A Charlottesville wedding on a rustic yet elegant farm is about as good as it gets. Couple Anna-Catherine and Teddy’s celebration was full of southern and summer touches like a fresh green and white color palette with hints of lavender, a delicious southern menu, and a flowing romantic Watters dress.
Photography by Katie Stoops.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? I carried my grandmother’s handkerchief wrapped around my bouquet with my new initials and wedding date, old and new. A family friend, and one of our readers, gave me a six pence piece to place in my shoe for good luck, borrowed. My wedding band was diamonds and sapphires, blue.
I had a label with my new initials and wedding date sewn into my dress and my husband’s suit has his initials and wedding date as well. We worked with Haute Papier to create a custom monogram with our three first initials for the invitations. They did a beautiful job and brought my vision to life. We used the same joint monogram on cocktail napkins used during our private cocktail hour and slicing the cheese.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Spend the day together so you have the same shared experience of your wedding which we did. It makes reminiscing more enjoyable. We started talking about it as soon as we were in our getaway car.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? It is easy to be focused on the details and the enormity of your to do list but it’s just one day out of your lives. I tried to keep some perspective. My husband was key in helping me gain perspective. He started a unique and sometimes stressful exercise whenever we were driving to wedding related tasks or events to casually throw out examples of possible things that could go wrong — my dress ripping or rain preventing our outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner. Over time we worked through these many scenarios and we realized we were prepared to handle anything that may happen.
“We met in college while at the University of Virginia and both fell in love with Charlottesville during our time there. We frequently went back to celebrate special occasions as well as visit with friends in the years after college. Many of our friends have also been married in picturesque Charlottesville so we were looking for a new to us venue with both an indoor and outdoor option. We loved the grass lawn surrounded by mature boxwoods in the front of the home.”
Your ceremony in three words. Brief, intimate, casual
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We selected a template provided by our officiant. We made an effort to keep the ceremony personal yet shorter due to the end of June heat during our outdoor ceremony. We greeted our guests with a beverage bar featuring beer, rosé, rosemary lemonade, and water before finding their seats. Our caterer surprised me by including my favorite rosé, Crosè rosé, from King Family Vineyard outside Charlottesville.
What was your ceremony music? Two bluegrass musicians provided the ceremony music:
Processional: “Across the Universe” by the Beatles
Bride’s Processional: “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles. Both songs were tributes to my late father. My father and I frequently listened to his Beatles’ records growing up.
Recessional: “I’ll Fly Away”
Ceremony Music by Dennis Elliott.
What were your ceremony readings? “Foundations of Marriage” by Regina Hill read by a family friend. And a poem by Taylor Mali titled “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog”, edited, and read by Teddy’s family friend.
What were your vows like? We exchanged traditional vows.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We were so happy to be able to include two long time family friends as our readers. It was fitting that one of the readings was about a dog since ours, Jackson, was present.
It was important to us for him to be included in the festivities. He made us into the family we are today. Jackson greeted guests as they found their seats while wearing a beautiful floral collar by Beehive Events. During our ceremony, he decided to steal the show by rolling around in the grass on his back in the middle of the aisle.
“The old barn on the property provided a rustic backdrop for cocktail hour and separated cocktail hour from the back event spaces. Dinner was served al fresco and we watched the sunset over the fields before moving into the newer barn for dancing and dessert. We were drawn to the separate spaces and the transitions throughout the evening.”
How would you describe your reception? Rustic barn and green fields created a beautiful backdrop for out relaxed dinner party.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I envisioned an outdoor dinner party similar to others we have hosted but on a larger scale and focused on guest comfort. I hoped everyone would feel taken care of and relaxed.
Did you have a signature cocktail? Jalapeño Margarita with a half salt rim and a Dark and Stormy, both of which we love to make at home.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I assembled a twenty-four inch lighted W that hung behind our reception bar out of a paper mâché letter, spray paint, and globe string lights. It was a fun yet challenging project due to the fragile paper mâché and glass bulbs. I found two glass panned windows at a salvage yard and after a good cleaning traced our custom monogram and wedding date as well as lettering our seating chart. I was relieved when both fragile projects safely made the trip from our home to Charlottesville.
The simplest project was our ceremony programs. Paper Source provides the appropriate dimensions and test sheets for more unusually shaped paper and we glued wooden sticks to make them into a fan. My siblings helped us assemble our welcome bags when we arrived in Charlottesville. They contained personalized water and a few of our favorite snacks including barbecue and Chesapeake crab Route 11 chips, kettle corn, mini Snickers and Heath bars with customized itineraries based on recipients wedding weekend involvement. Quite a few required labels to ensure correct recipient delivery.
What was your wedding menu? Passed appetizers: Cucumber, Lump Crab, Crème Fraiche / Fried Green Tomato topped with Pimento Cheese / Buttermilk Biscuit, Country Ham, Light Honey with Heavy Mustard Sauce / Prosciutto and Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus // Family style dinner service started with a plated Salad of Arugula, Beets, Chèvre, Candied Pecans, and White Balsamic Vinaigrette. Followed by Grilled Chicken Breast with Grain Mustard Beurre Blanc / Pulled Pork with Carolina BBQ Sauce / Roasted Poblano Grits with Creamy White Cheddar and Charred Tomatoes / Summer Succotash Salad with Early Corn, Lima Beans, Picked Okra, Cherry Tomatoes, and a Bacon Thyme Sherry Vinaigrette / Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Corn Muffins with Honey Butter.
Catering by Harvest Moon Catering.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We enjoyed watching the sun set over the farm fields while eating dinner with our siblings and wedding party.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We love cheese and opted to cut and serve cheese rounds stacked like a five tiered cake. We enjoyed selecting the cheese so much we had two tastings. I recreated our cheese cake this year for our first anniversary. We also served my family apple crisp recipe as a more traditional dessert.
Cake and dessert by Harvest Moon Catering.
What was your first dance song?
First dance: “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
Brother/sister dance: “Dancing In The Moonlight” by Van Morrison
Mother/son dance: “In my Life” by the Beatles
Reception music provided by the band, The Castaways.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. My brothers gave a joint speech welcoming everyone to dinner. I was so impressed by their thoughtfulness and eloquence at 20 and 22 respectively. The older of my two younger brothers gave me away which he took very seriously. My youngest brother and I danced during the first dances. We did not practice and I was about nervous but he kept me smiling the whole time with his running commentary.
My husband stunned me with his speech in which he thanked our guests on my behalf and then proceeded to thank me. His comments were well thought out and articulate. I saved his outline since a lot of it he crafted as he was speaking. Clearly he is the public speaker of the two of us.