Style Me Pretty » Locations » Virginia The Ultimate Wedding Blog Tue, 13 Oct 2015 20:00:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Floral Inspired Engagement Session at Chatham Manor Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:00:55 +0000 I’ll never turn down pretty pics (and believe me, our VAULT has the goods) but I’m always eager for more. I want the details; how did they meet, who approached who, was it love at first sight? And in this case, knowing that back story makes Michael & Carina’s pics that much better. She was his waitress, tossing aside napkins scribbled with his number over and over again until one day, she gave him a chance, and well, the rest is a love-filled history – see all that magic and more right this way!

From Michael And Carina Photography… Virginia is for lovers and this is exactly what this engagement session is all about. The sun was setting over the historic Chatham Manor gardens as we photographed Laken and Michael’s engagement session. There were flowers and greenery blooming there, creating the most dreamy tunnels and pathways. The rose colors paired perfectly with Laken’s delicate jewelry and romantic dresses. Virginia is for lovers – and romance in sun-drenched gardens is our favorite for sure!

From the Bride-to-be… I met Michael at the start of my senior year of college. I was his waitress and he was the cute freshman who kept leaving me his phone number. After several orders of wings and thrown away napkins with numbers scribbled on them I finally gave in and called him. For the rest of that year we were inseparable. And while neither of us referred to the other as our boyfriend or girlfriend, instead I constantly called him my best friend, that’s exactly what we were. After graduation I moved several hours away and while we were no longer together, we never really grew apart. He was usually the first person I talked to every morning and the last one at night. After a couple years of trips to visit, other relationships that never felt right, and a million ‘I miss yous’ we finally made it official again and never looked back.

Michael completely surprised me with his proposal. We spent Michael’s birthday stuck in hours of traffic driving up to spend Thanksgiving with his family. When we finally parked the car and were carrying in our bags I told Michael I was sorry his birthday hadn’t been very fun. He responded that it was fine, but there was actually one thing that would make it perfect and he dropped to one knee on the front porch of his childhood home with his whole family waiting inside to celebrate. We knew we wanted a long engagement so we could enjoy being engaged without all the stress. And when we realized September 24th, 2016 was a Saturday we knew we had found our date. We will be able to celebrate our marriage with our family and friends exactly eight years from our first date back on September 24th, 2008.

Peruse more enchanting engagements right this way!

Photography: Michael And Carina Photography | Jewelry: Kendra Scott | Hair And Makeup: DIY | Venue: Chatham Manor | Dress I: Rent The Runway | Dress II: Anthropologie | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

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Romantic Keswick Vineyards Wedding Mon, 12 Oct 2015 14:00:49 +0000 You know what’s sweet? Marrying your college sweetheart. Even sweeter? When said wedding takes place at a perfectly romantic vineyard. Captured by Adam Barnes, this next celebration is here to prove that perfection is possible. All you need is a team of talented vendors, a lot of love, and a place to share it all, and we just so happen to have the perfect one – see it all in THE VAULT!


From Adam BarnesAylin and Burt were wed on a very warm Virginia summer afternoon in the Charlottesville area of our commonwealth. The soft colors of peach, white, and pink fit perfectly with the late afternoon sun falling on the beautiful grounds of Keswick Vineyards.

From The Bride…We met through mutual friends after college in Northern Virginia. We were friends for a while, but short talks grew into long ones, Scrabble games became increasingly contentious, and after a week-long road trip up the California coast we were in love. We got engaged in the same place almost 7 years later. After traveling all over the country and world, going to law school in Michigan, and then moving to New York, we wanted to get married close to home. We always imagined a rustic setting outdoors and immediately thought of the beautiful Charlottesville. We fell in love with the scenery and atmosphere of the rolling hills at Keswick Vineyards. Our wedding was perfect – an intimate atmosphere that blended our love of travel and the outdoors. We included elements that reflect where we’re from and where we’ve been – beer from Michigan, sparkling wines from California, desserts from Turkey. Despite the heat, we had a blast dancing the night away – our DJ even included some Turkish jams! I know everyone always says it, but the day was truly perfect and I would not have changed anything.

See more vineyard weddings in THE VAULT!

