Matt and I share a passion for design and so creating a concept and carrying that all the way through the wedding was very important to us. The first step on that path was finding a venue that not only lent itself to our aesthetic but would shine on its own without requiring a lot of doctoring up on our part, merely highlights and accents to compliment it. We were looking for a clean, architectural space with an aesthetic that mixed modern with traditional. We fell in love with Pippin Hill the instant we drove up the winding drive through the vineyard. The view, the calming and neutral palette, and attention to detail were everything we were looking for in a space.
Since we share a strong affection for Virginia, both having attended college here and with me doing much of my growing up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge, we knew we wanted to pay tribute to that. In addition, we expected that over 90% of our guests would be traveling from out of town to the wedding as both of our families hail from the northeast. Because of that we wanted to highlight items that Virginia is known for so that each guests could enjoy and really take in the experience. We used hand-painted chalkboard signs with the same silhouette as our marquee sign to highlight the Virginia Peanuts we selected for our parting gifts and served only local brews from Charlottesville’s Starr Hill brewery…this along with the wonderful range of Michael Schnapps curated wines that Pippin Hill offers.
The food at Pippin Hill also carried our desire to celebrate Virginia locally sourced ingredients. Highlights include a salad of wonderfully smooth smoked mozzarella combined with the sweetness of sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes from Sing Earth’s Farms and the wild salmon crusted with herbs from Pippin Hill’s own garden.
Going into our wedding we knew we wanted to highlight not only Virginia but also our strength as designers. Matt designs and builds sets for local theatres and one of my favorite elements from the wedding is the custom marquee sign Matt designed and built (with help from my dad) out of rustic barn siding salvaged from a dismantled barn on the property of the nearby DuCard Vineyard. Each letter was meticulously hand cut from wood, hand painted, attached to the textured backdrop, then highlighted with old fashioned string lights. Another one of my favorite items was the hand-made pennant flags I crafted with the help of a good friend of mine. Each was hand painted and sewn by hand using different patterned and color fabric backing. We sprinkled the space with antique blue mason jars glistening with the light of candles and made the space pop with bright coral, blue, and yellow accents in the dresses of the bridesmaids and in the flowers.
Our biggest challenge on the day of our wedding was the tropical storm that threatened to move our outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour inside. As the ceremony drew closer the sky became darker and the wind stronger. The chairs on the lawn began to tumble away and the AV designer kept moving equipment back into the safety of the barn. Our day of coordinator, Kyle from A Dominick Events, remained calm and kept me abreast on all our options and really helped me to relax. There was no scenario she hadn’t thought of. After all, if our wedding was going to be relocated it wasn’t going to be because of a sprinkle! But the sky cleared and a wonderful mix of cloud and light was created in the sky. Our photographer capitalized on this moment and moved us outdoors to snap some photos. I’m pretty sure she photographed the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen that day.
The day was magical, and went by so fast. Our wedding was everything we both wanted it to be from the small details, like the monogrammed “K” necklace Matt gave me just as we were walking to our first dance, to the grand gestures, like the band that had us dancing all night. Virginia is for lovers!
Matt and I met on my first day at RTKL Associates, a prominent international architecture and design firm in DC, and my first job after graduating from college. He had been an interior architect with the firm for four years when I arrived. We hit it off right away and six years later we got engaged. We went on weeklong camping trips, rock climbing excursions, and doing weekend wine tours.
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