Rob & Libby’s DIY Fat Cat Farm Wedding in Charlottesville, VA

  • 2
  • December 12, 2013

Brace yourselves Romancers, we’ve got a stunning Charlottesville, Virginia wedding to share today thanks to one of my FAVS, Porter Watkins Photography! Rob & Libby used the beautiful natural setting of their wedding venue, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, as the inspiration for the theme and overall wedding design. They wanted “simple nature” to be their influence and didn’t confine themselves to a specific color scheme, instead, “decided that [they] would not let [themselves] get too caught up in being overly concerned about matching colors, as [they] began to decide on certain elements [they] really liked, the color palette sort of began to reveal itself.” The casual, calm & collected approach to their stunning Virginia farm wedding, is so apparent through Porter’s images.

I love a wedding that really focuses on the couple’s true loves & inspiration – throw in some beer, barbeque, live music, and really awesome handmade details (like the bride’s sister making the bridesmaids dresses!!) and well, you’ve got a perfect wedding blog feature! Enjoy! (*Warning, this one is picture heavy! I could NOT narrow it down!*)

Rob & Libby’s Rustic Elegance, Virginia Farm Wedding in Charlottesville

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Vendors

Photography: Porter Watkins Photography | Venue: Fat Cat Farm | Flowers & Decor: Beehive Events | Food: BBQ Connection | Music: Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun | Beer: Locally brewed by a friend | Bridesmaids Dresses: Handmade by bride’s sister | Favors: BBQ Sauce from caterer | Wedding Cake & Cupcakes: Sweethaus

Check out their awesome & unique engagement and wedding rings:

Tavia Brown of taviametal in Charlottesville, VA is the genius behind the design of our rings. Rob made his proposal to me a complete surprise, and he went through Tavia to design my engagement ring without my knowledge.  We naturally went back to her to ask her to create the compliment to the work of art I am lucky enough to call my ring, and since Rob surprised me with mine we decided that I was going to take over the design of his. Tavia and I worked together to infuse the concept behind my ring into Rob’s, and I surprised him with it for the first time at the altar.

unique engagement wedding rings

Details on the wedding:

The Blue Ridge Parkway, arguably the most beautiful scenic drive in America, was the major source of inspiration behind the greater details of our wedding. We’re slight fanatics of it, and good portion of our relationship has been spent exploring it in depth, so the inspiration was really embedded within us from the start. Being in close proximity of the Parkway was also one of the key factors in the reason we chose our venue, although it happened to be pure coincidence that we found a connection to this perfect farm through a friend.

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Long before we ever set a date for our wedding we were determined to spend our honeymoon traveling the entire 469 mile scenic highway through the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking our time and stopping to camp and hike along the way. So just short of having the ceremony on the parkway itself, we chose a destination as close as possible. And ultimately – beer, barbeque, and live music were the main components we wanted our wedding to have, and so the farm was the perfect venue for all of that to take place.

Oh man do I love these next two frames: the bride seeing her father for the first time, and the father seeing his daughter as a bride. TEAR.

real virginia farm wedding bride father of bride picture

The talent we had within our reach did not stop at the beer – my sister got the chance to show off her amazing self-taught seamstress skills to make both of the bridesmaid dresses and they were so perfect there’s no way we could have come across the same thing in any store. The two of them decided on a fabric they both loved, and she used similar patterns for both dresses but designed each to be unique.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this gorgeous, handmade farm wedding from Porter Watkins Photography!! You will LOVE the ceremony details, backdrop & reception design!

When you’re on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and farmland is enough to make you feel like you’re in a different world, yet there’s something about the timeless graphics and unique, nostalgic signage along the way tie the whole experience together. We wanted to bring the same kind of character to our wedding, letting the natural beauty of our rustic venue speak for itself while paying homage to the modern graphic detailing found along the parkway in our own signage and print materials. We really tried to balance natural with simple.

outdoor virginia farm wedding ceremony

Rob and I are both in design professions and so this was such a great chance for us to get to work together doing what we really enjoy.  Rob designed all of our print materials – invitations, ceremony bulletins, food and drink menus, and all of the signage on display at the reception – and we printed them ourselves as well. We also came up with a graphic logo for each of our homemade beer styles and displayed them in front of each keg.

