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Virginia Hermitage Museum Wedding

There’s something so beautifully personal about a hometown wedding. It’s a sweet nod to family roots, and exactly what this Hermitage Museum & Gardens’ affair is all about. Echard Wheeler chronicled the day, and it’s all sitting pretty in the inspiration-packed gallery.


From Echard Wheeler PhotographyMeredith and Brad met through mutual friends in the winter of 2012 while they were both living in Norfolk, VA. Their romance continued to grow quickly, and after a couple of months if dating they decided to move together to Pensacola, Florida, where Brad would be stationed for his next assignment in the Navy. Brad proposed to Meredith in the spring of 2013 in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Over the next year the couple began to plan the wedding of their dreams, and it was just that.

The Bride and Groom felt that their hometown of Norfolk, Virginia was the ideal location for their nuptials to take place. In particular, the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, located on the Lafayette River, had always held a special place in Meredith’s heart, as she had spent many days throughout her childhood exploring the riverbanks and gardens. The Bride’s Uncle Mark officiated the wedding under a large oak tree in the East Garden overlooking the river. Meredith walked down the aisle in an ivory Temperley London gown with an illusion neck line and appliqué flowers while Ambrosia Quartet played a rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.

For the reception, the couple wanted to play on the arts and crafts style of the Hermitage using antique furniture and rustic decor provided by River Designs (Vintage Furniture Rentals) and Distinctive Event Rentals. The farm tables displayed beautiful arrangements from the talents of Bloom, the Art of Flowers, in vintage toolboxes along with white milk glass vases. The incandescent string lighting and candle-lit mercury glass contributed to an enchanting and intimate ambiance for the evening.

Catering was provided by Chef by Design, which designed a menu that brought their own unique flare to Southeast Virginia’s culinary tastes. Fried green tomatoes, bacon-wrapped scallops, and macaroni and cheese coquettes were passed to guests during cocktail hour, and dinner station highlights included beef tenderloin with asparagus and whipped potatoes, ahi tuna bites, cheeseburger sliders, chicken and vegetable dumplings, and Mai Tai shrimp. For dessert, Doumar’s Cones and BBQ, a local Norfolk institution since 1904, was on sight to serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream cones to guests using their original (and the world’s first) waffle cone maker. The red velvet wedding cake was baked by Chocollage. The couple ended up dancing the night away with their closest family and friends to the sounds of the very talented and entertaining local band, Rare Mixx.

Photography: Echard Wheeler Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Reva Stein | Flowers: Bloom The Art of Flowers | Wedding Gown: Kleinfeld Bridal | Cake: Chocollage | Catering: Chef By Design | Hair: Behind The Veil | Ceremony Music: Ambrosia Quartet | Venue: Hermitage Foundation Museum | Decor Rentals: River Design Vintage | Invitation Suite: Christina Egan | Make Up Artist: Holly Browne | Reception Band: Rare Mixx | Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals

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

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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