I can’t think of a lovelier way to start the week than Kelly and Chris’ bright, joyful Charlottesville wedding! Kelly is a talented food blogger and one of our Southern Bride Bloggers, so we already knew she had an eye for fun details and a love of all things colorful. That cheery aesthetic combined with the sweet touches she had always dreamed of including in her wedding (like walking down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”), nods to her and Chris’ love story (they got engaged in Charlottesville and hope to call it home someday, too!), and plenty of Southern goodness (ahem, ham biscuits), made for quite the celebration, as well as the sweetest setting for Kelly and Chris to become husband and wife!
Thank you so much to our dear friend Jodi Miller for sharing this fun day with us!
We had so many beautiful details, but I absolutely LOVED our wedding paper! The invitations were really important to us, as this is the first glimpse guests have into your big day, so I wanted to make them extra special. So many details went into these beauties, including custom calligraphy, hand-painted watercolor, gold foil, and pretty ribbon, all tied together in peony colored envelopes with vintage stamps. I’m still getting compliments on our invites to this day!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. After visiting about 10 different dress boutiques and still feeling disappointed, I randomly came across the designer Augusta Jones at a trunk show and fell in love! The detail of the lace she used was just exquisite and so romantic, I knew I had to have one of her dresses. Well, when I went to try on a few, I was completely torn between two–I loved the top part of one dress that had this gorgeous neckline with lace falling across the shoulders, but the bottom of another dress. When I shared my dilemma with the stylist, she informed me that Augusta Jones loves doing custom orders, so they could combine both and give me my dream dress! I cried right there on the spot and knew I had found the “one!”
Describe your wedding flowers. Oh, our flowers! I knew from the beginning of the wedding planning process that our florals would be one of the most important details that we wanted to showcase, and Southern Blooms certainly delivered! I chose an array of peaches, pinks, and golds with lots of lush greenery, and I literally cried when I saw my bouquet for the first time. It was full of garden roses, beautiful peonies, and ranunculus, with eucalyptus leaves and vines cascading down, all wrapped up in long, gorgeous ribbon. Our farm head table had this amazing floral runner with tons of candles on it, and the guests’ tables had tall candelabras with overflowing flowers on the top. It was simply magical!
At first, we were against doing a first look, as Chris was adamant about not wanting to see me until I walked down the aisle. After talking it over and knowing we wanted to make the most of our amazing photographers, as well as enjoy cocktail hour with our guests, we decided on doing a first look, which ended up being a huge blessing. We were able to get so many gorgeous photos outside at the vineyard before it poured on us!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Charlottesville, Virginia is such a special place to us, as we are huge UVA fans. Some of our first dates were spent drinking wine at the vineyards, and it was also where Chris proposed, so it was pretty much a given that we were going to plan our wedding there! Veritas Winery was the first place I looked, and not only did it have some of the most gorgeous mountain views, but the ballroom absolutely blew me away. It reminded me of a tented reception, which is something I had always envisioned for our wedding, with its floor-to-ceiling white drapery. Needless to say, we signed a contract that day and I never even looked anywhere else!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge actually didn’t come until the day-of! We had gorgeous weather all day, but we knew Tropical Storm Bill was expected to hit us right around 6 P.M. when the wedding was about to start. Sadly, we had to make the call that afternoon to have the ceremony inside so that the florist could set everything up for the ceremony, even though the weather was absolutely beautiful at the time. Luckily, we had amazingly talented people who were able to make the ballroom look so breathtaking, and we were still able to overlook the mountains, as we were married right in front of floor-to-ceiling windows.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always envisioned a beautifully classic wedding ceremony that included Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” The bridesmaids all walked down to an instrumental version of “A Thousand Years,” but when Pachelbel’s Canon started, it was the first time that day that I was instantly brought to tears. My dad and I waited a few seconds to walk so that I could take in that special moment and reflect on what was to come. It truly made our wedding complete and is something I’ll always remember!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To maintain that Southern feel, we had his and hers signature cocktails named “The Belle” and “The Beau,” the guys all wore pink bow ties, and we served delicious Virginia baked ham biscuits with apple glaze during cocktail hour, which really made us feel at home! We also had a drink station set up for guests with sweet tea, lemonade, and water with fresh cucumber and mint, and our welcome bags had local Southern fare that our guests absolutely loved!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Charlottesville has some amazing local vendors, so we were able to cut transportation and delivery costs by using them. My talented cousin designed some of our beautiful signage and our florist re-purposed the ceremony flowers and bridesmaid bouquets at the reception, which saved us lots of money!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your wedding is only ONE day, but your marriage lasts forever! I had to continually remind myself of this throughout the planning process, as I’m super detail-oriented and would start to obsess over how the napkins were to be folded, if I should have ribbon or greenery at each place setting, where the cakes should be displayed, etc. At the end of the day, no one noticed the extra ribbon, nor did they care how the napkins were folded, but everyone had the most amazing time and we have so many memories that we will carry with us forever!
