Caite Hamilton

Caite has been at C-VILLE since 2007, when she started as a part-time proofreader. Over the last 11 years, she's held the positions of Online Editor and Special Sections Editor. Currently the Special Publications Editor of C-VILLE, Caite oversees content in special issues and special publications (ABODE, Knife & Fork, C-VILLE Weddings, Unbound, C-BIZ, and Best of C-VILLE).

Feeling fancy: A glittering Franco-American union

Feeling fancy: A glittering Franco-American union

An American bride, a French groom and a love so nice, they celebrated twice. The first wedding, a springtime fête in Saint-Malo, France, was “classic Hollywood, red carpet glam,” says Arnita. The second, a mid-summer affair at Keswick Vineyards, channeled the 2017 Christian Dior bridal couture collection—“cocktail glam, sequins and luxe materials.” “I wanted it […]

Personal statements: An at-home wedding with serious style

Personal statements: An at-home wedding with serious style

A repurposed Dairy Queen sign signaled to guests that they’d arrived at the right place—Finnson Oaks, the bride’s childhood home. Just as it was important to include a nod to the family business (the Petersons have owned Dairy Queens since the 1950s), Laura couldn’t have seen getting married anywhere other than the house she grew up […]

Handmade, with love: DIY details add to an elegant affair

Handmade, with love: DIY details add to an elegant affair

Some DIY weddings can turn embarrassing, with an overwhelming amount of detail or disjointed aesthetic choices or—yikes!—décor slowly unraveling and coming unglued. This is none such wedding, thanks to the clear vision of the grooms, who from the start decided on a visual theme, which was simple and elegant, and committed to planning their big […]

Happily ever after: Minimal details let love shine

Happily ever after: Minimal details let love shine

Melanie wanted to elope. Susan wanted a fairy tale. So they went for the best of both words: a wedding that struck the right balance between elegance, glam and sophistication, but that also created a festive, warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests. In more practical terms, that meant a clean color palette—white flowers (lilies, hydrangeas, […]

Photo: Ashley Cox

Modern romance: West meets east at a fashionable fest

When it came to finding inspiration for their Virginia wedding, Rachel and Kevin looked a bit farther away than normal—nearly 3,000 miles, in fact, to California, where they’d been living for the past four years. They decided to meld the two styles, taking advantage of Virginia’s lush Blue Ridge landscape, but adding some contemporary West […]

Photo: Courtesy Hilton Moorea

Let’s go: How to plan the cherry on top (the honeymoon!)

After all the planning, the organizing, the tastings, the fittings, you deserve a break. That’s what the honeymoon is for (that, and spending time with your sweetie pie). But where are couples honeymooning lately? Here are five top destinations, according to Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters owner Julie Arbelaez. Iceland “If you like the great outdoors,” Arbelaez […]

Photo: Courtesy Bitty Bar

Booze cruise: A traveling cocktail bar ups the ante

At first glance, a horse trailer doesn’t seem like the kind of place your guests would want to be drinking. Then again, The Bitty Bar isn’t your average horse trailer. In fact, it’s not really a horse trailer at all. Thanks to sisters Katie and Erica Painter, who created the business, where once stood two […]

Meryem and Cameron were married in October of 2016 at Blenheim Vineyards. Photo: Anna Laine

Circle of love: A local dove release company ups the romance

File this one under “No-longer-cheesy wedding details”: dove releases. We know the thought might conjur images from ’80s rom-coms, but take it from this bride, who hired Cville Love Birds to enhance her long-awaited “I do.” “The doves were released just as we kissed and were announced as husband and wife for the first time,” […]

Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Wall this way: Are painted murals making a comeback?

