Wedding Wednesday – Pippin Hill Bride Jessica Wood Talks Trends, Inspiration, Wedding Advice


This past May, Pippin Hill was thrilled to play host for the wedding of Ms. Jessica Wood—oops! We mean Mrs. Jessica Johnson— who was married on a clear spring day to her college sweetheart, Trent.

We recently sat down with the delightful couple to gain insight into the most memorable moments of their wedding celebration.

Pippin Hill: How did you meet Trent?
Jessica Johnson: Trent and I met at business school in North Carolina. We didn’t spend much time together until we sat next to each other at a Durham Bulls game. I say it fate that put us together, but Trent hints that it may have been a little more strategic than that!

Pippin Hill: What ignited your interest in a Vineyard wedding, and what factors led you to Pippin Hill?
Jessica: We wanted to get married in Charlottesville. Not only is it my hometown, but it was where we spent one of our first weekends away together. We also wanted to incorporate the gorgeous mountain views, which led us to look into a vineyard wedding. Pippin Hill’s simple elegance was what ultimately swayed us.


Pippin Hill: How did you decide on a springtime wedding?
Jessica: Honestly, the weather! We wanted guests to be able to enjoy themselves outside, so that narrowed it down to Spring or Fall. Our color palette—and my favorite flowers, tulips—helped us settle on a springtime wedding.

Pippin Hill: What inspired your wedding?
Jessica: I kept repeating the phrase “rustic elegance” as we were in the planning stages. We wanted our wedding to be timeless, but we also wanted to make sure our guests were comfortable and most importantly, had fun!

Pippin Hill: What was your favorite aspect of the planning process?
Jessica: Can I say the cake and food tasting? Pippin Hill’s catering menu made it hard to narrow our selections to just one choice! It was fun picking out the little details, whether it was flowers or wedding colors, but the best part was seeing how all of our work came together at the end. It speaks volumes about our wedding planners at Easton Events. The day exceeded our expectations. It was all so much fun; I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Pippin Hill: Speaking of doing it all over again, if you could, what would you do differently?
Jessica: Honestly, if there was one thing we’d change, we’d make sure we packed up our leftovers from dinner. It was delicious!

Pippin Hill: When you look back on that magical night, what’s one moment you’ll never forget?
Jessica: There are so many! Walking down the aisle is a very surreal experience; you think about that moment since you’re a little girl, but nothing can quite prepare you for all the emotion it brings. We’ll never forget how special it was to have all our friends and family in one place to help us celebrate our love. One incredibly special moment was our siblings surprising us by singing and playing a song for us at the reception.



Photos by Jen Fariello Photography

Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville Virginia, Easton Events, On the Hill, Our Food, Virginia Venue, Wedding Planners, Wedding venue, Wedding Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescapes

Thanksgiving week is upon us! While you may have your recipes selected and grocery list finalized, don’t forget to create a dining area worthy of your remarkable Thanksgiving meal. Afteral, Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around bountiful harvest with the joys that family and friends bring to the proverbial, (and literal) table.

Classy Comfort : Set a lovely, low key table for a cozy, homey feel. Save your wine bottles and transform them into candle holders, collect mason jars to hold autumn-hued florals and welcome guests to their seat with a holiday message tied to a baguette. Weave in seasonal ferns to give the table some vivaciousness while alluding to the fall harvest. These rustic elements create a casual yet cohesive atmosphere.

Jen Fariello Photography Pat's Floral Design and Rock Paper Scissors Paper Supplies3

Get Personal : Personalize your event by adding name cards to the table just as Lynn of Easton Events has done here. These hand-made custom-designed place cards are simple and will make your guests feel special. Bring the outdoors in with china berry, scented geranium and tree branches for a natural element to your Turkey table.

Blair Friedeman - delight by delight blog

Blair Friedeman - delight by delight blog2

White with a Pop of Color :
An all white fall table is completely unexpected. This tablescape is ornate, elegant and more formal than what we may be used to. However, if you’re looking to make an everlasting impression, and set your Thanksgiving meal apart from any other fall dinners, this may be the route for you! Go simple, but be sure to include at least one colorful element on the table. We recommend florals in mercury glass to tie the “simple, yet elegant” theme together.

