The weather was better this year. The sort of crispness in the air that warms immediately under the sun’s gentle bath. The breeze was nearly impossible to notice, but there enough to stir the air up and keep the day moving. The day was a no-hurry day. The type of day best spent walking the length of a wooden fence, down to the vines where you can hide in between the grapes and let the rest of the world just disappear. It would’ve made for a perfect wedding day.
It wasn’t the same this time. We melted in with the crowds, just another couple escaping to the mountains for the reds and oranges in the trees, a glass of spectacular wine, and a break from life. The tasting room staff pitched their wine club to us, along with the couples to our left and right. To our left, an overweight couple straight out of cheap wine-ville dumped practically every ounce of their tastings. To our right, a young couple, perhaps our age, downed their tastings as if it were a race. After our tasting partners dispersed, paying their $10 tasting fees and moving along, we gently asked for a bottle of Petit Verdot to take home and discreetly let the young man pouring know that we already, happily, are wine club members.
It was someone else’s wedding day. And we preferred it that way. Because as the bride and her maids lined up alone the side of the building, posing for picture and picture, and the staff busily lined rows upon rows of chairs for the ceremony, we sat with our cheese plate and simply remembered.
Sometimes it’s good to keep a low profile. Moments become more special when you know that nobody else is watching. And so it was, a little over a week ago, that we celebrated our 1 year anniversary, back on the same ground where we said “I do”, with nobody watching.
…. and we sat on the porch steps and watched the wedding unfold. I can’t think of a better way to spend our first anniversary.
Did you miss wedding recap week? You can see all of the pictures and all of the memories here.
Katie stayed behind after breakfast so that I could dilly dally. Best friends are good for that on your wedding day. They wait for you to shower extra carefully, shaving slow and meticulous. They talk to you while you brush your teeth for an extra few minutes. They listen to your nervous, excited, random talk about who knows what silly detail to come. And then, double checking that everything is where it should be, they notice you are about to forget your dirty underwear at the foot of the bed. When they are certain (because your head isn’t in a place to be certain about packing up and leaving a bed and breakfast right now), they throw your luggage in the trunk and say “Alright! It’s time to go!”.
We took the quick 3 minute drive from Afton Mountain Bed & Breakfast to Veritas Vineyard at about 10 in the morning. Forty-five minutes behind everyone else. Spears of sunlight beamed down over the mountains, creating a shadow of deep crimsons and burnt oranges over the landscape. The wind was howling in that “stay inside, but near a window because it’s magical out here” type of way. I was doing well.
One, maybe two, groups of visitors stood around the tasting room. Prime time to visit before the weekend rush. The fire crackled and snapped for no one but me. Everyone else was too busy to notice. Hugs, kisses, “happy wedding day!” wishes from each and every staff member as we walk through. We know them by name now. And the warm welcome was just what the doctor ordered.
The morning went slow. And fast. Time. For how planned out the day was from 2pm on, the chunk right there in the morning… well, I couldn’t figure out whether it was going too slow or too fast. I still couldn’t tell you. Until it happened.
Somewhere around 12:30. So early. “Tina. They need you in the bridal suite. It’s time for your hair and makeup.” I quicken my pace. Busy myself. Mutter something or other in the form of an excuse. I’m sure it was decent enough. But it only lasted a few minutes. Someone else. More excuses. It was Katie who finally led me upstairs to the bridal suite. Where I lost it.
Nobody warned me about this part. The part where the bulldozer runs you straight over, without looking back. It speeds up, too. Faster and faster. Once it starts running, it doesn’t stop.
“It’s okay. It happens to every bride. But he loves you so much and you will be….”
“No, it’s not that!” I am not sure how I did it- how I formulated words to describe the flooding emotions that kept me from moving forward with my day. But I did. “I don’t want it to start because once it starts, it will end. And I don’t want the day to end.”
But I let it happen. I let the day start. From here, a year later, I understand why I lost it. But I wish I could go back and tell myself that every day after that day’s “end” will be better than I thought life could ever be because that special, particular day, in fact, “ended”. And now I am my best friend’s wife. And he is my husband.
Being a bride is strange. Obsessive amounts of blood, sweat, and tears feed into that one day. When, really, it’s about the lifelong adventure that follows that one day. So, yes, I melted into a slobbering mess over the fear of October 21, 2011 coming to it’s inevitable close. And, yes, I am happy that it ended.
(I bet that you were wondering when the pictures would begin. Or, you just skipped down to this point and that’s okay, too.)
P.S. Have I told you yet today how amazing Jodi & Kurt are? Yeah. They took all of these pictures. They made me look beautiful (sorry, it was my wedding day. I’m allowed to say that).
