Welcome back to Paulette and Matthews rustic barn wedding in Virginia! That’s right, there were sheep and goats at their wedding! (Don’t miss their outdoor wedding ceremony too!) I love how they transformed the barn and the surrounding grounds into a beautiful venue to eat, celebrate and dance with their friends and family with Red Shoes Photography there to capture all of the memories. Be sure to read through the ways that Paulette and Matt crafted a wedding that was all their own, while saving and splurging on the things that mattered to them!


From Paulette:  The biggest priority for our wedding was that it would allow for our diverse range of guests to have a great time. People flew in from Australia, Papua New Guinea, the UK and all over the US, so we wanted to have casual, informal events over three days to show a unique side of our home to those from overseas while spending as much time as possible with our guests. Over the weekend we had a bonfire, hit a honkey tonk, went to a shooting range and went hiking. At the wedding itself, we hoped to let our guests experience the entire farm. After the ceremony, guests climbed a hill to a vineyard for cocktail hour. The reception was in a barn, and overlooked a field – for those who decided to explore, they came across sheep and llamas, a game of corn-hole, and a small bourbon bar hidden in a hayloft.


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From Paulette:  During our photo session after the ceremony, I looked up and saw someone walking towards me with two baby goats. I grew up on a farm with a pet goat that I adored, and my best friend had rented baby goats to show up at the wedding! It was such a funny and lovely surprise, and I immediately burst into tears. The goats stuck around for an hour to amuse the many children (and adults!) at the wedding.




From Paulette: We wanted to have our nieces and nephews at our wedding, and many of our friends have children so we splurged on babysitters. Although it wasn’t a huge expense, we felt it would allow adults and children to all have a lot more fun. The babysitters brought games and coloring books so that parents could take a break and that kids could play together safely. It was worth it and the parents were oh so grateful. We decided to skip fancy food and go with barbecue and mac n’ cheese – it was a huge hit and saved us a ton of money!


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From Paulette:  Matt is from Australia and we wanted to incorporate a few fun Aussie details – the legendary Bundaberg ginger beer was on ice in troughs throughout the barn, we had two Australian beers at the bar, and our good friend Mike built a corn-hole game painted as an Australian flag and U.S. flag as a surprise We splurged on turning the hayloft into a bourbon bar. Matt loves bourbon – he’s hit the bourbon trail in Kentucky multiple times. We bought five types of bourbon to stock the bar to offer up flights and cocktails. Our good friend Mike made infused cherries for the Manhattans – our favorite drink. 

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From Paulette: My nana and aunt made hundreds of handmade Italian cookies – they were the first dessert to disappear! My family has them at every holiday, so they were particularly special to me.



Paulette’s advice for other DC area couples planning a wedding: 

I would give a few pieces of advice to couples: Talk about what you want your ceremony to be and work on it together. There is no part of a wedding that you have to do because others have done it – delete what you don’t care about and focus on what you’ll enjoy. If you are hoping to stay within a budget, look for a venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol and caterer.To find a venue, try using the google image search. We found some great venues in Virginia that did not come up on the regular search engine. Delegate as many details for your wedding weekend to trusted friends and family well ahead of time. People want to help!


Thank you so much Paulette and Matthew for sharing your wedding love story with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Venue: WeatherLea Farm & Vineyard
Officiant: Malcolm Baldwin
Ceremony Music: Big Chimney
Photography: Red Shoes Photography
Wedding Planner: Marygrace Galston
Stationery: A la Carte Studio
Flowers: DIY
Hair & Makeup: Immortal Beloved (Lauren)
Bride’s Dress: JLM Couture from Adrienne’s Bridal
Headpiece: Lisa Shaub
Bride’s Jewelry: Borrowed from mother
Groom’s Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke Custom Tailor
Groom’s Shoes: RM Williams
Rentals: Select Event Rentals
Catering: Grandale Farm
Cake: Cowbell Kitchen
Reception Music: A friend was DJ, music choices were Paulette & Matthew’s
Sound for Ceremony & Reception: Avivia Rentals

Visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals, our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings and join the local wedding conversation on our DC wedding forums!

Photo Credits: Red Shoes Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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