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This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

First Looks at Mount Ida Farm

We’re sure you have heard of the old tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other on the wedding day until the bride walks down the aisle.  Some even go as far to say it is bad luck to see each other before that moment. Traditions are forever changing when it comes to weddings, and there isn’t really a rule book when it comes to these things.  A tradition that has picked up in the past few years is the bride and groom having a “first look” before the ceremony. There are many reasons why we support having a first look before the ceremony, but here are just a few!

  1. You start your wedding with a private moment between you and your partner. The whole day is filled with love and support from so many friends and family, but if you think about it…couples don’t typically get too much one on one time with each other during your actual wedding. Plus, that moment of first seeing the love of your live on your wedding day can be just between the two of you (and your photographer, but you won’t even notice they are there!) You can really soak in those last few moments together before you become husband and wife (or husband & husband or wife & wife 😉 ) Plus, seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day should be a memory you cherish forever, but some brides get so nervous walking into their ceremony because they aren’t used to walking in such an intricate dress. Time after time again we hear brides say they don’t even remember the look of their husband’s face when the entered the ceremony because they were so nervous they would fall!

2. You get your jitters out before your big moment! Seeing each other before ceremony can definitely help calm your nerves. Give each other a hug and kiss.  Laugh together. Cherish those last few moments together before you are united as husband and wife

3. Photos! Not only are the actual “first look” photos absolutely adorable, but if you see each other before the ceremony it gives you the opportunity to get a lot of your photos out of the way! Go ahead and get all of your couple photos and bridal party photos out of the way.  That way, you only will have your family photos to do after ceremony.  Hey, maybe you will even get a chance to make it to your cocktail hour! If you save ALL of the pictures to after the ceremony sometimes you can have issues with not having enough sunlight, especially if you are a winter bride and we don’t have much daylight.  

We even reached out to Will Walker from William Walker Photography to hear a photographer’s point of view on first looks.  This is what he had to say:

“‘First Looks’ are a great way to de-stress what have the potential to be stressful timelines.  Maybe you’ve got an early Spring or late Fall wedding and the sun is going down earlier in the day, leaving little to no light after the ceremony for family photos AND photos with the wedding party.  They are also a great way to break up photo sessions so you get to enjoy more of the wedding day that you’ve worked so hard planning.  Imagine being able to enjoy time with your guests and only have your photographer steal you away for a few moments at sunset to get some of those incredible centerpiece images.”

Featured image: Tom Daly Photography

June 30th, 2017|

Lee & Carter

Lee & Carter were wed at Mount Ida Farm last Fall on November 5th, 2016. Their ceremony was at the Mountain Grove ceremony site, with the gorgeous Charlottesville skyline as their background.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd while these two lovers promised forever to each other. After the ceremony, they invited their family and friends down to the Lodge for reception.  Their table settings were gorgeous, and their head table was complete with a long piece of greenery running the whole length of the table. After dinner, they danced the night away.

***This wedding was before we added the stage***

June 27th, 2017|

Stephanie & Steven

Stephanie & Steven got married last fall on October 29th, 2016. The leaves were falling, the sun was shining, and it was just the perfect Fall day in Charlottesville.  Our gorgeous bride, Stephanie, along with her bridesmaids dressed in plum got ready in our bridal suite.  Guests were greeted at the Mountain Grove ceremony site and got to witness Stephanie & Steven promise forever to each other. After they said “I Do”, they invited family and friends to join them at the Lodge for a delicious dinner and a night of dancing.  They ended the perfect night with a bubble exit.  Congratulations Stephanie & Steven!


Planning: Samantha w/ Best Day Ever Events

Lighting: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting

Photographer: Ward Photography

Cake: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe


June 20th, 2017|

Entertaining Out of Town Guests

The question that pops up frequently in our client meeting is, “what are some things that our out-of-town guests can do around Charlottesville?” Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! We put together a list of some of our favorites! (Above photo: Aaron Watson Photography)


For the outdoors enthusiast:

Ballooning at Boar’s Head

What better way to see the beauty of Charlottesville than to start your day in a hot air balloon followed by a gourmet picnic lunch in Virginia wine country? The entire experience will last approximately three hours, but the memories will last a lifetime! To learn more call Rick Behr at 434-960-2814.

For the family:

Carter Mountain Orchard 

We aren’t sure which is more famous, the orchard or the fresh donuts they serve! The whole family will have fun from an array of activities such as movie screenings, picnics, festivals and more!

