Sarah Goodwin and Chris Collins first caught one another’s eye at a mutual friend’s holiday party, but it wasn’t until Chris spotted Sarah from across the room at his brother’s birthday party a few months later than he “dropped everything” to say hello. They chatted for a bit, and a few days later he called her to ask her out on a date.
Her first impression? “Why am I just now meeting this handsome man?” From the start, Sarah says, Chris was a “southern gentleman.” “He opened car doors, called me to make sure I got home okay, talked to me on the phone.” In fact, she says, he still does those things. Chris recalls thinking Sarah was smart, with a good sense of humor. “She was much more than just a pretty face and presented herself as such,” he says. “I knew I had to get to know her, and it was the best choice I’ve ever made.”
Their first date was dinner and drinks, and nine months later, on Christmas Eve, Chris presented Sarah with three gifts, to “represent laughter, love, and life.” The last gift was a love letter that he asked Sarah to read aloud. When she got to the end, he was on one knee holding a ring. Sarah said yes, and the Charlottesville pair spent nearly two years planning an “airy, refined, intimate, easy-going” November wedding at Sierra Vista.
Instead of choosing a theme or specific aesthetic, Sarah says, they focused on blending textures, metallics, and coordinating neutral colors, like whites, gray, nude, mauve, and lavender, with pops of color for their big day. “We complimented both our personalities by balancing simple and modern, airy and refined, soft and bold, masculine and feminine,” she says. The couple offered pashmina scarves for guests, and after the ceremony Sarah added a chic leather jacket to her formal bridal gown. (“Rock-and-roll-meets pretty,” she says.)
The reception included sweet, southern touches throughout. Like the biscuit bar that each note as their favorite detail (tied with the head table, for Sarah). The bar included a variety of savory and sweet butters and jams and was presented to guests along with a southern-style feast of herb and garlic chicken, roast beef, potato casserole, and green beans—the perfect precursor to a dessert selection of homemade pies and cakes. As a nod to their beloved fur friends at home, the cake sign included a custom drawing of their dog and cat.
Florals included a runner made of greenery, and a variety of roses. Sarah’s bouquet was a source of several very personal touches: special pieces of jewelry in memory of Chris’s mother and each of their grandmothers, and a tassel, from Thailand, where Sarah and her sister have done several mission trips.
Following the wedding, the newlyweds celebrated with a honeymoon in Hawaii.