There are SO many things to love about this West Virginia wedding. From Emily’s custom Dolly Couture tea length dress and peach and white bouquet of peonies and roses, to the homemade pies and rustic barn, complete with a flock of friendly red hens. Emily and Severin’s day has a blissful, no-fuss feel, rich in summer colors (the bridesmaids chose their own dresses and the combination turned out stunning!), and the idyllic acreage of Appalachian farmland as a backdrop, all captured by the wonderful Melissa Perella. Read below for their story!
Before the Ring:
We met at Yale sophomore year when Severin moved in to the dorm room immediately below mine. We became good friends over the next few years, but it was not until Sev convinced me to drive from Portland OR (his hometown) back to New Haven, CT during spring break of our senior year that we started dating.
After dating just over a year, we moved to Charlottesville, VA together so that I could start medical school and Sev could start veterinary school. We had only been here for about a week when we went on our first hike in the nearby Shenandoah National Park — and he proposed! He had secretly made several trips to a jeweler and talked to my family about it. I probably should have expected something because of all the pointed questions my parents had asked me for the previous month as they waited for the engagement, but I suspected nothing. When we got to the viewpoint at the top of the Turk Mountain, Severin got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. I was so taken in by the view he had to ask me to turn around to even notice what was happening.
Details of the Day:
We tried to incorporate lots of personal touches in the wedding and give the whole day a homespun, un-fussy feel. Severin and I made all the invitations ourselves with help from a few friends. We made the wedding program “fans” and the bridesmaids helped assemble them so our guests could keep themselves cool during our June outdoor wedding. My mom and I cut all the napkins by hand, and my sister (MOH) and I spent weeks scouring local thrift stores for mismatched china. Sev and I picked and canned dozens of jars of Strawberry Jam for the wedding favors. All of the beer served at the wedding was brewed by Severin – 4 varieties and 30 gallons total! My college friends formed a string quartet for the ceremony music. The ceremony was followed immediately by the reception that went well into the night with music by The Wild Rumpus and a pig roast (with many vegetarian options–I am a veggie!) that featured as the centerpiece for the dinner.
Fun Fact: I ONLY tried on Dolly’s dresses and no one else’s! I found her online and happened to be visiting one of my bridesmaids in LA where her showroom is. I fell in love with the Avila Bay, which they customized for me, changing the fabric to champagne and adding the giant bow on the back, for a very reasonable price. I had SO much fun dancing in that dress – and I stayed cool!
Emily’s Advice to Brides:
Having a day-of coordinator or planner–or at least an MOH who is really organized and assertive–is so important! By the day of the wedding, I was so preoccupied with getting married and saying my vows (we wrote our own – and didn’t hear each other’s until the ceremony!) that I was not at all helpful with last-minute decisions. I firmly believe this is how it should be — when you’re getting married, focus on the getting married part, not ensuring that every detail is executed with precision. 🙂 I tried to stay in the moment, and now I have great memories of that day and saying my vows to my husband in front of a whole bunch of people who care about us.
Photography: Melissa Perella Photography / Venue: Sunny Pointe Guest House / Brides Dress: Dolly Couture / Bridesmaids Dresses: Their own / Floral: Blooms / Planner: Cara Ewald of Blooms / Music: The Wild Rumpus / Caterer: Bridgeport Conference Center / Birdcage Veil: The Red Magnolia / Hair: Whitney Cayton / Groom’s Vests: J. Crew / Pies: Friends of the bride.