countryside wedding in culpeper, va

This past weekend my parents and I took a lovely trip to a place I had always passed but never stopped to explore: Culpeper, Virginia. Our little weekend was Friday to Sunday for a wedding of a dear friend of mine, Chloe (who I most certainly have on the blog somewhere!)

Friday March 17, 2023

My parents and I left New York around 1pm and took the Amtrak to Culpeper. We got there by 7ish. This was my first experience stepping off the train at Culpeper and I have to say I really like the view. There’s an Episcopal church right by the train station. There’s an adorable LOVE sign, and of course the tree is blooming (may be a magnolia).

The unfortunate realization we had about Culpeper is that it’s not as expansive as Charlottesville. AKA you should probably rent a car or just drive down here. They don’t really have Uber here, but we did meet a lovely guy named Jackson who does do taxi service. He is who we relied on while in Culpeper. 

We also ran into some hotel difficulties while we were here, so I won’t say the first place we stayed, but the second place we stayed was the IHG Holiday Inn Express, and it was by far the most luxurious place I’ve ever stayed in. It was spacious, very clean, just all around a win. Highly recommend this hotel for the service and for a classy experience!

Our first night we stayed at an alternative hotel (the one that shall not be named) and just unpacked, showered, and relaxed. My dad, convinced by my mom, arranged for the second hotel. He was hoping that there would be people we knew at that hotel that were also going to the wedding, but unfortunately we never did find them.

Related Post: returning to the dear place I called home

Saturday March 18, 2023

We switched hotels in the early morning and experienced such an upgrade that it was luxurious. A good hotel is worth the price tag.

My friend Chloe’s wedding was at Rixeyville Manor, a very fancy home for a venue. So I spent the early afternoon getting ready. 

Although I was super excited to watch my friend Chloe get married (one of our first conversations we talked about her one day getting married and HERE WE ARE), it did hit me how much my friends are on such different paths than I. I feel like I’m more lost than I realized when it comes to post-grad, and it’s been such an unexpected experience. I thought that I’d have a job and have more clarity, and I’ve been living in such a state of confusion that it made me disheartened. Proverbs says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” and I experienced that the week before the wedding. Not because of the wedding, but because an opportunity I was hoping would pan out didn’t. Also, something else that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL to pan out did, and now I’m feeling even more confused and frustrated. 

Sometimes I envy other people’s stories. Not the specifics (I am in no way trying to get married anytime soon), but I long for the certainty. I long for the answers I don’t have. I’m tired of living a life that makes no sense to everyone else but most of all to me. Anyway, if you’re feeling the same, know that I’m right there with you. I don’t have ANY answers at all, but you’re welcome to join me anytime if you want to chat over a cup of tea.

Back to the wedding.

I don’t usually wear makeup so my makeup look was ~very~ experimental, but I did enjoy my dress. I only wish it was a little bit longer. 

Culpeper begins to give you a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and those mountains always feel like coming home to me. 

When I first got the wedding, I actually didn’t recognize anyone, but I had such a dear moment with one of my friends Mary (who has also been on the blog before). We didn’t realize the other person was going to be there, but as soon as she saw me, she gasped and came straight to hug me. I love her!

I don’t have any photos of the ceremony because they requested that we didn’t take any. But I do have photos of this German log activity, which I didn’t realize was a tradition people did until I watched it happen before my eyes.

The food was delicious! Mashed potatoes with bacon, cheese, and sour cream, green beans, shrimp pasta, salad with nuts and strawberries, grilled chicken, and bread. I talked with a different Chloe I was seated next to (who has been featured on IG). We talked about friendship changes, our people we knew potentially getting married, and mutual friends we didn’t know we had. 

The band was incredible! Honestly, it sounds like (see what I did there) a live band is worth the investment!!! The bride’s dad sang a song! There was a fancy photo booth. I attempted to drink a Moscow Mule. There were lots of throwback songs, and after all, Taylor Swift was blasted, which was to be expected. A fun time overall.

I got back to the hotel and finished reading The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek, the second book in the series. It was delightful, it was funny and it was poignant. 

Related Post: a story on friendship: a trip to New Haven

Sunday March 19, 2023

The hotel breakfast was by far my favorite breakfast of any hotel ever. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it. I had eggs, bacon, a biscuit, an Earl Grey alongside orange juice, and a cinnamon roll. Just delightful! My one tiny qualm about the hotel is that the view wasn’t great, but considering we booked it on Friday, I’m not mad at it at all.

By 11am, we were at the train station but still had an hour left. So my mom and I explored downtown Culpeper and my dad rejoiced in a local newspaper. The train station is probably the tiniest but also the most well decorated Amtrak station I’ve been inside. Although I really did enjoy Union Station in Connecticut. 

The downtown part of Culpeper was so cute. It was full of little storefronts–a Thai place my parents went to on Saturday, a chocolate store, pet places, and more. 

We ended up stopping at the Raven’s Nest, which was so eclectic inside, and I got a lavender London Fog. It was good but I didn’t feel like I got enough lavender. 

And then we hopped on the train and made our way back to New York.

Signing off,


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