The natural beauty of area vineyards and mountain views draws couples to celebrate their weddings in Charlottesville. Breathtaking landscapes and endless greenery set the stage for a perfect romantic wedding reception.
The perfect wedding decor will allure, dazzle and welcome your wedding guests for a memorable evening. The blending of candles and graceful warm lights, overflowing flower arrangements, sparkling metals and flowing linens can transform your venue into a magical setting. (Photographer: Jen Fariello Photography; Venue: Keswick Hall; Florals: Southern Blooms; Design: Shindig Weddings)
When decorating, begin with the lighting to create an ambiance that will transform the atmosphere of your reception. Using antique chandeliers or tiny twinkling lights overhead can add instant elegance and warmth like the sculptural cascade of fairy lights at Castle Hill Cider below. (Photo by Rachel May Photography)
Lush florals will liven your tablesetting with color and texture. For a rustic touch, consider table runners, like the delicate lace runners below, to showcase a wooden farm table. Clustering votives into small groups in between your floral arrangements can add a warm glow to your table. (Photographer: Rachel May Photography; Venue: The Clifton Inn; Florals: Amanda Veronee)
Bamboo chairs circling wooden tables draped in light blue linens and decorated with softly lit votives is a trendy way to incorporate your color scheme. Tents for outdoor receptions provide an additional canvas, adding all-around elegance (Photo by Jen Fariello Photography).
Decorate the bride and groom’s chairs like those at Clifton Inn (shown below) with personalized calligraphy signs and greenery for a charming look. Numbered table cards can also embrace and display your style while helping your guests find their seats (Photo on left by Sarah Cramer Shields; Photo on right by Robert Radifera Photography).
Wherever your style falls—simple or elaborate—memorable décor will leave your guests inspired. (Rachel May Photography)
Celebrate your Engagement with a Glamorous Farm-to-Table Party
It is officially engagement season! Throw a chic and elegant engagement party this winter by incorporating seasonal décor. Beautiful and bold, rich gold is the perfect touch to add romance and a polished look to your celebration. Host your party at a beautiful country venue and add a rustic setting to contrast the gold. This bride-to-be chose one of Mount Ida Farm & Vineyard‘s beautiful manors to celebrate her engagement.
Winter offers ample opportunities to create an atmosphere exuding trendy country glamour. Authentic natural elements like antlers give décor an amazing sculptural quality that can be incorporated from the stationary to the centerpieces. Surprise your guests with small gifts on their dinner placecards, like cuff links and earrings. The earrings pictured above are Gold Pave Venezia Stud earrings by Suz Somersall.
In setting a particular table, begin with choosing gold pieces to feature such as the flecked goblets and gold-rimmed plates the hostess hand-selected. Tapered candles and delicate votives cast a glow on guests’ place settings, dancing gracefully over the glittering touches. Adding greenery plucked right from your garden adds homey accents. Arrange a variety of winter greens for the foundation of your floral display and add some berries, pine cones, late blooms and seed heads for variety and texture.
Gilding your party décor with touches of romantic gold—bringing in the rustic charm of natural elements—is the perfect way to create an elegant tablescape for celebrating with your guests this season. Once your vision is set, you can enjoy the company of friends and family and toast to your new engagement.
Each year, styles, colors and patterns arise as favorites among florists and floral designers. The drive to create more innovative arrangements that incorporate unique greenery and natural elements has led to a stunning and creative year for florals. The recent trend toward larger arrangements left floral designers with plenty of room to play and amaze wedding parties and guests each season.
The intricately detailed arrangement has become a staple in a couple’s wedding décor. With brides being more selective when choosing their floral designers, they are drawing in the photographer’s attention to capture their stunning arrangements. From the bouquets held by the bride and her bridesmaids as they walk down the aisle to the centerpieces decorating the middle of the reception tables, flowers have the ability to enhance the mood of any wedding.
Adding non-floral elements to a bouquet or display adds both texture and dimension that may not be available in the traditional floral trends. Distinct additions to a bridal bouquet, such as feathers, berries and herbs, can also subtly speak to the bride’s personality while flattering and complementing her dress and jewelry.
Gone are the days of traditionally round and vertical-shaped flower arrangements. Bountiful overflowing bouquets thrived in this year’s floral trends. Many brides opted for horizontal bouquets filled with different blooms and greenery, allowing brides to make a statement without hiding her breathtaking dress. Often, brides combined the trend of extra foliage with this horizontal layout to create an even more unique natural appearance like those above.
As overflowing floral trends graced the wedding world this year, some brides are still choosing a traditional look. Incorporating the longstanding tradition of a rounder, more tailored bouquet, brides chose arrangements with a mixture of similar or complementing toned flowers and other greenery. Using different flowers of similar color adds a unique modern twist to a well-known style—embracing the year’s “wild” and natural trends.
Floral trends have started to seep into every aspect of a couple’s wedding, from flower headbands and jewelry to adorning the bride and groom’s chairs at the head table. Brides and flower girls alike walk down the aisles with flower crowns weaved into their hairstyles. These bohemian inspired floral accessories fit well with the natural and wild floral trends.
This past year, 2016, was a leading example of how adding unique touches to a wedding can transform it into something strikingly unforgettable. The growing trends toward larger arrangements and floral accessories have allowed floral designers more room to display their creative skills, and the results—amazing.
