Though Emily is quite familiar with Tuckahoe Plantation from her V5 photo shoot days (you can see the Virginia is for Lovers feature here), we love getting a larger look at the Southern venue from the perspective of Terri + Andrew, whose coral outdoor wedding photographed by Julie Lim is dreamy perfection. Y’all know I never miss calling attention to my favorite string lights, which T + A used to tent their dance floor. I think it only makes their big day even more magical. Of course, the string lights weren’t the most memorable thing about the reception for the bride, who picked out her father-daughter dance as her favorite.
I think Terri summed it up best when she said, “My wedding day was a tremendous blessing for me, where I married my best friend and my other half, thanked my wonderful parents for all of their love, had special moments with my precious sisters, and celebrated my marriage and all that God has done for me. We had good food, lots of desserts, beautiful gardens, many laughs, lots of fun, and I could feel the love from everyone special in our lives.”
I was overwhelmed by the number of dress boutiques in the area, so I prayed and asked God to make it easy for me. I kid you not, the next search I did online brought me to Terri Lynn Bridal. My name is Terri Lynn, so I knew that was the shop! To make it even easier, my dress was the first one I tried on and was within my budget. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I began to tear up because it finally hit me that I was getting married. That dress made me feel like a bride. We all agreed it was “the dress.” The bridal consultant said it was the smoothest appointment she’s ever had.
Oh my lovely, that little peony bud boutonniere is officially one of my favorites!
One of my favorite details about the flowers (aside from their beauty) is that they were grown on the plantation. Another was that Hannah did an amazing job making each arrangement unique but complimentary to each other, just like the idea I used for my invitations. Our bouquets and each arrangement were full of the lush peonies from the plantation in various shades of light pink and white. Each bouquet was accented with beautiful corals, peaches, greens, blush pinks, and whites with a variety of flowers. There were two table styles: One with revere bowls and mint julep cups filled with peony arrangements and another with peony arrangements in mason jars, alongside ivory lanterns w/ floral accents.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Pachelbel’s Canon is one of my favorites, so that was used for the bridal party processional. I picked a very special song to play as I walked down the aisle. It comes from the soundtrack of the very first movie Andrew and I saw together. I actually heard the song prior to watching the movie because Andrew sent it in our “novel.” When I listened to the song for the first time, I saw myself walking down the aisle to it! It was crazy for me at the time because Andrew and I were not even dating yet, but I felt like it was the song that was going to start our journey in life together. The song is a beautiful instrumental song played by a string quartet. Andrew worked really hard to find the sheet music, and one of our dear friends helped him find it. We were so blessed to have a string quartet to play that song for our wedding. Because the song is so special to us and it was a bit of an adventure to find the sheet music, we used the same song to walk back up the aisle. It was so sweet! Our first dance song was “Love You” by Jeong Yeop, which Andrew also sent to me through our novel at a very pivotal point in our relationship. The lyrics are so sweet and I also used a few phrases in my vows.
What was your favorite phrase, verse or line from your vows? My favorite line from Andrew’s vows was, “The more I got to know you, the more convinced I was of what God showed me — that you are truly the desire of my heart. You are my beloved and I am yours.” Andrew’s favorite phrase from my vows was, “Together by your side, holding your hand and you holding mine, I ask that you walk with me, always keeping God as our guide.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The most special reading occurred when my Daddy prayed over us and read Genesis 49: 22-25 as the Father’s blessing: “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with the blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessing of the breast and womb.” We also had a few other great Scriptural readings from Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:21 and Ephesians 5:25-28.
I grew up in Georgia, so I knew I wanted a Southern garden wedding. What’s more Southern than having a wedding at Tuckahoe Plantation in Virginia? The plantation has beautiful gardens and we even were able to have most of our wedding flowers from the plantation. We danced under the stars and had a great time outdoors. We had some of my favorite comfort food, including mac and cheese, pies, and peach cobbler. We also had sweet tea and lemonade. My bubble and ring boys wore bow ties and I wore a lace wedding dress. In lieu of the typical lawn games, we had board games and cards that we love to play. I also had light green and pink parasols for the ladies as they strolled through the gardens. Although this is not exclusive to Southern weddings, we included a moment of prayer with the family (which was so important to me) prior to walking down the aisle. We had that special moment and we were able to make the ceremony about how great Jesus has been to us while celebrating that He brought us together.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was trying to finalize the guest list. We wanted a small and intimate wedding but found it very difficult to create a guest list to fit what we would consider small. We were blessed that so many people in our lives wanted to celebrate with us that it was difficult to determine to set a limit but we had to stay in budget. Also, it was very difficult to plan the wedding and to take care of the little details because our lives were so busy and we had so many important things going on that we could not put on hold. I did the best I could with the time I had. Although I did not get to finish all the details I planned for, God made it amazing and it turned out great!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Andrew’s most memorable moment was seeing me walk down the aisle, as he was overwhelmed with emotions. My most memorable moment was walking through the garden with my Daddy and turning the corner to see Andrew at the arbor with all of our loved ones surrounding us. Andrew had tears streaming down his face, and I could just see the love in his eyes. Also, dancing with my Daddy is so memorable and special to me. I still tear up now every time I think about it.
