Welcoming guests with a gorgeous gift bag is a gesture that will start your destination wedding weekend beautifully. Charlottesville artisans offer an array of wonderful local products to delight your guests and wedding party, and we have curated a unique selection for our new Wine & Country Welcome & Favor Bag Collection.
This collection includes a thoughtfully hand-picked assemblage of handsome bags ready to fill with an assortment of the finest local artisan-made gifts our area has to offer. Each bag we offer was carefully selected for its enduring beauty and practicality, ensuring your gift recipients can continue to enjoy the bags for a long time to come—whether for trips to the market or vineyard outings. From cinched pouches and burlap totes to classic French market baskets, our line offers many beautiful options.
(Below: “Thank You For Being My Bridesmaid” gift set in the Petite French Market Basket)
When choosing the contents for your gift bags, you may select one of our themed luxury gift collections, or you can assemble your own bag from our selection of goods and wares. Click here to learn more about some of the artisans and products we carry. We also carry award-winning wines from our region’s finest boutique wineries, which can make a thoughtful addition to your gift. Once your product selection is completed, we will help you personalize your gift with a luxurious French ribbon bow and a Wine & Country card, made by a local artist exclusively for our shop.
(Below: Sample assortment of items in the Petite Linen Gift Bag)
To browse the full Wine & Country Welcome Bag Collection, visit the new Wine & Country Shop, opening October 10 at 4416 Ivy Commons in Charlottesville. Visit during shop hours (10am–6pm, Wednesday–Saturday) or email Shop@CharlottesvilleWineandCountry.com to make an appointment.
(Below: Sample assortment of items in the Charlottesville Loves Tote)
Continuing to develop our newest brands, Ivy Publications opened the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made artisan foods, water, wine, beer and cider, and more. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.
Pharsalia has been in Foxie Morgan’s family for five generations, and she continues to carry on traditions established by those who came before her. Inspired by her mother’s love for gardening and entertaining, Foxie began the flower farm and wedding business in 2006.
In addition to its fresh blooms, Pharsalia also contains hidden gems around each corner— from collections of wooden gardening tools to antique birdhouses and windmills.
As springtime emerges, so do the exuberant double- and triple-blossomed peonies. Blooming in traditional whites and pinks, as well as dramatic yellows and bi-color blooms, some of these florals were even planted by her mother.
Those precious Wahoo moments spent at our beloved University of Virginia (UVA) are what make college life so memorable. Alumni alike have added personal UVA touches to their occasions, and our local artisan community offers plenty of original ideas for adding tasteful Cavalier spirit to your wedding.
We’ve given you some ideas for pairing something blue with some cheerful orange with these fun accessories. As seen below, couples could include striped suspenders made locally by Barrons-Hunter for the groomsmen and cute flats with a feminine blue bow for the bridesmaids. The adorable cloth jewelry bag, handmade in nearby Stuarts Draft, makes for a perfect bridesmaids gift and is available at The Virginia Shop.
Sweet in flavor and design, handmade treats by Kelly Trout of One Creative Cookie is a unique and creative extra that can be added to your celebration. These fabulous cookies can be decorated in a variety of designs to mirror your UVA spirit, including your own personal photo of choice! Serve the cookies as a dessert or use them as a favor for you guests!
Personalize your cocktail tables with coasters from the The Virginia Shop sporting an image of the University’s Grounds, like the historic Rotunda. These coasters could also be used as gifts for fellow UVA alumni in your wedding party.
Inviting your favorite furry family member to the wedding? Consider the striped dog leash below, also by Barrons-Hunter and available at Caspari. This leash will not only help showcase your family’s school spirit at your wedding, but is great to have for future tailgating and visits to the University.
Decorate your reception tables with some orange and blue whimsy! Mix in some eco-sensitive paper straws handmade by Beve in Charlottesville, and add chic napkins from Caspari, which has shops in both Charlottesville and Paris. This tasteful incorporation of UVA love will definitely be worthy of a “Wahoowa.”
“My work transforms space into a warmly illuminated atmosphere that has a comforting ambiance and resonates intimately the beauty in nature.”
