When it comes to wedding planning advice, we’ve pretty much heard it all–some of which we wholeheartedly agree with, while other things make us cringe a little. Kimberly’s advice for brides falls very solidly in the first category: “If you put in the work early to find vendors you can trust, it makes everything else so much easier. I was so confident in my florist, DJ, photographer, and event staff, I knew that no matter what, the end result was going to be a beautiful, amazing, and fun party.” Following their own advice, Kimberly and Michael’s wedding turned out beautifully, but more importantly, choosing their vendors with care let them truly soak in and enjoy their special day. No matter what the specifics of your wedding are, enjoying the day should be a top priority, and we’re so glad Kimberly and Michael did exactly that!
Thanks so much to Kristen Lynne for sharing this special celebration with us!
Our flowers were one of my favorite details from the wedding! Coral charm peonies provided big pops of color among hydrangea, spray roses, and greenery. Juliet garden roses made my bouquet special and different from the other flower arrangements, in addition to poppy pods and hanging ivy. The poppy pods were added to honor my grandfather, who we called “Poppy,” and the ivy was in honor of my grandma and aunt, both named Ivy. This made me feel like those very special people were, in some way, with me on our wedding day.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. We knew we wanted to spend cocktail hour with our family and friends who had traveled from all over the country. Our first look gave us the opportunity to have a moment that was completely honest and private, and to get out our pre-wedding jitters. With most of our pictures taken care of, we were able to spend almost all of our cocktail hour visiting with guests and enjoying the delicious food Pippin Hill had prepared.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we had a flute/string trio. The flutist helped us pick classic, but light, songs for when the guests arrived, when the bridal party walked down the aisle, and for me as both of my parents accompanied me to the altar. Mike has always liked classical music, so it was perfect for us.
One of my best friends is a writer, and he wrote a poem for us that he read during the ceremony. It was one of the most special gifts we received. Mike’s aunt also did a reading from Corinthians in the Bible.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We knew we wanted to get married in Charlottesville since that is where we met. We wanted a simple and elegant outdoor wedding, and Pippin Hill provided the perfect setting for exactly that!
Besides the gorgeous backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our wedding had a few other little Southern touches, including a sweet tea and lemonade hospitality station before the ceremony, barn wood boxes with burlap and lace details for our centerpieces, and large farm tables for us and our bridal party.
Our favorite detail was definitely our first dance. We secretly took lessons and surprised our family and friends with a choreographed routine, full of spins and dips. We don’t know what was more fun–the dance itself or seeing the shocked/excited expressions of our guests!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met when Mike was finishing his first year of medical school, and I was finishing my first year of my Masters in speech language pathology at the University of Virginia. Our friends introduced us one night when we were out and about in Charlottesville, and we went out on a date right away. After only dating for a few months, Mike surprised me for my birthday by showing up in NYC with tickets to The Lion King. After a big gesture like that, I knew he was really something special.
Tell us all about the proposal! Because of Mike’s very taxing schedule as a medical student, it was difficult for us to find time together, especially around holidays. In early November, Mike told me he was going to give me my present since we weren’t going to be able to spend Christmas together. He took me on a hike to Old Rag, a notoriously difficult, but beautiful, hike in central Virginia, and then surprised me by taking me to a bed and breakfast in a town nearby. We had a beautiful dinner, followed by a movie by the fireplace in our private cottage. It was a night full of surprises, but the biggest surprise was when Mike pulled out a ring and ask me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! We immediately got in the car to drive until we could find cell phone service so I could call my parents–we were in the middle of the country, and didn’t get service for miles!
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Wedding planning was truly a joint effort, and helped us to realize each other’s strengths when it came to decision making. We learned communication and compromise along the way, which I think are crucial in a happy and successful marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the biggest challenge was trying to honor and respect the wishes and ideas of our family members, while remembering the day was supposed to be about us as a couple. For the most part, all of the planning went very smoothly. We had a year and a half engagement, so we were able to spread things out and make one decision at a time, rather than deciding on everything at once. I think that in the end, we added touches and made decisions that we knew were meaningful to our families without compromising our dream wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to save money on flowers and decor for the ceremony and reception by picking a venue with natural beauty and elegance. We also used the standard tables, chairs, and china our venue provided, rather than renting our own.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Planning is important, but over-planning is the biggest mistake you can make. Inevitably, things happen, something will “go wrong” or have to be altered, so go in with that mindset in place. Do research on vendors and ask for recommendations and referrals. If you put in the work early to find vendors you can trust, it makes everything else so much easier. I was so confident in my florist, DJ, photographer, and event staff, I knew that no matter what, the end result was going to be a beautiful, amazing, and fun party.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently enjoying living together for the first time in our new home. We were able to buy a house in Charlottesville and move in with our dog, Jackson, immediately after the wedding. We are looking forward to dinners together every night, waking up together every morning, and making our new house a home.
Photographer: Kristen Lynne / Venue: Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard / Florist: Blue Ridge Floral Design / Dessert Baker: Sweet Haus / DJ: Derek Tobler / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: Allure Bridals / Hair Stylist: Salon Druknya / Makeup Artist: A More Beautiful You / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson Blue / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank