Our morning began with the best of intentions. Today not only marked the soon-to-be’s wedding day, but also the birthday of Matt and cousin Julianne’s late grandpa Paul’s wife Farah. In attempt to help her celebrate her part of the happy day, we set out to cook her a birthday brunch.
Unfortunately, Farah woke up feeling a bit under the weather and could not join us. But for the rest of the family we were able to put the BnB’s kitchen to good use. With a number of dietary limitations to consider, Sayra’s recommended crustless, vegetarian, dairy-free quiche was a winner. Very veggie centric, it was also something I’d easily make at home (and probably will).
A few hours later, we all prepared to depart for Blenheim Vineyards. Two fun facts:
- Blenheim is owned by singer, Dave Matthews, who got his start in Charlottesville.
- Blenheim is also just down the road from Trump Vineyards.
On the shuttle to the ceremony, the back of the bus quickly became a chorus of impersonators. “My grapes are ‘uge!” “I can pick a lot of grapes because my hands are so large!” A festive and rowdy preview to the party yet to come.
We arrived at Blenheim right as the clouds began to clear. The venue property was a stunner, perched on a hill with a few of the vines and lush Virginia landscape.
A ceremony that incorporated elements of the Jewish tradition from Julianne’s mother, I learned, the open air huppah is a symbol of the open home that the couple commits to create.
Another part of the ceremony included a selected chanting of the “Seven Blessings” in a tradition that harkens back to the story of Adam & Eve. After the officiant sang the excerpts, Aly and Elizabeth, the sisters of the bride and groom read the translation.
It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony that really demonstrated the couple’s commitment to each other, their love for their families, and (of course) impeccable taste. In matching blue suits, Ryan and his groomsmen (including Ring Bearer and nephew) were dapper and sharp. Julianne absolutely striking and stunning as always in a sheath dress that was both completely classic yet modern at the same time.
An outgoing, gregarious duo, the reception that followed promised to be a party. With drinks in “the Library” outfitted with photos of the bride and grooms families, things got off to a great start and the family got some rare photos together (and in fancy dress).
Under a canopy that glowed from twilight until into the evening hours, dinner was followed by an awesome dance party. The Hora was particularly enjoyable to behold.
While the party went to the wee hours with an afterparty at the Downtown Mall’s Whiskey Jar, Matt and I called it a little early. With tired toes and a big day of travel ahead, I don’t think it was a bad decision after we got his brother, Will, tucked away following the tequila shots. Something I presume is another Jewish tradition.
Matt and I keep asking each other if we can believe we are really headed to Ireland. With one leg down of the trip down (and feeling far more relaxed than when we set off), it seems surreal that there is so much to follow.