Warm up your wedding venue this season with stunning hand-crafted light sculptures. Local artisan Rebekah Graves‘ luminous pendants, candle-filled bowls and paper-shelled table lights are sure to make any space breathtaking as these sculptures grace their surroundings with a warm tender glow.
As a student of environmental science and architecture at the University of Virginia, a bookmaking class led Graves to experiment with papermaking. “I fell in love with the way handmade paper warmed light and lent such supple texture,” she says. Combining her love of natural texture and light, Graves began to experiment with creating delicate light fixtures. Along her creative path, she found that a lighting piece “weighs ounces but holds such weight in beauty.”
Working from her studio, Graves sculpts in porcelain, fires the vessel, then casts it with handmade papers. The result is a light “soft and muted, in shapes pure and organic.” Graves’ lighting enchants its surroundings, indoors or out. “Part of what brings me joy in this work is seeing a person’s face when they enter an installation,” she says. “People are drawn to their warmth and natural form and the ethereal way they sway in a breeze.”
Many couples want to treat their guests to a little keepsake or gift to remember their day by, especially one that is locally made and expressive of the region where they wanted to celebrate their marriage. We have compiled some of our favorite local wedding favors to help you find the perfect takeaway for your guests! These lovely gifts are also the perfect items to add to welcome baskets, along with a bottle of local wine of course, for a touch of true hospitality and the special charm that is unique to Charlottesville.
Give a sweet gift with Sourwood Farm honey. Harvested in the fields of the Blue Ridge, it is as lovely as its sweet bottle. Wine-soaked oak balls from the barrels at First Colony Winery are great for flavoring a grill and they smell amazing! A preppy key fob from Barrons-Hunter with custom engraved leather is trendy and allows for a more personalized gift.
Jam According to Daniel is a favorite at our popular farmer’s market each Saturday and is sure to delight. Give your guests word search wine coasters made by St. Brigid’s Press. Time-honored processes stamp the letters to make for a charming gift idea.
Naturally moisturizing Wynott Goat Milk Soap bars are made with love and are available in an assortment of heavenly scents with custom labels for your event. A seasoning blend based on an old family recipe, Peg’s Salt uses more than 20 spices and kosher salt, and would be a great addition to any guest’s spice cabinet. Fairweather Farm Tea, is 100 percent home-grown in Piedmont. Short of taking a cup of hot water out to a field and dropping herbs in it, you will not find crisper local tea.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pups, one of the latest creation from local chocolatier Tim Gearhart are a delicious and adorable gift for your guests. President Obama and the French prime minister enjoyed Gearhart’s chocolates last year, so your guests will be in fine company.
Looking for that perfect “something new,” or perhaps a gift for your bridesmaids? Local jewelers have unique customizable designs to help you find a timeless accessory. Meet local jewelers Ana Cavalheiro, Erin McDermott, Tricia Humphreys and Suz Somersall—each uniquely inspired and creating amazing jewelry.
“Jewelry making is personal,” says Ana Cavalheiro. A native of Lisbon, Portugal, Cavalheiro worked in Paris where she discovered her love of jewelry making. Now, she revels in making custom pieces for clients and always insists on conversations in her initial consultations so that the pieces have emotional value, get worn and eventually become family heirlooms. Cavalheiro finds inspiration in the castles of her native Portugal, as well as in geometrics. This is reflected in the names of her collections, including “Castles and Queens,” “Arabian” and “Pearls.” Cavalheiro’s intent is to create items for special events—such as weddings.
Erin McDermott first fell in love with jewelry making at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City after taking a jewelry design class. Now excelling at creating modern and unique jewelry, McDermott is able to inspire others. At the bottom of every page of her website, the phrase “I aspire to design jewelry that will inspire you” is visible in large, unapologetic letters. According to McDermott, her passion is “to design and handcraft jewelry that makes you feel beautiful, ‘put together’ and confident.” She is inspired everyday by the world around her, and her pieces are a fresh and modern spin on the classics. They are easy to wear all day and will express each woman’s personality at all times.
