Charlottesville Weddings

Feeling Blue

Blue is a big color for the fall season…here are a few ways to use it in your wedding design…pretty, pretty!

Photography: Sergeant Photography; Nancy Ray Photography

Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Photography: Melanie Jade

Summer Fans

For those hot summer days, give your guests paper fans to keep cool during an outside ceremony.  I was at a wedding last weekend and this small thoughtful token was a total life saver!

Go to Oriental Trading for an inexpensive option.

Harvest Moon Catering

Harvest Moon is one of the premiere catering companies in Charlottesville. They have creative menus, solid service and are super easy to work with while planning the big day!  Today we are catching up with Barbara Shifflett to hear all about their style and yummy offerings!


How far in advance do you first meet with a couple that is interested in your catering services?  When do you usually schedule a tasting and who usually attends?

I meet with clients whenever they reach out to start the process and continue to meet as often as they like until the details are all covered and they feel the event reflects all their desires.  As soon as the client is pleased with their menu, we invite them to come for a tasting.  We are happy to have the parents and/or wedding planner attend as well.

Do you recommend that a couple request guests’ meal preferences in advance of the wedding on response cards?  How much does this affect the cost?  What about tableside entree selection?

We do recommend the host request entree choices at least 2 weeks out from the event but we suggest doing duet entrees to avoid the guest wishing they had gotten what the next guest had ordered.  There is no charge for offering entree choices.  We do not offer tableside entree selection.  This is difficult to carry off since all of our events are off site and usually with minimal kitchen facilities

When would you suggest having a buffet versus a plated dinner?

I love the application of both.  I think that the venue, budget and interest in style plays a big choice in making that decision.

Photo Credit: Dominique Attaway

Do you recommend pairing wine with each course?  How do you differentiate the menu of one wedding from another?

Once again, I think the bridal couple should be encouraged to make their event a true reflection of themselves….quirky, whimsical or anything that makes their celebration truly theirs

Photo Credit: Holland Photo Arts

Do you ever prepare food-related favors, such as dessert bars, etc.?

Yes… we do many food favors… gourmet candy, favorite cookies, candied apples, preserves… family recipes…

Photo Credit: Rothwell Photography

What trends are you seeing in wedding catering?

We are seeing more comfort food, less formal, and family style service.

DIY Dessert Buffet

Earlier this week, I shared the fabulous dessert buffets that EyeCandy is now offering to local brides.  However, if the DIY route if more up your ally or fits better within your budget, then here are a few tips and tricks to creating your own display.

First, I like to decide on the color palette.  Will it be a few strong complimentary colors that go with your wedding or party design?  Or, is it going to be all one shade that plays up the different textures?

Display by A. Dominick Events

Next, I start looking for candy and desserts that work within my theme.  Of course, it is important to pick candy that you love.  Candy Warehouse and Economy Candy are both fantastic online resources.

If you are not serving dessert aside from your cake, perhaps you want to have something heavier, like cookies or cupcakes to offer.  I love cookies and macaroons from Albemarle Baking Company and cupcakes from Charlottesville Cupcakes.

Credit: Amy Atlas

Next up, you want to select an array of containers to display the treats.  You can add height with cake stands and you can create depth with a variety of jar shapes.  Local craft stores, Pier 1, The Container Store and Bed, Bath and Beyond all have fabulous options.

Credit: Amy Atlas

To kick it up a notch, you might even want to line the jars with pretty papers and labels from Paper Source. Ask your caterer or rental company for scoops and tongs or purchase a few sets.

Finally, you have to think about how your guests will package their delicacies.  Will it be Chinese-inspired take out boxes?  Perhaps clear plastic self-sealing bags?  Or maybe wax paper baggies?

Has anyone created a fabulous display recently and has insight or tips to share?

Eye Candy

As I have mentioned before, I think dessert buffets are one of the prettiest, tastiest things around!  So, when one of my favorite cake designers, Anita Gupta, told me about her new venture, EyeCandy, I was immediately head over heels!

