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An Autumn Wedding at Dover Hall Inspired by Nineties Ralph Lauren Style

[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]The color palette for the wedding day consisted of Olive, Slate Blue, and Burgundy. Complementary patterns and textures such as dark stained wood, chestnut brown leather, traditional plaid, and mixed metals rounded out this palette.
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]

The design inspiration for this wedding day focused on nineties Ralph Lauren fashion with British Hunt Club undertones.

[field title=”Proposal Story”]Aquiles and Victoria were engaged on July 29, 2021, on Topsail Island, North Carolina. After 8 years of dating, Aquiles was able to take his future wife by complete surprise as he turned a leisurely beach walk into a waterfront proposal surrounded by their closest friends and family. Even as it was happening, Victoria thought it was for someone else. As he began his romantic, heartfelt speech she realized what was happening. Through shock and lots of happy tears, Victoria said “Yes!”[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Getting Ready”]

[board_carousel title=”Bridal Portraits”]

[board_carousel title=”Flat Lays”]

[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”]Victoria’s wedding gown was a timeless Anne Barge design with a strapless folded neckline, pleated sides, and dramatic draped train. Her look was complemented with details such as elbow-length satin white gloves, lace pointed-toe flats from Bella Belle Shoes and a dramatic veil featuring a pearl and lace trim.[/field]
[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]The bridesmaids wore floor-length gowns in cool tones of sea glass, slate blue, moss green, and sage from Birdy Grey. The junior bridesmaids wore toile dresses alongside the flower girls in their plaid and burgundy peacoats from Pepa London.[/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]Aquiles’ custom black velvet tuxedo was designed by Hive & Colony and featured a classic double-breasted style with a notch lapel.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Wedding Party”]

[board_carousel title=”Ceremony”]

[board_carousel title=”Cocktail Hour”]

[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]Amidst the moody Ralph Lauren and hunt-club vibes, the couple aimed to create a culinary menu that paid homage to Aquiles’ El Salvadoran culture. As guests arrived at the ceremony, they were welcomed by a vibrant display of Agua Fresca drinks featuring a variety of Kiwi, Strawberry, and Watermelon flavors. The introduction to cocktail hour included a horchata display, adding a touch of Latin tradition.

The customization of drinks continued with their signature cocktails: a traditional Red Sangria and a Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita.

The culinary experience, curated by Dover Hall’s esteemed Executive Chef Leah Randolph, recently honored as Virginia’s Chef of the Year in 2023, featured crowd-pleasing Ceviche and Lamb Chops during cocktail hour and a delectable three-course dinner served by candlelight.

The plated dinner commenced with a seasonal Fig and Prosciutto salad, setting the stage for the main event: a duet of Red Wine Braised Short Rib and Airline Chicken Breast, perfectly suited for the chilly October day. To culminate the evening, guests indulged in housemade Pistachio and Mango gelato, providing a sweet and memorable conclusion to the celebration.[/field]
[field title=”Florals & Decor”]The floral design featured dramatic, large-scale installations accentuating areas such as the grand staircase, the stone fireplace mantle (standing 15′ high!), and the grand tunnel entrance to the Glass Hall. The bouquets featured lush florals with minimal greens with a color palette ranging from creamy beiges to pale burgundy and mauve blooms complimenting the soft greens and blues of the bridesmaid’s dresses.

Table lamps with soft warm lighting were placed down the length of the three 32-foot-long guest tables draped in velvet linens and plaid runners. The white lampshades glowed among the lush florals and candles set against the backdrop of a custom hunter-green bar staged to mimic the feel of an English Tudor library.[/field]
[field title=”Wedding Cake”]The wedding cake featured tiers of textural designs to offset the softness of the floral accents. The cake created a modern focal point against the vast traditional and classic setting of the venue and event design set[/field]
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]Guests were greeted by a string quartet as they made their way to their blanket-draped seats. The ceremony was performed in Spanish and English to cater to the culturally diverse makeup of Tori and Aquiles’ wedding guest list. They were legally married by an ordained officiant but the groom’s best friend led the ceremony with confidence and poise that matched the sophisticated setting of the day.[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]The couple displayed family heirlooms among lush florals and candles as guests entered the two-story foyer at Dover Hall. A grandmother’s wedding veil, jewelry worn decades prior, and thoughtfully framed wedding portraits were just a few of the items displayed putting family and love at the center of this very important day.[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #2″]The invitations were designed as a curated experience for guests upon arrival at their home. The invitation card was placed in a box adorned with a custom fabric liner, velvet wrap, and a wood tag featuring the couple’s monogram. The box containing a booklet with brass brads and custom artwork was wrapped in slate blue paper and a plaid shipping label featuring a hand calligraphy design. The experience of receiving and opening this invitation set the tone for this memorable and uniquely designed wedding day.[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″]Victoria’s best friend and younger cousin Jessica was invited to take over the second half of the father-daughter dance. (note: see photos to understand the implications of this moment)[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Couple Portraits”]

[board_carousel title=”Reception”]


Photography: David Abel Photography | Videographer: White Tree Productions | Event Design: Glint Events | Planner: Glint Events | Floral Design: Isha Foss Design | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Cake: Sugar And Salt | Invitations: Fig. 2 Design | Catering: Dover Hall Estate | DJ: Sho DJ & Photo Booth Company | Officiant: CHG Consulting | Transportation: James River Transportation | Wedding Venue: Dover Hall Estate | Beauty: FBJ Makeup | Engagement Ring Designer: Gabriel & Co. | Photo Booth: Sho DJ & Photo Booth Company | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Rentals: Rent-E-Quip | Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals | Rentals: The Lighting & Sound Company | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Strings: Melodious Strings | Weddings Rings: Gabriel & Co.

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Fall Wedding Inspiration at Virginia House

You won’t believe your eyes when you see this Virginia wedding that looks like it was shot at an English manor. Janna Brown Design Co made the most beautiful of visions a reality and filled the day with flowers in rich autumnal tones.  Every dreamy detail is elegantly captured in imagery by Jacqueline Aleace Photography, you’ll love every picture inside the full gallery.

