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Summer Garden Wedding at River Farm

An al fresco affair at River Farm guarantees one thing for sure: an oh-so lovely landscape. As the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society, the gorgeous gardens are a built-in bonus. Throw in a dash of Dogwood Events, like this Bride right here, and your wedding day florals get a double dose of pretty. Take some time to take that all in, and pop in the gallery by Sweet Tea Photography.

From the Bride… Adam and I met while we were students at Auburn University. We actually met while we were out with friends on Toomer’s Corner (which if you know SEC football, you know the spot)! We began spending almost every day together. On October 26, 2009, Adam asked me to be his girlfriend after I decided to make a lovely home cooked meal for us to enjoy…burnt chicken (luckily, he saw past that culinary calamity). He had brought a bottle of wine to my apartment that night which he later gave me the cork that had 10-26-09 written on it (we still have it).

We were married on May 25th at River Farm, in Alexandria, Virginia. I can’t say enough good things about our wedding venue. River Farm was once the home to George Washington but now serves as the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society. I loved the history behind the property and the landscape is stunning. I’ve always envisioned myself getting married somewhere beautiful outdoors in Virginia, so the gardens at River Farm were perfect. I wanted the event to be inviting, romantic and intimate, which I think we certainly accomplished.

I worked hard putting all the little crafty details together because I just had so much fun doing it! We went antiquing on multiple occasions to find unique items for centerpieces and decorations. One day, I got the idea to have old sewing machine drawers holding assorted glass jars with flowers for our centerpieces. We found a bunch of these drawers at antique stores but also used some from the old sewing machine that my grandmother made her wedding dress with, so that was special. Second to the centerpieces, my favorite element was our cupcake bar. I found mismatched cake stands, crates for height, rustic decorations and created cute names for each of the delicious cupcakes then wrote out descriptions on a chalkboard sign. I displayed our seating chart on window panes; we had customized koozies as favors, a Memorial Day display, and an assortment of unique elements that pulled it all together. I told you I didn’t think I could choose!

My most favorite moment of the day was during our ceremony. The actual exchanging of vows seems to be a part that guests forget about, but to us, that moment was so meaningful. We had written our vows and given them to each other to read the morning of the wedding. During the ceremony, we put those written vows in a box. What is even more special is that we decided that for each anniversary we have, we will write a letter to each other to put in that box. The love notes and stories we will have written to each other throughout our life will be a great treasure for us to look back on.

I was in love with my veil. Originally I didn’t even want one but the second I saw myself in that veil, I truly felt like a bride. As it turns out, I wore it the whole night (even to the hotel bar after the reception)!

I would tell future brides to be yourself in the planning process and stick with your vision. Don’t DIY your entire wedding…pick and choose several projects you want to take on and make them unique to your style. Truly live in the moment, savor every second with your family and friends, dance the night away, and take the opportunity to thank your parents. Also, hire a great group of vendors!

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography | Floral Design: Dogwood Events | Cupcakes: Fluffy Thoughts Bakery | Stationery: Minted | Ceremony Venue: River Farm | Reception Venue: River Farm | Catering: Main Event Caterers | DJ: Chris Laich Music Services | Ceremony Music: Classical Guitar Ceremonies | Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven | Day-of Coordination: Roberts & Co Events | Linens: Select Rentals | Makeup: Bridal Artistry

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Mid-Century Glam Wedding Inspiration with Earthy Details

Earthy yet elegant and filled with so many gorgeous textures and details I could squeal, this shoot beautifully crafted and captured by Sweet Root Village is just about as gorgeous as they get. It’s the definition of Pinterest-worthy, and you can get to pinning here.


From Sweet Root VillageThis collection was first inspired by a strong and long-time love of mid-century glassware and leather. We started dreaming of warm metallics like gold and copper, then layered soft creamy textures to compliment a few deep navy accents. We added burgundy to the table as a later addition based on a few amazing locally grown flowers from our favorite farms that we couldn’t pass up! So, armed with buckets and buckets of gorgeous greens and blooms all sourced within 60 miles of our studio, we each made a bouquet and built ourselves a centerpiece and a mantle backdrop that is making us all want to get married again.

