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Virginia Vineyard Wedding

Today’s wedding is a study in all things lovely and cohesive. Christine and Tim met when they were just teenagers but their wedding eight years later was a grownup vineyard affair with quirky and personalized details. They handmade so many elements of their wedding day that the details came together to perfectly summarize their long courtship and their hopes for their marriage. The little graphic design elements- from those sweet silhouettes to the lovely paper goods- pull together the hundreds of ideas the couple gathered during their engagement to present a beautiful wedding weekend to their family and friends. A huge thanks to the oh-so-talented Heidi from Our Labor of Love by Heidi for sending it over!

al fresco vineyard wedding
From the bride, Christine: When we got engaged, we both knew that Charlottesville was where we would say our vows. It is a vibrant college town where I’d recently graduated, surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills, orchards, and vineyards and defined by a Southern charm and welcoming vibe unlike anywhere else. Take all that, add the stunning colors of fall, and you’ve got a little slice of what Tim and I are all about. We wanted to bottle that warmth and create a unique, personalized event by bringing together all those people we love most in a comfortable, relaxed, and most importantly FUN atmosphere where they could kick back, share a glass of wine, and become woven into the romantic history of the area.

al fresco vineyard wedding

al fresco vineyard wedding
Instead of a single wedding day, we chose a three-day wedding weekend so that our guests could have a getaway in Charlottesville; we hosted a bride vs. groom family soccer and frisbee match on the UVA Lawn, an apple-picking exploration in the orchards, and toured Jefferson’s Monticello. By wedding day, there was a magical buzz as everyone from all sides of our lives came together to create one cohesive family. It was exactly the feeling we’d both envisioned but never imagined would play out so perfectly.

Our goal for the wedding was to achieve homey, rustic, Virginian warmth. Our color scheme really played off the incredible fall tones evident in the grape vines and treetops in Charlottesville in October. Beyond that, our florist, Pat Roberts, was a genius at reading our minds in terms of turning our (sometimes scattered) ideas into an incredible, unifying reality.
al fresco vineyard wedding
Tim and I are high school sweethearts. We actually met on the first day of school our freshman year on the gym bleachers (and that’s where Tim proposed eight years later!) With that sort of history, it was only fitting that we get married in a spot where history surrounds you. The University of Virginia chapel is a gorgeous but intimate stone building in the middle of Grounds (UVA students don’t use the word “campus”) just adjacent to the Rotunda and the beautiful colonnades of the UVA Lawn. Its interior is defined by bold stained glass scenes and dark, rich wood tones. The location allowed us to have a lunch reception in a nearby garden after which we had UVA student guides lead our guests on a historic tour of Jefferson’s University, which is also a World Heritage Site.
stitched wedding programs
The reception site was a bit more complicated. After spending a full day hopping from vineyard to vineyard, Tim, my mom and I were tired, cranky, and ready to give up. We had one more stop and almost decided to forget it and head home! Thank goodness we didn’t, because as soon as we drove down the long, gravel lane to the gates outside Delfosse Vineyard and Winery, we knew we’d found something special. Nestled in the Charlottesville hills, Delfosse is a French-style vineyard with incredible wines and an even more impressive location and ambience. The property has a historic log cabin with a large, wrap-a-round porch overlooking the expansive views where we held our cocktail hour and a large open terrace where the dinner and reception took place. It was made even more perfect by the fact that the winery is owned and operated by one of my French teachers from the high school where Tim and I met!
al fresco vineyard wedding
After commissioning a graphic artist from New York to design a personalized silhouette as our cohesive wedding “icon”, we designed and then printed, lined, and hand crafted our invitations, welcome bag paper goods, programs, and menus with supplies from The Paper Source. We found a budding wedding calligrapher on Etsy for our envelopes.

We created our own welcome bags with goodies that had played prominent roles in our relationship or were special to Charlottesville. They included Old Dominion root beer, Route 11 Potato chips, Virginia salted peanuts, Swedish fish, sour patch kids, bottled water, and Juicy Fruit gum. We also included a welcome letter, custom map of the area, and lists of our favorite restaurants, bars, historic sites, hiking spots, and wineries.
stitched wedding programs
We used iron-on transfers of Tim and I’s individual silhouettes to customize the burlap runners we’d created for each table.My mom created the mason jar chandeliers that hung from the clear top tent at the reception. She aged 6- and 8-foot wooden planks and then screwed the mason jar tops into holes she’d drilled into the planks. The pillar candles illuminated the tent with a soft, romantic glow throughout the entire night!
al fresco vineyard wedding
I used an old window I’d salvaged from the trash and a white ink pen to create our seating assignment chart.We designed all the table names after funny memories, mostly self-deprecating humor of embarrassing moments, from our years together. Each card had a name on one side and the story on the other.
stitched wedding programs

al fresco vineyard wedding
We hand stamped hundreds of white paper bags with our custom silhouette to create lanterns to illuminate the walk down from the cocktail hour in a historic cabin on the property to the reception tent down below. This was also the pathway we drove back up to get to the cabin where we spent our wedding night!
al fresco vineyard wedding

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? I think a lot of brides question whether taking the time and energy to dabble in what might seem like minute details is really worth it. To me, what made Tim and I’s nuptials so incredibly special were the personalized details we’d worked on together over the course of the prior year – from the paper goods we’d designed and hand crafted individually to the violinist and trumpeter Tim had secretly hired to play during the recessional a la “Love Actually” to the surprise groom’s cake inspired by a book Tim had written as a second grader to the table names based on hilarious and/or important moments during our long courtship to the dance Tim and I’d choreographed for our first dance (which included a “Dirty Dancing” element and the robot). These were the things that made our day “ours,” and they are the things that our guests continue to bring up time and time again. So, my advice is to go for it – take the extra time, listen to every crazy idea that pops into your head and make it happen. It’s completely and entirely worth it!

