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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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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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When I first read Jodi + Kurt’s interview, I was blown away, y’all! Kurt, who has a background in the culinary arts, catered their entire wedding! He woke up early on the big day to put together a delicious family-style meal, keeping things light (but hello, delicious) with butternut squash soup, artisan cheeses, bread and a variety of toppings. The couple took “homemade” to another level, making their soup from squash they had grown on the family farm and serving home-brewed beers! We love how the vintage and shabby-chic details come together into a comfy family gathering. Thanks again to Stephanie Williams of This Modern Romance for sharing!

We love how simple but beautiful these leafy and wild arrangements look in vintage jars and tins!

Jodi + Kurt’s pie hutch is a favorite in the office. Since the newlyweds aren’t big fans of cake, their family and friends all contributed a pie to the dessert selection.

Aren’t those piggy-stamped muslin bags adorable as favors? They hold bacon gingersnap cookies that Kurt made using leftover bacon drippings instead of oil. Who else is hungry?

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Most of our decorations were handmade by our stylist, Lynn and me. Lynn hand-embroidered a lot of the details, including most of the signs placed around the wedding. She sewed all of the linens we used for our wedding, including table runners and napkins and made several chalkboard signs, including a large menu sign. Our favors were “Bacon Snaps.” Kurt basically made a gingersnap cookie and used bacon fat instead of butter. We placed them in muslin bags with a pig stamped on them. They were placed in old cheese boxes on top of my dad’s great-grandfather’s roll top desk. Being photographers, we had to have several photography-related sections of our wedding! One station was our “snapshot” station. We set up a tall shelf and placed several vintage cameras all over it for guests to pick up and take instant pictures during the reception. We also had a photo booth. We used an old bed sheet as the backdrop and hired one of our photographer friends to operate the booth. Our cheese table was also a labor of love! Kurt made the sawhorses for the cheese table and we found an old Johnny house door from the farm to set the cheese on. Lynn made embroidered tea towels with the words “jam & honey”, “bread” and “cheese”. Each cheese had its own sign. Another station we set up was our wash station! Since I wanted cleanup after our wedding to be as organized as possible, Lynn came up with the wash station for our guests to deposit their dishes in after they ate. We set up several galvanized tubs with signs specific to each tub and set out an old washboard found on the farm. We made a clothes rack that hung a “dirty dishes” towel and two Anthropologie dishtowels.
Describe your wedding cake: Since Kurt and I aren’t big fans of cake, we wanted to do something a little bit different and have homemade pies instead. We absolutely love pie and it was so special to have our friends and family help make some of our favorites. We had about 20 of them that were all placed on an antique hutch.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Next, we are photographing couples in love and helping their day go as smoothly as possible. In the future, we’ll be waking up beside each other and loving each other every single day.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Book your photographer first! Stephanie and Isaac were the first vendor we booked. Actually, I contacted them the day after I got engaged. They were my dream photographers and I had to see if they were available. Lucky for us, they were! We absolutely adore them and their work. We knew having gorgeous images would really be the only thing that lasted from our wedding. We couldn’t have had a more perfect pair to photograph it!

Photographer: This Modern Romance // Videographer: Josh Gooden Cinematography // Designer: Sunshowers and Rainshine // Venue: Family farm in Mount Crawford, Virginia // Florist: JMFlora Design // Pie Baker: homemade // Caterer: groom // Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew // Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Hair Stylist: bride // Makeup Artist: Erika Nixon // Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew // Bride’s Jewelry: earrings by Ten Things // Groom’s Fashion: J. Crew // Groomsmen Fashion: J.Crew // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals and Central Virginia Rental // Linens: Griffith Bag Company // Cameos: Poppy Loves Paris // Fabric: A Garden of Roses and Lonestar Quilting // Favors: groom // Officiant: Troy Pearson // Band: Shenandoah Travelers

Love this wedding? You might love these:
Sarah + Dan’s colorful barn wedding full of antique goodies here.
Jenn + Barret’s vintage and rustic wedding here and here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
6 Comments
  1. avatar The Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] KT Merry's work and this wedding {including the bride's headpiece} was exceptionally stunning. This handmade Virginia wedding had a lovely family style reception menu, made me hungry.HAPPENINGS & EVENTS The Addison in […]

  2. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    I love the details of this wedding!

  3. avatar Vanessa reply

    Wow! I am loving the details!

  4. avatar Michelle reply

    Do you have any kind of tutorial on how to make those pinwheel chair flowers? I love them!!

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Jodi + Kurt’s is one of my favorite V4 weddings. Like yesterday’s bride, Stacy, J + K are wedding photographers and constantly surrounded by ideas. According to Jodi, “I knew I wanted a vintage-inspired wedding with lots of handmade elements. We, as artists, wanted something created by us, to truly reflect our lives and our relationship. Once I got engaged, I created several inspiration boards to really narrow my ideas. I showed them to everyone involved in the wedding. Most people didn’t quite understand the ideas we were dreaming up, but they went with it!” We think their handmade wedding came together beautifully and we just can’t seem to stop looking at these images by Stephanie of This Modern Romance.

