One of the nice things about living where we do is the abundance of rural beauty within close proximity to civilization. This was recently illustrated once again when we were invited to be a part of select group of Virginia wedding professionals to go on a two-day tour of Orange County and experience some of its wedding venue and lodging options, and of course get to meet others such as caterers and florists and see some of their work live and in person. It was an incredible experience to be a part of and are so honored to have been included. Of course we couldn’t go without bringing along a camera, as we had a feeling there might be a few things we’d love to share with you all.
Jennifer McBride of McBride Events teamed up with Jay Billie of Inn at Westwood Farm to very impressively bring an entire team of venue owners, caterers, florists, and a tent provider to create a two-day experience for those invited. Accommodations were provided, and quite honestly, I don’t think we stopped eating and drinking throughout the trip (although there seemed to be somewhat less drinking the second day, ha). We were impressed not only with the quality of much of what was highlighted, but the fact that so many peopled teamed up to work together toward a common goal. We look forward to working more in this beautiful county and with these capable, friendly people. Thank you, Jen and Jay, for the invitation! We were thrilled to be a part of it.
After several days of non-stop rain, much of the ground was muddy, so there weren’t a lot of highly fashionable shoes being seen. Unless you consider wellies to be highly fashionable. (Which we do, especially since Anne didn’t have any! How she’s managed to stay out of the rain for the past 1o years, I don’t know. )We started out the morning of the first day at the picturesque Rounton Farm, complete with chickens, horses and baby chicks!
Yes, these new chicks were a big hit with the group.
Tweeting about how awesome this hay ride is, Kate?
This pasture is the perfect spot for a ceremony or even for putting up a tent for your reception.
After Rounton, we split into two groups and ours then headed to Chestnut Hill B&B, which decorated its ceremony site in preparation for our arrival. And lucky for us, this is also where we got to spend the night with a few of our newest and closest friends. We very much look forward to returning someday soon!
Yes, it was 11am on a Tuesday. Why do you ask?
The tent was manufactured by Tidewater Sail Cloth Tents and provided by Gibson Rental. Why do we mention this? We’ve never seen a tent let in so much light while providing a soft, diffusing effect to direct sunlight. It was gorgeous inside the tent, and we wished all our tented wedding receptions used these tents. Just beautiful light. Seriously, great light.
Spare the cat. Really. Other cats at Mayhurst Inn include Me Too and Dammit (as in “dammit, another cat”). Love it! No extra charge for them at your wedding either.
Next stop - Inn on Poplar Hill. We loved this irreverent check in sign.
What a great site for a ceremony, under a huge Linden tree strung with cafe lights.
This is the view from a hammock located on their expansive property. Yea, we might not have wanted to leave.
Friend and fellow shutter bug, Sara Cramer in the foreground relaxing for a few minutes before our walk-about trip out to the cat fish pond. One of the few times we’ve seen her without a camera for five minutes! Rest assured, she picked it up again soon – see more pics on her blog (hopefully!) soon.
This is an original Tiffany window located inside St. Thomas church. Absolutely. Stunning.
Final stop for the day before heading to dinner…
Our very own Charlottesville Cupcakes! You can order your own, or get them weekly at Para Coffee. Yum! And yes, we had cupcakes before dinner. Did we mention, we didn’t stop eating on this trip?! We just couldn’t turn down all the tasty treats that were offered up everywhere we went.
While we didn’t bring our camera to the big, tented dinner (for some reason, Bill didn’t think it went with his outfit )at the Inn at Westwood Farm, you should at least check out the inn and its myriad spots for a personalized ceremony with million dollar views. It’s absolutely gorgeous and would definitely be on our short list should we be getting married.
Be sure to check out Part 2 later today where we’ll also share the official list of all the incredible vendors who donated their time, energy and expertise to this wonderful venture – in the middle of wedding season no less!