A Charming Fall Wedding at a Virginia Estate

jen geoff wedding reception tables and lights
Photo: Kate Headley

This Hawaii-based couple went home to the East Coast for an autumnal celebration with family and friends.

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jen geoff wedding kiss in field
Kate Headley

Jenny Hamilton and Geoff Alexander prove that Virginia is for lovers: The two natives became good friends after meeting in medical school there. Upon graduating in 2006, Jenny was off to D.C. for her residency and Geoff was commissioned in the Army and moved to Tacoma, Washington, for training. He often returned home to visit family and see college pals (Jenny included), but it wasn't until seven years after their graduation that the two became more than friends. Jenny had planned a celebratory trip after completing her residency and invited a group to join along, but Geoff was the only one who could make it. They sailed from St. Lucia to Grenada, and by the end of the trip, the two were in a long-distance relationship, with Geoff in Honduras and Jenny in Virginia.

Geoff was assigned to a medical center in Hawaii about a year later, and Jenny followed. They dated there for three years before Geoff popped the question on an overnight trip to Kauai. Ten months later, on September 30, 2017, the two headed back to Virginia to celebrate with 121 guests on a gorgeous fall day.

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The Invitations

jen geoff wedding invitation
Kate Headley

Some guests received black suites, others white. The designs, by Emily Rose Ink, featured gold calligraphy and vintage stamps. Deckle-edge paper and floral illustrations nodded to the outdoor setting, and a thin gold thread added texture and detail to the ensemble.

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A Fashionable Pair

jen geoff wedding couple portrait
Kate Headley

The bride created her dream wedding dress by adding straps and lowering the back of a Maggie Sottero number. She was drawn to the two-tone, textural gown with its lace applique overlay and the gold silk underneath. Geoff wore a classic black Vera Wang tuxedo, vest, and grosgrain bowtie.

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Fall Flowers

jen geoff wedding bridal bouquet
Kate Headley

Jenny's colorful bouquet by florist Holly Heider Chapple included peach, pink, and deep purple blossoms all tied together with a custom ribbon from Honey Silks & Co. "All of the designs had a relaxed feel and embodied the best of the fall season," says Holly. The dahlias, zinnias, scabiosa, and amaranthus were locally grown by the florist, with garden roses, ranunculus, and eucalyptus to supplement.

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Her Veil

jen geoff wedding bride and veil
Kate Headley

Jenny wore an off-white tulle Juliet veil and silver floral headpiece by Melinda Rose Design. (Both of which she accidentally shipped to Hawaii—they made it to the wedding with the help of a friend from home who intercepted the package before making the trip to Virginia.)

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The Girls

jen geoff wedding bridesmaids and flower girls
Kate Headley

Jenny let the bridesmaids—all family and close friends—choose their own dresses. They ended up in Adrianna Papell and Jenny Yoo in peach and plum hues that the bride used to inform the palette of the day. The littlest ladies (Jenny's two nieces, Presley and Evelyn) wore cap-sleeve dresses from David's Bridal.

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A Natural Setting

jen geoff wedding outdoor ceremony
Kate Headley

The ceremony took place on the front lawn of the venue. Airy silk fabric by Honey Silks & Co were draped in the trees to create a focal point.

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The Ring Bearer

jen geoff wedding ring bearer
Kate Headley

The bride's nephew, Kyle, was the ring bearer (or "ring bear," as he called it, growling on occasion). The bride's brother placed a few pieces of chocolate in the box Kyle was to carry and told him that if was good, he could have them at the end of the ceremony. "He kept opening the box and staring inside," says Jenny. "I was a little nervous he had actually put our rings inside and Kyle was just being very vigilant!"

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The Bride's Entrance

jen geoff wedding place setting and centerpiece
Kate Headley

At four o'clock, the ceremony began. Jenny's dad walked her down the aisle to "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel played on strings by The Galliard Trio. Even the Inn donned its best greenery for the nuptials.

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The Ceremony

jen geoff wedding ceremony under trees
Kate Headley

A pastor from Jenny's hometown officiated the wedding. Readings included an excerpt from "Gift from the Sea" by Morrow Lindbergh read by the bride's brother and Geoff's former roommate. The couple beamed as they recessed to the tune of "Tambourin" by François-Joseph Gossec.