The moodier and manlier inspired aspects of this shoot came in swiftly through the custom made leather goods from wildly talented Carolyn of Matine as well as the dark wood and metallic aspects of the table settings from the team at DC Rental. It all felt perfectly pulled together when we set eyes on the stunning invitation suite and paper good elements lovingly designed by Jennifer of Tonic Site Shop. Our talented studio creative extraordinaire, Rachele, spent hours hand sewing countless bits of triangles to build a fantastical forest of geometric goodness which served as a backdrop to a few special highlights of of our day. The amazing vintage bar cart with all the fixings was so generously supplied by one of our favorite spots in Old Town Alexandria, The Hour! Shelves and shelves of heavenly mid-century entertaining goodness that has us drooling every time we walk through the doors. Also highlighted on the bar cart was a collection of fantastical raw goodies and treats that would appease every raw, vegan, gluten-free, paleo eater on the planet! We couldn’t believe our ears (or bellies) when we discovered these good-for-you desserts that just melt in your mouth so perfectly made by the amazing woman behind Joy Bliss Raw! Pure heaven on your tongue.

We were thrilled to connect with some fantastic local people like Gossamer who handed over an armful of dreamy dresses to play with for the day that inspired us so much and we had a blast working with the amazing ladies of Bishop Boutique down the block from our studio pairing some amazing shoes and jewelry to the gowns! One of our favorite hair and makeup artists, Ana Buitrago, created two rockstar looks for our stunning model Heather and she stuck around all day long adjusting and fluffing and keeping spirits high! The day wouldn’t have been complete without a few special details like the gorgeous sapphire ring sourced from Solovey Jewelers and the handcrafted metal hair crown by Heart of Gold Designs.

So grateful to partner with such amazing talent and so excited to be sharing everyone’s hard work in this collection of images!

Photography: Sweet Root Village | Floral Design: Sweet Root Village | Hair And Makeup: Ana Buitrago | Antique Custom Crown: Heart Of Gold Designs | Deer Antler Tines (on Escort Cards): High Mountain Horns | Invitations And Paper Goods: Tonic Site Shop | Leather Goods: Matine | Local Flower Sourcing: Capital Flower Growers | Local Flower Sourcing: LynnVale Studios | Model: Heather Jones | Raw Desserts: Joy Bliss Raw | Rentals: DC Rental | Sapphire Ring: Solovey Jewelers | Shoes, Bracelets, Earrings: Bishop Boutique | Styling And DIY Garland: Sweet Root Village | Vintage Glassware, Bar Cart, Bar Accessories: The Hour | Wedding Gowns: Gossamer

An Elegant Black Tie Virginia Wedding

When it comes to picking a season to say “I do”, springtime seems to be the bride favorite. But, there’s something about the elegance added to a black tie affair when the wedding is a winter one, and this Virginia bride wouldn’t have had it any other way. Kelley Cannon Events was on point with all the tiny details and Sweet Tea Photography captured the classic shots in the prettiest gallery right here.


From Sweet Tea PhotographyLauren and Adam met at Wilfie and Neil, a New York City bar, where they both lived at the time. Adam confessed that Lauren being 5’7 and blonde caught his eye but he was truly drawn in by her kindness, fun loving attitude, and how comfortable she made him feel around her. Lauren had been obsessed with Texas since she had been recruited at UT and A&M for PwC. So when Adam said he was from Texas, she knew he was definitely getting her number but it was his charm that reeled her in….and his smile!! After that first night, Lauren invited Adam to her friend’s rooftop oyster party and they completely hit it off!

Lauren and Adam dated for 13 months and then the proposal was made.

