Oh, I am so in love with, and excited to share, Maria and Erik’s unique Virginia wedding ceremony from Ever After Visuals! They chose a “Love Letters and Wine Box” ceremony and it is one of my favorites to date. Maria was nice enough to provide us with the entire reading about this special tradition, so be sure to check it out below. I’m sure you’ll also enjoy the tiny plastic dinosaurs that anchored their ceremony programs (There’s a special meaning behind these guys!), yet another one-of-a-kind touch to this completely personalized ceremony! While some people save all the fun and details for the reception, this couple certainly didn’t!

Airlie Center Virginia Wedding Day

From Maria: Our vision for our wedding was to create a beautiful day in a serene outdoor venue that was elegant, personal, secluded, and of course, fun. It was very important for us to have all the wedding festivities (ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception) in one place, including guest accommodations. The Airlie Center was able to provide all of that while not feeling like a hotel at all.

Purple Bridesmaid Bouquet Purple Orchid Bridal Bouquet

Purple Orchid Boutonniere

Virginia Wedding First Look

Airlie Center Wedding Portraits

Outdoor Wedding Portraits Virginia Virginia Wedding at Airlie Center

We weighted down our ceremony programs with tiny little dinosaurs since it spoke to a joke between us as a couple and also reference one of our ceremony readings “A Lovely Love Story” which is about two dinosaurs falling in love.

Personalized Wedding Programs

Dinosaur Wedding Programs Love Letters and Wine Box Ceremony

Purple Wedding Ceremony Flowers

Virginia Wedding Ceremony Music

Outdoor Virginia Wedding Airlie Center

One of my favorite parts of our wedding was our “Love Letters and Wine Box Ceremony.” In lieu of a candle lighting ceremony or something similar, my husband and I wanted to do something different that we could also create a tradition out of. Rather than describing it, here is the actual reading from our ceremony:

‘Erik and Maria have chosen to perform a Love Letter & Wine Box ceremony. This box contains a bottle of the first wine they ever shared together and a love letter from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written. The vows they spoke to one another today will also be placed in the box. Together they will seal this box, and on the happy occasion of each anniversary, they will open the box, read the letters, drink the wine, and add new wine and love letters. As time passes, they will have a romantic record of their ever-evolving relationship. Erik and Maria, you may now seal the box. <Erik and Maria tie ribbon around box> Now that the box is sealed, here are a few words by Ogden Nash to keep in mind. To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong admit it; Whenever you’re right shut up.’

Love Letters and Wine Wedding Ceremony

We bought a beautiful wine box and tied it using an eggplant-colored ribbon to tie in with our wedding colors. The wine box containing our love letters and as well as our hand-written vows now sits on our mantle, just waiting to be opened on our anniversary.

Airlie Center Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Emotional Wedding Ceremony

Father of the Bride

My favorite memory of the day was hearing my husband read his vows to me and then me reading mine to him. It was emotional, personal, and perfect!

Virginia Wedding Ceremony Vows

Wedding Ceremony in Virginia

The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Maria and Erik’s wedding:

Venue: The Airlie Center
Photography: Ever After Visuals
Wedding Planners: Sweetface Events
Floral Designer: Shelley’s Floral Enterprise
Ceremony Musicians: Perfect Harmony
Officiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Jeff
Cake: Stephanie the Baker
Hair + Makeup: Salon Emage

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

Photo Credits: Ever After Visuals

*Ever After Visuals is one of our fabulous sponsors.  For information on our editorial policies, please click here.

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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