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His & Hers Cocktails

jen geoff wedding cocktail on table
Kate Headley

The bride and the groom each chose a signature drink to serve at cocktail hour on the adjacent lawn. Jenny went with a basil smash made with vodka, sparkling wine, simple syrup, lemon, and basil; and Geoff's was a twist on a dark and stormy that he called a Bob and Tod after two of his close friends from the Army who drank something similar.

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Family Time

jen geoff wedding couple with parents
Kate Headley

Jenny's parents had been married just shy of 47 years on her wedding day (they met in middle school). The bride's mother wore a crisp white top and a blush skirt that melded with the hues of the flowers.

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jen geoff wedding groom opening champagne
Kate Headley

"I've always wanted to have a party with the biggest bottle of wine I could get my hands on and I love that the bottles are named after biblical kings," says Jenny. They opened a Nebuchadnezzar of Veuve Clicquot—which held 15 liters of bubbly. Geoff's brother, a talented welder, made a cradle with a hand crank so it could be poured with ease. "It's easily my favorite wedding gift," says the bride.

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The Escort Cards

jen geoff wedding escort cards
Kate Headley

A seeded eucalyptus garland framed the display of escort cards, which were calligraphed on hand-torn black paper and pinned to a board.

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A Place for Everyone

jen geoff wedding kids play tent
Kate Headley

Planner Pamela Barefoot organized a kids-only tepee—complete with crafts, cushions, and hula hoops—to keep the littlest ones content during dinner.

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The Reception Setup

jen geoff wedding reception tables and lights
Kate Headley

Dinner took place on the on the back lawn of the Inn. Long wooden tables were arranged beneath string lights, and each table's green velvet tablecloth was topped with arrangements of dahlias, roses, ranunculus, scabiosa, eucalyptus, and zinnias. The brightly-hued flowers popped against the other natural tones.

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Dinner Details

jen geoff wedding place setting and centerpiece
Kate Headley

Knotted black napkins brought a casual feel to the place settings. Emily Rose Ink designed the menu and the calligraphed marble tiles that kept them in place and helped guests find their seats.

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The Love Boat

jen geoff wedding couple paddling in canoe
Kate Headley

The newlyweds snuck away during dinner to share a quiet moment together. Geoff surprised Jenny with a rowboat ride on the Severn River before returning to their table. "We got lucky that it was high tide so stepping into the boat was easy," says the bride.

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Under the Lights

jen geoff wedding outdoor reception tent
Kate Headley

Dinner, by A Sharper Palate Catering & Events, started with braised duck cannelloni and caramelized cippolinis. Crab cakes, petit filet mignonette, and fregola sarda with lemon, pecorino, and haricots verts followed. Family and friends bundled up in pashminas (in black and burgundy to match the palette) as the temperatures dropped.

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Party Time

jen geoff wedding first dance
Kate Headley

The crowd moved to a tent swathed in silk fabric with lush floral chandeliers of cascading vine and pepper berry. Jenny and Geoff kicked things off with a first dance to the tune of Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing."

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A Sweet Ending

jen geoff wedding tiered cake
Kate Headley

The four-tiered confection by Sweet Fix had alternating layers of vanilla bean and lemon zest cake with raspberry jam and a vanilla buttercream frosting. Berries and flowers tied in the palette.

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The Sendoff

jen geoff wedding sendoff
Kate Headley

Jenny (who changed into a Jenny Packham gown for the party) and Geoff shared a final moment with their loved ones, who sent them off amidst the glow of sparklers.

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jen geoff wedding couple kiss in canoe
Kate Headley

Photography, Kate Headley

Event planning, Pamela Barefoot

Catering, A Sharper Palate Catering & Events

Flowers, Holly Heider Chapple

Stationery, Emily Rose Ink

Cake, Sweet Fix

Music, Sound Nation

Rentals, Paisley and Jade; Fabrication Events

Bride's gown, Maggie Sottero

from Bijou Bridal & Special Occasion;

Reception dress, Jenny Packham

Bride's accessories, Bella Belle Shoes; Badgley Mischka; Melinda Rose Design; Virginia Geiger Jewelers

Hair and Makeup, Lou Stevens

Bridesmaids' dresses, Adrianna Papell; Jenny Yoo

Flower Girl dresses, David's Bridal

Groom's suit and accessories, Vera Wang

Lighting, The Lighting and Sound Company

Transportation, Newton's Bus Service

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