Three Little Words: Local Newlyweds Spill The Wheres, Whys & Hows
"Rustic, simple, elegant"
Caitlin Whyte & Adair Seager
Grace Episcopal Church & private farm reception
June 5, 2010
Our love story: Adair, 34, and Caitlin, 32, met in medical school. Engagement Length: 14 months. The location: Adair's parents live in The Plains and the [family] farm means a lot to Adair. We plan on moving permanently to the area when we are both done with our residency training.
"We've always loved how beautiful Grace Episcopal Church is. We had a relatively small wedding and the church has a lot of charm, so we did not feel as if we had to add anything."
DIY Delights: The seating chart was on a window, with the guests names written on it, and the cake was placed on a tree stump. Sweet Things: We had a great dessert buffet which included heart-shaped brownies, carrot cupcakes, crème brulee, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Wedding-wear: The groomsmen wore their own bowties; the bridesmaids wore any jewelry they wanted, so each had a different necklace. Advice for brides: Enjoy the planning process– I actually found it to be a lot of fun.
"Vibrant, carefree, personal"
Miles Richard Morrison & Joshua Benjamin Katz
University of Virginia Chapel & Escafe
July 24, 2010
Our love story: Miles, 24, and Josh, 22, met through Alpha Phi Omega, a community service fraternity at UVA. Engagement Length: We got engaged on December 30, 2008, so it was about a year and a half. The location: After considering different venues, like a winery, a museum, or a garden at UVA, we decided to try our luck with the UVA Chapel lottery. Escafe is a restaurant that means a lot to us and it was the location of some great moments in our memories. On top of that, manager Todd Howard gave us a lot of support and seemed excited to host our reception unlike some of the other venues we considered.
"Escafe basically let us use a familiar and meaningful space as a backdrop for a very special moment in our lives. To make the most of the space, we had the bar stools removed and shuffled some tables around to open a small dance floor."
Budget: Under $10,000. Distinctive Detail: To state the obvious, the most distinctive detail at our wedding was the two grooms. For many of our guests, and for us, this was their first gay wedding and we were incredibly happy to see so many of our friends and family members come out to celebrate our relationship and our commitment to each other as husband and husband. DIY Delights: Miles hand-painted the groomsmaids' shoes with small circles to match the wedding's color theme. We made our own programs and designed our own slideshow of photos from infancy through the present to display on Escafe's televisions throughout the evening. Traditions: We adhered to the traditional first dance. We danced to Bright Eyes' "First Day of My Life" after a champagne toast by groomsmaids and parents. Wedding-wear: Everyone in the wedding party, including the officiant, wore Tom's shoes. The grooms wore boisterous black-and-white zig zag striped Toms and the officiant wore glittery gold ones. Advice: If you want to plan your own wedding, start early. It can be a lot of fun to personalize your plans and make your day extra special, but there are also a lot of small details that can easily go unnoticed and forgotten if you do not have any experience with planning.
"Classy family picnic"
Alice Elizabeth Proujansky & Nicholas Stettinius Murray
Panorama Farms, Earlysville
June 19, 2010
Our love story: Alice and Nick, both 30, met in photography school at NYU but couldn't find each other in the darkroom... then re-met five years later and fell right in love. Engagement Length: A year and eight months. The Location: Our families have a variety of traditions and backgrounds, so there wasn't an obvious traditional venue for us like a church. Panorama Farms belongs to Nick's family, so it has the history, significance, and beauty we hoped for.
"We didn't know what flowers would be growing until right before the wedding, so we couldn't chose wedding colors. But the flowers, clothes, mountains, and sky ended up making a beautiful combination of periwinkle, cream and pink."
Budget: $15,000. Distinctive Detail: The arch that Nick's dad made out of a cattle feeder and grapevines from the farm. DIY Delights: Alice's mom sewed table runners and made jam from Massachusetts blueberries, where Alice is from; our friend Nancy Cuervo drew the invitations and we letterpressed them ourselves at a friend's studio in Brooklyn; Guests baked pies. Music: Our friend DJ Ghostdad played Philly Soul for Alice's dad and indulged the bride in embarrassing requests like "Party in the USA." Our first dance was to the Talking Heads, and the recessional was set to "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. "Bridezilla" moment: The last time we all went through the schedule, Alice was sure she would kick somebody if she ever had to think about napkins, water, cups or porta-johns ever again. Planning a wedding means becoming an expert on a lot of things you don't really care about... Advice: Make a really good spreadsheet and plan everything– then forget about it and have a good time.
"Country, natural, spring"
Sarah McKee & Gordon Sutton
Three Rivers, family property where the Moorman's and Mechum's meet to form the Rivanna River
May 15, 2010
Our love story: A mutual matchmaker friend introduced Sarah, 28, and Gordon, 31, and they played the card game "Kings" together. Engagement Length: 16 months. The Location: We wanted to have it outside and to be able to have it a place where Gordon spent some of his time growing up seemed obvious! It was nice to keep it in the family.
