Posts tagged weddings
Destination Wedding Activities from Giles County

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post is from our friends at Giles County, who are sharing great ideas for entertaining your bridal party or guests during their wedding celebration stay.

When having a destination wedding, one of the hardest tasks is keeping your bridal party and your guests entertained. Giles County is a perfect choice for a destination wedding, not only because of the beautiful locations available, but also because of the endless outdoor activities. There’s a reason it’s called Virginia’s Mountain Playground™.

There are activities well suited for groups such as the Mountain Lake Treetop Adventures rope course, taking a day trip on the New River Water Trail by means of tubing, kayaking, or canoeing; as well as hiking one of the many trails in Giles County. Mill Creek is a great two and half mile round-trip hike that is suitable for large groups of any age as well as families. The most popular trail hike leads up to the Mill Creek Falls which has history as being the town of Narrows’ water source. Fishing is also a popular activity in Giles County, which isn’t surprising due to access to the 37 miles of the New River as well as many creeks that run through Giles. The New River Water Trail offers a multitude of float trips via our eight public boat landings. Any one of the local outfitters and guides can outfit your entire group with all equipment and make the perfect recommendation for you. Information on the different classes of rapids can often be found at the launching site or on the website.

The Palisades is a hot spot for rehearsal dinners, brunch, or bridal lunches. A must see for your guests, history, good food, and more.

In addition to Giles County’s ample outdoor activities there is a mass of historical sites that are open to the public. Some of these historical sites include the Andrew Johnston House, Sinking Creek Bridge, and The Palisades Restaurant. The Palisades Restaurant is located in the old general store in the village of Eggleston. The Palisades is a great place to accommodate large parties for fine dining while taking in a Giles County historical site. Consider them for your rehearsal dinner or bridal lunch. Giles County houses a winery, Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery, as well as a brewery, Right Turn Clyde Brewing Company. Either of these locations would be a great place for you and your guests to rewind and possibly even host a bachelor/bachelorette party.

Your guests can find more ways to make memories in Giles County, Virginia- here’s a top five list:

  1. Taking a float or fishing trip down the New River Water Trail
  2. Hiking one of our many beautiful trails through wilderness or to a scenic overlook
  3. Enjoying live music with dinner at The Palisades
  4. Mountain Lake Lodge activities both indoor and outdoor
  5. Sharing in more moments together with a glass of local wine or beer

Right Turn, Clyde in an old bank building features small batch craft beers, friendly atmosphere and regular live musical performances.

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Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles offers adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at gilescounty.org or by calling 540-921-2079.

wedding pets: how to include furry family on your wedding day

If you ask me, there are few things cuter than dogs in bow ties. Pets are an incredibly important part of our lives and our families. When celebrating your wedding, it’s not uncommon to want to include your four-legged family members, too!

Here are a few tips on including your beloved pooch on your big day.

1.) Have a designated leash holder. The wedding day can be stressful for even the most laid back bride, so make sure you have a specific person handling your pet. Don’t take on the responsibility yourself as you have enough to worry about today. If you don’t want guests and friends missing out on the party, consider hiring a dog trainer to hold the leash.

2.) Know your pet’s personality. Crowds and noise can sometimes make pets nervous, so while your heart may be set on including them in the wedding party, make sure your pet will be okay with it. Otherwise, half the photos might end up with you chasing the dog around! My dog Fisher is pretty shy around strangers, so we waited until back at the house to celebrate in style with him. And don’t forget, most dogs are used to napping the afternoons away while you’re at work, so all this excitement is bound to wear them out. Have your handler gently escort your pet out after you’ve done your photos and are ready to party the night away knowing your pooch is safe and sound – and fast asleep.

3.) Be considerate of your guests. Some people just simply aren’t dog people and whether you understand it or not, you should respect it. Some people also need to avoid animals due to allergies. Have a designated section where your pet will be and let guests know so that they can avoid that area (or even have a list of names for the handler to carry around and know to avoid). On that same note, make sure that wherever your wedding location may be, that they’re pet-friendly and won’t mind having a dog in the area.

4.)  Keep your pet’s attire simple. Most pets I know don’t wear much clothing, so sticking them in a tiny suit or dress might lead to scratching, pulling, and general annoyance for your dog. You don’t want them to be miserable! Stick with a simple bow tie or cute sash unless your pet is used to wearing things like that. If your heart is set on a tiny tuxedo, have your pet wear it for a few days prior to the wedding so he gets used to it and isn’t too uncomfortable.

