Bride Devon shares her Pippin Hill wedding!
Talk about a dream of a wedding, folks – have we got one for you today! And not just because it ends with Chick-fil-a on the dance floor :) Devon and Zach (along with their planner, Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald), combined everything they love about the South into a celebration their guests could really be a part of, instead of just sitting back and watching. From the tactile table settings to the beautiful blooms (that arch must have smelled heavenly!) to the charcuterie board cocktail hour inspired by the newlyweds’ favorite dinner-out indulgence, this Virginia wedding was filled with meaningful and beautiful details. Enjoy these lovely photographs from Lucy Cuneo that take you right into the action!
P.S. Need this wedding for your inspiration board? Pick up a copy of our tenth-anniversary issue, where it’s tucked inside!
How did the two of you meet? We met during our sophomore year of high school, when I (Devon) cut Zach in the lunch line, despite having never spoken to him before. We couldn’t tell you what was for lunch that day, but clearly it was something appealing! We started dating a few months later, and have been together ever since. The year we got married was very significant to us because it marked our tenth year together.
Describe the proposal: I (Zach) told Devon I was attending a Patriots game with some friends, and left early in the morning to “tailgate.” Devon’s friend Bella forced her out of the house for lunch in the city, despite Devon’s insistence on staying in for the day. Bella brought Devon to the Custom House in Boston, a clocktower building central to the city’s skyline. Much to Devon’s surprise, when she arrived upstairs at the outdoor deck, I was waiting to propose, with Devon’s family waiting around the corner.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring: I (Devon) picked the ring myself, an elongated cushion-cut Henri Daussi ring, which was true to the classic vibe I wanted but also had a bit of vintage feel.
My wedding dress was a dress I had actually pinned 5 or 6 times on Pinterest. The funny thing is that when I went wedding dress shopping, I had completely forgotten about the particular dress. At the very end of my appointment at Vera Wang, the consultant asked if there were any other designs I was interested in, at which point I remembered the one I had pinned. I knew I loved it when I tried it on, but because it was one of the first stores I went shopping in, I felt like I still needed to try others. Ultimately, I came back to it, and knew the second I put it back on that it was the one. My favorite thing about the dress was how dramatic it was, while still having a very classic feel, which really matched the aesthetic of the wedding.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? Without a doubt our stunning flower arch. I told Jacin I wanted an over-the-top arch, and she really delivered, using every single flower she ordered. It made for the perfect complement to the striking Blue Ridge Mountain-scape in photos.
We were married at Pippin Hill Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, in July of 2017. We had an outdoor, evening ceremony, and the weather was absolutely ideal. My parents both went to the University of Virginia and have relocated there in retirement, so given the amount of time we have both spent there, it seemed like a perfect fit for our wedding. We chose Pippin Hill after being blown away by how detail-oriented the staff was during our visit, and how incredible the food was. There is nothing we love more than a good meal and we wanted to ensure that our guests would remember our wedding food.
Our officiant, Carlos, a close family friend of mine and someone who has known me since I was a baby, was a really special part of our day. One thing that was kind of unique about our ceremony is that we recited letters that we wrote to one another in addition to the traditional vows. In a somewhat panic-inducing moment, we realized that I forgot my vows while we were standing at the altar, which nearly gave Carlos a heart attack. Before anyone could realize what happened, they were given to Zach’s groomsmen, who quickly passed them down the line to Carlos. Most of our guests didn’t even realize it happened!
Did you try anything new in your ceremony? We included a communal vow, where our guests were asked to stand and partake in vows pledging their support in our married life. It was so amazing to stand back and see all the people we love and care about making the commitment to stand by us as we take the next step into marriage.
Our recessional was “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay, and our interlude was “1000 Years” by Christina Perri. Both were played by a string quartet.
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? Since our ceremony was at 6pm, we had a leisurely morning and afternoon prior to the wedding. We actually bucked tradition and had breakfast together with a couple of our best friends, who brought us Chick-fil-a and Starbucks, our two obsessions.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We did, though we never truly made it there, as we were taking photos and chatting with friends and family. The cocktail hour was outside on Pippin’s porch and lawn area, where we had live music, drinks, and passed hors d’oeuvres. One of our favorite things to have when we go out to eat is a charcuterie board, so we had a big charcuterie and cheese spread at the cocktail hour.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? French country mixed with a modern aesthetic. I love the color white, so the wedding was heavy on neutrals. I loved the classic vibe of gold foil but wanted something a little different, so we went with rose gold to add a more modern feel. There were rose gold touches throughout the paper goods and the tablescape to add just a hint of sparkle.
