A Formal Rustic Destination Wedding in Virginia
Meet Cute: Channah and Russ
Channah Farber and Russ Norman were living in the same Washington, D.C., apartment building and noticed each other in passing. One night he was coming home with his parents who were in town visiting, and she was coming home from the movies. He opened the door for her to get in to the building, sent his parents upstairs, and introduced himself as they were both getting their mail. The next time Channah saw Russ she asked him out. Not too long after, they went on their first date and just shy of two years later, on November 2, 2012, in Charlottesville, Virginia, they tied the knot.
The bride's aunt, an artist, created a number of line drawings to be incorporated into the various stationery elements. The invitations featured illustrated barn doors that opened to reveal the formal invite, with artwork of the location at the top. A response card instructed guests to circle a full or empty wine glass and note their ability to attend. The pieces were tied together with twine and finished with a tag depicting a leaf. Everything was contained in a white paper-lined envelope printed with a wine bottle (another nod to the nuptial's vineyard setting). The illustrations were paired with a modern typeface and letterpressed by Sara McNally of Constellation & Co.
The Charlottesville, VA, Location
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard reminded the bride of her Oregon roots without having to change time zones. It also offered the couple the option of an outdoor ceremony in a picturesque setting with space to celebrate indoors after. Channah discovered the venue while looking for wineries to enjoy on a birthday trip to Virginia for Russ’s birthday, and six months later when he popped the question and she knew it would be a great location.
Something Old, Something Choo
Russ sported a Barney's New York tuxedo and his blushing bride wore a Vera Wang gown. She accessorized with Jimmy Choo shoes, a veil from The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel, and Ippolita crystal drop earrings. For her something blue, she took a scrap of the groom's favorite shirt (a threadbare blue plaid) and had her seamstress sew a square to the label of her dress.
The Lush Bridal Bouquet
Green Bridesmaid Dresses
Natural Bridesmaid Bouquets
Bridesmaids carried bouquets of roses, ferns, chinaberries, snowball viburnum, rosemary, and dusty miller.
Cute Flower Girl
The daughter of Channah's twin brother stole the show. "When I called to ask whether she would like to be our flower girl it was really sweet to hear the shrieks of excitement," Channah said. "She liked the idea of having a dress that looked just like mine only 'poofier' so we found one that had a similar combination of fabrics." In addition to her Dessy dress and Crewcuts cashmere cardigan and ballet flats, she sported a mini version of the bridal bouquet.
Photos taken throughout the couple's relationship were printed in black and white for the big day. The pictures were displayed in a mix of ivory and black picture frames and set amidst votive candles, small flower arrangements, and oversized letters for the bride and groom's first initials.
Programs with Pick-up
A line drawing of the getaway car festooned the cover of the program, which was bound with a gauzy ribbon.
A Simple Chuppah
So as not to detract from the beauty of their surroundings, a simple chuppah was erected using river birch accented with jars of roses and various foliage.
A Personalized Ceremony
A close family friend officiated the intimate ceremony, that was predominantly secular but which drew on a few Jewish traditions. The service was written entirely by the couple and their officiant.
Cones were made using that day’s New York Times, for the petal toss that would occur at the ceremony’s conclusion,
Petals for the Newlyweds
Guests showered the couple with flower petals as they recessed up the aisle accompanied by "Hornpipe" by Handel.
Elisa Bricker captured the couple and their marital bliss following the ceremony.
A Wish Lantern
The couple took a private moment towards the end of cocktail hour to release a wish lantern, as a way to symbolically share their wishes for a new life together. The only other person present? Their photographer Elisa B Photography. "She got some amazing shots of this," Channah said.
The Head Table
A long rectangular table was anchored with a tall centerpiece of willow, privet berries, green hydrangea, tomatoes, lilies, and roses. A crisp white runner, mercury glass votive holders, and a few smaller arrangements filled the rest of the table.
Reception Round Table
Round tables were set with glass vases of neutral flowers, herbs, and greenery, and cross-back wooden chairs. Edison bulbs were strung overhead.
Thematic Table Names
A subtle theme of "east coast meets west coast" was woven throughout the day: organic touches honored the bride’s Pacific Northwest roots and a city sensibility nodded to the groom's New York City upbringing. Tables were named after significant Manhattan spots and captions explained the importance of each location.
Manhattan-themed Table Cards
Channah's aunt created line drawings of each notable location on the back of the table signs.
Artwork also topped the menus, which outlined the three-course feast prepared by Pippin Hill. A favorite plate of the bride's? The merlot-marinated filet mignon with potato puree, Oregon porcinis, sautéed green beans, baby carrots, and bordelaise.
Homemade Walnut Cake
Channah's mom made the four-tier walnut torte with vanilla buttercream and dressed it up with fresh gardenias and herbs.
Dancing and Dipping
Nick Drake's "Northern Sky" played as the newlyweds hit the floor and showed off their moves.
The traditional Jewish chair dance was incorporated into the reception.
To capture the "east meets west" theme, the couple curated favor boxes that included a bundle of line-drawn New York City postcards made from the table sign imagery, a bag of chocolate-covered hazelnuts, and a coffee mug with an illustration of the getaway car to represent the two coasts coming together at the wedding.
A Polaroid Guest Book
Sparklers and An After Party
To close out the celebration, the couple exited through rows of their loved ones waving sparklers. A vintage limousine took them to their after party at The Local.