If you ask me, getting married on New Year’s Eve is ALWAYS a good idea. Especially for the couple who can’t resist a good party. Playing on the Quirk Hotel’s unique design aesthetic, this couple crafted a celebration anchored in elegance with tasteful, modern flair. Thanks to photography by Jillian Michelle and Katelyn James it’s nearly impossible for me to pick just one favorite moment from the gallery, but that first look on the rooftop? Well, that just might win.
From Jillian Michelle Photography…Calvin and Brittany’s wedding took place on New Year’s Eve at the brand new Quirk Hotel in downtown Richmond, VA. This gorgeous hotel was the perfect backdrop for the classy and intimate wedding that Brittany and Calvin always dreamed of! They had their (emotional and SO sweet) first look on the rooftop of the hotel overlooking the entire city and they danced the night away under the stars in the hotel’s open-air courtyard. The girls wore beautiful ivory, floor-length gowns with fur stoles, while the men were dressed to the nines in black tuxes. From the hotel’s soft color palate, the checkered marble floors, and the cobble stone streets, the day was filled with so much class and charm!
Katelyn James and I (Jillian Michelle) are long-time friends who happened to go to college together with the groom, Calvin! We were so honored when they asked us BOTH to photograph the wedding! I photograph both film and digital while Katelyn shoots solely digital so we truly took a hybrid approach with this wedding! We hope you love this sweet couple’s wedding as much as we do!
From The Bride… Ironically, considering our New Years Eve wedding, timeless. I envisioned classic, elegant, formal and romantic. I didn’t know where or when but I did know there would be brass instruments, tuxes, and plenty of champagne. We also envisioned our wedding as an opportunity to bless others, so we tried our hardest to feature our favorite local businesses and business owners.
We incorporated very little color into our wedding. We wanted sharp contrast between the bridesmaids and groomsmen, to mirror the distinction of my white dress against my husband’s black tux. The bridesmaids wore champagne floor-length dresses, light rabbit fur stoles, and neutral jewelry accents of pearls, diamonds and crystals, to match the beading on my gown. We kept with neutral touches in the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres – white hydrangea, white and cream roses. At the reception, we chose white linens and added accents of brass and gold for arrangement holders, signs, candles and clocks. At midnight, pearl white, clear, gold and champagne balloons fell from above the ball-lit white and ash marble dance floor.
Instead of using a traditional guestbook, which we anticipated boxing up after the wedding, we selected a coffee table book featuring our honeymoon destination. We had guests sign throughout the pages and pictures, and we’ve loved displaying it in our home, as well as looking through it after our adventures in Italy!
I wore “Simone” by Sottero and Midgley. I tried to deny her while trying on all the satin and lace Urban Set Bride (bridal boutique in Richmond, Virginia) had to offer. One thing I definitely didn’t envision for my wedding was a beaded gown. While I love a good wow-factor, I tend to shy away from glam. The combination of beaded embroidered lace over a satin slip dress, not to mention the Swarovski crystals, just screamed New Years Eve. The ivory and light gold fit perfectly with our color palette, and with my Kate Spade princess heels in ivory satin.
The flowers were hand-picked by myself and my maid of honor’s mother, Andrea McDaniel. I guided with a few favorite blooms, colors and a general design for arrangement, and she executed flawlessly. One of the hardest parts of planning your own wedding, in my opinion, is not being available day-of to direct and decorate. Andrea was an extension of myself – of all of my hopes and dreams for every floral and decorative detail of our ceremony and reception site – simple, sleek, stunning. At the request of neutral with frosty, overflowing greenery, Andrea selected Hydrangea, Tulips, Spray roses, Stock, Lisianthus and Freesia in white, accompanied by Vendela roses, Ghobi cream roses, Waxflower, Hypericum, Dusty Miller, Seeded Eucalyptus, Nandina and Camellia leaves.
The cake was designed and baked by two of my bridesmaids, Siobhan Cooper and Christina Aquilina. They captured the style and flavor of our wedding in every tier – almond cake with almond buttercream on the bottom layer, princess cake with vanilla buttercream in the middle, and chocolate cake with almond buttercream on top. Frosting designs included ribbon, pearl and star, with finishing touches of disco dust on the top layer with a few floral accents to tie it all together. Siobhan and Christina also baked our equally impressive groom’s cake, a recreation of my husband’s favorite drink, the Moscow Mule – complete with copper mug, frosted cake chunks for ice cubes and a cookie made into a lime wedge. Entirely edible and utterly delicious.
My advice for other brides it to not be afraid to ask for help – you are going to need it, whether you want it or not. I’m stubborn, particular, and don’t like putting people out. When I wouldn’t ask for help, people offered, and it was a great blessing and relief to let myself say yes. A wedding is a union – let people come together to support and celebrate yours. A wedding is also a beautiful time of discovery, one of our favorites being how rich we are with generous and loving friends and family members. Give your loved-ones the opportunity to care for you, and witness your relationships deepen and grow. Those relationships will carry you through one of the busiest but happiest times of your life.
Photography: Katelyn James Photography | Photography: Jillian Michelle Photography | Floral Design: Andrea McDaniel (family Friend) | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cake: Siobhan Cooper and Christina Aquilina (friends of the bride) | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: St. Giles Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Quirk Hotel | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Hair + Makeup: Emily Artistry | Band: Common Wealth RVA | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Bridal Boutique: Urban Set Bride | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab