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Fun fact: the Equestrian Elegance shoot in Southern Weddings V8 has actually been many years in the making! We love working with KT Merry (see past editorials she has shot for us here, here, and here), and have always known that she has a huge passion for all things equestrian. Last year, while driving through the Virginia countryside for a V7 shoot, Emily and I couldn’t stop talking about the beauty of the landscape and that we’d love to highlight it in an upcoming issue. Finally, when we connected with the talented team at Easton Events about creating something magical for V8, all the pieces fell into place for the creation of a truly incredible Virginia horse country shoot. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how it came together!

Biggest thanks to KT Merry, Easton Events, Beehive Events, the team at Pippin Hill, and so many more wonderful folks (see below for the full list!) who brought this gorgeous spring day to life!

As Emily mentioned yesterday, each of our editorials in this issue revolved around the story of a couple we dreamed up. Our Equestrian Elegance bride is an avid horseback rider, and after meeting her groom at the University of Virginia, they decided to tie the knot in Charlottesville at a celebration that highlighted the magic of this corner of the South. This stunning invitation suite by Amber Moon Design perfectly set the tone!

If many of your guests will be traveling to celebrate with you, greeting them with local treats (or simply your favorites) is a thoughtful idea. For this Virginia basket, local wine, apples, and peanuts were musts!

Y’all, how breathtaking is our bride? Beehive Events used plenty of spring blooms (including dogwoods, Virginia’s state flower) in her bouquet, and we love the way they looked against this subtly printed Romona Keveza gown. The pastel shades make a statement, but are still lovely and classic.

We were so excited to finally work at Pippin Hill Farm! The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains make a stunning ceremony backdrop–we used beautiful wicker chairs and two simple floral arrangements that set the space, but didn’t distract from the natural beauty of the venue.

Some of our favorite details from this editorial came out during cocktail hour–from treats for the horses (plus a sign illustrating proper feeding technique, of course!), to local cheeses and meats, to Virginia peanuts, to an ombré display of local wines. As a favor, guests were sent home with “horse feed”–a custom blend of granola served in classic Weck jars.

With the help of natural elements and tons of texture, our neutral color scheme had a big impact. Casa de Perrin kindly sent the most exquisite china, flatware, and glassware for us to use, which were the perfect complement to Beehive Events‘ furnishings and florals.

East West Production also made a gorgeous film to accompany this editorial–take a look below!

For more from this feature, be sure to pick up a copy of V8 online here or on news stands across the Southeast!

Photographer: KT Merry Photography | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Videographer: East West Production | Planner and Stylist: Easton Events | Florals, Linens, Rentals, and Props: Beehive Events | Venue and Caterer: Pippin Hill Farm | China, Flatware, and Glassware: Casa de Perrin | Hair Stylist: Yolonda Jones | Makeup Artist: Lora Kelley | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Paper Goods: Amber Moon Design | Calligraphy: Anne Robin | Illustrations: Karina Puentes | Bride’s Gown: RK6408 by Romona Keveza | Vintage Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Groom’s Suit: J.Crew | Bow Tie: Gold Coast Goods | Children’s Clothes: Petite Bebe | Vintage Helmet: Bluebird Creek Vintage

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Marion Blount reply

    This is breathtaking. Easton Events always sets the bar high! Beautiful!

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    This is by far one of my fave shoots in V8. It’s beautiful! Kudos to everyone involved!

  3. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    this is absolutely breathtaking—every perfectly planned and styled detail… and captured by the lovely KT Merry!

  4. avatar Katie B reply

    Reasons why this is one of my ALL TIME favorite shoots:

    1) As a horse crazy girl who never quite grew out of it, this really speaks to my heart!
    2) The landscape, wow, I can see why you guys were inspired after driving through this countryside!
    3) Understated Elegance. The beauty of the scenery really took center stage!
    All the hearts for this one :)

  5. avatar Jessica reply

    The couple, the food, the setting is absolutely gorgeous. I love how they included the children in the wedding.

  6. avatar Bethany H. reply

    I can’t get over how gorgeous the bride is! That dress was made for her!

  7. avatar Dana reply

    this is the most perfect virginia wedding shoot in the world!

  8. avatar Southern Peach Summer Wedding Palette | Hey Wedding Lady reply

    […] Photo by KT Merry Photography, Event Design by Easton Events, Wedding Cake by Buttercream Bakeshop via Southern Weddings […]

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    […] Rock n Roll Bride I Southern Weddings […]

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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!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs reply

    We are so excited to see Kelly and Chris featured today! Kelly was a dream bride – great ideas, a love of color, and so much enthusiasm for life. We are honored to have been included in the spectacular team that was assembled for this gorgeous day!

  2. avatar Announcing the Pantone Design Competition Winners – Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals reply

    […] Photo Credits: Balloons via Design Love Fest/Flowers: Designed by Gypsy Floral via Moncheribridals.com/Confetti: Photographer Emily Crall via Le Magnifique Blog/Bride and Flowers: Photographer Kelsea Holder via Wedding Chicks/Car: Photographer Steven Goovaerts via Glamorous Housewife/Cake: Designed by the Art of Baking via Modern Wedding/Invites: Photographer Jodi & Kurt Photography via Southern Weddings […]

  3. avatar 50 Pink Wedding Ideas | All Shades of Pink Wedding reply

    […] Pink Watercolor invitation by Goodheart Design, photo by Jodi Miller Photography via Southern Weddings […]

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