“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.”
‘Tis the season of outdoor weddings, when all the luxuries of open-air spaces create a romantic and memorable scene. From the table setting and floral arrangements to picking the perfect dishes and drinks, your wedding reception can portray elegance and set the tone for all. No matter the location of your reception, personal touches can bring any space together in a cohesive manner. Just as Augusta and Brandon decorated the stunning veranda at Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard, couples alike can create a simplistic décor, exuding elegance.
On the outdoor patio, a long table dressed in white filled the length of the space. Bamboo folding chairs added a unique touch to the overall style that blended well with the feel of the veranda. The overhead roof provided just enough shelter to its guests, bringing together the best of the indoor and outdoor experience. Local venues such as Pippin Hill are quintessentially located in the heart of Virginia wine country and are occasionally on vineyard properties as this one. With breathtaking panoramic views and accommodations for guest and hosts, these venues create perfect spaces for a celebration with friends and family.
Augusta and Brandon let their personality shine through from beginning to end. Summer beverages awaited guests to help keep them cool, and belvoir fruit farm drinks were nestled in ice in concrete patio buckets, offering guests tastes of elderflower and rose. For another seasonal touch, little baskets of local treats were prepared for the guests to take home, filled with samplings of Caromont cheese, honeycomb and apricots.
Throughout the course of the celebration, guests were spoiled with signature cocktails and wine. Grilled summer asparagus, complete with a sunny-side up quail egg and Virginia country ham, and delicious tempura green beans with a horasa aioli dip were favorites of the evening meal. The ingredients used by Chef Amalia Scatena were both sourced locally and also grown in the chef’s garden on the Pippin Hill property.
Spring and summer offer ample opportunities to use natural elements in your wedding décor. The florals included pretty pastels and apricot, while the pale blue accents in the plates and votive candleholders added a subtle masculine flare. When choosing a pastel color palette, you can balance it with greenery, creating a fresh welcoming appeal. For the bar, add greenery mixed in with the delectable dish being served or scatter it around the space with the additional plants. Your guests will be delighted by the attention to detail as they celebrate al fresco and enjoy the scents from the nearby vines blowing in the breeze. For tabletop bouquets, stick with hues that are more natural, since the space flows seamlessly from indoors to outside.
In setting a spectacular table, begin with the selected color scheme followed by the dining ware. Providing guests with a menu of what will be served is a creative way to add character to your setting. Tapered candles and delicate votives cast a glow on guests’ place settings when the sun sets on the horizon. Arranging the candles and desired floral elements throughout the space will be key to tying in seasonal aspects to the outdoor mood. It will also make it easier to choose just the right lighting pieces for your theme. In addition to the votive candles on the table, Augusta and Brandon used a variety of lighting, incorporating lanterns and torchieres around the veranda for some natural candlelight, and hanging lanterns and mini fogs to set the ambiance.
Augusta and Brandon’s reception was a success—bringing together friends and family over a delicious meal in the summer air. This season, let nature inspire your décor when celebrating al fresco. Once you have finalized all the little details and your big day arrives, you will be able to enjoy the outdoor setting and the company of your guests.
Fabulous Food – Entertain in elegance by adding a unique touch to your table with foodie items like fruits, meats, cheeses and more! Create the mood for any occasion by creatively displaying your dishes or by using your foodie favorites to accent your decor. Balance your color palettes with the tasty treats or use them to add that burst of color to a non-traditional display. Your guests will ooh and aww well after the event is over.
For a splash of color, try mixing some fresh mandarine oranges with homemade, jarred jams and jellies. The floral arrangements, decorative pillows and simplistic place mats will make the scene picture perfect.
For a more simplistic and elegant event, use your foodie items in an eye-catching way. Decorate a handsomely folded napkin with a piece of rosemary from the garden, or prepare a spread of cheeses paired with locally made honeys and jams. The display will be irresistible…that is until they taste the homemade honey on a piece of delicious gorgonzola cheese.
Fine china sets stacked at each setting, supporting a freshly made puff-pastry or croissant will also do the trick. Guests’ mouths will be watering from the moment they sit down in front of this delectable treat.
Direct all eyes to the elegant dishes of pork soaking in sweetness from fresh peaches and pineapples and of shrimp decorated with grilled radishes and vegetables. The sea-glass squared plates add an attractive, high-end appeal and play nicely with the bright whites and natural greens of the bouquets.
For a more picturesque table setting in true farm-to-table style, pair silver-rimmed flutes, white fine china dishes and crystal glasses with a cascading center piece. The focus will never leave the arrangement of fruits, vegetables and homemade spreads. Top it off with a pear or gourd place-card at each setting.
To make any buffet beautiful, customize each dish with a hosta leaf making the rich pinks of the beef pop. The scalloped-edged descriptor and tiny tea-lights create an appetizing mix. Make the guests feel special with a seasonal fruit compote in an etched crystal glass topped with a personalized tag. Compliment the treat with a unique pattern of a cloth napkin and fine-china plate.
For a more nontraditional center-piece, combine fruits and greens (eggplant, radishes, rosemary and pears). Paired with the crystal dishes and wine glasses, all eyes and stomachs will hone in on the beautiful display.