From Weddingbee: The First Look and Ceremony Space

For the next couple weeks, I'm going to share my recent posts from Weddingbee.  For those who are new to my blog, I've been writing about our wedding planning as Miss Mink (now Mrs. Mink) on the Weddingbee for about a year.   Rest assured, I'll be back to home and design blogging when I've fulfilled my commitment to Weddingbee. 

A pretty severe storm had just blown through the area around our venue, Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards, and there was a break in the weather.  As soon as I saw a little sunshine, I wanted to get outside and take some pictures.  For all I knew, we had the only break in the weather in front of us.  The ceremony we so wanted to have with the Blue Ridge Mountains behind us wasn't going to happen, but maybe we could get a few pictures of the view that sold us on our venue.  Goodness knows the pile of dirt that had been there when we signed our contract wasn't the selling point!

Of course, first looks come before portraits, so I anxiously waited for Mr. Mink to be put in position so we could have our first look.  Just as I felt butterflies when the men arrived at the venue, I was nervous for this moment.  It made no sense.  Mr. Mink is the kind of guy who says you look great in pajamas.  I knew his reaction would be sweet and positive...

...and it was.

Want to see that from another angle?  I actually like this black and white images because I'm staring at Elisa, our photographer, and Mr. Mink is staring at Edward, Elisa's husband and second shooter.  It's as if we're both wondering if we're doing this whole first look think correctly.

I think we did it right.


 Elisa and Edward left us alone for a few minutes to take in the room.  The "granary" room at Pippin Hill was going to be our reception space all along.  We had been faced with three options when it was clear that the ceremony would not be outside. 

A. Have the patio furniture moved and set up the ceremony chairs on the patio. We would be assessed an extra fee of several hundred dollars.  We'd be outside for the ceremony, but some guests would be exposed and would get wet if the rain started to fall again at an angle.  What's more, the cocktail hour would have to be in the vineyard's tasting room.  The patio might not be a space for guests to gather later in the evening.

B. Have the ceremony in the vineyard's tasting room, which would not allow for everyone to be seated.  This would allow the patio to be used later in the evening.

C. Have the reception tables pushed to the sides and set the ceremony up in the middle of the main room. This would leave the patio and tasting room open for use later on. I was told that we could have vows in front of the open door, which might give us the mountain background. I thought that was a bad idea for photographs and suggested setting up in the opposite direction, but everyone said the doorway would work out.

Which option do you think we picked?

To be honest, I wasn't happy with any of the suggestions because of how they'd affect our music.  We hired local musicians William Walter and Tucker Rogers to play the ceremony and cocktail hour.  Originally, William and Tucker were supposed to set up on the edge of the Pippin Hill patio so they'd be heard in during the ceremony and cocktail hour. 

With this set up, guests would be inside for the ceremony, then move outdoors for the cocktail hour.  That meant there would be no audible music during cocktail hour. Music is so important to us and the set up was disappointing.

Music aside, I think our DOC, Amanda Gray, and her team did a wonderful job making the best of the situation.  If you ignore the reception tables on the outskirts of the room, it looks pretty, doesn't it?

I thought Pat and Sherry from Southern Blooms by Pat's Floral Designs did a beautiful job with the flowers and I loved how my lanterns looked lining the aisle.

 Did your ceremony space wind up looking a little bit different from what you expected?

All images by Elisa B Photography

Did you miss a Merry Mink recap?


  1. You ceremony was beautiful. I love the flowers hanging from the chairs and the lanterns lovley! I am planning mine right now - I will have to remember that!


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