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Relive All Those Ballerina Dreams With This Inspired Wedding Shoot

Disclaimer: I danced for 14+ years and in the time since I stopped putting my pointe shoes on, my love for the art has never waned. So East Made Event Company’s scene is straight out of my dreams, complete with real ballerinas – and newlyweds – and pretty pieces from Paisley & Jade. Josh Gooden filmed the beauty and our Vault is looking mighty fine with all these twirls. And so, Love by Serena, enough with my fawning; can I please order prints of all of these pics pretty please?

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From Love by Serena… We were so lucky to be able to work with talented professional ballet dancers from the Richmond Ballet, Valerie and Kirk Henning. Newlyweds themselves, Valerie and Kirk wed last summer at the Carpenter Theater in Richmond.

You may recognize the couple from this viral video of Kirk and his groomsmen performing an 8-minute choreographed dance for Valerie at their wedding. If you haven’t seen it before, you must watch!

From Josh & Serena… The concept for this shoot began with one word: movement. We had been longing to collaborate on a piece that was centered around the love of two dancers.

Josh was inspired by the emotional side of dancing. The beginning of the film centers on the isolation and subtle movement before the two lovers meet. A combination of pronounced cinematic movement and raw “handheld” camera work strives to convey a dance of both elegance and emotion.

From East Made Event Company… In addition to being a wedding planner, I am a professionally-trained classical violist with the Richmond Symphony, and loved the idea of designing a shoot around an artistic musical theme. The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in Richmond, Virginia provided a stunning location with ceiling-high windows and beautiful marble floors. We used all three main rooms within the museum so we could take advantage of the streaming sunlight and antique feel.

For the shoot details, I used shades of dusty lilac, fig, and muted gold to create a spring color palette with a touch of black. Alexandra Grecco had just designed a delicate lilac cami and skirt which fit into our theme perfectly and provided contrast to the flowy, ivory Elizabeth Dye gown. We focused greatly on the concept of movement: how the gowns would react as our model danced, the cascading table linens, the diagonal florals and cake pattern, and the hand-marbled paper and sheet music calligraphy envelope liner. My goal was to have every element of the shoot have a purpose and connection to our dancing couple.

I was incredibly impressed by how much attention and care all of our vendors brought to this shoot. I hope these photos and video will inspire you to attend a ballet, symphony concert, or other live performance and take pleasure in the live beauty of music, dance, and art.

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Photography: Love by Serena | Cinematography: Josh Gooden Cinematography | Event Planning: East Made Event Company | Floral Design: Amanda Burnette | Cake: Sweet Fix RVA | Makeup: BRIDEface Richmond | Hair: Event Hair by Lauren | Stationery + Calligraphy: Poppy And Scooter | Venue: The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design | Amethyst Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Models: Valerie Tellmann, Company Member With Richmond Ballet | Photography - Assistance: Josh & Serena | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Table Runner + Ribbon: Adorn Company | Wedding Dress (Ivory): Elizabeth Dye | Wedding Dress (Lilac): Alexandra Grecco

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Bridal Braids + Blush Gowns Add Style to this Romantic Spring Wedding

This Groom knew from the start that this lovely lady wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and after only a couple short years of dating, she was right there with him, ready to take the next step forward. And they did so with one beautiful, rustic elegant affair, captured by Michael and Carina Photography and Molly Scott Photo. From the Bride’s braid that I’m eager to copy, to the florals and styling by So Lovely Wedding, it’s a wedding winner we’re happy to have in our Vault. More this way!

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Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Al Fresco

From Michael And Carina Photography… A rich color palette, lots of emotions, movement and stunning details make us think that many SMP brides will fall in love with Katie and Jared’s Richmond wedding. The blush wedding dress and organic florals left guests speechless. But it is not only the beauty of this wedding that will inspire brides, but also the personal touches of it. As the bride was preparing for her wedding day, the grandmother was reading the vows for the wedding video. It is those precious moments and personal details that tell stories best.

From the Bride… Jared and I met towards the end of 2012 on a popular online dating website. He was my very first date from the site, for him I was number ____ (still to this day the number is undisclosed); he likes to tell me he was waiting for me the entire time. After a week and a half of seeing one another he stated I would be his girlfriend one day and like a gentlemen would wait for me to figure out we belonged together. Lucky for me he was right! I do not think I knew how lucky I was to have someone like him till the day he began looking for engagement rings. In good Jared fashion he did lots of research on diamonds and sought out the best of the best, just to come back home more stressed than ever because of the cost for the best of the best. He never does anything half way though, when something matters to him he gives all of himself to it. That was the moment I really realized I was the someone that mattered to him and he would dedicate himself to investing into us. See, when we first began dating he was at a point in his life where he did not know if he wanted a wife and kids, but after two years together he would look at me and tell me “Katie, I would not be getting married if it was not to you.” Every time I think of him saying those words I grow so warm, what a treasure that gift is. I am so blessed to live this life with him and our two fur babies, Polly and Athena.

Being a photographer myself I knew I wanted my day to be something I would be excited to photograph! Soft color palette, lots of greenery, a gorgeous Roman inspired building with gorgeous architecture, urns full of flowers, and vintage touches were a must. Michael and Carina were the first vendors I knew I needed to book! I actually told them they would be my photographers six months before I was even engaged. We lucked out finding The Scott House which is a building on my college campus and made the perfect backdrop to our wedding. Food was another big one for Jared, we ended up hiring our favorite restaurant to cater our wedding, and Alan even went off menu to prepare special requests! Ultimately I wanted things to feel garden wedding elegant with touches of Jared and I throughout.

As a bride I realized these few things: having a wonderful and trustworthy wedding coordinator is worth the price! Do not skimp on having one; Lauren saved me so many times the weekend of our wedding and kept everyone at ease. Hire a videographer!! So many people have said that was one of their biggest regrets and I ended up digging deep in my pockets to hire Molly Scott Photo & Video. She posted a sneak peek on her IG two days after our wedding and I have seriously watched it at least 100 times, it’s beyond memorizing! I cannot wait to see how she incorporates my grandma’s voice into the video, as that was a top priority for me. Have a rain back-up plan well before the wedding date, price out tents and rent one sooner if you feel uncomfortable waiting (especially the – apparently – super popular clear top tents, because… natural light), this will save you about ten grey hairs down the road! Do not allow the stress of planning to make you forget why you are getting married in the first place. Take time to go on no-wedding-talk date nights, because it can be stressful and sometimes you just need to go back to the root of what this day actually means.

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More Virginia weddings this way!

Photography: Michael And Carina Photography | Cinematography: Molly Scott Photo | Wedding Dress: Bella Rosa | Catering: Baker's Crust | Makeup Artist : Nicole Laughlin | Hair Stylist: Kelsea Dayberry | Invitations + Calligraphy: Katie Labello | Venue: Scott House | Bride's Shoes + Accessories: BHLDN | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Floral Design, Event Planning + Styling: So Lovely Weddings | Hair Accessories: Davie and Chiyo | Rentals: Paisley And Jade

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
A Pretty Pink New Year’s Eve Wedding

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.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
ChurchHotel
Styles
Classic

From Jillian Michelle PhotographyCalvin 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.

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Photography: Katelyn James Photography | Photography: Jillian Michelle Photography | Floral Design: Andrea McDaniel (family Friend) | Wedding Dress: Maggie Soterro | 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 Hair & Makeup Artistry | Band: Common Wealth RVA | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Bridal Boutique: Urban Set Bride | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here