This Couple Chose a Citrus Theme for Their Family-Centric Wedding in Virginia
A love of wine and sunsets led Chris Harlan and Hannah Davis to dream of wine country for their June afternoon wedding. But instead of the famed vineyards of California or beyond, the once long-distance couple sought that ambience closer to home, in the vineyards near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Home—and, more important, family—were the driving themes for their wedding. The two met while on a summerlong project in Dallas for the management-consulting firm where they both worked. They found themselves spending more time together as the project wound down, and what became their first real date ended with Hannah and Chris—a single dad of two young children—flipping through family pictures on his phone and talking about life. "Once we crossed that line, we were suddenly seriously dating," says Hannah.
After the project ended, Hannah returned to New York City. Over the next two years, she and Chris traveled to each other nearly every week. She grew close to his children, Jack and Kate, and eventually moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where he had relocated.
Chris proposed in December 2015, with a three-diamond ring inspired by a costume ring the kids had found for Hannah. "I researched the meanings of three-stone rings: past, present, and future; friendship, love, and fidelity; me, you, and family," he says.
Though the wedding venue, Pippin Hill, was part vineyard, the children's involvement showed from art to finish. On June 10, 2017, during the ceremony, seven-year-old Kate recited a reading she had chosen based on values they all share as a family. At the reception, a tepee dubbed "Jack & Kate's Place" was stocked with treats and activities for little ones. And they chose a restaurant for the day-after brunch that had space for a family game of soccer, one of the kids' favorite sports. It was as important to Hannah as to Chris that the kids share the spotlight. "She was truly selfless in this regard," he says. "At the ceremony, when all eyes were understandably on Hannah, she delivered unique and heartfelt vows to each of the children and to me, so that all in attendance knew that this was a moment to celebrate our family officially coming together as one."
Chris grinned as he posed, in a tux by Alton Lane, with his bride and children. Petals from Hannah's Mira Zwillinger gown were sewn onto Kate's dress. "Many brides want the light to shine brightest on themselves on their wedding day, but Hannah made sure that family was the clear focus of the celebration," says Chris."The day was so special and full of love," says Hannah. "It felt so personal and joyful. Everyone seemed happy, and we felt happy."
A Surprise Gift
On the morning of the big day, the couple's wedding planners, Simply Chic Events, surprised the bride with a basket of on-palette, lemon-themed goodies.
The Full Party
Each bridesmaid chose her own Hayley Paige dress in the same dusty blue shade, while the groomsmen wore matching blue tuxedos. Chris' kids held places of honor as best man and maid of honor, respectively, along with the groom's two brothers and the bride's two sisters.
The bride's sisters, Becca (left) and Sadie, were both maids of honor (along with Kate). Sadie's wedding had been just months earlier, so she and Hannah shared many vendors and readings.
Framing the Ceremony
A vintage metal arbor covered with flowers and vines arched over a blanket of yellow flower petals to mark the ceremony spot overlooking Virginia's Blue Ridge foothills.
The Littlest Attendants
The groom's nephews, Anderson (almost 2) and Isaac (age 4), served as page boys during the ceremony. They were among the 15 children on the guest list that day.
The Kid Zone
Kid-size refreshments and fancy paper straws were in abundance at the "kids' bar."
The youngsters at the wedding enjoyed a special menu of chicken tenders, soft pretzels, cheese, and fruit. Iced lemon-shape cookies were a sweet way to personalize each child's meal.
At the Bar
For the adults, two margarita options (one spicy) were served during the cocktail hour. They were a nod to drinks the couple enjoyed early in their relationship while working together in Dallas. Paper drink umbrellas bear the same illustrated pattern that was featured on the invitations.
Find Your Place
Planner Kate Harlan of Simply Chic Events (who is the groom's sister-in-law) suggested wooden escort cards to mimic the shape of a lemon, a recurring icon in the wedding details.
The Reception Setup
A custom-made runner of "Citrus Garden" fabric draped a long center table for the wedding party. Chandeliers were brought in to balance the rustic charm of the reception space.
The Table Décor
Beehive Events gathered lush early-summer blooms—including peonies, garden roses, spirea, and viburnum—into centerpieces.
The two-flavor, lemon-adorned cake by Sweet Fix included sea-salt-caramel buttercream—a nod to a gelato flavor the couple shared on their first date.
Guests waved sparklers as the new Mr. and Mrs. Harlan departed the ceremony.
Location and catering, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Event planning and design, Simply Chic Events
Flowers, décor, and custom furnishings, Beehive Events
Photography, Ryan Ray
Videography, Monachetti Weddings
Officiant, Reverend Bill Cochran
Stationery, Cheree Berry Paper
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy + Design
Cake, Sweet Fix
Tepee and custom stage, Skyline Tent Company
Bride's gown and veil, Mira Zwillinger
Hair, Remona Soleimani
Makeup, Leah Margosis
Bridesmaids' dresses, Bella Bridesmaids
Flower-girl dress, Us Angels
Groom's tuxedo, shirt, and bow tie, Alton Lane
Ring bearer's tuxedo, Monsoon
Lighting, Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting
Late-night s'mores, A Cozy Caravan from Get Cozy | Vintage Mobile Bars
"Citrus Garden" linen fabric, Schumacher