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Real Wedding: Jennifer and Broocks
A laid-back Charlottesville wedding with charming DIY details.
The newlyweds celebrate after saying "I do." All photographs by Rob Garland Photographers
Jennifer and Broocks first met at a show at the Starr Hill Brewery in Charlottesville.
“I had just moved to Charlottesville and didn’t know too many people,” says Jennifer. “I was enjoying my beer when Broocks came up to the crowded bar and ordered a Dark Starr Stout. I said, ‘Good choice,’ and he replied, ‘Any beer that’s named after a Grateful Dead song has got to be good.’”
Not long after that, the pair started dating. And in April 2010, while they were hiking along Ivy Creek, Broocks proposed with his grandmother’s ring.
The couple decided to marry on July 16, 2011, at Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville.
“We wanted a relaxed, outdoor Southern wedding,” says Jennifer. “Ash Lawn is such a beautiful setting that we didn’t have to add too much to it.” They decided on a color scheme of navy blue, lime green, and plum to complement the peacocks that live at Ash Lawn.
Jennifer and Broocks wed before 220 guests in the Blue Ridge Yard at Ash Lawn. The bride carried a lush bouquet of blooms including hydrangeas, mums, dahlias, bells of Ireland, and succulents. She also designed the ceremony programs.
After the ceremony came a cocktail hour featuring lawn games. Guests played ladder ball and mini golf, and enjoyed hula hoops and bubbles. Starr Hill beer was served, in honor of the brewery where the couple first met.
Table assignments were written on old window panes. And in lieu of a traditional guestbook, the bride painted a sunset scene, which everyone signed.
At the reception, held in the Hilltop Pavilion, the nature-inspired decor included purple, blue, and green lanterns, as well as ferns and tiki torches. The centerpieces were plants the couple had cultivated themselves in the months before the wedding.
“After the wedding, we gave the plants to family and friends,” says Jennifer. “We still have the plants growing and hope to keep them alive for many years to come.”
Guests were also given magnets adorned with photographs of the Virginia landscape taken by the bride. The magnets read “Virginia Is for Lovers.”
A buffet dinner was served, which included sirloin steak, roasted potatoes, and tortellini. A vanilla wedding cake, created by the bride’s friend, was served for dessert, along with cookies baked by the bride’s mother, cupcakes, and organic apple cider doughnuts.
After the wedding party entered to a live version of “2001” by Phish (recorded from a concert the couple attended together), Jennifer and Broocks performed their first dance to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, and guests danced to bluegrass, jazz, and rock tunes.
“Everyone got down and had a great time!” recalls the bride.
The night ended with a surprise fireworks display, and the couple exited to “I Feel Good” by James Brown.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Ash Lawn-Highland
Hair: Salon Druknya
Wedding Gown: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner, purchased at the Winner in Sharon, PA
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy, purchased at Bella Rosa Bridal in Richmond
Tuxedo: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitation Designer: The bride (who has her own photography and design company!)
Florist: Don’s Florist
Caterer: Simply Delicious
Cake: A friend of the couple
Entertainment: The Rock River Gypsies
Honeymoon: St. Lucia, planned by PeaceFrogs Travel