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Southern Weddings

Bride Kara shares her Virginia Wine Country wedding.

Kara and Ryan’s Virginia winery wedding has such a storybook, romantic ambiance that it didn’t surprise me at all that Ryan proposed using a copy of Pride and Prejudice. (Much like my favorite editorial!) It only seems fitting that a warm, countryside celebration would result!

This beautiful day, full of thoughtful touches and efforts to incorporate family history, was a labor of love that ultimately served as a vehicle for quality time. Kara shared that, “Wedding planning really brought our families together. It’s extremely time-consuming, and being able to spend that time with Ryan and both of our families was the best part.” If you’re in the midst of a similarly time-consuming wedding planning process, may this serve as a sweet reminder that while your wedding is only one day, this engagement season is full of opportunities to celebrate and grow closer to your fiance and his family along the way.

Thank you to Erika Brown for these gorgeous images!

When did y’all get married? April 29, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I had thought about this day since I was a little girl. I went with my mom, and I knew the second she zipped up the fifth dress of the day that I had found the dress of my dreams. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful lace, the full train, and the plunging sweetheart neckline. I couldn’t wait for Ryan to see me in it.
Did you decide to do a first look? Yes, and Looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Ryan calms me; he always has. I knew I would be emotional enough that day, and we wanted to share a moment together before the ceremony to just be with each other.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Seeing Ryan, as I was walking down the aisle with my dad. The emotions were everything I ever dreamed they would be. There is truly nothing like it.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The florals! Our wedding coordinator, Cody, went above and beyond to bring my whimsical romantic wedding vision to life!
What was Southern about your wedding? We had wedding portraits displayed from our parents and grandparents’ wedding days, honoring their love and traditions.

Early Mountain Vineyards was the first venue we visited, and we both knew the second we entered the tasting room that it was perfect for us. Ryan and I share a love of wine, and the romantic elegance of the venue was perfect!

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We chose to have assorted cupcakes from a local Charlottesville bakery, Sweethaus. We wanted the Charlottesville charm to show through on our special day, so we chose to keep all the vendors local.

Tell us all about the proposal! It was January 21, 2016. I was getting ready for what I thought was a birthday dinner to celebrate my parents’ January birthdays. I walked down the stairs of our Baltimore row home and saw a bottle of champagne and a Pride and Prejudice book with a single rose laying next to it. Ryan stood up, opened the book, and I saw that he had carved out a heart with a black velvet ring box laid inside. He took the box out, and beneath it, he had highlighted the word “engagement” from the text of the book. He then got down on one knee and proposed. We enjoyed a glass of champagne while we called our parents and told them the good news. We ended the night with a romantic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, McCormick and Schmick. It was the perfect night.
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Ryan is a beautiful writer, so he wrote the entire ceremony himself. It meant so much to me that he wanted to make our day so personal. We chose the Irish Wedding Blessing as our reading, to honor my family’s Irish heritage. (I wanted bagpipes, but marriage is all about compromise right?)
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to Landon Austin’s “Once in a Lifetime.” I first heard it in a wedding video Ryan and I watched the night we got engaged. It brought a tear to my eye, and I knew I had to incorporate it somehow. Ryan chose our first dance song, William Michael Morgan’s, “I Met a Girl.” He wanted it to be a song about me through his eyes. I loved it!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? How much time and energy it demands, while working full-time. It truly is exhausting, and I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that helped us out throughout that year.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We made a list of things that were important to us and things that we didn’t care too much about, then we budgeted more for the important things. It helped keep us from getting carried away and going over budget by too much.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner! Even if you think you’re the best planner in the world, they are professionals for a reason, and they are lifesavers!

Photographer: Erika Brown | Planner and Florist: Amore Events by Cody | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Early Mountain Vineyards | Wedding Cake Baker: Sweethaus | Caterer: The Local | Rentals: MS Events | DJ: King Studios | Paper Products: Paperwhites Press | Bride’s Gown: Allure Romance | Hair Stylist: Something Blu (Jayme Eipperle) | Makeup Artist: Emily Marcellino | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Menswear: Jos A Bank

Written with love by Catherine
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