Sundara Wedding Venue’s Hobbit Themed Wedding Featured On

Hobbit Themed Wedding

As Seen On

Tolkien fans – hold on to your rings because today’s Hobbit themed wedding inspiration shoot from Kemper Mills Fant Photography has all the trappings of a Shire wedding!

I nearly fell out of my office chair when this shoot landed in my inbox. I’m that nerd who is front and center at the movie theatre dressed like Galadriel and can quote the books. So in my LOTR fan girl opinion – Amy McArthur of Amy Kristina Weddings did an absolutely fabulous job bringing the lighthearted side of Middle Earth to life!

From Amy – “I’ve wanted to design a Hobbit inspired wedding for years now. Growing up, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, by J.R.R. Tolkien, and fell in love with Hobbits. My love for them and the world they live in was only amplified exponentially when the movies by Peter Jackson came out. Even though it is a Hobbit inspired wedding, we wanted it to feel like an old, English garden wedding, which is very much what The Shire embodies.”

Sundara Wedding Venue's Hobbit Themed Wedding Featured in

More from Amy – “We had four different set-ups. The first was the sweetheart table. I wanted it to look very organic and as if you could find all of these items around your house. I loved the idea of stitching together different doilies and using them as a tablecloth so that you could see the amazing table underneath. I also love bunting so I made a string of it to go around the front of the table and the colors tied into our overall feel. Since Hobbits love to smoke and drink, it was important to me to represent that by including tobacco tins filled with flowers, tobacco pipes at each place setting and a horn-shaped beer mug.

The second set-up was like the entrance to the wedding. We had a small washstand with a marble top that we filled with different plants like mums, ivy, kale and cabbage. I loved how it looked like plants that were picked from a garden. I also made the quintessential ‘No admittance except on party business’ sign to go on the table.”

Hobbit Themed wedding at Sundara Wedding Venue in Virginia

From Amy – “I wanted our bride to look very natural. The overall feel of the shoot was homemade, organic, natural, simple yet beautiful so I wanted our bride to look the same. She was also barefoot, like any good Hobbit would be!

The flowers were probably my favorite part of this whole shoot. There were so many different flowers, herbs, vegetables, etc. used in this shoot that made it really unique. When Mark (of Creative Occasions) and I were collaborating about the flowers, I told him I wanted the flowers to look as if they picked them fresh from the garden the morning of the wedding. I didn’t want anything to look too contrived or planned out. And I let Mark be as creative as he wanted to be and that he did!”


Photography: Kemper Mills Fant // Design & Coordination: Amy McArthur of Amy Kristina Weddings, LLC // Floral Design: Creative Occasions Events Flowers and Gifts // Model: Abby Broughton // Dress: AmRhein’s Brides and Formals // Hair & Makeup: Les Cheveux Salon and Day Spa // Venue & Props: Sundara, Virginia // Props: Charlotte’s Web Antique Mall and Primitive Gatherings // Pony: Warrior from Healing Strides of Virginia.

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!

Sundara Wedding Venue’s Roanoke Wedding Featured On

View original article here:

Be prepared to pick your jaws up off the ground. We’ve been going ape crazy behind the scenes for this Roanoke wedding and now we are finally able to share the gorgeous. It is a seamless blend of cultural traditions and pretty yellow details all packed into one beautiful southern soirée. And the photography by Marta Locklear is beyond, beyond. We’re talking want-to-crawl-inside-each-and-every-image-and-live-forever-because-they-are-just-that-beautiful. Held at Sundara with sunny petals by Gloriosa, planning by Diamond Events and a stunning yellow ombre cake by Kelly Cakes, this is definitely one for the books.








And how about a perfect-in-every-way film to go along with the festivities? Shaking Hands Productions was the maker of this fine piece of wedding day merriment. Take a gander…

From the Bride… We decided to get married in Roanoke, Virginia, my hometown. Although picturesque, Roanoke is not the easiest place to get to and since most of our 200 guests would be coming from all over the country, our main goal was to create a special weekend for them. That’s how we chose our venue, Sundara. Driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains and coming across open fields and apple orchards to the outdoor tent captured the magical & whimsical feeling we were after. Our color palate, yellow and gray, was an inspiration from the EXQUISITE yellow diamond Ray chose for my engagement ring.

