Arts & Culture

Blue Ridge Beauty

A bucolic Charlottesville, Virginia, farm bursts with love—and a sense of place

a white event tent at dusk with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background

Photo: Anne Rhett

Honoring the place where a bride has roots is always a fitting—and very Southern—way to celebrate a marriage, especially when the location happens to be a gorgeous, sprawling Charlottesville, Virginia, farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. That was the case for the September 2023 wedding of Katie Sullivan and Nick Goldman: Every detail of the planning tied back to the area around where Katie grew up in Richmond, from the floral design, which employed blooms like chamomile, lily of the valley, and delphinium to complement the setting, to the clever escort card display, from which guests could “pick” their seat among the vegetables on view—farmers’ market–style.

photo: Anne Rhett
photo: Anne Rhett

To pay tribute to the wedding locale, however, event designer Taylor Batt, of Alyson Taylor Events, carefully situated each element of the black-tie soiree across the large expanse of land to take advantage of the views and times of day. “We made sure that we arranged the layout of the event to showcase the property,” Batt explains. “A mountain view for the ceremony, cocktails in the barn, the best view for their fireworks, and a second-line stroll for guests to the reception tent. We even angled the tent”—a stunning behemoth by Sperry—“so that all of the guests could see the beautiful sunset before dancing the night away.”

Inside that tent sparkled more than seventy-five rattan chandeliers, a spectacle that caused a bottleneck as guests took in the gasp-worthy decor at the reception. Then along came the newly married bride and groom in a custom golf cart, accompanied by that second-line band, to get the party started. “The beauty of this wedding was making people feel warm and welcome,” Batt says, “and we pride ourselves on that.”