A Wedding of Love and Laughter on a Historic Virginia Estate

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Imagine a wedding set in the grounds of a magnificent Virginia estate that was home to a mentor of Thomas Jefferson — and you’ll have a Castle Hill Cider wedding, as portrayed here by photographer Jodi Miller. Rolling hills, mature shade trees, and bright sunlight illuminates this bride’s special day; a sign with the couple’s names points the way for guests to a quiet grove beneath spreading branches, where white chairs have been set up on a gentle knoll. No fussy hats or veils for our bride: her hair is adorned with a single white flower. Maids are chic in “little black dresses,” while the men are debonair in basic black with wide satin lapels and trim. The air is fresh with apple blossom garlands, the path “down the aisle” festive with nature’s own colorful décor of seasonal foliage.

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After a short ceremony full of love and laughter, the party then proceeds to the estate’s black-and-white barn, where guests stop at a board flanked with whimsical blue lanterns (matching more hanging from the ceiling!) to pick up the “key” to their seats at reception tables. The barn is decked out in glorious finery: strings of white lights cascade over tables dressed in lily of the valley, stephanotis, and pristine white tablecloths — with green apples, of course. The wedding’s elegant floral palette of black, white, and golden yellow — with just a whisper of blues and greens — makes a striking play against the lush backdrop of the surroundings and brightens up the rustic barn. Then there is feasting, dancing, and celebration…just the way a wedding day should end.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).