Little details go a long way to create a one-of-a-kind wedding that radiates your personality as a couple. The vibrant Charlottesville artisan community offers plenty of original ideas that are perfect for adding memorable touches to your celebration.
Below, a hand-painted directional sign, like this one by MakeWells, is a thoughtful way to pay homage to locations significant to you. With a groom about to be deployed by the Department of Defense to Abu Dhabi, this couple had more than a handful of geographic points to reference at their wedding!
Heirlooms are a beautiful way to to represent people close to you who will be with you in spirit on this special day. The candelabra, on the left below, was provided by a groom’s mother for a couple’s al fresco wedding dinner at Keswick Hall. The family prayer book on the right below was carried in by the ring bearer with beribboned rings tied to the top for a wedding ceremony at Christ Episcopal Church.
Incorporating favorite beverages or foods into your cocktail hour and/or ceremony is a popular route for couples to take. Such as in the image below, the Virginian cocktail created by The Catering Outfit was a nod to the bride’s time spent in England where she developed an affinity for the signature cocktail, Pimm’s Cup.
There are many ways for brides to add special touches to the ceremony as well. For example, the bride (below, right) decided to wear her grandmother’s wedding dress, after a few minor adjustments. Another bride chose to wrap the stems of her bouquet in a string of pearls (below, left).
The fun table numbers in the picture below were featured at all the reception tables with other family pets in silhouette at a Keswick Hall wedding. This allowed a couple to feature their beloved dog, Bear, in their wedding celebration.
For a fresh perspective on your wedding day, document your ceremony en plein air by inviting a live event painter (seen below). For this particular wedding, the groom hired the event painter as a gift and surprise for his bride.
Consider writing a note to your husband or bride-to-be, creating both a surprising enjoyment and also a precious souvenir to bring home to your newlywed nest.
Your wedding day is all about the two of you and beginning your life together, so you want to thank the many people who have helped you get to this day and who will be there to support you in the years to come. It will be the special thoughtful touches, the love in the details, that help your guests feel honored and make your wedding a truly unforgettable experience.
Among so many gorgeous weddings submitted for Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, Volume 1, we were excited to announce Ellen & Chris Sweet as the winners of our Wedding of the Year contest, having been chosen by the popular vote. This wedding wowed our selection committee for not only its beauty and grandeur but also for the choices Ellen and Chris made to make their ceremony a most memorable affair. We hope you enjoy this inside scoop with photos and details from the wedding and that it inspires you as it did us!
Ellen and Chris joined hands on the picturesque grounds of Castle Hill Cider to recite their vows and officially declare their lifelong dedication to one another. With its gilded cupola, wide barn doors, latticed windows and walls of knotty pine, the barn provided a fabulous backdrop for the celebration of their marriage. In this rustic setting, surrounded by a hanging row of glittering chandeliers they chose themselves, Ellen and Chris shared their first meal as husband and wife.
Every detail reminded them of the places that they loved, from the tiny chicken-and-waffle appetizers from The Catering Outfit, reminiscent of Chris’ deep Southern roots in Texas, to the gift boxes of See’s Candies, treasured by Ellen from her parents’ native California. But, no memories shined as bright as the times they spent together on weekend getaways as their romance budded in Virginia.
Ellen stood in a full-lace gown by Alvina Valenta with asymmetrical tiers and a cascade of buttons down the back. Southern Blooms prepared the florals for the wedding and put together Ellen’s stunning bouquet.
Ellen and Chris thought a lot about their ties to Virginia and knew they wanted to showcase local artisans and businesses from the Charlottesville area, including the delicate place settings and invitations designed and printed by Jen Maton of If So Inklined, featured below.
Prepared in a labor of love by Kathy Watkins of Favorite Cakes, the wedding featured this stunning, all-white fondant cake decorated with the four different patterns of the formal china.
When you fall in love in a particular place, you also fall in love with the place itself. Every detail brought Ellen and Chris back to those first early days soon after they started dating—when it seemed like the world around them was suddenly enchanted. There are memories we keep, and memories that grow with us. Ellen and Chris knew that there was no other place where they wanted to begin the memories of their marriage than here, in the majestic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You can read more about the 2015 Wedding of the Year in Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddingshere.