Categorized | Real Weddings, Romantic, The Blog

Lush Fall Virginia Wedding at the Market at Grelen


[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]The wedding colors were a Dusty Rose and warm earth tones with pops of deep yellow, plum, olive, rusty orange and gold.

Dusty Rose” evoked a soft, muted pink hue reminiscent of antique roses, lending a vintage romantic feel to Ali & Jack’s wedding. The Muted fall colors in a range of earthy tones reflected the changing foliage of autumn and brought warmth to the large outdoor venue. The pops of golden yellow, plum and orange brought vibrancy and energy to the palette, adding a touch of brightness amidst the subdued tones of fall.[/field]
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]Ali and Jack envisioned a wedding that exuded elegance without feeling overly formal. With the guidance of Ali’s mother, Leslie Gregg, founder of The Market at Grelen, the couple embarked on their planning journey. Collaborating with renowned florist Mallory Joyce and planner Heather Clarke of the Hive was pivotal in translating their vision into reality. Together, they curated a stunning color palette designed to captivate guests and infuse the expansive venue with an intimate ambiance. Opting for locally sourced blooms and incorporating branches and greenery from the nursery added an extra layer of significance to the décor. Once the floral arrangements were finalized, attention turned to selecting tableware. Deep burnt orange napkins, fall colored vases and understated plates were chosen to complement rather than compete with the focal point—the flowers. Elevating the aesthetic, they upgraded to King Louis chairs and adorned the tables with lavish gold accents, including chargers, glasses, and flatware, adding a touch of glamor to the celebration.[/field]
[field title=”Proposal Story”]Ali and Jack both went to The University of Michigan and met in a bar the very night of Ali’s graduation (classic!). They cemented their immediate bond by spending a 5th year in Ann Arbor before ending up in Boston, MA, where they currently reside. Ali’s childhood summers were spent amidst the serene beauty of McGregor Bay, nestled within the Georgian Bay at the northern edge of Lake Huron in Canada. This idyllic locale holds profound significance for her, and when she introduced it to Jack, his appreciation for its natural splendor meant the world to her. Understanding the profound importance of Ali’s summer retreat, Jack orchestrated a proposal that captured the essence of their shared love for the outdoors. He chose to propose to Ali on her beloved hiking trail, fondly referred to by her family as “the blueberry hike” due to the abundance of blueberry bushes along its path. In a heartfelt gesture, Jack collaborated with Ali’s parents to secretly hike the trail early one morning, concealing a bottle of
champagne and a love letter in the geo-cache at the summit. Later, as Ali and Jack ascended to the peak, she discovered the heartfelt letter and was swept off her feet as Jack proposed against the breathtaking backdrop of their cherished landscape.
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[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”] by Allison Webb (bought at Flair in Boston)