We hung classic, crystal chandeliers in the reception space. Even though we were in a more rustic setting, we wanted to really elevate the room and give it a more formal feel. My favorite element was the rose gold flatware. Jacin and I spent months searching for it, and nearly gave up, before finally finding a vendor who had literally just purchased it (we were the first to rent!).
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? We didn’t do anything particularly nontraditional, but we did cut out a lot of the traditions that we just didn’t feel were that important to us. One example was our long head table, where the entire wedding party and dates sat with us. We thought this would be a lot more fun than a standard sweetheart table, and it gave us a bit of a break from being the center of attention.
Our reception was definitely a big party; we tried to get all of the traditions completed in the first hour. Once dinner finished, our incredible band immediately got people on the dance floor, and almost everyone stayed there right up to our sparkler send-off.
For the reception, we had a surf-and-turf comprised of a filet and lobster tail. We wanted to incorporate our New England roots, and a lobster tail was the perfect way to do that, while also giving our guests something we knew they would love.
Our wedding cake was two different flavors: lemon with raspberry filling, and double-dark chocolate with Nutella and hazelnut crunch filling.
I actually asked for the first dance song to be a surprise, so Zach chose “Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett. We’re both country music fans, and he thought the message behind the song was sweet and true to our relationship.
What was the funniest moment of the day? Without a doubt when the Chick-fil-a cow mascot arrived later in the night, handing out mini chicken sandwiches to our guests! I arranged this as a surprise for Zach, and it made for arguably one of our favorite photos of the night: the two of us locking arms around the Chick-fil-a cow.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 175.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? I changed jobs mid-wedding planning, which added a semi-stressful wrinkle to the equation. Not getting married locally was definitely a challenge, but it gave us an excuse to take a lot of fun weekend trips to Charlottesville in preparation.
Tell us about your flowers: I challenged Jacin to make the biggest bouquet of peonies she had ever made and she certainly delivered. Carrying my bouquet was a workout!
Tell us about your grand exit. The entire band led the guests out of the venue, where they waited with sparklers. We made our way through the line of guests into an antique 1960s Mercedes convertible for our getaway.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Keep things in perspective and don’t get overly bogged-down in the little details. You need to trust the vendors and planners you’ve hired, and let them do what they do best. At the end of the day, the wedding is a celebration of you the couple, and no matter what kind of bumps in the road you encounter, the day will be absolutely perfect.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: The best advice we received was to take a minute, and realize how important the moment you are in is. The wedding was an out-of-body experience, and it flew by, so it was important to make sure we really cherished the moment.
Photographer: Lucy Cuneo | Videographer: Life in Rewind Films | Wedding planning, design and florals: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Venue and caterer: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards | Wedding cake: Maliha Creations | Bride’s gown and veil: Vera Wang | Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bride’s jewelry: David Yurman | Garter: La Gartier | Bridesmaid dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo in Blush | Hair and makeup stylist: Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Groom’s fashion: 9Tailors Tux, Tom Ford bow tie, Shinola watch | Groomsmen fashion: The Black Tux and Tom Ford bow ties | Table rentals: Festive Fare Charlottesville | Specialty bouquet ribbon: Stella Wolfe | Ghost chair rentals: DC Rental | Crossback chairs, upholstered chairs, chargers and arch rentals: Beehive Events | Salt cellar and antique tray rentals: Southern Vintage | Getaway car tin cans: Zoë Nolton of Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Rose gold flatware rental: Presentime Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Linens | AV & lighting and stage fascia production: Blue Ridge A/V | Ceremony string trio: Linden Trio | Cocktail hour musician: Austin Ellis | Band: Party on the Moon | Wedding stationery design: Written Word Calligraphy | Seating chart and signage production: Paper Birch Designs | Custom napkins and frosted cup production: Southern Fried Paper | Shuttle buses: Ambassador Limo | Band shuttle buses: Camryn Executive Transportation | Late night snack: Chick-fil-a
Jacin Fitzgerald Events and Southern Fried Paper are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!