Rachel & Justin’s Fall Wedding

By Terry Meadows

Rachel and Justin's paths crossed in the fall of 2018. Rachel was in her senior year and Justin in his junior year when a mutual friend's lakeside birthday gathering brought them together. That weekend, filled with jet skiing, tubing, and heartfelt conversations, marked the beginning of their connection. A Virginia Tech football game watch party soon after saw them getting to know each other better.

Their relationship officially started on September 21, 2018, after a series of dates at their favorite spot in Blacksburg. Their time at Virginia Tech was filled with shared studies, games, and explorations of the local trails and wineries, making the most of their moments together before Rachel's graduation.

Post-graduation, they navigated a long-distance relationship until Justin's graduation. Before starting his new job, they embarked on a memorable trip to the National Parks with friends. During this adventure, Justin planned a surprise proposal at Arches National Park's Delicate Arch, where amidst a crowd of onlookers, Rachel said "Yes" to a lifetime together.


Downtown Leesburg


Rehearsal Dinner

Prime Rib, Salmon  |  Vanilla and Chocolate Mini Cupcakes


Dress by Ellie's Bridal Boutique, Alexandria


Suit by Generation Tux


Dresses by Birdy Grey  |  Suits by Generation Tux

"We did our first look at the willow tree and the exclusivity of the location made the moment extra special. "

Processional Music

Rachel :  “A Thousand Years”  |  Justin:  “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

The venue's property is absolutely beautiful. It's tucked away perfectly and feels very private. We wanted a modern barn with an outdoor ceremony, and the stone patio with the pergola was perfect!”


First Dance

"Growing Old With You"

"We loved the way the song captured the story of falling in love, experiencing life's adventures and growing old together. Towards the end of the song, both sets of our parents, who set wonderful examples of a loving marriage, joined us to share the special moment with us."


Lemon Herb Chicken with Vegetable Medley and Garlic Mashed Potatoes  |  Oreo Cheesecake Bites

Red Velvet with French Vanilla Buttercream

What advice would you give to other wedding couples?

Go with Zion Springs! It was the best decision we made and we could not have been happier with the venue, quality of the services the provide, and support throughout the whole process!

Enjoy wedding planning! Make the most of it and make it fun! We involved our friends and family with creating decorations and mailing invites. You can make your wedding day as unique and special as possible, so get creative!

Zion's team loves to make each wedding personalized to the bride and groom. Some other unique things we did at our wedding: - Ring warming by our grandmothers - Justin and I both only had one grandparent each who was with us for our wedding day. We had our grandmothers hold and protect our wedding bands throughout the ceremony until it was time for the ring exchange.

Wine box ceremony - We wanted to include some unity ceremony, and as wine lovers, we conducted a wine box ceremony. In addition to the special wine we placed in the box, to open and enjoy on our five year wedding anniversary, we each wrote a heartfelt letter to each other, and had our parents include a letter to us with their hopes for our marriage and advice.

Outfit change - I did an outfit change once the party/dancing began and had the DJ play a song when I came back in to surprise the guests, it was so fun!

Private Last Dance - Before walking out of the barn doors into the sparkler send-off, we enjoyed one more moment alone in the barn together and danced to our other favorite song "Beautiful Crazy" by Luke Combs as husband and wife."

Zion Springs: The Idyllic Backdrop for Your Wedding Day Bliss

If you're feeling inspired and eager to see more of what could be your dream wedding, we invite you to explore our Real Weddings stories on our Answers and Advice page. Here, you'll discover a world of unique celebrations that have unfolded at Zion Springs.

As an all-inclusive wedding venue, we're dedicated to removing the complexities of wedding planning, allowing you to focus on what truly matters - celebrating your love. Our extensive collection of articles is crafted to guide you through every step of your wedding journey, ensuring that your special day is not just memorable, but also your "best day ever". 

All photos in this article are courtesy of Zion Springs' in-house photographer.