Eric Kelly Photography and Southern Bloom Florals

Balance the Table : Stay chic with a bold, striking centerpiece. Think of bright, swaying florals arranged within sections of log for an element of surprise and innovation.The pop of color on the wood table brings this setting to life while keeping it modern. Scatter in glass and mercury votives to add a whimsical flare.

fall-florals-southern-bloomsJen Fariello Photography and Southern Bloom Florals

Delightfully Dim : Set the mood, and dim the lights. Rely on candlelight for an intimate and romantic ambiance. Create an ethereal, woodland tablescape with intricate florals arranged within cross-sections of wood, thick pillar candles situated in large iron lanterns, and earthenware pots of fresh herbs.

Holland Photo Arts Photography and Southern Bloom Florals3photo 1&2 by: Jen Fariello
photo 3&4 by: Tec Petaja, Design: Easton Events, Florals/Decor: Beehive Events
photo 5 by: Eric Kelley Photography, Design: Easton Events, Florals: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs
photo 6&7 by: Jen Fariello, Design: Shindig Weddings, Florals: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs
hoto 8 by: Holland Photo Arts, Design: Easton Events, Florals: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Design 

Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville Virginia, Cville, Easton Events, Events, Florals, On the Hill, Thanksgiving, Tips, Tips and Trends, Upcoming Events, Virginia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recipe: Easy, Elegant Thanksgiving Salad

roasted_beet_salad_with_maple_balsamic_vinaigrette_heroSalad is never going to get the pre-Thanksgiving hype that turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing receive. Nonetheless, a little green goes a long way.

Try Chef Scatena’s simple, easy to follow recipe for beet salad with chevre and sherry vinaigrette. A classic and light salad, it will offer a refreshing counterbalance to the heavy T-giving spread we all crave this time of year.

Beet Salad with Chevre and Sherry Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 Servings

1 Pound Yellow Beets
1 Quart Water
1 Cup White Wine
1⁄2 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
1⁄2 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Sprigs Thyme

Directions: Add all ingredients to a large pot. Simmer for 2 hours or until the beets are tender. Let the beets cool in the liquid. When you can handle the beets, use a dish towel to gently rub the skin off. Quarter and put aside while you prepare the vinaigrette.

1 Shallot Minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Local Honey
1⁄2 Cup Sherry Vinegar
1-11⁄2 Cups Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions: Add shallots, mustard, honey and sherry in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Slowly add oil in a slow stream while whisking other ingredients. It may take all the oil depending on the thickness of the dressing that you like. The dressing will break if you make it in advance. Whisk the dressing right before serving and it will come together.

Assembly: Toss your favorite greens (Chef Scatena recommends baby arugula) with the sherry vinaigrette. Crumble goat cheese or a French Chevre over the greens and serve over the quarter beets. Top with a toasted walnut or candied pecan. Enjoy!

Topics: Charlottesville Cooking, cuisine, culinary, Cville, Fall Cuisine, food and wine pairing, On the Hill, Recipe, Recipes, Salads, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Virginia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Wednesday – Pippin Hill’s Sous Chef, Allie Redshaw, Lives Happily Ever After


This past June, Pippin Hill’s very own sous chef, Allie McGrath, became Mrs. Allie Redshaw when she married fellow Charlottesville Chef, Ian Redshaw.

3Once upon a time, two students with a passion for food met at the Culinary Institute of America during a student cookout. Upon seeing Allie that day, Ian immediately thought, “I’m going to marry this girl.” Six years later, Ian made good on his promise. Channeling the perfect fairytale ending, he proposed to Allie in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disney World.

The following year, the couple married on the summer solstice alongside the banks of the James River in Suffolk, Virginia.

We sat down with Allie to better understand how her experience at Pippin Hill inspired her approach to her very own ceremony and reception.

“I drew a great deal of inspiration from the weddings hosted at Pippin Hill each year. From the color palettes to the floral arrangements, or the overall design, each wedding was unique in its own, and opened my eyes to the endless possibilities for my big day. In the end,  we wanted a whimsical and romantic celebration, simple, yet elegant – like a fairytale.” 


Needless to say, Allie and Ian (the former Chef de Cuisine at Charlottesville restaurants L’Etoile and Tavola, and now involved with the new Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria) took a hands-on approach to their wedding’s catering.

Mrs. Redshaw shared, “It was nerve-racking but relieving to be able to enjoy a meal that someone else prepared, but one that we heavily influenced and modified through to perfection.” 

Ian agreed, and likened his relationship with Allie to the perfect meal of ribeye steak and a fine Tuscan wine. Separately, each is good; but together, they’re perfect.

Congratulations to this talented Chef duo! We couldn’t be happier for you.

Photos 1, 3: Tara Liebeck. Photo 2: Redshaw’s personal collection.

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