Patriotic Elopement in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Military Style Mountain elopement | by Dani White Photography

With only 6 months to plan, Mandy and Fred decided to make their wedding about just the two of them. They choose the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Fourth of July. The day with a nice big breakfast. After, they hiked to a waterfall, followed by a very patriotic 4th of July cookout. In the late afternoon, headed to the Golden Horseshoe Inn to get married. Dani White Photography was on hand to capture Fred and Mandy's beautiful nuptials.

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Mandy + Fred
Golden Horseshoe Inn, Stanardsville VA
July 4, 2014

Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?

It seemed right for us – we both grew up in small towns and although we can fit in well enough in cities, we'll always be somewhat country at heart. In addition, we simply love America's national park system!

Wedding Day Weather

Cool and breezy

Number of guests that attended

2 (our photographer and her hilarious husband!)

What was your theme for your wedding?

Patriotic elegance with a classy, almost vintage feel

Where did you find your inspiration?

In short, we found inspiration in simplicity. It began with us finding a blog online called Intimate Weddings  and it was then we know that a small wedding was right for us. However, that idea later transformed into an elopement for two, and we haven't looked back since!

Your budget

3,000-5,000

Biggest Splurge

Photographer

Biggest Savings

Everything else! (But probably catering)

How did you choose to personalize your wedding?

Since it was an elopement with just us and our amazing photographer (and her husband!), we were able to personalize our day as a whole. We started with a big breakfast, a waterfall hike, a very patriotic 4th of July cookout, and then we headed to the venue to get married. Afterwards, we continued to take photos in the most beautiful parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains–and laughed and played with sparklers.

What was your favorite part of the reception?

Honestly, everything! But if I had to choose just one thing, it was probably our first dance. We had taken swing lessons to learn a few moves, but it was by no means choreographed. I love knowing that our first dance can never really be recreated!

What are three things you're super glad you did?

  1. Elope with just us! Our families were disappointed but in the end understood and respected our decision. It let us enjoy our day, and spend a whole weekend celebrating with our families later.
  2. Go all out on a photographer–you really do get what you pay for, and it is imperative to find a capable professional who is also able to be a friend/wingman.
  3. Not splurging on everything–despite what the media tends to lead us to believe, not everything is of utmost importance. Sure, have a beautiful glittery cake topper, but it doesn't need to be made of real crystals!

What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?

We had a relatively tight timeline–about six months. Thankfully we did our research and found the Golden Horseshoe Inn! Our wedding coordinator Heather took care of practically everything but our outfits! (Read as: we relied on a great professional!)

How did you find and choose your vendors?

Google. Google. Google. In the end, all of our Googling led us to weddingwire.com, which was HUGE help because of all the user reviews.

What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?

Follow your heart, but take your brain with you! It is natural to want the best of everything for your wedding day, but don't be afraid to pick and choose your priorities. Splurge on things that matter to you (like a photographer), and find tasteful alternatives otherwise. In the end, no one will know or remember where your dress came from or how many flavors of cake you had. Make your day enjoyable for YOU!

Virginia Wedding Vendors

Photographer: Dani White Photography | Event Venue: Golden Horseshoe Inn

Submitted via Two Bright Lights