Intimate and Elegant Wedding in Middleburg, Virginia

A wonderful and timeless group of memories created by Middleburg Photo.  Christie and Brendan are now happily married and living in Middleburg, VA, and we were thrilled to be part of their big day.  The timeless beauty of one of Middleburg’s most prestigious country inns creates a gorgeous setting for any wedding.  Enjoy Christie’s narrative of their intimate wedding and let us know how we can help make the most important day of your life even more memorable. Shop local!…   Joan S.

Brendan and I met as high school freshmen on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where we both grew up. Though we didn’t date for years, we stayed in touch (and interested!).


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In 2007, after a romantic declaration of love, Brendan came to join me in Middleburg, Virginia, where I had been teaching middle school for the last year. He finally proposed in August 2014, and we knew that we didn’t want to wait through a long engagement to commit to each other officially!

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We didn’t spend time looking at venues, because the Goodstone Inn had become incredibly special to us since moving to the area, and we knew that we wanted to spend the most important day of our lives there.

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The gorgeous scenery, decadent food and wine, and amazingly personalized service make the Goodstone a truly special destination – even though we only live 5 minutes away!


We invited only our closest family members and friends and were able to celebrate an emotional and elegant weekend with our 35 guests, nearly all of whom traveled hundreds of miles to join us. The ceremony was especially moving – we wrote our own vows and included our siblings as groomsmen and readers and our nieces as flower girls. We were married by a close friend and colleague, and my cousin even traveled all the way from Australia to be a bridesmaid!

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We were privileged to work with a few vendors that inspired many of the aesthetic details of our day. Our stationer, Rachel Merkle of Miss Merkle Design’s, eye for color and pattern helped determine the shades that we incorporated throughout the weekend.


Her day of signage also created a connection between the bar, the dinner tables, and the other tables set up throughout the Manor House.


Holly Heider Chapple’s floral designs were soft and classic and tied together our color scheme with our love of all things culinary by incorporating a variety of herbs alongside the blooms.

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My dress, hair, and makeup and Brendan’s custom shawl collar tuxedo felt perfect in the timeless atmosphere of the Goodstone, and our violette wedding cake with blueberry puree and blueberry buttercream was the perfect end to an exceptional meal.

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Goodstone’s Executive Chef, Johnathan Leonard, even prepared a selection of personal sized pies to surprise our guests with later in the night (the wedding was March 14, 2015 – 03.14.15 – Pi Day).

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Throughout the evening, our photographers, Karen and Doug from Middleburg Photo captured the mood beautifully and looking through their work still takes our breath away!



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Here’s to another beautiful set of timeless memories from Middleburg Photo.  We are wishing Brendan and Christie all the best in their new life.  Looking forward to hearing from you… Joan S

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Vendors –

Venue & Catering: Goodstone Inn
Flowers: Holly Heider Chapple Flowers
Bride’s Dress: Oleg Cassini
Engagement and Wedding Rings: DeScenza Diamonds
Hair and Makeup: Jacquelyn Rodriguez of Enlightened Styles
Groom’s Attire: Puritan Clothing (Tuxedo by Samuelsohn)
Paper: Miss Merkle Design
Music: Piemonte Strings and Olivera Music
Cake: Le Gateau de Leveque
Photography: Middleburg Photo []


Sunrise Yoga

Recently Middleburg Photo and I had the pleasure of attending Sunrise Yoga at the Salamander Resort Stable in Middleburg, Virginia. A die hard Pilates (and horse) fanatic, I have always found yoga to be a bit intimidating.  Luckily, yoga doesn’t require a flexible body, just a willing mind.


What could be better than an early morning sunrise, a beautiful vista and a few other folks to start the day with?  Somehow this setting made practicing chaturanga easy!

yoga-14-EditThe true essence of Salamander Resort and Spa can be appreciated by watching the sun beginning to rise.  The combination of the early morning cloud bank framing the verdent paddocks, board fencing and horses grazing was breath taking.  Gazing at the dairy barn and silos, one could envision Middleburg in an earlier time, when the milkman made his rounds with his horse and buggy.


The stable is lovely.  I cannot wait to practice here again.. or ride!


‘Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, “you owe me”  Look what happens with a love like that.  It lights the whole sky.’ ~Hafiz

Spend time today.  Look up.  Look at the sky, the clouds, the sun.  Be thankful.



~ Namaste ~

Joan Strahler  for Middleburg Photo.  Thank you to Yogaletics Wear for the lovely and comfortable leggings. Thank you Salamander Resort and Spa and Horse Yoga Girl for the opportunity to practice and for Middleburg Photo to capture these images. Continue reading

Be My Valentine at Fox Chase Farm

Fox Chase under the full moon February 14, 2014

Fox Chase under the full moon February 14, 2014



Doug and I were honored to be asked by Maureen to hang our canvas prints during the grand opening and Valentine dinner at Fox Chase Farm.  This stable has a lot of history dating back to when I knew it as Colony Farm (I even worked a little bit in the stable as a horsey kid with hunter show trainer Kitty Beverage).  A lot has changed since then and now it has a new name Fox Chase Farm with a remodeled look to the stalls as you can see from the pictures, rustic but charming and provides a perfect venue for your next event. for more information.  Here are the links for       A La Carte Catering  and for all the lighting and set up, Barrel Oak Winery for the wine.  Please check out these local companies its what makes us happy to share the love.

Click here to view all of the photos in the gallery.


Romance by candlelight

Romance by candlelight

A La Carte Catering

A La Carte Catering

Barrel Oak
Barrel Oak


Middleburg Life August

Published Middleburg Life-Cover

Published Middleburg Life-Cover

We are excited that our photograph of Howard Allen was published on the cover of the August issue Middleburg Life.

Howard Allen has been photographing Middleburg both famous and not so famous horses and people since 1955.  “Unforgettable Times” will be available at a book signing September 5th at the National Sporting Library Museum.  It was a honor to take his famous photograph for the local community newspaper, Middleburg Life.  Photo by Douglas Gehlsen.


Twin Oaks Tavern Winery

Twin Oaks Tavern

Twin Oaks Tavern

I chose this picture to show where this winery is located, you have the feeling of adventure as you drive along the tree lined road.

Although this winery is known for its view from the deck, our day was overcast and not one for sunlit vista’s but this just turns your focus around to see things in a different light.



Inside the tavern

Inside the tavern

Twin Oaks has lots of area to explore, bring a picnic, do a wine tasting, relax on the deck with your friends, hope to see you there soon!

Twin Oaks Wine Selection

Twin Oaks Wine Selection

Twin Oaks Tavern Winery

Twin Oaks Tavern Winery

Click here to visit the Twin Oak Tavern Winery website.TwinOaksTavern-2871 TwinOaksTavern-2864

The vineyards are located below the winery so you have several layers to explore with nice secluded places to enjoy the winery.