Southern Weddings

Tag: farm tables

I couldn’t agree more with Janie’s advice for brides: “Your special day will be magnificent in its own right. Find the one or two wow-factors that are important to you and trust that instinct. This was a budget-friendly way for us to navigate what was imperative to our vision and what was not.” In her and Adam’s case, my guess would be that the wow factors they prioritized were their floral arrangements (brought to life by the tremendously talented team at Southern Blooms) and the slate details they incorporated. The groom himself was responsible for making the slate menu cards, table numbers, and escort cards from shingles recycled from an old local school’s roof. It was such a unique and memorable detail, and the fact that they were a DIY made them all the more special!

Thank you so much to Jen Fariello for sharing this beautiful celebration with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mother, aunt, maid of honor, and matron of honor accompanied me to Bella Rosa Bridal. I tried on seven dresses with the encouragement of those accompanying me, who used paper bridal gowns on dowel rods with feedback such as “ooh la la!” and “no way.” I knew my dress was the one I had envisioned, and was convinced that I could make it the dress of my dreams with a few custom alterations.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. In the practical sense, a first look maximized the time we had with our wedding guests. In the magical and romantic sense, most importantly, it offered us the opportunity to engage privately, prior to the ceremony. During the wedding planning process, we heard that the first look enriched the ceremony because the intimate moment together before the ceremony imparted a more robust experience of the wedding. We found this to be true for us.

Our dear friends, a married couple whom Adam and I highly regard and admire, played the processional music. For the bridal procession, “Simple Love,” a song performed by Allison Krauss, was played on the violin and guitar. We recessed to my childhood friend playing “Dancing in the Moonlight” on the guitar.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We absolutely could not have designed and executed such a stunningly beautiful wedding without the help of Shindig Weddings and Events. Meghan Streit struck the perfect and rare balance of personal interest and authentic enthusiasm for Adam and me AND effective communication, the ability to meet deadlines, and collaboration. Meghan offered incredibly creative and gorgeous ideas, which she and her Shindig team executed flawlessly. She was also budget-conscious and sensitive to our tastes, dreams, and needs. We could not possibly thank her enough!

Our venue, Gwyn Arvon, is an ancestral home, in Arvonia, Virginia. This is the place where Adam and I fell in love and spent numerous happy memories, so we hoped that adoring energy would emanate for guests at our wedding. In their own right, the home and grounds are incredibly beautiful–they was built for the purpose of showcasing Buckingham slate.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Adam’s mother died when he was sixteen years old. In her honor, we set out a chair in the first row of the ceremony. When Adam and his two brothers, who were groomsmen, walked by, they each placed a long-stemmed peony in the chair. In addition, Adam is quite handy and made slate menu cards, table numbers, and escort cards from slate shingles that once comprised the roof of a former school in Buckingham County. Anna Sisman provided calligraphy for menus, table numbers, and escort cards.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first look was incredibly special and memorable. Having a private moment to see one other prior to the hubbub of the day and to get grounded together in the commitment that we would be making was profoundly impactful. It was at this point that the weather began to shift from rain to sunshine, which offered us more hope for the flow of the day. It was tremendously touching to see each other after so much anticipatory build-up!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Adam and I met in a history class at the University of Virginia called “Rural Poverty in Our Time.” We knew of each other from class and around the grounds and the Corner at UVA. We reconnected through work at The Discovery School of Virginia for Boys. When I began work at The Discovery School, many youth who Adam worked with expressed to me, “You’re going to love Mr. Crist!” Little did I know, this Mr. Crist was a familiar face. We are both immensely grateful for the elapsed time between our first introduction and our sparked romance, which enabled us to become better versions of ourselves, and, in turn, better partners for each other. By our wedding date, we had been together nearly four years.
Tell us all about the proposal! Adam proposed on bended knee on February 22, 2015 under the guise of taking a photograph at Pippin Hill Vineyard. Following that, we returned home to a surprise gathering of our extended families and dinner at the Smoke House Grille in Scottsville, Virginia.
When did y’all get married? May 14, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 215
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was done by the talented Riki Tanabe of Albemarle Baking Company. It was a four-tiered cake with peonies from Southern Blooms decorating each tier. The cake featured chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and praline crunch filling and textured buttercream icing. The cake also featured vanilla cake, bavarian cream filling, and marzipan icing. We placed framed photographs of loved ones on the cake table as a “sweet” reminder of those celebrating in spirit.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Sarah Wood, our beloved officiant, was my high school chaplain and one of my field hockey coaches at Christchurch School, as well as my mentor and friend. I note that she was a “special incorporation,” because her history with me and her fast friendship with Adam made our premarital counseling, preparation for the ceremony, and the ceremony itself so much richer, and more personal and robust. Sarah recommended that we read “Life of the Beloved” by Henri Nouwen and “The Art of Being Together” by Francis H. Wade.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs by choosing a family-owned venue and performing the landscaping ourselves. We spent two months, with consultation by master gardener Jan Glennie-Smith, beautifying the grounds of the house. Although we worked tirelessly, we recognized that any imperfections could potentially make the outcome even sweeter. We cut costs by having close friends play the processional and recessional music, as well as by having an iPod and speakers for music at the cocktail hour.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your special day will be magnificent in its own right. Find the one or two wow-factors that are important to you and trust that instinct. This was a budget-friendly way for us to navigate what was imperative to our vision and what was not. Trust the creative expertise of your vendors!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are profoundly grateful for the wedding celebration and honeymoon that we were able to have. Now, we look forward to celebrating others’ and our own milestones and rites of passage. With our wedding ceremony behind us, we get to simply enjoy our marriage. We love the Central Virginia region that we live in and the hiking, canoeing, wineries, cideries, and breweries that it has to offer. We hope to celebrate our first anniversary with a trip to Europe.