After choosing our venue and colors, it was easy to piece together details that would make our wedding unique. I had an enormous amount of help from my family and friends, especially from my sister, Sarah, and a close friend, Christine. They made custom signs for our reception and put together guest bags for all of our out of town guests that contained edible treats from Virginia. They also made all of the props for the photo booth that our fabulous photographer, Marta Locklear, custom built for us using fabric my mom and I chose.

Mark Baldwin, our caterer, created an original menu, complete with edible spoons and cheesecake lollipops! Deb’s Lemonade served our guests frozen lemonade as they arrived to the cocktail hour in mason jars with gray-and-white striped parlor-style straws, a delicious treat for such a hot day! Near the end of our reception, our guests were invited to a bonfire next to the barn to make s’mores. It was so nice to relax with our bridal party and close friends before driving away in, what I’m sure was one of Ray’s favorite moments, a white Aston Martin.

Ray and I could not have imagined a more magical day. We still smile like little kids when we think back to everything that transpired on that day – our traditional Coptic Orthodox ceremony, sneaking away with Marta for an impromptu photo shoot during dinner, fireflies and starlit fields, and a bonfire where we roasted marshmallows before our sparkler exit. Who could ask for anything more?
Photography: Marta Locklear Photography / Ceremony: Saint Andrews of Roanoke, Virginia / Reception: Sundara / Dress: Amsale (I chose it because it had pockets!) from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Shop in Baltimore Maryland / Suits: Brides House in Roanoke, Virginia / Wedding Planner: Diamond Events / Florist: Gloriosa / Videographer: Shaking Hands Productions / Lemonade: Deb’s Lemonade / Caterer: Blue Ridge Catering / DJ and Band: Hip Shack / Cake: Kelly Cakes / Rentals: Posh Events

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.

Best Menu Options For Wedding Receptions

Patty Trostle, Owner of the award-winning wedding venue Sundara, interviews Mark Baldwin of Blue Ridge Catering about how to choose great menu options for your wedding. He gives practical advice and shows some mouth-watering examples of what a great catering service can provide.

One of the perks of being on the crew that day was that we got to sample all the delicious food including an amazing lunch prepared by Mark and his crew.

One of our favorites was the Cajun mac & cheese. Mmmmmm… that was good!

Sundara Wedding Venue’s Reception Party Featured In Washingtonian

Real Wedding Father’s Day Special: Whitney and Brian
At this couple’s wedding, the father of the bride took center stage.
By Irina Grechko.  View the original article here:

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Most girls have a special bond with their fathers, but in Whitney Camper’s case, her father, Danny Camper, is her best friend. For that reason, during her May wedding to Brian Myer, a senior consultant at Booz Allen whom she met two years prior through work, Whitney tried to include her father as much as she possibly could. “From the tears we both shed seeing each other for the first time on the big day, to dancing on stage with the band together, the wedding captured every facet of the bond we share in its entirety,” says Whitney, who works as a consultant with Accenture.

The entire nuptial process was filled with moments that were meaningful for both father and daughter, from the day Whitney revealed she was engaged to Brian, to the first time Danny saw Whitney’s wedding dress. “With tears in his eyes, he struggled to get out the words, ‘That’s my little girl,’ ” says Whitney. Naturally, their father-daughter dance was to the song “My Girl.” And, to reassure her father that their bond would never break, Whitney wrote him a special letter that she gave to him as she left for her honeymoon. “I told him that although I was marrying the man of my dreams that day, I would always be his little girl.”

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Photographer: Carly Arnwine Photography

Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue: Sundara

Event Coordinator: Allie Mannon, White Peonies Planning and Events

Engagement Story: After dinner at Ardeo + Bardeo in Cleveland Park, Brian told Whitney they were going to watch the sunset at the Jefferson Memorial—an homage to her alma mater (the University of Virginia) and the one memorial she hadn’t been to. On the steps Brian handed her a card and knelt down on one knee. Brian had hired his college friend and photographer Carly Arnwine to document the entire proposal. “To have that moment documented, along with those raw emotions, is something we will forever cherish,” says Whitney.

