Real Virginia Wedding

Carl & Sara

Virginia Bride features weddings weekly here on the blog. Being featured in the blog does not necessarily mean they are featured in the print magazine.

Bride: Sara Meakem, 24, Medical Assistant

Groom: Carl Huber, 26, Park Ranger Maintenance 

Date: June 3, 2023

Venue: Montfair Resort Farm, Crozet, Virginia

Guests: 96


“It all started in March of 2019, when Carl and I started playing on a co-ed intramural basketball team while attending The College of William & Mary (W&M) in Williamsburg, Virginia,” Sara said. “He was a junior and I was a sophomore.”

First Date

Sara made the first move by asking Carl to meet her at the W&M women’s varsity game the following week they first met. After watching the women’s game, Carl asked Sara to go out with him. They ate dinner at Red, Hot and Blue in Williamsburg, Virginia. 


Carl proposed to Sara in Fairplay, Colorado on November 25, 2021. They had recently moved from Virginia to Colorado. Carl rented a small cabin in the mountains for the Thanksgiving weekend since they could not travel back to Virginia for the holiday. Carl created a playlist that he titled “Forever.” They listened to it while they traveled to the cabin.  

Unbeknownst to Sara, Carl had already requested permission from Sara’s parents to propose and hidden a dozen roses in the car. While unloading the car, Carl tapped Sara on the shoulder, dropped to one knee and popped the question. “I was so excited and immediately said, yes while crying happy tears,” said Sara. 


The engagement ring was a sparkling round diamond encased in a beautiful white gold solitaire setting.


The groomsmen hosted a bachelor party for the groom. It was held in the Shenandoah National Park, a week before the wedding. Eight guests attended and stayed in a cabin by the Conway River located between the Greene and Madison Counties of Virginia. 


The bridesmaids hosted Sara’s bachelorette party. It was held the weekend before the wedding in a house on Lake Gaston in North Carolina. “It turned out to be a cold weekend,” said Sara. “We ended up doing a polar plunge into the lake while singing Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” at the top of our lungs.” “What a weekend to remember!” Eight guests attended.


“Montfair’s natural elegance, flexible wedding packages and onsite accommodations were just a few of the reasons we chose them,” said Sara. “When we toured Montfair, we were greeted with a welcoming atmosphere, starting with their LOVE sign at the entrance to the venue.” “We liked the variety of outdoor activities for our guests: a lake for canoeing, swimming and fishing, basketball and tennis courts and the beautiful hiking and biking trails.” “The mountain views are incredible.” “We relished the flexibility of both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception spaces.”

“Montfair offers a 3-day wedding package,” said Sara. “We were able to rent the entire property Friday through Sunday.” “We had our rehearsal dinner, wedding and Sunday brunch onsite.” “Our closest friends and family stayed onsite in the venue’s guest house and 9 cottages.”


Carl and Sara’s theme was rustic chic. Their colors were green and gold. “They are The College of William & Mary’s school colors,” said Sara. 


Katie Teel was the couple’s coordinator. “She implemented all the details, communicated with vendors and relieved me of much stress the month before the wedding,” Sara said. 



Sara wore a classic white dress with a low back. The outer layer sparkled and was similar to a princess dress. Sara’s something:

Old: gold pearl teardrop earrings.

Borrowed: gold and diamond studded watch.

New: Naot white sandals. 

Blue: blue cornflowers in her bouquet. 


Sara’s bouquet was a mix of baby’s breath, blue cornflower, white roses and feverfew. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were bunches of white daisies and feverfew. 


The bridesmaids wore forest green-colored dresses from David’s Bridal.


“I wrote a handwritten wedding note to Carl,” said Sara. “I gave it to Carl’s best man.” “I requested he hand it to Carl to read minutes before we walked down the aisle.”

“While I was getting dressed, the best man brought me a note from Carl,” Sara said. “The note brought me to tears.” “All the anxieties and stress from planning a wedding faded away.” “I was ready to marry the love of my life.” 


The groom and groomsmen wore black suits, white button-down shirts, gold ties and black dress shoes. Their boutonnieres were made of baby’s breath with greenery.


The wedding was held outdoors in the venue’s ceremony field. This location was chosen because of its majestic panorama view of the mountains. A welcome sign sat perched on the end of the aisle. Mason jars with bunches of wildflowers lined the pathway to the arbor. The arbor was decorated with floral pieces and white linen. The first row was reserved for immediate family members and grandparents. Underneath a large tree, the schedule of events was displayed in cursive writing on a wooden pallet. Adjacent was a refreshment stand with tea, lemonade and water.

Instrumental music played as the ceremony started. The procession music was “Heart of Life” by Kevin Diamond (original song by John Mayer). “Wild Mountain Thyme” by ProSound Karaoke Band (original by Liam Clancy) played as Sara’s dad walked her down the aisle.

“The ceremony was short and sweet,” said Sara. “On the moment of our first kiss, thunder erupted.” “It was meant to be.” “Our guests cheered and clapped even louder than the thunder.” “The rain dispersed as quickly as it arrived.” 


