Cora (from New Jersey) and Jared (from Michigan) met in Cora’s hometown at the Americana Kitchen & Bar where Jared worked as a bartender. After about a year together in New Jersey, they moved to Arkansas, which they have now called home for four years. They celebrated their love with their family and friends at their beautiful vineyard wedding. The deep plum colors, silver accents and wine bottle centerpieces paired perfectly with the winery backdrop. And while the day started off rainy, it cleared up just before their outdoor ceremony. “We were prepared for the rain!" said Cora. "The day before, we purchased multiple umbrellas, heel plugs to prevent heels from sinking in the mud, rain boots and a clear tarp. We didn't need to use any of it because the skies cleared up and the day turned out beautiful." Keep scrolling to see all of the beautiful photos of this day by Shalae Byrd Photography. Blessed 4 Events planned every detail, Tipton Hurst created all of the amazing florals, and Vibrant Occasions Catering provided the delicious food for this stunning day at Rusty Tractor Vineyards. Make sure to check out all the moving images in the full gallery here.
“Cora and Jared’s day was full of emotion, memory and fun with a vineyard venue that set the scene beautifully for this fall wedding," says Shalae Byrd with Shalae Byrd Photography. "When Cora and Jared met in New Jersey, they had no idea Cora’s job would take her to Arkansas a few months later. When it did, Jared followed, and they were engaged shortly thereafter! Little did they know that Covid would then delay their wedding, as well as the passing of Cora’s brother from cancer just a year before their wedding date. His memory was kept throughout the entire day with a seat saved just for him, toasts and stories in his honor with remembrance, and a memory table at which he was honored in the most beautiful way. Although Cora’s brother could not be there in person, it was a beautiful day filled with love, joy, and happiness that could be felt the entire day."
Although Cora admits she is not very crafty, she says the couple was able to save some money by doing a few things themselves. For example, Cora printed out the seat assignments and save-the-dates. They utilized Sola Wood Flowers instead of real flowers for the arch, wedding cake, and table decorations. Sola wood flowers are environmentally friendly, completely customizable in all shapes, sizes, and colors - plus they never wilt, so you can keep them for your home after the wedding. Wood flowers are great to incorporate if any guests may have flower allergies, as well!
The hors d'oeuvres and dinner menu was planned to pair perfectly with various wines from the vineyard venue. At cocktail hour, passed hors d'oeuvres consisted of bacon-wrapped cocktail smokies, cheese-stuffed mushrooms, smoked salmon and dill cream cheese cucumber bites, and bacon-wrapped honey chipotle barbeque chicken picks. For dinner, guests had a choice between prosciutto-wrapped stuffed chicken, pan-seared wild salmon with cilantro lime butter, pasta alfredo, harvest vegetables, tri-color roasted potatoes, dinner salad, and rolls. They did not disappoint their sweet tooth friends and family either! A sweet crepe action station, along with banana pudding shooters, New York cheesecake shooters, and four-layer chocolate delight shooters were all a big hit. “Our wedding day was perfect! The food was delicious! Our guests really enjoyed all of the hors d'oeuvres, dinner options, and desserts," said Cora. "We received so many compliments from our guests regarding the food. Vibrant Occasions Catering even packed us food to go, so we could enjoy our wedding day food again at home. We got to eat great food, drink delicious cocktails, and dance the night away."
Some Quick Tips from the Bride
1) Utilize your venue's ambiance when making choices about your color palette, theme, and menu to create a seamless experience.
2) If choosing a vineyard as your venue, consider purposefully pairing food and wine options!
3) Create small DIY projects for yourself to personalize your day in a budget-friendly way, but leave the big stuff to your professional vendors to pull off so that you don't have to stress.