Even before their engagement, Katie had already envisioned her dream setting for her and Scott’s wedding, and when she spotted Murray Hill in a local magazine, she knew it was the perfect place to carry out that vision. With the help and guidance of their planner Grit & Grace, plus stunning blooms by Holly Heider Chapple, Katie and Scott welcomed guests to an understated, yet completely beautiful, wedding celebration. And, while their wedding cake was the focal point of their dessert buffet, how fun is it that they had “his and her favorites” up for grabs, including cookies and dairy milk for Scott and mini cannoli and French macarons for Katie? Personalized touches like that are always so special!
I was absolutely in love with my wedding flowers. Holly was so spot on with her floral design. We wanted to include subtle shades of green, white, and yellow, with pops of coral poppies. Unfortunately, the time of year made poppies a bit harder to find, so Holly warned me early on that she would do her best but couldn’t guarantee that she would be able to get them. However, the day of, when I received my bouquet, it was overflowing with poppies. Holly had managed to find them from a local grower, and they couldn’t have been more beautiful.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did premarital counseling with Scott’s brother, who officiated the wedding, and his wife. The premarital counseling was very helpful for us, as we were able to continue to learn more about each other and how we approach life and faith.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. We both struggled with finding the perfect words to describe our love for each other, but knew that we both wanted to try to use our own words in front of our family and friends. Scott’s favorite line of my vows was when I promised to continue to listen to country music as long as it wasn’t too twangy (I didn’t like country music prior to meeting Scott, but now am a huge fan!). My favorite part of Scott’s vows was, “From the first time we met in the parking lot of a softball field, I knew that you were going to be someone very special to me. Your laugh, your smile, your eyes, and your yoga pants all told me I had finally found the partner I had been longing for.”
On our way home from getting engaged, Scott had already downloaded a local wedding magazine on his iPad for me to look through. I already had a vision in mind for the setting, and while flipping through the pages, I stumbled upon one of the real weddings featured in the magazine that fit my vision perfectly. It was a barn wedding with Edison string lights that were simple, understated, and so beautiful. I immediately told Scott that that was where I wanted to have our wedding. The following week, we visited Murray Hill and fell in love with the property and it’s owners, Peggy and John. With a ceremony location overlooking the Potomac River, a beautiful garden and reflecting pool for the cocktail hour, and a whimsical stroll through the woods to get to the three-sided barn on the property, they had everything that we had envisioned for our special day. We knew we didn’t need to look any further and booked our wedding date that same day.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Without a doubt, our wedding would not have been as big of a success without Megan Pollard from Grit and Grace. We had looked into several other vendors in the area, but, by chance, interviewed Megan first. We left that first meeting with Megan and cancelled all other interviews with other planners. She was exactly who we were looking for. Megan was there day and night to provide her professional (and personal) opinion on anything and everything we needed. She understood what we wanted and knew how to make it happen. As our big day came to an end, marking the end of our professional relationship with Megan, we texted her as we rode away from the venue to ask if we could be friends now. She simply replied, “I’m glad you feel it too.”
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Some of our favorite details of our wedding were our table numbers and guest book. Each table was the name of a city that Scott and I were fortunate enough to travel to over the course of our relationship. To tie into the travel theme, our guest book was a vintage atlas with a sign that said “Eat Well & Travel Often–Let Us Know Where We Should Go.” We wanted our guests to show us their favorite spots in the world and give us some ideas of where we should travel to in the future.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We both are big bourbon lovers. Our signature cocktail during the cocktail hour and reception was Woodford Bourbon and Ginger Beer. Although, in true Southern style, we spent most of the evening enjoying the Woodford on the rocks!
