, my brother and I danced and laughed and then my step-father cut in at the most perfect time. It was such a special moment to share with them and I was so happy to have honored my dad in the way we did. What I didn’t know at the time is that my mother leaned into my, normally shy, paternal grandfather and said, “Do you want to go dance with your granddaughter in honor of your son?” Without hesitation, he hopped up and cut right in. My stepfather happily took a step aside and my grandfather and I danced and laughed and at the end of our dance, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. My other favorite moment – and all Top Gun fans or fiancés of Top Gun fans will appreciate this – is when my husband rallied the gentlemen at our wedding reception and sang “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” to me in a complete surprise. One of our Best Men pulled me aside and was asking some questions that I politely questioned if these could wait until Monday and by the time he said ‘ok,’ I turned around and there were about 30 guys reenacting the Top Gun scene with my husband down on one knee and my face in complete surprise. My father-in-law is a retired Navy Captain and my husband’s family and friends have served in all the branches of the Armed Forces so to see them all singing to me was such a sweet and special moment that I will truly cherish forever.

Our flowers followed our overall style of loose, lush, and flowy. I had the absolute best floral designer who created the most beautiful bouquets I’ve ever seen. We discussed using different types of greenery and berries, I just knew that I didn’t want a traditional floral bouquet and I couldn’t have been more amazed with what she created. My bouquet was exactly what I envisioned and the best part was she placed a single white rose in the middle of it, so I could carry my dad down the aisle with me. She also created greenery runners that honestly took your breath away. I had a blurred vision of what I was looking for and I was so amazed when she made it come to life. I would have to say that wedding dress shopping was actually one of the easier tasks of the wedding planning process. My mom and I set up a day to visit dress shops near Washington D.C., and one of the stores happen to have the Modern Trousseau trunk show and the designer there. I tried on a few Modern Trousseau dresses and knew this was the perfect designer for my body type. I was in the dressing room when one of the sales assistants put “my dress” in my room and I have to say, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I tried it on, came out of the dressing room, and everyone stared speechlessly. Oddly enough, and before the tears, there’s a moment of “this is right” that comes over you. It’s a very calm feeling and my mom and I both felt that this was the one. The designer came over, told me more about the dress, pulled out a custom veil and we were sold. It was the absolute perfect dress for me and fit our vision beautifully. We had just a slight wind on our wedding day and let me tell you – that dress was made for wind. My favorite feature of the dress, or my overall look for the day, was the fact that I wore my mom’s earrings from when she got married and I also wore my great-grandmother’s wedding ring which has been passed down through the women in our family. I am incredibly fortunate to have a mother than owns a bakery so when it came to wedding cakes, I didn’t plan anything and let her have full control. She knew she wanted to ‘wow’ everyone and that our guests would be expecting something different so she came up with an idea that impressed everyone and that I still hear about today. She decided to not only make a wedding cake for my husband and I to cut and save, but also made individual miniature wedding cakes for each of our guests. She made five different flavors and once the cake was cut, the wait staff came out with trays of all these wedding cakes that were decorated differently and each guest could choose their own flavor. On top of that, we had custom cookies and macarons for our guests and we had a donut truck come and make hot fresh donuts on site as a late night treat!

One piece of advice that I would give brides-to-be would be is to take a step back and remember why you’re getting married! It’s so easy in the planning process to lose sight of two families coming together and the fact that you’re marrying your best friend and soulmate. Plan a date night every week, or other week, and take your sweet fiancé out to dinner for tagging along with the wedding planning process and don’t talk about the wedding at all. Talk about what you love about each other, your future together, and spend this time staying connected to each other and not losing sight of why you’re planning this wedding in the first place. ENJOY the process! It’s the best time of your life, yes, it’s stressful in every way, but every single ounce of stress is worth it when you see your sweetie standing up there waiting for you!

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