The Minks’ Risk Rewarded: A Look Inside the Venue That Didn’t Exist

In my last post, I told you about how we signed a contract to have our wedding at a vineyard that didn’t exist yet. The property was a construction site. We saw architectural plans and took a tremendous leap based on those renderings and the reputations of the people involved in the project. Six months later, we made our visit visit to Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards. Here is what we saw where we had previously seen simple wood framing sitting in the dirt:


Entrance to the granary, where our reception will be held / Photo by Miss Mink

We visited on the first day the vineyard’s tasting room was officially open, so we showed ourselves around. I actually felt dizzy as we made our way through. I couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Want to come on the tour?

Just to the left of the granary is a large covered veranda. The grass to the left is the ceremony site. In the distance is the tasting room.


The covered veranda at Pippin Hill / Photo by Miss Mink

The entrance hall has a massive stone table and furniture tucked into the corners. The main room is just beyond. The steps to the bridal loft are on the right side of this room. This is where I’ll probably wait for the cue to walk down the aisle.


Pippin Hill foyer / Photo by Miss Mink

The main reception space is airy but not cavernous. It’ll be great for our small wedding, but it would probably hold larger weddings comfortably. I think the dark color on the rafters and the heavy linen drapes help make the room feel cozy, don’t you?


Pippin Hill ballroom / Photo by Miss Mink

The bridal loft was probably the most surprising stop on our tour. Many of the vineyards in the area have little rooms for the bride to get ready in, but the people behind Pippin Hill made sure this space was spacious and elegant. It also overlooks the main entrance, so the bridal party can peek at people as they arrive.


Pippin Hill bridal loft / Photo by Miss Mink

As we came into this room, I was speechless. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. It really hit me that “this is where I’m going to put on my wedding gown.” I could almost see myself in the three-way mirror on the right side of the room…


Pippin Hill bridal loft / Photo by Miss Mink

I could see hair and makeup being done off to the left side of the room and imagined having a little time to relax in that beautiful chaise longue…


Pippin Hill bridal loft / Photo by Miss Mink

The armoire in the room is there just for those iconic dress-on-the-hanger shots that so many of us swoon over when we read the recaps that the married bees post.


Pippin Hill bridal loft armoire / Photo by Miss Mink

And the sliding doors at the entrance make sure we can take a look at the reception space while we’re getting ready.


Pippin Hill bridal loft / Photo by Miss Mink

When we finally got to the tasting room to try some of the wines, my head was spinning. I could not believe that taking a risk and booking a venue that was essentially a hill of red clay six months prior had turned out so well.

Would you have taken the risk we did? If you have taken a risk, did you have a similar reward?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Two Warblers, One Suitcase
Add a comment


  1. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:53 am

    @Jane Greenough: Now I’m prowling through your blog! Thanks for the introduction, Jane! I love your style!

    @guess26grl: Thanks!

    @Mrs. Pony: EEK! I can’t wait until it’s my little space for a day. 🙂

  2. Member
    hardtoconcentrate 4153 posts, Honey bee @ 7:21 am

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents that Pippin Hill is beautiful!!! We looked at Pippin Hill when we got engaged, and while we ended up choosing Keswick Vineyards, we loved Pippin Hill, too. I was actually just there last weekend with a friend and was once again stunned by how pretty it is. Your wedding is going to be gorgeous!!

  3. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:25 am

    @angarrett81: Hooray for another Charlottesville bride! I hope you’ll stick around and maybe join the boards. There aren’t enough of us here!

    I’m sure you recognize your Keswick Vineyards from my “Shopping for a venue” post:

    Al and Cindy are WONDERFUl! We actually referred some friends to them because we were so impressed with what they are doing there.

  4. Member
    hardtoconcentrate 4153 posts, Honey bee @ 7:37 am

    @Miss Mink: I had not seen that post before but I do recognize it in there now! I’m pretty sure we visited the same “established vineyard” in your post, too. I’m definitely sticking around – I’m newly OBSESSED with the bee and am on here every day! Can’t wait to hear more about your wedding.

  5. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:40 am

    @angarrett81: Hee hee! My ring bearers and flower girl would love that swing set. 😉

    I almost booked over that!

  6. Member
    hardtoconcentrate 4153 posts, Honey bee @ 7:47 am

    Haha yes the swingset is a nice touch…although we won’t have kids at the wedding other than my preteen nieces so it’ll probably be lost on us. BTW I’ve now added your blog to another page I can check out while I’m obsessing over wedding planning. This is taking over my life….but I’m kinda ok with that… 😉

  7. graywolf Bee
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 2:39 pm

    i had to go through the archives to find this post! one of my BMs had the exact same experience (she was one of the first weddings there) and i couldnt believe how gorg it was.

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