During our first few weeks of dating, Scott was set on convincing me to like country music. He kept sending me lists of songs to listen to and I kept putting it off until he finally sent along Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted.” He said next to it “I think you’re really going to like this one.” When I finally listened to it, I realized all the lyrics perfectly described my feelings for him…I was hooked. I knew at that moment that that would be our song. The father/daughter dance was to The Cranberries’ “Dreams” (acoustic by Katey Sweeney and Jonathan Padden). The first concert I ever went to was with my dad to see The Cranberries on my 10th birthday. The concert was unforgettable and such a special moment for me and my dad that I wanted to honor it by having one of the songs for our dance. I also spent months trying to convince my son, Malcolm (10 years old), to dance with me at the wedding. He was a little shy and said he didn’t know how to slow dance. I said that it didn’t have to be a slow song and that he could even choose a country song if he wanted. Malcolm decided on one of his favorite country singers, Luke Bryan, and had an absolute blast dancing that night. It was the perfect way to start off the party and invite our guests to come join us on the dance floor.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Scott and I met through mutual friends while playing co-ed softball. Scott was new to the Northern Virginia area after growing up in Virginia Beach. The softball team was short a few players one Saturday morning, so his roommate invited him to come out and play. The first person Scott met as he strolled onto the field was me! After a few more softball games and a trip to a wine festival, we realized we had a connection, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! I joined Scott at a business conference at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. After coordinating with the hotel staff and his co-workers, the stage was set for the big event. The backdrop would be the hotel’s beach club at sunset, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Using a book we had been working through, “101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged,” Scott began to go through questions he had created to set up the big question. The final question Scott asked was, “Will you marry me?”
When did y’all get married? May 30, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 187
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding a wedding dress was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I am more of an independent dresser–not one to go out and shop with others because I hate the pressure. Having a slew of people join me as I picked out one of the most important garments of my life was a little overwhelming. I bought a dress that was beautiful and timeless, but it wasn’t me. When it came in nine months later, I realized I made a mistake. I quickly started researching other options and stumbled upon Nicole Miller’s Janey Gown from BHLDN and fell in love. It was everything I wanted in a gown, and had a quick turnaround time so it arrived just in time for the big day.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Scott and I decided not to do a first look, since we had both always dreamed of that moment when you turn the corner and see your husband/wife for the first time as they walk down aisle. We were a little more traditional in that sense and feared we would regret missing out on that opportunity. However, in hindsight, that is one aspect of our wedding we had wished we had been more open to. I was able to do a first look with my dad and son, and the pictures we captured from that moment were some of my favorites from the day. It also would have probably helped to calm my nerves to see Scott beforehand.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Ephesians 5:21-33
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. While we had a wedding cake, the focal point was our dessert buffet. Scott grew up in a household where–to this day–his family receives milk from a milkman who delivers directly to their home. He and his brothers had a ritual every night of having Oreos with dairy milk. I, on the other hand, have a deep love for cannolis and macarons. We decided for our wedding day that the desserts would speak to “his and her favorites,” including chocolate chip and Oreo cookies with shots of dairy milk, mini cannolis, French macarons, and sugar cookies in the shapes of softballs and baseball bats.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to save money by purchasing our own alcohol for the wedding. It was a little extra work to coordinate amounts and make sure it got to the venue, but in the end, it was worth it for the money we were able to save.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At one point during the reception, everyone was on the dance floor and “Wagon Wheel” came on. Everyone started singing in unison and then all of a sudden, Scott, Malcolm, and I all got hoisted up on people’s shoulders and were sitting above the crowd watching all the happiness and joy around us. We felt completely supported (both physically and emotionally) by all our loved ones and were absolutely elated.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t forget about the real reason you’re getting married; you love your partner and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Wedding planning is filled with deadlines, stress, and compromise. At the end of the day, always realize being married and planning a wedding are two different things, with one distinctly more enjoyable than the other!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Since our big day, we’ve added a four-legged friend to our family. Harper is a beagle/lab mix that we rescued from South Carolina. She is a Southern belle at heart, but won’t hesitate to enjoy a good pair of leather shoes from time to time. We will continue to travel and eat our way through our bucket list of vacation spots.
Photographer: Jodi and Kurt Photography | Planner: Grit & Grace | Venue: Murray Hill | Florist and Lighting: Holly Heider Chapple | Caterer, Cake, and Dessert Baker: Ridgewells Catering | Rentals: DC Rentals | DJ: Premier DJ Services | Signs: Sweet Carolina Collective | Paper Products: Brave Creative Design | Bride’s Gown: “Janey” by Nicole Miller | Bride’s Headpiece and Earrings: Ayajewellery | Hair and Makeup: Claudine Fay | Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Menswear: Jos. A. Banks | Dance Floor, Chalkboard Escort Card Board, and Furniture: Revolution Event Design & Production | Tent: Capital Party Rentals | Welcome Bag Cookies: Fresh Bakes | Ceremony Musicians: St. Charles String Quartet | Floral Linens and Cocktail Tables: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Invitation Suite: Haute Papier | Custom Koozies: Christine Meahan Designs
Grit & Grace and Jodi Miller Photography are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!