Happy Friday! Today we’re sending “sweet as” congratulations today to Hillary and Simon, recently celebrating their wedding at beautiful Shrine Mont in rural Virginia. The couple traveled from their home in New Zealand (hey, we’ve been there!) to return to the land of Hillary’s youth, while Simon’s family flew across the pond from Scotland, many for the very first time (really folks, Virginia isn’t usually that hot!). Bill met up with the couple at 9am a few days prior to their wedding for a 90-degree+ engagement portrait shoot in and around the woods near her parents’ home.

When you’re ready, you can view their complete wedding here. The password is Hillary’s maiden name.

Can you tell this is one laid back couple? We LOVE it!

And now, the day of the wedding…

The Family Affair team:

Venue: Shrine Mont
Catering: Shaffer’s BBQ
Flowers: Wildflowers by Simon’s parent’s, Jay & Anne Goodwin
Officiant & Cake: Hillary’s Mom, Jan McDonald
Reception entertainment: Jan Smith & the Honeybirds

Many guests enjoyed a quick dip in the pool that afternoon prior to the ceremony. (They probably wouldn’t have minded if the actually ceremony had taken place in there!) While Shrine Mont is up in the mountains and thus a few degrees cooler than its valley-born brethren, it was still pretty darn hot that day. Real feel of 115. (Thanks, Accuweather! Not.) Doesn’t it make you feel cooler just looking at it that crisp blue water?

Hillary and Simon opted to walk to outdoor cathedral at Shrine Mont (built in 1924!) and process together, led by Hillary’s mom, an Episcopalian priest who has worked at Shrine Mont for a number of years.

A dear friend, a professional fiddler from Scotland, serenaded the guests prior to the ceremony and then played for the couple.

There were a couple of very helpful little girls fanning Simon wherever he walked.

Why wait when you have can have a champagne toast immediately after the ceremony? Sounds good to us!

BBQ and cornbread. Yum!

Paper lanterns create an irresistible pull for those aspiring high-jumpers.

Dear h&s,

The most important thing for any of our clients is for them to celebrate their wedding the way they wish, being true to who they are. By that criteria alone, yours was absolutely perfect. It was truly a family affair, what with your mom, Hillary, not only officiating your ceremony, but baking your cake and cupcakes, and Simon, your parents and Hillary’s dad arranging wildflowers for the altar and bouquet picked that morning from a nearby pasture. And the choice of Shrine Mont was incredibly personal for you, Hillary, having served as a camp counselor in your teens and your mom simultaneously serving as a priest. The ceremony site was among the most unique and beautiful we’ve ever seen, and the serenity one feels upon stepping foot in the sacred open space was the perfect emotional state for a wedding. It was an especially nice touch to see all of your close family members approach to offer words of wisdom and readings.

After a BBQ dinner (pork as well as beef, as if one simply weren’t enough goodness), your bluegrass band got everyone up and kept them up for the remainder of the evening. The heat was forgotten and there was so much swinging and dancing and frolicking the energy was absolutely infectious. Everything was just so relaxed and low-key and easy-going, it was such a pleasure for me to be a part of it all and document your celebration for you. It fit you both perfectly to a T. And that’s all one could ask for. Thank you so much for having me out and many best wishes to you both!

Peace & love…
…b (&a)

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