I am so excited to share this wedding with you today! I’ve been holding onto it for a while and absolutely love these beautiful images of Ariele & Justin’s “bohemian farmhouse”celebration. These two lovebirds created a romantic fall wedding completely matching their style and personalities. I was so disappointed I couldn’t attend their wedding due to work commitments last year, but am thankful Ariele and Justin shared their wedding day and love story for the blog!
I met Ariele and Justin in Charlottesville, Virginia when we all worked for Search Mojo. They are both marketing stars with incredible adventurous spirits. While they live in Boston, Massachusetts now, they are currently working on an amazing project to renovate a camper and create the life they have always dreamed about. Check out their new adventure Wild We Wander and enjoy the images and interview below!
SK: How did you and Justin meet?
Justin and I met when he interviewed me for my first job out of college. I noticed his gorgeous green eyes, but he didn’t remember me until I came back for another interview a few months later. :)
SK: Share your love story:
We connected instantly. It was surprising to both of us that there was not much we didn’t feel comfortable telling each other. We didn’t go out of our way to tell people we were dating, but I’m pretty sure it was clear to everyone. Justin and I were both at times in our lives when we wanted independence; we were truly “finding ourselves.” But, every time we tried to distance ourselves, the other was nothing but sweet and understanding, which drew us even closer; we just couldn’t possibly not be with each other. So, we decided to move to North Carolina and start fresh together. Raleigh will always hold a special place in our hearts; it’s where we really became us, we got engaged, we made great friends, and ultimately figured out how much we loved to adventure. And we moved to Boston a couple years later!
SK: How did he propose?
He took me on a surprise birthday trip to Asheville, one of our favorite cities. Christmas is our favorite time of year and The Biltmore was all decorated for the season. We took an evening tour of the estate; I think Justin was expecting to be able to propose inside the mansion, but there were SO many people. We found ourselves outside on the big lawn, walked over to the huge lit-up Christmas tree, and he got down on one knee in front of the tree and asked me to marry him.
SK: What was your most memorable moment on your wedding day?
Justin slept at the groomsmen cabin the night before the wedding. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up at 5am and started doing last minute prep and texted Justin to see if he was up. He messaged me back, so I made coffee and met him around 6:30 for a walk in the woods while the sun rose. That was so like us to wake up early and go for a walk organically.
SK: Did you do a first look? Why or why not?
Yes! We loved the idea of a first look. It gave us a special moment to ourselves to bask in seeing each other for the first time, plus we also got photos of our reactions and excitement. It was also nice to take some photos before the ceremony, as to leave more time for mingling at cocktail hour.
SK: What was your favorite detail of your wedding?
Ugh, so many! I am so happy with how all of our decorations came together. We had been gathering them at various thrift shops and vintage markets for a year and a half. If I had to choose, my favorite detail was the bells. We had strands of bells hanging from trees on the walkway to the ceremony, bells lining the aisle, and bells in the backdrop. You could hear them all tinkling when the breeze came through. Out little flower girl, Ellie, had one favorite bell she was running around with during the ceremony; the sounds didn’t bother us–it only added to the magic!
SK: What traditions did you include in your wedding?
My dad walked me down the aisle and we recited traditional Catholic vows for our family, in addition to our own personal vows. I liked the idea of reciting the vows so many people had recited for ages. We had a first dance, as well as father/daughter and mother/son dances. Anything else that seemed “traditional” happened by chance.
SK: How many friends and family members attended your wedding?
In the end, we had about 65 people who were able to attend.
SK: What special songs did you include throughout your wedding day? Why did you choose them?
All of the music was selected by us. We used an app called Wedding DJ to manage our whole day’s music, from Ceremony to Cocktail Hour to the Reception. Each song meant something to us–whether it was a great memory or just a song anyone could dance to.
My favorite band is the Avett Brothers. They’ve got this raw, emotional quality that strikes me. I walked down the aisle to acoustic version of The Greatest Sum. Our recessional was also special and such a happy tune, Three Little Birds. And our first dance was a soft, sweet John Lennon song, Oh My Love. Each song felt like another promise to each other.
SK: Why did you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you?
We knew we wanted to get married in outdoors in Virginia in the fall. We drove to a few venues one weekend and Shenandoah Woods in Luray stood out because of the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The venue had everything–cabins, high-end reception pavilion, and a beautiful ceremony space in the woods! We’d definitely recommend it.
SK: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
Planning from a distance. We didn’t get to try our food (huge regret) or visit the venue for inspiration.
SK: How would you describe your wedding style?
We kept calling it Bohemian Farmhouse. It fit.
SK: What inspired your wedding colors and design?
So much. I wanted us and our guests to feel like they were at my childhood farmhouse home, cozy and full of rich colors. Things that inspired us/made it into the design itself: moroccan- and oriental-style rugs, crystals, soft lighting, colorful flowers, bonfires, anything gold and sparkly, autumn in Virginia, fairies, and of course, apples.
SK: What advice do you have for those currently planning a wedding?
Hire a day-of coordinator. We wouldn’t change a thing, except for the fact I was running around the day of the wedding finishing last-minute details (as was everyone else). There were many things that were forgotten, and ultimately didn’t matter, but it would have been nice to not even have to think about decorating that day. I would have liked more time to get ready and enjoy that process. Also, invest in a great videographer and photographers! Our photos perfectly capture our day and the video is just about the best thing in the world. And we can watch it over and over again!
SK: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Our friends and family were the third man of this wedding. Up to the final hour, our friends were decorating tables and putting together flower arrangements we ran out of time to style ourselves. The pavilion would not have come together without the wonderful people in our life. SO much love to them all. It was truly a family event!
SK: Where did you honeymoon?
Aruba. It didn’t seem like “us” at first, but it was the BEST decision. We crashed for about 24 hours and then basked in doing nothing for a week, while we ate, drank, and explored a tropical island. The stress just melted away.
SK: What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together?
Anyone who is semi-close to us knows we are renovating a camper into a tiny home. What’s next for us is to complete the renovation and share our adventures with the world! We look forward to everything new and exciting, familiar and mundane. I wake up every day knowing how lucky I am I found someone who supports everything I do and loves me unconditionally. We are the greatest team I know.
Congratulations, Ariele & Justin! Y’all are so sweet together.