A Charlottesville Vineyard Wedding: Wicker, Parasols, and More

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Lyric Lin and Cory Ayers met as fourth graders at Hunter Elementary School in Raleigh, NC. They stayed in touch throughout the years spent at different middle schools, and Enloe High School brought them back to each other. As they melded into the same friend group, the pair grew closer. “We did a lot of extracurriculars together, like student council and Key Club volunteering,” Lyric says of their teen years.

They started dating during senior year. When Cory committed to the University of Virginia and Lyric to UNC-Chapel Hill shortly after becoming “official,” they also committed to the four years of long distance that would follow. After graduation, they moved to D.C. to start their careers and continue life in the same zip code.

Stunning portrait of bride and groom kissing in a vineyard under a white parasol

Lyric Lin and Cory Ayers tied the knot at Keswick Vineyards in Charlottesville, VA, at 5 p.m. on June 10, 2023.

Bride and groom walk through the vineyard

Let’s dive into this union decades in the making.

After multiple months of planning and coordinating with friends and family coming from as far as Florida and New York City to celebrate, Cory pulled off an epic proposal on November 28, 2021, in Georgetown, D.C. On what was supposed to be a relaxing Sunday after Thanksgiving, Cory suggested they visit the Christmas market in Frederick, Maryland.

Correctly anticipating that Lyric would be too tired to make the hour-long trek there, he sneakily secured tickets to Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Georgetown as the Plan B she’d go for. After a nerve-racking drive to a place he’d already scoped out, Cory led Lyric to where a hidden photographer caught the action. After a resounding “yes,” Lyric was surprised again by about 20 of her closest friends and both their families.

wedding ceremony scene at a vineyard in Virginia

One hundred forty-six guests took in a breathtaking vineyard scene as they watched these elementary school sweethearts (well, not quite, but we love the idea) tie the knot.

Just five days after the engagement, Lyric and Cory picked their date and venue based on their dream photographer’s availability. “We knew we needed Ashley Olson to be our photographer, so we first asked for her available dates, and we picked a venue around her availability!” Lyric says. They also knew Charlottesville would be the nuptial destination since Cory went to UVA, and visits there were always so special to Lyric.

Two families pose outside with bride and groom

Cory’s parents and grandparents also went to school in Charlottesville, so it’s a special place for the whole family.


Bride and groom walk along a pool at an elegant estate

The pair landed on Keswick Vineyards without even touring it, and we can see why.

Black and white photos of Keswick Vineyards grand estate with women walking in parasols

“We fell in love with how elegant and timeless [the venue] felt, and the owner, Cindy, made it feel like it was meant to be!” Lyric says.

During the 18 months between the proposal and the wedding, Lyric and Cory started researching, planning, booking, and designing everything themselves. “I am a designer, so it was a lot of fun putting the vision together and designing all of our invitations and day-of paper,” says Lyric, who soaked up the unhurried engagement season. “We could thoughtfully plan out all the details, but not everything was about the wedding all the time.”
Dreamy film photo of baskets, flower bouquets, and a bottle of bourbon

Lyric thought of touches guests wouldn’t soon forget, like the baskets, parasols, and fans.

In the month leading up to the big day, Erin Cleveland came on board to help with partial planning. “Erin was great at suggesting vendors we should work with, making planning and coordinating a breeze,” Lyric says.

Flat lay spread of bride's wedding stationery suite

This design-savvy bride tackled the stationery herself.

Lyric’s floral vision was inspired by ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of arranging flowers to feel alive and emotive. “I knew I wanted something soft, neutral, but not the typical white and green flower aesthetic,” she adds. “I put my bridesmaids in a champagne gold color for a classy and elegant feel, and the groomsmen wore black tuxedos.” From there, Willow Branch Flowers crafted everything from the ceremony arch to the blooms on the cake in an irresistibly elegant array of neutral light pink, cream, taupe, and white flowers.

Bridesmaids with basket bouquets smiling with bride outside

The muted and warm florals complemented the dresses beautifully and brought in some summer color.

Bridesmaids holding flower bouquets in wicker baskets

And the wicker baskets for the bouquets? BRILLIANT.

