A Charlottesville Wedding That’s Southern Preppy Perfection

We love that getting married in the DC area means for an easy drive down to Charlottesville, where romantic venues like The Clifton Inn await you–the perfect spot for an elegant, Southern-inspired celebration. Whitney Pinson and Jonathan Herwig’s beautiful nuptials were captured by Rachel May Photography.

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Though Whitney had been eyeing Jonathan’s online dating profile for weeks—as an animal lover, she appreciated that he had a dog with him in his photo—her subscription was about to expire. She was old-fashioned enough to be shy about asking a guy out, but thankfully, Jonathan decided to make a move, sending her a direct message. They set up a first date, chatting over three hours of dinner and drinks at Carlyle in Arlington.  “I was coming down with the flu on our first date, but was enjoying our conversation too much to hurry it along,” says Jonathan. 


They’d dated for two and a half years when Jonathan made plans to take Whitney to their favorite Leesburg winery for the weekend. The school year had started for Whitney, who is a school counselor, so she told Jonathan she’d rather stay home and relax. His plans gone awry, Jonathan moved onto Plan B: he’d purchased The Father of the Bride on DVD—a favorite of Whitney’s—and plotted to take her to dinner at Carlyle, where they’d had their first date, for the proposal. But when he walked in the door to find that Whitney had already made dinner, he realized he’d need to move on to Plan C: He asked her to sit down and close her eyes. He put the DVD into her hands, then got down on one knee to propose. 


For their Charlottesville wedding, the pair followed a church wedding with a celebration filled with southern elegance on The Clifton Inn’s beautiful property. Guests sipped signature cocktails in honor of the bride and groom: bourbon iced tea with lemon for him and tequila with grapefruit and lime juice for her.


Blush, ivory, and gold touches added simple beauty to the reception, where guests dinned family-style, allowing for comfortable conversation. During the reception, Whitney traded her white gown for a sparkly gold dress, before the happy couple departed, with plans to head further south for a honeymoon in St. Lucia.


Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: The Clifton Inn | Photographer: Rachel May Photography | Event Coordinator: Kate Phillips, Colleen Miller Events | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau, Hitched | Groom’s Tux: Jos. A. Bank | Hair and Makeup Artist: Moxie Hair Lounge | Caterers and Cake: The Clifton Inn | Florist: Blue Ridge Floral Design | Transportation:A&A Limousine | Music/Entertainment: DJ Andy Wilfong, 20 South Productions | Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Tent and Lighting: Skyline Tent Company

Gorgeous gowns abound at these DC-area bridal boutiques–go find yours this weekend!

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.