Photographer: Jen Fariello | Planner: Shindig Weddings and Events | Venue: Private residence | Florist: Southern Blooms | Cake Baker: Albemarle Baking Company | Caterer: The Catering Outfit | Rentals: Festive Fare | Lighting: Skyline Tent Company | Band: The Significant Others | Paper Products: Design Corral | Bride’s Gown: “Jackie” by Paloma Blanca | Bridal Salon and Veil: Bella Rosa Bridal | Alterations: Fariba Alterations | Hair Stylist: Thairapy Salon | Makeup Artist: Carolyn Thombs | Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm for Bella Bridesmaid | Menswear: Jos A. Bank | Ties: Peter Blair | Transportation: Albemarle Limousine | Calligraphy: Anna Sisman

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Yum chicken and waffles bites! Those flowers are WOW

  2. avatar Skylar Caitlin reply

    That headtable installation is just stunning! Love the added lighting of the hanging, geometric lanterns.

  3. avatar Sera reply

    This is gorgeous! What a beautiful backyard wedding!

  4. avatar Dougie Cameron reply

    Some great advice here for those working to a tight budget.

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My favorite details from my wedding were the ones that looked gorgeous on that day, but could then be reused or incorporated into our newlywed home. Not only was this a win for our budget, it also now makes me so happy to see those items on a daily basis and be reminded of their first use. Callie and Chris struck gold when it comes to wedding details that can be part of their home for years to come–Callie’s dad built the gorgeous wooden farm tables that were used at the reception by hand! One now lives in Callie and Chris’ dining room, and I can only imagine how special it is for the two of them to pull up a chair there every day to relax and reconnect over a meal. Thanks to their shared love of big, family-style, Southern dinners, I’m sure they’re not the only ones who get to continue enjoying that table, too!

Thank you so much to Becca Lea for sending this joyful day our way!

I found my dress at Lewisville Bridal Boutique. I knew I waned something long-sleeved that reminded me of Grace Kelly. Other than that, I knew I didn’t want anything with lace or beading. I tried on maybe two or three dresses and couldn’t stop smiling when I put on the last one. It was a long-sleeved Berta gown with a long train, lace, and beading…of course.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Chris and I did do a first look. We chose to after talking to some of our friends and decided that we wanted an intimate moment alone together before all the craziness of the day began. We also wanted that time to have our pictures done so we wouldn’t feel rushed after the ceremony.