Lyric went to six or more dress shops and tried on 30 or more dresses before finding the one. “I actually found it when I was shopping alone and then brought back my maid of honor, Valeria, to see it before I made the final purchase,” she recalls. “It was the first one I truly felt like I didn’t want to take off. It felt classy with a touch of vintage, which I had been looking for the whole time!

Tender wedding moment of bride with her mom and sister

Lyric’s “Eve” gown by Neta Dover features corset boning and Chantilly lace with touches of diamonds and floral appliqué.

Bride and groom celebrate at sunset in front of a floral arch

Cory and Lyric wrote their own vows, and it was one of their favorite parts of the entire wedding day.

After a tender “first look” for her best girls and then one for each other, Lyric and Cory felt lighter before the ceremony. “We were both so nervous, and this calmed our nerves! It was an emotional moment, and I’m so glad we did it,” she says.

Happy scene of bride and groom dig up the bourbon on Saturday morning of wedding

The first look also gave the gang time to dig up the bourbon. And take a shot.

Groomsmen stand in a line with parasols at a vineyard

There is something so classic and striking about identically matching tuxedos like these Vera Wang ones Cory’s groomsmen donned.

Bride looks at a book her friends and husband made her with photos and notes.

Lyric’s nearest surprised her with a book filled with photos and letters chronicling their journey from fourth grade to wedding bells.

During a golden cocktail hour, zucchini fritters, mini crab cakes, summer bruschetta, and tuna tartare circled the terrace as beautifully dressed guests moseyed to the tented reception. The couple’s signature drinks — margarita, old fashion, and ranch water — were scooped up from silver trays by thirsty guests ready to kick off the night.

Bride and groom take in their reception and dinner table decor

Lyric and Cory were completely wowed to see how the reception setup came together.

Wedding table setup under a tent with vineyards in the background.

Lyric kept a wicker through-line with the hanging pendant lamps.

Dinner was a seated buffet meal. “The food was INCREDIBLE,” Lyric says. “We had salmon, chicken with fruit chutney, summer salad, mac and cheese, and rosemary potatoes.” After dinner and a few key dances, the couple cut into an unassuming but striking cake in a trio of mouthwatering flavors: floral funfetti, lemon, and rainbow carrot.

People dancing at a wedding on the dance floor

There was no father-daughter dance. However, Lyric’s dad could be spotted doing splits on the dance floor all night.

A Chick-fil-A delivery came at the night’s end, ensuring the guests had enough energy to dance their way to the late-night parties. Through a cloud of sparklers and cheers, the newlyweds packed into shuttle buses and headed to downtown Charlottesville bars to keep the party going.

Bride and groom kiss through a sparkler exit

Lyric’s second dress was dramatic, classic, and chic.

They recently spent two-and-a-half weeks honeymooning across Japan and Thailand in Tokyo, Kyoto, Bangkok, Koh Samui, and Chiang Mai. And they’ve settled back into a lovely life in Washington D.C. with their new puppy, June, named after their wedding month and the pup’s birth month.

Thanks for taking us back to your big day, Lyric and Cory. And thanks to Ashley Olson for the fabulous photos.



Ceremony & Reception: Keswick Vineyards
Officiant: Christy Harman
Planner & Day-of coordinator: Erin Cleveland of Erin Cleveland Events
Photographer: Ashley Olson Photography
Videography: Piximpress
Flowers: Willow Branch Flowers
Stationery: Dandelion Patch
Hair and makeup: The Veil Hair & Makeup
Bride’s gown: Eve by Neta Dover
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Skye in Champagne Gold by Revelry
Groom’s suit: Indochino
Groomsmen’s suits: Vera Wang
Catering: Lexington Catering Company
Cakes: Cake Bloom
Entertainment: DJ Fit
Rentals: MS Events, Blue Ridge Event Production
Glassware: MS Events
Linens: Lexington Catering Company
Transportation: Easy Riders


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Zoe Yarborough
About the Author Zoe Yarborough

Zoe is a StyleBlueprint staff writer, Charlotte native, Washington & Lee graduate, and Nashville transplant of eleven years. She teaches Pilates, helps manage recording artists, and likes to “research” Germantown’s food scene.

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