After much consideration…. I mean, we’re talking months of the agonizing back and forth over how exactly (or even if) to share our wedding day with you, I threw my hands up in the air and said, out loud, looking Misha directly in the face, “Why the heck not?” She blinked, rested her head back down and that was that. Wedding Week. Day 1. (Yes, that means to stop back tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that…) Here we go!
Which is why you get a special treat today. Wedding details. Everyone’s favorite. And I know you’re nosy. I am, too. So the majority of these details are handmade by my mom and I. Hundreds of mason jars. Dozens of lace doilies collected from various antique hideaways this side of the Mississippi. Diamonds my dad gave my mom set in a necklace. My shoes are from J.Crew (Are you surprised? Because you shouldn’t be.) And, oh, my mom did the flowers. She sort of demanded it. I simply obliged. (I’m a lucky girl, aren’t I?) I mean, just look at them!!!!
Oh, and lastly, this is the first of many plugs to come. We had the world’s best photographers. Talk about fortune. A lifetime of thanks and accolades would not leave me feeling satisfied with the level of gratitude we wish to send their way. But this can only help. So go over to Jodi Miller Photography and waste a few hours in their romantic, gorgeous, perfect little photography world. You won’t be sorry you did.
My husband recently finished a marathon of extra hours. We’re talking 13 hour days, 5 days a week, followed by 3-5 hours on Saturday and Sunday. What does that translate to? Dinners alone, Golden Girls, and just when I’m finally beginning to doze off, Baci begins to talk out the window, a car door shuts and the doorknob shakes on the front door. With every ounce of energy I can muster, I stay awake for awhile with Alex as he finally has an opportunity to decompress from another long day. I ultimately fall asleep on the job, waking up to “Tina, go to bed.” But I tried my hardest, night after night, to give him just a little bit of home time.
Last Saturday was his first full day off work since his birthday in May. Smart decision or not, we took the opportunity to drive down to Veritas for their outdoor concert. As three-year old Wine Club members, we’ve neglected our free benefits of membership. Namely, the Starry Nights concert series. Virgins to the concert series, we arrived with two chairs and nothing else. Let me tell you a little bit about Starry Nights.
People bring everything from tables and chairs to picnic baskets and coolers to centerpieces and candlelabras. Setting up camp in a sea of thousands, they proudly display their elaborate cheese platters, their fancy-pants baskets, silver flatwear and proscutto wrapped goodness. As far as the eyes can see, the people watching is superb. Romantic date nights, intoxicated groups of close friends, little tikes dancing in front of the stage, and, of course, us. Completely and utterly in awe of what Starry Nights really is. It’s so much better.
We had a fabulous night. We drank a little too much wine with too little water, we made friends with a group of Lynchburg, 20-somethings who taught me a few new iPhone secrets, we watched the sunset and the crackling embers of a gigantic bon fire, enjoyed little kids without having to worry about them (this is a teacher’s dream) and ended the night in the quiet of the tasting room, slouched on the leather couch, waiting out the sea of people shuffling back to their cars. We reconnected over the little bit of r&r, the wealth of rich memories, and the magic that Veritas has always brought to our relationship. We were able to be us. No overworked, exhausted bodies sitting in front of the television, attempting to be us. We were finally, for once in our chaotic lives, us again.
And it was, sincerely, a starry night.
Welp, 8 months ago this view looked a lot different…
And here, too…
Amazing memories here with our friends and family… the location of our wedding reception. Walking into this room illicits the most incredible emotions for me.
Now that’s a lot of empty wine bottles…. don’t worry, we shared them with our newfound friends.
Closing up shop after a wild, long night.
We’ll be back, soon enough. We can’t seem to stay away. Until then, we’ll remember our recent starry night.
A little over 5 months ago on a crisp, bright, blessed fall day in the blue ridge mountains, Alex and I married in front of the people who make up our lives. A day doesn’t pass without reminiscing on the laughter and tears from that day. It was truly a beautiful day. Charlottesville has a new wedding planning website and somehow we landed a feature role on it with our fall Veritas wedding. For a peak into our little feature, head over to Borrowed and Blue.
Our 3 hour drive gave us the perfect opportunity to hash it out and clear the air. Sinking into the velvet upholstery in the corner of the tasting room, we soaked in every moment over cheese and wine. The mountain air renewed us. The light through the windows bathed us. The familiar faces comforted us. The oak and tanins of the wine reminded us.
The last time we were in the tasting room, we were looking out at our family and friends, lined up in drunken rows, raising sparklers high in the sky. As we stepped through the double doors, out into the brisk night air, we started our new life as husband and wife.
There is a giant sign hanging over the bar at Veritas now. It is made out of their corks, hangs on fish wire and says “LOVE”. Walking into the tasting room yesterday, we were greeted with familiar faces and the warmth of memories roasting on the fire. As I am about to say ”Nothing’s changed!”, we looked up. Bam. LOVE.