Featured Wedding Real Weddings

Real Weddings: Rachel & Brian | Rockbridge Vineyard, VA

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{Featured in Vol. 20}
Photographer:  Hay Alexandra Photography
Musicians: FarAway //Caterer: Hogback Mtn BBQ // Event Venue: Rockbridge Vineyard //Two Bright Lights






How did you two meet?
Brian and I lived a few doors down from each other for about a year before we ever met! We had noticed each other in the neighborhood while we were walking our dogs, but we never spoke. Then one night, we ran into each other at the local grocery store and Brian finally worked up the courage to start a conversation. A few nights later we had our first date and we’ve been inseparable ever since. A few months later on St. Patrick’s Day 2012 we moved in together. We didn’t know at the time, but St. Patrick’s Day would end up being a significant date for us as our son Mason was born on that same day 2 years later.

How long was your engagement?
We were engaged on September 28, 2013 and a year later we were married on September 27, 2014. We had just enough time to plan our DIY wedding. While getting it done in a year was stressful, it was very rewarding and exciting to see it all come together in the end.

What inspired your wedding theme?
We knew we wanted to get married in a vineyard and we didn’t want anything too fancy. My husband grew up in the country and I love cowboy boots (and I don’t wear heels)! We were also inspired by the beautiful landscape of our wedding venue!   We imagined our guests sitting on canvas covered hay bales during our ceremony. I imagined simple baby’s breath filling colored Mason jars and strings of white lights hanging from the rafters of the old barn attached to the Vineyards tasting room. Everything was simple, but meaningful and that is all that we wanted.

What inspired your wedding color palette?
Our wedding colors were navy and gold, but also included burlap accents. The colors seemed fitting for a fall, country themed wedding in the vines and barn. Every girl looks good in navy, and I definitely wanted my bridesmaids to be happy! We were married in the evening and the colors were perfect. We especially enjoyed the lights shining off the gold accents.

What was special about where you got married?
We travel to Napa Valley frequently to visit friends and we also love visiting local Virginia wineries near our home! We had visited Rockbridge Vineyard quite a few times since it is only a few miles from Brian’s hometown. We knew we wanted to be married at a vineyard and choose Rockbridge for its beauty and nostalgia! The vineyard’s rolling hills, rows of vines, rustic barn, and picturesque sunsets inspired our country wedding!

What do-it-yourself projects did you do?

We did not have a wedding planner and our goal was to create everything on our own within our budget! My mother, Joanne and my bridesmaids were a huge help in creating our simple, country wedding!

Ceremony seating: One of my brother-in-laws worked on a farm and was able to borrow 50 hay bales! We placed the hay bales on a hill in front of grape vines. We laid paint canvas cloths over the hay bales and wrapped the covers with twine. One of my good friends then made baby’s breath decorations for the sides of the hay bales.

Bouquets: My bouquet was borrowed from one of my friends, who made it for her own wedding! She made the bouquet out of brooches attached with hot glue and floral wire then covered the handle in lace. My bridesmaids helped make their own bouquets while we were getting ready! They wrapped fresh baby’s breath in twine and pieces of leftover tulle lace from my dress fitting.

Wine Corks Everywhere: We’ve been saving corks since we first started dating. We were able to incorporate them into most of our décor. We spray painted some of the corks solid gold, sliced the sides, and inserted place cards my mom made with beige ombré card stock.

For our sign in “book,” we hot glued corks into the shape of the letter “P” for Pariroo, and placed it in a glassless gold and black frame. Guests then used metallic sharpie pens to “sign in” around the cork “P.” It ended up being a great piece to hang on our wall at home!

We spray painted the rest of the wine corks with gold glitter spray paint which gave them a golden shimmer. Some corks went into vintage blue and clear oversized mason jars as décor around the barn.

Tables: We rented round tables and my mom purchased off-white table clothes to cover them. After hours of my mom ironing table cloths, we added our unique center pieces that consisted of three different sized mason jars. The first set of mason jars was clear, tall, and filled with shimmer gold corks. We placed our table numbers in the jars atop bamboo sticks with a chalk board hearts at the top (ordered off of Etsy). The second set of mason jars was clear and filled with small, gold rocks. We placed small, cream colored candles in them. The third set of mason jars was clear blue, wrapped in twine, and filled with baby’s breath. The two clear jars were placed on small discs cut from a fallen Georgia tree (from one of my bridesmaids). The three jars were clustered in the center of the tables on top of gold and burlap table runners that we simply cut from a roll.

Some Décor Details: One of my bridesmaid’s father made giant wooden stars which we spray painted gold and hung from the barn rafters. We also hung clusters of champagne and white lanterns. Lucky for us, the barn was already equipped with white twinkle lights adorned across the rafters. The gazebo next to the barn was also decorated with white twinkle lights and individualized lace pennants. Our catered barbeque dinner was served under this gazebo.

My favorite decoration was the twine we strung around the inside walls of the barn. We purchased tiny wooden clothes pins and hung pictures. The pictures were of our families, friends, and us! This personalized the barn and we really enjoyed watching everyone walking around smiling and laughing as they looked through the pictures. It was a joy to see their faces light up as they noticed they were included in some of the photos.

 Brides’ Advice:

The best advice I received before my wedding was to step back, relax, take a deep breath, and share a few moments with my husband enjoying the beautiful wedding created with the help of our amazing family and friends! My husband and I had our dinner together at a sweetheart table and enjoyed about 15 minutes alone, taking it all in. We looked around at our friends and family smiling and laughing in the venue that we had put our blood, sweat, and tears into for months! It was the best moment of the night enjoying a moment alone with my husband and our dog, soaking in the ambiance and having our hearts warmed by the bright smiles of our guests. So future brides — take it all in with your husband!



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