A Fun + Festive West Virginia Wedding
April 20, 2017
Mid Atlantic
ResortSummer Weddings
Just because a wedding is elegant and bursting with beauty, doesn't mean it can't be one heck of a good time as well. Case in point: this West Virginia fete that is full of fun twists and turns. From noisemakers, prosecco and a receiving line to mini grilled cheeses and Moscow Mules, it was a delicious and delightful time - captured completely by Lisa Blume. But the fun wasn't limited to just that day either - we have a Welcome Cruise and Brunch that is sure to inspire as well. Enough with the chit chat though - let's get to all the pretty pics right this way!
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From the Bride... 
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made meeting online seem so sweetly romantic, so with that we both decided to join match.com. I turned on my computer. I waited impatiently as it connected. I went online, and my breath caught in my chest when I heard three little words: You've got mail. I had mail. From Matt! The rest is rom-com love story history…

Upon learning that Matt’s favorite food was grilled cheese and tomato soup, I suggested we meet at a newly opened neighborhood spot called Pursuit Wine Bar. Their featured menu item: a make-your-own grilled cheese. We had the place to ourselves for most of the evening, so we toured several wine regions by the glass, joined forces to create an ooey-gooey grilled cheese, and never looked back.

After we got engaged, we moved to Chicago, started new jobs, and bought a house. We were living together for the first time, and dealing with a lot of life changes, so wedding planning was not always at the top of our priority list. But you know what they say, “Go big or go home!” We were very lucky to have Emily Butler of Karson Butler Events on board for wedding planning! When Emily, asked us to choose our top priorities for the wedding, we immediately blurted out, “Booze, food, music… in that order.” We wanted our wedding to have a lot of personal touches and we wanted to highlight the natural beauty of West Virginia, after all it is "Wild and Wonderful".

We tried to strike a balance with our wedding and really focused on natural elegance, heartfelt romance, and fun! We had a lot of fun details that kept the guests wowed and entertained. The “hangover kits” and cards that were delivered during the reception to all of our guests’ rooms. The cards said, “Saw you on the dance floor. Thought you might need this.” Our welcome bags were very personal. We curated a welcome bag that featured items that were significant to the places we lived. We had Old Bay crab chips for Maryland. Pepperoni rolls for West Virginia. Homemade poptarts from Ted’s Bulletin in Washington, DC and Garrett Popcorn from Chicago.

After the ceremony we passed out cute paper bags with ribbon wand streamers and bells, noisemakers, and a can of prosecco for our receiving line. We loved the ceremony décor. Our florist did a wonderful job of bringing the outdoors in and making the space feel romantic and full, while not taking away from the natural beauty and picturesque views. We also really loved the menu for our cocktail reception. Chef Tim and Stonewall did a phenomenal job making us a custom menu. We had mini grilled cheese with tomato gazpacho and Moscow mules in copper mugs – Matt’s favorite food and drink – to name a few. We chose the Stonewall resort for the special day because I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, so it felt very much like being at home as well as being accommodating for our special day and guests coming from all over the place.

My wedding dress and veil were by Anne Barge. I purchased them at Belle Vie in Chicago. My mom and sister flew in for the occasion, and my aunt and cousin, who live in the city, joined us. We met up at my house first for breakfast and mimosas. Belle Vie was great with our big group, and gave us a nice private viewing area. I had tried on dresses at a few other stores, but nothing really stuck. When I put my dress on and walked out, every family member started crying. Once they put the veil on, my mom was blubbering. I knew if it could get that reaction just in the fitting room, it was the dress for me. To seal the deal, my amazing seamstress Vera cut a fabric heart from my late grandfather’s dress shirt and sewed it into the under layer of my gown as my something blue.

Our favorite moment was after our ceremony the bridal party went back into the holding room. Everyone was cheering and laughing. We looked over to see Matt’s 10 year old nephew Michael, our Jr. Groomsman, crying. He told us he didn’t understand why he was crying. Matt and his brother and sister all choked up trying to explain to him that’s it’s ok to cry when you’re happy. It was truly the sweetest moment. Our second favorite moment happened right after Pastor Ed announced us as husband and wife. We had tucked away our band, The Soul Miners, in the library and as soon as they announced us, the doors swung open and they started a live version of the Ray Charles song "Hallelujah I Love Her So". Guests were so excited and everyone starting singing and clapping along as we made our way back down the aisle as husband and wife.

We booked approximately four honeymoons because we just couldn’t decide where we wanted to go. We finally settled on Bermuda and we’re so glad we did. It was a nice quick flight from the East Coast. We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton and had a wonderful time exploring the island and the surrounding coral reefs.