We love, love, love our new adopted home state of Colorado, but it is always so wonderful to come home to our beloved Charlottesville. Especially when it’s for a couple like Ellie & Buzz. When we first Skyped with them, they mentioned how much they loved the stories we told with our photos. Well, we soon found out these two had quite the story to tell themselves.

Ellie & Buzz chose Montalto, one of Charlottesville’s most picturesque wedding locations. And instead of having a wedding with some reception music, they had a music festival weekend with a wedding ceremony thrown in. Montalto is a very special place to Ellie & her family and in fact, Montalto doesn’t allow very many weddings up there anymore. When Ellie was very little, her parents lived in an apartment on top of the mountain while her Dad was at UVa. Back then it was known as Brown’s Mountain before Monticello purchased it a few years ago.

This adventurous couple (who engaged 60 feet under water in Japan on a scuba trip when she proposed to him!), along with planner extraordinaire Colleen Miller, designed everything about their wedding weekend as if there were no traditions, no customs, no expectations. Just a reflection of who they were as people and the experiences they wanted their guests to have. They fell in love after learning they both loved the “the crown prince of Zydeco” CJ Chenier. So of course, they were over the moon when he agreed to play their reception with his incomparable Red Hot Louisiana Band.

Festivities got started on Friday and their guests enjoyed food stations from around the world while dancing to an awesome bluegrass band. Ellie, an accomplished violinist, even joined them on stage for a few songs with everyone on their feet beneath the colorful tents. Montalto mountain overlooks all of Charlottesville, so their ceremony in the round was timed for the sunset and after everyone enjoyed a lovely, seated dinner in the historic mansion. Some lucky souls got to enjoy the southern fare on the large covered terrace overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains. We loved everything about it. And them. We hope you enjoy some of our favorite images from their music festival wedding weekend!

Venue: Thomas Jefferson’s Montalto
Event Planner: Colleen Miller of Colleen Miller Events
Officiant: Claire Frances of Sacred Ground Ceremonies
Floral Designer: Hedge Fine Blooms
Catering: Harvest Moon
Videographer: Citrus Ceremonies
Musicians: Hogslop String Band, Jangling Reinharts & CJ Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band

And because this unconventional couple reminded us how fun it is to mix things up a bit and invite the unexpected, we’re going to start of with a little lagniappe for you…fun details and unexpected moments, before getting to our faves of each others.









This is an oathing stone. Learn about finding and prepping one here, and using it in your ceremony here. Such a beautiful and meaningful tradition.


These are flower cannons. Sorry, these super powerful puppies are hand-made by Ellie herself. Not available in stores!


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Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:


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Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:


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Ellie & Buzz, our favorite moments from your wedding include:
Ellie, the (many) moments you played fiddle on stage with the various bands, but especially with CJ Chenier! The look of absolute pride on your teacher’s face as she watched you perform on stage. When all your flower guns went off at the same time after your ceremony, completely filling the air with colorful rose pedals. We couldn’t tell who was more wowed–you or your guests. The way you effortlessly rolled with the punches–and the rolling oathing stones, Buzz, when you discovered just how well it stood up on its own with weight on it. And finally, while not technically a moment, but the fact you married at the same spot on the same mountain where your parents, Ellie, first met and started dating is pretty awesome. 

Congratulations, you two!