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Anyone planning a wedding knows that all of the inspiration out there can be overwhelming, which is why we recommend that, instead of starting your brainstorming session on Pinterest or blogs, look to your own story and the things you love first. Jess and Aaron did a wonderful job of this, and from their venue that reminded them of their weekends spent at Virginia wineries, to the paper airplanes their guests threw during their exit, each sweet detail helped their wedding reflect who they are as a couple. Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings helped them bring it all together at Pippin Hill Farm–one of my personal favorite venues in the South!

Thank you so much to Meg Runion for sharing these lovely photos of Jess and Aaron’s wedding with us!

To me, the South is about loving people gathering together, enjoying delicious food, laughing, and having a great time! Using local products and vendors is something that always brings me back to the South because some of my favorite memories are of spending time with my grandfather in his garden, growing the food that my grandmother would then can for us to eat together. We even added jars of her homemade plum jelly to our welcome boxes.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I really wanted to be able to go shopping with my mother and grandmother, but didn’t really know what I was looking for, so I decided to do a scouting trip with one of my friends. It was a great day, but nothing made me feel the way I thought I should, so the search continued. I then learned of the Nordstrom Bridal Suite and decided to take a look online to see what they offered. The moment I saw my dress, I knew it was the one–yes, I found my dress on the internet! It was hard to imagine that it would be that easy, so I told myself to keep looking and see what else was out there. I even flew home to Florida to go dress shopping with my mom, but I kept going back to that dress I had found online. I called up the Nordstrom near D.C. and made an appointment, and the moment I saw it in-person, I knew my search had ended. I loved how simple, yet truly different the dress was. It honestly made me twirl around all day, especially on our wedding day!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We didn’t have any readings at our ceremony but we did read and sign a Ketubah during a small, intimate ceremony prior to the actual wedding ceremony. Aaron is Jewish and I was raised Baptist, so we wanted to find a way to incorporate both into our wedding day. The Ketubah honored the tradition of his family and is our promise to each other for how we will live in marriage together.

We worked with our officiant to create a ceremony that was personal to us, warm, and original. She provided us with tons of samples for each part of the ceremony, which made it super easy to put everything together. When it came to the vows, we both felt that we wanted something original, but also wanted to give a nod to tradition. We brought these together by taking some of the sample vows that she gave us and picking and choosing parts of them that spoke in words what we felt in our hearts.

When we started thinking of what we wanted in a wedding venue, a few things were at the top of our list: a relaxing vibe, beautiful scenery, and ease of planning. I turned to my trusty friend Google and began the search. Aaron and I enjoy visiting wineries around the D.C. area, so I started my search there. Then, I came across Pippin Hill and knew that we needed to make the drive to Charlottesville to go see it. When we turned the corner to Pippin Hill, the search was over. We didn’t even get inside before we knew that it would be perfect. On our tour, our excitement continued to grow. From the amazing food, to the beautiful bridal suite, to the breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it transported us to another place entirely.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The things that make me smile every time I think of them are the personal details that I added for Aaron. I wanted to make sure that he felt just as much incorporated into the festivities as I did! Aaron is a private pilot, and if you talk to him for more than five minutes, his love for aviation will become crystal clear. I came up with the idea to create “pilot” and “co-pilot” signs for the back of our chairs at the sweetheart table, and it has created a funny debate to this day about who should be sitting in which chair. We also had paper airplanes for people to throw during our departure and they were a huge hit!

The wedding cake was three tiers of vanilla cake with bavarian cream and raspberry marmalade filling, iced with vanilla buttercream. Guests even went back for seconds (and thirds!). The flower topper our florist created was truly breathtaking, especially when paired with the pale peach petaled chiffon tablecloth. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it when we walked into the reception space! Since I knew Aaron wouldn’t be getting his favorite chocolate cake, I decided to have a special treat made in his honor: we served bourbon balls on silver platters at each table.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At the end of the reception, Aaron and I were dancing, and all of a sudden, we looked up to see our friends and family arm in arm, standing in a circle surrounding us. It was the most love I have ever felt in my life and a truly magical moment. I was so touched that I started crying, and someone ran in to give me a hug, which resulted in the biggest group hug I had ever been a part of.

