Google+Coral Virginia Wedding by Jen Fariello, Part 1 - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Before I can even dive into the gorgeousness of Lauren + Rob’s wedding, I have to say that I found myself tearing up when reading about their proposal. Rob proposed to Lauren with her mama’s engagement ring, which was passed down to her from her paternal grandmother. Unsurprisingly, she wrote that “it has a very special and sentimental meaning.” What I love even more about this story is that their jeweler even incorporated the platinum from her mom’s ring into the new setting. Swoon! How Rob actually proposed is a good story, too, so make sure to check that out below!

Now let’s talk details! Our very talented friends at Easton Events worked with Lauren (one of their own fabulous planners!) and Rob to create a modern and intimate design inspired by L + R’s favorite John Robshaw pillows from their home in D.C. I admire that they chose to incorporate things that they love in their own home into their wedding!

Special thanks to Jen Fariello for capturing this sweet soiree! Be sure to check back for part two and to check out the whole coral creation in print! Order your copy of V5 right here.

Oh my WORD! This stationery suite is just a vision!

The printed suite was definitely my most treasured design element of the wedding. Erika fantastically set the tone for the wedding from the first impression with the invitations and carried the lyrical aesthetic through to the programs, the menus and even our Mister + Mrs. chair signs. Erika also worked with us to incorporate cooking and the culinary world into the design of the wedding weekend! We have always enjoyed exploring restaurants in our own hometowns and our current town of DC, so each of our reception tables was named after one of our favorite restaurants we have frequented together! The story of our connection to each restaurant was explained on a description card at each guest’s place.

Holy Tara goodness, y’all! I think Lauren did Scarlett proud with this gorgeous plantation!

Our wedding fell on the weekend of the crazy derecho that swept the East coast this past June. The night before the wedding, hurricane-force winds and rain passed through Charlottesville, leaving fallen trees, debris, and power outages the morning of the wedding. Fortunately, we had generators to power the tent and thanks to our incredible wedding planners and team of vendors, the wedding went off without a hitch! The day was perfectly sunny and while we heard thunder rumblings and lightning throughout the ceremony, we didn’t feel a drop of rain all day. We did, however, have Texas-sized heat with temperatures over 100 degrees that afternoon!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress.  What is your favorite thing about it? My dress was a strapless lace fitted design by Romona Keveza. I loved the floral appliqués at the top of the dress—they added a touch of modernity to the simple style. My veil was a bit more traditional with lace and the perfect touch of sparkle!

Our incredible florist Southern Blooms crafted a stunning ceremony arbor of white delphinium, dendrobium orchids, and draping that set the scene beautifully for a romantic and chic celebration. Southern Blooms created a timeless magical ambiance with lush white peonies and hydrangeas and coral charm peonies added a brilliant dash of coral whimsy that we carried throughout the day with the cocktail florals and the bridesmaid’s bouquets. My bouquet was even more beautiful than I could have imagined! The bouquet was brimming with Festiva maxima white peonies and white sweet peas, wrapped in the lace and pearls from my mom’s wedding dress for my “something old.” The girls carried bright bouquets of coral charm peonies and garden roses that were so fun and festive for summer and the guys wore white boutonnieres tied with coral grosgrain ribbon.

Our bridesmaids wore TwoBirds Bridesmaid dresses in ivory. We chose this style because we had a wedding party of 10 girls and we wanted everyone to express their individual personality through their dress. The TwoBirds dresses can be tied in over 13 unique styles, which was perfect for our large group!

Dying over this sweet first-look alternative! I would have needed some extra waterproof mascara!

Rob and I love writing notes to one another, so instead of a first look, we planned a card exchange just before the ceremony. We wanted to keep with the tradition of seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle, so we shared our notes from the balcony without seeing each other before the ceremony. It was so nice to have a moment together and come to center in the midst of the excitement of the day.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? My maternal grandfather and Rob’s maternal grandmother are our only surviving grandparents. They both made the trip to Virginia from Dallas, Texas and Bowling Green, Kentucky, respectively, and we couldn’t be more thankful that we had the chance to dance with them at our wedding!
Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. The ceremony was far and away our favorite memory of the day. My uncle is a reverend and he presided, which was incredibly special. He worked with us on every detail of the ceremony from the readings to the homily and we can never thank him enough. Rob’s aunt and uncle have been amazingly supportive of our relationship and they are a marvelous inspiration for us in marriage–they have been together over 40 years! We asked them to read Soulmates by Richard Bach, which we felt was reflective of both of our relationships.
Who participated in your ceremony? My younger sister and best friend served as our Maid of Honor and Rob’s incredible older brother was our Best Man. Our family means the world to us, and we wanted to recognize them as our support system and our guides as we enter into this new chapter in life. We created a unity flower ritual as an alternative to the unity candle–each of our mothers carried flowers down the aisle that we combined together in a flower press to symbolize our families becoming one. We have saved the flowers to incorporate into a piece of artwork in our home–we are so lucky to have such a wonderful reminder of our special day every day.

