Color story

Forest to shamrock, three fresh green Charlottesville weddings

Photo: Annamarie Atkins

Color plays an important role in any wedding—it shows up everywhere, from the flowers to the napkins. Yellow is cheerful, white is classic, pink expresses romance and green suggests new beginnings. Especially, as any of the next three couples can tell you, a deep shade of emerald. While Katie Jenkins knew it would pop in pictures (and spent much time finding the exact shade, ordering multiple fabric swatches until she pinpointed one with the right amount of brightness), Jenna Llewellyn had her custom gown dip-dyed the rich color, hoping to capture a natural, bohemian vibe. And then there’s Christine Mahoney and John Kluge, who took inspiration from their Scottish and Irish roots, accenting attire and place settings with a saturated palette. Whatever the inspiration, these couples are in agreement: It’s easy being green.

Photo: April Bennett

Grow from love

Christine Mahoney & John Kluge

June 10, 2016, at Ellerslie Farm

Photographer: April Bennett

Early in their relationship, John took Christine to see the greenhouse on the farm where he grew up. He’d later propose to her in the same spot. “We wanted to incorporate this special space and the idea of a secret garden into our wedding,” Christine says.
Both John and Christine work in social entrepreneurship, when it came time to get rings, they turned to John’s best man, who founded Fonderie 47, a jewelry company that funds programs to remove assault rifles from circulation and create a safer future in sub-Saharan Africa.
The couple incorporated thistle into bouquets, boutonnières and their new family crest as a nod to the groom’s Scottish heritage.

Music was a key element for the couple and played a central role in one of John’s favorite moments of the day: “In the morning, Christine surprised me by sending her bridesmaids with gifts celebrating all the senses, which included her friend Emily playing ‘O Shenandoah’ on her fiddle while I sipped my morning coffee.” During the ceremony, everyone sang “Down to the River to Pray” (“it was indescribably beautiful,” he says). During the reception, Christine surprised John with a rendition of Emmy Lou Harris’ “If I Needed You,” backed by her all-women bluegrass band, Pretty Little Miss.

Hand-turned bowls created by Christine’s cousin, Jack, a woodworker, served as favors, tied with silk ribbon and sprigs of lavender.

The couple met after Christine wrote to John asking him to judge her UVA students’ social business competition. He accepted the invitation, and they worked together for a year before they started dating.

Event planner: Karen Homer, HKH Innovations Ceremony venue: Chapel of St. John in the Woods Officiant: Reverend Stephen Hitchcock Catering: Ridgewells Décor: Aynsley Radcliffe Kearns or Penncora Productions Inc. Flowers: Hedge Fine Blooms Cake: Sweethaus Music: Pretty Little Miss, DJ Mike Williams, Walker’s Run Bride’s attire: Zac Posen Shoes: Jimmy Choo Groom’s attire: Martin Greenfield of Brooklyn Groomsmen’s attire: Cufflinks by Liberty United, handkerchiefs in groom’s family tartan Bridesmaids’ dresses: Dessy Rings: Fonderie 47 Hair: Erica Haskins at Top Knot Studio Makeup: Gohar Ayvazyan Beaver Videographer: Ian’s Creations Invitations and paper: Dani Antol at Rock Paper Scissors

Photo: Annamarie Atkins

One for the pages

Kathryn Jenkins​ & Sean Yeisley​

​October 8, 2016, at Early Mountain Vineyards

Photographer: Annamarie Atkins

Without being kitschy, Katie wanted the entry to call to mind a classroom, since she and Sean are both high school English teachers. She kept it simple with botanical prints, a typewriter and botany books arranged on paint-splattered ladders from her grandfather’s garage that served as escort “cards.” “I got a lot of my display and aesthetic ideas from wandering into Anthropologie and studying their displays,” Katie says.
When the couple sent out their save the dates, they printed the first half of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 on it and, in the invitation suite, they included the second half. One of the bridesmaids then recited the piece in its entirety during the ceremony. “The message blended beautifully with our pastor’s message about building a strong foundation together on rock instead of sand to withstand the test of time,” Katie says.
As for the flowers, Katie knew what she didn’t want—perfect, symmetrical peonies—and then worked from there. “I wanted a bouquet that was a little wild, organic, asymmetrical, focused on greens and looked like it was still breathing and alive in my hands,” she says.

After completing her tear-filled vows, Katie says Sean leaned into the microphone and began his own vows with, “…what she said.” “Everyone, including myself erupted with laughter,” Katie says. For their recessional, the couple had guests throw purple and gold streamers—a tradition during football games at their alma mater, James Madison University.

Day-of coordinator: Helen Osinga (The Local) Officiant: Lindsey Bayhnam Catering: The Local Rentals: MS Events Flowers: Whimsical Floral Design Pies: Family Ties and Pies Music: The Vibe Tribe (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Dress: Mikaella, found at Ellie’s Bridal (Alexandria, Virginia) Veil: Ellie’s Bridal Shoes: Jessica Simpson Rings: Dominion Jewelers (Falls Church, Virginia) Bridesmaids’ dresses: Dessy Group, found at Bella’s Bridesmaids (Washington, D.C.) Bride’s and bridemaids’ earrings: Kendra Scott Hair and makeup: Up Do’s for I Do’s (Vienna, Virginia) Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse Mother-of-the-bride’s attire: BHLDN Videographers: Will Rummel and Sean Cooper Invitation and reception signage calligraphy: Elyssa McClain Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas Transportation: Easy Riders Bus Company​

Photo: Mina von Feilitzsch

Revel in love

Jenna Llewellyn & James Hummer

June 11, 2016, at Balmullo Farm

Photographer: Mina von Fielitzsch


A green and white color palette worked perfectly with the season and, as Jenna puts it, the lush forest/river setting. The couple agreed that they wanted their guests to feel like they were getting “a revelrous outdoor weekend away,” Jenna says. “It was a top priority to have everything outside but also to keep it intimate and natural.” And getting married at Jenna’s childhood home was a no-brainer. “It is my favorite place in the world, and my husband was completely on board,” says the bride. “I had the most amazing childhood growing up there.”
A favorite moment of the couple’s? Dancing to Sons of Bill. The band—family friends—learned “Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes” for the first dance and, says Jenna, it was one of the best moments of her life.

 Event planner: Colleen Miller Events Officiant: Boxley Llewellyn (bride’s uncle) Catering: APimento Catering Flowers: Mary Ann Burke of The Barn Swallow Cake: Albemarle Baking Co. Music: Sons of Bill Bride’s and bridesmaids’ attire: Willow Knows Shoes: No. 21 (Numero Vent Uno) Rings: Custom Hair and makeup: Jeanne Cusick Printed materials: Rock Paper Scissors, designed by Cara Llewellyn (bride’s sister)