If you’re feeling stumped on ways to make your wedding feel more like you – allow this gorgeous vineyard wedding to inspire! With the help of Kate Phillips Events, this couple was able to personalize every nook and cranny of their special day – from the signature drinks to the floral arrangements, every detail was thoughtfully designed to represent a significant moment in the bride and groom’s lives. Not only was their wedding filled with sentimental touches, but it also looked absolutely stunning, too! We’re still not over their one of a kind ceremony decor adorned with blooms from Photosynthesis, bound to grace the pages of Pinterest for years to come. Head on over to the full gallery to see all the pretty – taken by Shannon Moffit Photography!
From the Bride… From the moment we started planning the wedding, we knew we wanted it to be authentically “us” in every way possible. My mother always told me growing up that “the love is in the details”, a mantra I repeated constantly throughout the planning process. As a result, all of the small touches had a tie to James and I as individuals, our relationship, and/or our families. Some of our favorite details were our signature cocktails, The Bitsy and The Gunner, lovingly named after our two dogs. While the Bitsy, a French 75, was served traditionally in a champagne coupe, the Gunner, a bourbon and ginger, was served in a glass flask with a custom label that James designed himself. In addition to these, we also had a fabulous champagne tower greeting guests as they entered the venue, which I always dreamed of as an avid champagne drinker.
Guests also saw small gold bunnies on each of the tables which were in homage to my beloved grandmother, who we affectionately call Bunny. The Irish flag, hanging next to the American flag outside of Upper Shirley, and the bagpiper greeting guests as they got off the bus, then eventually leading me to the altar and James and I back down the aisle as husband and wife were also in honor of Bunny and the Wright family’s Irish heritage, something that was very instrumental in my upbringing. Two touches I have to give all of the credit to James for are our live painter, Matt Lively, and our neon “Poole Party” sign. James searched through local Richmond Facebook groups, Reddit posts, and reached out to several friends all over Virginia when looking for a live painter to document our special day. He was finally able to find Matt Lively, and we feel so lucky! We asked Matt to paint our ceremony, as this was the most important part of our celebration, and he captured it beautifully- individually painting each and every guest. Our neon sign reflected our wedding hashtag “Poole Party” and came from a local store that deals primarily in store front signs and industrial projects. I’ll never forget the charm of walking into their offices in Richmond with James, and them telling us how fun and different the sign was for them to make and them trying to explain to us how to set it up on the big day- they don’t often work with clueless newlyweds!
In lieu of a traditional cake, James and I decided to cut an apple pie as neither of us care for cake. Ernie, the chef de cuisine at Upper Shirley, crafted the crust of the pie we cut into an image of the tree of life- one of the most spectacular things we’ve ever seen. The Tiffany and Co. Pie server we used was a gift from our friend Katie, a bridesmaid and the woman who introduced us. Guests were treated to mini apple and pecan pies in addition to cookies and cream milkshake shooters for dessert. Our outfits were also each accented with special touches. James’ tuxedo liner was a collage of cigar wrappers and this was carried through the outfit into his shoes, Stubbs and Wooton slippers, that had a cigar on one shoe and a glass of scotch on the other. If you couldn’t tell that James enjoys cigars, it could also be seen in our cigar and bourbon bar! This was a must-have for James and his father, who always enjoy a nice glass of bourbon and a cigar whenever they are together. James also wore his late Grandfather Jim’s watch, a gift that was given to James by his Grandmother Judy when he passed away. I wore my mother’s diamond earrings, and my Grandmother Bunny’s emerald and diamond bracelet on the day of. Apart from being my favorite gemstone and favorite color, the green emerald coordinated with all of the deep greens we used in our wedding. Last, but certainly not least, were the presence of tulips both in the wedding and in our invitations. Growing up, my father frequently traveled to Amsterdam and would always bring me back wooden tulips and tulip bulbs for my garden, solidifying them as my favorite flowers for life. James later asked me to marry him in the middle of a tulip field at the Kukenhoff Gardens in Amsterdam, when the tulips were in full bloom. He proposed with a ring that my beloved grandmother, Bunny, had given him for the occasion just one month before, and a book of letters written by our best friends and family congratulating us. James maintains that traveling internationally with a diamond ring is one of the scariest things he will ever do. We rented a house boat that was parked on a canal in downtown Amsterdam for this trip, and I had been in a sour mood the morning of the proposal because James had insisted on this lodging choice, while I wanted to be in a hotel. I quickly forgave him when we returned from the Kukenhoff Gardens, newly engaged, and the whole boat was decorated with tulips and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, my favorite champagne, that my 3 best friends had sent us, sat in an ice bucket. Needless to say, having tulips apart of the wedding, even in November, was essential!!
Truth be told, our whole reason for having a wedding was to celebrate our union with those that we love most. When discussing what we saw in a wedding, James and I (very briefly) talked about eloping. This was quickly shut down, however, because we both knew part of the importance of professing our love to each other, would be professing it in front of our friends and family. This was echoed in our large bridal parties- each of us had 9 attendants that were a mixture of family and friends from every stage of our life, from kindergarten through graduate school. To avoid it looking like too much of a wall on either side of us, we opted to have our bridesmaids and groomsmen sit down, front row, during the ceremony while my maid of honor, my sister Cara, and James’ best man, his best friend Seth, stood next to us. It felt so great to have all of those special people have a perfect view as we said our vows. One thing James and I agreed upon immediately was that we wanted a live band. When we each pictured our wedding receptions, after the sanctity of the ceremony had concluded, we both envisioned a big party where we would be able to let loose with our nearest and dearest. Kustom Made quickly made all of these dreams come true for us and more. From the moment they played the first couple of notes, as they lead guests into the reception space from our cocktail hour, we knew we had made the right decision by hiring them. Their interaction with each other and the audience was unbeatable and I’ll never forget me and my bridesmaids being on stage singing “Proud Mary” after James and his groomsmen had been led in a fabulous rendition of “My Girl”. Their music selection made it so everyone, no matter their age, was able to get up and dance and this allowed for a spectacular moment where James, Bunny (my grandmother who is 92 years old), and I did a three way tango in the middle of the dance floor.
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Photography: Shannon Moffit Photography | Event Planning: Kate Phillips Events | Florist: Photosynthesis | Wedding Dress: Rita Vinieris | Stationary: Empress Stationery | Ceremony Venue: Upper Shirley Vineyards | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Band: Kustom Made | Groom's Attire: Alton Lane | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Live Painter: Matt Lively | Makeup/Hair: Avenue 42 | Rentals: Paisley & Jade