Weddings

Not Even an Afternoon Rain Shower Could Put a Damper on This Countryside Wedding

Check out this countryside affair for tips on throwing an elegant, outdoor wedding.

All photographs by Kristen Gardner Photography

Alex Williams and Nell Frabotta’s countryside wedding in Leesburg, Virginia struck the perfect chord of laidback elegance. The couple married in a woodsy setting underneath a garden gazebo followed by a tented reception filled with neutral florals and blue-and-white linens. “The most important aspect for our countryside wedding [was for it to] feel like a relaxed, fun celebration for our family and friends,” Nell says. The couple skipped the traditional wedding cake and splurged on fresh summery dishes, such as vegetable pasta and crab cakes, to go alongside an assortment of bite-sized desserts, like chocolate tarts and macarons. From Nell’s chic and minimalistic gown to the afternoon rain shower photoshoot, see more of their countryside wedding to learn how plan a chic farm party. 

The Countryside Venue

Little Oatlands is a farm property that has been in Alex’s family for generations—making it the perfect setting for their celebration. “Alex grew up visiting his grandparents there on weekends and holidays,” says Nell, adding that she, too, would come spend time there for parties or summer trips while they were dating. The couple even decided to live at the farm the summer leading up to their countryside wedding. “It made getting married there all the more special,” they say.

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The Chic, Laid-back Fashion

Nell wore a fitted gown accessorized with a V-neckline and flutter sleeves to achieve a relaxed and romantic wedding-day look. She also added a sentimental touch by wearing baby’s breath in her hair as a nod to her mother (who did the same on her wedding day). As for her bouquet, Nell chose to carry white and creme blooms of freesia and garden roses.  

Alex looked dapper in a blue suit paired with a honey-yellow necktie. He also accessorized his look with a white garden rose attached to his lapel.

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The Garden Gazebo Ceremony

Vows were exchanged in the farm’s garden underneath a whimsical gazebo. Nell says that her favorite part of their countryside wedding was just after the “I dos.” She had been worried about the weather putting a damper on their big day, but when it started to rain during their first kiss she said it “cut through any lingering nerves.” The newlyweds got completely soaked, “but kicking off my shoes and running with Alex and the rest of the wedding party to seek shelter just felt like the right start to our reception,” Nell says. The best part? After the quick shower, a huge rainbow appeared which guests were able to take in together over drinks and appetizers.

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The Cocktail Hour

For the cocktail hour, a variety of cheeses and cured meats, as well as gazpacho, meatballs, and crab and corn bites were served. Cocktail tables were also dressed in white-and-blue linens to add to the couple’s classic and farmhouse aesthetic. Along with their passed appetizers, they had a selection of beverages for guests to enjoy. They decided against having a signature drink, but “Aperol spritzes and Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale kind of ended up being the unofficial wedding drinks of choice,” Nell says. 

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The Countryside Wedding Reception

“We wanted the decor to be classic, simple, and reflective of the countryside surrounding us,” says Nell about their reception style. They had long banquet-style tables dressed with white linen table runners paired with antique julep cup and champagne bucket centerpieces filled with jasmine, gardenias, hydrangeas, dahlias, zinnia, and foliage. “We kept everything pretty neutral with white flowers, candles, natural linens and greenery,” Nell says. Dinner also had a relaxed and countryside vibe with the help of family-style dishes, like tomato and mozzarella salad and short ribs. As for entertainment, guests were kept dancing by a 10 piece brass band. 

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The Details:

Photographer: Kristen Gardner Photography | Event Planner: Pure Whimsy Events | Venue: Little Oatlands | Floral Design: Sidra Forman | Invitations: Water to Paper | Catering: Bluewater Kitchen | Cake: Cakes by Marium | Bride’s Attire: Amy Kuschel | Groom’s Attire: Bonobos (suit); Ralph Lauren (shirt & necktie) Music/Entertainment: Attraction | Rentals: Party Plus Tents and Events & Select Events | Linens: La Tavola Fine Pressed Linens | 

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jacqueline-tynes
Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.