Jillian & Michael had a quiet, intimate mountainside ceremony at Khimaira Farm in Luray, Va. with only their little girl (age 3) joining them at the altar as the flower girl. Their wedding was full of lovely handcrafted décor and the whole day was made unique by all of the friends and family who pitched in to make the day truly special. The night ended with a sliders, dancing & sparkler send off to a Rolls Royce getaway car. Kim Stockwell was on hand to capture every moment and detail.
Jillian + Michael
Khimaira Farm, Luray VA
November 7, 2015
Wedding day weather: Misty, foggy, beautiful
Number of guests: 100
Your budget: $15,000 – $20,000
Biggest splurge: Venue – $6000
Biggest savings: My mom made the cake so that was free! My dress was 40% off because it was the last one left at the shop so it ended up being $800. For flowers I only did my bouquet, a garland for the trellis, corsages, boutonnieres, and a flower girl crown. $500 total
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
I chose the mountains because, my now husband, loves the mountains and I knew it would be an amazing view. A fall wedding meant a mountainside covered in beautiful red, orange, and, yellow trees. In addition to the landscape, I always pictured myself getting married in a barn full of twinkle lights, which is exactly what Khimaira Farms had. The barn and the mountains was like something out of a dream.
Wedding day theme:
The theme was vintage and classy, yet very laid back and fun. The colors were plum purple and Crimson, with mixed metals, but mostly gold.. There were twinkle lights and candles everywhere, but we also placed chalkboards everywhere with love quotes on them. I loved the idea of a barn wedding but I still wanted it to be a fancy wedding. It was everything I envisioned and more. We took pictures with the farm goats but left that night in a white, rolls Royce after the sparkler send off.
Where did you find your inspiration?
Pinterest was a huge help and gave me plenty of ideas and useful tips. Khimaira farm has numerous closets full of decorations left behind by previous brides so all I had to do was pick out what I wanted to use and in whatever color I liked.
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
I got so many ideas from Pinterest and previous Khimaira weddings but I definitely put my twist on things and made it my own.
The Ceremony: Michael and I decided against a wedding party because we wanted the ceremony to be simple and for the focus to be on him, me and our 2 year old daughter Harper, who was the flower girl! My dad walked me down the aisle but he was also our officiant which made the ceremony so personal and special.
Beauty: I wore my hair down because I felt like the dress I wore was so intricate that my hair should be simple and being a mountain wedding I wanted it to just be free flowing and natural.
Portraits: We got to take pictures with a Khimsira goat which was pretty awesome and unique!
Reception: For the reception I didn’t want the theme to be country just because we were in a barn so I chose the music to be more laid back and fun matching our personalities! There was reggae, folk rock, lots of oldies from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, hip hop, rap, and R&B. We did throw some Garth Brooks in there…had to play friends in low places. There were plenty of Beatles songs because they are my all time favorite. Michael and I’d first dance was to Bill Withurs “Lovely Day” which was so fun and unique!
DIY & Decor: I had my older sister write out love quotes on chalkboards and they were placed all around the barn which was really romantic and sweet. I chose all kinds of mixed metals to accent the barn, highlighted by the ceiling full of twinkle lights really gave it an elegant feel. For our wedding guestbook we purchased a white Polaroid camera and had a guestbook made specifically for Polaroids. The guests had so much fun with that and we had so much fun looking at the guestbook the next day and laughing at all the fun pictures taken.
Something Old, Borrowed & Blue: I wore my mothers diamond sapphire ring as something borrowed, old, and blue. I wore a white lace garter with a sapphire blue jeweled appliqué and sapphire blue heels to go along with the ring.
Wedding Cake: My mom made the beautiful wedding cake and placed flower and glittered ivy cascading down the layers. To cut the cake Michael and I used the same set his parents used when they got married almost 40 years ago. To us it was symbolic and special. An inspiration of the wonderful example of true love and commitment they have set for us.
The Getaway: I think the best part of that night was when the late night sliders were brought out. After all that dancing our guests could grab a big slider with a mini mug full of Oreo milkshake to wash it down. HUGE success. After the late night snack we did sparklers and ride off in a white rolls Royce driven by my mothers fiancé. Back at the Mimslyn Imn we ended the night at the speakeasy bar on the bottom level where all the guests and Michael and I danced to live music and drank until we couldn’t anymore! It was the greatest night ever and all the guests would agree.
Family: I have six siblings and all of them were there to help set up that day! My older sister Jaclyn is an executive chef at farmers, fishers, bakers in DC but she went to VCU art school so I asked her to do all the love quotes on chalkboards her and my younger sister Jordan gave speeches at the reception. My three younger brother Spencer, Decker, and Grayson, helped set up for the ceremony and reception! Not too mention again my dad officiating and my mom making the cake and all of the glitter pumpkins, place cards, and s’more station. Lastly we did a memorial table for those family members who we have lost. We had framed pictures of my dads father, my mother mother, Michaels grandfather, and his cousin. Alongside the pictures was a quote saying “we know you’d be here if heaven weren’t so far away” ….it was so special
What was your favorite part of the reception?
I think I got carried away with the above question so I may have already answered this! I loved the music, and since my dress was flippy I danced like crazy. The food was amazing, a dear friend of my family, Linda Harkness, did the catering. Is he has known me my whole life and her catering company Tasteful Affairs is the best. There was no way I coulee had anyone else cater the wedding. I ate so many passed appetizers I could barely eat the crust dinner! The cake was amazing and so special. I loved the sliders and the guestbook and the sparklers! I loved it all!
