Ryan and Elisa’s wedding

Hi friends! Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We are back in San Diego after our trip to Virginia to celebrate these two lovebirds:

Ryan and elisa Ryan and Elisa got married. 🙂



(both photos above from their Instagram hashtag, #ryanandelisa)

We have known them for many years, as the Pilot went to elementary school with Ryan and they’ve been close friends ever since. It’s been a while since we’ve seen them -last time was during a visit to NYC, where they live- and it was amazing to catch up with everyone. Ryan was one of the best men at our wedding, and we were really excited to be able to travel out to the east coast and celebrate their special day.

The boys  1 of 1

(with Robbie! He was a best man at our wedding, and for Ryan and Elisa’s wedding, the Pilot and Robbie were his best men.)

The wedding was in the charming town of Orange, Virginia at the Inn at Willow Grove.

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The Inn at Willow Grove is described via their website as “urban plantation” and was the perfect setting for Elisa and Ryan’s rustic romantic celebration.

The main house is framed by large columns, and while it has a classic and historic feel to it, it’s also clean and modern. The Inn is surrounded by lush, green grounds with multiple acres and paths for walking. 

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Outdoor  1 of 1

It has a restaurant, small boutique cottages throughout the property, large patio, a spa, and a barn + outdoor venue.

The barn  1 of 1

At night:

The barn  1 of 1 2

Us at wedding

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. It was outdoors, and while it was definitely warm outside, the clouds decided to grace the ceremony with the perfect amount of coolness. Elisa’s mom is a rabbi, and was the officiant for the ceremony. Preceding the outdoor ceremony, the Ketuba was indoors, which included their vows and signing the marriage documents. Weddings always make me cry like a baby, and this was no exception; it was gorgeous. Since I was in the back and didn’t want to disturb anyone with photos, I only grabbed one at the end of the ceremony:

Ceremony  1 of 1

(after breaking the glass and yelling, “Mazel Tov!”)

The bridesmaids wore dresses in varying shades of red and blush, while the groomsmen wore navy suits with blush ties, and succulent boutonnieres. Elisa’s dress was absolutely breathtaking: cream with a white sash and lace detail on the bodice.

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You could tell the couple spent a lot of thought into creating the special touches for their wedding weekend. For the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, we were given stickers with our respective teams:

Team ryan  1 of 1

So good.

And after the ceremony, we headed into the barn, where dinner was served.

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The tables were adorned with small stones among the flower arrangements, one of which had the table number on it.

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(At the entrance, we grabbed our tags which were color-coded to indicate our dinner preference, and Elisa had written a small note on the back of each one.)

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When I saw that vegan was one of the dinner options, I knew I had to try it, as I’m a non-vegan lover of vegan food. Also, at the time of RSVP-ing, I was very early in my first trimester and didn’t have the best relationship with meat. 😉

It was a hearty tofu steak with mild curry broth, fennel, and rice noodles:

Tofuu steak

After dinner and toasts (with laughter and all the feels), we headed outdoors for dancing and dessert. Instead of cake, they had a pie bar! It was a huge hit.

Pie bar  1 of 1

A great weekend with great friends. <3

Us  1 of 1

I’ll be back later today with some more travel adventures! What did you do this weekend? Did anyone run RNR San Diego? How’d it go? What’s the most unique dessert option you’ve seen at a wedding?

Have a wonderful morning!



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  1. A pie bar! How fun – and I loved that she included a gluten-free pie option. I had a gf girl at my wedding and we got her a few fancy chocolate bars instead of a slide of cake but I think having regular and gf options is the way to go.

  2. A friend of mine had a chocolate fountain at hers with lots of little dippers like brownies, meringues, berries and bananas – so so good!

  3. What a beautiful couple! I love the color choice for your outfit as well, very romantic. Travelling for weddings is so fun! I can’t wait to do it this summer.

    xx Jill

  4. What a gorgeous wedding! It looks so GREEN there – so pretty! And you look beautiful, my friend!

  5. Omg a pie bar! Yum! The bride looks stunning! What a beautiful wedding!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Love your dress, so pretty! We had brownies and a watermelon bar at our wedding. xo

  7. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a gorgeous wedding! And you look beautiful – I love your dress!

  9. I love Elisa’s dress! It looked like a magical wedding.

    My husband and I served cheesecake at our wedding! The catering staff took orders and guests got to choose from homemade berry compote, homemade caramel sauce, and homemade fudge sauce for a topping. It’s been five years and people still comment about how fun it was to have a non-traditional wedding dessert!

  10. Kelsey Halena says:

    Yummmm I would take pie over cake any day. Went to an event called FitFest this weekend, with fitness classes and health seminars. I took an Oula class – have you taken one before? It was a ton of fun, and unlike anything I had ever done before! Even inspired me to maaaaaybe try a Zumba class, although it’s still a little scary 🙂

  11. That chalkboard door is such a clever idea! I live in an old house full of doors like that, and now I have the idea of turning my kids’ doors into chalkboards just like your picture. They will love that, especially my artsy daughter.