For the historian:


Spend a day on the beautiful grounds of Monticello and get an intimate look at Thomas Jefferson. No other home reflects the personality of its owner than Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Architectural masterpiece and beloved mountaintop home. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets online before you go!

For the shopaholic:

The Downtown Mall

With 120 shops packed along a stretch of brick walkways along East Main Street, the beloved Downtown Mall packs more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants into a stretch of brick walkways along East Main Street. For a list of shops and restuarants, click here .

June 16th, 2017|

Mary & Matthew

Mary and Matthew’s journey started in 2010 when they met while playing Waka Kickball in NYC. They were on different teams, but they had mutual friends which led to them starting to hang out. They have now been together for 7 years and have had a world of adventures together.  In 2013 they traveled the world together for 8 months and visited 17 different countries.  How sweet is that! Mary who works as a Sr. Account Manager and Matthew who works in football consulting got engaged on November 15th, 2016 in the beautiful city of Boston. Fun fact? They got engaged the same day the went to the open house for the condo they now own….they definitely made some huge steps towards their future that day! They chose to host their wedding at the Mount Ida Event Barn because it was exactly the look they were hoping for, and they loved the rain plan option.  Luckily, they had a beautiful day and didn’t need to use it!  These two welcomed their wedding guest at The Barn with such ease and hospitality, you could feel the genuine love between them. We are extra excited to share these photos because they were our FIRST (and probably won’t be the last) couple to get married in front of the carriage house.  Typically, the outdoor ceremony option at the Event Barn is our gazebo, but they decided that they wanted something different.  We loved getting to try something new with them, and it worked out so well! Enjoy these photos from their big day!

June 14th, 2017|


Who wants a #pupdate on Mount Ida’s vineyard puppies? They are getting bigger every day! They are about 4 1/2 months old now. The Mount Ida puppies are purebred Anatolian Shepherds that our farm managers picked up on April 15th. They traveled to Woolwine, VA which is 3 hours southwest of Scottsville.  There were two litters to choose from and they picked out two males from each litter.   Their jobs will be to guard the vineyards from turkeys, birds, raccoons and other animals that also like the taste of our grapes. They will be a big help as we move closer to opening our tasting room in late fall of 2017. Right now they are spending time growing, socializing, and getting some puppy training. They will be moving to the vineyards this summer when the grapes start growing on the vines.

Zeus is the alpha male of the group and the biggest of the 4.  He greets us with a  howl and likes to bark quietly while waiting on his food bowl.

Vino is the smallest male of the group. He picked us when we went to pick them out. He loves attention and is the first one to come running. Zeus and Vino are full brothers.

Duke is the 2nd biggest male of the group. He is the most laid back and loves to hide their toys any chance he gets.

Roscoe is the 3rd  biggest boy of the group. He is adventurous and checks his boundaries every day. He is the first one to alarm us if something seems amiss. Duke and Roscoe are full brothers.

They have been so much fun! We can’t wait to see them grow and start their duties in the vineyards in the near future! Special thank you to our Farm Manager, Whitney, for taking these amazing photos of the handsome boys!

June 9th, 2017|

Susie & Andrew

Y’all are in for a real treat on this one, Susie & Andrew’s wedding was a DREAM! This beautiful, kind, wholesome, and loving couple was married on March 4th of this year.  They decided to have their ceremony at the Mountain Grove location, followed by the reception at the Lodge.  They decided to stay for the weekend and rented out Mount Pleasant and The Cottage.  Since they were here to party all weekend long, they hosted their rehearsal dinner at the Lodge as well! The best part? The rehearsal dinner was catered by Blue Ridge Pizza Co! They are a mobile wood-fired pizza catering company, and oh my goodness….their pizza is AMAZING.  With a rehearsal dinner as amazing as theirs, we knew that the wedding was going to be nothing short of amazing.  Their decor was spectacular, their first look made our hearts melt, and photos turned out to be incredible.  Oh, and fun fact? They brewed their own beer for the wedding at Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company. How cool is that, y’all?! Devil’s Backbone even served it in their tasting room the day of the wedding.  It was a Brown Ale named “March Forth” (we love a good pun!) Congrats Susie & Andrew! #itsanicedayforawozwedding


Ceremony Site: Mountain Grove at Mount Ida Farm

Reception Venue: The Lodge at Mount Ida Farm

Event Planner – Carolyn Hughes

Caterer- C&O

Rentals – MS Events

Officiant – Mark Davidson

Lighting – Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting

Band- the dickens band

Photographer – Raygan Michelle Photography

Videographer – Schwenk Film

Florist – Lynn Killberg

Hair/Makeup – Jeanne Cusick

Cake – Sweet Haus

Transportation – Easy Rider

June 6th, 2017|

Dinner Plates: DC Rental

Have you ever browsed Pinterest or a photographer’s gallery just to be stopped by a beautiful place setting? Sometimes it’s hard to tell what exactly draws us to those photos that capture the perfect place setting before the guests enter the reception. We love to see the personality and theme of each event displayed through the tablescape and a big part of that happens through dinner plates. We found a handful of fun, playful, sophisticated and luxurious plates from DC Rental that made our hearts stop!