From The Bride…It was the day we closed on the house we were buying and we also moving in that afternoon. So our apt was packed up and boxes were everywhere. He asked me to help him look for something so we had to start unpacking boxes. Inside one of them was a smaller box and inside that he had put a small bag from one of our favorite restaurants in the city (Mermaid Inn). When he told me he loved me for the first time the year before he said he knew during a dinner we had there that he was in love with me. He told me to look in the bag and he had the ring inside. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

As soon as we got engaged, I knew Alexandria would be the perfect place. I had taken Adam there on one of our trips to visit my parents and he loved it. Plus with a number of people flying in from out of town, being 5 minutes from the airport was just what we needed. Also I knew all of our New York friends would love the walk ability of the town. I really only had 1 option in mind and that was Hotel Monaco. When we went down to see it, I had all fingers and toes crossed that Adam would like it and luckily he did (hard not too!). The hotel was the perfect size plus it was down the block from the church. And all the staff were so helpful and accommodating which made the decision even easier.

Since our wedding was the last day of February, I wanted the colors to be more on the winter side and less summery. We knew the guys would be in tuxes, so I suppose the tux inspired the black and white theme. I also knew that I wanted all my bridesmaids to pick their own dress. I chose black because there are so many dresses to choose from in this color and everyone looks great in black.

We were going for simple elegance and I definitely think we achieved it. All of our vendors totally got on board and understood our vision. All our vendors were just the best – I know we are biased but we couldn’t have had a better team!

Holly Chapple nailed our flowers. They were to die for and I knew they would be. When Lisa Marie gave us her recommended vendors, I went onto Holly’s website I knew I just had to have her for our wedding….and I was right. When our planner Kelley Cannon showed us the room for the first time, we were so taken aback – everything was stunning.

I also loved our wedding cake. One of my bridesmaids (who I have known since I was 3) made our wedding cake. She has always been skilled when it comes to the kitchen so when it came to picking a baker, Paige Allen was the only one who got a call. Although she was a little hesitant since she is not a professional baker (but she should be), she accepted the challenge and knocked it out of the park! We also had pieces of cake for breakfast the next morning – cake for every meal (and yes I have a sweet tooth!).

I am obsessed with my bridesmaid gifts. One of my bridesmaids recently started a bag company (Beau and Ro) and she made a special edition bag for my wedding and my ladies. They were such a hit and the perfect gift!

DJ Dan, there really is nothing else to say except he is amazing. Everyone had such a blast at our wedding and danced their faces off and I attribute that all to Dan. Our make-up and hair Stylist, Amie Decker, was phenomenal. Similar to Holly, I was flexible on a lot of things but hair and makeup is something that I knew I wanted / needed the dream team and Amie Decker and Kelley Small were just that. Couldn’t have trusted 2 people more and they both made me and the rest of the bridal party look stunning.

I hired Kelley Cannon as a day of planner. After the wedding, I was raving to my mom about Kelley – I kept calling her my 7th bridemaid. She literally did everything for us and made the day completely perfect. I didn’t worry about 1 thing knowing Kelley had everything under control. She really was the glue that held everything together and I can’t thank her enough for doing such a fabulous job.

I really had never envisioned having a winter wedding but I would do it again in a heart beat. There was something magical about it. And for anyone on a budget – you can get some major deals because it is definitely not as busy of a season!

My favorite memory was our ceremony. Adam walked me down the aisle and walking in to the church together. We are also blessed to have prepared and married by Father Kleinmann at St. Marys who I can’t say enough amazing things about. There are just know words for how special he made our wedding day. Hearing the homily, saying our vows and exchanging rings was something I will never forget. Truly life changing.

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography | Planner: Kelley Cannon Events | Cake: Paige Allen | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary's Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Hotel Monaco Alexandria Ballroom | Catering: Jackson 20 | Calligraphy: Rachel Carl | DJ: Dan Goldman, Bialeks Music | Bridesmaid Gifts: Beau And Ro | Floral: Holly Chapple Florals | Garter: Garter Girl | Hair + Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here