When we printed the letterpress wedding invitations for Stewart and Darryl’s October 2008 wedding, we had a feeling that their day was going to be something truly magical. When we recently had the opportunity to see their amazing wedding photos, captured by Eleise Theuer, we knew we were right. Married just one year and three days after their first date, after having met on match.com, Stewart and Darryl crafted a celebration that was thoughtful, personal and rich with handmade details and a sensitivity to the environment. Melville Farm in Reedville, Virginia was the only natural choice for their wedding location as the property has belonged to Stewart’s family since the 1930s and she remembers spending every weekend there as a child. The farm setting provided their inspiration in pulling all of the details together and worked perfectly with the deep green and espresso color palette the couple chose; he picked the green and she picked the brown. The result? An absolutely charming and beautiful wedding celebration.
It was important to both Stewart and Darryl that their celebration be heartfelt and personal, opting to include just those details and traditions that seemed authentic to them as a couple. They opted to see each other before the ceremony and then walk down the aisle together rather than Stewart being given away. As Stewart says, “This was a journey we were beginning together and we thought it was only appropriate for us both to walk down together.” In lieu of giving away the bride, her father escorted both her mother and mother in-law to their seats where they then sat together as a family instead of on opposite sides of the aisle. The ceremony was then officiated by a close friend, who is also a photographer, Charles “Stretch” Ledford of Stretch Photography.
One tradition Stewart did want to incorporate was including something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue into her attire and she did so in unique style. Vintage kid skin gloves borrowed from her makeup artist served as her something old and her something borrowed. New pearl earrings from her mother were her something new and her something blue was a Turkish blue eye that a good friend attached to a vintage handkerchief that Stewart then tucked in her dress. Her dress, purchased at Bella Rosa in Richmond, Virginia, was by Monique Lhuillier and she paired it with a wrap from J. Crew and chocolate brown shoes from Cydwoq that she knew she would wear again.
With their letterpress wedding invitations, in our Amy design, helping to provide inspiration, Stewart and Darryl thought out every last detail from tableware to custom napkins to flowers, which were created by the incredible JM Flora. During cocktail hour, while the newlyweds were getting photos taken, there was a Polaroid station set up where guests could take photos and leave the couple notes. The backdrop was made from fleur de lis fabric in brown and cream that the bride asked a friend sew into a big panel. It proved to be one of the many highlights of the evening.
In keeping with their commitment to creating a truly personal wedding, incorporating Stewart’s beloved dog, Homer, was essential. He spent the day with Stewart as she was getting ready and even provided a bit of entertainment as the bride went to make her entrance when he darted out in front of her to relieve himself unexpectedly in front of all the guests. After the laughter subsided, Homer dutifully followed Stewart and Darryl down the aisle where he sat down like a gentleman behind her for the entire ceremony. It was an unplanned addition to the ceremony that delighted the couple. Decked out in his own celebratory collar of flowers and greens, Homer’s inclusion in the day is one of Stewart’s favorite memories.
One of our favorite elements that Stewart and Darryl incorporated are the tree saplings they gave as favors. Leading up to the farm is a mile-long lane, lined on either side by beautiful cedar trees. Stewart thought having seedlings of those same trees would be a great way to celebrate the day and the gorgeous property. After searching around the internet, Stewart found a great tree farm in Minnesota, Itasca Greenhouses, willing to grow enough saplings to give their guests. One of the varieties of cedar they grew was Red Cedar or juniperus virginiana, especially perfect for a wedding in Virginia!
Stewart then worked with Bella Figura designer, Beth Ann, to create the pretty letterpress tags, which included planting instructions and a custom illustration of a red cedar that Beth Ann created. Each sapling was presented in a simple high ball glass and to attach the letterpress instruction cards, Stewart used paper cut into squares, found some brown burlap and bought an eyelet punch. She then used whatever ribbon she could find in keeping with the brown and green color theme of the wedding to tie the tags to the glasses. The result is a perfectly personal and inspired wedding favor that we absolutely adore. Following the wedding, the couple then used the leftover saplings to plant along the lane of her family property as many of the cedars have fallen over the years due to hurricanes and storms.
Stewart’s advice to brides still planning their weddings…
Pick a couple of things that are the most important to you and the rest will follow. In order of importance for me was the guy and the photographer. I knew I’d be able to find fantastic invites (my Google search turned up Bella Figura!). The only other thing I would highly recommend is having a weekend-of coordinator. I arranged everything but passed the reins to someone else that day so I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. She was amazing (Dee Kirchmier at Occasions).
What green aspects were included in the celebration?
We arranged for buses to cart folks to and from their hotels so there wouldn’t be so many extra cars on the road. We used Bella Figura invitations and it was more of a handmade affair – lots of Etsy elements. The collar I wore was from a designer in Ireland I found on Etsy, Bonzie. I sent her a swatch of my dress fabric and she custom made the collar utilizing brown, green, and cream. Darryl and his best man’s ties were from an Etsy seller, Toybreaker. The cookies in the welcome bags at hotels were from Etsy, the dress I changed into after the reception was from Liza Rietz, also on Etsy. I knit the cardigan my sister wore during the ceremony (closed with a pin that belonged to our great grandmother) and the cardigan I wore during the reception.
What’s next for the newlyweds?
Darryl is starting a metal furniture and custom sailboat parts business and I’m still enjoying life as owner of The Yarn Lounge. Life is great!
Thank you so much, Stewart and Darryl, for sharing your wedding with us! This is one event we truly wish we could have attended as guests. Congratulations and best wishes from all of us at Bella Figura!
[All photos credited to Eleise Theuer Photography]
Officiant: Photographer (and good friend of the couple) Charles “Stretch” Ledford
Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Bella Rosa in Richmond, Virginia
Collar: Bonzie on Etsy
Wrap: J. Crew
Hair & Makeup: Cecelia (email@example.com)
Darryl’s suit: Custom suit from Nathan’s Custom Tailors
Darryl’s tie: Toybreaker on Etsy
Photography: Eleise Theuer Photography
Flowers: JM Flora
Cake: Kalico Kitchen
Catering: Sophisticated Soirees
DJ: Lew Wright with Choice Entertainment
Weekend-of Coordination: Dee Kirchmier with Occasions
Limousine and shuttle services: James Limousine
Sapling favors: Itasca Greenhouse
Letterpress invitations and favor tags: Bella Figura