From Jacqueline Aleace PhotographyWhat started off as a dreary, drizzly day quickly cleared into beautiful blue skies for this shoot at the Virginia House. The result is simply spectacular.

It’s hard to believe you’re in Richmond, Virginia, and not in the Cotswolds when you have this beautiful English Manor as the backdrop for this elegant wedding inspiration.

Janna Brown Design Co’s lush bridal bouquet complimented the detailing on both of the bride’s Ines Di Santo  gowns- while the rich warm tones of the roses played off the bride’s hair and the rich colors of the fall season.

Photography: Jacqueline Aleace Photography | Event Design: Janna Brown Design Co. | Floral Design: Janna Brown Design Co. | Wedding Dress: Alexia's Bridal | Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo | Invitations: Nikki Stanford Artistry | Beauty: Emily Artistry | Location: Virginia House | Rentals: BBJ La Tavola

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Pink Poppies In Honor of the Bride’s Grandfather Inspired This Couple’s Virginia Estate Wedding

Pops of pink are as meaningful as they are pretty at this Virginia Estate wedding.  Our bride lovingly called her late grandfather Poppi”, so naturally poppies in artful arrangements by Olivera Floral Design were the perfect flower to fill this special day with.  Jamie Lynn Signature Weddings designed and planned the affair complete with an ombre champagne wall to welcome guests. Each photo by Madeline Trent is more enchanting than the last, see them all inside the full gallery.

From Madeline TrentThe whimsy and colorful shades of poppies laid the foundation for this vibrant pink-hued wedding in Virginia horse country. Emily and Christian met on Emily’s very first day of work after her college graduation. Fast forward over four years to a riverside engagement and Emily and Christian were married in front of 180 guests in a lush pink garden soirée nestled in the rural countryside of Virginia. Shades of pink and coral, inspired by the bride’s sentimental love of poppies, could be found incorporated throughout the wedding day from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the flower arrangements, linens and paper goods. The couple chose Dover Hall Estate, an English Tudor estate with rolling hills and stone terraces in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, as their venue. Dover Hall Estate sits in close proximity to where Emily and Christian both grew up. Upon their first visit to the property, the couple was immediately attracted to the estate’s luxurious grounds and interior spaces. As self-proclaimed “foodies,” Christian and Emily also loved that Dover Hall Estate provides its own cuisine and bar, and is well known for its culinary experience. Turning onto the long estate driveway, visitors are greeted by sprawling vines of the estate’s Seven Lady Vineyards, which supplies a portion of the estate’s wine selection. Both project managers by nature and profession, Emily and Christian appreciate a close attention to details and logistics, and knew they wanted to hire an experienced planner to assist them with their wedding. When the couple first started planning with luxury event design firm, Jamie Lynn Signature Weddings, their main request was to create an atmosphere of fun and comfort for their guests. “Choose your own adventure” became the mantra for the event design concept. The idea was to encourage guests to meander through the old-world inspired venue, while always being within earshot of the live band and never too far from the wedding festivities. Emily also requested colorful shades of pink and orange, grazing stations and soft seating for a relaxed guest experience, and very specifically: poppies in honor of her late grandfather, “Poppi.”

The inspiration for the wedding quickly developed around the poppy’s whimsical nature and vibrant colors – a variety of pink hues, coral, and orange. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, poppies went out of season the week before the wedding and were mostly unattainable, giving florist Olivera Floral Design the challenge to bring this vision to life in a newly-imagined way within the same color palette. The bouquets were each constructed entirely of blooms. Emily had no fear of color on her wedding day, and envisioned floral designs that were different than the greenery-heavy arrangements that are popular right now. Her bouquet incorporated locally grown California poppies, foxglove, snapdragons, dahlias, and scabiosa, as well as coral charm peonies, garden roses, butterfly ranunculus and sweet peas. Poppies were also a main feature of the couple’s stationery, designed by North Carolina company, Ivy and Linen Design. The custom save the dates featured light pink cotton paper with a letterpress poppy design and fonts in a deeper shade of rose. The wedding invitations incorporated letterpress printing and a pink rose oil painting envelope liner as a nod to the fresh-picked garden vibe of the event. The invitation suites were sealed with a custom burgundy monogram wax seal with the initials of Emily and Christian’s first names. Emily’s bridesmaids wore matching floor-length ‘Raya’ dresses by Jenny Yoo in the wild rose shade. She gifted her girls Flora Nikrooz silk pajamas from Saks Fifth Avenue and earrings from Olive + Piper to wear on the wedding day. The girls carried small hand-tied bouquets featuring the same variety of blooms as Emily’s bouquet. Christian and Emily’s French bulldog, Milo, made an appearance in a pink bow tie prior to the ceremony for his photo op with the couple. Milo’s sweet portrait also took center stage on the cocktail napkins and drink koozies at the bars. An ombre champagne display with custom neon sign welcomed guests as they arrived for the 6 o’clock ceremony. The acrylic shelves were stocked with sparkling libations consisting of the estate’s own champagne, rosé, and mimosas mixed with grapefruit or orange juice. The ceremony was held in the estate’s Two-Tiered Garden. A lush installation of whimsical, asymmetrical floral pillars and ground meadow arrangements set the backdrop for the ‘I dos.’ Campanula, statice, cherry blossoms, and a variety of locally-foraged greens accompanied the blooms used in the bouquets to create the ceremony installation focal point. Emily found her lace, off-the-shoulder wedding gown at Washington DC boutique, Ava Laurenne. She wore her cousin’s cathedral-length veil as her “something borrowed” piece. Bella Belle ‘Bridget’ tulle heels and earrings by Lindsay Marie Design completed Emily’s wedding day look. Christian’s father had the honor of officiating the wedding ceremony, offering advice and reflection on the couple’s relationship from a personal perspective. Ceremony musician duo, Perfect Harmony Strings, played “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles as Emily and Christian took their walk down the aisle as a married couple. Transfusions, the couple’s signature drink, were offered to guests during cocktail hour on the Bluestone Terrace. The vodka-infused concoctions were served with custom acrylic drink stirrers with the monogram used in the invitation suites.

