Iā€™m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether Iā€™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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February 14, 2024

A Virginia Vineyard Wedding with Southern Charm

A Virginia Vineyard Wedding with Southern Charm

I’ve been dying to share Ryan and Kelsey’s wedding day on the blog! Their Virginia vineyard wedding exuded Southern charm at its finest, especially with the bespoke signage. The details were beautiful, but the party was super fun!

Ryan & Kelsey’s Wedding Day

Ryan and Kelsey wanted to provide an experience for their guests, and they delivered (thanks to their ideas/vendor team)! I loved that the experience started as soon as the buses arrived ā€” But for Kelsey and Ryan, it started sooner, as you’ll see below. Check out their wedding day through my lens!

A Virginia Vineyard Wedding with Southern Charm

A Cozy Late Fall Wedding at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia

Getting Ready

Remember the Southern charm I mentioned above? Kelsey’s invitation suite was classic and timeless, but I loved the blue floral print that tied into the reception details! And as if her dress wasn’t gorgeous enough, she had another dress for the party. šŸ™‚ She looked incredible, especially seeing the entire look come to life!

Ryan had fun plans during their prepping time ā€” A private bourbon tasting! What a way to kick off the day (and take off some of the nerves). šŸ™‚ The guys enjoyed their getting ready time playing chess, watching football, eating a yummy cheeseboard, and, of course, the bourbon tasting.

The First Look

I love it when couples add a special moment during their first look. For Kelsey and Ryan, they read their vows to each other in private. That private exchange resulted in flirty looks, laughs, and tears. <3 Love these memories!

The Wedding Party

The Ceremony

As soon as Ryan and Kelsey’s guests arrived, they were greeted with champagne glasses for a pre-ceremony cocktail hour on the terrace. They enjoyed the last bit of sunshine outside before it set for the evening. Family and friends came inside to a cozy room with candles, two fireplaces lit, music, and fabric elegantly draped from the beams. A romantic setting for Kelsey and Ryan’s ceremony!

Kelsey walked into the room, and Ryan beamed with smiles when he saw his bride! Their officiant tied in many personal stories about Ryan and Kelsey that made them (and everyone) laugh ā€” my favorite ceremonies. šŸ™‚ They sealed the ceremony with two kisses and enjoyed some alone time before joining the cocktail hour!

The Reception Details

After family and friends left the ceremony room, they were welcomed by a beautiful seating assignment wall! Kelsey and Ryan had a wedding monogram designed and incorporated into the display. The velvet table numbers were also a lovely touch that tied into the charm of their wedding. Everyone was impressed by the transformation of the reception room after it flipped from the ceremony during the cocktail hour. The team worked quickly to create a romantic ambiance!

The Cocktail Hour & Reception

The cocktail hour and the reception were all about the experience for family and friends. Everyone enjoyed a variety of Early Mountain wines, a cheeseboard table, and the hand-selected Hors D’oeuvres. If you are familiar with Early Mountain’s food, you know you are in for a treat because they have some of the finest foods in the area, thanks to their recognized chefs! One of them worked for a world-renowned chef, Patrick O’Connell, The Inn at Little Washington. I only know this from photographing another chef’s Virginia vineyard wedding at Early Mountain (amazing food, as always)!

Continuing on with the guest experience. They had disposable Polaroid cameras for guests to take photos throughout the night so they could see moments from their perspective. Everyone loved this and the photo booth (of course)! One detail Ryan was excited about was the Irish Coffee bar during the party ā€” I caught him double-fisting, so he enjoyed the treat! šŸ™‚

I’ve realized over the years of photographing weddings that there seems to be one song that sticks in my head when I look through the party photos. For Kelsey and Ryan, it has to be Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” because everyone went nuts on the dance floor, especially when Ryan got down on one knee. Haha! Or the Killer’s “Mr. Brightside.” Both classics. šŸ™‚ The energy in the room was amazing, which also meant a crowded dance floor alllllll night long! Kelsey, Ryan, their family, and friends will not forget this incredible day. šŸ™‚

Thank You!!

Thank you, Kelsey and Ryan, for having me and my team serve you on your wedding day! It was cozy, beautiful, sweet, charming, and everything I hoped you dreamed it would be. <3 Your Virginia Vineyard wedding was one for the books!!! As always, I appreciate your trust and sweet words from the past year working together. Wishing you two the VERY best ā€“ You have a beautiful and bright future ahead!!


Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!

Venue: Early Mountain Vineyards
Planner: Cody Smith Weddings
Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography
Assistant Photographer: Omar & Company
Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Ana B
Caterer: Early Mountain Vineyards
Florist: Colonial Florist
Baker: Cakes by Rachel Bakeshop
DJ: Level Up Entertainment
Officiant: Drunk in Love Weddings
Videographer: Ben Vestal Productions
Stationery: Beacon Lane Weddings
Rentals: MS Events
Photo Booth: Level Up Entertainment
Bespoke Signage: Blissful Design & Decor