I’m a big fan of classic Southern style weddings, especially ones with pale pink accents. I attribute this to the romantic in me. But I have to say I fell hard for Brittany + Matt’s turquoise celebration. The classic white florals and soft gold accents combine to make the bright turquoise feel refreshing and joyful! As y’all also may know about me, I believe in love at first sight. That’s why Brittany + Matt’s adorable chance-meeting-turned-real-life-meet cute made my heart sing!
Special thanks to Rebekah Hoyt for not only capturing their gorgeous big day, but one of my favorite first look photos ever! Just wait until you see Matt’s face! I must warn you that it may crack wide open even the hardest of hearts :)
To fulfill the rhyme, I had old satin from my mom’s wedding dress on the ring bearer’s pillow, and new lace wrapped around my bouquet from the same material with which we made my cap sleeves. I had borrowed and blue shoes: I found and fell in love with a pair of funky designer shoes on eBay and snatched them up after I saw they had blue soles with little diamonds that said “I” and “do” under each sole. I consider them borrowed because they were clearly purchased for someone else’s wedding, although they were never actually worn!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes, we did! At first I was unsure about it because I wanted to stick with tradition and not see Matt until I walked down the aisle, but it turned out to be one of the most special parts of the day that we shared alone together before the wedding commenced. It also allowed us time to take photos before the ceremony and then get whisked away to enjoy the reception all the more!
Pure and absolute joy at its very best!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was a long process. I thought so many looked great, and I chose one of my favorites, a more fitted dress that I was dead set on. After a couple weeks of thought, though, I wasn’t so sure. I felt like I should look again and I tried on a completely different style of dress. It was fuller and more traditional. The funny part was that the store was out of stock of the Isadora Marie, the dress I ended up choosing, so I had to try on the “sister” dress that had a different bottom and fold the entire bottom half up to the waistline to make it look similar and get a feel for how it would look. Wouldn’t you know, the jimmy-rigged “sister” dress had me speechless! The photos are pretty funny to look back on because it didn’t look quite the same, but we had the store, Tiffany’s Bridal, order the real Isadora Marie. When I finally got to try it on, I was sure I had found my gown! The only thing I felt was missing to make it just my own were lace cap sleeves. We had Tiffany’s order some extra lace from the same style as the bottom of the dress and had them fitted and even made detachable, as I was excited to have the option of two looks for the wedding and reception. I kept the sleeves on until midway through the reception and danced the night away without the straps!
I was really tickled that we had the historic and iconic “Richmond Trolley Car” transport the wedding party to the ceremony and reception. The trolley is the epitome of the city’s Southern charm and is most certainly a tradition for Richmond’s summer weddings. The overall aesthetics of the area in which we had the wedding were very quaint and romantic in a special Southern way, with winding roads lined with great big oak trees! Both the church and reception venues also had similar architectural styles that were very Southern in nature, with lined brick archways and big white columns on the exterior and black and white checkered marble flooring and draped curtains in the interior.
Did you write your own vows? Yes, we did. In my vows, I made a list of promises to Matt by using scriptural texts and listing our most unique and personal times together. I don’t have a favorite phrase, but there was a really funny moment when I promised to “intentionally give two of Matt’s love languages, quality time and touch.” After I said it, Matt kind of smirked and then the entire congregation erupted in laughter! It was a really cute moment.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had Colossians 3:15-19, 1 John 4:9-16 and 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a four-tier round cake with alternating colors and patterns on each layer. I was torn about the cake topper, so we had a bow made instead. The patterns consisted of latticed pearl polka dots and sweeping swirls and circles for a sort of girly and romantic feeling. The inner layers were “European” style, cream-filled cake with almond, vanilla, and raspberry layers.
We loved the energy and tone that the band set to make the reception one of the most fun weddings our guests have hopefully ever attended! I had heard great reviews about Class Act, but in person I absolutely loved the enthusiasm and talent the band brought forth and especially loved how involved and inclusive they were in bringing us all together! Everything ran so smoothly from their soft playing during the cocktail hour to the announcements and transitions all the way to getting down on the dance floor and starting a dance-off with the guests. At one point in the night, they got my mom to “shake her money maker.” It was such an awesome moment to watch, I smiled for days remembering how fun they were!
And don’t miss their beautiful wedding film by Shaina Koren!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on December 17, 2008 in Richmond, Virginia at Have A Nice Day Cafe. I was with my high school friends from Richmond and Matt was with one of his friends from the UVA track team. We met as strangers. I saw him in line and he saw me, but we were both too shy to introduce ourselves and were not sure of one another’s interest! My friend forced me to talk to Matt because I couldn’t stop looking over at him, and Matt obliged. The first exchange was a bit nervous on both ends, but we were both so intrigued to find out more. After maybe only an hour of talking, my friends decided to leave so I had to tell Matt goodbye. I quickly asked for his number for fear of never seeing him again. That night, I could hardly sleep and just felt in my heart I had met someone very special! The next morning I had a Facebook message. He had apparently found me after looking all night online for my name (From the loud music in the café, he actually had thought my name was Whitney instead of Brittany!) and we began communicating until we had our first date a few days later. On our date, we talked about everything from our families and values to beliefs and dreams. We realized this was more than just infatuation and we shared our first kiss after the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve 2008. We knew that God had put us very purposefully in one another’s lives and continued to date from that night until we were engaged in May 2012.