The terrace featured overhead bistro lighting and comfortable seating options with furniture rentals from Paisley and Jade. Sam Hill Entertainment band, The Dickens Band, kept the party going all evening. Emily and Christian opted for an informal-style dinner consisting of chef-attended grazing stations available throughout the night instead of a seated dinner, giving them more time to party with their guests on the dance floor. Guests dined on the estate’s popular shrimp and grits, truffle mac and cheese, beef tenderloin and fresh-roasted local vegetables. The outdoor gardens were brought inside the ballroom with greenery-adorned bistro lighting strung overhead. The intent of the design was to make the multi-story space feel more intimate and inviting for this relaxed reception. Highboy tables with barstools were intermingled with a few large round tables dressed in BBJ La Tavola ‘Charles Pink’ linens and compote floral centerpieces. Thanks to ideal weather, the floor-to-ceiling ballroom doors were left open to connect the outdoor terrace to the ballroom, providing easy flow between the spaces. Guests on the terrace could experience the sights and sounds of the band even from outside. The tall 4-tiered buttercream cake was created by Richmond-based bakery, Sweet Fix RVA. The off-white tiers were iced in a textured application with the appearance of handmade paper using pressed flowers. A combination of hand-sculpted gumpaste flowers and live flowers were applied to add the finishing touch of pink, and of course, the poppies. The cake sat atop a patterned linen in front of the grand sandstone fireplace, originating from Scotland, and surrounded by a meadow of flowers repurposed from the ceremony. Emily and Christian danced the night away with their guests before they ended the evening enjoying Taco Bell hard and soft tacos with their guests before their sparkler sendoff and honeymoon at The Greenbrier.

Photography: Madeline Trent | Videography: Films By Julie & Chris | Floral Design: Olivera Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Ava Laurenne Bride | Cake: Sweet Fix RVA | Jewelry: Olive + Piper | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Dover Hall Estate | Hair and Makeup: Transformations Artistry | Lighting: Lighting and Sound Co | Entertainment: Sam Hill Entertainment | Band: The Dickens Band | Groom's Attire: Express | Ceremony Music: Perfect Harmony Strings | Transportation: Audi Richmond | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Design & Planning: Jamie Lynn Signature Weddings | Gown Alterations: Seams Alterations | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Location: Dover Hall Estate | Paper Products: Ivy and Linen Design | Rentals: Paisley & Jade

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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A Modern Summer Wedding Complete With an Eclectic, Vibrant Palette!

Who says contemporary weddings are strictly black and white? Today’s Virginia nuptials coupled a vibrant, bold palette with modern style and design – it’s safe to say the result speaks for itself! Lane Stewart Events curated every last detail to perfection, enlisting Olivera Floral Design to make a vibrant statement with blooms. Don’t walk, run to the full gallery to see all the pretty – taken by Allison Dash Photography!

From Allison Dash PhotographyAlex and Max envisioned having an urban wedding in the heart of downtown Richmond, where they are both from. With the ceremony and reception held at separate locations, Alex and Max wanted to play into the vibe of each venue for their details.   They started with their custom invitations designed by Alex’s best friend and MOH, Cate with Cate By Design.  The invitations set the tone for their modern, eclectic summer wedding for their guests.  When styling these pieces, photographer Allison Dash (the groom’s sister!), incorporated a key from the reception venue that members receive to access the house as well as a fan that guests were able to use during the ceremony to keep cool. 

The ceremony was held at the historic Virginia House, which gave the perfect whimsical garden feel for their intimate ceremony. Without taking away from the beauty of the architecture and gardens at Virginia House, the asymmetrical florals designed by Olivera Floral Design added the perfect pop of color to their ceremony. The vibrant touches of color, with lots of pinks, oranges and warm citrus tones and greenery popped against their more classic black and white ensembles.

Common House No. 2 set the tone for guests for a modern, yet eclectic reception. Guests were able to feel relaxed and embrace the true meaning of a social club while mingling with a station style dinner. Here they were surrounded by varying styles of centerpiece compotes, bud vases, and candle votives to bring texture and dimension to the long farmhouse style tables. They featured signature ‘His and Her’ cocktails, with a Whiskey Sour for Max and a Cape Cod for Alex, which is a personal touch as they live in New England! The Cape Cod was also the most vibrant and beautiful shade of fuchsia, matching the florals by Olivera.

The photo booth backdrop provided by Paisley & Jade with dripping orchids from Olivera provided guests an interactive experience that still reflected the overall vision for the day.

No wedding is complete without a specialty send off and we knew there was no better way to send this couple off than with a rose petal exit!

From the bride… Traditional aspects like the stone architecture and lush greenery at Virginia House, mixed with modern elements like a social club reception and poolside portraits offered different yet complementary layers to our wedding. They provided us the perfect balance of a whimsical, modern, and eclectic feel on our special day. With our July date, we wanted to play into the vibrant color palette of summer throughout our invitation suite and florals. We exchanged traditional vows during our ceremony, but shared personal vows privately in the garden during our first look. It was so special to add a private, personal touch to our day.”

“Max and I have actually known each other since pre-school! We started dating in college and for three and a half years, we dated long-distance. Max worked and lived in Atlanta and then Connecticut, while I completed grad school and began teaching in the Richmond area. These years were filled with hours in a car, on planes, and on trains, each goodbye getting harder than before. Almost a year after he moved to Connecticut for his dream job at ESPN, we got engaged on Labor Day 2020 and it was the most special day! My school year had just begun, so we wouldn’t get married until I had completed the school year in Virginia and could then move to Connecticut. Since I have summers off, we knew a summer wedding would be perfect for us! We envisioned a summer soiree for all of our guests to enjoy and have the best night celebrating with us. After years of many miles apart, we were so excited to become husband and wife and celebrate the official end of long distance! We recessed from the ceremony to one of our favorite songs, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys“, where the lyrics are the perfect nod to no more long distance while also fitting the summer vibe!”

Photography: Allison Dash Photography | Event Planning: Alana Futcher | Floral Design: Olivera Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Urban Set Bride | Cake: Frostings Bake Shop | Invitations: Cate by Design | Ceremony Venue: Virginia House | Reception Venue: Common House | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Birdy Grey | Catering: Common House | DJ: KJ Julian | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Beauty: Lou Stevens Glam Squad | Photography - Assistance: Ica Images | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Of Virginia | Weddings Rings: Diamonds Direct

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Soft, Sun-Kissed & Fluttering Florals Will Have You Craving Warm Weather Again, Already!

