A QUAINT OUTDOOR COUNTRY WEDDING SPRINKLED WITH SWEET FAMILY TRADITIONS - JEREMY & MICHELLE'S LOVE STORY
Jeremy and I found the perfect rural venue for our outdoor country wedding in the itty-bitty town of Yale, Virginia, halfway between where our parents live.
We were married on May 23 at Clay Hill Garden. It was a lovely spring day. The grass was a luscious green, the trees were in full bloom, and the boxwood gardens and perennial beds were teeming with flowers.
Open-air Chapel. It was a small intimate wedding. Jeremy and I felt so blessed to be able to share it with our family and closest friends. We put a lot of time and thought into making sure our special day spoke to our hearts, reflected our personalities, and honored our families and my Ukraine heritage.
Our wedding colors were cornflower blue and sunflower yellow, similar to the colors of the Ukraine flag. We created an open-air chapel for the wedding ceremony using real church pews for seating, turn-of-the-century stained glass church windows at the alter, and a freestanding doorway resembling an old church entryway at the front of the aisle. Jeremy and I are planning to incorporate the windows in our future home. I bargained with an architectural salvage company to give us a major discount on the windows. They are breathtaking and a unique memento of our ceremony.
Blue Wedding Shoes. I am a traditionalist in some ways, so I made sure I had something new – my wedding dress, which I designed; something old and something borrowed – my maternal grandmother’s broach, which I pinned to a handkerchief and placed in my bouquet; and something blue – my wedding shoes.
Fingerprint Engraving. The wedding party was made up of family members and close friends from both sides of the family, including Jeremy’s dear 95-year-old maternal grandfather who was his best man. Jeremy and I exchanged personalized wedding vows; rings engraved with the words, Love never gives up; and surnames. My fingerprint also is engraved in Jeremy’s ring.
During the wedding ceremony, our mothers wrapped a rushnyk (pronounced roosh-nick) over our joined hands, which symbolized the joyful union of our lives and the coming together of our two families. A rushnyk is a Ukrainian ritual cloth used for many of life’s important events. The colors and designs on the cloth tell a story. Our wedding rushnyk has pairs of birds symbolizing a couple and unclosed wreaths representing a future that is open.
A Magic Moment. The reception was held in a restored barn at Clay Hill Garden. Among the decorations were wedding photos of our parents and grandparents, floating centerpieces and specialty lace linens. Our first dance as husband and wife was to the song Magic by Coldplay. After the reception we made our getaway in a vintage 1963 Grand Prix.
We headed south for a tropical honeymoon in Key West, Florida, where we soaked up some sun, did a little sightseeing, enjoyed lots of great food, saw the most amazing sunsets, and caught up on some much needed sleep.
Wedding story captured by:
Elizabeth Bianco Murphy, LLC
Cathy Smith Photography, assisted/accompanied by Melissa Bradley, www.cathysmithphotography.com
Ceremony photo captured by:
The brother of the bride
Love Story published by:
Victoria Grigaliunas of VG Invites
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