When Charlie realized Stacey was the One, he didn’t just plan a proposal. Instead, he planned an entire day's worth of events to commemorate what would soon become a very special date. On December 5, 2015, the couple stopped for coffee in Arlington, Virginia, where they live, before heading to a local distillery for a whiskey tasting (liquid courage!) and lunch. Their next stop brought them to Shenandoah National Park, where a scenic tour was peppered with perfectly timed rest stops at various lookout points. "At each stop along the way, Charlie had a card with a Bible verse on it,” remembers Stacey. "Card number seven didn’t have a verse. Instead it said, 'Will you marry me?' When I moved the card from in front of my eyes, Charlie was down on one knee."
With a breathtaking engagement journey through a National Park, it’s no surprise Stacey and Charlie chose a wedding venue that had its fair share of natural splendor: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard in scenic Charlottesville, Virginia. "We loved Pippin Hill for so many reasons. It was the perfect spot for a summer wedding, the mountains and sky provided a beautiful backdrop for our ceremony, and the granary was so naturally beautiful that it didn’t need much beyond flowers and candles,” Stacey says. With their location decided and a date—July 8, 2016—set, there were only six short months standing between the couple and their big day. That's where planners Pamela Meiser and Sarah Keane from Postscripted Studios came in. With a great team on board, the only thing left to do was enjoy their picture-perfect day—a phrase that’s not used lightly, as evidenced by the stunning snaps captured by Rachel May Photography. So if you’re in the mood for a dreamy vineyard wedding, read on. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
"We had a general idea of what we wanted for our wedding, but that left lots of details to be filled in, and our wedding planners helped us do that," Stacey says of pulling off her dream wedding in just six months. "They provided us with lots of options—some that we didn’t even know existed!—to choose from and then helped us tweak things until they seemed just right.”
Those details started from the very beginning. Inspired by the South's famed hospitality, Stacey and Charlie welcomed guests to their wedding weekend with an assortment of sweet treats, a schedule for the weekend’s events, and a copy of The Scout Guide Charlottesville. The kit’s aesthetic was carried over from the invitation suite, which was equal parts elegant and fun, thanks to a classic color palette and gorgeous hand-calligraphy. Incredibly enough, the bride, who was working, finishing school, and trying to plan the wedding, found the time to address the envelopes herself, a DIY project that looked nothing less than entirely professional!
During her first shopping trip, Stacey and her two friends discussed her personal style and wedding vision with their consultant before hitting the racks. As it turns out, all that talking paid off because the dress made its appearance within the first few tries. "I had tried on another dress right before I found this one, and it was made from the same lace, but only on the top of the gown," the bride remembers. "I kept saying that I wished there was a dress made entirely from that lace because it was so unique.” That's when her stylist brought out a Hayley Paige fit-and-flare gown that featured the stunning geometric lace from top to bottom. “I fell in love immediately. I am not a squealer, but I came close to it that day."
A crystal-studded belt made by Stacey’s mom (the morning of the wedding, no less!) added just the right amount of sparkle to the bride's ensemble, and her metallic shoes offered a stylish pop of color. The bouquet was a dreamy assortment of garden roses and peonies in ivory and blush, plus there was a spray of baby’s breath that ensured the hand-tied arrangement felt loose and effortless. Bonus: It was completely on trend with 2016's Pantone color of the year!
For her bridesmaids, Stacey had envisioned a gown with the option for some variety. She achieved the desired look by giving her girls free rein on a line of Amsale dresses in shades of taupe and blush. The result was a"mismatched but blended” look. The maid of honor wore a beaded Adrianna Papell gown to add texture to the group’s overall appearance.
We love that this wedding’s “something blue” came from the groom. Wearing a French blue suit from Alton Lane, Charlie brought a cool confidence to the day’s festivities. Both his dress shirt and jacket were embroidered with the wedding date and his name, a meaningful detail that’s sure to bring a smile to his face whenever he wears them! Them groomsmen wore similar blue ensembles but swapped boutonnieres for pocket squares.
The couple tied the knot on the venue’s lawn beside the vineyard’s perfect rows of grapes. A blooming arch served as the focal point, with overgrown greens and blush roses adding a pop of color to the otherwise green landscape. Wooden wine barrels topped with floral arrangements marked the start of the aisle, where white country chairs were set up on either side. Stacey added a flowing tulle skirt to her gown for the ceremony, evoking a romantic vibe for their vows, which were presided over by the couple’s pastor.
Immediately after the two were pronounced husband and wife, Stacey and Charlie snuck off to share what they thought would be an intimate moment. "Charlie and I went up to the balcony overlooking the granary at Pippin Hill to take it all in, but a few seconds later, some of our guests spotted us, pointed, and cheered," the bride remembers. "Pretty soon the entire room was looking at us, cheering, and waving.”
Pippin Hill is known for its menu fit for foodies, so it's no surprise that all of Stacey and Charlie's meal selections wowed guests. Cocktail hour on the veranda’s stone terrace featured an array of vineyard-to-table canapés, the most interesting of which were bacon “lollipops”—fan favorites that were described as the perfect mix of salty and sweet.
As guests made their way into the reception, they found their seats on calligraphed table cards that were affixed to wine corks. Held in the barn’s granary, the dinner space’s decor struck a perfect balance between rustic and refined. Bistro lighting hung from exposed wooden beams, and hanging floral arrangements with overgrown greens and roses were scattered throughout the room. Long swaths of ivory fabric were draped on the walls, softening the sunlight and adding a romantic aesthetic to the rustic space.
The bridal party sat at a long wooden table, and the arrangement floating overhead was actually created using a ladder—a nod to the working farm venue. A garland runner and votive candles spanned the center of the table, adding a special flourish to the VIP seating. The remainder of the round tables were draped with cream-colored linens, and clusters of pink, peach, and ivory flowers with cascading greenery served as centerpieces.
Rather than a traditional menu, guests were treated to an array of Stacey and Charlie’s favorite foods, including mac and cheese, sliders, truffle fries, and crab cakes. The wedding cake, too, was a delectable option: a combination of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and praline crunch. The three-tier buttercream-frosted design was topped off with a cascade of fresh flowers.
Guests ensured the the expansive dance floor was filled all night, but it was Stacey and her dad who showed off some of the evening's best moves. "My dad and I really wanted to get our dance right, so the morning of the wedding we found an empty conference room to practice in,” Stacey says. "We must’ve gone over it 10 or 15 times that morning.”
Stacey and Charlie made their grand exit through a blaze of sparklers. As they reflected on the day, it was this very moment that stuck with the bride and groom. "It was so peaceful and comforting to leave all of our family and friends knowing we had their love and support,” the bride says.
Venue & Catering: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Wedding Planner: Postscripted Studios
Bride's Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Hair & Makeup: The Spot Beauty Shop (Now Glo-Out Glamour Bar)
Groom's Attire: Alton Lane
Groomsmen's Attire: Macy's
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Root Jewelers
Flowers: Blue Ridge Floral Design
Invitations: Laughing Owl Press
Cake: Albemarle Baking Co.
Rentals: MS Events
Photographer: Rachel May Photography