As we get into the colder weather months, here on the East Coast, this inspiration shoot, planned and designed by Blush Events already has me daydreaming of warmer days! Taking place at Agecroft Hall in Richmond, VA with a ‘boss babe’ list of vendors, romance along with a bride frolicking through the gardens made up for this sun-kissed shoot, shot by Kim Stockwell Photography! With a simple tablescape crafted of pastel plates and soft, blush blooms by Wild Fleurette, every detail came together and has us thinking of those warmer months already! So, go ahead and take a look and hug that blanket a little tighter!

From Blush EventsEditorial shoots are what happens when we get to play with our favorite colleagues in this niche industry of Richmond, Virginia. Creating the eye candy of the season’s style layered with timeless details is so rewarding to communicate on brand. Working alongside our team of boss babe vendors, precisely conveying our vision to represent a snapshot of everything Blush Events.

Wild Fleurette brought an organic, soft, and fluttering floral vibe. This was essential. We used a combination of greens and delicate blooms, while also keeping a minimalist look. Make way for dogwood, butterfly ranunculus, lisianthus, and sweet pea bliss. We strive for the natural pallet, designing movement for flowers to speak for themselves, a look that’s effortlessly beautiful.

The Elizabethan Gardens are a symmetrical setting for a ceremony, of the 16th century Historic Tudor Estate, Agecroft Hall. The views, manicured landscape, charm of climbing ivy archways and stone balcony, radiate off our model. Making an intentional oasis in something already spectacular, was an enticing feat. The ceremony framed the estate’s unique exterior rich patterned paneling. Paisley & Jade’s Linden chairs blended with the aisle lined florals as if intentionally growing on either side of the rows. The cohesive flow of the invitation suite reflects the blue hues and soft grey of order and opulence!

The bridal style accomplished a natural and soft look for makeup, highlighting a sun-kissed glow. The dress inspiration needed to reflect ethereal and dreamy, bridal being minimal and delicate. The silk dress and lace bolero made two seamless looks, both complementing the bride and the grounds.

Fine Art photography was essential to capture the beauty of the venue and the decisive components that embellished the greenery backdrops for an ethereal glow. The breeze throughout the day created shadows off the flowers on the tables-cape. Kim Stockwell also shot in film which was a huge treat! The collection leans into the dancing rays capturing the ambiance for a warm blanketed look surrounding the shoot.

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Photography: Kim Stockwell Photography | Film: Kirsten Beatley Films | Floral Design: Wild Fleurette | Wedding Dress: Annalise Bridal Boutique | Cake: Sweet Fix RVA | Invitations: Every Little Something | Hair & Make Up: Kara Waggoner Make Up Artistry | Planning & Design: Blush Events Planning & Design | Rentals: Party Perfect | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Tudor Manor House & Estate: Agecroft Hall

When an Art Director + Brewery Owner Tie the Knot

You might not immediately think of a brewery as a dream wedding venue, but for Kim and Scott, it perfectly fit the bill. As co-owner of Triple Crossing Brewery, Scott wanted to give his bride the ultimate blank canvas to bring her modern design vision to life and the result was a black and white lovefest with lush greenery woven into every detail. Thanks to Kim Stockwell for the photos that prove brewery weddings just might be the next big thing.

From Kim StockwellNestled near the heart of the city, Triple Crossing Brewery is home to craft beers, modern vibes, and Neapolitan brick oven pizzas. When Kim and Scott were planning their summer wedding they decided the brewery would be the perfect spot for their ceremony & celebration. Scott, co-owner of the brewery, gave his bride the freedom to customize their wedding to fit the space as well as her modern-meets-romantic dreams. Kim, an art director by trade, had a vision for the space that she spent months developing.

Their ceremony was industrial yet utterly romantic. The aisle was lit with candles & greenery as the bride & groom pledged their love for one another in front of a custom arch built by the groom’s father and executed perfectly by their floral designer Stephanie Murtaugh. The florals were modern with structured bouquets complemented by romantic, loose greenery. The Vera Wang invitation suite set the tone for their elegant yet contemporary black and white wedding.

After their first kiss as husband and wife, Scott surprised Kim with a barrage of little paper airplanes tossed by the guests as an ode to their love story. When the two first started dating, Kim confessed she didn’t know how to make a paper airplane, in which Scott spent their date teaching her how. From that moment on, every chance Scott had he would put a little paper airplane somewhere for Kim to find as a sweet reminder of their first date. Scott incorporated the paper airplane into his proposal and then spent days before the wedding making little paper planes for the guests to toss at the conclusion of their ceremony.

The celebration continued with an evening of dinner and dancing, followed by a sparkler farewell as the couple set off to their honeymoon in Dubai and Bali.



Photography: Kim Stockwell Photography | Floral Design: Stephanie Murtaugh of Stem & Anther | Wedding Cake: Summer Williams | Invitations: Vera Wang | Catering: Cater 2 Events | Lighting: Lighting Professors | Band: PaperWork | Officiant : Paul Jones | Venue: Triple Crossing Brewery | Bridal Dress: BHLDN | Bridal Hair: Kelly With 1213 Hair Studio | Bridal Makeup : Brideface Richmond | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Of Virginia


The Bride Wore a Showstopper Dress for Her Outdoor E-Sesh

If you want engagement photos that stand the test of time, take cues from Erin and Will. They worked with photographer Jake Anderson for classic portraits in a lush, garden location and Erin’s showstopper white dress tied it all together. Find even more right over here!

Erin + Will are an instantly classic couple and wanted their engagement session to reflect exactly that. Erin is the Editor of Virginia Living Magazine and exudes a wondrously stylish combination of elegant + classic. The combination of this stunner of a dress and the romantic garden location made this couple’s session one to look back on for generations to come.



Photography: Jake Anderson

For the fashion-forward bride, have a peek at this year’s hottest trends!


