Despite a storm knocking out water and electricity the night before the wedding and a last minute change of venue thanks to a hero wedding planner, Claire Ward of Simply Chic Events , this wedding looks as if it went off without a hitch. And what’s so incredibly beautiful is that all of that storm fall out really drove home the idea that a wedding day is about the love; simple as that. Take a look at the full gallery of images captured by Eli Turner Studios for even more Alexandria festivities. It’s a beauty both inside and out.

From the Bride… After eight wonderful years of dating and ten months of wedding planning, we woke up on the morning of our wedding more than excited to walk down the aisle and say “I do!”  Unfortunately, the night before our wedding, a derecho (a straight-line wind storm) hit the DC metro area, causing significant destruction. Millions of residents lost power.  We woke up on the morning of June 30th, 2012 to learn that our wedding venue had lost water and power and we would not be able to hold our wedding there. We were devastated that we might have to cancel the wedding, but our AMAZING wedding planner, Claire Ward, took control of the situation and made sure that despite the loss of power and lack of cell phone service, we would have a wonderful, memorable and beautiful wedding. Claire tracked down a working phone and called around to venues in the area. We were beyond lucky that she found the Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel in Old Town Alexandria, that could accommodate us and our 130 guests. In five hours, Claire, the caterers at Main Event, the florists at Petal’s Edge, the wonderful staff at the Lorien and my dad created our special day in an entirely new venue. When I walked down the aisle, it was the first time I had seen the ceremony space!

Our guests were so wonderful and flexible, and everyone laughed, danced and had a great time. Our friend Amanda’s train from New York was delayed for four hours in Philly, and after it was cancelled, she took a cab to the airport, rented a car and drove to Virginia for the wedding. It was truly an act of love! The ceremony and reception felt even more intimate and familial because of what we had all been through together. Our parents, groomsmen and bridesmaids supported us throughout the day and made sure we remembered what was really important — we were getting married!

We truly were blessed to have Claire and our other wonderful vendors, including our DJ Rusty, who brought the house down on the dance floor! We were so excited that almost all of our original decorations made it from our original venue to the Lorien. They even welcomed our puppy, Barton, who was our handsome ring bearer. However, after months of fixating on details, we realized that all that really mattered was marrying the love of your life while your closest friends and family witness and celebrate with you! After being showered with lavender during our send-off, we ran to the car to find Claire driving — our limo couldn’t make it because of the storm. But it was still the perfect ending to a perfect night that started under less than perfect circumstances!

Wedding Photography: Eli Turner Studios / Wedding Venue: Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Virginia / Event Planning: Claire Ward of Simply Chic Events / Floral Design: Petal’s Edge Floral Design / Officiant: Bill Cochran / Catering: Main Event Caterers / Wedding Invitations + Wedding Day Paper Goods: NMICreations / DJ: Rusty of DJ D-Mac & Associates / Texas Mr and Mrs. Signs: WoodenCreationsbyTJ / Longhorn Cake Toppers: The Pink Koala / Table Numbers: Sweettomyheart / Window Pane Menus: Dara Lipton (A Bridesmaid) / Balsa Bouquets, Hair Pins + Boutonnieres: ReflectGlamour / Favors: The Bride & Groom / Wedding Dress: Pronovias / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade

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