Why did you choose this location for your wedding? Greg and I really wanted a location where our friends and family could enjoy exclusive use of the property and unwind for the weekend, sort of like a mini vacation. The Clifton Inn provided the perfect combination of a picturesque landscape, excellent service and accommodations, and superb food. Greg and I spent our first weekend at The Clifton Inn in April and we fell in love with everything about it.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Greg and I realized the weddings we’d attended that were designed for everyone to spend time together were those that we most enjoyed. Since our wedding was over Labor Day weekend, we tried to plan events that everyone could enjoy. Greg’s parents hosted welcome cocktails for all of our guests on Friday evening, our friends spent time at the pool on Saturday during the day, and we encouraged all of our guests to check out everything else that Charlottesville had to offer, from the shops downtown to the local wineries. Looking back, it was perfect. Even if Greg and I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time with each guest on our wedding night, we were able to spend quality time with them at other times throughout the weekend.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? It is hard to pick a favorite moment or part of the day from such a wonderful weekend, but Greg and I both loved the half hour we got to spend alone on the morning of our wedding. We each woke up early and played a friendly game of cornhole on the front lawn of the Inn. It was the only part of the day before we were married where it was just the two of us and it was the perfect moment together before the craziness of the day began.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received came from one of my best friends that had just gotten married the prior year. She told me to make a point of spending a few moments alone during the reception. Shortly after the dancing started, we grabbed hands and a plate of mini desserts and snuck into the backyard for a few moments together. From where we stood, we could watch everyone dancing under the lights. It was such a treat to enjoy that romantic moment alone with my new husband in the midst of so many people that loved us. I will always cherish this advice because you really do spend so little time alone on your wedding day. That moment for us will last a lifetime.
What advice do you have for other brides? It might sound cliché, but really, whatever happens, go with the flow and stay calm. Also, hire a wedding planner! I could not have survived the wedding planning process without our amazing planner.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? You have to sit down and give serious thought to what is most important to you. If you splurge on everything, you will far exceed your budget. So pick out the one, two, or three most important aspects of the wedding to you and your husband-to-be and splurge on those areas. If it does not make the list, then you have to be flexible. For example, I always thought that I wanted a band at my wedding. We have been to many weddings where the band really made the reception. But, when Greg and I assessed what was most important to us, a band did not make the list. We decided to go with a DJ and it could not have been a better decision. We were able to stay closer within our budget, and most importantly, our DJ was fantastic!
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? After our reception, we hosted a late night celebration at the pool with drinks and snacks. Greg and I didn’t hesitate to swap out our wedding gear for bathing suits so that we could spend a little more time with our guests. For me, this really symbolizes the entire weekend for us. We had such a great time celebrating this incredibly momentous occasion with everyone that had helped us to become the people that we were, individually, and together. We soaked up every moment of it!