Owner of GotRocks Jewelry Design, Tricia Humphreys first began designing and making jewelry when she and her sister, Cha Roberts, discovered a bead shop on a rainy day at the beach. Humphreys began crafting necklaces with the beads and, along the way, she was inspired to re-purpose the antique jewelry pieces she’d been collecting for years while tying in her beading hobby. Since she first started GotRocks, she has been blending the old with the new. By disassembling the outdated accessories and then re-purposing them, “older pieces get new life,” says Humphreys. Thanks to her creativity and vision, the sweet gestures of yesterday can be given new homes.
Suz Somersall’s love of jewelry began at an early age. Surrounded by the extravagance of her hometown of New Orleans, Somersall was never without inspiration. Filled with French and Spanish influences, New Orleans was the perfect muse. As an undergraduate at Brown University, Somersall was inspired when she studied silhouetted works. But, her passion for design really began to flourish during her travels in Japan. Throughout the years, Somersall has discovered many different locations with varying cultures, landscapes and histories that continue to inspire her work. Her amazing life experiences have found their way into her work, producing equally amazing jewelry.
The modern groom is a man who understands what it means to wear his father’s cuff links and his grandfather’s pocket watch on the day of his wedding. This blend of vintage charm with personal meaning will remind any groom of the men who helped shape him into someone worthy of marrying his bride.
With a fresh haircut, fitted tuxedo, crisp shirt and polished shoes, grooms will be ready to confidently wait for their soon-to-be wife as she comes down the aisle—a vision of loveliness.
Personal touches, like custom-embroidered ties, will help make the day unforgettable for the couple. Matching cuff links are a classic way to add personality to an attire and are a tried-and-true gift for groomsmen. After all, a groom has shared a lot of adventures with his groomsmen, who are about to see him off on his biggest adventure yet. So, why not thank them with a little gift?
For other gift ideas, choose from a wide array of leather goods from Charlottesville artisans. Leather-tabbed braces, personalized belts and grosgrain key fobs to match the wedding palette or school colors are all great keepsakes. Or, consider something more traditional such as an elegant money clip similar to that pictured below from local jeweler Jason McLeod. It is both practical and classic.
While getting ready for this new adventure, grooms remember the memories and moments that have led them to this very day. The woman of his dreams has agreed to spend the rest of her life with him, and everything is set and ready to go! “You may kiss your bride.”
Wedding party favors are a thoughtful touch that will enhance any reception theme and can be as minimalistic or extravagant as the bride and groom desire. From traditional ones, like bubbles and sachets, to modern ones, such as succulents and jars of olive oil, favors are a great way to show guests you appreciate them sharing your special day. And just like any other detail of a wedding, favors go through trends. Here are just a few cute trending party favor ideas from 2015.
While edible favors have always been an option, traditionally that option was jordan almonds. Over the past few years, personalized iced cookies have become an overwhelming favorite, and for good reason. Perfectly sized treats, easy to personalize and fairly inexpensive, they go great with any decor. Order from your favorite local bakery, or even do-it-yourself, and guests can enjoy at their leisure either during the wedding or at home. This favor trend is enjoyed by attendees of all ages and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The world of edible favors is not limited to cookies, however. Truffles or homemade chocolate wedding favors, candy conversation hearts and gourmet coffee or tea are also good favor ideas. Bite-sized treats are great because, let’s face it, people love to eat and you can always find a taker for leftovers! They require minimal effort and pack a lot of points with guests.
One of the biggest trends in weddings overall is sourcing locally. So it comes as no surprise that small jam, honey and oil jars made with locally sourced produce have become wildly popular. Cute, delicate and useful, these favors are great year round. It’s as easy as going to the local farmer’s market and filling an array of jars with seasonal offerings. To customize for guests of themes, try adding different spices to oils, or for the really ambitious, make a large batch of jam with fresh berries and top with a personalized label. These gifts have a long shelf life, leaving your guests with a sweet reminder of your special day!
With the development of photo-technology comes the growing and lasting trend of customizable picture favors. A few years ago, putting your face on M&Ms was a remarkable feat. Now, any betrothed couple can customize their day with labels printed at their own home! From wine bottles to honey jars, send your guests home with any image imaginable. Couples can now also create photo opportunities at the wedding, by either setting up a take-it-yourself photo area with silly hats, mustaches and glasses or by providing a photo booth where guests receive a printed favor. Providing a photo favor adds to the experience of the reception as well as creates lasting memories.