A Modern Richmond Engagement on a Very Special Day

These creative business owners – a professional photographer and cinematographer – had a unique vision for the overall style of their e-session, which took place one year (to the day!) after the proposal. The Bride-to-be strategically chose soft greens and neutral tones plus a modern floral arrangement, creating a cohesive style and color palette captured by Annamarie Akins Photography that will remain consistent from the engagement shoot all the way through the wedding. And to continue on with this very special date in their relationship, their wedding will take place exactly one year (again, to the day!) later.

From Caroline Birgmann of POSH PRWhat happens when Annamarie Akins Photography captures a modern yet city-chic engagement session in the heart of Richmond, Virginia?! Well, a lot of rule breaking (according to the couple!) and these absolutely stunning images!

It is no secret that Erika and Josh have an unbreakable bond. From their modern taste to their city-chic lifestyle, the couple found inspiration for their engagement shoot from their every day life together. As creative business owners, the dynamic duo find that their bond has strengthened over the past three years together. They are able to strengthen their connection on a deeper level while working hard as they continue to grow their photography and cinematography businesses side-by-side. Josh said that he loves the fact that he and Erika can easily relate to each other at the end of the day – they encourage each other to continuously set the bar high.

Living and working in a creative community, the couple find themselves in front of the camera as models on a frequent basis. That’s why they wanted to do something special for their engagement shoot that was completely their vision! They strategically chose locations that they felt represented their love story – their city’s capital building with the relaxed feel of the Richmond city streets, their favorite place to hang out, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where their love of art inspires their creativity.

Not only is Erika a professional photographer, but she is also the visionary behind the overall style of their shoot! Soft greens and neutral creamy-whites define the romantic color palette for the soon-to-be Mr. And Mrs. From the beautiful blooms to the strategic wardrobe selections, Erika wanted to create a cohesive style and color palette from the engagement shoot all the way through their big day. Speaking of their big day, the couple decided to schedule their engagement shoot at exactly one year away from their Keswick Hall wedding in May 2018, and one year after Josh’s romantic proposal at Pippin Hill. How romantic!

Erika and Josh believe that breaking the rules is more than acceptable when it comes to an engagement photoshoot! “Don’t feel like you need to do what others are doing,” Erika said. “Be unique and just be yourself!” They found inspiration from what truly defines the couple at their core. Yes, this includes their fur baby, Lilo, named after their love of the Disney movie, “Lilo and Stitch”! We are so excited for you to take a peek into Erika and Josh’s love story! Isn’t this dreamy?!



Photography: Annamarie Akins Photography | Event Planning: Posh PR | Floral Design: Courtney Inghram Events | Hair: Avenue 42 | Groom: Joshua Bryan Cinema | Bride: Erika Falkenberg

A 3rd Anniversary at the Couple’s Favorite Museum

Here at SMP, we believe every anniversary is worth celebrating in a meaningful way. So kudos to Tina and Chase for ringing in three years of marriage with a whole lot of fun, and no shortage of style. They took a trip to their favorite museum and brought Nicki Metcalf along to photograph the day. Cheers to Tina and Chase, and the many years to come!

From the bride, Tina… This month we celebrate three years of wedding bliss. On our anniversary we have a tradition that we love to reminisce about our wedding day, look through photos and discuss our favorite memories we’ve made from this past year. Some of our favorite memories from this past year include getting our sweet golden retriever, Magnolia, renovating our back deck so that we can eat dinner outside when the weather is nice or just relax outside while we tell each other about our days. Several fond memories also include us traveling to new fun places we were able to unplug from work and truly enjoy each other on interrupted while exploring a new city and their local eats. Although we no longer live in the city – we love to visit often with our pups. Some of my favorite Saturday mornings involve packing up the pups, picking up breakfast and coffee from Captain Buzzy’s and walking around together.

Chase has been instrumental in helping me see that life is meant to be lived and that we work to live, we do not live to work. We bring out the best of each other. I am so thankful to have found someone that is supportive, loving, adventurous, strong and incredibly thoughtful. We truly believe that marriage is not 50/50… But rather each of us giving 100%, 100% of the time.



Photography: Nicki Metcalf | Floral Design: Emily Artistry | Venue: The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design | Film Developer: PhotoVision Prints | Hair Sylist: Sandra Ross

An Urban Wedding With a Pretty Pop of Burgundy!

When Jessica and Evan began planning their downtown Richmond, Virgina wedding they knew exactly the vibe they were going for – modern and urban yet thoughtful and intimate. They chose a color palette of blush, burgundy, and champagne to anchor their design, including the groom’s custom suit that fit the day to a T. Photographed by Shannon Moffit and filmed by Tristan Means, we’re pretty certain your Thursday just got infinitely prettier. Pssst: more in The Vault!


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From Shannon Moffit PhotographyJessica and Evan’s wedding day was a perfect reflection of their relationship and style; urban bohemian meets modern romance. Out of town guests got a great taste of Richmond; we started the day at the gorgeously renovated Quirk Hotel, attended an intimate ceremony at St. Joseph’s Villa, and concluded the day with reception festivities at The Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing downtown. The color palette include classically romantic blush and champagne with a fun pop of burgundy. Overall, this wedding was a unique and lovely experience!

From The Bride…After living in Houston, TX for over a year, I decided that I was ready to be closer to friends and family. I packed up everything and relocated to Richmond, VA. During this time, I decided that I really wanted to focus on my career and experience true Richmond culture. To do that, I chose a restored apartment building, in the downtown area close to several restaurants. I had a very structured routine. Work. Gym. Dinner. Repeat. And then it happened serendipitously…three weeks into my routine I came home, changed into workout gear and made my way down to the gym.

In my head, I remember thinking today is going to be my cardio day so I’ll do some interval training on treadmill. While walking to the gym I passed through our residential common area that consisted of the usual recreational activities (pool table, billiards, etc.) and noticed that there was someone new shooting pool. That’s when Evan caught my eye. He must have noticed, or maybe it was just mutual because he came up and approached me to start a conversation. Nearly 30 minutes later we exchanged numbers and returned to our separate lives. I headed to the gym and he and his buddy resumed shooting Pool. Over the next couple of days we constantly ran into each other and decided that we should hang out.

