Today’s featured wedding, held at the picturesque Pippin Hill Farm, is a sight to behold with elegant and timeless details. The fog covered vineyards, a beautiful Monique Lhuillier lace dress, and a wedding day filled with autumnal colors blending both new and old elements together perfectly.
Photography by Elisa Bricker.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Not to be a perfectionist. Also, remember that at the end of it all, we’d be married no matter how beautiful everything turned out or not. After all, that’s the point of the entire event.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t move across the country before you get married! Just kidding, although that is true advice. Investing in a planner who is creative and organized is 100% worth it if you work full time and are far from your venue/vendors. Also, be realistic with your vision; it helps you decide how much time and energy is appropriate to devote to different things.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?
I would allocate more to friends and family. I’m creative, so some of those decisions were hard to let go of.
“We were living in North Carolina at the time we got engaged, but I was moving to California just three weeks later for a job. My mom, David, and I planned a tour of venues all around North Carolina and Virginia, and after seeing a photo of Pippin Hill in a blog earlier that year, I knew we had to include it as a stop. It was our first visit on the trip, and no place after compared. We’re both at home in nature, and we loved the view of the mountains. It’s timeless and elegant, yet relaxed and light, which is exactly the environment we wanted for our guests.”
Your ceremony in three words. Deep, elegant, and personal
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Since I was planning cross-country, I brought on Mallory Joyce as my Partial Planner. She was a lifesaver and helped with creative/logistical decisions and vendor recommendations, and took care of everything on our wedding day. We used templates provided by her for budget, monthly checklists, seating charts, etc. which were immensely helpful. Aside from Mallory, I did the bulk of the planning. The things that were most important to us were keeping our wedding as intimate as possible and crafting a deeply meaningful and unique ceremony. As a creative, my favorite parts were working with our calligrapher on paper design, and choosing colors and small details to compliment the look.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Not too many, actually. My dad walked me down the aisle, but not to your typical processional song. I didn’t wear something blue or borrowed. I like tradition, but we wanted to do some things in our own way and style.
What was your ceremony music? Music has been a big part of each of our lives, so we chose these carefully. Our preludes included some classics, like “Claire de Lune” by Claude Debussy. Our mothers were seated to “A Thousand Years.” My processional was “Sleeping at Last” by Turning Page. David and I both felt most connected and moved by that song of all those that we listed to. We recessed to “Alla Hornpipe” by Handel.
Ceremony Music by Linden Trio.
Who officiated your ceremony? David’s mentor from college — we wanted someone who we both had a personal relationship with, and he was the first person who came to mind!
What were your ceremony readings? David’s father read Colossians 3:12-17, my bridesmaids read an excerpt called “Being in Love” by C.S. Lewis, and our officiant read a prayer from The Valley of Vision. We also included a quote from Mark Twain in our programs.
What were your vows like? We contemplated writing our own vows in addition to traditional vows, but opted not to. Both of us feel that the traditional vows, while short, are so rich in purpose and meaning.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? There were so many things that I loved about it! I loved David’s look as I was walking down the aisle and catching each of my bridesmaids eyes — especially my sister — as we walked. I loved our readings since we chose those rather carefully. Our favorite part were the words of encouragement from our officiant. He connected the gospel of Christ to our marriage so beautifully; that was actually what brought me to tears during our ceremony.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? When my dad and I first walked out, no one stood! I kept thinking to myself, “Okay, someone stand. Is everything okay? Did someone tell them not to stand?” Finally, one man toward the back got up and the rest followed. I was not surprised to find out later that it was the father of a family David had stayed with temporarily before we dated. I sent him a personal thank you several weeks later!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Be sure to allocate budget to the vendors that matter most to you (ex: photography, for us). Sit down with your future spouse and agree on the things about the day that are important to you and the things that matter a little less, then budget accordingly. It never hurts to ask your planner for perspective on budget, either.
“We felt so blessed to commit to one another in such a stunning place with all our friends and family. That really meant the world to us, especially after a move across the country that year by ourselves. It was like a wedding and a reunion all in one! I wouldn’t trade one little thing about it for the world.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Autumn colors, old world scripts, antique materials, and neutral colors. Also, some of Mallory’s previous design/editorial work.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I DIY-ed our cocktail menus on mirrors, which I ordered from Etsy. Etsy was so key for the decorative details. That’s where I got our feather pen and our vintage, velvet guestbook, and our customized cookie favor bags, too.
How would you describe your reception? Relaxed, romantic and fun. We had beautiful lighting that gave it such a pretty glow. The food and drinks were incredible, and everyone danced through the last song. It was one of the funnest nights of our lives.
What was your wedding menu? Our hors d’oeuvres were out of this world! We had seven total, but there was the caramelized apple mostarda that I still rave about. For dinner, we served a cress salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and chrevre and roasted shenandoah chicken breast.
Catering by Pippin Hill.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We had two. Our cocktails were appropriately called “The Raleigh” and “The Jackson,” representing our hometowns. “The Raleigh” was a pear cocktail with vodka, and “The Jackson” was a rendition of one of David’s favorite cocktails from a bar in the town where we met that has bourbon, liqueur, and a citrus agave blend. It’s so good!
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
Our first dance song was “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We love Ray. I danced with my Dad to “Just the Way You Look Tonight,” and David danced with his Mother to “Moondance” by Vance Morrison.
Reception music by DJ Ricky.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a layered cake with vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream icing and fresh berries, and a chocolate cake with amaretto mocha and salted caramel icing. We also opted to serve late night ice cream sandwiches, which came in perfect timing after all the dancing. For favors, we gave guests parchment paper bags and set out homemade cookies, candies, and other goodies.
Cake by Maliha Creations.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. I loved watching my (new) nieces dance. They’re total opposites, so it was just the funniest thing. I think watching how much everyone else was enjoying themselves was sweet to us as well, after so much planning.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? It’s so hard to choose just one. David’s grandparents, whom we love, found each of us during one of the dance songs and danced with us. David danced with his grandmother and I danced with his grandfather right alongside! It was so sweet — I’ll never forget that. We also loved taking photographs after the ceremony and having time to ourselves in the bridal loft just before being announced at the reception.