I chose to walk down the aisle to “Ever Be” by Bethel. It’s a beautiful song about Christ and the love He has for His bride. Throughout the song, there’s a chorus of God’s devotion, faithfulness and endurance for us. This was a sweet picture to me of what our marriage should be. It was meaningful and mirrored Christ’s heart for us.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but when Chris and I took communion together, he read some verses out loud to me as we broke bread. We then prayed together over our marriage and our new life together. It was one of my favorite parts of our wedding day.

I had seen the White Sparrow Barn on Instagram a few months before we got engaged and absolutely fell in love with it. It had just opened a few weeks earlier and I knew I wanted to get married there. We wanted an outdoor ceremony with a relaxed, family-style feeling for the reception, and we didn’t want our guests to have to travel too far outside of Dallas. The White Sparrow ended up being the perfect fit.

My dad has a knack for building things and he made all of our head tables with wood from our ranch. For the sweetheart table Chris and I sat at, he used curved branches to create a more detailed look. It meant so much to me to know that my dad took the time to build our tables from scratch. We even use one as our dining table now!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Chris and I LOVE Texas and all things Southern. We had custom corn hole boards made with our monogram and wedding colors for our guests to enjoy during cocktail hour. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. For dinner, we had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits, gravy, corn, and sweet tea, all served family-style in big bowls on farm tables, which was exactly what I had always wanted. I love the Southern tradition of eating family-style, and really wanted to bring all our guests together this way. We also had a large fabric sign made to say “Texas Forever” in calligraphy that we hung at our rehearsal dinner and above our guest table at the wedding.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Fireworks! Chris and I love fireworks and I had always dreamed of getting married on the 4th of July, but our timing didn’t quite work out. Instead, my parents guided everyone outside after we cut the cake for a surprise fireworks show! We also used a Bible as our guest book, which has been so sweet to read now that we’re married. We asked our guests to highlight their favorite verse and write a note to us about their prayer for our marriage, or why that verse is significant to them.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I met in college at Texas A&M (whoop!). We were friends for five years, but we always liked each other. Several years after college, we finally started dating and knew instantly we wanted to spend forever together.
Tell us all about the proposal! Last August, I went on a weekend trip with my parents to visit my grandparents, who were volunteering at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs. The Glen is one of my favorite places because it has such a beautiful view of Pike’s Peak, Garden of the Gods, and a castle on site! Chris knew that and had a surprise up his sleeve. After arriving, my grandpa and I decided to go for a hike up to one of my favorite lookouts. As I rounded the corner at the top of our hike (my 70-something grandpa keeping pace behind me), I looked up, and much to my surprise, Chris was waiting for me a few feet ahead! This whole time, he had told me he was visiting his parents in Houston, but he had actually jumped on a plane the night before and had been waiting in Colorado to surprise me. He took me by the hand and guided me to an even better spot, where he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. And of course, he had a photographer hiding in the bushes. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better!
When did y’all get married? March 19, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Describe your wedding flowers. I had a large bouquet with lots of greenery, peonies, Juliet roses, and pops of light pink and peach. My bouquet was one of my favorite things from our wedding. I am a huge fan of flowers, and Briley (of OhDeery Floral) made all my floral dreams come true. I was absolutely blown away by all of her creations. We had long farm tables and placed greenery all the way down them. On the head table, we used bridesmaid bouquets and some fillers that were gorgeous. Above one of the archways inside the barn, Briley also made a stunning arbor of flowers and greenery. I could not have been more pleased with the result.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had so many flavors of wedding cake! We chose several mini cakes to put on display. On top of that, we had mini cobblers (to fit our Southern theme), cookies, and tarts. We also had fire pits set up outside with s’mores stations on cute gold bar carts, and a hot chocolate bar.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Chris and I went through premarital counseling prior to our wedding. We went through a book called “Catching Foxes” and met with an older couple each week who counseled us throughout our engagement. It was such a blessing to have their wisdom and encouragement during our engagement, and it helped us start praying and planning for our marriage, not just the wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My grandma and mom made all of our napkins. They sewed fabric that fit into our blue color scheme and worked on them over the course of our engagement. My mom also started buying Walmart out of all their silver utensils so we would have plenty for our family-style meal without having to rent them. Instead of putting flower arrangements on all the guest tables, I chose to re-purpose our bridesmaid bouquets on the head table, and use simple greenery on the guest tables.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just bought a fixer upper and have been renovating it ourselves! We’re enjoying learning how to do life together as a married couple.