Design trends come and go. And, sometimes, they come back again. Take, for instance, wall murals. Interior designer Karena Akhavein says she’s been getting more and more requests for 21st century versions from clients of her Gordonsville studio, Pebble Hill Design. “In grand Virginia estates, it was the tradition to use pictorial wallpaper in the […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

Solar gain: A prairie-style house makes the most of the sun

Ray Gaines has been involved with sustainable architecture since the energy crisis of the 1970s—long before “sustainability” was a term du jour. So when an old friend approached him about building a house with passive solar functionality and other green attributes, he was more than ready to accommodate. “We talked in generalities,” he says, as […]

Jon Bray. Photo: Amy Jackson

‘My favorite bite’: Hamming it up with Jon Bray

While Jon Bray says he can’t pinpoint which particular dish got him into the food industry, he can specify a time (he was 14), a reason (“my parents repealed the Weekly Allowance Act”) and a place (Bellair Market). It was the beginning of a nearly 20-year career in Charlottesville kitchens, bars and dining rooms (you’ve likely […]

A fresh coat of white on the walls at this Ivy house opened up a previously dark den. Photo: Stephen Barling

Blank slate: How white walls can save a space

It’s a not-so-secret design secret that mirrors can help open up a dark space. But, says WKNDR Design owner Becky Seager, in some cases, white walls can deliver the same effect: They visually open up a space and reflect light (as long as there’s natural light to reflect). And there’s another benefit to white walls. […]

This once-dark mahogany bedroom set got a fresh coat of paint, making it workable for a client’s guest bedroom. Photo: Virginia Hamrick

The refinish line: A little paint goes a long way

To make something from nothing requires a certain amount of optimism. To make something from something? That requires some elbow grease. No problem, says designer Caroline Faulconer, who regularly takes neglected pieces and breathes new life into them. “When designing a space, the ability to refinish or repurpose a client’s existing piece or a flea […]

Real Charlottesville wedding: Ruth & Dan

Real Charlottesville wedding: Ruth & Dan

Ruth Martin & Dan McDonald September 18, 2016, at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Photography by Jen Fariello With the views from Pippin Hill as the backdrop, Ruth and Dan knew they wanted to keep the rest of the wedding simple and romantic. That meant lush greenery, white hydrangeas and tons of candles. The bridesmaids […]

Photo: Tom Daly

Real Charlottesville wedding: Chris & Michael

Christopher Matvey & Michael O’Connor July 30, 2016, at Veritas Vineyard & Winery Photography by Tom Daly Classic, elegant and timeless: That was the goal of the wedding. So Christopher and Michael chose a white and gold color scheme with black accents. Inspired by The Great Gatsby movie, the couple asked Blue Ridge Floral Design for […]

Photo: Jen Fariello

Real Charlottesville wedding: Katie & Halston

Katie Brazeal & Halston Kirkpatrick July 2, 2016, at Blue Ridge Farm Photography by Jen Fariello Once they decided on a location and date, they fully embraced the “summer” theme: “Blue was a defining color,” Katie says. “We created an atmosphere that was more on the informal side, while still being very wedding-appropriate. And we […]

Bonus fourth idea: fabric accents. Depending on fabric and coverage, it can be expensive, but can drastically change the look of a venue by adding depth and even contrast. Photo: Meg Runion

Illuminate me: Use lighting to change your space

“Rustic elegance,” says Blue Ridge AV & Lighting’s Bill Randall, is the style Charlottesville couples are most interested in right now. But how does that translate to lighting? And what if you want a lighting feature but don’t want it to overwhelm your overall aesthetic? We asked Randall to give us three ideas. 1. Café/bistro […]

Photos: Verry Robin & Co.

Hunt and gather: Set the scene with an artful arrangement

Coco Chanel supposedly once said that, before leaving the house, one should look in the mirror and take off a piece of jewelry. The same goes for the house itself, says designer Jan Roden, when it comes to vignetting. “What I would call vignetting,” she says, “is good accessorizing. Accessories can be anything from a […]

Photo: Tom McGovern

The last bite: Split decision

It may not look like anything fancy, but the old-school banana split at Chandler’s Ice Cream (that throwback soft-serve stand by the Tractor Supply store on River Road) is a summertime must-have. Served in a styrofoam container, it’s two bananas, split down the middle and piled high with ice cream, whipped cream, walnuts, pineapple and […]