I was so excited to make the trip down to Asheville, North Carolina to photograph Mallary and Steven’s wedding. The ceremony took place on the porch of a home overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains where they spent a long weekend celebrating with their families. It was a huge honor to be invited to spend their special day with them and work with them for the second time. If you want to see more of this adorable couple, check out Mallary + Steven's Blacksburg Engagement Session.
An Intimate Winery Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia
Emma and Bill came to the small town of Floyd, Virginia for their wedding all the way from New Zealand! As a Floyd native, I am still blown away by how far folks come to see a place that as I child I figured was invisible to the outside world [especially since it is so small it only needs one stop light]. Bill’s family traveled in from New Zealand, Emma’s family came in from Roanoke, Virginia, as well as some friends and family from the UK. Their hope was to gather their loved ones for a beautiful, relaxed, and comfortable celebration surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When I arrived at Chateau Morrisette, I found Emma’s sister Phoebe carefully finalizing the floral arrangements and wedding decor in the stained glass room of the restaurant. A long, family-style table was draped in a white tablecloth and decorated with pink and white roses along with white candles in silver and mercury glass holders. When Emma arrived with her father, we all gathered in the shade of the large oak tree in front of the Chateau Morrisette restaurant for the wedding ceremony. A string duo played as the bride made her way down the aisle. Emma and Bill’s officiant, Rev. Kanta Bosniak told the story of their relationship so beautifully, she was kind enough to share her words so that I could include them here:
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Bill and Emma and hearing their love story. How they met in New Zealand in 2008, just under 10 years ago, at Bill's place. She was looking for a flat and he a flatmate. Emma came around and they got on really well. Though she ended up moving to a place nearby to work, their great connection was supported by synchronicity. They bumped into each other in a supermarket. Bill gave Emma a ride home and Emma asked him out for a spontaneous adventure. They went to see a movie and really clicked. Bill then asked Emma out for their first official date, to a nice restaurant. It went wonderfully. They both knew they had found their right person and they've been together ever since. Since then they have traveled around the South Island of New Zealand and even went tandem hang gliding together. On April 10, 2017, they got dressed up and went to visit a beautiful historic garden in Christchurch. It was in this beautiful setting that Bill got down on one knee and proposed. He gave her a ring... and they made each other a promise that is fulfilled today.
Floyd, Virginia Wedding Vendor Team
Floyd, Virginia Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Venue: Chateau Morrisette – Virginia Winery and Restaurant
Officiant: Rev. Kanta Bosniak, custom ceremony services
Hair and Makeup: Glamhouse Day Spa, Roanoke
It was an honor to be present with Jason and Cassie along with their friends and family as they exchanged vows at Beliveau Estate Winery. I arrived at the winery while Cassie and her bridesmaids were finishing up with their hair and makeup appointment at Innovations Salon & Day Spa, so I passed a little time assisting her friends with arranging some beautiful flowers from Stonecrop Farms into centerpieces. Soon the wedding party arrived and began the final steps or preparing for the wedding. Cassie’s mother helped her into her beautiful Maggie Sottero wedding gown from Chantilly Lace which paired up beautifully with her ivory lace Blue by Betsey Johnson Leah ballet flats. The bridesmaids wore white sleeveless tops with pretty pink tulle maxi skirts from Tulle and Chantilly while the groom and groomsmen looked sharp in their grey suits from JoS. A. Bank.
The wedding ceremony took place atop a hill overlooking the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains where the altar was decorated with two wine barrels and gorgeous large pink, green, white, and magenta floral arrangements. As Cassie reached the beginning of the aisle, she teared up and took a moment to gather herself before walking to the altar arm in arm with her father.
Cassie and Jason’s officiant, Rev. Kanta Bosniak told the story of their relationship so beautifully, she was kind enough to share her words so that I could include them here:
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jason and Cassie and hearing their love story. How they met in the summer of 2012 when Cassie picked up some hitchhikers hiking the Appalachian Trail. Jason was a hiker too, and they were mutual friends with him. In late July, they connected again through their friend Miles, hiking together and staying at a hostel in Rutland, Vermont. Jason took on a protective role, giving Cassie water and food. In mid-August, they visited in Hanover, New Hampshire, where they went into town and had both their first date... and their first kiss. Their friendship deepened into love. And they maintained a long distance relationship. She was in Pawling, New York, and his home base was in Michigan. They kept in touch, talking and Skyping every day and sharing romantic gestures. Once a week, he’d play a song and send it to her. She sent him videos of cooking and gardening… “A Day in the Life of Cassie.” In January of 2013, she went to Grand Rapids and spent a week. The 0 degrees temperatures and daily snow were no impediment to the warmth of their affection. They became an official couple and began planning a future together. Jason moved to Pawling in late April and they spent two years together there working at a landscaping company. In January of 2015, they moved to Virginia. He came back to school to finish his degree and she started teaching yoga and creating a business. The following year, Jason developed and implemented a plan. He bought her a Buddha and adorned it with love notes and her grandmother’s ring. On December 21, 2016, the night before driving up to see family for Christmas, he set the stage and started the soundtrack. Playing the Van Morrison song, “Sweet Thing,” from “Astral Weeks,” he took the ring off the Buddha, got down on one knee, and proposed… And they made each other a promise that is fulfilled today.