Did you write your own vows? One of our top rules in life when presented with two equally fabulous options, is to always do both. We knew we wanted to include the traditional vows that our parents and grandparents have promised to each other for generations. However, we also decided to share a few personal words with each other before exchanging our formal vows. So the week before the wedding we went to our first date spot, Jaleo, and wrote the framework for our personal vows together. My favorite piece of Rob’s vows was, “You brighten all my days. I always want you to be happy, because when you’re happy, then I’m happy, too.” Rob’s highlight of my vows to him was, “Dr. Seuss said it best–“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” I know our future together is incredibly bright, just because you’re my mister, always.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? Our “do both” rule also came into play with the ceremony music! We wanted to incorporate a bit of tradition, so our family processed to Brandenberg Concerto and my dad and I processed to Canon in D. We spiced it up with our wedding party processional to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing and our recessional to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit! The music was really a reflection of us and Encore String Quartet was wonderful in working with us to strike the perfect balance.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.  (From the groom) We crossed paths during our time at Duke through overlapping circles of friends, but never really spent much quality time together. After graduation, we both moved to DC (along with a sizable portion of our graduating class). A year later in the fall of 2008, a good friend of ours celebrated his birthday at a downtown restaurant and I was lucky enough to get a seat next to Lauren! We enjoyed each other’s company and found many shared interests. Another good friend of ours noticed the chemistry and was convinced there was something more between us, so he devised a plan. He invited each of us to his company holiday party setting each of us up with colleagues he thought we wouldn’t be interested in. Everything went just according to his scheme: we ditched our dates, spent the whole night dancing together, and after many, many nights of Top Chef and vacations from the South of France to San Francisco, we couldn’t be more excited to be together forever!
Describe the proposal: As a wedding planner myself, Rob knew he would need to get crafty in order to surprise me with the proposal! Last Halloween, he called me and told me to get ready for dinner at one of our favorite local tapas restaurants and our first date spot, Jaleo. The reservation was just an hour later, so he knew I wouldn’t suspect too much. We had a fantastic Spanish dinner and then Rob took me on a drive throughout the city to visit all of the apartments we have lived in since our time in DC (which after a few years, is actually quite a few!) We reminisced and watched cute trick-or-treaters in the different neighborhoods, talking about all that we have to look forward to together. By this time it was about 11:30 and we headed home for what I thought would be calling it a night. Then, Rob sneakily asked me to come up to the roof of our building to help him check out the grill (we had trouble with it when we barbequed over the weekend). I obliged and to my surprise, under the hood of the grill Rob had a box waiting for me! My dad proposed to my mom over hamburgers on the grill, so it was very thoughtful of him to incorporate the grill into his sweet proposal. I am incredibly lucky!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement. Rob actually proposed with my mom’s engagement ring, which was passed down to her from my paternal grandmother. It has a very special and sentimental meaning. A few days after proposing, Rob took me to a family jeweler in Great Falls, Virginia, where we reset the stone and made it our own. The jeweler even incorporated the platinum from my mom’s ring into the new setting. We feel very lucky to have a ring that my mom wore for 34 years and we can now share with our children through many more lifelong marriages to come!
Tell me all the basics of your wedding! We chose Charlottesville, Virginia for our wedding because my parents have lived in the area for almost ten years now and you can’t deny the splendor of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains. Not only is Charlottesville a breathtaking and charming city, but it’s where Rob and I fell fast in love over long weekends of cooking and relaxing with family. We wanted to host our friends and family in the place that we hold most dear, at my parents’ house. So in true, Southern style, our ceremony and reception were held in my parents’ backyard on June 30 at 6:30PM.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Modern, lyrical, magical, intimate (I couldn’t choose just three!)
How many guests attended your wedding? 164
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? The design inspiration originated from the collection of John Robshaw pillows in our home in DC. Pillows are a slight obsession of ours and John Robshaw’s designs are fantastically modern and fanciful! We worked closely with the wonderfully talented Erika Jack to create a custom printed suite inspired by our pillows and the printed pieces set the tone for the entire wedding design. We even incorporated some of our favorite pillows for a touch of whimsy at the reception!
What were your wedding colors? A palette of neutrals and gold with the perfect punch of coral!
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? I spent the morning having a wonderful girls’ day of hair and makeup, music, and fun with all of my bridesmaids, my mom and my sister. We indulged in delicious Southern finger sandwiches and salads as well as plenty of Diet Dr. Pepper for fuel! Rob spent the morning with his groomsmen as well, but unfortunately without any power or running water due to the storm! They made runs to the Boars Head for showers and getting ready. Once they arrived at my parents’ house before the ceremony, things were much more relaxing as the guys enjoyed snacks and sang along with the string quartet.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love the coral and the calligraphy, and the venue is gorgeous!

  2. avatar {The NotWedding} reply

    This wedding is just a southern dream! We LOVE every aspect of this special day. Congrats to Lauren and Rob!

  3. avatar Nicole Saffron reply

    The bride’s dress is stunning! I love their sweet card exchange with out seeing each other!

  4. avatar Jen Fariello reply

    Thank you all much for sharing this wedding! xoxo

  5. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my, that paper suite is just killing me! A vision, indeed!

  6. avatar Inspirational Thursday « ittybittypartycommittee reply

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  8. avatar Amy reply

    Totally adore those invites! What pretty stamps!

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