Google+ Elegant Virginia Vineyard Wedding by Jodi Miller - Southern Weddings

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There are two beautiful details that really stand out at Sara + Justin’s wedding: the gorgeous estate tables and the innovative ceremony backdrop. I’m a bit obsessed with estate tables, and the dark wood of S + J’s is the perfect blend of formal and farm table-esque. Now that ceremony backdrop – oh my loveliness! I was already smitten with the installation, and then I read that the paintings were created by Sara’s late grandmother. Wow, I’m so impressed how Sara + Justin were able to seamlessly incorporate such meaningful pieces in to their wedding. I also love Sara’s nod to tradition by wearing the same head piece as her mother and grandmother did.

Jodi Miller did a fabulous job capturing all the details and emotion of their big day.

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I wanted elegant flowers, but I also wanted to incorporate our love of cooking through the use of fresh herbs. The fresh herbs were such an amazing touch not only for their beauty, but for the scent that they perfumed throughout the ceremony and reception. I will never forget the sweet smells of rosemary and basil during our ceremony, blowing toward us from the wall of flowers and herbs behind us.

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Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We wanted to be able to spend as much time with our guests as possible. It also made the trip down the aisle a tad less nerve-wracking!

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I’m sure Sara’s grandmother is so honored to see her art displayed in such a lovely way.

Did you write your own vows? We didn’t, but our officiant used our own words in her address during the ceremony. Our favorite line from Justin’s interview with our officiant was, “Marriage means that I am guaranteed to have Sara as my best friend and partner for the rest of my life.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The Union by Robert Fulghum
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “In My Life” by the Beatles. I walked back up the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun”, by the Beatles. For our first dance, we danced to “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel.

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Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Justin and I both don’t particularly enjoy cake. I am an ice cream fan and he loves cookies. We had gelato provided by a local vendor in Charlottesville and our venue made three of Justin’s favorite homemade cookies. We are adventurous eaters so our gelato flavors included a chipotle chocolate and of course, ice cream sandwich making was encouraged.

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How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Justin and I met at our first job out of college at a consulting firm called BearingPoint. Justin had worked at BearingPoint since 2005 and I was hired and started in the late summer of 2007. Once I joined the firm, I was responsible for finding a project. As fate would have it, I was asked to interview for the same project that Justin was leading. The interview was not particularly great and during the post-interview discussion, one of Justin’s colleagues suggested I was too inexperienced for the project. While Justin didn’t agree with his colleague, the decision was tabled for another day. Fortunately, what I lacked in consulting experience, I more than made up for in shrewd negotiating skills. By the time Justin returned to his desk, he received a phone call from me suggesting that if the team did not act immediately, they would lose their opportunity to hire me. I assured Justin that I had offers from several teams at BearingPoint and needed to make a decision immediately. Backed into a corner, Justin panicked and with no real authority told me that I would receive an offer to join the team. While this gave Justin the unenviable task of explaining his new role of hiring manager to the actual hiring manager, I received an offer and the rest, as they say, is history.
Describe the proposal. Three years elapsed from the day we first met at BearingPoint to the day we booked a vacation together to Turks and Caicos. Having been through our first corporate bankruptcy (goodbye BearingPoint) and the beginning of two new jobs at rival consulting firms (hello Deloitte and PwC), stress dictated a need for some rest and relaxation in a tropical paradise. We both agreed Turks and Caicos presented the perfect option. The vacation was planned for January of 2011 and thus the engagement wheel was set in motion. In order to keep the engagement a secret until January, Justin had to buy a ring and keep the ring in his possession for two months. Needless to say, nobody thought he could do it…not even Justin. Justin was horrified by the idea of high pressured in person jewelry shopping. As evidenced by his anemic negotiating performance with me three years prior, he knew his strengths were not suited to deal with jewelry salesmen. Therefore, he did what any rational internet aged male would do and found an online establishment, performed weeks of research, and ultimately executed one of the largest purchases of his life sight unseen over the internet. Justin had to carefully coordinate the timing and subsequent delivery of the purchase so as to avoid detection. Justin chose two days before Thanksgiving. At the time, the date seemed perfect; close enough to a holiday to not arouse suspicion regarding a random work from home day for Justin but far enough from a holiday to prevent me from working from home. Unfortunately, the night before the ring was to be delivered, I mentioned offhand, “good news, my boss said I can work from home tomorrow…we will be able to hang out all day!” As you can imagine, terror and panic again shot through Justin’s body. Not knowing what to do he texted one of the our close friends, Kathleen. After some awkward cryptic text messages, Kathleen read between the lines and understood that I HAD to go to work. Kathleen called my boss and convinced her to make me go into work. Disaster averted. Despite a few minor hiccups between Thanksgiving and the vacation date, Justin was able to preserve the surprise for me. Once in Turks and Caicos, we went for a long walk on the beach. After some stealth maneuvering and good timing, Justin was able to find a quiet spot of sand overlooking the ocean. Just as the sun was setting over the Atlantic, Justin asked me to marry him. I quickly agreed and we spent the rest of the week having biking adventures, snorkeling, and eating and drinking like kings
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? 128
Did you write your own vows? We didn’t, but our officiant used our own words in her address during the ceremony. Our favorite line from Justin’s interview with our officiant was, “Marriage means that I am guaranteed to have Sara as my best friend and partner for the rest of my life.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The Union by Robert Fulghum
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “In My Life” by the Beatles. I walked back up the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun”, by the Beatles. For our first dance, we danced to “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Paying homage to my grandmother by displaying her hand paintings on our flower wall during the ceremony. I also wore the head piece that she and my mother wore in their weddings and a pair of her earrings.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The band. We didn’t stop dancing the whole time. We also did a photo booth and I think our guests really enjoyed it during the wedding and we really enjoy it as a keepsake. Also the venue — Veritas is a full service wedding venue. They provided us with a wedding coordinator leading up to the wedding and a day-of event manager. The day of the wedding, I didn’t worry about any details — they had it all covered. Leading up the wedding, I had an expert I could reach out to for advice whenever I needed.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We made a contact sheet leading up to the wedding and called all of our vendors the week before to confirm everything. It wasn’t necessary, but the biggest source of anxiety for us was making sure all of the vendors showed up and on time. Also, at the very least, get a day-of coordinator. You don’t want to give those jobs to your bridesmaids or parents; they should be enjoying everything along with you!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? A honeymoon to Bora Bora in October and one day, a family!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Gift Shopper reply

    The idea of the eggplant on the center table is cool

  2. avatar Julie reply

    Everything was so beautiful!! It was such an elegant wedding. The icing on the cake came when we all had so much fun!!!

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