DIY handmade wedding programs

This awesome hanging flower, altar backdrop is gorgeous:

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My engagement ring is such a stand-alone piece that we decided the addition of any kind of embellishment to signify the wedding band would take away from the simplicity of it that we really loved, so I didn’t have one made. We subtly mapped this into the ceremony as well, and so instead of exchanging rings, I presented him with his but kept mine on the entire time and we re-worded our vows to make sense – a very small detail for sure but one we wanted to make sure we did right.

unique wedding ceremony rings

We discovered an idea for a specific element of our ceremony from a wedding we read about online, and decided to take the idea and make it our own. We each purchased a bottle of beer that ages well and wrote a letter to each other in secret, then placed them both in a wooden box we found and ceremonially nailed it shut at the altar. The idea behind it is that if we are to ever encounter a rough patch in our relationship somewhere down the road, or for any reason we determine, we’ll open the box, share the beers, and read the letters to each other. The box is now on display in our home and is a really neat reminder to have.

^^ Love this!

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Love these details on the bride’s dress:

As crazy as it sounds, a crucial portion of our wedding was planned while I was on a summer study-abroad program in Rome, and we only had six months to pull it all together, so having a dress custom-made for me was by far out of the question. When I soon discovered that wedding dress shopping in Italy was not as ideal as it sounds like it would be, the internet became my most reliable resource.

Searches on Etsy brought me closer to shops around the region of Italy I was staying in at the time, and I discovered a very talented designer who was selling a dress she handmade out of layers upon layers of various materials held together at the top with a textured linen bodice. The measurements just happened to be exactly mine, and so not a single alteration was necessary except the top I asked my sister to add on for me to turn the strapless cut into something slightly more covering with an added subtle neckline.

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The colors we chose were a combination of shades of blue and pink with accents of gold. From the very beginning we decided that we would not let ourselves get too caught up in being overly concerned about matching colors or sticking to just one color in particular, and as we began to decide on certain elements we really liked, the color palette sort of began to reveal itself to us.

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We narrowed down our range of colors and materials by the time we had the conversation with the designers who took over our flower arrangements, and a simple description paired with a few inspirational images is all they needed to create so many beautiful pieces for us. Because we kept the majority of details so simple, the flowers made such a huge difference in tying everything together from the barn wall to the tablescapes to the bouquets.

Brace yourselves for these insanely beautiful centerpieces & florals you are about to see by Beehive Events!

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We were given the opportunity of a lifetime when one of our closest friends told us he would brew all of our beer for us to serve at the wedding. We are craft beer fanatics who dabble in home-brewing ourselves, and it’s a hobby we’ve really discovered together over the years, so naturally this became the highlight of wedding planning for us. We invested in equipment large enough to brew at a higher capacity and over the course of a few months he mapped out the process of brewing us 50 gallons of home-brewed amazingness in six different styles.

We had so much fun coming up with recipes and naming all of the beers we almost didn’t need a wedding as the excuse for all of us to get to work together on this. We will also never be able to repay him for this! The whole operation was a complete success and the beer was incredible. To ensure the beer was served properly, and to add an extra carefree element to the reception, we asked two of our friends to bartend for us and it was a blast.

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Our wedding favors were also a little offbeat – we knew the caterers who prepared our amazing barbeque would be offering three of their homemade sauces to choose from, so we wanted guests to be able to take home their favorites after they had tried them. We purchased an extra few gallons of different sauces from the caterers and filled them ourselves in simple glass bottles.

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Congratulations Rob & Libby – your handmade, rustic Farm wedding was GORGEOUS! Thank you for sharing all the amazing, personal details with us! A special thanks to Porter Watkins Photography & all the amazing vendors that made this beautiful Virginia wedding possible!

 

 

 

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