The Allison Webb wedding dress was a masterpiece of elegance and sophistication, adorned with delicate beading and a stunning tulle bow at the back. Much like the wedding decor, the dress was the perfect combination of sophistication, romantic charm and whimsy. A row of buttons cascades down the back, adding a timeless and classic detail to the design. With its intricate craftsmanship and ethereal beauty, this dress was captivating!
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[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]Bridesmaid Dresses: Dusty Rose crepe and chiffon by Revelry. [/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]Groomsman Attire: Black tie. The groom’s tuxedo was custom made in Boston and the groomsmen rented similar looking tuxedos from Jos. A Bank.
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[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]Once again, aiming for an exquisite blend of sophistication and comfort, Serendipity Catering curated a delightful menu inspired by the rich flavors of fall. The signature drinks were: Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour, Moscow Mule & Apple Cranberry Spritz (non-alcoholic). The appetizers tantalized the taste buds with a variety of delectable options, including cocktail meatballs in bourbon BBQ sauce, petite crab cakes, Virginia ham biscuits, and tomato basil soup served in demitasse cups with grilled cheese triangles. Following a refreshing fall-inspired salad featuring winter squash and pomegranate seeds, guests were treated to a selection of main courses, including Tuscan Grilled Chicken, Grilled Flank Steak with a Parsley Garlic Chimichurri Vinaigrette, or Wild Mushroom Ravioli. [/field]
[field title=”Florals & Decor”]Ali and Jack envisioned their wedding flowers to embody a natural, abundant, and breathtaking aesthetic. Florist Mallory Joyce exceeded expectations, bringing their vision to life with organic designs that mimicked the natural growth of flowers in their surroundings. The focal point of the ceremony was the stunning floral arbor, which continued to dazzle guests behind the bride and groom at the head table. This rounded arch was adorned with lush foliage, intertwining vines, and an array of blooming flowers, creating a truly enchanting and vibrant display. [/field]
[field title=”Wedding Cake”]The wedding cake, skillfully crafted by Maliha Creations, offered a trio of enticing flavors: Carrot Cake with Cardamom Frosting, Almond Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting, and Lemon Cake with Passion Fruit Curd. As a delightful late-night treat, soft pretzel bites with cheese sauce and chocolate brownie mousse shooters added the perfect finishing touch to an unforgettable culinary experience. [/field]
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]The ceremony was held on the Berry Lawn overlooking Grelen Nursery, founded by Ali’s father, Dan Gregg, in 1990. The officiant, Randall Schlack, traveled from Michigan to join the wedding, representing a special connection to the
Schaffers’ hometown. Music played a significant role in the ceremony, with the ethereal melodies of the three-piece trio, Ninja Strings, setting the perfect ambiance. The ideal fall weather, soul-stirring music, and heartfelt personal vows that Ali and Jack exchanged made for a deeply moving experience for everyone present. Having just been married, Ali and Jack walked back down the aisle to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and that’s exactly how it felt: perfect! [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]Cocktail hour in The Market at Grelen’s enchanting moon garden! Encircled by vibrant foliage and illuminated by twinkling bistro lights, this setting was an idyllic kickoff to the celebration following the ceremony. The half-circle bar (rented from Paisley & Jade) blended in effortlessly as it encircled the majestic cherry tree at the center. The bar was personalized on either side with the “JA” monogram which was also featured on the invitation, program, and menu. [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #2″]The lush greenery inside the tent was truly stunning. Alongside the exquisite floral arrangements adorning the entrance, tables, and corners, the nursery embellished the space with towering trees flanking the bandstand. These additions created an enchanting ambiance, transporting guests to a picturesque autumn forest. And with the clear star-gazing tent overhead, the atmosphere was nothing short of magical. [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″]Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grelen has a rich history that spans over three decades. Founded by my husband, Dan Gregg, in 1990, Grelen Nursery started as a humble 5-acre test plot and has since blossomed into one of the largest rural businesses in Virginia. For more than 30 years, Dan poured his heart and soul into nurturing this land, and the result is a breathtaking 1000-acre tree nursery that stands as a testament to his dedication.
In 2013, I joined this beautiful journey and introduced The Market at Grelen, a European-style Garden Shop, Cafe, and Event/wedding Venue on the Grelen Nursery property. Little did we know that this venture would become a cherished part of our family’s story.
Our daughter, Ali, grew up hearing tales of Grelen around our dinner table. She learned about the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, the seasons that painted our landscape, and the countless hours of hard work that went into making Grelen what it is today. So, when the time came for Ali and her fiancé to choose a venue for their wedding, it was as if she was selecting a piece of her own history.
Although she had a huge selection of beautiful Central Virginia venues from which to choose, Ali couldn’t imagine saying “I do” anywhere else. She felt a deep connection to Grelen, which became even more profound when she and her fiance, Jack, temporarily moved from Boston during Covid to live in Boxwood Villa, one of our homes designed for Grelen wedding couples and guests. The two spent a lot of time exploring Grelen Nursery’s 6 miles of trails and grew to love this land as much as we do.
So it goes, in October of 2023, on a glorious fall weekend, Ali and Jack were married starting their own journey together surrounded by the same lush elegance, meticulous design, and breathtaking environment that has defined Grelen for decades. To put it mildly, her father and I couldn’t be more honored that they chose The Market at Grelen for their wedding. Ali & Jack’s wedding day was not only a celebration of the love that they share but a joyous culmination of the legacy we’ve built. It was truly a merging of two love stories—theirs and ours—that made their wedding day all the more special.
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Photography: Ashley Cox Photography | Videographer: Paperboys | Event Planning: The Hive Wedding Collective | Floral Design: Mallory Joyce | Wedding Dress: Allison Webb | Cake: Maliha Creations | Ceremony Venue: The Market at Grelen | Reception Venue: The Market at Grelen | Catering: Serendipity Catering | Hair & Makeup: Unveiled Artistry | Lighting: Lighting Professors | Band: Affirmative Groove | Ceremony Music: Ninja Strings | Transportation: Central Virginia Wine Tours | Transportation: Quicks | Illustrator: Lock and Dale | Linen Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Rentals: MS Events

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