A Vintage DIY Wedding on a Farm in Virginia
Meg and Landon
Meg Runion and Landon Perdue were out and about with friends in Charlottesville, Virginia, when they met. Meg, a wedding and portrait photographer, and Landon, a medical salesman, hit it off instantly and about two years later, on September 15, 2012, they tied the knot, at a farm less than 13 miles from their home. The handcrafted soiree highlighted the bride's DIY abilities, the picturesque setting, a bounty of entertainment, and plenty of comfort food.
Thanks to her years in the wedding industry, Meg knew immediately where she wanted the wedding to occur -- Fat Cat Farm, in Scottsville, Virginia. The location was unique and personal, as it belongs to Meg’s friend (and florist).
A Warm Welcome
Muslin bags embellished with sewn hearts cut from coffee bean sacks were stuffed with water, cookies from a local bakery, and the groom's favorite snack, Chex Mix. Trail mix bought in bulk was repackaged into little white paper baggies and sealed with tags.
A hand drawn map of Charlottesville highlights was sewed into a booklet that also included a "study guide" for Texas Hold'em -- so people playing poker during the casino-themed wedding reception could get ready -- and a timeline of the weekend’s events. Mini menus from the couple's four favorite restaurants were tucked into glassine bags, making sure no guest went hungry during the days they were in town.
A Gift for Him
The bride and groom love to cook together, and on Sundays go on long runs and then stop at the grocery store for ingredients to test new recipes. Meg wanted to give Landon a gift to honor their shared foodie passion. She found a leather journal at Rock, Paper, Scissors and collected and wrote out their favorite recipes from their relationship. She also asked friends and family for special recipes and included those with notes about who they ate the dishes with and when. The book was then sent to watercolor artist Haley Harmon, who filled the pages with sketches of the items listed.
A Hidden Memento
A cross-stitched label adorned the back of the groom’s tie. "I thought he would see it when he was getting dressed," Meg said. "But it turns out he never saw it until my mom asked him about it halfway through the reception!"
An Important Question
Meg asked each member of her bridal party to be in the wedding using vintage cigar boxes filled with information about the big day, a little description about every bridesmaid so that everyone knew one another going into the event, and the scoop on their attire. She added a special quote and some chocolate, and wrapped them in a Vogue dress pattern with torn linen strips and kraft paper. Individual clusters of faux flowers and a ceramic tag with each girl’s name was added before they were mailed (or left on doorsteps for the local ladies).
A Sweet Suite
Shawn from Beehive Events came up with the idea of a tent for the girls to get ready in. It was outfitted with a vanity, draping, mirrors, and rugs, with dresses hanging on display until it was time to slip into them.
A Bevvy of Baubles
Accessories created during Meg's jewelry-making bachelorette party at her favorite local store, Roxie Daisy, were designed with help from jeweler Erin McDermott. On the big day, the necklaces were revealed in the getting ready tent.
A Nice Spread
Inside the bridal tent, lunch was set up by A Pimento Catering for the girls to nosh on during the day.
It's in the Bag
Meg's mom knitted nine reticules from a Jane Austen pattern -- one for each of the bridesmaids and one for the flower girl to use in lieu of a flower basket. She cross-stitched a tag with the couple’s initials and wedding date inside.
Dickie Morris of Just a Little Ditty hatched the idea of using fabric remnants from family members and projects to create gifts for the bride, the groom's sister, and for a special guest (it was raffled off during the reception). Fabric from some of Landon's late mother’s clothing was incorporated as a way of honoring her memory, with scraps from the invitation used to line the inside.
The Flower Girl
The maid of honor hand made the littlest attendant's dress.
Each gent in the bridal party sported a small bundle of green ranunculus, olive leaves, and mountain ash berries on his lapel.
The inside of Meg's engagement ring boasts an imprint, which Meg featured as a graphic throughout the wedding. For the programs, she drew the garland imagery, scanned it, and printed it on watercolor paper -- which she colored in with watercolor pencils. The ceremony information was printed on the back and fabric scraps left from the invitations were stitched to create a decorative edge.
A Furry Friend
Meg's dream to have her beloved dog, Kobuk, participate in the wedding came true when he carried an important announcement down the aisle. A treat in the flower girls' basket and a whistle from the groom led him to the altar. Though Meg couldn't see him in all his glory since she hadn’t made her ceremony debut yet, she heard everyone laugh when he went running into action.
