West Virginia might technically fall outside of my regional requirements but once I saw the images from this festival themed wedding and just the whole vibe of the day – I simply fell in love. Plus, the venue was in Shepherdstown, WV which is only about an hour and a half from Washington, DC and 30 minutes from the outer parts of Northern Virginia, so really not THAT far outside my radius. Plus, as the submitters stated, “it’s a great place to come and escape the city … and get more for your dollar”.
Jonah & Jade’s wedding is full of colors, DIY projects, festival-themed details, and SO MUCH LOVE. I’m telling you – I thought this was a styled shoot at first, it’s so gorgeous, but really it was just a total labor of love (the bride and her friends did a lot – and hired the perfect vendors to cap it all off). I know you’re going to love this one!
Jonah and I met through mutual friends at a reggae show. I remember whispering to my friend before meeting him, “Look at that tall surfer looking dude with long hair over there.” One day, my sister invited me to come along to go pontooning on the Potomac River with some friends. It was a gorgeous day out, my friends and I were playing our guitars and singing. Jonah was there and I remember him swinging from tree branches and doing these crazy cool dives in the water. I nicknamed him, “Tarzan.” Jonah lived on the Shenandoah River so that summer our friends would go on tube floats followed by cookouts at Jonah’s with music and t-ball. Many hikes, reggae shows, cookouts, and floats down the river later, Jonah asked me on a date and the rest is history.
Five years later, Jonah asked me out to dinner. Before I could get out the door, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes! And the wedding planning began!
It was very special to have our wedding ceremony at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, where we are both members. Jonah’s father, Randy Tremba, is the church’s minister and officiated our wedding ceremony.
We are very close to our families, so the bridal party included our brothers, sisters, their wives, husbands, and kids. The wedding ceremony had both traditional and non-traditional elements. There was live music throughout played by several of our musician friends. Than and Mary Anne Hitt opened up the ceremony with “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff. My father walked me down the aisle to the sound of two mandalins and a guitar strumming “The Wedding March” by George Frederick Handel. I carried a custom hand tied bouquet designed by one of my girlfriends, Westvirjeni. It was huge and colorful, asymmetrical and adorned with pheasant feathers.
CLICK INSIDE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF THIS DREAMY, BRIGHTLY COLORED, FESTIVAL THEMED WEDDING
My friend, Terry “Tree” Tucker, led everyone in an old sacred Native American communal hymn song sung accapella as Tree sang and played her drum. My cousin, Mercie Rivas, played her own jazzed up rendition of Bob Marley’s “Thank You Lord” on the piano. My folk band, Broke On Sunday, sang our song, “High” which will be be featured on our album this year. The ceremony could only close with friends playing and singing, “Is This Love,” by Bob Marley as both our families joined us and danced down the aisle and out the church doors.
With our appreciation for nature, music, art, friends, kids, family, and food, Jonah and I wanted our wedding to have a festival feel. We chose Wild Goose Farm in Shepherdstown to have our reception, because of its natural beauty with rolling hills and beautiful sunsets. We knew we would have live music playing, and barns are a perfect setting for that old rugged roots vibe! Guests were encouraged to wear their most festive attire!
The DIY decor, adorned throughout the barn with bright and lively colors, was influenced by Carribean, Native American, and South American art. Several months prior, my girlfriends and I hosted many evenings spent having dinner and making crafts for my wedding! For the wedding reception venue, we made dreamcatchers, doily catchers, and wall hangings using shells, feathers, sea glass, deer skulls and antlers, and other raw materials I found from Mother Earth.
I used Mexican paper flowers to hang in the tent as well as Mexican serape table runners purchased at www.amols.com. Caribbean colored maracas and other percussion instruments were used to decorate as well as inspire feelings of dancing! Wooden pallets were fun to use as canvases for painting welcome signs and directions for wedding guests. With kids of all ages there, I created a camp right outside the barn with fire pit, teepees, hay bails, corn hole, games, and carnival masks.
Our guests arrived to the barn for cocktail hour. People mingled as Broke on Sunday played Appalachian inspired tunes. We chose this time to have pictures taken with our photographer, Pang Tubhirun. The sun was setting and Pang’s photos really captured the barn’s natural tranquility. Shortly thereafter, Jonah and I joined our guests and had our first dance. My father said the blessing.
Our dinner was set up southern barbecue style and the pulled pork and fried chicken were so delicious! We created a festive cake table with many home made desserts from friends and family. After dinner our friends and talented musicians, Jah Works, played roots, rock, reggae for hours. It felt like we were at a festival. People of all ages were dancing together, even the kids!
Vendors ~> Photographer: Pang Tubhirun | Event Planner: Tara Sanders Lowe Event Planning | Custom Florist: Jennifer Peterson, Westverjeni| Food: Rollin Smoke BBQ & Catering | Hair and Makeup Stylist: Crystal Snyder