Rachel & Mike Wedding

Virginia Autumn Wedding


May 12, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Gideon Photography

Rachel and Mike had not initially planned on venturing out of town for their destination wedding. However, a simple web search for the best wedding venues led them to the captivating Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Rachel instantly fell in love with the picturesque scenery and the enchanting photographs of previous weddings. 

“We traveled down to check it out in the fall and I fell in love with the farm-to-table vibe as well as the scenery,” Rachel says. “The autumn fog was unreal!”

Planning a destination wedding from afar can be challenging, but Rachel and Mike found invaluable support from their wedding planner, Adam of Donovan-Groves Events. With his knowledge of the venue and the local vendors, Adam helped them achieve the desired look for their special day. 

With Adam on their side, Rachel and Mike encountered only a few planning hurdles along the way. One challenge they faced was scheduling menu tastings, which were only available during the week. Rachel had to take time off work to travel, but she didn’t mind as it was a small sacrifice for such a momentous occasion. Another obstacle was the no-pets policy in the reception hall. However, their exceptional wedding planner came to the rescue, ensuring their beloved furry friend was taken care of during the festivities.

The couple’s ceremony also included a blend of tradition and personal touches. For example, Rachel and Mike included a sand-pouring ceremony, symbolizing the visual joining of their lives.

“We wanted to celebrate our union in light of the One who created it, so biblical passages abounded, read by family as well as the pastor,”the bride says.

Rachel and Mike then shared their vows beneath a beautiful arch by Steel Cut Flower Co. framing the misty Virgina hills behind them. The reception moved guests into the Granary, a barn-like room, where chandeliers adorned with greenery and exquisite candle and flower arrangements on the tables created an antique, autumn atmosphere.

Looking back on their Virgina Wedding, Rachel and Mike are convinced the day wouldn’t have felt as magical had they opted for hometown nuptials. Plus, guests got a nice mini-vacay out of it!

Offering advice to future brides and grooms, Rachel says, “Try not to let the little stuff bother you; you won’t remember that in the long run. Get a wedding planner if you can! Best decision I made.” 

Vendors: Photographer: Gideon Photography; Wedding Planner: Donovan-Groves Events; Florals: Steel Cut Flower Co.; Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards; Beauty: Cville Makeup; Cake: Maliha Creations; Entertainment: Bachelor Boys Band; Officiant: Reverend Rob Townsend; Rentals & Decor: BBJ La Tavola; AV & Lighting: Blue Ridge Event Production; Transportation: Quick’s Bus Company

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