Photography: Adam Barnes | Floral Design: Petal Flower Co | Wedding Dress: Steven Birnbaum Bridal | Cake: Albemarle Baking Company | Invitations: Love Vs Design | Catering: C&O Restaurant | Venue: Keswick Vineyards | Desserts: Gulluoglu Baklava | Tent Rentals: Skyline Tent Company

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Colorful Morais Vineyard Wedding in Virginia Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:00:10 +0000 Can I just say, we heart our LBB members. Like really, really heart them. Because when six of the most talented industry pros (I’m talking about you, Joey KennedyRoberts & Co. EventsEast West ProductionsModern Bridal StudioButtercream Bakeshop and Printerette Press) team together the resulting wedding is completely next level. From that coral peony bouquet to the couple’s darling fur baby in a bow tie, there’s simply zero chance you won’t want to pin every last image in THE VAULT.


From The Bride… Life has a funny way of bringing people together. 15 year old Alice and Alex would have never seen their wedding journey…together. Years of friendship throughout high school must have strongly rooted their foundation to start something they both thought was crazy at the time but now it all makes perfect sense.

After dating for six years, I told Alex on many an occasion that I didn’t think he would be able to surprise me with a proposal. And so of course, he chose an unassuming day in an unassuming locale to pull off his plan. During an open mic night at a local restaurant, singer “Al” was introduced as someone who has never serenaded anyone with a guitar as he mainly plays the clarinet. As I was busy trying to listen to the emcee introduce “Al”, I had a strange feeling that it might be Alex since he also played the clarinet. The suspense grew stronger the more I denied the possibility especially when “Al” stated that he could not play guitar very well and that the only song he could partially play was Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven. I almost choked on my wine when I heard this as I had been nagging Alex for years to finish learning that very song!

I kept convincing myself that it could not be Alex but my heart kept beating faster by the minute. I looked around the room to see who this lucky lady might be because it just couldn’t be me.

Boy, was I wrong! Alex appeared on stage and proceeded to serenade me to Train’s “Marry Me” as the tears streamed down my face. I don’t quite remember this next detail, but apparently after he asked me to marry him, I never answered. I did, however, give him my left hand to which he placed the ring on my finger.

When it came time to planning our wedding, there were a few things we knew we wanted right off the bat. We wanted our ceremony to be outdoors, for our photographer and videographer to be rockstars, for the food to be raved about long after curtain fall, and for our precious little Westie to take not quite center stage, but at least share some limelight. At the core, though, we wanted our wedding to be a representation of us.

Choosing a rustic yet elegant vineyard for our venue we set about creating the charming event I envisioned in my mind’s eye. For us, the details were what were going to transform our wedding from a standard affair to one that our guests would be able to uniquely identify with Alex and Alice. From the beer wall featuring draft beer from both Chicago and DC (where we lived and where we now live) to the donut truck providing late night favors (I’m a donut-holic) to the mini chicken and waffles hors d’oeuvres (our all time favorite brunch food) to the welcome bags containing among other things custom Westie cookies to the personalized napkins printed with “Alex and Alice 2015” we wanted to invite our guests into a cozy and personable environment.

A year and a half of planning later, we were able to pull off a wedding that was truly memorable in its representation of who we are and the tone we wanted to set. I think that’s the most important part; it is so very easy to get sidetracked and cherry pick from multiple themes. With the help of our wonderful wedding coordinator, Tabitha Roberts, we colored our wedding with shades of blush, yellow, and gold tones and incorporated texture into the décor through the use of plenty of greenery.

As a last thought, remember how we wanted to include our Westie in our wedding? Well he was an instant hit as he walked down the aisle as ring bearer with his little black bow tie collar. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to follow us indoors to the reception and so a family member had to take him back to the hotel as the reception started. We loved, though, that he was able to partake in our special day and add to the joyous memories.    

