The weather was warm and gorgeous at Veritas Vineyards tucked away in Afton, Virginia. Because the ceremony was scheduled right on the brink of sunset, Katie and Lee decided to take family pictures before the ceremony to make use of the daylight and the amazing view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just to make sure they had their moment, we planned for them to meet within a row of grapevines behind the property to see each other for the first time.
Sometimes fate takes over and you have no choice but to roll with it. About a half hour before the ceremony we were informed that the bus bringing half the wedding guests had broken down in Charlottesville. The ceremony would have to begin at least a half hour late, missing sunset but still at dusk. Then more bad news: the working bus but had taken guests to another Inn by accident, causing another half hour delay. Katie and Lee’s sunset ceremony was going to happen in the dark.
Let me stop briefly to tell you just how great Katie and Lee’s vendors are, because when the proverbial poo hits the fan, that’s when experience in this industry really counts. Windy Jennings of Wedding by Windy is truly one of our favorite event planners to work with, I say that loud and proud. Windy did an amazing job of managing a difficult situation. Her calm, kind and decisive manner made her a revered general to an army of well dressed soldiers, everyone offering to pitch in to help and keep panic at bay as she rearranged itineraries, objects and expectations. Chloe and Rebecca at Veritas scoured the cellar in search of anything left behind by former weddings: votives, candles, vases, anything that could use as extra luminaries. Then they found flood lights so we could do some impromptu uplighting. The catering staff at Veritas was able to move cocktail hour up so that guests who had arrived on the first bus had drinks and food as they watched the sun set from the deck. It was a pretty amazing collective effort.
As bad as I feel for the guests who were stuck on a bus for an hour and as bad as I feel for the stress it caused Katie and Lee, whose celebration was put on hold, I’m certain that this is the ceremony they were supposed to have all along. The alter glowed and the twilight hour brought a hush over everyone present to create an intimate space in the open mountain air. It was incredibly peaceful and emotional. Would you ever think that this wasn’t planned?
And the things that were part of the plan were enjoyed as well. Colors were warm and fallish, my favorite detail was the seating cards arranged in birch branches.
Later in the evening there was one more surprise: of a good nature. Lee’s band reunited after many years and took the stage for a few songs, sounding like they had never skipped a beat.
It was a fantastic night. Katie and Lee have such an awesome sense of humor, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Here’s a slideshow of our favorites and click here if you would like to be notified by email when their online gallery with all the photos is available for viewing. Congrats to Katie and Lee on such an amazing wedding, we were blown away…