November 23, 2021

John & Caitlin | Early Mountain, Virginia Wedding

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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John & Caitlin | Early Mountain Vineyard, Virginia Wedding

Who doesn’t love a good mountain view? You might recognize John and Caitlin from their fall Shenandoah Mountain engagement session last year!!! It was definitely one of my FAVORITES!!!! So to go with the mountain theme, their wedding was at Early Mountain in Madison, Virginia. Another favorite wedding venue!!! In fact, my husband and I seriously considered getting married there – It’s BEAUTIFUL!!!! But goooooodness … I doubt we would’ve made the venue look THIS GOOD! Holy moly… You all are in for a TREAT when you see these beauties. You’ll quickly see why this wedding is one of my 2021 highlights! John and Caitlin had a beautiful and sentimental day. I’m not kidding when I say that I STILL (two months later) tear up when I see the reception photos of John dancing with his grandmother. <3 Check it out below!!!

Check out their beautiful day through my lens!!!

John & Caitlin | Early Mountain Vineyard, Virginia Wedding


Prepping for the Ceremony.

When I arrived at the cottage where Caitlin and the girls were getting ready, everything seemed like it was moving smoothly! Caitlin enjoyed some downtime after hair and makeup was done (by the fabulous Mara Hair Studio and Nancy G MUA), and in the meantime, I photographed the pretty details! I’m a fan of the naturally ripped paper goods that The Dill Paper Company put together — The paper choice reminded me of their vintage theme like old handwritten love letters. To pair nicely with their vintage theme, Bride & Joy Weddings provided a gold tray. And between her velvet ring box, her sparkly Freya Rose shoes (OH MY!!!), and her DRESS from Love Couture Bridal… There was too much eye candy already! 🙂

But as soon as Caitlin put on her dress, I was in LOVE with the look she put together!!! Not every bride can rock a dress like that, and she did like a rockstar! 🙂 And I love that Oshie (John and Caitlin’s BIG pup) was there to enjoy the prepping time with her! Although, she REALLY enjoyed the boxed lunches that she managed to sneak into … HAHA!

Before the ceremony, I met up with John at Early Mountain to document him getting ready. I loved the personalized cufflinks and the gift Caitlin got him! He kept saying …. “DDDDDDAAAAANNNNNGGGGG!” Haha! His mother helped him put on his new necklace to wear on their wedding day. <3 Before long, we were just minutes away from the ceremony!!!

The Ceremony.

Family and friends gathered from all over to celebrate John and Caitlin at Early Mountain! Before sitting down to enjoy the ceremony, guests were encouraged to enjoy a drink from the champagne wall! I love that they treated their guests with an experience from the first minute they arrived. 🙂 And the gold vintage mirror signage provided by Bride & Joy Weddings added to the beauty of the ambiance John and Caitlin had envisioned for their day! At their ceremony, they also had a memory table with those they wished could be there. With their photos on display, I feel like they were present during the ceremony. <3 Family and friends were also encouraged to leave John and Caitlin a voicemail as their audio guest book with the Fetefone vintage phone. What a unique idea for a guest book!!! Moments later, the ceremony started on the lawn looking out towards the mountain view!

Oshie made her grand entrance just before Caitlin, and John was prompted to turn around and not see his bride from afar. Instead, he turned around just as she got closer to the altar. But I saw him sneakily wiping tears when his back was turned … Between the music and anticipation, all emotions were high! His mother told me how much he had been looking forward to this day for a LONG time! <3 So sweet!!! When Caitlin got to the altar, Jeffrey Madocks, their officiant, welcomed everyone and specifically thanked each parent for raising a wonderful couple.

John and Caitlin exchanged sentimental vows and exchanged their new rings. Before long, they were pronounced as husband and wife!!! They kissed and then celebrated all the way down the aisle. 🙂 After the ceremony space was cleared, we gathered the family around for family portraits. I immediately teared up when I saw John embrace his grandmother, and his eyes filled with tears. I could tell how special it was to have her there. <3 SO sweet!!! Then we were off to celebrate with their best friends!!!

Their Best Friends.

John and Caitlin had their best friends gather just before the sun went down. The timing was in a little bit of a crunch during this time, but I’m so glad we took some time before the ceremony to take photos of the groomsmen and bridal party! I love that Oshie joined us for these group photos too! She was such a good pup and even sported a floral collar made by the talented The Posey Detail! In fact, she was also my wedding florist (we adore her talent!!)! I mean, check out these GORGEOUS bouquets!!!

