We’ve never encountered a wedding at the stunning Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards venue that we didn’t love. Ariel and Emerson’s colorful day, with month-of planning by Alex Meyer Events is no exception—it’s absolutely beautiful! Printerette Press set the tone with the classic letterpress plus multi-hued whimsical illustrations on the invitations while Wild Green Yonder knocked it out of the part with the florals. Corals, tangerines, and light pinks in lush arrangements shined against the light blue Joanna August bridesmaids gowns and beautiful greens of the grounds of the farm. The same broad palette is incorporated into the tablescapes with blue candles set under the cafe lights in the barn. Make sure to check out Ariel’s floral-applique Mira Zwillinger gown as well as cultural details throughout the day all captured beautifully by Grey Collective member Live View Studios.
What made the wedding special and unique?
When we were hunting for venues, I happened to come across Pippin Hill on a blog and sent a link to Emerson. It turned out that Emerson used to frequent Pippin as a student at UVA Law, and that his sister also got married in Charlottesville. It seemed meant to be, so we booked it, before we even got engaged! It all worked out beautifully, and the amazing view of the blue ridge mountains was the ideal backdrop for our ceremony. I am Chinese American and my husband is from Virginia, but spent time during his childhood in India and Sri Lanka. For the ceremony, we had family members do readings of poems that spoke to our respective family heritage. One of my maids of honor (I had two) read a poem in both English and Chinese about a moment on an autumn day which reflects my live-in-the-moment approach to life. Emerson’s sister read a poem about growing up in agrarian America and the beauty of exploring the woods as young children. We also wrote our own vows. Our close friend (who we lovingly call Reverend Redhead) officiated the wedding, and did an incredible job. Our recessional was to the Indiana Jones theme song, which I think our guests got a kick out of, and which we thought was appropriate in light of our honeymoon plans (we went to Jordan and Egypt!).
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The gown is by Mira Zwillinger, which I bought from Carine’s in Georgetown. There were many, many contenders at first. I have pretty eclectic taste in clothing, so a wide spectrum of dresses appealed to me, but the Mira gown emerged as a quick front runner. I eventually narrowed it down to 2 options which had very different silhouettes, but in the end, the Mira’s whimsical applique flowers and the fact that it was really light and comfortable won me over. I wanted to make sure my dress did not feel like it weighed a ton and that I was able to move freely and dance!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Our fabulous month-of coordinator Alex Meyer encouraged me to run with a lot of my ideas, and I am really glad she did. One of my favorite things was that we set up a large display of family photos on our escort card table. The display included images of both of our parents, siblings, and grandparents. My grandmothers helped raise me and are near and dear to my heart, but they are both in China and could not attend, so having them present at the wedding in that way was very meaningful. The escort card table also had one of my very favorite arrangements by our amazing florist, Lori Tran of Wild Green Yonder. She arranged branches of leafy, unripe persimmons that had a lovely chartreuse color in a warm terracotta vase. She really understood my color vision and brought the design of the wedding to life. One fun thing we did was to provide instant ramen as wedding favors. I know that after a late night of dancing, particularly if there is an open bar, the thing I want most is a midnight snack. Hearkening back to my college days, I felt like ramen would hit the spot for our guests. My MOH’s mother ended up hooking us up with lots of ramen as a wedding gift!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
For me, it was definitely the ceremony. I was totally unprepared for how tremendous it would feel to walk down the aisle towards my husband-to-be with all of our friends and family there. It was very emotional and definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life. It was really special to be able to recite our vows before the most important people in our lives, who helped shape who we are today. We also got very lucky because it had been sprinkling on and off that afternoon, and it was slightly overcast at times. My guests told me that as soon as we started the ceremony, the sky cleared and we had beams of light shining down on us as we processed!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met at work, which we joke about being a good talking point for recruiting law students to join our firm. I moved to D.C. to be with Emerson after we had been dating for around half a year, and we just knew that we wanted to take the next step together. Emerson knew that I loved Mociun, and he contacted her to create a custom piece for the proposal. He proposed during an impromptu trip to LA, and afterwards, we celebrated getting engaged at Disneyland!
Photography: Live View Studios // Wedding Planner/Designer: Alex Meyer, Alex Meyer Events // Florist: Lori Tran, Wild Green Yonder // Stationery: Printerette Press // Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards // Dress Boutique: Carine’s Bridal Atelier // Dress Designer: Mira Zwillinger // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August // Groom & Groomsmen’s formal wear: The Black Tux // Cake: Lisa McEwan, Hotcakes // Makeup: Gohar Ayvazyan Beaver, Gohar Makeup // Hair: Brooke Cleveland, Moxie Hair Lounge // Minister/Officiant: Chelsea Kadovitz // Lighting: Donald Sutton, Blue Ridge AV and Lighting // Guestbook: Little Carabao Studio // Transportation: Bill Long, A Goff Limousine & Bus Company // Bride’s Robe: Piyama // Bridesmaids’ Robes: LeRose Gifts // Favor Stickers: CoeurByK // Calligraphy & Signage: Orange Rose and Potato / HannaBee Designs / Shotgunning for Love / Studio Nellcote Design / Rodeo Moon // Escort cards: Sunim Ink