Why So Many Brides From Washington, New York, Boston & London Are Coming To Sundara

Destination weddings have been a huge trend for a few years now but what if you can’t afford to jet-set off to Italy or Paris for a week? (If you can, can I tag along?) Well, you can have it all. You can have the seclusion, the adventure, the beautiful locations, local food and everything else a destination wedding provides for you. And the best news is you don’t even have to leave the country! Heck, you don’t even have to leave the state!

I like to think of Southwest Virginia as the real Virginia. Yes, Northern Virginia is chock full of history and culture but it’s also chock full of traffic and highways. More and more brides and grooms are looking for an escape for their wedding. They want that feel of running away to an exotic location without the price tag. Why not get married in Southwest Virginia? Here are some reasons why you should consider it.

Luxury hotels available near SundaraAffordable costs for you and your guests – You can have a destination wedding without the cost of having one. The cost of having a wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains is more affordable than flying to Europe for a wedding or even having a wedding in the D.C. area. And it’s affordable for your guests. They won’t have to fly or fly as far, it’s an easy drive from D.C. to Southwest Virginia and accommodations are less expensive.

In-house wedding coordinator at SundaraWorking with a coordinator in the area – This is a big one. When considering a venue, ask if they have an on-site coordinator like Amy McArthur who can help with planning your wedding as well as refer you to vendors whom they trust. This is going to relieve so much stress from you and make it feel much more like a destination wedding. And, being in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you won’t have to travel far when it comes to meeting with your vendors. Plus, apps like Skype and Facetime make it easier to meet with your coordinator as needed.

Outdoor activities at SundaraBeauty and activities in the area – There is so much beauty in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are a lot of hiking and walking trails so you can enjoy the scenery. Roanoke is a fun stopping point in Southwest Virginia. There are museums there as well as the market where you can find fresh produce, fun shops and some great food. If you’re a fan of music, there are a lot of great places to hear music like Downtown Roanoke or the Floyd Country Store, where they have live music every Friday and Saturday night.

Below are photos from our most recent London bride… married in Roanoke with reception at Sundara.
(photos by: Kemper Mills Fant Photography)

Lindsey & Caley

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A Thing or Two about Mason Jars

Mason Jar Flowers

Today I have mason jars on my mind.

Ever since we hung mason jars from the trees for our daughters wedding in 2002, (The Knot Real Weddings, Amanda and John, Boones Mill, VA) they have become a fixture at Sundara.

Mason Jar Candles

Who would have thought that something as simple and lowly as the mason jar would become such a mainstay for elegant affairs.

Their importance in the lives of southerners is well documented. They were collected and handed down for generations. Their most important function was to store the bountiful harvests to feed the family through the winter months.

Mason Jar Vase

My own recollections are of my mama and granny at the kitchen table canning tomatoes, green beans, damson preserves, and applesauce.

After I was married and we bought our first home, the first thing I did was to plot the garden. I removed the rocks and made a small stonewall around the perimeter and began looking through seed catalogs with visions of the summer’s bounty.

Today, still gardening but only growing what I can eat or give away, I still have mason jars holding buttons, a bouquet of flowers in the kitchen, screws and nails in the workshop and seeds for this summer’s garden.

There are many other uses for mason jars according to Tim and Tickle of Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners.
I have started posting THINGS TO DO WITH MASON JARS on Sundara’s Pinterest board.

Please check it out. You may be surprised at some of the things I have found!

A Porch State of Mind

I recently read an article on the history of front porches in America. But today I’m thinking about back porches. Screened in back porches.

Growing up in rural America, much of our family life took place on our back porch.
The best memories are of cousins spending the week in the summer and after a full day of swinging on grape vines, challenges to see who could stand in the freezing water of the creek the longest, and bike races that occasionally ended with a crash into the hickory nut tree, we would open up the red vinyl glider and make our bed.

Then the fun began. Listening to the tree frogs, crickets and barn owls screeching in the woods surrounding us, we conjured up all kinds of frightening images. We told ghost stories for hours, screaming with fright til mama or daddy came with a hefty warning about getting quiet.

The back porch is also where we watched the lizards with the childhood wisdom that if you throw rocks at them they will come and get you while you are sleeping.

I can smell the tomatoes just picked from the garden sitting on the old kitchen table in the corner. I can hear the bees looking for a nesting place. The lightning bugs are out. Let’s get a jar and see who can catch the most!

The perfect back porch must have an old wooden screen door with a spring that makes a loud noise when it slams. That was our alarm system for people coming in and out.

Today my home is still in the country. I must have fresh picked tomatoes from my very own garden and I will always have an old screen door with the old fashioned spring that slams when friends come and go.

Today the vintage craze has grown to include old screen doors used for pot racks in the kitchen, painted and decoupaged for an accent piece or as a display for escort cards at a wedding. The feeling that these images evoke takes us to a simpler time and place.

If only everyone could experience the joy of a back porch in the summer time, I believe the world would be a better place.

Here at Sundara we have several porches. First, is the Bridal porch. It’s secluded just outside the Bridal dressing room and makes a great place to relax, endulge in an elegant lunch or just enjoy the view rocking away the stresses of life in the porch swing. Some of our brides like to even pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the special day with her bridal party.