Christine + Gavin
May 27, 2012
Look at this classic mountain wedding! Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, it boasted stunning mountain views, sweet rustic details and delightful purple accents that remind us of the sweetness of early summer! I also have a soft spot in my heart for Memorial Day weekend wedding like this. Hubs and I were married on Memorial Day weekend too!
Checkout what Christine is glad she did for her wedding and the best piece of advice she got in the days leading up to it, all in her interview below!
Why a Mountain Wedding?
I wanted a destination wedding. My first choice was Spain, where Gavin and I met. He preferred something closer to home, saying we could have a destination wedding, but only in the continental U.S., east of the Mississippi. That significantly narrowed down our options, but I was determined to find a breathtaking setting. I spent hours searching for venues, but I fell in love with Wintergreen when I saw pictures of a wedding there posted on our photographer’s blog. Of course they were not our photographers yet. But I knew I had to have both their skills and the gorgeous location. Keeping with the destination feel, we filled the gift bags with local Virginia specialties like peanuts, Route 11 chips, and wine from a local vineyard. We wanted people to feel included in the entire weekend, so every guest was invited to the rehearsal dinner, as well as the farewell brunch. I felt like that provided actual quality time to talk and catch up with all the people we love, who had traveled so far to be a part of our big day!
Where did you find your inspiration?
I wanted our wedding to match the setting. An outdoor mountain wedding needed a casual, rustic atmosphere to match. From there it was easy. We used the colors purple, gold, and brown, and lots of oak tree images, symbolizing strength and unity. Even our cake topper was an oak tree. On the tables we had slices of an oak tree from the front yard of my childhood house, and lots of local wildflowers. The monogram we used on most of our details looked like our initials and a heart had been carved into a tree. We put that on just about everything that would stand still.
Your favorite moment of the day.
I think it would be taking pictures before the ceremony. During our first look I was so nervous, but we were out there on a rock that jutted our over the side of the mountain, and the moment just took my breath away. It’s something I’ll never forget. I’m so glad we saw each other before the ceremony, because it was so much more intimate and special with just the two of us… and of course our fantastic photographers. It made the rest of the day much more relaxed and took away all my nervous energy. We also had so much fun walking around outside taking pictures with the wedding party, goofing off, and taking jumping pictures. Our best friends were such an important part of the wedding, so it felt great to have that time with them, before partying with all of our guests that night.
Three things you’re glad you did.
- Signature cocktail…. Not only was our “purple mountain’s majesty” drink delicious, we also had a great time having friends over to work out the recipe. We had several prototypes that our friends rated on color and taste. Plus, our guests loved it!
- Wearing our grandparents rings…. For my wedding band, I used my grandmother’s, who was also named Christine. Gavin wears his grandfather’s, who was married on Memorial Day Weekend like us, only 59 years earlier.
- Took a day between the wedding and the honeymoon….The wedding weekend was so much fun, but at the end of it I was exhausted. We came back to DC for a night to rest, go out for Mexican food, and regroup before flying off to St. Lucia.
Anything you wish you hadn’t worried about?
At work, the last day before I left for the wedding, my boss gave me some advice. He said that something would go wrong, but not to worry about the flowers or whatever it was, because no matter what, at the end of it, I would be married. That was all that mattered. During the entire wedding weekend, if I ever started to stress, I just repeated, “no matter what, I’ll be married when this is over,” and it helped to keep my heart in the right place.
Of course in the weeks leading up to the wedding, I had worried mostly about hurting people’s feelings or what others were thinking, and I just wish I had let go of all of that sooner.
How did you choose your vendors?
We started with people we knew. Knowing that someone else, someone that you trust, was happy with their work is very comforting. We also relied a lot on the talents of our friends and family. I had some wonderful friends arrange all the flowers and table decorations the day of the wedding. But my favorite vendor would have to be my matron of honor. Jessica has her own Etsy store, and designed my jewelry for the day, as well as jewelry for all of the wedding party and family members. She made me at least 4 drafts of my wedding earrings, and didn’t stop until they were perfect.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
Don’t try to please other people- it’s your wedding! As cheesy as it sounds, you have to be true to yourself. Some of the things our family and friends thought were crazy (reading a children’s book in the wedding, no center aisle, serving mountaintop champagne before the ceremony, our southern picnic themed menu) turned out to be some of the weekend’s biggest successes, and some of our favorite memories.