Don’t miss Jess and Aaron’s lovely wedding film by Shaking Hands below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Falling in love with Aaron was the easiest thing I have ever done. We were both living in Washington, D.C. and we had some friends in common. One night, I went to a local restaurant for a game of trivia with a group of friends, and Aaron was there too. After that night, we kept running into each other, and eventually, I broke the ice by asking him the question, “What five movies do you think every person needs to see?” His answers surprised me (think Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, etc.), and I knew instantly that I needed to get to know him better. On our first official date, Aaron asked me over, cooked me a wonderful meal, and we watched old movies together. After that, everything sort of fell into place and we never looked back!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Aaron: We went to a winery with a few friends on Columbus Day 2013. I had the ring in my pocket, hoping for the perfect moment to pop up, but one never seemed just right. As we drove home, I devised a plan, which I put into action as soon as we got back. As Jess was busy putting things away, I went out on our porch where she couldn’t see me and called her to come outside. As she turned the corner, I was down on one knee, she began crying, and the rest is history.
When did y’all get married? October 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Describe your wedding flowers. Oh, the flowers! Pat and Sherry from Southern Blooms were so amazing to work with and brought my vision to life in such a fantastic way! I love gardening and having fresh flowers around the house, so this was such a priority for me. I wanted the ceremony and reception spaces to be warm and inviting, full of a mix of soft, warm peach garden roses, café au lait dahlias, peegee hydrangea, magnolia leaves and fresh herbs. For the ceremony, we wanted the beautiful vista to be the star of the show, so we used lanterns leading up the path, a simple garland swagged around the entrance of the Sperry tent, and a mix of rose and dahlia petals down the aisle. For the reception, we alternated centerpieces between arrangements in mercury glass bowls and a cluster of vintage hurricanes, smaller arrangements, and floating single blooms in mercury glass dishes. They also did a wonderful job using flowers to accentuate the decor in the Granary at Pippin Hill, with the most beautiful garland on the foyer table and the garland from the chandelier hanging over the dance floor!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My borrowed, blue, and old were all covered by one item: a vintage handkerchief with beautiful blue embroidered flowers that my grandmother gave to me. My new was rose gold and moonstone earrings that Aaron gave me at my bridal shower, because he thought they would look nice with all the pale peach flowers and decor. He was right–I loved them and couldn’t have imagined wearing anything else on that special day.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Hands downs, our wedding coordinator. Amanda was our constant rock and was truly invaluable throughout the year-long planning process. She helped us think of details that we would have never even considered, kept us organized, and really took the stress of planning off our shoulders. It also didn’t hurt that she was incredibly fun to spend time with and an all-around wonderful person!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are so excited to make the most of our first year of marriage. We are settling in at home with our dog, Gambler, and we have a busy year of traveling ahead of us–mostly to celebrate the marriages of our friends and family!

Photographer: Meg Runion / Videographer: Shaking Hands / Planner: Amanda Gray for Ashley Baber Weddings / Venue: Pippin Hill Farm / Florist: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Florals / Dessert Baker: Albemarle Baking Company and Paradox Pastry / Rentals: Stonegate Events Rentals / Linens: La Tavola Linens / Tent: Skyline Tent Company / Lighting: Blueridge A/V and Lighting / Band: Derek Tobler / Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy / Paper Products: Momental Designs / Bride’s Gown: Reem Acra / Bridal Salon: Nordstrom Bridal Suite / Bride’s Jewelry: Ippolita / Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Erin McDermott Jewelry / Hair and Makeup: Avenue 42 / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Lacey Long” in Silver Bells by Joanna August / Menswear: Vera Wang / Officiant: Rev. Claire Goodman / Ketubah: Jennifer Raichman / Family Crest: Juliet Grace Design

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    This is a seriously gorgeous wedding!! Ashley Baber Weddings is a favorite of mine; such a beautiful, meaningful wedding. And I adore Pippin Hill – I’ve been plenty of times to the amazing winery, and it’s on my bucket list for a wedding!

  2. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    That cake table linen is just beautiful!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    the invitations are so beautiful!