Photographer: Becca Lea | Videographer: Paul Bailey | Planner: Lindsey Brunk | Venue: The White Sparrow | Florist: Oh Deery | Dessert Baker: Sugar Bee Sweets | Caterer: Seven Loaves Catering | Rentals: The Olive Bench | Band: In10city | Calligraphy: Fig and Flourish Calligraphy | Paper Products: Confetti Grey | Bride’s Gown: Berta | Bridal Salon: Lewisville Bridal Boutique | Hair and Makeup: Tracy Melton Artistry | Bride’s Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Tommy Hilfiger | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Custom Cornhole Boards: West Georgia Cornhole

Sugar Bee Sweets is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Becca Lea reply

    Thank you so much for featuring this beautiful wedding!

  2. avatar LAURI KENT reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!

  3. avatar Callie and Chris Wedding – Southern Weddings | The White Sparrow Barn reply

    […] SOUTHERN WEDDINGS FEATURE […]

  4. avatar Skylar Caitlin reply

    That “Texas Forever” sign is so adorable!! Also, love how they used the cafe lights outside. Not only do they provide aesthetically pleasing light, but they practically define the reception space.

  5. avatar Dallas Outdoor Wedding Venue | The White Sparrow, Outdoor Weddings reply

    […] photos in this post are courtesy of Becca Lea, and were recently featured on Southern Weddings. Be sure to take a […]

  6. avatar Madeleine reply

    Hi! That Texas forever sign is BEAUTIFUL and I want something similar for my wedding. Which vendor is it from? Thanks!!

  7. avatar Wedding Planning Update – Kyla Mary reply

    […] source: Becca Lea via Southern Weddings […]

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Though I have lived all over the country, I have always felt that there is something magical about the South. Of course, I am sure I’m a bit partial having grown up below the Mason-Dixon, but if Veronica and Patrick are any indication, my love is justified! Veronica and Patrick visited Trump Winery while dating and were quite smitten, so post-engagement, they didn’t have to look around much before deciding to invite their friends and family there to celebrate their marriage with a destination wedding. These two might not have a drop of Southern blood in them, but with the help of Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events, they planned a sweetly Southern soirée, complete with a family-style dinner that’d make even a born-and-bred Southerner feel right at home!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing this Charlottesville beauty!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was a pair of beautiful earrings from my mother-in-law. My something old was my veil, which is about 180 years old and has been worn by every bride in Pat’s family! My something new was easy, my dress. We kind of forgot the something blue, so we took a piece of baby blue string from a pair of pajamas and tied it around my bouquet for a bit.

I had a pretty precise idea of what I wanted. I actually went to a few different shops with friends, but ended up finding my dress by myself during my lunch break. My mom didn’t even see it until my first fitting!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not. For as long as I can remember, at every wedding I’ve gone to, when the bride comes down the aisle, I always watch the groom instead of the bride. The look on the groom’s face when he sees the bride for the first time is so telling, it’s so hard to hide your emotions at that point! That moment was really important to me, and I didn’t want to miss out on it.