  12. What a stunning wedding!! I always LOVE weddings, haha!

  13. What a gorgeous wedding! Glad you had a good time and love your dress too! You don’t even look pregnant. Sneaky!

  14. A pie bar!!! How fantastic :))

  15. I just went to a wedding with an ice cream sundae bar! It was awesome 🙂

  16. Beautiful! I went to an outdoor, garden wedding in NC this weekend and they had a rustic, dessert wagon with unbelievable cupcakes, cookie jars, and mason jars full of candy. I’ve never felt a love so strong….as the bride and groom, of course….okay and maybe as my love for the dessert wagon 😉

  17. I love your dress and the bride’s wedding dress – both are so beautiful!

    I’m a huge non-vegan lover of vegan food, as well. The vegan option looked absolutely delicious. Yay for tasty wedding food 🙂

  18. Happy Marriage to the newlyweds!! I love weddings so much and they make me cry like a baby too.

    We had a key lime wedding cake since we’re in FL (it was awesome!) and a chocolate fondue bar with all kinds of yummy dippers like cookies, brownie, marshmallow, cheesecake. The best!

  19. Wow! What a beautiful wedding!

  20. Beautiful wedding and I love your dress! The last wedding I went to they just did pastries, but I sort of missed the big cake. 🙂

  21. Awww I absolutely love weddings of all kinds! This one sounds lovely.

    Today is my wedding annversary! <3

  22. A pie bar is my kind of wedding spread! The wedding was so beautiful! I want to work at that plantation and replan my wedding now that Pinterest exists! 😛

  23. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing! And Gina, you look gorgeous as always. I know I’ve busy, but can I request you do a hair video showing how you did your hair for the wedding. I love how it looks. Do u use rollers or a curling iron

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you so much, friend! i could do one. it was super easy. just used my curling iron and pinned it so it went to one side

  24. Erika S. says:

    My good friend had a pie bar at her wedding too…except they were all mini pies and had to go boxes if you needed them…it was great…

  25. Love your dress! It looks great on you!

  26. Your dress is so pretty and flapper-esque! Looks like such a lovely time – wedding season is magical.

  27. We had an ice cream sundae bar at our wedding 🙂 That wedding looks gorgeous!!!! I love outdoor barn weddings.

  28. Pilot looks great all dressed up! What a beautiful venue for a wedding! Also, that dress on you is quite flattering. 🙂 I love the addition of a pie bar! How fun. This turned out to be a unique wedding which I am all about! Thank you for sharing Gina. 🙂

  29. As a unique dessert option, my cousin had an ice cream sundae bar at her reception. As for unique food that isn’t dessert, I once went to a wedding that had a make-your-own bagel bar. Yep. A bagel bar, complete with toaster ovens and little tubs of cream cheese with baskets of different bagels. It was…odd. It made the bride and groom happy, so that’s what matters. But then, they’re divorced now, so…

    • Fitnessista says:

      i love the idea of a sundae bar!
      hahah! wow. was the bagel the meal, or was it in addition to something else? it’s a cute idea, but i think i’d be eating my emergency purse bar haha

      • This was truly the most bizarre wedding. I thought it must be a joke. The wedding ceremony and reception took place all in the same room in a VFW hall, which is fine. The bagels were set out before the ceremony and people were just sitting around eating bagels throughout the whole ceremony and reception like it was totally normal for a wedding. (though they didn’t allow any toasting to occur during the ceremony…can’t have the bell ding during the vows! LOL!) Later, they had a catered dinner that literally cost $1 a head. :oO I was like you. I went for my emergency purse bar instead of the bagels! :o)

  30. The bride’s dress is just breathtaking! Traditional and non-traditional at the same time, I love it!

  31. Brittany says:

    I went to a wedding where they had cupcakes instead of cake. Which I thought was totally normal for a wedding. Until the candy bar broke out. That was the best wedding favor ever!! Ok… I may have snuck a few pieces of chocolate for my purse through out the night! After I burned off all the calories dancing, the pizza came out!!!!!!!!!!! (No the pizza wasn’t the dinner. There was a formal dinner at the beginning of the night.) we got pizza and finished out the night dancing. It was the best wedding I have ever been to!

    • Fitnessista says:

      stop with all of this. PIZZA?! this wins

      • Brittany says:

        Right??!! I kept telling the bride and groom that it was the best wedding I have ever been too! Oh and I almost forgot about the coffee bar! Lattes and cappuccinos and frozen coffee all made right infront of you! I didn’t want the night to end!!

  32. Aww I love weddings I always cry too. I was a bridesmaid at my best friends wedding and in all the photos I am just balling haha

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