  4. avatar Amber reply

    Do you have any information on the quilt with the dog portrait in the middle? It’s so beautiful and a great way to incorporate your pup into the wedding!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Amber! I know the crest is by Juliet Grace Designs, but I’m not sure if the quilt was something she or someone else made! Hopefully Jess will pop in with some info :)

  5. avatar Jess reply

    Hi Amber! Emily is right, we had the crest designed by Juliet Grace Designs and then printed her beautiful work on fabric using Spoonflower.com and then the super talented Erica at SewEMG put it all together in the quilt. You can find her shop on etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewEMG

  6. avatar Unique Ideas For Decorating The Bride And Groom's Wedding Chairs -Beau-coup Blog reply

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Even though it has been over ten years since I lived there, I still can’t shake my love affair with Virginia, and more specifically, with Virginia weddings. Jenny and Jeremiah’s big day was equal parts elegant, rustic, classic, and romantic, and it’s the perfect example of why Old Dominion has a piece of my heart. As if the crisp blue and white color palette and seamlessly incorporated herb details weren’t enough reason to love this wedding, Jeremiah is an accomplished chef in Charleston, so naturally, he and Jenny spoiled their loved ones with the best of Charlottesville and Charleston’s cuisine, made by none other than their chef friends! Is there anything better than when a community comes together to make a wedding extra special?

Thank you so much to Sera Petras for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and Kenya for a month and half over the summer, and when I returned, Jeremiah planned a trip for us before I had to go back to UVA. My family has been vacationing in Truro, Cape Cod since I was born, and Jeremiah has joined our family the last couple of years. It has become such a special place for both of us. Jeremiah proposed on the beach at sunset on the first night of our trip. His proposal was sweet and intimate and perfect!

Describe your wedding flowers. My vision for the flowers was to have a neutral palette that complimented the beauty of Rodes Farm and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. We went with a natural feel, utilizing lots of greenery and herbs to accompany the different varieties of white flowers. We were also able to incorporate herbs from our friends at Harvest Thyme Herb Farm throughout the wedding.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? I left this one up to Jeremiah. He decided to go the traditional route and see me for the first time in my dress when I was walking down the aisle.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A friend, who is a beautiful singer, accompanied our piano player as I walked down the aisle. I let her choose the song and she could not have picked a more perfect one. It was called “Somebody Loved” by The Weepies. The combination of the song and her amazing voice had everyone, including Jeremiah, in tears.

Rodes Farm provided the most gorgeous backdrop for a weekend full of amazing memories. We chose this venue because of its beauty, the flexibility to hold all of our events in one place, and the ability to have all of our guests stay on or around the property. From the magnolia trees shading the porch of the brick farmhouse where we got married, to the historic barn where we ate and danced, the farm was the best detail.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Jeremiah and I wanted to include the traditions of both his current home of Charleston and our childhood home of Charlottesville in our wedding weekend. We accomplished this by throwing a Lowcountry boil and pig roast for our rehearsal dinner, and a Virginia-themed dinner for our reception. Most of our guests had never experienced a traditional Lowcountry boil, so we went all out to make it authentic, covering the tables in kraft paper and including whole blue crabs in the boil. For the reception, we assembled our favorite Virginia products that showcased the region, including country ham, local cider, apples, and cheeses.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner! We were lucky to have the awesome Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings coordinating for us. We could not have done it without her!

How pretty are these herb decorations? They’re a perfect detail for a chef’s wedding!

