Good morning, welcome back to rehearsal dinner week!  I definitely saved a fun celebration for today to help you get through your hump day!  Hendrick and Kelly’s rehearsal dinner is just pure joy.  They were married on a hot July weekend in Charlottesville at the Clifton Inn.  Their rehearsal dinner was the night before at Castle Hill Cider in Virginia.

Inspired by their love of France, the state of Virginia and the many younger guests who were invited, they planned a laid back, outdoor event that involved lots of games.  They went with a southern menu and local beverages that was just perfect on the long tables and rustic atmosphere.  Between the bubbles and the hula hoops, I especially loved the nice touch of cold, lavender infused towels to cool off guests and the half ton of ice from Blue Ridge Ice!  Photographers Jason and Tammy Keefer were on hand to capture the party.  And a party it was, indeed!

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From the bride, Kelly:   We chose Castle Hill for the beauty of the site.  A bit like France.  My favorite part of this entire event was how open and inclusive the evening was.  This was a perfect site for kids (and we had a lot present) to run free.  It was also special for us to have two full days of catching up with our family and friends.

It was open to our entire party and was laid back and fun.  I am from Minnesota originally and my husband is from Virginia.  Both of our families delight in welcoming friends to our homes and love to laugh.  The open nature of our rehearsal dinner made it a real celebration and the open mic kept us laughing all night long.  We are both in education and coach and teach young people so the decision to include children was easy for us.

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On the decor from Kelly:  A memorable moment was the beautiful long farm tables.  There were two long tables in total for over 100 guests.   The tables were draped in white linen, with each plate decorated with a sprig of rosemary.

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More from Kelly:  Our rehearsal and wedding were in the middle of the heat wave that steamed up the east coast in July setting record highs. To ease the discomfort, we provided cold wet white wash clothes infused with lavender.  People had the wash clothes draped on their shoulders, heads, and necks. It was really quite humorous!  And when you throw a wedding during a heat wave, there is not much more you can do aside from laugh!

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On the entertainment:  Dances were performed by our nieces and their cousins, followed by an open microphone of speech after speech.  It was lovely and kept us laughing all night long.

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A bit of advice from Kelly:  Find the two or three things that represent you as a couple and your families and find a subtle way to bring that to your party.  For us, it was France with our lavender infused cloth napkins, our long farm tables with white linen, rose wine, and the rosemary on each plate.  It was also Virginia, with our local beer and BBQ meal.   I will also add that Hendrick’s parents and sister planned all of the event.  While letting go of control may frighten many couples, we found peace in coming to the rehearsal dinner and enjoying the company and the simple decorations that made the rehearsal dinner beautiful and welcoming.  If needed, hire my in-laws!

Congrats, Hendrick and Kelly!  You can see more pictures of Hendrick and Kelly’s wedding on Jason Keefer’s blog right here.

The following Virgina wedding professionals contributed to Hendrick and Kelly’s wedding:

Venue:  Castle Hill Cider
Photography:  Jason Keefer Photography
Catering:  Avenue Foods
Beverages:  King Family Vineyards and Starr Hill Brewery

Photo Credits:  Jason Keefer Photography

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful weddings!

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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