Today I am reminiscing on the weekend that Ryan and I spent in Lexington, VA for Catherine & John’s Irvine Estate wedding. This was probably one of the best wedding weekends of last year because there was also another celebration in order.. It was Ryan & Rach’s 6 year wedding anniversary. We packed up the car and rented a room at The Georges in Lexington, VA. Now, if you have never been to Lexington, please do yourself a favor and go! And please stay at The Georges!!! This was one of the best hotels that I have ever stayed in and it kind of reminded me of a page out of a Pottery Barn catalogue. It really was a dream and we were so happy that we had those few days before the wedding to really explore this little Mayberry town. A little history for you all reading today, Lexington held many battles from the Civil War and is also home to the Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University! There are many historic buildings and beautiful architecture in the downtown area and it is not very far from Mountains and many hiking trails as well. Growing up in Virginia, I used to camp at Lake Robertson with my family every single year and it is located 20 minutes outside of Lexington.
Now, to get back on track.. Catherine and John met and went to college at Washington & Lee University so they naturally chose this cute town as the backdrop for their special day! On Friday, Ryan and I were able to spend a little time with their family and friends while capturing photos at the rehearsal dinner located at The Robert E. Lee’s hotel restaurant Rocca Bar Ristorante which served some amazing Italian food for their very special dinner. Family & Friends enjoyed the outdoor patio area overlooking the town as they wined and dined at this amazing historic spot!
When the party came to a close, the two of us ran to CVS pharmacy to gather essentials- Sour Patch Kids & Muddy Bears (our favorite candy) and had a movie night in our gorgeous hotel room to celebrate our anniversary! Yes, we are big partiers.. haha! Now, we had to get a good nights rest for their awesome wedding day so a low key night was perfect!
On Saturday we made our way to Irvine Estate early to capture the details and to get familiar with the space. This Estate is on the other side of House Mountain Inn (their sister event venue) and it boasts the most beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You really do feel like you are in the clouds as you look out amongst the tree tops! It really is a site to be seen and is just so breathtaking. Catherine hired Kate Garoni who was a family friend to coordinate the big day! She not only coordinated the wedding, but she spent a lot of time decorating the venue and making everything absolutely perfect. To say the least, she was truly a rockstar! We had the best time with her and she really made sure to take care of us and every other vendor associated with the wedding. Catherine & her bridesmaids spent their morning in a beautiful historic house that they rented for the week and we were thrilled to capture those “getting ready” moments and some family photos there as well.
The ceremony was as stunning as you can imagine.. With the trends tending to lean towards outdoor ceremonies these days, Catherine and John decided to hold their big day at the local Presbyterian Church in downtown Lexington. It was just beautiful! That ruby red carpet and beautiful pipe organ was something right out of a magazine.. so classic and elegant! We were thrilled to capture this and just be a part of their day! The ceremony was so emotional and Catherine and John were all smiles! Through the tears and joy, we witnessed the joining of their lives together and I am telling you that nothing is more important than those special moments. It really is my favorite part of a wedding day.. Why you ask? Because it is the reason why everyone celebrates. Yes, of course I love those little details and pretty things but honestly, the ceremony is the main event!
We gathered the wedding party and made our way over to the Lee Chapel which is a historic chapel on the campus of Washington & Lee. If you can imagine a cute little brick church, steeple, and ivy growing up the front doors of the church.. it was a photographers dream! Some of the best photo moments were captured right in front of this church and they were amazing! The reception location was 25 minutes away from the church, so we hopped on the shuttle and made our way to the Estates! The couple was welcomed by cheering friends and family and had their first dance to a song performed by the band, Another Level– who didn’t disappoint this crowd! They are amazing and really had the Estate moving and grooving throughout the evening. The guests enjoyed a dinner prepared by the in-house catering at Irvine Estates and a gorgeously decorated & delicious cake designed by Country Confections out of Fishersville, VA (who might I add used to make all of my families birthday cakes, etc). University Florist provided the flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces that were designed by Kate Garoni and vintage elements were provided by the bride. Guests danced the night away and said adieu to the bride and groom by a beautiful sparkling exit! Catherine & John’s parents surprised the couple with a vintage MG Midget convertible as their “getaway” car! It was truly a dream and we had the best time with this wonderful couple! Thank you again for letting us be a part of your day and many more wonderful years to come!
Rehearsal Dinner- Rocca Bar Ristorante
Ceremony Venue- Lexington Presbyterian Church
Venue- Irvine Estate
Flowers- University Florist
Planner- Kate Garoni
Cake- Country Confections
Band- Another Level