I had a pretty specific vision for the flowers, and Amy at Blue Ridge Floral Design executed it perfectly. I didn’t want anything too put together or perfect. I wanted something that looked like it was just picked from a garden–very natural and beautiful with lots of greens and more muted tones. My bouquet was my favorite, full of peonies, garden roses, jasmine and Veronica flowers, which Amy included as a surprise.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? While Pat was in law school in D.C. and I was still living in Miami (long before we were engaged), we made an effort to try and take short trips on the weekends I came to visit. We visited Charlottesville during a long weekend and did a winery tour. Our driver snuck us up to the top of the Trump Winery, and we loved it. When we got engaged, we didn’t look around much.

This is a little embarrassing, but our cake was so good that I took a tupperware full of it on my flight to our honeymoon! Rachel from Cakes by Rachel is apparently some sort of magician. The cake was really beautiful, and simply decorated with fresh fruit and some of the flowers we used. I’ve been eyeing the top part in the freezer for a few weeks–not sure if it’ll make it to the one-year mark!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met when we were 15 years old. Two of our best friends were dating and they introduced us, but sparks didn’t fly just yet. A few years later, we became Words with Friends opponents. Funnily enough, I read an article about a couple that met and got married via Words with Friends, and I jokingly sent him a message letting him know I wouldn’t be able to play with him anymore because I needed to play others in order to find a husband. Fast forward a couple of years, I was moving into my new apartment with my best friend (who was really excited for us to have this awesome bachelorette pad together). Patrick’s friend lived in the building, and when we asked him for help bringing up a couple of things, Patrick was there. Within a few weeks, we were dating, and my best friend’s bachelorette pad dreams vanished.
Tell us all about the proposal! Oh, this is a good one! Pat is from Peru, and we took a family trip to Machu Picchu. The day before we hiked up the Huayna Picchu, Pat watched a three-hour video of a guy who recorded his entire hike up with a GoPro strapped to his head. I was pretty annoyed, but I didn’t realize he was trying to stake out a good spot to propose! The next morning, we woke up at 4 A.M. and took a bus up a very narrow, winding path to the mountain. His sister insisted on braiding my hair, but I was so tired, I didn’t protest. When we got to the top of the mountain, I peered over a rock to look down at the bottom. When I turned around, Pat had gotten down on one knee, and his brother and sister were behind him photographing and videotaping us!
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. All of our songs were pretty special to us–music is an important part of our relationship. Pat and I decided on “Something” by The Beatles for our first dance. For months before the wedding, I searched for songs that would be fitting for my dad and I. We are both huge Pink Floyd fans, and a few days before the wedding, we decided that we didn’t really care to be traditional and chose “Wish You Were Here.” Pat surprised us and played the guitar during our dance! Pat and his mom danced to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, which was so fitting for them.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My family is from Nicaragua and Pat’s is from Peru, and for the most part, our friends are all Latin as well. We don’t have a drop of Southern blood in us, so it was a lot of fun to have our wedding in Charlottesville because it was such an adventure for everyone! I’d say the most Southern thing was the cuisine, especially because it was served family-style! Harvest Moon did an amazing job–we had chicken and waffle skewers, salted butter corn bread, beef short ribs, and mac and cheese.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the biggest way I cut costs was actually by hiring a wedding planner. Cinda at White Birch Events is truly a wizard. She reviewed all of my estimates and told me where I could cut costs, figured out where to repurpose my flowers with my florist, and simply brought me back down to earth when I would mention something that was outside of my budget or unnecessary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Travel! We have a huge list of places we want to visit, but limited PTO…

Photographer: Ashley Cox | Videographer: Carly Rae Productions | Planner: Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events | Venue: Trump Winery | Florist: Blue Ridge Florals | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Rachel | Caterer: Harvest Moon Catering | Band: The Finns | DJ: Slable | Bride’s Gown: “Calla” by Monique Lhuillier | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Rouge 9 Makeup Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Gucci | Groom’s Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna | Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss and Armani | Photo Booth: Mox Box | Get Away Car: Albemarle Limousine | Buses: Easy Riders

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar VERONICA + PATRICK | Ashley Cox Photography reply

    […] So honored to have this gorgeous wedding featured on Southern Weddings! […]

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