Want to see more from DC Rental? Check out their website!

June 2nd, 2017|

Amy & Jeff

Amy and Jeff were married last fall at our Lodge location and we are thrilled to share the photos with you! It was a brilliant day with beautiful weather that truth be told, we couldn’t have ordered better if we tried. Amy and Jeff were meant for each other and you could tell from the very beginning that they are a team. What you will see in these photos are two people who are very much in love, surrounded by family and friends.


Ceremony Site: Mountain Grove at Mount Ida Farm

Reception Venue: The Lodge at Mount Ida Farm

Photography: Nick Kessler Photography

Coordination: Wood Grain & Lace Event Planning

Hair & Makeup: Bombshell Brazilian Waxing & Beauty Lounge

Floral: Amanda Burnette, Florist

Catering: The Local Restaurant and Catering

Lighting: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting

Specialty signage/Rug: Paisley & Jade

Rentals: MS Events

Band: In Full, Sam Hill Entertainment

Cake: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe

May 31st, 2017|

Lil Photo Bus

Here at Mount Ida Farm, we have a LOT of vendors come in and out of our doors.  We always love the opportunity to meet new creative professionals, especially when they bring something new and exciting to the table.  Earlier this month, we had the honor of having Lil Photo Bus out to the Lodge for the first time! They came for Chelsea and Thomas’ wedding and the guests LOVED them.  We decided to do a little Q&A with Amber, enjoy!

How did you come up with the idea for the Lil Photo Bus?

Lil Photo Bus was born from a desire for Amber (a full time wedding photographer) and Carlos (a full time pharmacy manager – at the time) to get more quality time together as a couple and with their family. We both have an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to come up with a way that Carlos could transition out of the corporate world and into the creative space with Amber. Since Amber already had a strong hold on the wedding industry it was a natural fit for Carlos to join her there. Lil Photo Bus was born and the two have been working together ever since.

What types of events has the Lil Photo Bus been to?

While the majority of our events are weddings, we have also done corporate events for large companies, birthday parties, proms, anniversaries, and charity events.

How many buses are there?

Right now, Miss Jade is our only bus, but be on the look out for another bus coming very soon!!

So we see you’re from Raleigh.  If any of our readers travel to Raleigh, NC..what are the must do’s/must see’s?!

Raleigh has SO much to do, that we recommend you stay for at least a long weekend. From awesome concerts at Red Hat Amphitheater to the AMAZING food scene (real pit BBQ at The Pit, the mac and cheese at Poole’s, and the burgers at Chuck and the cocktails at Fox Liquor House are all MUST tries), there is tons to do. There is spectacular shopping, and lots for families to do too (check out Marbles and Pullen Park if you have little ones). We absolutely love this place, and hope if your readers are in town, they will give us a call

I see on your website you have traveled 1,263,000 miles! Where all has the Lil Photo Bus been?

Miss Jade made her way to the east coast in the 90s from Santa Barbara. From what we can tell, her odometer has reset at least 2 times and is on her 3rd rotation to 99,999!! In the 70s, service records were all hand written and kept in the glove box on little cards that looked like old school library cards. We found a few and just did the math. As for where she’s been, its really hard to say, but we know she’s made the cross country trip at least once. We personally have driven her all over North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina

What do you see for the future for Lil Photo Bus?

       Our ultimate goal is to make Lil Bus an amazing brand with a fun fleet of buses. We can’t give away too much, but we can say that you definitely want to keep you eye on us as we grow! 😉 For sure you should be following us on social media!

Thanks Amber! If you’re interested in following the Lil Photo Bus, make sure to head over to their website ( and follow them on Instagram @lilphotobus!


Three Regions Images

Photo: Alicia Wiley

Photo: Amber Robinson

Photo: Bethann Arthur

Photo: Three Regions Images

Check out their website!

May 26th, 2017|