When Nick and Hayley reached out to me, their heart was in Shenandoah National Park. They knew that they wanted to spend some of their wedding day in the park, but they also wanted to celebrate with about 50 guests. After talking about different possibilities, we decided on an 8 hour timeline with 5 hours in the afternoon at Stone Mountain Vineyards with their family and friends. The rest of the time we’d venture into Shenandoah National Park to hike, read private vows, and take some adventurous portraits in the mountains.
Exchanging Vows in the Park
I set an early alarm to meet up with Hayley and Nick at the trailhead at 5:30am. It was still dark when we started our hike to the summit. When we arrived at the top, it was super cloudy so we had a few minutes to wait before we got some beautiful sunrise colors in the distance. After enjoying the sunrise, Nick and Hayley popped up a changing tent in the shelter to get into their wedding attire before having a First Look.
After their First Look, we hopped around the summit to take some portraits with the mountains they love so much. After the sunrise colors faded, the only other visitor at the top left and we had the entire area to ourselves for a whole 45 minutes!
Spring in Shenandoah is beautiful even before the leaves start to regrow. You really see why they are called the Blue Ridge Mountains- the purples and blues are absolutely gorgeous.
Next, we hiked further down the trail a bit to find this super private rocky outcrop with a stunning view. Hayley and Nick decided to keep their personalized vows private and not to share them in front of their guests later during the ceremony. This idea is perfect for couples who don’t like being the center of attention or who don’t like to show a lot of emotion in front of their family and friends. It’s also a great way for couples to feel like they have part of their ceremony in the park!
Before we hiked back to the trailhead, Hayley had a surprise planned for Nick. Without him knowing, she had asked all their friends to make a little video congratulating them, giving advice, or telling a fun story. A lot of their friends live in Hawaii so they wouldn’t be making it to the ceremony at Stone Mountain Vineyards later that day. Needless to say, Nick was 100% surprised and LOVED IT!
The Ceremony and Reception at Stone Mountain Vineyards
Stone Mountain Vineyards is a winery and wedding venue in the mountains of Dyke, VA. It has a beautiful outdoor deck that overlooks the valley below. There are two getting ready areas in case the couple wants separate spaces. The upstairs area is an open layout with hardwood floors and a bar, with a big balcony attached. Nick and Hayley had dinner downstairs, but used this space for the dancing part of their reception. Downstairs is a more industrial-looking space with concrete floors.
The entire day was super relaxed and fun! Hayley and Nick wanted to make time to interact with all their guests, but instead of a regular receiving line, they were the ones who served the lasagna at the buffet! After dinner and toasts, everyone headed upstairs for more drinks, dessert and dancing to end the night.
Venue: Stone Mountain Vineyards
Photographer: Hayley-Ann Vasco Photography
Rentals + Coordination: MS Events Cville
Bouquet: Fiori Floral Studio
Makeup: Prettie Face Makeup
Hair: Olivia Maria Stratos
Catering: Mona Lisa Pasta + Pizza
Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Dress: Maggie Sottero Designs
Want to have an small wedding at Stone Mountain Vineyards (or in the mountains) that reflects who you two are as a couple? I’d love to be there to help you capture it. Contact me to talk about your dream wedding or get info about the packages I offer.