Caitlin wanted a POP of burnt orange, and I love that she did that through the girl’s dresses and the men’s ties! Everyone was so fun as we gathered for these portraits to celebrate the couple, and then we were off to photograph newlywed portraits after this part of the day. 🙂

Mr. & Mrs.!!!

John and Caitlin’s newlywed portraits wouldn’t be complete without Oshie in a few pictures! I love including fur babies in wedding portraits when they can join us. 🙂 And Oshie had a very important role in being their flower girl! Because we were losing daylight, we quickly ran around the venue and took portraits with the beautiful views and the vineyards. I would say that after their engagement portraits, they were pros in front of the camera, except they were pros from the start!!! My job was cut out for me, and even though our time was short, I have so many favorites just before we ran off to the party! 🙂

The Details.

When I initially arrived and spotted the dream vendor team, it was like catching up with old friends!! Jes from Bride & Joy Weddings and Alyssa from The Posey Detail outdid themselves designing this day for John and Caitlin!!! And I love Zandi Entertainment‘s uplighting — It really elevated the space, especially with the spotlight effect on the couple!

John and Caitlin had a long table that split the room, and they decorated the tables with florals and candelabras. When the candles lit, the ambiance was so elegant and romantic! With the fires blazing, the two fireplaces made the large room cozy. And The Posey Detail went all out decorating the fireplace mantles. It stood out from afar, which was lovely!!!

Caitlin and John’s sweetheart table had cozy blue velvet chairs provided by Bride & Joy Weddings with two adorable Mr. and Mrs. pillows. The pillows made the table extra cozy with the fire lit right behind their table. I was in Pinterest Heaven photographing the creations this dream vendor team designed!!

In one corner, they had the cake station with a beautiful naked cake that Shenandoah Sweets created. The gold personalized cake topper with the florals made this cake one of a kind! And in the other corner was the lounging area for guests to enjoy a break from the dance floor or conversations with friends. Soon enough, this room FILLED up with family and friends to enjoy!!

The Reception.

As everyone cheered, John and Caitlin made their grand entrance into the room and enjoyed a romantic first dance together. 🙂 After a kiss and more cheers, they made their way across the room to their sweetheart table for the speeches and delicious dinner provided by Early Mountain. After everyone’s tummies were full, family and friends were busting out moves on the dance floor before the dance floor was officially open! HAHA! I knew then that it was going to be a great, fun party!!!

But first, Caitlin and her father joined together on the dance floor for a special dance, followed by John and his mother. After the parent dances finished, John welcomed his grandmother to the dance floor. CUE THE TEARS … She was wheeled out to the dance floor. As Josh Groban’s song, “You Raise Me Up,” started playing, his grandmother got out of her wheelchair and danced with her grandson. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room!!! I had tears dropped off my chin because it was that emotional seeing them and his family in tears! And then John’s family came and surrounded her for the rest of the dance as John wiped tears off his face. WHEW, guys. I am still tearing up writing this!!!

After John and his grandmother hugged and walked off the dance floor, Zandi Entertainment kicked off the CELEBRATION, and he didn’t disappoint!! It looked like family and friends had the BEST time dancing the evening away with John and Caitlin! And before the night quickly came to an end, John and Caitlin enjoyed a final dance together in the middle of the empty room. What a beautiful, intimate time to reflect on the day together and end it in each other’s arms. <3 Then it was time to say goodbye and run through the tunnel of lit sparklers! Caitlin threw on her “Just Married” leather jacket, and they were off!!! Can we relive this day again?!

Thank You!!

THANK YOU, John and Caitlin, for having me document this big celebration for you!!! WOW. I’m still in awe of how beautiful your Virginia wedding at Early Mountain was … Between how beautiful you two looked and the day you designed, I have WAY too many favorites!!! <3 Thank you for having me by your side to celebrate and document your wedding day!


Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!!

Venue: Early Mountain
Wedding Planner: Jes Frank | Bride & Joy Weddings 
Hair: Mara Hair Studio Danielle O’Donnell 
Makeup: Nancy G MUA 
Caterer: Early Mountain
Florist: The Posey Detail 
Baker: Shenandoah Sweets
DJ and Lighting: Zandi Entertainment
Videographer: Amanda Monroe Finn Videography
Stationery: The Dill Paper Company
Dress: Neta Dover | Love Couture Bridal
Officiant: Jeffrey Madocks
Rentals: Bride & Joy Weddings
Transportation: Martz Transportation
Audio Guest Book: Fetefone
Shoes: Freya Rose



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