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While Lara and I were completing layout on V5, we basically died every time we scrolled through Whitney + Clarke’s wedding. Not only are they a gorgeous couple, but their Charlottesville wedding is among one of the most elegant outdoor soirees we’ve seen. Though Whitney drew design inspiration from Degas’ ballerina paintings, the Pippin Hill setting gave their French-infused nuptials Southern roots. And although it was a destination for all the guests, Whitney + Clarke knew their wedding had to be in Charlottesville. It was, after all, where they met and fell in love.

We are so very grateful for Patricia Lyons who captured this day and shared it with us!

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: My printed materials – from the letterpressed save the date to the stunning calligraphy and wax seals on the invitations to the Arturo blush paper we used for the welcome note! The custom suite set the tone for the rest of the design, and included really fun calligraphy details such as cocktail napkins with French phrases, the flip-flop “Check your ‘Choos” sign, dinner station signs, etc. The Napoleanic bee and garland motif was carried throughout the wedding and really branding the weekend as ours.

My Something Blue: My mom used antique lace she found in Italy on a recent trip, and had my monogram in blue sewn into a patch, that was then sewn into the back of my dress.
My Something New: On the day of the wedding, Clarke surprised me with a gift from our family jeweler – a pair of pale pink pearl and diamond earrings, which I wore that day, and matching pearl necklace. It was so special, and made me smile, since pearls have a particular significance to us.

My bouquet was composed of ivory patience garden roses, white peonies, white hydrangea, and Sahara roses tied with lace and satin ribbon. My grandmother’s handkerchief, edged in lace, was tucked inside. The bridemaids’ bouquets featured café au lait dahlias, antique green hydrangea, and Sahara roses tied with satin ribbon.

My literal inspiration was Degas’ ballerina paintings, the romantic quality, their balance of soft hues and saturated color. I wanted the wedding to reflect a similar elegance, grace, timelessness, and Parisian sophistication. Pippin Hill’s natural design has European countryside influences, and so it was a blend of Southern landscape and French Provincial aesthetic.

How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? Friends of my parents hosted a lovely brunch at King Family Vineyards on the day of the wedding, which Clarke and all the guests attended. I slept in a bit and spent the day getting ready and sipping champagne with my sisters and friends.

My dress was everything I dreamed it would be – elegant and timeless, yet fashionable, unique, subtly dramatic and unforgettable. I simply loved it. It set the tone for the traditional and classic route we took. I had been scoping out dresses for years before we even got engaged and I always imagined myself as a fall or winter bride. I knew I did not want a strapless dress – I loved the look of long sleeves and a high neck, with skin showing on the back. After all, that is what everyone sees during the ceremony! After our summer engagement, I began scouring designer sites and fell in love with Monique Lhuillier’s couture “Catherine” gown from her spring/summer 2012 collection. I flew home and shopped with my mom and two sisters, and tried on tons of different styles, but knew I would not be satisfied until I could try that gown. A few weeks later, the sample came available and it was as I imagined: the layers of lace detailing are exquisite. We cut the sleeves to three-quarter length, since it was summertime, however wanted to keep the traditional dress lines with a bateau neckline and deep-V back. I felt like Grace Kelly in it!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? There are so many, it’s hard to decide on just one memorable moment – I wish I could go back and re-live the whole day over again, and again! Most vividly, I will never forget waiting in the tiny anteroom of the church with my Dad. Right before we walked down the aisle, he simply said, “Ready?” and smiled. Then the look on Clarke’s face once we processed, was amazing. I just thank my lucky stars that Patricia so beautifully captured those moments in photographs.

Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. We had a traditional Episcopalian ceremony. Music included an organist, a trumpeter and soloist. It was important to Clarke for one of our readings to be the Traditional Irish Blessing, as his mother’s family is Irish. After the readings, the soloist sang Amazing Grace a cappella, which is my favorite hymn.
Did you write your own vows? We used the traditional vows from the book of prayer. I think there is something romantic about using the same words that hundreds of thousands of people throughout history have said to one another on their wedding day. It made us feel connected to all those who came before us, and to our guests.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.  We met at the University of Virginia during my third, his fourth, year of college, and knew of each other through friends.  However, we officially met at a party in the basement of Clarke’s fraternity house – he donned a David Beckham costume and we ended up dancing all night.  Over Christmas break a few weeks later, we talked every day — and then every day for the next 6 years.
Describe the proposal: Clarke was working in D.C. for the summer, and I had planned to visit him that weekend.  On Friday, he called me and asked me to pick up an important package that had been delivered to his place, before I drove to D.C.  When I got to his room, nothing was there, so I called him to let him know I was getting on the road. I was still on the phone when he appeared around the corner.  I was in total shock and still confused as he led me to a garden near the Rotunda and proposed.  We spent the rest of the weekend at one of our favorite Charlottesville places, Keswick Hall.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it:  My engagement ring is a family heirloom – it was actually designed by Clarke’s father about 30 years ago, when his parents got engaged!  The ring features three oval diamonds in a classic setting, and we chose a round brilliant diamond eternity band to complement it.
Tell me all the basics of your wedding!  We were married on the evening of July 7, 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia at St. Paul’s Memorial Church. Dinner and dancing immediately followed at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.  As it was the backdrop to how we met, where we fell in love, what brought us back together after years of long distance dating, we naturally decided Charlottesville would be the best place to start our new life together.  We also wanted to share this special place with family and friends.  As a destination for everyone other than us, it was important that the celebration be about more than just that day – we wanted it to be a getaway for guests, and for them to have to chance to explore the city we know and love so much.  The weekend following July 4 seemed fitting for travelers.  We kicked off the celebration with a hosted party on Thursday night, and the party did not stop until Sunday.  As for the reception venue, I had a close personal connection to Pippin Hill: as the first employee, I had the privilege of being a part of its construction, development, growth and everything in between.  It was truly a labor of love, my home away from home, a house that I helped build, and we couldn’t have chosen a more meaningful place to bring our loved ones together, to start our new chapter, and say goodbye to Charlottesville.  It was an epic last hurrah!
What was the weather like on your big day? HOT!  Unfortunately, a heat wave hit Charlottesville that week and uncharacteristic temperatures ran over 100 degrees on our actual wedding day.  Luckily, our ceremony and reception sites had A/C and we brought in additional fans for the tent. Easton Events had the great idea of offering lavender-scented chilled cloths to guests later in the evening.  They were a huge hit as the dance floor literally heated up!
How many guests attended your wedding? 275
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony?  Instead of a traditional wedding band, we engraved a signet ring Clarke’s grandfather had given him, embossed with their family crest.  So he now wears that ring on his left hand, just like his father and grandfather.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Kate Collison reply

    I’m so glad bride Miss Whitney felt like Grace Kelly in her gorgeous dress! She certainly looked like Grace Kelly – stunning! Congratulations to the Mr and Mrs! :)

  2. avatar Emily reply

    What a gorgeous, classic bridal look! And then men aren’t too shabby, either — I LOVE their white dinner jackets!

  3. avatar Marissa reply

    Oh heavens! This might actually be my very favorite wedding from V5! ; ) THAT dress is out of control!

  4. avatar Dee Shore reply

    What a truly beautiful couple, having a beautiful wedding. Congratulation ya’ll!

  5. avatar Ashleigh reply

    Oh my! I just went pin-happy over this post! LOVE everything about it (especially that it’s in my homestate of VA!).

  6. avatar Kat reply

    I’m LOVING those paper goodies!! Completely obsessed with this classic day… of course, her timeless updo and Grace-Kelly-inspired dress don’t hurt either! A favorite from the pages of V5 – and like Ashleigh, I’m loving that it’s from Virginia too :)

  7. avatar Darby reply

    That dress is absolutely stunning! I seriously can’t get over those dinner jackets, nor the paper goods! Congrats!

  8. avatar Ashleigh from reply

    WOW! just wow! Her dress is out of control stunning and the groom’s expression as she came down the aisle melted my heart! Such a gorgeous wedding!

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  13. avatar Wedding Flowers Charlottesville reply

    I love the color of her bridesmaid dresses and the color of the bouquets – it goes so beautifully together. The photography is also stunning!

  14. avatar Whimsical Floral Design reply

    Gorgeous bridesmaid dresses and color combos. very soft and romantic.

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  18. avatar aurelija reply

    very fantastic pictures. where you bought those stunning heels? they look amazing :) i also want them :)

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I’m not sure that I’ll ever tire of pretty pink blooms. Christina’s lovely bouquet reminds me of spring and Marie Antoinette. (Don’t soft pinks and greens remind you of Marie, too? Maybe it’s just my Paris brain.) We are loving the soft colors in Christina + Scott’s wedding, photographed by Haley Sheffield, but it’s the BBQ sundaes that really had us gawking! I had actually never heard of a BBQ sundae before (shame on me) so Emily had to fill me in on the details. Whitney was a bit skeptical, but I decided that it’s the best. Idea. Ever. Where do you stand?

