Natural beauty: A verdant backdrop enhances two Hoos’ special day

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Florist Rhea Calpeno incorporated greenery into a lot of the details—garlands of eucalyptus on the farm tables, greenery on the escort card frame, sprigs of rosemary at each place setting. Blue thistles added a bit of color and texture to the palette. Florist Rhea Calpeno incorporated greenery into a lot of the details—garlands of eucalyptus on the farm tables, greenery on the escort card frame, sprigs of rosemary at each place setting. Blue thistles added a bit of color and texture to the palette.

Sarah Peck & Jonathan Elsasser

June 3, 2017, at Panorama Farms

Photographs by The Mallorys

When planning a wedding, some people start with a beautiful linen, or a particular prop. For Sarah and Jonathan, the setting was the jumping-off point.

“We knew we wanted to showcase the beauty of Charlottesville’s outdoors,” Sarah says, “and have a wedding that matched our own style.” No better place to do that, they found, than Panorama Farms.

“We fell in love with [its] stunning views of the Blue Ridge and its rustic barn,” Sarah says. “It allowed our guests to spend a lot of time outdoors.”

The couple started the evening with a hilltop cocktail hour, then dinner under a tent outside the property’s charming barn. At the end of the night, everyone went inside for dancing.

They rounded out the natural, rustic theme with a color palette of white, gold and green, with wood accents in frames and clipboards for the food and drink menus (made by the groom!). All in all, it was just what they wanted. The couple was even able to steal a few minutes for themselves to soak it all in.

“We went up to the top of the hill at Panorama to dig up the bottle of bourbon we had buried to ward off rain,” Sarah says. “The sun was setting over the mountains as our guests ate dinner under the tent below. It was a stunning view and we were so unbelievably happy.”


 

 

Good thought

The bride had two handkerchiefs pinned into her dress: one from Jonathan’s grandmother, which she wore on her own wedding day, and one that had been passed between her best friends from college. “We’ve gotten it monogrammed with each couple’s initials before their wedding day,” Sarah says. “Each bride carries it down the aisle with her as her something borrowed.”

Carbo-load

The couple wanted a Southern-style meal, so they filled the menu with barbecue, grits, ham biscuits, chicken, cornbread and mashed potatoes. But they might have gone a little overboard. “At one point, our caterer gently told us that we had packed our menu full of carbs,” Sarah says, “which cracked us up.”

Meet and greet

Sarah and Jonathan met the spring before their first year at UVA, during Days on the Lawn. They became friends right away when they got to school that fall, and went on their first date to Hamiltons’ at First & Main followed by a walk on the Downtown Mall.

 

After the party is…

The after party, which the bride and groom wanted to be ’90s-themed, showcased White Ford Bronco, a cover band from Washington, D.C. “We passed out glowstick glasses, slap bracelets and Ring Pops to complete the ’90s theme,” Sarah says. “It was such a fun way to end the perfect day.”

 


The details

Ceremony venue UVA Chapel Event planner Adam Donovan-Groves Officiant Reverend Ann Gillespie Catering Exchange Events & Catering Flowers Photosynthesis Floral Design Cake B​ijou ​B​akery (wedding cake), S​weethaus (groom’s cake) Music T​erra ​V​oce (ceremony), Horizon (reception), White Ford Bronco (after-party) Bride’s attire Leanne Marshall Groom’s attire The Black Tux Groomsmen’s attire The Black Tux Bridesmaids’ dresses Jenny Yoo Hair and makeup Avenue 42 Calligraphy Anna Sisman


 

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