What are three things you’re super glad you did?
- Having the ceremony outside under the trellis covered in flowers and with the Shenandoah mountains as s back drop was the most amazing and breathtaking experience. It caught myself just staying at the view instead of paying attention to what my dad was saying haha!
- Since it has rained that morning there was a mist over the mountains and gave my photographer Kim the ability to take the most amazing pictures. Having her as my photographer was one of the best decisions I made.
- I’m glad for the ceremony it was just Mi hark, Harper, and I. It made the ceremony small and intimate. I wanted my daughter to look back and see how special it was just for the three of us.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
There really weren’t any challenges. Khimaira Farm is amazing because in their price they include: tables, chairs, tablecloths, dinnerware, glassware, staff, decorations, lights, serving dishes, and chalkboards. The DJ is the son-in-law of the owner and if you choose his services you get a major discount since his equipment is already set up at Khimaira. They had a children’s playhouse with insure babysitter which was amazing. The ceremony was right next to the barn. My mom did the cake and even though Linda’s catering company is in Alexandria she had her staff deliver everything to Luray. If it had kept raining that day the ceremony would have been in the barn so I wasn’t worried about that. Honestly the only time I ever felt stresses throughout the whole process was the last week of planning because I was trying to do the seating chart and it felt like doing a 500 piece puzzle. I’m being dramatic but it wasn’t as easy as if thought.
How did you find and choose your vendors?
My mom found Khimaira after I told her my dream wedding was in a barn. She searched online and found this amazing all inclusive barn wedding venue tucked away in the Shenandoah mountains. The flower shop I chose was local, Vivian’s flower shop located right on main st. In Luray. I worked with Don and he was so gracious throughout the whole process. I had so many ideas and he totally brough to life what I envisioned and I recommend him and his talent for fliers to all brides in and around that area! Like I said the DJ came with Khimaira. My mom made the cake. My family friend did the food. My father was the officiant. Kim Stockwell, my photographer, went to Longwood University with me but it wasn’t until she moved to Richomovd where I lived that I started seeing her beautiful work. The way she took pictures I can’t even describe, it was like she made them glow. Her pictures were ethereal and that’s what I wanted haha I wanted her to make me glow that day. I felt like an angel in my dress and I wanted the pictures to reflect how I felt and she did just that. My moms fiancé carter drove us back to the Mimslyn in his rolls Royce and all the guest took a charter bus we had rented. My hair and makeup was done by a mutual friend who is just starting out so she needed the experience and her services were basically free because of that. I used Shutterfly for the invitations which was awesome because I used a promo code for 50% off if I spent more than $250. The invitations would have been $500 but with that code they were right under $250. I was thrilled by the saving and at the great quality of the invitations themselves.
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
It will be a beautiful wedding no matter what. Rain or shine, you can’t beat the view. Relax and enjoy every minute of that day. Not everything will be perfect but no one will know that so don’t even worry about it. Don’t splurge on flowers. They are so expensive and they all get left behind at the end. It’s such a waste and no one remdners the fliers anyway. We did simple baby’s breath centerpieces surrounded by a ton of votives. Cheap, quick, easy. Do not stress over guest favors. You don’t need to get those. Koozies are fun but let’s face it, everyone already has a million wedding koozies at their house. We went the edible route. Guest name cards were stuck to a toothpick and place in fereo richer chocolate truffles. So when the guest arrived they got a little chocolate and when they were about to leave after a night of dancing and drinking they got sliders and mini milkshakes. The guestbook was one of my best ideas as well. Guestbooks with just notes can be boring and you might not ever read them again but pictures are worth a thousand words especially Polaroids!! The guestbook was fun but vintage looking and in a beautiful handmade book with pockets seen in from Lithuania. Definitely do sparklers! Best pictures in front of the barn! USE A DAY OF COORDINATOR! I planned the entire wedding myself because I knew I could and I didn’t want to pay someone to do it for me. That being said I definitely needed to hire someone for the actual day to make sure everything would run smoothly and that task wouldn’t fall on my mom and I. Without a wedding day coordinator it would have been chaotic and very stressful so don’t make the mistake of trying to “wing it” … It won’t work! Also Pinterest timelines were the biggest help to me. I used a 12 month timeline of what I needed to accomplish and when. I stuck to the timeline and took care of everything a little bit at a time so I never felt rushed or stressed. It was actually a very pleasant and relaxed experience and I was sad when it was over. You should never get to the point where you’re saying “ugh I can’t wait until this is over” that’s not how it should be. Relax, enjoy it, ask for help. Stick to a timeline and accomplish a little at a time. You will feel at ease and proud of yourself. Try to book a venue that includes almost everything so that will leave less for you to do! Use family and friends! They love you and are happy to help!
Virginia Mountain Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photographer: Kim Stockwell Photography | Reception Venue: Khimaira Farm | DJ: Josh Nicol | Florals: Vivian’s Flower Shop | Hair and Makeup: Megan Sadler | Catering: Tasteful Affairs Catering | Invitations: Shutterfly | Guestbook: LiuMy (etsy) | Bridal Boutique: Caryn’s Bridal| Robe: Piyama girls (etsy) | Officiant: Kim Allen Beasley | Transportation: Richard Bus Lines | Eyelashes: Be Lashed ( Brittany Cox) | Wedding Cake: Kim Decker | Bridal Gown: Sottero and Midgley | Calligraphy: Emily Mcgurl