A chuppah draped with foliage, a three-tiered buttercream cake topped with fresh flowers, a country barn venue – these are just some of the reasons we wish we’d been at Sandra and Matt’s rustic big day.
The whole wedding was a visual dream, with pops of bright, spring colors against dark, earthy backdrops, at a venue with special meaning to the couple.
Despite dramatic weather, Sandra and Matt soldiered on, even making the rain a feature of their wedding, with the bridesmaids in adorable rain boots (or wellies, for the Brits!).
The beautiful photography below was provided by Don Mears Photography, so we’ll let you go and gawp at it now. Enjoy Sandra and Matt’s big day story (we adore the tale of their first meeting – it’s like something out of a movie!)
How we met
Matt, the groom: Our relationship started as so many do: with Bill Clinton. Freezing in line to see the former President stump for Hillary in the 2008 primaries, I started making fun of Sandra for being short, the surest way to any girl’s heart.
Sandra, the bride: I knew I was in trouble when I bumped into him later that night. I was at a party Matt had invited my friends and me to at his fraternity, and had gone up to the bar to grab a drink. Lo and behold, Matt turned around to serve me. He smiled, and I was smitten.
A vineyard venue
The location was probably the biggest thing in terms of making the wedding about us.
We loved going down to Charlottesville and visiting the vineyards when Matt lived in DC. We both later realized that we were independently thinking it would be a great place for us to get married before we were even talking about the “M” word. We had so many great memories down there and thought it was so beautiful. We really wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the area and the pastoral vibe.
We both love the outdoors and spent a lot of weekends traveling down to Charlottesville to go to vineyards, so it was an natural choice for us. The destination played a major part in our relationship leading up to the wedding, and we made a lot of memories there, so it was the perfect way to make even more memories!
Bridesmaids in rain boots
Badgley Mischka wedges were perfect for the ceremony, whereas flats were a must for all of the dancing at the reception.
The bridal party also donned rain boots for pictures, as the wedding day was a bit rainy – it turned out great!
There were seven bridesmaids who chose their own dresses in shades of bluish grey to make the flowers pop. It blended perfectly with the wedding colors, as well as the outfits that the guys wore.
A rustic chuppah
We wanted our chuppah to be natural to match our rustic theme, so it was made out of branches. Greenery and white flowers were paired for a cohesive design.
During the ceremony, Sandra’s father read The Lovely Other Dinosaur, the book that we mention below. It’s both really funny and really sweet, and we think it encapsulates both of us.
Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter
For our processional, we played Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles. For the recessional, we chose On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons, and our first dance was to Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
Our fabulous photographers
We loved Don and Lindsey‘s ability to capture candid moments.
The party favor at the wedding was locally made honey by Market at Grelen. We also gave guests welcome bags by Wedding Welcomes at the hotel that had Charlottesville-made Alpenglow sparkling cider, Moravian sugar cookies by One Creative Cookie (made in North Carolina, where I’m from), and Country Kettle Fudge (made in New Jersey, where Sandra is from).
A callback guest book
We made the guest book by cutting out and coloring in pages from a copy of “The Lovely Other Dinosaur”, a children’s book that was our favorite reading from the ceremony.
We pasted the smaller pages from the book into a larger, leather-bound guest book, and guests signed around the edges.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Watch out for lightning! That’s what forced us to change our venue the day before the wedding. More broadly though, be ready to roll with the punches, because something will go wrong.
Sandra & Matt’s little white book
Photography – Don Mears Photography
Venue – The Lodge at Mount Ida
Coordination and Event Design – Donovan-Groves Event
Caterer – A Pimento Catering
Hair + Makeup – Charlottesville Makeup Artist
Florist – Nature Composed
Ceremony Musician – Peter Fields
Ceremony AV – Blue Ridge Audio
Band – Six Stylez
Cake – Favorite Cakes
Gift Bags – Wedding Welcomes
Cookies – One Creative Cookie
Fudge – Country Kettle Fudge
Honey – Market at Grelen
Photobooth – Photo Booth of Charlottesville
Rabbi – Rabbi Jake Rubin
Lighting and Rentals – MS Events
Transportation – Albemarle Limousine
Restroom Trailer – Stonegate Event Rentals