Erika & Gary’s Rustic Romantic Wedding at the Lodge at Mount Ida | Charlottesville Wedding Photographer

Erika + Gary

The wedding of Erika & Gary at The Lodge at Mount Ida, Charlottesville, VA

Erika & Gary’s Love Story:

Erika & Gary met at a college party at the University of Maryland. Gary had already graduated and Erika was a college junior. They flirted back and forth and finally Gary asked Erika if he could “scan her bar code.” It was a Blackberry Messenger (BBM) thing before we all had iPhones. Gary got her number through the bar code scan and they started dating not long after that. Love at first scan.Their Wedding Inspiration:

“We live in Northern Virginia, right outside of D.C. But we aren’t city folks and are tired of the fast-pace life 99% of the time. Country livin’ is more us, but since that’s not attainable right now, we thought we’d expand on that dream and venture further out into the mountains of Virginia for a more rustic-country setting for our wedding. We weren’t looking for country bumpkin, but classy country overlooking the mountains. Erika grew up riding horses so the bridesmaids were wearing cowboy boots. And the neutral colors are really telling to both of our personalities…calm, cool, and collected.”

The Couple’s Favorite Moments:

“I think we can both say our favorite part was seeing each other on the bridge for the first look. The butterflies were really fluttering by then but it was the slowest part of the day. Everything else went so fast, but I can remember the little details about that moment. Our first dance was memorable. We picked out ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ together. E3 nailed it. Erika sang the entire time. Gary even threw in a spin. And yes, I’m replaying the “dun dun dunnna” song in my head as I type this. That was really the absolute most hilarious part of the entire day-of.”

What’s next now that you are married?

We went on our honeymoon to Hawaii. Gary wanted beach, Erika wanted adventure and being as we both like the outdoors, Hawaii was a good fit. Spent four nights in the North Shore and 3 nights south. We could have moved to North Shore. It was our best vacation together to date. And of course we hit up 4 Crossfit boxes. We could never actually go that long without Crossfit.
We are staying in NoVa until we can retire out in the country 🙂 Even with the crazy rush hour and over crowded neighborhoods, NoVa is home. We love Virginia. And dogs > babies. Dozer and Angus are our only present and future furbabies for the time being. We want to travel more, keep growing together, and experience life as a married couple.

Now that you are married, what words of advice do you have for couples getting married?

“Don’t stress the small stuff. Getting wrapped up in the nonessential details will eat you alive. Take deep breaths throughout the planning and love the process. The day-of should be enjoyable and exciting. Because the day after your wedding, a part of you will miss the year it took to plan the best day of your life.”

Ceremony/Reception Venue:The Lodge at Mount Ida
Wedding Coordinator: Shindig Weddings & Events (Katie Brazeal)
Officiant: John Charlet
Band: E3
Caterer: The Local
Cake: Family Ties & Pies
Florist: Bloom
Hair & Makeup: Moxie
Dress: Hitched
Photographer: Ron Dressel Photography

Testimonial from the couple:

“Ron was fantastic! From the engagement session to the wedding, he delivered. Our engagement session was a little crazy having brought both of our dogs, but Ron was so calm that he developed some amazing shots that still hang around our house over a year later. The wedding was even better. He was so focused but still had fun with our entire wedding party. The shots came out amazing and we’ve had more compliments on our pictures than any other wedding detail. He excused us from dinner to take some sunset pictures. These have become some of our favorites! It’s hard to choose which ones we like the most. He was very attentive without interfering during the ceremony and reception and we are so happy with the turn out. Ron was able to capture our wedding to a tee and create some of the greatest picture memories we plan to cherish for years to come!”


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