Destination I Do
Friday, September 16, 2022

Mountaintop Virginia Wedding

Words by Sydney Biggs
Photos courtesy of Sydney Biggs Photography

Claire and Evan were in the same 5th-grade class and became the best of friends almost immediately. They remained friends and all the way through high school, going on each other's family vacations to Texas, Michigan, and Wyoming. Though they never dated, Evan took Claire to the senior prom! The couple had no idea what twists and turns their lives would take over the next few years, but, ultimately, fate would bring them back together. 

After years of distant contact post-high school, Claire and Evan reconnected in 2019. He visited Claire in her beloved home of Wilmington, North Carolina and she and her darling daughter, Willa Hays, both fell in love. Evan felt the same way and shortly after his first visit, he made the move to North Carolina for his girls. Evan proposed to Claire at Kiawah Island on a getaway weekend that her mother helped organize!

Their destination wedding was inspired by family, food, and each of the twists and turns that brought them together. Held at Evan’s parents’ mountaintop home in Blacksburg, Virginia, the couple thoughtfully curated their decor to incorporate natural elements that made the groom’s parents' home the venue of their dreams. 

“Elevated mountain romantic dinner party was the vibe for sure....with a bit of glam flair,” the bride says.

The flowers were a critical focal point to the elevated feel of the wedding! From the olive branch plate accents to the vibrant arbor for the ceremony, each space of the mountain was graced by the most beautiful arrangements. 

Because Evan is an extremely talented chef, food was a central theme for their wedding. Inspired by his time at The Inn at Little Washington, the couple served signature gougeres (a savory French pastry) alongside New River oysters, crayfish, and trout dip. For dinner, the bride and groom wanted a family-style eating experience for the main meal. There was an open fire grill that the chefs used to cook each meat on site. It was placed adjacent to the tent and added such an authentic element! Not to mention, the cake, desserts, and libations were all imported from Wilmington!

The live string band was a nod to the traditional music of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it provided such fun energy for the rest of the evening. The couple loved being able to dance and celebrate with their families and friends who they had been apart from because of the pandemic. They especially loved it when the kids took over the dance floor and really got it going!

“Just the energy of happiness and joy was so refreshing and needed. Every detail honored how special this time is for us and how important it was for us to share that with all who we love!”

Claire’s best advice for wedding planning? “Focus on your wants and expectations for that special day. Make decisions that you'll hopefully still love in 25 years and know that you make them for YOU and no one else! Give yourself grace, it will NOT go according to your plan, but you will be able to adjust. As long as you breathe and enjoy yourself it's all going to be fine!”

Vendors: Photographer: Sydney Biggs Photography; Floral Designer: The Moss & Rose; Paper Goods: GB Design House; Beauty: Elegance Artistry; DJ: Bunn DJ Company; Cake: B. Sweet Dessert Boutique; Spirits/Cocktails: End of Days Distillery; Caterer: The Palisades Restaurant; Calligraphy: Erin Petty; Equipment Rentals: Aztec Rental, Paisley & Jade, The Collection by Courtney Inghram; Embroidery: Lumina Embroidery; Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik; Gown: Justin Alexander; Kids Attire: Feltman Brother's; Groom's Attire: J.Crew & Salvatore Ferragamo 


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