5.) Expect the unexpected and be prepared. Even the most well-behaved pooch could get distracted walking down the aisle. With all the people, noise, and food, it’s easy to understand how Fido could forget to sit still or not jump excitedly on a human friend they know. And then there’s the old saying: “When you gotta go, you gotta go.” Make sure your handler is okay with and prepared for any accidents or surprises. We suggest that once your pet’s made it down the aisle, have the handler quietly lead them away from the ceremony until it’s time to walk back out (otherwise you open yourself up to a possible ceremony with barking, marking, or squirrel-chasing!).

The Goad-Thomas Wedding. Image by Pat Cori Photography.

The Goad-Thomas Wedding. Image by Pat Cori Photography.

Liz Longweddings, pets in weddings
History of Weddings

By Lydia Weltmann

Your wedding day is one of the biggest rites of passage you can go through, and it has been for centuries. Long before recorded history, men and women would tie the knot and start their own families (even if they didn’t call it tying the knot yet!). Some of our traditions seem like they’ve been around forever, but you may be surprised that many of our modern day wedding habits only date back a few centuries.

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Rings

One of the biggest parts in any modern wedding is the rings. The groom proposes with a diamond ring, and then on the big day the groom and bride exchange simpler wedding bands, usually silver and gold. Diamonds, however, didn’t become popular until 1477, when Archduke Maximilian I proposed to Mary of Burgundy. The ring features several flat diamonds in the shape of an ‘M.’

Back in the cavemen days, men would tie grass around their wives’ ankles, wrists, and waists in an effort to control their spirits. Since then, the idea of binding the wives has reduced to just a finger. The first recorded mention of rings was in Egypt in 2800 BCE. These rings were simple gold or silver wire wrapped around the third finger of the left hand. This particular finger was chosen because it was believed there was a vein in that finger that went all the way to the heart, the vena amoris.

During the second century, grooms gave their brides a gold ring to wear during the ceremony and during special events. He also gave her an iron ring to wear at home, according to Pliny the Elder. The tradition of engagement rings dates back to 860, when Pope Nicholas I decreed that engagement rings are required of those who wish to marry. Peasants in the middle ages, too poor to afford rings, would break a coin in half, one half for the groom and the other for the bride.

Diamonds became vogue in the late 1800’s after a diamond mine was discovered in Cape Colony in South Africa and created a huge increase in the supply. Using gems had already become popular, but diamonds were by far the most valuable and therefore the most desired.

Flowers

Today, it’s common to see flowers everywhere you look at a wedding. The bridesmaids carry them, the venue is covered in them, and let’s not forget the bouquet the bride carries and later throws. But did you know decorating the church with them and carrying floral bouquets only started in the late 1500’s?

In medieval ages, often the only flowers were worn as a flower crown. And ‘bouquets’ usually consisted of various herbs, especially garlic. The different herbs each had different meanings, such as sage for wisdom or dill for lust. Garlic was also common in these arrangements, because they believed the smell would keep evil spirits away.

It became popular during Elizabethan times for bridesmaids to make bouquets for the guests and a garland of rosemary and roses for the bride. The bride would carry the garland until the end of the ceremony, and then she’d put it on her head. The tradition of decorating the church didn’t become popular until the Victorian age. On top of that, grooms would wear a flower in their lapel. In the country, the bride would walk to the chapel on a carpet of flower blossoms.

Cakes

You think wedding, you think cake. You think tall, three or four or five layers of cake, decorated with white icing and fancy writing. This custom, however, is less than 150 years old.

Back in ancient Rome, guests used to break bread over the newlyweds, symbolizing fertility, in much the same way as we throw rice. In medieval England, guests used to bring lots of little cakes. They would then stack these cakes and the bride and groom had to try and kiss over the top of it. If they successfully kissed, it was considered a good omen for the marriage. Later, brides would make what was called a bride pie and put a glass ring in it. It was considered bad luck not to take a piece of the bride pie, and whoever got the glass ring was said to be the next to marry. This custom slowly died out in favor of sweeter cakes and fruit pies.

The Wedding Party

It turns out marrying with your friends lined up behind you is a tradition that goes back quite a few years. Grooms had groomsmen first, dating all way back to the “Wedding by Capture” era. The groomsmen played the role of a small army, helping the groom fight off angry relatives while he married the bride.

Bridesmaids came into the picture much later, when weddings were actually planned. They helped the bride get ready, much the same way they do today.

The reason groomsmen and bridesmaids are typically dressed up like the bride and groom is because people used to believe it served as protection against evil. Evil spirits wishing to harm the newlyweds would be confused as to who was the bride and groom.