Photography: Joey Kennedy Photography | Cinematography: East West Productions | Event Planning: Roberts & Co. Events | Floral Design: B. Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Astrid And Mercedes | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Catering: Spilled Milk Catering | Hair And Makeup: Modern Bridal Studio | Calligraphy: Just Write Studios | DJ: Bryan George Music | Ceremony Music: John Kwon | Transportation: Chariots For Hire | Venue: Morais Vineyard & Winery | Beer Garden And Lighting: Roberts & Co. Events | Bridal Boutique: The White Gown | Hotel Block: Hampton Inn Gainsville, Residence Inn Manassas | Invitations And Day Of Paper: Printerette | Photography - Assistance: Anna Laero | Vintage Rentals: Vintage Affairs


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New England Meets Southern Style Elegant Summer Wedding Mon, 21 Sep 2015 13:00:24 +0000 I’ve been a New England girl for the past seven years but I’ve often caught myself wondering if I’d be better suited for the South. Pour me some sweet tea and let’s slow down time a bit; it all seems a better fit. Considering my torn heart, it’s no surprise that this Bride and I would be best buds. Natalie Watson captured every thoughtful detail of this North-meets-South celebration, including Amanda Day Rose Paperie’s pretty paper goods that are perfectly on point. See it all in the Vault right this way!

From Natalie WatsonSarah and Taylor’s wedding took place just outside of Roanoke, VA. They combined elements from the bride’s upbringing in New England and the groom’s home in the South for a New England meets the South theme complete with lobster rolls, and chicken and waffles! Just after the ceremony ended we had a huge downpouring of rain then a rainbow, bound to be great luck! Most importantly, I will never forget the look on this groom’s face as he saw his bride coming down the aisle :)

From the Bride… I grew up in a small, charming town in the northwest corner of Connecticut. I absolutely love New England, but for as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the South. After being accepted to Elon University, I packed my bags and headed to North Carolina. It is there that I met a true southern gentleman from Virginia who became my best friend and my future husband.

After Taylor and I got engaged, we began daydreaming about how our wedding could blend our New England and Southern roots. The idea for A Taste of New England Meets a Taste of the South was born. This concept and our desire to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for our guests became our primary focus. For us this meant food, music, and activities that could be enjoyed by all. Our menu included New England staples like Lobster Rolls and Southern comfort foods like Chicken and Waffles. We served our favorite dessert- grilled peaches with ice cream and Taylor’s mother made our cake. Guests were encouraged to let loose by playing cornhole on a set of boards that represented our home states. A caricature artist made her way through our reception creating lighthearted drawings of our guests. There plush were seating areas where guests could kick back and sip on our New England and Southern inspired cocktails. We didn’t want to leave out our youngest (and most adorable guests) so we had a station setup with coloring pages and kid-approved snacks. It was so important to both of us that our guests experienced a celebration that was genuine, unique, and filled with all the hospitality we had to offer.

Meaningful details were incorporated through every element of our wedding, including the décor and our own attire. We collected tea tins from my hometown and family silver for our centerpieces. We used farm tables from Taylor’s parents and our linens were handmade my Taylor’s aunt. I wore my great grandmothers earrings passed down to me the month before our wedding and Taylor wore a fly boutonnière as homage to his love for the sport that his father taught him.

I think it is crucial that couples know, accept, and embrace that unexpected things inevitably happen throughout all weddings. Case in point: While most people wish for no rain on their wedding day, it turned out to be a gift for us. The day of our wedding was extremely hot and humid. Although everyone handled the heat with grace, I know it was uncomfortable. Just minutes after our outdoor ceremony it began to pour. Luckily, all our guests were gathered under our tent so they were able to stay dry while the rain cooled everything down and ultimately made for a more enjoyable evening. Taylor and I were out in an open field taking pictures with our photographers so Taylor picked me up and carried me to shelter in true husband fashion. As the rain began to clear, a rainbow formed over the mountains. We realized then that we would never get those few precious moments back. Taylor and I soaked it in (no pun intended) for as long as we could and then went and danced the night away with our dearest family and friends. We hadn’t originally set time aside for the two of us to be alone but we are so grateful that the rain provided that for us. Don’t lose sight of the fact that no matter what happens, if at the end of your wedding day you are married to the love of your life, everything was perfect.

I have to take this time to acknowledge our amazing vendors. They made our hopes and dreams for our wedding a reality. They worked tirelessly through the heat and the rain on our wedding day while the smiles never disappeared from their faces. Taylor and I will never be able to thank them enough for everything they did. They were the backbone of our wedding and we will always be grateful to them.

