From signs and name cards, to bespoke save the dates and wedding invitations, calligraphy is an enduring wedding trend that continues to captivate brides and grooms and their guests. And luckily, Charlottesville is home to some gifted calligraphers, like Jen Maton of local If So Inklined. So, if you are interested in a wedding DIY project, or perhaps want to learn how to add an extra touch to your thank you notes, check out these tips from Maton for getting started in the beautiful craft:
Take a deep breathe and relax. A glass of wine helps with that!
Remember that when you press down on the pen, you will create thick lines and when you lift up you will create thin lines. Another way to put it is: the upstroke = thin and the downstroke = thick.
Use only high quality tools and materials. A little extra money spent, goes a lot further. Cheap pens will result in frustration. The upcoming class teaches what different tools you can use to achieve modern brush lettering and where to buy them.
Practice makes perfect! Practice sheets are the key to success.
Have fun! The upcoming class is structured to teach you brush lettering in a low key ( stress free way ).
If you are interested in learning more about this beautiful art form, Maton is teaching a Modern Brush Pen Calligraphy class at local wedding venue Early Mountain Vineyards, this Sunday, February 24, from 1–3pm. Tickets can be purchased for the event here. You can also see Maton featured in Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, Volume 2.
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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.”
Like the legendary SoHo, jet-setters discover CHO-ho has a unique and creative style of its own. Here, we shout out some of our favorite items from local stores that exude Charlottesville’s uniquely chic country style. Each of these items would make for the perfect wedding accessory or gift!
Create the perfect summer wedding look with these fun and eye-catching items. On the left is Pink Palm‘s Harlow Bib Necklace in magenta, which provides a nice pop of color for a bold statement. Or, try stepping out in one of Charlottesville’s favorite shoes—the Napa Valley flat sandals by designer Jack Rogers, which are made with cork and gold stitching. And for the gents, you can’t go wrong with a classic bow-tie! This navy and gold striped design from Natty Beau will complement any dressed-up look. These would also make for perfect items to put on your wedding registry!
Another place to look for stylish wedding apparel would be Barrons-Hunter. Founded by UVA graduates, Barrons-Hunter offers the highest quality and best-looking men’s accessories available in Charlottesville. Check out these UVA-inspired braces that the groomsmen can wear!
Looking for a gift to give your husband-to-be? This round watch with calfskin band from Brooks Brothers makes for a precious memento to give your special someone on your wedding day.
You can find more of our favorite Charlottesville finds in the latest issue of Wine & Country Livinghere.
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.
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.”
Located in the countryside of Central Virginia, Charlottesville is surrounded by rolling fields and statuesque trees all framed by arresting mountaintops. With all its stunning natural beauty, Jefferson’s Virginia is the perfect place to hold an outdoor wedding.
With sweeping landscapes and a multitude of great venues available, there’s no better backdrop for wedding pictures. Whether bordering your photos with the undulating peaks of the Blue Ridge or the lush vines of a splendid vineyard, the stunning natural light and colors will make any couple glow.
Outdoor weddings also provide an array of opportunities to incorporate new ideas, items and aesthetics that aren’t options at indoor weddings. The expansive open space makes it possible to play with seating arrangements, aisle configurations, decorations, musical entertainment and even allows for inviting special animal guests!
Repurposed wine barrels make great table or seats for guests. Large arbors covered in flowers or incorporated straight from nature create a stunning spectacle to surround a couple as they take their vows of love and promise. Tree limbs become convenient canopies and hangers while leaves ingratiate flawlessly into color schemes.
After the ceremony, guests will continue to be enamored with breathtaking views during the reception or cocktail hour. While casually conversing with friends or enjoying a fine wine, the open-air seating will extend guests’ experiences to enjoying artful surroundings and perhaps inspire discussion!
As day turns to night and the sun fades into twilight, outdoor weddings provide a venue to utilize brilliant pyrotechnics. Sparkler send offs, mounds of patterned, criss-crossed fairy lights and fireworks create a magical evening experience all will be sure to remember.
Ethereally lit tents provide shelter and ambience for guests worried about Mother Nature’s fickle personality, while also supplying an amazing venue for attendees to dance the night away. These tents further provide freedom to play with atmospheric lighting in a way that indoor receptions hinder. Having a wedding out of doors can provide ample opportunities to expand anyone’s wedding pallet while enjoying nature’s richness.
On a beautiful May afternoon in the heart of Spring, Sara & Enrique were wed at the picturesque Veritas Vineyard & Winery. The couple, overjoyed on their special day, exuded a love contagious to all in attendance. For Sara, they “achieved a perfect mix of our personalities through our wedding. It was vintage, romantic and whimsical.”
Sara’s vision for the decor was presented perfectly in her bouquet by Blue Ridge Floral Design. A cluster of ivory roses and peonies with touches of soft baby’s breath and hints of pink, the flowers evoked the true essence of vintage romance. The dress by Betsy Robinson Bridal caught the light with its intricate beadwork arranged in a striking pattern, complementing the twinkle on her heels.
The groomsmen came dressed to impress in royal blue Calvin Klein tuxes that harmonized flawlessly with the bridal party. “All bridesmaids wore a shade of pink and in different styles, all selected individually,” Sara says. With bridal preparations finished with hair and style by Jeanne Cusick, the party was ready to process down the aisle.
Set to the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Veritas Vineyard & Winery’s lovely estate, the wedding party, friends and family cheered as Sara and Enrique exchanged rings. Keeping with the core vintage feel and giving the wedding a deeply personal touch, the bride received her mother’s wedding band while the groom received his grandfather’s.
Ceremony complete, guests headed to the reception, where “the mismatched vintage plates and beautiful flowers added great color to the room,” Sara says. And decorating the plates were menus to peruse by Fig 2 Design atop linens by MS Events. Appetites quenched with a delicious dinner by Veritas Vineyard & Winery, all in attendance danced the night away to music by Sound Connection beneath bistro lighting by Blue Ridge Light Forms. From an array of adorable and unique desserts to a traditional wedding cake and the Carpe Donut truck, all taste buds were satisfied. For Sara, “the S’mores are our favorite dessert and were available as a late night snack along with the donut truck, our favorite breakfast. We also incorporated a beautiful wedding cake made from my job (at the) Four Seasons.”
Nisha and Jay hosted a colorful celebration of love and diversity on August 15, 2015. Like the couple, the ceremony married Indian and Jewish cultures in order to create a unique and stunning experience. Jay arrived on white horse during a traditional Barrat wedding procession. Friends and family lead the way by dancing to the ceremony location on The Market at Grelen’s Stone Terrace.
Set to the beautifully open backdrop at The Market at Grelen, a colorful chuppah created by Real Southern Accents perfectly framed and accented the scenery as the couple exchanged vows. Punctuated by the ritual breaking of the glass, the ceremony transitioned effortlessly into cocktail hour in Grelen’s Greenhouse and Potting Shed. Nisha and Jay took the time to record their special day with photographer Katie Santmyer of KSant Photography before joining the festivities at the reception.
Grelen’s expansive 4,500 square-foot tent with custom blue stone flooring welcomed guests in enjoying lots of dancing, challah, cigars, scotch and s’mores.
Guests dined on a locally sourced menu from Mike Lund Food that was created to excite the vast array of tastes present, from meat-eaters to vegans. Friends and family dance and dined while surrounded by the breathtaking table settings coordinated by Logan Powell of Real Southern Accents who used a collection of vintage plates and farm tables from her own collection.