Elizabeth and John tied the knot at the same church that Elizabeth grew up attending and later, just in time for the rain to let up and a rainbow to appear, they held their reception in Elizabeth’s parents’ backyard. Broadway, Virginia is in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and was the perfect setting for friends and family to celebrate. By nightfall, the September sky cleared and presented the perfect atmosphere for a fire pit and s’mores. This event is a true infusion of meaningful details and elegant rusticity. The gorgeous florals for example, were made by the bride’s cousin, and the rustic planter boxes that held the centerpieces were made by the groom from old fence boards found in a family barn. Thank you Gayle Driver Photography for sharing this lovely event!
From the Bride…
Before the Ring:
John and I met in 2009 while working in a hotel in DC. We were colleagues first (he was actually my boss!), and then friends, and that friendship eventually blossomed into a strong relationship. Three years later, we returned to DC and he proposed along the Georgetown waterfront in the city where it all started.
The Planning Process:
John grew up in Cincinnati and I am from a small town in Virginia, and always knew I would be married in that same small town. More specifically, I wanted to walk down the aisle in the church where I was raised and I always wanted my Reception to be in my parent’s backyard on our family farm. Luckily, John was on board with all of it!
We have both transferred cities and hotels since we first met so we planned this wedding from Cincinnati. I currently work as an Event Manager at my hotel and he is the Banquet Manager in the same hotel. To say that we had some experience when it came to events is an understatement! I have seen so many unique and creative weddings throughout the years, as has John, so trying to narrow down the possibilities and make it our own was the toughest part of the planning process.
During our year engagement, we made several trips to Virginia to plan our wedding. It’s a beautiful town located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. We wanted our wedding to be a celebration for all of our friends and family. Most had to travel and had never been to this part of the country so it was important to us that everyone had the best time! Even though the reception was at a farm, we didn’t want it to feel overly rustic. Instead, we used subtle hints throughout the decor.
Details of the Day:
John made all of the planter boxes that we used as centerpieces from old fence board in my Grandpa’s barn. We found tubs, crates, an old wooden wheelbarrow, and a butcher block in my other Grandparent’s home place that dates back to the Civil War! It was fun mixing in parts of my heritage into our wedding decor. We made it a little more formal with a black and white dance floor, floor-length linens, and we mixed in some tall floral arrangements with hanging votives to add some height to the space. Our cakes (all five of them) were made by a good friend of ours and they were delicious! I made the wedding programs, thank you cards (with some design help from Etsy), and placecards. My brother-in-law made all of the chalkboard signs and my sister-in-law drew them all. We used quilt squares for our guest book that I will piece together and turn into a quilt. My grandmother taught me how to sew at a very young age (and since I have made over a hundred quilts) and my parents own a quilt shop, so it was only natural that I wanted to save our memories in this way.
We kept the ceremony very traditional. Sticking with the rhyme, my something new was my dress, borrowed was my veil that my Grandmother made for my cousin’s wedding, old was the bible that I carried down the aisle, carried by my grandmother, aunts and cousin at their weddings and blue was a handkerchief that was embroidered by John’s great grandmother. The music for the ceremony was all done by close family friends, which was really special, and the ceremony was officiated by the same pastor that I grew up with in that church.
In between the ceremony and reception, we were going to take pictures at my house near the reception, but Mother Nature had other plans. Rain was falling pretty hard, but luckily our photographer has a beautiful horse barn that she so graciously let us use. The best part, it was right on the way to the Reception!
After photos, we arrived at the Reception to a beautiful double rainbow right over the tent. The rain stopped right before we entered the reception and never started again. God has amazing timing sometimes and it was certainly evident on our wedding night. It also allowed us to fulfill my plan of a late night fire pit and s’mores station for our guests!
Photography: Gayle Driver Photography / Venue: Bride’s Parents’ Backyard / Floral: Evergreen Florist (bride’s cousin) / Dress: Allure Bridals from Bridal Impressions / Hair: Edith with Hair Transformations / Makeup: Laura Petrik Holsinger (friend of bride) / Earrings: Fine & Fleurie / Bracelet: Jam Jewels / Men’s Suits: Mens Wearhouse / Bowties: The Tie Bar / Invitations: Poeme /Catering: Hanks Barbeque / Tent Rental: Central Virginia Rental / Transportation: Custom Transportation