Rachel Baltes & Jay Gaffney
October 26, 2019
Streamlined and neutral was the order of the day for Rachel and Jay, who envisioned a classic look for their wedding. That meant the groomsmen wore tuxes, the bridesmaids wore taupe chiffon dresses, and the bride herself was outfitted in a clean-lined dress with a fitted skirt and long train. The décor, Rachel notes, followed suit with similar tones and shapes.
“Early Mountain is already beautiful as it is and really didn’t need all too much to dress it up,” she says. “We stayed with the neutral colors and brightened things up with the florals.”
There was one pop of unexpected color in the palette: the blue ribbon of Rachel’s bouquet, which was strips from one of her late father’s most-worn shirts.
“Looking back at each of the photos it is so special that he is part of each of them,” Rachel says. In fact, Rachel is most fond of the details they were able to incorporate to honor her dad, like the lantern she and her brother lit before he walked her down the aisle, which they placed in a seat next to their mom.
“My favorite moment from the wedding was when my brother was walking me down the aisle towards my groom,” Rachel says. “I was overjoyed that our day was finally here.”
Though the bride wasn’t able to take on too much, DIY-wise, her friends and family stepped in: The matron of honor designed the couple’s save-the-dates, a bridesmaid helped with other paper goods and signage, the maid of honor crafted jewelry for the day,
and Rachel’s mom fashioned Early Mountain corks into stands for signs.
The couple’s florist, Lauren Thompson of Bloom Charlottesville, helped create the perfect arrangements for their fall wedding, with plenty of greenery, and flowers in shades of burgundy, soft pinks, and whites.
Because Jay’s family has always eaten family-style, it was important to the couple that they mimic that tradition with their menu of comfort foods. “We were thankful to be in a room with the people most dear to us enjoying a meal together,” Rachel says.
Both Jay and Rachel grew up in Charlottesville, but they didn’t meet until Jay came to the Covenant School during Rachel’s senior year. Then, while at college, she was in need of a date to a formal dance and her brother suggested she take his best friend, Jay. “We hit it off that night and Jay still comments on the way his hands were shaking when he was tying his tie.” They began dating a few months later and, four years after that, they were engaged.
Ceremony and reception venue: Early Mountain Vineyards Day of coordinator: Emily Holter (The Local Catering) Officiant: Ken Elzinga Catering: The Local Catering Flowers: Bloom Charlottesville Cupcakes: Victoria Clement Music: Queen City Band (Sam Hill Entertainment) Bride’s attire: Sarah Seven from Lovely Bride DC Shoes: Cole Haan Bride’s jewelry: Emily Warden Designs Groom’s attire: JoS. A. Bank Groomsmen’s attire: JoS. A. Bank Bridesmaids’ dresses: Birdy Grey Bridesmaids’ jewelry: Emily Warden Designs Rings: Fink’s Jewelers Hair: Moxie Hair Lounge Makeup: Rouge 9