"It was a beautiful setting and a special place that we could easily use. It was intimate and convenient to have the ceremony and reception within feet of each other."
Distinctive Detail: My talented and stylish grandmother made my dress based on a picture I admired in a magazine. DIY Delights: My sister and I made the programs; the cover was a topographical map of the property with the two rivers joining together to form one. Something new: We had a custom wedding cake topper made of Dex, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and our cat Willie, to sit on top of the Albemarle Bakery carrot cake. All in the Family: Wrinkle Neck Mules played at the reception– one of our groomsmen is a member– and The David Wax Museum played during the ceremony– one of our bridesmaids is the fiddle player. Wedding-wear: Since Gordon is a passionate duck hunter, we asked Hedge to put curly Drake Mallard feathers next to lavender sprigs for the boutonnieres. Unexpected: Our two-year-old ring bearer entered bearing a green toy car instead of our rings. Advice: Don't fret about the little things– it all comes together and looks beautiful!
"Fresh pastural elegance"
Ali McJunkin & Ken Stalzer
Casino Lawn Homestead Resort and Dairy Barn, Homestead Preserve
July 10, 2010
Our love story: Ali, 32, and Ken, 33, met at a bar in Chicago– and immediately connected over our love of kayaking and margaritas. Engagement Length: Five months. The location: We settled on the Homestead because of its stately yet relaxed grandeur, and because our parents' families have vacationed there for generations. We didn't want the typical ballroom reception, so when we saw the Homestead Preserve's Old Dairy complex– a big, beautifully restored old barn– we were ecstatic.
"I loved that the reception location was the Old Dairy complex because of the character and charm of the old barn, and because we were able to make the venue our own. We enjoyed transforming laid-back barns into magical, celebratory spaces."
Budget: $50,000-60,000. DIY Delights: My matron of honor and her husband designed and made a metal leaf ornament that was set on each place setting; my cousin designed the wedding and rehearsal dinner invites, the RSVP cards and the wedding programs. Unexpected: The toasts went so long that the ice cream for the ice cream sundae bar melted– so the caterer had to try and find ice cream at 10pm on a Saturday night in a tiny Virginia town. We ended up with chocolate instead of vanilla. Late-Night Treats: Around midnight, we served sliders and macaroni and cheese with truffles and Parmesan cheese for late night snacks to keep the guests energized. Advice: We planned and executed our wedding in less than five months and I think I preferred doing that to a long, drawn-out engagement. Having a laid-back attitude is key to getting through wedding planning.
"Vintage, shappy-chic, rustic"
Gregory Alan Hammond & Marsha Fletcher Lynn
Family farm, Weyers Cave
June 20, 2009
Our love story: Greg, 38, and Marsha, 33, were set up by a friend, and "knew" after their first date. Engagement Length: One year. The location: We felt this property, having been in [Marsha's] family for generations, paid tribute to more than just our union, but the importance of our roots.
"The barn was a key deciding factor– I've always found barns to be majestic spaces. To me this was a place just as sacred or beautiful as any church or cathedral, yet holding a personal history, humble truth, and romance all of its own. I will never forget trying to explain this decision to my 95-year-old grandmother– 'Now why in the world would you want to get married in a barn?'"
Budget: $20,000. Distinctive Detail: The barn– it was complete with a wagon wheel chandelier, Christmas lights strewn from the rafters, yards of billowing ivory fabric, flower boxes full of fresh herbs and flowers, galvanized buckets overflowing with flowers, green trees with tea light votives, ivory pillar candles flickering from every rafter. DIY Delights: Wall of family portraits– I gathered frames from thrift stores, painting and antiquing them, asked relatives to send us pictures of their wedding day as well as any of relatives from the past–- we were able to go back as far as our great-great-grandparents on both sides and included 20 pieces. Tradition: Tying of the knot, originally an Irish tradition where two clans would tie their plaid tartans together to symbolize becoming one family. We used cloth that represented a piece of our personal family's heritage– a handkerchief that belonged to our paternal grandmothers. Wedding-wear: The bridesmaids had crocheted gloves and ivory ribbon headbands with a vintage earring clipped onto each; the guys had Celtic knot cuff links. I wore a bracelet that I made from chandelier crystals that used to hang in the family farm house when it belonged to my paternal grandmother. Compromise: My father, having endured several barn fires in his day, was adamant about having no open flame in the barn– we instead used lots of battery-operated flickering tealights. Advice: Some people may think I went overboard with all of the DIY elements and special touches– to me, each new idea and project was another gesture of the love and excitement for what Greg and I share.