Neither one of us was from the Richmond area so companionship was something we both craved. For our first date, we walked for hours downtown along the canal and then concluded on the steps of the Richmond, VA capital building. We both knew early on that this would be something different for us. Though the chemistry and attraction were undeniable, we also genuinely liked and had a mutual respect for the other person. Though we were both initially hesitant about the prospect of dating one another because we lived in the same apartment building, and as we all know that can either turn out to be really good or really….awkward. We figured that the consequence of not trying would fully outweigh the risk of trying and it not working.

Evan and I were dating for a year and a half before he proposed on Valentine’s Day 2015. About two months leading up to Valentine’s Day I remember Evan saying that we had to do something special this year. We drove downtown and he pulled up to the capitol (the site of our first unofficial date) and parked. I remember thinking, ok sir….well-played. Everyone loves a walk down memory lane. So we hopped out of the car and began walking. I remember the wind ferociously blowing in my face and thinking what is so important that we have to be out in the cold right now. And then it hit me. Butterflies. Sweaty palms. All of it at once. And I remember thinking to myself, “Jess, maybe he’s about to propose. Is this what it feels like for a woman before she gets proposed to?” And then I remember thinking to myself, “Nope, Jess that’s not it. It’s a holiday and he said he’d never propose on a holiday.”

He started talking and reminiscing on our first date at the capitol and how this was the place where he came to think after work months ago and realized that he was so in love with me and how today this place wouldn’t be the place of our first date or how he realized he was love in love with me but rather the place where he decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. As soon as we climbed the top of the stairs, he reached in his coat, got down on one knee and proposed. With sweaty palms and joyfully misty eyes, I accepted his proposal and jumped into his arms so excited to spend forever with my love and best friend. On the way back to his car, I couldn’t help but turn around and catch another glimpse at the stairs of the capitol building. The capitol has always held a special place for us.

Because most of our wedding guests were traveling to Richmond from other cities and states we really wanted to give them a taste of Richmond. For guest hotels we opted for Quirk Hotel which is a new rendition of the 1916 upscale department store and then the Courtyard Marriott located in historic Shockoe Bottom. For our ceremony we wanted to choose a location that would reflect our spirituality while also reflect our love of giving back to the community. The church at St. Joseph’s Villa seemed like the natural choice. Once a former orphanage, St. Joseph’s Villa now serves the Richmond area as a leading nonprofit by providing support and housing to those suffering with intellectual developmental disabilities, mental health challenges and homelessness. All proceeds from the church go to support their efforts. Lastly, we needed to secure a place for the reception. Here in Richmond, the James River flows aimlessly and effortlessly throughout the city. We wanted our friends and family to have an urban experience and a view of Richmond’s best landmarks so choosing to have our Reception at the Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing was the obvious choice. Nestled on the River, The Boathouse offered violet and pink sunsets, city skylines and river breezes. Finally our venues were done.

Our wedding color palette reflects our personalities: Blush, burgundy, and champagne. Evan opted for a custom made burgundy suit and I landed my ivory Casablanca dress from a boutique here in Richmond, Sealed with a Kiss Bridal. The bridesmaids wore blush with pops of burgundy detailed on lips, nails and bouquets. Similarly, the moms were champagne with pops of burgundy as well. Now that we had our attire we had to ensure that we selected the right person to capture images and to tell our love story. We met with and interviewed with quite a few photographers and once we met Shannon we knew she would be perfect. She has exceeded every single expectation and worked seamlessly with our videographer Tristan Means.

I was lucky enough to work with my future sister-in-law, Tomeisha Dean. Evan and I seriously couldn’t have pulled this off without her. She worked as our day-of wedding coordinator and worked with us during the months leading up to the wedding to discuss our wedding details and ensure that everything flowed seamlessly. She’s planned a number of events and her experience and at times wedding planning can be so overwhelming and it’s important to connect with your partner. Dates with non-wedding talk and quality time with friends and family really helped to keep us grounded and sane throughout our wedding process. Once our wedding day came, it was so AMAZING to see how everything came together and how our vision of a modern, urban, and intimate wedding came together!

Photography: Shannon Moffit Photography | Cinematography: Tristan Means | Event Planning: Tomeisha Dean | Floral Design: Black Creek Flowers & Sweets | Wedding Dress: Sealed With A Kiss | Cake: Couture Cakes by Melissa | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph's Villa | Reception Venue: The Boathouse At Rocketts Landing | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Makeup: Holly Byrd Miller | Hair: Kadouri | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Bridal Boutique: Sealed With A Kiss | Getting Ready Venue: Quirk Hotel

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When You Lock Eyes With The DJ, Sometimes It’s Fate

Girl walks into a local bar. Girl locks eyes with boy, who happens to be the DJ. Boy has an instant feeling she’s something really special. And the rest, as they say, is history. Read on for the full love story plus beautiful engagement photos from the lens of Meredith Sledge.

From The Bride… Jasen and I met three and a half years ago. He was DJ’ing at a local bar and he said as soon as he saw me, he had a feeling. We ran into each other again two weeks later and he asked for my number. I didn’t think this popular Richmond DJ would ask for my number! We went out the following week and the rest, they say, is history.

To be completely honest, it hasn’t been an easy road (are relationships ever easy!?). Jasen was different than any guy I had ever dated, the biggest thing being the age difference of 13 years. Because of this, we had a rocky first year. I made the choice to fight for our relationship because I felt something in my heart that I never had before. Jasen accepted me for who I was. I rarely felt like I could be my true self in a relationship and, not only did he allow me to be open and honest, he brought out the best in me. He continued to do this through the hard times.

We laugh together. Every. Day. His energy lights up a room. We love to spend time with family and friends. Spring and fall weekends are filled with adventuring throughout Virginia. We lead a busy life (he’s a real estate agent/DJ on the weekends and I am a 5th grade teacher), but we always make time to check out the latest movie, blast music in our house and make a terrible attempt to sing like Adele, and be adventurous in our kitchen.

I am absolutely one of the girls that has been thinking about their wedding since they were 12. I am addicted to Pinterest and already have a “vision board” for my wedding! I want to describe my wedding as elegant, romantic, fun, and cozy and I can’t wait to get married this winter!

