A Lakeside Wedding with a Retro '70s-Inspired Color Scheme
Taylor met Josh on her very first day of college—in a Calculus class—but she couldn't work up the courage to introduce herself. "I thought he was the coolest guy that ever existed," Taylor says. "Little did I know he was a huge nerd and too scared to talk to me, too!" Still, they stayed mum and finished the semester without speaking a word to each other—but two years later, on Taylor's 21st birthday, they ran into each other at a local bar in Blacksburg, Virginia. This time, Taylor didn't pass up the chance: She boldly introduced herself, and the duo became inseparable from that point on.
A few years later, the couple planned a trip to Roanoke, Virginia, for Josh's birthday weekend; while on a walk through the town, Josh took the opportunity to get down on one knee. After Taylor accepted, the two celebrated with dinner and dancing. As they began planning their future nuptials, they kept one priority in mind: They were adamant about getting married outdoors, in a place where they could spend an entire weekend with friends and family in the mountains of Virginia. They chose Crimora Mine Retreat, a log cabin in Crimora, to host their September 21, 2019, wedding, which was attended by 100 guests. "The expansive property allowed us the opportunity to hike, canoe, enjoy bonfires, and stay on-site with our nearest and dearest," Taylor says. "Some of our guests even camped out under the stars!"
Taylor works as a floral designer and assistant to Kelly Lenard, who handled their flowers, so she and Kelly tackled the majority of the planning and design process together. The goal was to create a celebration based on Taylor and Josh's relationship—something laid back and full of joy. Although the pair found it difficult to make design decisions, they trusted their vendors to help them pull off a wedding that was elegant with a touch of groovy, notes the bride, adding, "Our hope was that the ambience of our wedding would make guests feel a sense of ease, fun, and freedom."
The couple worked with Lacy Geary from Paper Birch Designs to create their invitation suite. "After telling her a little bit about our vision, she created a gorgeous design that really embodied the spirit of the day," Taylor says. The minimalist notes were mounted on boards and wrapped in soft fabric. They chose a color palette of green, orange, and honey, and included a fruited vine illustration on the envelope liner.
Taylor selected a flowing chiffon BHLDN wedding dress with delicate floral embroidery details. She and Josh love to dance, so it was important that the gown was something she could move in. "It was the only one that made me cry," she says. "I wanted something light, unfussy, and that looked great when I twirled!"
She accessorized with taupe crystal earrings and a cathedral-length veil; both were sourced from BHLDN, as well. "I knew the veil would only be worn for about 15 minutes, but I wanted that special bridal moment of walking down the aisle with it billowing in the wind," she says.
She wore velvet sandals from Loeffler Randall in a taupe shade. "I loved the color, texture, and comfort of these," she says. "A chunky heel was crucial with all the walking we did outside."
Foraged and Free
Taylor put her trust in Kelly Lenard to create a bouquet that felt like her. The result was a loose arrangement of garden roses, strawflower, sweet pea, campanula bells, thistle, bittersweet, Japanese anemone, clematis pod, and foraged elements. "I wanted my bouquet to feel a little wild, free, and textural," Taylor says.
The bride added a chiffon cape from BHLDN to her look for the reception. "This was one of Josh's favorite parts of my attire," she says. "It had such an ethereal quality and was so much fun to dance in."
Josh donned a relaxed-fit suit from Banana Republic. "We wanted to keep him more casual to match the rest of the wedding party and myself," Taylor shares.
Taylor and Kelly shared a color palette with the bridesmaids and helped them choose dresses in a mix of gold and ochre tones.
Bridesmaids held arrangements filled with the same blooms that appeared in Taylor's; theirs were slightly more colorful and each arrangement was unique.
The groomsmen were casual and dapper in white shirts, gray pants, and a mix of wool ties that were chosen by the bride to coordinate with the event's color palette.
The couple didn't have a flower girl or ring bearer, but they did include their dog, Rocko, in their ceremony. He walked down the aisle and stood sentry as the couple exchanged vows at the altar. "Being able to have him on-site and included in the wedding was really special," Taylor says. Kelly made him a floral collar that included foraged berries, flowers, and greenery.
A Look of Love
Taylor and Josh shared a first look near the lake. They had prepared letters to ready to each other during this moment, but ended up speaking from the heart instead. "Seeing him reminded me that the day was about us and our love. It was a very sweet and emotional moment for us both," Taylor says. "Afterwards, we just felt so relaxed and ready to celebrate."
Their ceremony took place on the lawn, where guests stood around the couple, encircling them in warmth, instead of being seated. The focal point of the service was the foraged floral arch, full of in-season goldenrod, berries, and mini persimmons. "Josh's grandparents have a persimmon tree that they let us cut from. Incorporating those throughout the décor was such a special and unexpected touch," Taylor says.
Patty Griffin's "Oh Heavenly Day" played during the ceremony processional, as Taylor walked from the house to the start of the aisle by herself. Her mother met her there and accompanied her the rest of the way.
Taylor and Josh exchanged vows as their guests stood (and Rocko sat) by their side. A family friend officiated the service, which was a meaningful, personal touch.
High-top tables were set up for the cocktail hour; they were covered in muted green linens and adorned with organic arrangements featuring foraged berries. Guests enjoyed the lakeside views and some of the couple's favorite songs, played by their DJ, Barkley & Carter.
Josh and Taylor wanted their loved ones to try some of their favorite beverages, so they offered beers on tap from local breweries and cider makers, including Basic City Brewing and Old Hill Cidery. Guests also enjoyed an assortment of fruits and cheeses and butternut squash soup during the interlude.
Find Your Seat
A printed fabric seating chart was hung from a tree and embellished with greenery and berries.
The lakeside reception took place in a grassy knoll near the docks. Wooden farm tables were paired with bamboo chairs; string lights illuminated the area. "Walking into the reception and seeing how beautifully the whole day came together was definitely one of our favorite memories," Taylor says.
Each table was topped with a velvet runner; organic flower arrangements and shallow stone bowls, which spilled over with seasonal fruits, vegetables, and vines, were placed along the tablescape. Tall beeswax taper candles and votives were scattered throughout.
The couple chose green enamel splatterware plates and bowls to play off the natural surroundings and create a woodsy feel. They were paired with gold cutlery and white linen napkins.
Under the Lights
Taylor is a professional cook, so she was particularly excited about the big-day food. Their menu, executed by Main Street Bakery + Catering, featured rustic tomato tarts, pesto roasted vegetables, crab cakes, and a smoked gouda macaroni and cheese. For dessert, the couple served apple and mixed berry cobblers with ice cream instead of a cake.
Dance with Me
The pair shared their first dance as husband and wife to Daniel Tashian's "Taking You with Me." "It's just such a fun song that reflects our quirkiness and we knew it would be great to dance to," the bride says.
In lieu of a traditional dance floor, guests took to the dock, where they partied well into the evening. Taylor and Josh spent a lot of time curating the playlist and were inspired by the oldies they grew up listening to. "We wanted to play music that everyone could dance to, not just the younger crowd," Taylor says, "Our funky jams had everyone on their feet and on the dance floor, even our older aunts and grandparents."
Photography, Cassidy Carson Photography
Venue, Crimora Mine Retreat
Event Design and Flowers, Kelly Lenard
Invitations, Paper Birch Designs
Bride's Gown, Jewelry and Veil, BHLDN
Bride's Shoes, Loeffler Randall
Hair and Makeup, Sarah Sech
Groom's Attire, Banana Republic
Music, Barkley & Carter
Catering, Main Street Bakery + Catering
Rentals, Festive Fare Rentals; La Tavola
Ribbon, Frou Frou Chic