Following the ceremony, (and a brief intermission for photos) we sat down for a meal prepared by the wonderful folks at Beliveau Estate Winery while their DJ from A Party’s Favorite Entertainment provided music. After dinner and dancing, I learned of a tradition from Cassie’s family – a giant glass vase is filled with beer and passed down the line for everyone to take a swig. Once everyone has had their turn, it is up to the bride and groom to share what is left in the vase. Their friends and family were so eager to help the newlyweds that they finished off the vase a couple of times and it had to be refilled to be sure that Cassie and Jason were able to enjoy their fair share as well!
Blacksburg Wedding Vendor Team
Blacksburg Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Venue: Beliveau Estate Winery
Hair + Makeup: Innovations Salon & Day Spa
Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero from Chantilly Lace Bridals
Wedding Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson Leah Ballet Flats
Bridesmaid Dresses: Tulle and Chantilly
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: JoS. A. Bank
Florist: Stonecrop Farms
Officiant: Rev. Kanta Bosniak, custom ceremony services
Wedding Rings: Heirloom engagement ring; Wedding band from Kay Jewelers, Christiansburg
DJ: A Party’s Favorite Entertainment, Roanoke
Jeremy and Daphne have been together for ages, even longer than we have been friends [which has also been a hell of a long time considering that we all went to high school together]. So, it was a huge honor to ring in the New Year photographing their Mountain Lake Lodge wedding! Mother nature gave them the wedding gift of a beautiful layer of snow atop the mountain which provided a stunning backdrop for winter wedding photos. Their ceremony was originally planned to take place by the gazebo where Baby first takes lessons from Penny in the movie Dirty Dancing, but due to the snow, we all snuggled up close inside of the Lodge to stay warm instead.
Daphne wore a beautiful long sleeve lace wedding gown with buttons down the back and the same veil and headpiece that her mother wore on her wedding day. Her bouquet was cascade style with white roses and calla lilies stretching elegantly to nearly reach the ground. Their wedding reception took place in Mary’s Barn. It was filled with string lights and I loved their light-up marquee letters that spelled out Daphne & Jeremy over the fireplace that was behind their sweetheart table. Guests enjoyed snapping fun photos in their photo booth which was provided by Swell Booth. We all danced the night away to the amazing live band, The Ruckus until we counted down till midnight and retired back to our cabins and hotel rooms at Mountain Lake Lodge.
Hotel Roanoke, Crystal Ballroom Wedding Photos
Gabi and Travis were introduced by a mutual friend in Gainesville, Florida in 2016. They hit it off immediately, and 6 months later Gabi packed her bags and moved to Blacksburg to live with Travis. Travis proposed to Gabi on the top of the mountain at McAfee Knob after a 2 hour hike on the Appalachian Trail. Their Christmas themed wedding took place on a *freezing* cold afternoon at Hotel Roanoke. They opted for a quick first look in front of a 100+ year old Magnolia tree at the Magnolia Terrace before their ceremony. Gabi kept warm by wrapping up in her grandmother’s fur stole and snuggling up next to Travis.
Once we were back inside, I was excited to see that Mike Ellerbrock was their officiant; he worked with my mother years ago and I used to be good friends with his daughter back in elementary school! The ceremony took place in the Crystal Ballroom of Hotel Roanoke. It was decorated with green garland wrapped in Christmas string lights, chandeliers, beautiful poinsettias, Christmas trees, and gold Chiavari chairs. They exchanged very emotional vows where a few tears were shed before sealing the deal with a sweet kiss. I loved their seating chart – a vintage picture frame with string lights which had beautiful glass Christmas ornaments with each guest’s name and table number. DJ the DJ from Quest Entertainment did an amazing job with the music [such a great job in fact that it landed him a spot on Nuptial Ninjas aka my list of The Best Wedding Vendors in Southwest Virginia]. The only time the dance floor emptied was so folks could eat delicious wedding cake and when someone pulled a party foul and dropped a glass on the dance floor. At the end of the night, guests sent off Gabi and Travis with a “Jingle Bell” exit by shaking little Christmas bells as they dashed off to the honeymoon suite.
Roanoke, Virginia Wedding Vendors
Roanoke, Virginia Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer, second shooting for Kristie Lea Photography
Wedding Venue: Crystal Ballroom, Hotel Roanoke
Hair and Makeup: Les Cheveux
Wedding Cake: Evie’s Wedding Cakes
DJ: DJ the DJ, Quest Entertainment
Officiant: Rev. Mike Ellerbrock