The corresponding piece of advice is to book your key vendors as early as possible and pay attention to reviews and references. That way you have a creative, reliable crew who can execute the big picture stuff and free up time for you to focus on your own special, personalized additions!

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Wedding Songs:
Processional: Canon in D by Pachelbel, played by my little brother on saxophone
Recessional: Hallelujah Chorus by Handel, played by our long-time friend and professional organist Donny Isaac and two UVA students on violin/trumpet Tim hired as a surprise (mimicking the opening scene from Love Actually)
First Dance: “Everything” by Michael Buble, remixed and played live by our amazing band, 10 Spot

Wedding Vendors (Charlottesville, Virginia):

Ceremony Venue: University of Virginia chapel / Reception Venue: Delfosse Vineyard and Winery, Faber, Virginia / Photographer: Our Labor of Love by Heidi / Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston, Vineyard Collection “Maeve” gown / Veil: cathedral-length, also from Priscilla of Boston / Wedding Shoes: bronze Enzo Angiolini heels / Hair and Makeup: Julia Shifflett (no website) / Bridesmaids dresses: mistmatched from Anthropologie, J.Crew, Banana Republic and other small boutiques / Groom and Groomsmen suits: Heritage Italian wool shadow plaid suit vests and pants from Banana Republic, different color Argyle socks from Brooks Brothers / Wedding Band: 10 Spot / Caterer: Pierce at 20 South / Flowers: Pat’s Florals / Bride and Groom Wedding Cakes: Paradox Pastry / Donuts: Carpe Donut / Stationery: silhouettes designed by BDUB / Calligraphy: Danielle Writes / Transportation: Vintage 1959 MA convertible from Sports Car Rentals

17 Comments on Virginia Vineyard Wedding

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  • 1

    What a beautiful story behind this wedding! And I love all of the details, especially the ceative seating chart and the homemade mason jar lighting. Incredible work!

    Reply
  • 2

    This wedding is absolutely incredible. Definitely going into my inspiration folder. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 3

    Beautiful! Absolutely stunning pics, and such a wonderful setting too. This is a lovely story :-)

    Reply
  • 4
    A day in the life of a bride on February 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I absolutely love the salvaged window seating chart. Overall I love all the personal touches to this wedding. Those are always the best!

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  • 5

    Charlotte is an amazing city! Love these photos, especially the one of the bride and groom driving away and the hills in the background!

    Reply
  • 6
    Hot Chocolates - Chocolate Fountain Hire on February 22, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Love the style of this wedding… very rustic with some neat touches!! Love it! :)

    Reply
  • 7
    Amma // Beyond Beyond on February 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

    There is such a gentle sensibility to all of the images and that is the beauty of these shots. So, calming and soothing to look at – I also love all the little touches, and the silhouette motif is a really nice touch. Really, really, lovely

    Reply
  • 8

    I am the bride’s aunt and I must say the entire wedding weekend was magical, every detail tended to, this was a testament to my incredibly talented neice and my sister

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  • 9

    Love the florals and I love how they named the tables after funny memories. Must have been a lot of fun for the guests!

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  • 10

    Thanks for featuring this wedding, one of my favorites to date.

    Reply
  • 11

    This wedding tugs my heartstrings oh so much…the Husband and I had our first date at a Charlottesville winery and still love Virginia wines. We’ve never been to Delfosse, and now I really want to go! This party really captures the essence of old-world Virginia. Thank you so much for sharing this and bringing back so many of my own wonderful memories!

    Reply
  • 12

    LOVE IT!
    We’re doing a wedding this spring close to UVA – I’m from VA so I hold Charlottesville close to heart, I’ve spent some time in visiting the area through the years, you really captured the images beautifully, not only of the wedding but the culture that comes through the people, and area. CONGRATS on a beautiful wedding!

    Reply
  • 13

    The seating plan on the glass looks fabulous! and I love the image of the couple driving off into the distance!

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  • 14

    Thanks so much to everyone for your kind words! Tim and I poured our hearts into all the little details of our big day and it paid off a thousandfold in the memories and friendships created throughout the weekend amongst all our different loved ones. Charlottesville is an incredible place – everyone should visit and enjoy the beauty and wonderful culture!

    Reply
  • 15

    What a beautiful wedding Christine! I ran across this entry at the best time because I was debating on if having a weekend wedding would make sense in Charlottesville. Your photos and your story proves it is the best place!!! Congrats!

    Reply
  • 16

    LOVE your flower colours – am doing something similar but with summer blooms.

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  • 17

    Oh My Gosh!

    This has to be one of the most beautiful weddign that I have seen. I am getting married this June, and I want to make your EXACT burlap runners with the sillouettes. Can you pretty please give me all of the details?! What did you make the sillouettes from? Etc. These will be the perfect finishing touch that I need, and want to get started on them ASAP! Anything that you could givem e would make my day, I have been trying to figure out how I could make them all day, and just decided to ask! Thank you so much!
    My email is brittanitigert@gmail.com

    Such an amazing job! Such a beautiful wedding!!!
    :)

    Reply

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