Jeremiah created the menu and had friends cater the wedding. He has so many chef friends, so it was natural for us to involve all of these wonderful chefs from Charlottesville and his fellow chefs from McCrady’s in Charleston.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jeremiah and I are both from Charlottesville, but we didn’t meet until after I returned home from college. I was home working for a few months in between graduating and moving to Colorado, and we met at the restaurant where Jeremiah was a chef. After we started dating, we continued our relationship long distance. Jeremiah would fly back and forth to visit me once a month. After a year of long distance, Jeremiah moved out to Colorado to be with me!
When did y’all get married? October 5, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 80
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. After not finding exactly what I wanted at the stores in our area, I turned to the internet. I had a vision of what I wanted and couldn’t believe when I found my dress online. The day it arrived and I tried it on, I just knew that it was the dress for me!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Food was a huge theme of the wedding, since Jeremiah is a chef. I had to pick out our cake by myself and was so nervous that he would not approve! Lisa at Hot Cakes was amazing and knew exactly what we wanted. Her first idea fit with our Virginia theme so well, I said yes right away: spice cake with fresh apple caramel filling and cream cheese icing. It was as delicious as it sounds!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I had lots of new, a handkerchief for my old and borrowed, and a blue bow inside of my dress that my sweet seamstress surprised me with.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? By far, the biggest challenge was planning the wedding long distance, with Jeremiah living in Charleston. Between the distance and his travel schedule, he did not even get to see the venue until three months before the wedding. Thankfully, I had a wonderful support system in Charlottesville, including my family and bridesmaids, Charlie and Amy, to help me make our wedding amazing.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Everyone says it and it is really true, but the wedding goes by so fast! I am truly thankful to have the beautiful images that our photographer, Sera Petras, captured to help relive all of the wonderful details and memories.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle and seeing my friends and family all assembled, and Jeremiah standing on the porch with the biggest smile on his face. I will never forget that moment–it was absolutely perfect!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jeremiah and I are most excited to be ending our long distance relationship and starting our marriage together in Washington, DC. I will be working at Children’s as a neonatal nurse and Jeremiah will be opening his own restaurant.

Photographer: Sera Petras Photography / Planner: Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings / Venue: Rodes Farm / Florist: Hedge Fine Blooms / Wedding Cake: Hotcakes / DJ: Ron Price of Memory Bank DJ / Bride’s Gown: “Style 587” by Anne Barge / Paper Products: Tonya Brock of Winding Wheel Press / Hair Stylist: Claibourne of The Honeycomb / Makeup Artist: Anna of The Honeycomb / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Herbs: Harvest Thyme Herb Farm

lisa Written with love by Lisa
20 Comments
  1. avatar Sera Petras reply

    I am thrilled and honored to have this beautiful wedding featured here today! I am a loyal SW follower and it’s amazing to see my work here! Thank you!

  2. avatar Mimi reply

    Beautiful wedding!

    The bridesmaid dresses are lovely – any idea where they’re from? They complement the wedding very nicely.

    • avatar Jillian reply

      Mimi,
      I am pretty sure I have a bridesmaid wearing that exact dress in my wedding in July. The designer is Adrianna Papell and can be found at Nordstrom. Here is the link: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/adrianna-papell-boatneck-lace-sheath-dress-regular-petite/3707071?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Navy&resultback=3277&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_9_C

      Hope that helps + is correct! :)

  3. avatar Amanda reply

    One of our favorite wedding sof all time! Jenny and Jeremiah are true jems!!

  4. avatar Leann reply

    This is gorgeous work Sera! Congrats on getting the feature. I’m excited to be working with you this Saturday!

  5. avatar kelsy mccartney reply

    HOORAY! Such a beautiful couple. I adore the herb decor, lush greenery on the tables, and the pup’s floral wreath. So lovely!

  6. avatar Christina reply

    Very pretty!!!

  7. avatar Kristopher reply

    Stunning! I love all the details, and the photo of the dog:-)

  8. avatar Rachel May reply

    This is absolutely gorgeous!! Well done Sera & Amanda!!

  9. avatar Jainé Kershner reply

    This wedding is so sweet & gorgeous!!

  10. avatar Carolee reply

    This is such a pretty wedding.

  11. avatar Nichole reply

    Beautiful wedding!!

    Where did the groomsmen get their bow ties? They look like the perfect color blue for my wedding too.

  12. avatar Nicole Spangler reply

    Oh I love these images! Simply stunning!

  13. avatar Emily reply

    I adore their tables! So gorgeous!

  14. avatar wendy laurel reply

    simply gorgeous.. love that old swing

  15. avatar kel ward reply

    LOVE this wedding! And that dress! It looks like she is floating on a cloud. Love it.

  16. avatar Lisa O’Dwyer reply

    This is gorgeous! Love the shot of them going down the aisle!

  17. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies reply

    Loved the beautiful wedding venue..and the lovely details. The colors used for the details look so stunning..specially the reception area decor and the table setting with blue linens.

  18. avatar Sarah reply

    Where are the navy bridesmaid dresses from?

  19. avatar Wedding reception seating arrangements: Pros and cons for every table layout reply

    […] Sera Petras via Southern Weddings Magazine […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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