Alex and Claire met in elementary school, and a few decades later in June they decided to be wed. From the first time I met Claire I knew their wedding would be magical. She is a graphic designer and described the different elements she would be designing herself. Their wedding style was minimalistic, and sustainable. They encouraged guests to label their own drink cozies to reduce waste- which as a frequent wedding attendee I have noticed can add up. Claire also designed the invitation, table numbers, and signage throughout the reception space. Most ingeniously, she created the guest seating chart which hung as a gorgeous design element in the entrance of the lodge. The Mixed metallic color scheme brought together everything from the decor to the bride’s jewelry. Most importantly the couple made it clear to me that they wanted their day to focus on time spent with their loved ones, which is my favorite kind of celebration.
The wedding festivities took place at Shenandoah Woods in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia; a beautiful property on the side of a mountain that provides beautiful cabins, and event space that overlooks the valley. Both Claire and Alex had large mixed gender bridal parties who walked through the woods to the scenic ceremony spot. After the ceremony, the bride and groom took the time to hug their parents before they walked down the aisle together, which was incredibly thoughtful and indicative of their priorities. All of the attendees walked the short trail through the woods to the lodge where they were greeted for cocktail hour. The two signature cocktails of the evening were the Kentucky and Moscow Mule, served in copper mugs. Guests also had the option of getting a beer from the wooden drink canoe.
After a short photo session, the rain began to roll in, and dinner was served. Charlene’s kitchen provided a lavish display for the buffet. The weather changed throughout the day from sunny to cloudy with a breeze, then ultimately down pouring, and by the end of the night cleared up for all to enjoy time under the stars. Alex and Claire wanted to keep their wedding events simple so they opted for toasts, first dances, and the Hora. The bride and groom decided to forgo the cake cutting in favor of a donuts; which created great enthusiasm amongst their guests. All of the elements of their wedding were exquisite, and the final showstopper was the surprise firework show by the mother of the bride. Alex and Claire chose to be honest, simple, and conscious with their wedding celebration, and it was my privilege to be a part of it. Congratulations Alex and Claire!
venue: Shenandoah Woods
planning: Another Wild Hare
catering: Charlene’s Kitchen
design: Claire Smalley
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