The Bride’s Gown: Custom made by Elegance by Roya

The Groom’s Tux: Jos. A. Bank

Hair Dresser: Rachel Vassar, Hair Associates

Makeup Artist: Danielle Smith

Bride’s Favorite Wedding Detail: The vintage cake topper that my late grandmother and grandfather used to top their cake was such a special touch to the day. She passed away in January, so being able to incorporate something from her wedding was a way for me to have her there with me at mine.

Groom’s Favorite Wedding Detail: Tequila Bar

Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “My mom and her best friends performed a ‘flash-mob’ dance to ‘Be Yong, Be Foolish, Be Happy’ and it was AMAZING. They had these headbands with flowers and a ‘veil.’ At the end, they grabbed me and Brian to join them in their kick line. It definitely set the tone for the night and got the party started!” says Whitney.

Decor Details: Brent Ellis. “Not only was she the Maid of Honor but she is also the best friend anyone could ask for and an incredible artist. She created all of the signage at the wedding—the sparkler send-off sign, the tequila bar sign, the wine bottles as our guest book sign, the list goes on and on. She also created welcome booklets that were stuffed into the welcome bags that greeted each of our guests when they checked into their hotel rooms. She even created the stickers that were on our going away favors (gummy bears) which read “All you need is love—and gummy bears.” This tied into our recessional song of “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles,” says Whitney.

Cake Baker: Mary Ogilvie

Wedding Cake Flavors: Each tier was a different flavor. Banana cake with vanilla crème, vanilla cake with strawberry preserves filling, and lemon cake with raspberry preserves filling

Wedding Cocktail: Tequila bar! But only Milagro tequila with orange slices since that is a Camper family tradition

Florist: Melinda Amos, Petal Pushers

Wedding Flowers: Peonies, garden roses, hydrangeas

Music/Entertainment: The Castaways

First Dance Song: “Love is a Verb” by John Mayer

Wedding Theme: Vintage and Classic

Four Words that Describe the Wedding: Dancing, Tequila, Family, FUN!

Invitations: Appalachian Press

Linens: BBJ Linens

Honeymoon Spot: Antigua

Where the Couple Currently Live: Arlington, VA

Sundara Wedding Venue’s Country Wedding Featured On

View original article here:

It is real wedding Tuesday and you know the drill – every hour on the hour we are bringing you a little snippet of all of the fabulous weddings we are harboring in our vaults and you get to click on your favey-faves or if you have the time and a big cup of coffee you can peruse them all. There is going to be A LOT of wedding goodness so try to remain calm. Deep breaths always help.

Next up is this sweet, sweet wedding photographed by Meghan McSweeney. It has all the charm of a backyard wedding set in the wilds of Virginia and quite possibly the cutest (and largest) wishing tree we ever did see. If you want to see more of this pretty day, click on the gallery for a ton of rustic-infused imagery.

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Although the couple live in NYC, they decided to get married in Roanoke, Virginia, which is where Grant’s family is from originally. The entire wedding weekend was centered on the family and friends – many of which traveled quite a ways (overseas even!) to be there.

Photography: Meghan McSweeney / Venue: Sundara / Wedding Planner: Nicole Fowler / Florist: Mark S. Frye of Creative Occasions / Caterer: Center Stage Catering / Music: Neal Nance of Posh Events / Dress: Gina from Adriennes Bridal NYC

Bridal Show Winners Wedding At Sundara Wedding Venue in Boones Mill, Virginia

Bridal show winners hold special day
Heather Hoprich and Scott Blessard won a $35,000 dream wedding with lots of extras that made their day special.

byRALPH BERRIER JR. | 981-3338. View original article here:
Monday, April 15, 2013


BOONES MILL — The bride wore cowboy boots as she walked down the grassy aisle. So did the rest of the wedding party and some of the guests.

The flower girl fired soap bubbles from a plastic bubble shooter instead of tossing petals.

The newlyweds celebrated their vows by firing a potato cannon at the end of the ceremony.