P.S. Jodi + Kurt actually shot another wedding that appeared in V4! Check out Katie + Max’s colorful wedding here and here.

Jodi + Kurt’s wedding invitations were a true labor of love! “We wanted our invites to be personal and completely handmade so we could give our guests something special. We worked on these invitations for several months going through prototype after prototype until we finally found one we loved. Our invitations were a burlap folio, constructed out of thick board, burlap, twine, and cameos. In the inside, we attached envelopes purchased from Paper Source, which were lined with part of a doily. Each pocket contained several inserts with specific information pertaining to our wedding. One of the pockets contained a DVD of a stop-motion invitation video that Kurt and I made.”

How adorable is J + K’s ceremony setup? Those hay bales were used on the family farm after the wedding and those quilts all came from Jodi’s family.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We actually met in high school, though we never had any classes together and barely even talked to each other. Kurt secretly liked me, but never pursued me until we reconnected when I was a junior in college. We ran into each other at a church we were both attending at the time and Kurt pursued me for about four months until we started dating. We dated for four years, got engaged in September 2009, and married in October 2010.
Describe the proposal: (From the groom) Jodi had always wanted to go apple picking, so we planned a date in September of 2009. I wrote down the addresses of three orchards in the area and thought I was set. Little did I know none of them allowed you to pick your own apples. At this point, the ring was burning a hole in my pocket and I was almost at the end of my rope. Jodi, on the other hand, was having a good time driving around in the country. Not having any more leads to follow, she called one of her friends who recommended an orchard an hour and a half away. After driving most of the afternoon away, we arrived at Carter Mountain Orchard, outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. It was absolutely stunning with an incredible view of the valley. We wandered around the orchard picking some apples and after finding a nice secluded area, I asked her to turn around. As she turned, I held out the ring and asked her to marry me. There were lots of hugs and kisses and intermittently, she found time to say yes. The rest of that evening she couldn’t take her eyes off her hand. Lucky for us, we brought our cameras and a tripod along so we were able to shoot a quick engagement session of ourselves.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Elegant, simple, and handmade.
How many guests attended your wedding? We had about 100 guests attend.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I loved my wedding dress! Before I got engaged I knew I wanted a lace dress for my wedding, preferably one by Monique Lhuillier. Since my sister got engaged about four months after I got did, we both had the opportunity to go dress shopping together, which was so special! We both found our dresses the same day and both were Monique Lhuillier
Describe your wedding flowers: We loved our wedding flowers! We wanted a mixture of flowers that reflected our soft, vintage color palette. Janie, our amazing florist, incorporated dahlias, ranunculus, peonies, garden roses, eucalyptus, fern curls, mint, ornamental cabbage, dusty miller, and more. All of the flowers tied in perfectly with our vintage aesthetic! The boutonnieres were one of my favorite details from the day! Kurt and I knew we wanted to do something different and non-floral for the boutonnieres. We also wanted to tie in something camera-related, since photography is such a huge part of our lives. Kurt did some research and found a small lens on eBay. Our stylist fastened the lens to a burlap leaf and it turned out fantastically! Lynn also came up with the idea of using old film negatives for our best man’s boutonniere. She cut and folded the film negatives into a small flower.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of our ceremony was definitely our prayer at the end. Our pastor had approached us about doing a communal prayer where everyone prays over us aloud and at the same time. During the entire ceremony it was overcast and cloudy, but during this prayer, the clouds parted and the sun shined right on Kurt and me. It was such a beautiful blessing from God! We had never felt more loved than in that moment.

Photographer: This Modern Romance // Videographer: Josh Gooden Cinematography // Designer: Sunshowers and Rainshine // Venue: Family farm in Mount Crawford, Virginia // Florist: JMFlora Design // Pie Baker: homemade // Caterer: groom // Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew // Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Hair Stylist: bride // Makeup Artist: Erika Nixon // Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew // Bride’s Jewelry: earrings by Ten Things // Groom’s Fashion: J. Crew // Groomsmen Fashion: J.Crew // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals and Central Virginia Rental // Linens: Griffith Bag Company // Cameos: Poppy Loves Paris // Fabric: A Garden of Roses and Lonestar Quilting // Favors: groom // Officiant: Troy Pearson // Band: Shenandoah Travelers

We think you might love these weddings, too!
Alli + Chad’s at-home wedding here and here.
Meghan + Chris’s colorful farm wedding here and here.
Audrey + Jordan’s sweet outdoor wedding here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
13 Comments
  1. avatar Kristen reply

    The dog lying on the ground during their kiss is seriously my favorite “kiss” shot I’ve ever seen. Other than my own, of course. :) Gorgeous!!

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    That last photo is SO SWEET! Love it!

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