When Mary Margaret and Sam told me they were Episcopal priests, I felt so honored to be trusted with photographing their own Episcopal Wedding Ceremony! Their venue was close to their heart, as Montfair Resort Farm is run by Sam’s family. Sam relayed fond memories of spots where he would stand to try to get a better cell signal in order to talk to Mary Margaret.
These two beautiful people met three years ago while in grad school studying to be seminaries. While Sam always knew that this was his calling, Mary Margaret resisted the call. Sam’s Bishop wouldn’t let him go to seminary school until he proved himself in a different industry, so Sam spent some time in the restaurant industry. Spending that time outside of the seminary was exactly what would lead him to the rest of his life. Not only was Sam able to gain a strong respect for his chosen career, but the timing was perfect! Ultimately, taking the time to wait meant that he would meet Mary Margaret…and the rest is history!
On our initial call, I also remember asking them about their vision for the wedding day. They skipped talk of colors or decor; they answered summed it up to one word: “authentic”. Rather than fixating on wedding traditions, they wanted to focus on gratitude, joy, and just having a fun party – and also good food! I love so much how intentional and thoughtful they were with planning their wedding.
They even curated their guest list to reflect different periods of their lives. Unfortunately, that plan would be overturned by COVID, and they downsized from their 250 person guest list to an intimate celebration of under 30. The couple’s Episcopal Wedding Ceremony, while traditional, was held outdoors to celebrate in nature, in front of Montfair’s gorgeous mountain views.
During the reception, so many guests wanted to share stories and words of love with the couple. We ended up having 12 toasts, not counting their joint thank you speech afterwards! Another one of my favorite memories from the day was that Mary Margaret and Sam were totally up for playing corn horn during their portrait session together. The relaxed and fun-loving energy of the couple made their Montfair wedding that much more memorable for the couple and guests alike.
Keep scrolling to see highlights from their day!
Photography: Xiaoqi Li Photography
Videography: Stephen James Films
Planner: Anyvent Event Planning
Venue: Montfair Resort Farm
Cake: Cake Bloom
Catering: BBQ Exchange
Officiant: Rev. Brit Bjurstrom-Frazier
Florals: Blue Heron Farm
Menswear: Jos A Bank
Ready to plan your dream Charlottesville wedding? Ask me about my wedding guide! Contact me here.