Photography: Meredith Sledge | Location: Main Street Station

Bold Black and White Ballroom Wedding

Everything that Laura Gordon Photography touches turns to gold. Want proof? Just peek this gallery and you’ll have all the evidence you need. Because this ballroom fete is fit for royalty. With captivating captures like this, this, AND this, we think you’ll be hard pressed to pick just one as a forever favorite. Fall in love with it all in The Vault!


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From The Bride…I have always had a deep appreciation for classic & traditional things. I also love anything that feels fancy & elegant. From the moment I started planning our wedding, I knew I wanted our guests to feel three things: Elegance, Tradition, & Appreciation. I was very lucky to have an incredible team of vendors that helped to bring my dream together. As a wedding photographer, I knew my biggest decision would be my photographer. I chose someone that I felt was extremely capable of seeing my wedding day the way I had envisioned it. I always knew I wanted to be married somewhere that embodied elegance & tradition, which is why I chose the historic Jefferson Hotel as my wedding venue. My stationery designer worked with me to set the tone of my day with the perfect invitation suite. That helped to set the bar of elegance that we would carry throughout the wedding.

From the tradition aspect, I knew I wanted to get married in a Church since both my parents and my husband’s parents were married in a church. That was important to me because I wanted my future children to have the opportunity to also see a church in our wedding pictures.

Something that made our wedding day unique was the amount of time we spent planning to make sure our guests really enjoyed the wedding and felt appreciated. Making sure everyone would really have a great time at our wedding was one of the things we thought about most. From the food we chose, to the bar, & the band. Even from a scheduling stand point we thought about what our guests would want. My husband and I are very people & family oriented and we are the happiest when those around us are happy. We knew we had to take that into consideration on our big day. We wanted everyone to feel appreciated and loved so that it was truly everyone’s big day.

Photography: Laura Gordon Photography | Cinematography: Shaking Hands Productions | Event Planning: Events By Elizabeth Palmer | Floral Design: Photosynthesis | Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau | Cake: The Jefferson Hotel | Invitations: Page Stationery | Ceremony Venue: Monumental Church | Reception Venue: The Jefferson Hotel | Hair + Makeup: Avenue 42 | Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting | Band: EastCoast Entertainment | Officiant: Two Become One Ministry | Ceremony Music: Appasionata | Bridal Boutique: Hitched Salon | Bride's Rings: Hamric & Sheridan | Ceremony Flower Wall: Sweet Pear Paper | Cocktail Hour Music: Frank Sings Frank | Groom's Ring: Cowardin's | Guest Book: Sue Corral Ink | Linen Rentals: Glamour Linens | Trolley: Rva Trolley

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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.

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

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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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.

More Virginia weddings this way!

Photography: Michael And Carina Photography | Cinematography: Molly Scott Photography And Video | Wedding Dress: Bella Rosa | Catering: Baker's Crust | Makeup Artist : Nicole Laughlin Makeup Artist | 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 & Chiyo | Rentals: Paisley & Jade

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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.

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

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Rustic + Elegant Tuckahoe Plantation Wedding Inspiration

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 Photography | Event Planning: Merren Events | Floral Design: Photosynthesis | Wedding Dress: Alexandra Grecco | Invitations: Capital Calligraphy | Makeup: brideface | Hair: Lauren Perkins | Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation | Models: Modelogic Wilhelmina | Ribbon And Table Runner: Silk and Willow | Table: Paisley & Jade | Veil: Hushed Commotion

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Colorful Wedding Inspiration with Bright Rainbow Hues

Don’t get me wrong – when it comes to weddings, I adore a muted color palette.  But give me a bundle of bright, vibrant hues from a talented team of vendors and that, my friends, is where you’ll find my happy place.  From the gorgeous stylings of Tart Event Co. to the fab paper goods from Design Corral to those crazy cool Paisley & Jade chairs.  See the colorful explosion captured by Stephanie Yonce right here.


From the Stylist, KelseyOur shoot in two words? Bright and whimsical.

We’ve enjoyed participating in a number of shoots with varying color palettes and were eager to take things in a different direction with our rainbow theme shoot. Aiming for an upscale take on the classic ROY G. BIV hues, the shoot took on a life of its own against Paisley & Jade’s white industrial backdrop.

Favorite details included Paisley & Jade’s collection of amazing, custom-painted asymmetrical chairs, which made its inventory debut for the shoot. We were thrilled with how Candy Valley Cake Company interpreted our rainbow petit-flours, as well as Design Corral’s custom rainbow invitation suite. Finally, it was a delight to see how the bright pops from Janie’s florals paired so well with the bright blue and purple ribbons. As for DIY details, we hand-dyed the streamers as well as made and painted the paper flowers.

Our models Stasia and Jonathan were on board immediately and happily played the part of the spirited couple. Our bride’s cropped top and hot pink links paired with our groom’s bowtie hoped to convey that would eagerly embrace the theme as if it were their own wedding — trading in cake for petit-fours and welcoming a “no socks” policy for the groom.

Photography: Stephanie Yonce Photography | Event Design: Tart Event Co. | Styling: Tart Event Co. | Floral Design: JM Flora | Wedding Dress: Made By Anatomy | Hair & Makeup: Elle Style Studio | Hair & Makeup: LaCretia Baskfield | Furniture And Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Invitation Suite: Design Corral | Location: Paisley & Jade | Sweets: Candy Valley Cake Co.

Elegant Spring Wedding at Tuckahoe Plantation

We’re in luck today, with not one, but two wonderfully romantic weddings by Jen Fariello. This spring soiree won me over at first sight of these tulips in the prettiest shade of blush I think I have ever seen. This Bride, inspired by the color, added some bright pinks and subtle grays and every bit of her celebration was absolutely lovely.  See every inch of pretty right here.

From the Bride… John and I met at the University of Georgia through mutual friends during freshman year. We didn’t start dating until senior year after working together on a marketing class project. After five years of dating, John proposed near the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. during cherry blossom season. He then took me to a romantic dinner in Alexandria, VA and surprised me with a visit from my parents. We were joined by friends and plenty of bubbly afterward to celebrate the night.

