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Casual Southern Garden Wedding

I love great details and decor as much as the next girl, but it’s the people, the stories, the love that speak straight to my heart. It’s stories like this bride whose 9-year-old son escorted her down the aisle or the fact that they traded formalities for a family-style Southern comfort food affair that make a wedding come to life. Jodi Miller captured every bit and you can click right here for so much more.


From the Bride…. Adam and I met while at one of our favorite bars in the summer of 2011. We danced the night away to an amazing local 90’s cover band, and after our failed attempt to play matchmaker for our two best friends (who we still haven’t managed to get on a date) we decided to have dinner ourselves – going out for sushi the following week. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

As the Development Director of our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and a fundraising events manager PETA before that, I am used to have to design events that please other people. That’s why it was so important to us to have a wedding that had our stamp on it and that didn’t subscribe to all of the formal wedding traditions.

After Adam proposed to me in a tree while on a hike in Escondido Canyon Park in Malibu, California, we knew we needed to find a venue that incorporated our love for the outdoors and of course, it also had to have a really amazing tree. When we found the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, with its immaculate gardens, river views, the giant magnolia tree on the back lawn, and the craftsman style architecture we both love so much… we knew there was no turning back! Our desired aesthetic for the entire day was “rustic romance,” and I think we were able to capture that in part because of the gorgeous setting – and by incorporating some nature elements through the use of twine and birch planters for the flowers which were all done in creams and shades of muted blush and mint. [And as an avid terrarium lover/maker, we just had to include succulents!]

For the ceremony and pre-ceremony we hand selected all of the songs (from a Fleet Foxes processional to our first kiss to the music of the Flaming Lips), and we were married by one of our closest friends which made everything so much more special. Perhaps the most emotional part of the day was when my dad walked me to the beginning of aisle, so that my 9 year old son could then walk me down to be given away. It was really important to be able to incorporate him into that important part of the ceremony, as it was just as much about becoming a family as it was Adam and I exchanging vows.

For the reception, we really wanted an evening that was an intimate gathering of our closest family and friends, so we did away with things like the bouquet and garter toss and the traditional cake cutting (we wanted donuts instead!). Southern Comfort food is a staple in our kitchen at home, and our caterer was able to create a delicious meal served family style – so it really felt like a Sunday dinner among friends. We also enjoyed sharing foods from our engagement dinner with our guests, like mini ahi tuna burgers.

Although the weather forecast changed on us the day before the wedding and we had to give up or vision of a tentless wedding, we had a spectacular night and didn’t even notice the drizzle. Fittingly, the night ended in the way our story began – dancing the night away to a 90′s cover band with our bridal party, at the same place we first met almost two years ago to the date.

Photography: Jodi Miller Photography | Flowers: Leslie Hartig Floral Design | Dress: Custom Marisa Gown From Pure English | Caterer: East Beach Catering | Hair: High Voltage Hair By Crystal Casey | Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting | DJ: Atlantic Digital Entertainment | Bridesmaid Fashion: Donna Morgan | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hermitage Museum & Gardens | Day-of-Coordination: Sunkissed Events | Donut Truck: Carpe Donut | Makeup: Makeup By Kim Porter | Signage And Paper Goods: Paper Tangent

Donna Morgan is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jodi Miller Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jodi Miller Photography


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Chrysler Museum of Art Wedding from Isha Foss Events + Jeff Greenough

Modern day fairy tales are the absolute best. This Virginia wedding is just that – a soiree fit for Cinderella, Snow White, or this lucky, beautiful bride and her Prince Charming. Everything about the day was stunning – but to really turn up the grandeur, the ballroom was dripping in pretty in pink petals from Isha Foss Events. Jeff Greenough | Photographer captured the magic wonderfully, and was fabulous enough to fill an entire gallery with more – just for us!

When Matthew proposed, he worked hard to surprise me (not an easy task to surprise a nosey girl like me!). One night, Matthew told me that he had to work late in Maryland and would not be able to come visit for the weekend. I made dinner plans with my friends at the Blue Talon in Williamsburg. During dinner, Maddie told me that she just received a text message that there was a research group at the Williamsburg Lodge and she really wanted to go get their autographs. After dinner, Maddie, Kaci, and I drove to the Williamsburg Lodge until Maddie stopped her car and asked me if she knew of a garden near the Lodge because that was where the group was meeting. I, still oblivious to what was going on, said “Well there is the rose garden where Matt’s parents got engaged to your left.” Maddie swerved her car to the front of the rose garden and Kaci and Maddie both screamed “Get out of the car!” while speeding off with me still thinking they were playing a trick on me. I decided to walk down the stairs of the sunken rose garden only to find no one there. I kept walking until I saw Matthew come out from behind an archway with a huge smile on his face. Matthew walked toward me, knelt down on one knee with an open box in his hand, and asked me to marry him in the same spot that his father asked his mother to marry him. Matthew then told me that he planned a weekend for us in Ocracoke, North Carolina to celebrate our engagement!

While planning our wedding, I knew I wanted our personalities to shine through in every aspect. Both Matthew and I have traditional, classic taste with a modern twist. We decided to have our wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church where my parents were married and where I grew up. Matthew’s father is an Anglican pastor, so we wanted to incorporate both of our families’ religious traditions. He gave a memorable and personal sermon that made the ceremony seem intimate even with a room full of 400 people. The ceremony music was also very important to us. We had a trumpeter, organist, a string quartet, and a soloist who all beautifully performed songs we selected together. As I walked down the aisle, I wore my great grandmother’s diamond and sapphire ring as my something old, borrowed, and blue. My grandmother passed away one month before my wedding, so honored her by carrying her handkerchief in my bouquet.

