Vintage day: Two wine families come together for one marriage

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"We wanted everything to be elegant, but not fussy, almost like a casual but stylish garden party," Rachel Stinson said. Photo: April Bennett "We wanted everything to be elegant, but not fussy, almost like a casual but stylish garden party," Rachel Stinson said. Photo: April Bennett

Ask Rachel Stinson about the early days of her courtship with Nathan Vrooman, and she says, “We were covered in sticky grape juice for the first three months of our relationship.” Not surprising, considering the pair had moved to Charlottesville to help their parents start vineyards and wineries (her: Stinson, him: Ankida Ridge), and met at a PVCC winery design and equipment class. At the time, Nathan’s family “didn’t have a winery,” she said, “and we had extra space at Stinson, so we wound up making wine together the first year.”

Rachel Stinson and Nathan Vrooman. Photo: April Bennett
All photos: April Bennett

When they decided to make a wedding together, the couple wanted it to be a long weekend so friends from out of town could make the trip, which is why they planned a two-day event, with a welcome reception at Ankida Ridge on Saturday and the wedding ceremony and reception at Stinson on Sunday. “It was important to us that everyone experience both vineyards,” Rachel said.

Fall was out of the question because of the harvest, she said, so the couple decided on Memorial Day Weekend. “We wanted everything to be elegant, but not at all fussy, almost like a casual but stylish garden party,” Rachel said. “And we incorporated that intention throughout every detail.”

Possibly the day’s best detail, though, was the collaborative wine: The 2012 Mariage, which served as Rachel and Nathan’s party favor. It is available at both wineries “as a kind of public celebration,” Rachel said. “It was such a small quanitity that we bottled by hand, and it was especially fun because we hadn’t made a wine together since that first year.”

A collaborative wine, the 2012 Marriage, served as Rachel and Nathan's party favor. Photo: April Bennett

THE DETAILS

Rachel Stinson and Nathan Vrooman

Event planner: Orpha Events

Ceremony and reception: Stinson Vineyards

Officiant: Corey Abdella

Catering: l’etoile

Flowers: Verde Natural Florals

Cake: Paradox Pastry

Music: Adam Brock

Dress: Jenny Yoo

Hair and makeup: Daphne Latham

Invitations: Minted

Rings: Angelo Jewelry

Tent: Skyline Tent Company

Photos: April Bennett
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