One of my favorite things about autumn weddings is the incredible richness of color, and Isabel and James’s palette is a perfect example: aubergine, forest green, gold and ivory. Gorgeous! Photographer Sarah Jane Winter captured the rustic elegance of their wedding beautifully in these images…
From the bride: “Staunton is a beautiful part of central Virginia, and represents the state’s mountains and countryside perfectly. We both enjoy the rolling hills of Virginia and wanted a place that represented our love of the outdoors. The Inn at Old Virginia is a gorgeous estate nestled in an idyllic location; with such a picturesque backdrop of the vibrant green cedars, there was really nothing else needed to dress it up. The Inn itself was exactly what I was looking for: a location that could hold the wedding party and close family so that everyone could just sit back and relax for the entire event. The owners were also so special and made the weekend proceed seamlessly.”
Isabel’s favorite part of the day? “James I had a moment just after the ceremony as we were waiting to be introduced where we had a few moments to reflect: wide-eyed, staring at each other, realizing that we were married! It was truly surreal – the actuality of finally being married and what that meant was overwhelming. The man who continues to inspire and pursue me was my husband! It was so special to be able to just hold each other before jumping back into the festivities for a minute.”
The couple had a Quaker-inspired wedding certificate that was signed by each of their guests.
“Having the event at one location for the weekend was perfect. Seeing friends and family come from all over to support and celebrate with us was exactly what made the event so memorable. The ceremony was in the evening, so from when I woke up to when I walked down the aisle I was around my dear girlfriends from all different times of my life. From middle school to present day, having those women was a huge blessing and I was so touched by them being there. “
The invitation suite and wedding day details featured calligraphy by the Left Handed Calligrapher.
“Sitting at a community table and having the food served family style was molded after our new business, The Dog and Pig Show,” shares Isabel. “We love having people share memories over great food and good drinks, so we could not imagine a more appropriate time to incorporate that shared pastime than at the reception.”
There were several cakes to choose from: Carrot Cake, Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake, Lemon Cake with Blackberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. On the cake menu, each one was named after one of Isabel’s “house party” girls, as were the signature cocktails on the drink menu.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? There were a few images that I kept going back to for inspiration. As a bride, I wanted an aesthetic that reflected our taste and also created a magical evening for our guests. I went with aubergine, forest green, gold and ivory as accent colors. Combined with the outdoor events, those colors created a laid back elegance. I love the juxtaposition of certain elements. Outdoor simplicity with a glamorous tent, rough farm tables with lush and organic flower arrangements… those components along with the twinkle lights were the perfect backdrop for the evening.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Everyone told me that the day would fly by and to take in every moment. The day did go by fast, but the advice that I appreciated most was from my mom. After the ceremony she told me that James was a man who took things seriously – such as our marriage and his commitment to me. She reminded me how important it would be for me to truly value our marriage daily and never take each other for granted. My mother and father have been married for over 30 years, so her insight was treasured!
What advice do you have for other brides? The day of the ceremony can be daunting and emotionally overwhelming. I would advise taking time to really reflect and soak in the beauty of it all by yourself – if only for a moment – just to take in as much of the extraordinary as possible. So that I could remember everything, I wrote notes to myself throughout the day – things people said to me, how I felt getting into my dress, and other experiences I wanted to be sure to never forget.
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