Instead of the traditional wedding cake, we wanted something that suited our personalities. I wanted my typical Southern favorites. I say that Andrew and I go together like pie and ice cream and milk and cookies, so that’s what we served. Who doesn’t love either of those? We had a selection of pies, including pecan, lemon chess, apple, and sweet potato, all with either a side of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. We also had chocolate chip, oatmeal and raisin, sugar, and peanut butter cookies with a glass of milk. Last but definitely not least, we had good ol’ fashioned peach cobbler. The caterer did a great job creating a beautiful display with all the desserts. The desserts were so good that people started digging in before the reception officially started!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Andrew and I met at church a few years ago, and I had a bad first impression of him. I thought he was extremely arrogant, so I didn’t talk to him for a long time. It wasn’t until we both started serving in the Young Adult ministry together years later that I started to get to know him. We talked through emails (that we called our Novel — cheesy, I know, but it’s so endearing and cute!) and phone conversations over the summer, but we still never went on a date. Then, we decided that we should seriously consider dating with the intent of marriage, so we prayed for 40 days and also did the Daniel Fast for 21 days during that period. At the end of the prayer period, we came together to share what God had revealed to us. At that time, Andrew told me that God had given him several dreams that I was going to be the one he married. Andrew saw many divine appointments at that time, but I was kind of clueless. Before we went on our first date, which was a week after our 40 days of prayer, he wanted to ask my parents’ permission to date me, but we knew there wasn’t going to be time. Even then, God set it up so that my dad had to go to Baltimore (near Andrew) that week for a business trip. My dad decided to take my mom with him, so in that week before our very first date, my parents went out with Andrew twice! We received our confirmations, and it was such a surreal and peaceful feeling to just trust God with everything! He was in all the details, and it was pretty cool to know who we were going to marry even before we started dating.
Describe the proposal. Andrew and I, along with my parents and two pastors, planed a trip to Israel for our church. One special day there, we decided the six of us should go to the Mount of Olives to pray where Jesus prayed. Prior to going there, though, we went to see this awesome woman who has a special ministry there that helps abused women. She has an amazing gift of prophecy, and one of the pastors arranged for us to meet her. She shared some amazing things with me, but she also said that this trip was going to be the start of my “season of romance.” I knew she was talking about my relationship with God, but little did we know it also had a literal meaning. After visiting her, we went to the Mount of Olives to pray. It was so amazing, so beautiful, and so peaceful! We found this nice flat rock under a tree overlooking Jerusalem. My parents and the pastors decided to go pray in another area nearby, so it was just Andrew and I under the tree. I began to pray. I prayed for everything that was on my heart, and I prayed for Andrew and me also. After I finished praying, Andrew prayed, but his prayer was mainly focused on our relationship. (He said I prayed for everything, so there wasn’t much else to pray for, ha!). As he was closing his prayer, he knelt on one knee in front of me and began to tell me how we started on the foundation of prayer, and he relied on prayer when asking God how to fulfill the next step — to get engaged. He told me that as he prayed for the next step, God showed him to propose to me on the Mount of Olives. For as Jesus will be coming back to the Mount of Olives for His Bride, the Church, Andrew has come to the Mount of Olives, for his bride, me! How sweet, romantic, and deeply spiritual is that?! As Andrew began to propose, my Dad came around the corner recorded the whole thing.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are too many to write but I would say all the DIY details (invitations, programs, ring book, pie topper and signage) because each one had a special meaning to us, and I had so much fun working on each project with my sisters. We also loved the café lights at night. Instead of the traditional flower girls, I had what I called “Bubble Boys!” They carried little bubble guns down the aisle blowing bubbles the whole way. They were adorable.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Pray about the details, and know there isn’t just one right way to have a wedding. Do what you want, and have fun with it! I ran out of time and could not complete all the details that I wanted, so I focused on the few that I was able to complete. More importantly, I focused on the fact that at the end of my wedding day, I was going to be married to my best friend even if the little details weren’t all there.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We were blessed to enjoy a great honeymoon in Fiji and we are planning a few more international trips this year before we think about starting a family. We have been serving together as co-leaders for our Young Adults Ministry as volunteers at our church and it has been a tremendous blessing. We look forward to starting a family soon and to see where God will lead us.