It’s funny what you will see at a $35,000 wedding.

Heather Hoprich and Scott Blessard entered the realm of matrimonial bliss with a prize wedding they won last year at a bridal show in Roanoke. The Botetourt County couple won the first-ever “Dream Wedding Giveaway” at the Greater Virginia Bridal Show at the Roanoke Civic Center in January 2012. Not only was the prize a great wedding present, but it also was a great engagement gift.

“We had just got engaged on Jan. 13,” Blessard said. “Then we won the prize on Jan. 22. We didn’t even know there was a contest.”

Hoprich’s mother, Kathy Hoprich, had won four tickets to the bridal show from country music radio station Star Country (94.5 FM). (Blessard, being the gentleman, paid for his own ticket and let his wife-to-be, mom and future mother- and sister-in-law use the freebies.)

The couple won a drawing out of more than 300 entrants from the show. The grand prize included a complete wedding package of a venue, flowers, music, food, drinks, photography and other nuptial niceties.

Most of the wedding services were provided for free by the vendors. Sundara, the outdoor venue near Boones Mill owned by Patty and Tom Trostle, offered a splendid setting amid the flowering cherry trees and ancient tulip poplars and Southern magnolias.

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Carolyn McMillan of McMillan and Wife Photography and Flowers directed the wedding and photographed it with her husband, Jerry. Carolyn was the person who came up with the dream wedding prize and pitched it to Angeline Frame , publisher of Virginia Bride Magazine . The Blessards’ wedding will be featured in an upcoming edition of the magazine.

Other vendors offering their services included Blue Ridge Catering; Music, Music and More Music; Prestige Limousine Service and Casey’s Cakes — although the Blessards’ three-tiered cake was made by Scott’s mom, Lisa.

Hoprich’s wedding dress, a sleeveless, one-strap gown made by Ella Bridal and provided by Becky’s Bridal of Buena Vista, was part of the package, as is a honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico.

“I would never have dreamed of something like this,” said Hoprich, who will add Blessard to her own surname. “We could never have afforded to do anything like this by ourselves.”

Still, the couple paid for a few extras themselves.

“You’d be surprised how fast that goes,” Blessard said of the thousands of dollars worth of free stuff.

To be sure, the package did not include cowboy boots, Mason jar wine glasses and the spud-launcher — a gas-powered tube that fired a ‘tater toward Cahas Mountain. Those were the most personal touches for a couple who met on a ballfield.

Hoprich, 32, a sales representative for Carter Surgical , and Blessard, 28, who works for Altec Industries in Daleville, met playing on a co-ed softball team in Botetourt County. He was pitching batting practice and she kept scorching hits up the middle. Nothing says love like ducking a line drive aimed for your noggin.

They were together a little more than a year before getting engaged and winning the contest. Then, the pressure was on to stay together for another 15 months until the dream wedding.

Actually, there was no pressure.

“We had that covered,” Hoprich said.

“We were meant to be,” Blessard added.

The couple will reside near Fincastle.

Sundara Wedding Venue’s Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains Featured in

Surrounded by Love in the Blue Ridge Mountains
August 29, 2012. View the original article here:

Christina & Thomas | July 7th | Roanoke, Virginia

From the bride:
Thomas and I dated for over ten years (yes, high school sweethearts). But even with all of those years under our belt, when I woke up that morning with butterflies in my stomach and so much excitement I could barely stand it, I knew it was going to be an amazing wedding day. I told Thomas since the day we got engaged, that I don’t care if it’s 105 degrees, if it doesn’t rain, I am not saying a word…Well, I got my wish with a 101 degree, sunny, and beautiful day! Though the day was extremely hot, we had a perfect Blue Ridge Mountain summer wedding at Sundara. I am a real sucker for toasts and speeches, so one of my highlights during the reception was listening to the heartfelt toasts given by my dad, my sister, and Thomas’ best man, as well as the prayer by my good friend and bridesmaid. The amount of thought and time put into each of the speeches was truly touching and will never be forgotten! And of course, by my many fun facial expressions, dancing was another highlight of the evening!

Photography by Sam Dean Photography

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