An Elegant Retro-Vintage Destination Wedding in West Virginia
Audrey and John
In 2010, Audrey sat next to John at a wine class in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. He walked her home that evening and they were together from that point on. Two years later, on July 14, 2012, they tied the knot (and drank more wine) with an intimate destination wedding that was part Dorothy Draper, part Rat Pack, and all charm.
Suann Song of Simplesong Design created the couple’s letterpressed invitation, which reflected Audrey and John’s classic, clean style. Using warm gray, coral, and antique gold as a palette, the suite included a stamped grosgrain ribbon, monogrammed wax seal, and patterned backer.
The Welcome Boxes
The boxes also boasted a schedule of the weekend’s event. Everything was tied together with coral grosgrain ribbon and a thank-you note from the pair to their guests.
After spending a New Year's Eve at The Greenbrier, and getting engaged there, too, the couple knew it was the perfect place to host their nuptials.
Audrey chose the "Amira" gown by Christos, which she found at Hitched Salon in Georgetown. She accented it with a pair of glittery Christian Louboutin shoes. John donned a made-to-measure Samuelsohn tuxedo from Wm. Fox & Co., a custom shirt, Thomas Pink bow tie, patent leather Louis Vuitton loafers, and rock crystal, onyx, and diamond dress studs and cufflinks from Seaman Schepps.
Audrey's sister, who used to have a personalized embroidery company, made a custom label sporting the bride's initials and wedding date. It was sewn into the bottom of the bridal gown.
The guys looked sharp in tuxedos and boutonnieres of hypericum berries, dahlias, and green foliage accents.
Before their afternoon ceremony, Audrey and John posed for portraits taken by photographer Kate Headley. They roamed the grounds and historical building. “One of our favorite spots was on the iconic staircase in the Presidential Suite,” Audrey recalls. “The Duke and Dutchess of Windsor had their photo taken on the same stairs.”
Program booklets doubled as escort cards thanks to calligraphed names on the front. Guest table assignments were in a small cellophane envelope inside.
A Sign of the Times
A sign announcing the bride’s impending entrance was made by Simplesong Design and carried down the aisle by a junior groomsman.
Three of a Kind
A string quartet played at the outdoor service in the Springhouse, which included readings of Ephesians 3:14-19 and Colossians 3:12-17.
Legend has it that mint juleps were invented at The Old White (the Greenbrier’s predecessor) in the early 19th century. A Dorothy Draper rosewater Collins was also served.
Cocktail Hour Fare
Passed appetizers included mini BLTs, Roquefort popovers, melon and prosciutto, and shrimp mignonette.
The travel-lovers shared their passion for globetrotting by naming each table at their reception in the Cameo Ballroom after destinations they’d visited, many of which were grand historic hotels. In addition to framed vintage postcards of each resort (found on Ebay), a card was displayed with a blurb about the significance of each location, like the Hershey Hotel (where Audrey’s maternal grandparents honeymooned).
Tables were covered with striped linens and anchored with an arrangement of roses, astilbe, hydrangea, and springeri.
Dinner consisted of a medley of baby greens with peppered Vermont chevre, shaved Virginia ham, and peach chutney with warm bacon cider dressing; a duo of grilled petite filet of beef and lump crabcake; and potatoes dauphinoise.
A Special Bottle
The First Dance
The newlyweds chose Dean Martin's “Aint That a Kick in the Head” for their first dance song.
Audrey and John cut into a faux cake (there was also a real piece of cake for them to enjoy), which was decorated with buttercream, fresh blooms, and a mini replica of their ceremony spot. The Greenbrier's signature coconut pound cake was served with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge for dessert.
Fun and Games
Photography and Videography: Kate Headley
Location, Catering, and Cake: The Greenbrier
Event Planning: Arney Walker of Pineapple Productions
Flowers: Gillespie’s Flowers and Productions
Stationery: Suann Song of Simplesong Design
Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy
Music: Big Ray and the Kool Kats
Linens: DC Rental
Hair: Salon Vivace
Wedding Rings: Tiny Jewel Box