Matthew and I chose the Chrysler Museum of Art for our reception venue not only because we loved the Renaissance style of the museum’s atrium, but also because I studied Art History in college. For the flowers and décor, I wanted a romantic atmosphere with blush tones, ivory, and metallics. My team at Isha Foss Events transformed my vision into a breathtaking display of draped arches, cascading crystals, and various tones of pink flowers.

While our wedding was a formal black tie affair, Matthew and I wanted our reception to be a party for our guests to enjoy good food and great music. For this reason, we decided to do heavy hors d’ ouvres instead of a sit down dinner. We had themed food stations around the museum with our favorite cuisine including fresh seafood on the rocks, a southern fare station, a beef carving station, and a chocolate bar. Instead of assigned seating, Isha Foss designed a lounge-like cocktail set up that outlined the dance floor and gave a contemporary spin on the traditional black tie affair.

My two favorite memories from our wedding day were our First Look and walking down the Chrysler’s marble staircase into the reception for the first time as husband and wife. Matthew and I met in the museum’s garden before the ceremony. I loved being able to share a quite and private moment with my soon to be husband before our night of craziness ahead. I will never forget the look on his face when he first saw me (luckily, my photographer Jeff Greenough captured this moment on film). My second favorite memory from our wedding day occurred when my father introduced us to our reception. I felt like royalty on my new husband’s arm as we walked down the staircase and moved straight into our first dance. The entire day was the perfect representation of Matthew and me as a couple, and it could not have been possible without the hard work of our family and all of our fabulous vendors.

Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Chrysler Museum of Art / Photography: Jeff Greenough | Photographer / Event Coordinator: Daylily Weddings / Floral Design: Isha Foss Events / Catering: Cuisine & Co. / Entertainment: Right On! Band / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design / Cake: Glenna Cason, Sugar Art / Videography: Digital Dreammakers / Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals, AFR Furniture Rental, & Isha Foss Events / Transportation: Royal Coach / Hair: Al Kelly from Changes Salon / Makeup: BridesMade by Kim Wadsworth

Virginia Wedding at The Chrysler Museum of Art

And we are here again! Wedding Wednesday, the day of the week where we fill your day with loads of inspiration by showcasing seven gorgeous weddings. We have to keep them a bit brief to fit it all in, so be sure to check out the full gallery of each fete to see all the gorgeousness. OK, now that you know the drill let’s get this pretty party started.

So this is what happens when a graphic artist, designer, chef of a groom marries a fashion editor bride with loads of style. I’m sure after reading that sentence you are ready to start scrolling on down, and I don’t blame you one bit. The shoes, the amazing venue that is The Chrysler Museum of Art, the rings – it’s all enough to have you swooning for days. So start the scrolling, and don’t forget there are more gorgeous images by Gabriela Herman to swoon over in the full gallery.

Click here to see the entire image gallery!

From the Bride… Matt and I wanted our wedding to be more like a fun, summer party than a stiff, formal affair. He’s a graphic designer, artist and chef. I’m a writer and fashion editor. It was important to us that the day feel like an extension of us as a couple. So we decided to get married at a museum in my home state of Virginia, which meant we were faced with the tricky task of Transatlantic planning (Matt and I met in New York, but we currently live in London). We ended up working with a wedding consultant, Emily Peterson, who was really great with handling the logistics. As a result the whole planning process was surprisingly not that stressful.

Matt designed our wedding stationary and had a traditional letterpress printer produce them here in London. He also designed our rings (made by his friend, jeweler Asher Hoffman) in addition to the menu boards, place cards, guest book and favors. One of the hardest things about planning our wedding in Virginia was the fact that our options for some things were quite limited. For instance, we had to search hard for a florist who would order and work with English garden roses (which I’ve grown to love living in the UK.)  Fortunately, we found one. It was also important to us to have seasonal foods on the menu (our wedding was officiated by our friend Hubert, who is an organic farmer). We lucked out with an amazing caterer who was able to incorporate foods from her company’s very large garden into our menu, which included steak with blue cheese butter, seared chicken with mango chutney and poached seafood. Our guests still talk about how good the food was.

And last, my dress. That was the hardest search because the bridal options were still pretty dismal when I was looking for something to wear. A friend suggested Lucy Martin, an emerging English bridal designer. I liked that her dresses were clean and simple and could be customized according to the bride’s wishes. She also sources her silks from Italy, which was impressive considering how reasonable her prices are. I changed into a dress by Isabel Marant during the reception.

Wedding Venue: Chrysler Museum of Art / Wedding Photography: Gabriela Herman / Wedding Dress: Lucy Martin / Reception Dress: Isabel Marant / Bride’s Shoes: Miu Miu / Groom’s Tux: Spencer Hart / Makeup: Ardis Giles / Flowers: Bloom The Art of Flowers / Wedding Cake: Patti Cakes, Inc. / DJ: Big Dose and AJ Slim / Wedding Planner: Emily Peterson of Emily Weddings, Inc. / Caterer: Cuisine & Company / Rings: Asher Hoffman