Photography: Natalie Watson | Floral Design: Kerry With George's Flowers | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Catering: Blue Ridge Catering | Hair And Makeup: Rock Paper Beauty Lounge | Band: Back Porch Orchestra | Groom's Attire: Idlewood Bespoke | Groomsmen's Attire: Idlewood Bespoke | Venue: Sundara | Bridal Boutique: Hayden Olivia Bridal | Coordination + Design: Creative Compass Events | Invitations And Paper Goods: Amanda Day Rose Paperie

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Rustic + Elegant Tuckahoe Plantation Wedding Inspiration Wed, 16 Sep 2015 13:15:07 +0000 Get your pinning fingers ready, friends. This beauté from Kate Ignatowski is packed, zipped up and bursting at the seams like a Bride’s suitcase on her honeymoon—with utterly charming moments, that is. Words that sing right off the page, the most darling table from Paisley and Jade, blooms from Photosynthesis that smile at you and sooo much more, here in The Vault.


From Kate IgnatowskiListening to my couples describe their wedding day vision, they often mention a rustic elegance. I love this idea of mixing rustic elements like worn wood and the outdoors with artful florals and sophisticated color palettes. This was the inspiration behind creating our shoot.

Tuckahoe Plantation was the perfect space because of its expansive grounds with both wild fields of grass and meticulously manicured gardens. For the floral elements, I worked closely with Rhea of Photosynthesis Florals to create a organic arrangement of soft pinks and dark reds combined with loose greenery. We incorporated simple neutral textures in the tablescape, including a stoneware crock for the floral piece because of its worn texture and clean look. Rhea also spent a good deal of time on the ceremony arch, weaving in flowers to make it feel like they had grown on their own right there. I think it turned out so beautifully as a backdrop for our couple exchanging handwritten vows. And I loved the feel of those vows and invitation set with the torn edge paper and delicate calligraphy.

When styling our bride, I was thrilled to photographer her in this wedding gown from Alexandra Grecco, which is the epitome of elegance with its airy, flowing fabric and plunging v. We kept her hair and makeup relatively clean and simple to create an effortless yet sophisticated look. And the delicate embroidery edged veil added a soft, romantic touch.

Photography: Kate Ignatowski | Floral Design: Photosynthesis | Wedding Dress: Alexandra Grecco | Invitations: Capital Calligraphy | Makeup: Bride Face | Hair: Lauren Perkins | Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation | Models: Modelogic Wilhelmina | Ribbon And Table Runner: Silk And Willow | Table: Paisley And Jade | Veil: Hushed Commotion

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5 Picture-Perfect Mid-Atlantic Wedding Venues Fri, 11 Sep 2015 14:00:32 +0000 After finding the perfect man, finding the perfect venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your big day. And these Mid-Atlantic beauties? They’re as perfect as it gets. Rustic, glamorous, timeless and romantic, these gorgeous venues are some of the best the East Coast (and the rest of the country) has to offer.

5 Picture-Perfect Mid-Atlantic Wedding Venues

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards (shown above): Set amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains with sprawling lawns, rolling vineyard-covered hills and a rustic yet elegant event space, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the perfect setting for your dream day. Plus, with the founder of Easton Events behind this gorgeous venue, you know any wedding here is bound to be stunning.  See it here.

Evergreen Museum + Library: Baltimore’s Gilded Age mansion and adjacent Italian gardens will transport you and your guests back to a more glamorous time. The exquisite estate is classic elegance at its very best, just like every wedding that takes place here. See it here.

DAR Constitution Hall: This National Historic Landmark Building offers couples a rich history, the excitement of Washington D.C., classic Beaux-Arts architecture and countless spaces for a glamorous affair. See it here.

Frick Art + Historical Center: Beautifully landscaped gardens surround this historic Pittsburg Gilded Age mansion. With a timeless elegance and sophisticated vibe, the Frick Art + Historical Center allows couples to create the stunning wedding of their dreams. See it here.

The Biltmore Estate: Asheville’s Biltmore Estate is as close to a fairytale wedding as you can get with expansive grounds and a European-style castle all nestled into the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. See it here.

Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher

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