We loved the idea of bringing friends and family together in a chapel, then heading to an outdoor venue for the reception. My parents live near the University of Richmond and it has held many special memories for our family over the years. Tuckahoe Plantation was the perfect combination of southern charm, beauty and history for our outdoor reception. It worked out perfectly that garden week happened to fall over the wedding date so the flowers were in full bloom.

I wanted the wedding to feel classic and romantic with a twist. There were many traditional elements, but several unique touches throughout. My sister and matron of honor, Lauren, helped me create a color palette for the floral arrangements and bridesmaid dresses. The bridesmaids were able to pick any dresses they wanted that fell somewhere in the color palate. I wanted the bridesmaids to feel amazing and knew they each had their own special and fabulous style.

I held a monogrammed handkerchief from Greece around my bouquet which had been given to me by my sister, Lauren. My mom and I used old barn wood from my grandmother’s farm to make signs for the reception. The signature cocktail (Blissful Bride) consisted of blood orange soda, vodka and rosemary which tied in the pink color scheme. A photo booth was created by hanging a frame from a tree and setting props on a nearby table. I gave John a bourbon-cigar bar as his wedding gift which all guests enjoyed. The pink cake was accompanied by Dixie Donuts at the dessert table. The guest book was a vintage copy of the history of Tuckahoe Plantation.

People tend to say that your wedding day feels like a blur but I distinctly remember the details and I made a point to cherish the little moments. I knew that I would feel happy and have fun, but I was blown away by feeling the happiest that I have ever been. My favorite photos include the ones of me and John at Tuckahoe Plantation before heading into the tent and with my bridesmaids in the courtyard at the chapel before the ceremony.

Photography: Jen Fariello Photography | Videography: Chris Yeatts | Event Planning: Beverly Wakefield | Floral Design: Sarah Chiffriller | Wedding Dress: Bella Rosa Bridal | Cake: Cakes By Graham | Invitations: Reaves Engraving | Make Up: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics | Hair: Merritt Shelton | Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation

Earth Wind Fire Water Styled Wedding Inspiration

Sometimes Mondays call for a heaping helping of pretty to really kick of the week, and today we are getting our fill of gorgeous thanks to this earthy inspiration shoot from Andrea Pesce Photography. Styled to perfection by Wright Events Services with stunning florals from Black Creek Flowers & Sweets and rentals from Paisley & Jade, this gallery is overflowing with the most fabulous textures and design moments, making the start to this week extra lovely.

From Andrea Pesce PhotographyBelle Aisle in Richmond, VA set the scene for this Earth, Wind, Fire, Water inspired shoot. Styled by Natalie Wright…elements of leather, fire, stone, feathers, and greenery complimented the masculine feel of this east coast wedding. We were determined to break away from the typical Virginia “rustic barn” or “elegant vineyard” wedding, and do something with a masculine undertone that provided a different perspective of Virginia. We took a trendy local hang out on the James River, looked at it in a different way, and drew from its atmosphere for our inspiration. We love how it is exposed to all earth elements with its flowing river water, worn protruding rocks, breezy shore, and fiery toned landscape. We emphasized the incorporation of local craftsman such as Erica from Black Creek Flowers, Amy from Sincerely Amy Designs, and Mary Ann from MA’s Mad House of Adornment. Even our clothiers, Beecroft & Bull, and Tiffany’s Bridal are Commonwealth small businesses. We believe in utilizing the talent around us and really wanted to express that in this shoot. From Erica Hutchison, Black Creek Flowers & SweetsI was extremely excited when Natalie and Andrea approached me with their idea. They gave me the details and other design elements that I would be working with, and turned me loose! Being given creative freedom is the best gift a florist can get! Working together with fellow artists/designers is always inspiring, but I definitely felt inspired after this shoot! From Natalie Wright, Wright Event ServicesWhen we collaborated with vendors we encouraged them to use our inspiration words and interpret them in their own way to display their individual creativity and represent their business in a personal way.

Photography: Andrea Pesce Photography | Event Design: Wright Events Services | Floral Design: Black Creek Flowers & Sweets | Wedding Dress: Tiffany's Bridal | Groom's Attire: Beecroft & Bull | Venue: Belle Isle | Bridal Headpieces: Ma's Mad House | Bride(Model): Shirley Chung | Calligraphy - Invitation & Menu: Sincerely Amy Designs | Groom(Model): JR Hadley - Boylan Heights Burger Bar Owner | Musicians: Mountain Larks | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Wedding Favor - Manhattan Kit: Kitsy California

Bridesmaid Getting Ready Inspiration

When the question has been popped and the date set, it’s time to start planning that all important morning getting ready with your ladies. And thanks to the creative talents of Katie StoopsAmanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings and Janie Medley, we’re getting an inside look at just how fun it can be. Set at Avenue 42 Style Studio, they styled the perfect morning made for girlfriends. More right here!

From Katie Stoops Photography… Natalie Gordon, owner of Avenue 42 Style Studio in Richmond, VA teamed up with Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings and Katie Stoops Photography to stage a fun wedding day getting ready shoot in the new bridal suite at the salon. Pretty florals provided by Janie Medley Flora Design decorated the beautifully lit space.

The models donned super cute, comfortable rompers from Plum Pretty Sugar and even enjoyed having resident salon dog, Henry along!

The ever important ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid’ gift included makeup from Avenue 42, a brush case from Anthropologie, a monogram necklace from Drift Riot and a sweet card from Leen Jean Studio.

The bride wore a Reem Acra gown and girls complimented in Paper Crown dresses on their way to the church through the streets of Downtown Richmond. The bouquets tied off with the prettiest shades of blush to berry from Silk & Willow.

Photography: Katie Stoops Photography | Floral Design: JM Flora | Jewelry: Drift Riot | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Paper Crown | Hair & Makeup: Avenue 42 | Calligraphy: Leen Jean Studio | Accessories: Anthropologie | Bridal Gown: Reem Acra | Coordination & Styling: Ashley Baber Weddings | Dress Boutique: Wardrobe | Getting Ready Space: Avenue 42 | Ribbon: Silk and Willow | Rompers: Plum Pretty Sugar | Veils: Jaclyn Jordan New York

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