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. My friend signed up for and encouraged me to sign up as well. After much pleading, I eventually signed up for a 7 day free trial. Scott and I emailed back and forth until I finally worked up the nerve to ask him out for coffee, since he was taking so long to make a move. We met up at Atlanta Bread Company for coffee. We chatted until they closed the place down, and the rest is history.
Describe the proposal. Scott flew me up to Oregon to visit his family for the first time. The first day we arrived, we took a trip by ourselves to his family’s vacation house on the Oregon Coast. We took a hike to see a lighthouse, and on the way, he proposed to me on a huge cliff with the ocean crashing beneath us. It was incredibly romantic!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Romantic, Southern and charming.
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was the beautiful (and giant) handmade lanterns I found at The Not Wedding event in Atlanta. They were so beautiful, and my favorite pictures are the ones underneath them.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The reception was in a beautiful restored barn, and the girls all got ready in an old Southern home from the 1800s! There were BBQ sundaes, sweet tea in a few different flavors, and shrimp and grits! I wanted to give all of our wedding guests that had traveled from Oregon a taste of the South.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I went with one of my friends who was getting married to try on bridesmaid dresses. I saw a wedding dress on a mannequin and fell in love with it. Even though Scott and I were not engaged, my friends urged me to try it on. I fell in love with it, and the next week Scott proposed! I went back and got that dress. It was the only one I ever tried on.
Describe your wedding flowers: My flowers were light pinks and whites. They were very ruffled and fluffy, just like I wanted. My florist even managed to make my dream of peonies in my bouquet come true, even in October!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: I’m a huge dessert girl, and while I wanted it to look great, I was even more concerned about taste. My cake was both gorgeous and delicious! There was an almond layer, and orange layer, and a strawberry layer. The cake was simple, with no actual flowers. It had vintage, pale pink floral cutout designs all over.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I was working, planning a wedding, and going to school full time. Finding time to get everything done was by far the biggest challenge!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Definitely the venue! It was a gorgeous backdrop for the photos, and the staff made my day so memorable and stress free!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The moment I saw my future husband’s face as I walked down the aisle. I couldn’t wait to exchange promises of forever.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not, because the part of the wedding Scott most looked forward to was seeing me walk down the aisle. I was thankful we didn’t, because the look on his face when I came out was well worth the wait.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make sure it is everything you want. Don’t be bullied into other people’s ideas for your big day. It’s ok to say no!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’re talking babies right now, and I’m very excited to start our own little family.

Photographer: Haley Sheffield // Videographer: Marke Foley // Planner: Delise Knight // Ceremony venue: Pineola Farms // Reception venue: Pineola Farms // Florist: Delise Knight // Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: LisaMae Cakes // Caterer: Katerings by Kelly // Linens: Delise Knight // Lighting: Oversized Lanterns from Brown Linen & Co. // Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Davids Bridal, Alfred Angelo Bridal, and Swarovski // Bride’s Shoes: Sam Edelman // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal

Hayley Sheffield is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Looking for more romantic weddings?
Meredith + Blake’s sweet Texas wedding here and here
Natalia + Levi’s plantation wedding here and here

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Linda at Cedarwood Weddings reply

    Oh my goodness, we love this so much!

  2. avatar Delise Knight reply

    It was a pleasure working with Christina and Scott. Christina’s vision was a designers dream. We feel honored to have been part of the team. We just love the way Haley Sheffield captured the day.

  3. avatar Kimberly Martin reply

    I love everything about this wedding. My daughter is getting married at a 150 year old barn in Oklahoma in September. We are from Tennessee, the Groom is from Oklahoma and want to have Southern elements from both Southern states. This is wonderful.

  4. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Absolutely gorgeous wedding! I would really like to know where I could find those amazing giant lanterns for my wedding this summer. I was disappointed to find out my venue wouldn’t allow the kind you set off into the sky, but these might be a great alternative!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Elizabeth! I LOVE those lanterns, too! Christina got them from Brown Linen Co, a company that does lots of custom work. I’m sure if you inquired she’d be able to give you all the info!

  5. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Love love love all the pink details in this wedding!

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