Our wedding was on the most beautiful day of the summer in 2007, held at an old southern plantation built for Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha, turned inn in Charlottesville, Virginia.  While not an exotic locale, this was a destination wedding of sorts with not a single of our 80 guests living in Charlottesville at the time.  With this in mind, my goal for the wedding was pretty simple - keep it simple so that I could spend as much time as possible with my family and friends for the weekend.  After all, how often do you get everyone you love in one place at one time?  With our guests taking over the whole inn, we felt as though we were hosting a mini-reunion for the weekend, meeting college roommates at the pool and playing tennis with friends from New York.  With such an intimate guest list, most everyone knew or knew of each other ("oh, you're the friend who the groom breakdanced to Cats with in fifth grade!"), so there was a festive and collegial atmosphere for the duration of the weekend.  And plenty of booze, which always helps.  Without further ado, here are a few of the 600+ photos the talented Jonathan McBride of Vantage Pictures captured from what was one of the very best days of my life. 
I went through a phase when I was ten where I designed every corner of my dream home, filling pads of paper with (crappy) sketches of the house I would build one day.  The inspiration for the house was a picture I found in an old book of my mother's about bed & breakfasts and inns of Virginia.  When my husband and I found the place we got married, we instantly knew it was "the (other) one".  I couldn't put my finger on why it felt so right until a few months later, after thumbing through some old books, I came upon that old bed & breakfast coffee table book.  That photo of the room that inspired my nine year old version of my "dream home"?  Yep, you guessed it - it's the same room you see me sitting in above.  I had unwittingly selected my dream home for my dream wedding.  I guess I haven't changed that much since fourth grade.  I'm going to take that as a good thing.   

my mom/maid of honor

hubba hubba, hubby

my husband's oldest friend taking full advantage of the complimentary robe and bourbon in his room before the wedding

It's not the South without a porch...

and sweet tea.

my mom helped with the (slave) labor of making the hanging mason jar vases

It wasn't until the rehearsal that we realized the tree under which we got married was a box elder.  Why do I care?  My maiden name is Box.
Those aren't tears my husband is wiping from my face.  It's snot.  No, I'm not kidding.
With bridesmaids spanning four decades (26 - 56) and two genders (I had a bridesman, too) I let the ladies pick their own knee-length black dresses and gave them matching pashminas to tie them all together.  They each not-so-silently thanked me for letting them wear a dress (and suit) of their choosing, and I swear they smiled just a little more because of it in the pictures.
I wish I could wear this dress every day, both figuratively & literally.

escort cards & mason jars for storing candy from the candy bar

Each table number featured snapshots of family and our childhoods

four aunts - two mine, two his - all so different but ultimately the same

The whole gang on the back deck during the best men speeches

I studied abroad in Costa Rica when I was 16 and picked up these little corn husk dolls while I was there.  I found them at my mother's house and was so delighted to surprise my husband with them, since we had picked Costa Rica as our honeymoon locale.  Sadly, they were lost in the fray and did not make the return trip home with us. 

The view of the deck from the lawn, where the dance floor and bar awaited us.
What says "Southern" & "outdoor" summer like a barbeque?  Granted, the fanciest barbeque I've ever been to, but a barbeque all the same. 

Watermelon & feta salad. No, really. You will die.

We were blessed to have a chef and venue that were not only open to but excited about customizing a menu with us.
My dad did the lights for us.

There was lounge furniture and a bar next to the dance floor for, well, lounging.

first dance

As I mentioned in my first post on this blog, I designed and decorated the cake myself, including making 100+ dogwood flowers out of gumpaste.  This was the one area in which I allowed my full insanity to shine through.  Most brides sip champagne and get mani-pedi's on the morning of their wedding.  I was in the basement gluing flowers on a cake.

I thought my cute French bride and groom (and dog in the bicycle basket) were lost forever until our first anniversary, when we pulled the cake out of the freezer and found that the cake topper had been wrapped up with the cake.  They weren't lost, they were living in our freezer.

My oldest friend (28 years of friendship and still going) digging into the candy bar

"all the single ladies (all the single ladies) put your hands up"

I wasn't planning to throw my bouquet, but the husband was into it.  This one's for you, hubs!

This is my beautiful cousin Genna, who was the lucky gal who landed the bouquet. And yes, she was in fact the next one to marry.  I ugly cried when it was her turn to be the bride.

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