Tell us all about the proposal! In May 2012, Matt proposed to me and threw me a surprise party on the one of the private pavilions of the University of Virginia. He was living on the lawn that year and was preparing to graduate and invited me to a “party” for one of his campus organizations. I kind of had a inkling he was up to something as he was sounding nervous in the days leading up to May 12. I arrived on campus and saw one of Matt’s friends with a camera and kind of felt suspicious. Then when I got to Matt’s room, he was already dressed up to take me out to dinner. We went to dinner at one of our favorite spots on in Charlottesville and ate on the tiny terrace upstairs. I asked him what we were doing after dinner, but he was very anxious and kept diverting the questions. Afterward, we took a walk on and he led me to the back entrance of one of the old gardens surrounding the lawn on campus. We walked through the garden and when we got to the top stairs, I noticed music playing, tables set with candles, and a bar. I commented, “Oh, there must be a party here tonight!” Then Matt pulled me to the center of the garden and was sort of shaking and telling me how much he loved me. Our favorite song, “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton started playing and then I knew it was happening! He got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. Then he asked, “Where does it go?” Ha! We kissed and afterward, our friends started trickling out of the pavilion house and racing down to hug us. We spent the evening celebrating with friends! It was a magical night and I was amazed at the thoughtful and incredible man who gave me this magical surprise!!! Our proposal has a YouTube video!
When did y’all get married? June 8th, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted our musical selections to reflect our appreciation and passion for ALL styles of music! I was a music major in college and it has been a longtime hobby of ours to listen to anything from classical to oldies to pop! I walked down the aisle to the traditional “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner, the wedding processional was “Canon in D,” and we recessed to “Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn. We wanted to make use of the beautiful organ and honor the timelessness of traditional selections. To incorporate some of our personal convictions of our more contemporary expression of faith, we had my childhood friend sing, “I’m In Love With You,” a Christian song sung by Kari Jobe, as well as during our Prelude, “Jesus at the Center,” by Israel Houghton and “I Desire Jesus” by Hillsong along with “Postcards from Far Away” by Coldplay. Our first dance was “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley and father-daughter dance was “My Girl,” the song my dad taught me to dance to in our garage growing up. The band played the best of oldies, soul, disco and funk hits from the 60s and 70s!
Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were a mixture of everything I love: white peonies (my absolute favorite!), pale coral roses, and my other close second favorite, succulents! I have been obsessed with them for the last year, and was so excited to incorporate them into the bouquet! I would say overall, I wanted the bouquets to have a very romantic and vintage feel. My overall color palette was creams, pale corals and pinks, and the addition of the pearls and golds in ribbons, added beads and sticks coming out of the bouquets in the reception. For the pews, we used a simple pale pink rose with white hydrangeas and long white tulle with a satin bow. For the reception eating tables, we had hydrangeas and roses and chose to brighten up the colors and heighten the arrangements. We also used smaller arrangements of white roses for the high top tables and greenery around the centerpieces on the outside eating tables.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I took bridal portraits with Katelyn James on location at Maymont Park, one of downtown Richmond’s treasures as well as a place where Matt and I had one of our first dates. I really love that special and uniquely Southern tradition of presenting the bride in her gown at the entrance of the reception, yet at the same time it was a pretty far-fetched concept to many of up North! When I told a lot of friends in New York that I was going to have bridal portraits taken, they were like, “What is that? Do you have to do one of those?” Ha! Only in the South!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Hands down the most memorable and emotional moment was when my husband danced with my grandmother at the reception. She has been ill from heart rhythm complications and I was devastated because we weren’t sure if she was going to be able to come to the wedding. My husband pulled her onto the dance floor and the band was playing a really sweet rendition of an oldie. I stood there with my mom, sisters, and close friends and just wept at both the beauty of all the people that I love being together in one place as well as the bittersweet sadness of this potentially being one of the last years we share with her.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. With weddings it is so easy to get carried away with all the tiny details. They are beautiful and incredibly meaningful, but make sure to really enjoy the ride in every moment of preparation. For some, it is a yearlong process and for others, maybe just a few months or weeks. But rather than fretting over it, relish the time you have to make your day just right with the people you love!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After a month-long trip to our honeymoon in Spain followed by a visit (and our second wedding reception!) to my husband’s parents and family in Uelzen, Germany, we are really excited to just finally cohabitate as one and decorate our first apartment together. We live in a beautiful brownstone right next to Central Park in the Upper West Side in New York City, so we are also quite excited to run together in the park as well as try out the wide array of local restaurants!
Photographer: Rebekah Hoyt Photography | Videographer: Shaina Koren Cinematography | Planner: Beverly Young, Mother of the Bride | Ceremony Venue: River Road United Methodist Church| Reception Venue: The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club | Florist: King William Florist | Wedding Cake: Ukrop’s Bakery | Caterer: Tommy Norwood Catering | Rentals: Party Perfect | Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design | Band: “Class Act” | Special Details: Shutterbooth | Bride’s Gown: Tiffany’s Bridal “Isadora Marie” Style | Napkins with Gold “M”: The Knot Wedding Shop | Bride’s Hair Clip/Jewelry: Tiffany’s Bridal and Macy’s | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Faces By Joy | Bride’s Shoes: Pour la Victoire | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Dessy Group “After Six” Style | Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Bridal Portraits: Katelyn James Photography | Additional Vendors: Richmond Trolley Car, 1950 Chevrolet Getaway Car from family friend