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Images: Holly Cromer Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sarah and Matt were married at Stillhouse Manor in Hillsville, Virginia which is not your typical wedding venue, the families rented out the house for a long weekend so the true wedding celebration lasted much longer than just the wedding day. Sarah wore a pair of blue lace Toms as her “something blue”. Her mother brought along a bracelet for her to wear that had a church charm on it because her grandfather was a pastor. The whole wedding was handmade by family and friends and made for a very sweet & touching affair.

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From the couple:

The venue/weekend was special for multiple reasons.  Not only was the venue perfect in my opinion (130 acres with no cell phone reception down in a valley) it was the same weekend as my husband’s family’s annual family reunion in the town his dad is from.  The same weekend the previous year we found out Matt’s dad had cancer, and had experienced other family losses.  We just wanted a place where we could get together with loved ones, relax and celebrate together.

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Matt and I met at Campbell University my freshman year, he was a junior. A friend introduced us during welcome week activities. We shared mutual friends and throughout the school year we would see other at activities off and on campus. We were dating other people that year. My sophomore year we contacted again during early move in/welcome week activities. This time we were both single and started dating :)

Matt and I talked about marriage off and on for many years. After Matt’s uncle, Charles passed last June we decided we were ready to have a celebration of something we knew was going to be forever with our closest family and friends. We started planning (I actually bought my dress the day before he proposed). I had been gone for almost a week for work and when i returned, it was late and I needed to repack because we were leaving the next day to meet my matron of honor in DC. Matt made me go down to the sound by our house and proposed so we could celebrate with friends while in DC.

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Our colors…I knew the venue would be lush and green so we just really wanted soft romantic colors.  Pinks, off whites, pale blue…to be honest it didn’t really matter too much.  My bridesmaids were told they could pick their own dresses they wanted to wear and we purchased Khaki pants and ties for the groomsmen.  I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable, happy and like themselves as much as possible.

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Our wedding was basically hand crafted with the love and generosity from all of our family and friends.  Our flowers were mostly wildflowers handpicked in the area that morning by my husband’s two brothers.  The bouquets were assisted with purchasing some roses and hydrangeas and my matron of honor made the bouquets and flower arrangements.
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Some of my favorite things were the boutonnieres and corsages I ordered from a shop on Etsy called dustyluck-I wanted something that would last.  The flowers were made out of lace, burlap leaves and little details like buttons.  I LOVED our bourbon barrels that we wrapped in these little wire lights as cocktail tables.
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The mason jars we used for the flower arrangements were from Matt’s aunt/godmother that she had at her house and I decorated them with burlap and lace. Our officiant was my husband’s best friend from college and he wrote our ceremony for us.  I did not want things to be too matchy-matchy.  Instead of renting linens I bought different fabrics from the store for the tables.  I made the banner that hung above the sweets table with burlap and fabric.  My husband made the mason jar lights and wine bottles lights that were either hung or placed around the venue.  Our videographer/late night DJ was a good friend of ours from the OBX.
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Click inside for more of Sarah & Matt’s handmade Virginia wedding!

Our caterer was our friends/employers from the OBX who agreed to leave their busy restaurant in the summer to come cook for us!  We purchased all of the vegetables and several other things for them to use at the local farmers market.  We had teenagers that were relatives friends assist our caterers and serve the food.  The hay for people to sit on during the ceremony and the large bourbon barrels were brought to us to use by a local family friend.  They used their truck to haul it all in and even brought a gator to assist everyone getting around the property.  Some of our friends made wooden signs to put along the highway to make sure people found their way to the wedding.
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A family friend came to be our day of coordinator.  Friends and wedding planners allowed us to borrow other decorations they had for our wedding.  A friend and her daughter came to do our hair and make-up.  A lot of our family and wedding party were outside for two days helping get everything set up and decorated for the reception and ceremony.  I could go on and on about everything everyone did to make it all come together, and I know there are things that people did that I will probably never even know about.
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I thought my bridesmaids did a wonderful job picking their dresses-they looked so beautiful standing together.  I loved that my wedding dress had pockets.  I kept my wedding vows, lip gloss and a handkerchief that belonged to my dad in my pocket.
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Since my dad passed away several years ago I placed a photograph of him in a chair next to my mom.  Matt was really close to his uncle who had passed away the previous summer so one of his work hats sat next to his aunt during the ceremony and matt later wore the hat through the reception.  We did not worry about too many traditional details.  Matt and I worked together all morning on helping set up the wedding, we did not do a bouquet toss,or the family dances.  I loved that we waited at the end of our buffet line for a “receiving line” so I was able to see and talk to each guest.  I did do something blue which was wearing blue toms :)
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Photographer:  Holly Cromer, Photographer | Bakery: Cafe Lachine | Dress Store:  Classic Bride and Formals | Linens and Coverings: Cooke Rentals | Boutonniers & Corsages: Dusty Love on Etsy | Event Venue: Stillhouse Manor | Invitation Designer: Wedding Paper Divas | Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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