The cocktail hour was held on a large tented deck at the Montfair Lodge, overlooking a stream-fed lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Inside the Lodge was an open space with tables and chairs for guests. Large wooden beams hung from the ceiling and were wrapped in celebration lights. A stone fireplace sat at one end of the room. A full-sized kitchen at the opposite end was used for on-site catering.

Carl’s signature cocktail was a Mountain Mule and Sara’s was a Margarita. 

Appetizer stations served a farm stand display of local cheese, fruits, vegetables, jams, and other spreads. A biscuit station offered homemade butter biscuits, sweet potato biscuits and assorted jams.

During the cocktail hour, the DJ played romantic songs by John Mayer, Tyler Childers, Dave Matthews Band and Foy Vance.


“During cocktail hour, our photographer took our couple portraits in the ceremony field with the mountains in the background,” said Sara. More photos were taken by the lake peppered with lilies.” “Some of our favorite portraits were taken as we paddled in a canoe on Montfair’s lake.”


The reception was held at the Event Lodge. The bridesmaids’ bouquets, placed in mason jars, doubled as reception decor. They became the focal point of the table centerpieces atop rustic wood rounds. A small candle surrounded by a wood heart accompanied each mason jar. Smaller mason jars filled with lit candles floating in water were the final touch for the centerpieces. The tables were decorated with sage-colored napkins. A tasteful dinner menu laid atop the white dinner plates. Green water goblets accented the white tablecloths. 


The Local served a buffet-style dinner: Virginia honey BBQ chicken, grilled New York strip steak and various side dishes. 


In pairs of two, the bridal party entered the reception, each demonstrating a particular move or uniqueness: pretend chest compressions, dunking a basketball and a simple twirling of their partner. 

First Dances

Carl and Sara’s first dance song was “Hideaway” by Brett Eldredge. Father and daughter danced to “Daughter of Mine” by John McDermott. “There was not a dry eye in the room,” said Sara. Carl and his mother danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.

Fun and Games 

Montfair had many games to offer guests. Carl and Sara chose horseshoes and cornhole. The activities were hosted on the lakefront. Picnic tables were placed between the lakefront and the Lodge for outdoor seating.

Cake Flights

The wedding cake was 2-tier. The top layer was lemon cake with lemon buttercream. The bottom tier was chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream. The cake sat on a wooden pedestal. A variety of cake flights surrounded it.


As Carl and Sara exited the reception venue, they ran towards Montfair’s lakefront under the cover of sparklers held by the guests. Japanese lanterns lit their path to the lake.

After Party

After a short drive to their Montfair cottage, where they were spending their wedding night, Carl and Sara changed into comfortable clothes. They walked back to the lakefront to be greeted by a roaring bonfire and guests spending the night at various Montfair cottages.


The couple honeymooned at the Keyonna Beach Resort in Antigua. A Caribbean all-inclusive adult-only resort.


WEDDING VENUE: Montfair Resort Farm – @montfairresortfarm

PHOTOGRAPHER: Melissa Diane Photography – @melissadianephoto

PLANNER: Katie Teel Events – @katieteelevents

OFFICIANT: Seth Lovell 

RINGS: Kay Jewelers – @kayjewelers

GOWN/VEIL: David’s Bridal – @davidsbridal

BRIDAL MAKEUP: Anna Fickley – @aefickley  http://@aefickley

HAIR/MAKEUP: A More Beautiful You – @amorebeautifulyouva  http://@amorebeautifulyouva

BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: David’s Bridal – @davidsbridal 

MEN’S FORMALWEAR: Generation Tux @generationtux


Floral Designs by Jacquelyn Collmus – @fdbjq  http://@fdbjq

Ling’s Flowers – @lingsmoment http://@lingsmoment

RENTAL EQUIPMENT: MS Event Rentals – @mseventscville http://@mseventscville

CATERING: The Local – @thelocalcatering

MUSIC: DJ Shaggi – @rockdahousedj http://@rockdahousedj

CAKE: sliced. cakebar – @sliced.cakebar  http://@sliced.cakebar


Montfair Resort Farms – @montfairresortfarm

Hampton Inn Charlottesville – @hamptonbyhilton

HONEYMOON: Keyonna Beach Resort, Antigua – @keyonnabeach

If you are planning a wedding in Roanoke Virginia, Richmond Virginia, Fredericksburg/Northern Virginia, The Shenandoah Valley, Coastal Virginia or in Charlottesville/ Lynchburg Va. we can help with your wedding planning and ideas.

The author: Debra Shepperson

Debra is a native of Virginia, having lived in both Roanoke and Richmond. She is the co-owner of Relish – Say I Do!! Officiant & Photographer. She is an artist who aims to create ceremony scripts and capture photos that evoke positive emotional responses, inspire others, and deliver nostalgia. Debra holds a graduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth and an undergraduate degree from Saint Leo University, Florida. Before gaining more than ten years of wedding-related experience, Debra was a human resource executive. She has been happily married to the co-owner of Relish for more than 20 years.