Together, Anita and Ami Smith have teamed up to offer Central Virginia brides their styling and baking talent. From a bridal shower to a wedding celebration, EyeCandy offers custom desserts for each event…hot chocolate pops to warm up the evening in the winter,  custom cookies for each guest at a shower, and finally to breakfast inspired cupcakes…think french toast cupcakes with maple buttercream and bacon!  YUM!

For more information, contact Anita at

Sam Hill Entertainment

Today, we are catching up with Andy Jaspen of Sam Hill Entertainment to hear all about how their team makes sure that you have the perfect band for your big day — it is great insider advice for sure!

They work with top-notch talent and just love working with all types of clients, even those who are not quite sure what kind of music they want.  Their level of service is impeccable and  Sam Hill Entertainment is all over those important day-of details.


How did Sam Hill Entertainment begin and how have you grown since then?

Sam Hill Entertainment was founded by Hank Wells (still the owner and president) in the summer of 1995. Hank had just graduated from UVA and was playing in a number of college bands around Charlottesville, and he had spent a few years helping other bands get gigs around town at fraternities. He decided that he wanted to stay involved with music and bands on a professional level, so he started a one-man “agency” that was originally focused on the college scene at UVA and around other schools in Virginia.

Within a few years, Sam Hill Entertainment was one of the main music resources for parties at college campuses around the Southeast, and the agency quickly developed a presence on the internet ( which helped us grow into the wedding and corporate event markets. In the summer of 2001, I was hired and the business continued to grow rapidly in the wedding market, and soon the agency was booking bands for weddings and event planners all over the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

By 2003, weddings and corporate events became the primary part of the business revenue and focus of the agency, and the agency continued hiring agents and support staff to meet the needs of the growing business. The Charlottesville office has a staff of 7 full-time employees and books all over Virginia, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Since 2008, the agency has expanded in to New York City and Atlanta markets by hiring agents specifically in those cities who are dedicated to those markets.

Read the rest of this entry.

Keswick Hall Wedding Expo

This weekend, Keswick Hall will host a fabulous wedding expo, where brides can check out and enjoy the latest table and décor ideas, creative floral displays, menus, mixology trends and more.

The property’s preferred vendors will be available to answer any questions and Keswick Hall’s dedicated team of wedding professionals will be on staff to provide insight about wedding planning at Keswick Hall.

Here is the scoop:

When: Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Where: Keswick Hall

RSVP: Kindly reply to 434.923.4370 or

Boar’s Head Inn Wedding

I have fond memories of the Boar’s Head from childhood and think that it is equal parts romantic and wonderful. This wedding shot by Meg Runion fits both of these adjectives…so happy…enjoy!

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I hope that everyone had a happy July 4th weekend!  I am back after working a wildly fun wedding and am excited to dig into some wedding details this week!

With all of the offerings in central Virginia, it is easy to create a menu that incorporates local vendors.

Photo Credit: Meghan McSweeney

For cheese, your caterer will often source fabulous artisan options from farms like Caromont Farm, Meadow Creek Dairy or Everona Dairy.  Yum!  I could definitely have a meal of just cheese!

Does anyone have any local favorites?


Flower girls and ring bearers certainly add a cuteness factor to your big day, but by nightfall, or even mid-afternoon, little ones can become tired and hard to handle. Hiring a babysitter for your reception is a great option to allow Moms and Dads to bring the kids, but have a chance to enjoy themselves too.

Babysitters can be a huge asset by helping occupy the kids at the kids table or even watching the wee ones in a separate room…and is a polite way to remind all the parents that you would prefer kids not attend your reception.

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Finding a sitter, however, can be a challenge when you don’t have a go-to person in the area. For Charlottesville brides, there are a couple of great resources for selecting a sitter.  My favorite is The University of Virginia School of Nursing list that is updated each semester, providing local, reliable students to take the kids off your hands and give you and your guests a chance to dance the night away during the reception. For more information, or to find a sitter for the wedding, call the School of Nursing at 434-924-0141.  Additionally, websites like and offer lists of sitters in the area. Does anyone else have a great C-ville resource out there?