Tag Archives: wedding

Today in Rip Payne

11 Jul

by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1970, Rip Payne photographed the Weakly wedding.  The happy pair was smart and opted for an indoor wedding, to which Rip agreed.  As I remarked yesterday, it seems Rip was not a fan of the July heat, and 1970 is no exception to this.  We only have two other documented cases of him venturing out—one of which was another wedding, and the other being a photo shoot with the “Tupperware Girls” (just you wait!).  At least Rip has his priorities straight.

Here’s a couple quick highlights on these:

  1. Bursts of color: Yellow and green? You have my heart dear Weakly.  Having just returned from my own honeymoon in Jamaica, I’ve been going through withdrawal of many things: relaxation time, beach, and waves, among other things.  I was slightly prepared for these things, though.  Being a beach bum at heart, I know that adjusting back to life in the mountains can be hard after any time near surf and sand. The thing that has shocked me the most was the complete difference in COLOR between Jamaica and Virginia.  I’m talking bright blue ocean and pure white sand, brilliant flora in golden yellows, burstingly bright corals and reds, and the most purely green foliage.  And then we come back to a scorched earth and a few variations on red-brown in the Jeffersonian architecture of Charlottesville.  Blech!  So, Weakly and Payne, thank you for bringing color back to me, if only in pictures!
  2. Oftentimes in these, the brides look, well, a little terrified (at least pre-ceremony).  Understandable.  Our Weakly bride, though, looks positively radiant.

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Today in Rip Payne

9 Jul

by Emma Earnst


Today in 1955, Rip Payne spent his day as he so often did, photographing a wedding.  To be precise, this was the Duval wedding, which took place at the University Chapel.

Having spent more time in another local Gothic-style church, I find myself constantly wanting to proclaim that Rip was wrong in his identifications of the Chapel vs. Christ Episcopal Church (these are probably the two most popular wedding venues during this time, at least judging from these RP photos), and (almost!) always being wrong.  Consider the following images of the interiors of these two churches:

University Chapel

Christ Episcopal Church

Looking at Rip’s black and white negatives, I admit, at first glance I often mistake one for the other.  Luckily, the stained glass behind the altars differs greatly and provides a good identifier.

Anyhow, Rip Payne spent his day in University Chapel  (note the stained glass) on this day in 1955, celebrating yet another happy Charlottesville nuptial:

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Today in Rip Payne

30 May

by Emma Earnst


On this day in 1970, Rip Payne spent the day at Christ Episcopal Church, photographing the Rumble wedding (as he named it).  As I’m going to be married there in just two and half weeks myself, you know I couldn’t resist!

I’ll let you enjoy after a few quick observations:

  1. Seafoam green is back.  That only took like 42 years… sheesh.
  2. I am not sure I’ll ever get used to bridesmaids wearing veils.
  3. Is this not one of the most unhappy-looking brides you have ever seen?  I don’t want to judge, because I myself have a face that never cooperates in pictures.  But, here I am, judging nonetheless.  Time to go practice in the mirror, me!
  4. Awesome choice of costume change, and even better car decorating.


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Today in Rip Payne

4 May

by Emma Earnst


Today in 1968, Rip Payne photographed bride Nancy Kirby with some of her ladies-in-waiting, presumably at her home.

Kirby looks highly uncomfortable at first, but eventually warms up to the camera.

In typical Rip Payne fashion, there are a couple of images in this series which make very little sense. Think of it what you may.

My only question: what’s with everyone wearing a veil?

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And, obviously, best dress I’ve seen so far. Props, girl!

Today in Rip Payne

3 May

by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1965, Rip Payne documented the dedication of the new General Electric building.  In a uniquely GE way, rather than cut a ribbon or crack open a bottle of champagne, the big wigs lined up and turned on some lights!  WINA offered some sponsorship (microphones), and the tuxedo-clad fellows then dined banquet style. Since the 1980s, GE’s Intelligent Platforms (their computer technology segment) has been headquartered out of Charlottesville (they are located wayyy up 29 North), but not the same building that these men dedicated back in ’65.

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Then, having now fully entered wedding season, Rip Payne spent this day in 1986 photographing Robin Hanger’s big day. And lets just say, there’s no doubting we’re in the 80’s here, kids.  We’re talking big hair, a bigger veil, puffy sleeves, and the tannest skin you’ve ever seen. It is fantastic. I know you will enjoy these!

By the way, Robin’s wedding, like my own upcoming nuptials will, took place in Christ Episcopal Church. But they let her put down a white runner. Hmmm…

44 days!

Today in Rip Payne

27 Apr
by Emma Earnst

Throughout the 1960s, on this day, Rip Payne stayed pretty busy.

On this day in 1984, my parents also stayed pretty busy, as they were getting married. Happy Anniversary!!

They are going to kill me for this...

Just for the record, Rip Payne had nothing to do with that picture.  He did, however, have quite a lot to do with the rest of these.

First up, in 1961, Rip Payne snapped a single shot of a woman being awarded (inducted?) by the Order of Easter Star, a co-ed fraternal organization.  According to their website, the Order is a spiritual, though not religious, organization with the specific values of charity, education, fraternity, and science.  It is a suborder of Freemasonry, and requires all members to have Masonic connections. Today, the Charlottesville Eastern Star Order resides at 425 East Main Street (pictured to the left), with masonic symbols clearly marking the territory.


Then, in 1965, Rip Payne captured the marquis advertising the Paramount Theater’s showing of The Night Walker. The film was directed by William Castle and starred Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwick in her final feature film. The film, according to reviews, wasn’t all that great. But, the Paramount is truly in all its glory here.  It is set on what was still a street-scape at this time (not the paved pedestrian mall of today), and I can just picture it all lit up against the night sky with those big bright lights.  Can you tell that I have my rose-colored glasses on?

Finally, in 1968, Rip Payne documented another awards ceremony, this time at a different type of fraternal organization, Leggett’s.  Leggett’s was the precursor to the Belk we know today, and at this time resided on the “Mall” (or, more appropriately, East Main before it was the Mall) not Fashion Square Mall, where Belk now lives. I guess they didn’t get very creative with their changes.





Don’t you just love cat-eye glasses?!?!

I will leave you with this:

Rip Payne stayed busy today.  My parents had the most important day of their lives today.  The lady in the picture above knew enough to drink her coffee and drink it black today.  Don’t let the spirit die.  Be productive, and accomplish something great today!

Today in Rip Payne

28 Mar
by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1946, Rip Payne spent the day surrounded by celebration and love.  He was camped out at UVA Chapel and Farmington Country Club, shooting the wedding reception of Sam Gnaloms and his new wife.*

Being now fully immersed in planning my own nuptials, I’d like to take a moment to be thankful that thus far no one has been murdered.  And also to remember that this right here is what its all about….Just look how happy Grandma is!  Only 80 days!!

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*Rip was a notoriously terrible speller, and just as terrible at writing words that can be read by the normal, trained eye.  “Gnaloms” is our best guess in this instance of chicken scratch.