We chose to have three mini cakes that varied in size and were adorned with gorgeous greenery and flowers. They were displayed on a gold sequined overlay, which really made them stand out. We also have a close friend who owns her own donut truck, and she surprised us with over 200 cinnamon apple donuts for our guests!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I were introduced at a Rascal Flatts concert in 2010. We literally danced the night away and I was instantly smitten! Ironically, I found out that not only did we have many friends in common, but he had grown up in the same town as I did my entire life, and we were even born in the same hospital only 10 days apart! I knew we were meant to be.
Tell us all about the proposal! Chris and I absolutely love Virginia wine country and Charlottesville is one place that is near and dear to our hearts. Knowing this, Chris planned a special trip to Trump Winery on Thanksgiving weekend, which wasn’t out of the ordinary, since we go so often and he knew our family would all be in town. When we got there, we found a cozy little spot outside by a fire that sat us all, and Chris wanted to get a picture of us in front of the beautiful scenery. When we posed for the picture, which unbeknownst to me was actually a video, he got down on one knee in front of our friends and family and asked me to marry him! It was the perfect proposal and a moment I’ll never forget!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We were both so nervous that we decided not to write our own vows, but we did write personal letters to each other to read before the ceremony, which was very special to us.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My absolute favorite verses have always been 1 Corinthians 13:4-12 and Ephesians 4:2 which, to me, sum up the beauty of true, unconditional love. I think it’s so important for our marriage that our love continues to grow through our shared love for God.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Praying with each other daily is really important in our relationship, and has only brought us closer together as a couple. We also have some amazing people in our lives who model what a true happy and healthy marriage should look like, so we hope to follow in their footsteps!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Oh goodness, ALL of our vendors were absolutely amazing and I loved everyone that we worked with, but we were truly blessed to have some amazing planners! Ainsley and Wendy of Fete Weddings became such close friends to us throughout the entire process and truly went above and beyond all that was asked of them. For instance, one of our wedding guests had a strap that broke on her dress, and without hesitation, Ainsley whipped out a sewing kit from her apron and fixed it right there on the spot! I couldn’t have asked for better girls to work with and I knew we were in such great hands!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently living in our first home together in Northern Virginia with our sweet pup Oliver, but our dream is to build a home in Charlottesville for our future family. We’re also looking forward to welcoming our second niece into the family and spending lots of time with them!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? One thing that was really special for me was that my brother, who is in the U.S. Marine Corps, was able to fly all the way from Japan, where he is currently stationed, to be at our wedding. I only get to see him maybe once year if I’m lucky, so having him be apart of everything was truly a blessing!
Photographer: Jodi Miller Photography / Planner: Fete Weddings / Venue and Caterer: Veritas Vineyards & Winery / Florist: Southern Blooms / Cake Baker: Sweethaus / Rentals: BB&J Linens / DJ: Roger Cruz of Astro Entertainment / Signage: The Paper Walrus / Paper Products and Calligraphy: Goodheart Design / Bride’s Gown: Custom by Augusta Jones / Bride’s Shoes and Jewelry: Kate Spade / Hair and Makeup: Ave 42 / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan”, “Sarah” and “Rhea” in Blush, Honeysuckle and Peach Fuzz by Donna Morgan / Menswear: Jean Yves / Laser-Cut Wooden Tags: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Jodi Miller Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory, and Donna Morgan is a delightful SW sponsor!