The Grand Entrance
"My father walked me down the aisle and it took everything in me not to cry," said Meg. Just before making their debut, vocalist Heather Hightower sang "Ave Maria".
The couple's friend Claire Goodman crafted a meaningful service perfectly suited to the couple. An excerpt from Robert Fulghum's "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" was recited. Meg and Landon had looked through a lot of texts for potential readings but this one fit them best with its simple, honest, fun, and quirky take on being an adult.
A Bit of Laughter
At the ceremony, which took place in front of a barn whose doorway was filled with 'Annabelle' hydrangeas, the couple exchanged personalized vows that elicited a range of emotions, including a big laugh from the bride.
A Piece of Art
Meg met painter Kay Southerland at an art festival just prior to becoming engaged, and commissioned her to create a piece that reflected the ceremony. So she brought her easel and paints, and set up a spot to capture the momentous occasion. The happy couple took the painting home at the end of the night, and it now hangs in their dining room.
Lemonade and ice tea were set out for guests to sip.
Following the ceremony, the couple wandered the grounds for some photo opps with their photographer, Jen Fariello.
The Perfect Ride
Meg's father's side of the family has always been into restoring and collecting antique cars, but with most of the prized rides too far away in Ohio, she found an alternate way to honor their passion. Thanks to a local mechanic, she found a kind man with an old Chevy truck that they could borrow. Meg had the idea to display her great grandmother's quilts on the flatbed, and the truck was used for additional seating during the outdoor reception. A cross-stitched pillow mimicked a license plate.
Fun and Games
At BBQs with friends the couple often plays corn-hole, so a version of the game during the cocktail hour of the wedding made perfect sense. Landon and Meg's dad made five sets which were painted by the couple.
An old wagon was a great base for a charcuterie station. Not far away, fresh kettle corn was popping, and beer and wine was served from a canoe bar.
A BBQ feastof collard greens, roasted fingerling potatoes, coleslaw, broccoli salad, and cornbread was served in iron skillets. Chef Craig Hartman of The BBQ Exchange brought his five signature sauces as well.
A Common Thread
To carry through the hand sewn zig-zags first seen on the invitations, Meg's mom and cousin made napkins for dinner that were folded up to house a bamboo fork.
Tables were set with copper pot centerpieces containing olive branches, persimmons, millet, mountain ash berries, basil, rosemary, mint, ‘vitality’ garden roses, and ranunculus.
Other tables were adorned with reclaimed wood boxes filled with fruit from the farm.
As the sun set, glowing wood lanterns hung from the trees lit the lawn.
As guests entered the barn for the reception they each got a muslin bag printed with one of several designs created by the bride. Fake poker chips were inside for guests to use during the post-dinner casino party. At the end of the night, guests turned in their winning chips for raffle tickets to prizes like wine from a local vineyard and one of the corn-hole sets from the cocktail hour.
After being in the wedding industry for nearly a decade, Meg felt that most receptions were quite similar, and she wanted to break the mold. Plus, she knew that some people dance and some people don't, and wanted everyone to have fun. The idea for a vintage Vegas-style reception was born, and with help from Casino2U it came to life.
Guests tried their luck at craps, roulette, and black Jack tables with fake money, and then a proper Texas Hold'em poker tournament with a $20 buy-in. The RSVP cards had a spot for guests to note if they wanted to play, and the winner ended the night with $900!
The First Dance
The newlyweds danced to "Free" by Zach Brown Band. Meg then took a spin on the dance floor with her dad to "Heavenly Day" by Patty Griffin.
The bride put her handmade touch on the favors too, which were Charlottesville picture frames. Together with her parents, she spray painted the frames' bases, and then decoupaged a scaled-to-size map of the area on top. Each was packaged in a hand-sewn kraft paper envelope and tied with bakers' twine and a tag expressing the couple’s gratitude.
Photography: Jen Fariello
Event Planning: Dickie Morris of Just A Little Ditty
Flowers, Décor, and Lighting: Shawn Cossette of Beehive Events
Officiant: Claire Goodman of Sacred Ground Ceremonies
Calligraphy: Jen Maton of In So INKlined
Cake: Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations
Ceremony Vocalist: Heather Hightower
Reception Music and Casino Games: Casino2U
Hair and Makeup: Jeanne Cusick of Cville Make Up (434-977-4564)
Tent: Skyline Tent Company/Sperry Tents Southeast