The Minks Find a Venue

Bear with me. Our decision on this needs a little background…

Back when I was in grad school in Boston, I had a fairly elaborate plan for my career. I had a list of places I decided (at 22 years old) I was going to work. During my first step in that plan, someone I admired started working for a start-up. Start-ups don’t really happen in my field these days. He encouraged me to interview for a position reporting to him. It was risky. It was a total deviation from my plan. I took the leap and joined a team of people who worked at a place that didn’t exist.

My years at that start-up were amazing, stressful, enlightening, challenging, and so much more. The experience made me very comfortable with throwing away “the plan.” That philosophy is what led me to Charlottesville (not part of the original plan). It made me willing to experiment and allowed me to be comfortable with things that lack a track record but have great potential.

That experience is why I was comfortable signing on with a venue that looked like this when we visited:

Photo by Miss Mink

It wasn’t all dirt. There was a structure on the land…

Photo by Miss Mink

Some people might have run in the other direction upon seeing wood framing without a roof or a floor, but I laughed when I saw this place for the first time. It reminded me of those early years at that start-up. Our venue is called Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.

The team behind Pippin Hill is fantastic. As I mentioned in my last post, Mr. Mink worked with Executive Chef Craig Hartman, and the rest of the team is comprised of people with experience in hospitality, event planning, and wine making. A friend of Mr. Mink’s told us that the Chef de Cuisine at one of the top restaurants in the area was joining the Pippin Hill team once they started having events. As people who love great local food, this was exciting news for us!

Image via Pippin Hill’s Facebook page

We continued to visit venues and I began following Pippin Hill’s progress via their Facebook page, where they posted construction photos almost daily.

Image via Pippin Hill’s Facebook page

We joined the very small group of Pippin Hill couples. I have a feeling the number of Pippin Hill brides will grow quickly now that they are open.  I’ll share pictures of our first visit after construction was completed in a future post.

From Pippin Hill’s Facebook page / Photo by Jack Looney Photography

By the way, I alluded to encountering some surprise fees as we spoke with other venues in my last post. At the end of the day, the newcomers were the most up front about costs. The more established venues quickly fell off our list because the costs that weren’t completely apparent up front often doubled the cost of using them. While we still visit those venues for tastings and special dinners, we weren’t comfortable having our wedding at them.

We can’t be the only ones who are comfortable with a little risk. Would you consider booking a vendor that was just starting up? If you did book such a vendor, what did they do that made you comfortable with them?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Tasting: Take Two
Back to My Roots
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  1. Member
    ebmarshall 112 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:32 pm

    I often get back to Charlottesville with my husband and am always looking for new restaurants. Could you suggest any as you said that you guys like local food?

  2. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:05 pm

    @ebmarshall: Our new favorite is Brookville! The chef is Harrison Keevil and he is amazing! Everything is locally sourced. He has a love affair with bacon, but I’m not a big meat eater and I’m still happy there. It’s on the downtown mall, over Escafe.

    We also love Tempo, a new French fusion place. It’s owned by Stuart Cunningham, who used to be partner at Fleurie.

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