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When I hear the word “heirloom,” it’s hard not to imagine a very classic and traditional aesthetic. However, Dacie and Dennis’ bright and citrus-inspired wedding is anything but! It’s fun and youthful, but it’s also filled with family heirlooms and community treasures. Getting married in her parents’ backyard meant Dacie and Dennis got to tap into one of the best parts of the South: community. When her parents’ vines hadn’t quite grown enough to cover their ceremony arch, Dacie’s mom’s friends stepped in to supplement the vines with all sorts of greenery and flowers. Even her grandmother brought cosmos from her own garden! My favorite part of the decor, though? Dacie and Dennis’ table was layered with planks of wood from when her parent’ home was built, table runners sewn by her paternal grandmother, and topped with vases and candlesticks from her family’s collection. I can’t help but mention how fitting it is that Dacie found her beautiful dress at The Sentimentalist!

Thanks for sharing, Sarah & Ben!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The dress was perfect! My sister has worked at wedding dress salons, so she is the family expert. She planned a weekend full of dress hunting in Atlanta–we had 5+ appointments scheduled. But, of course, I fell in love with the first store we went to (The Sentimentalist) and the first dress I tried on. I tried on a few more, but we all knew that the first one was exactly what I was looking for. Gabi at The Sentimentalist perfectly understood what I was looking for, and delivered just that! I had been afraid that dress shopping would be a stressful or uncomfortable experience, but instead, it was absolutely wonderful! I left feeling beautiful and even more excited to get married!

We got married in the backyard of my parents’ house. I grew up there and had dreamed of getting married on the river, where I had spent countless days kayaking and exploring. Dennis has also fallen in love with Palmetto and my parents’ house over many trips to Florida.

We were married under an arch that was full of the most beautiful flowers. My parents had planted some jasmine, bougainvillea, honeysuckle, and Florida vines to cover the arch for the wedding, but it had not filled in all the way, so my mom called on her friends to supplement the vines with all sorts of greenery and flowers. My grandmother brought cosmos from her garden, and someone clipped ground lilies from my neighbor’s yard. It was a community effort that resulted in the most amazing backdrop for the most perfect ceremony! I was thrilled when I walked out and saw the arch!!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our recession after the ceremony was an unexpectedly perfect moment. The ceremony had been perfect–emotional, happy, romantic, everything. As we walked back down the aisle after the ceremony, we were elated. Before we could turn the corner and get out of sight, we had to embrace and celebrate. I had mostly held it together during the wedding, so I burst into tears at that point, beyond overjoyed to be married to Dennis. We were quickly surrounded by our families and bridal party as it sunk in that we were finally married!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We tried to focus on things that would make us happier on the wedding day. If it wasn’t going to affect how we felt on the day of the wedding, we tried not to worry about it (for example, we realized we wouldn’t care, or even notice, what the napkins looked like, so we just popped over to Party City a few days before the wedding and picked up some yellow paper napkins). That kept us from wasting time and stressing ourselves out unnecessarily.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We purchased all of the vases, glasses, and plates for the wedding. We were excited to have an eclectic collection of vintage plates with all sorts of designs, wine glasses for people to drink citrus water, wine, cocktails, etc. out of, and candlesticks and vases to make the table arrangements interesting and unique. In addition to the fun look of it all, each item was less expensive than if we had rented it. My mom set a strict budget for each plate/ glass/etc. so we wouldn’t spend more than it would have cost to rent. The effect was great, cost-effective, and it gave us dishes to hold on to as a fond memory!

The flowers were happy and colorful, just as we had dreamed of. We wanted bright flowers, citrus, and lots of greenery. We cut the ferns from my parents’ yard for the florist to incorporate into the bouquets and arrangements, which turned out beautifully! The table arrangements had several layers. There were table runners that my paternal grandmother had generously sewed for us. On top of those were planks of wood from when my parents’ house was built in 1948. On top of the planks were hundreds of crystal vases and candlesticks–some were family heirlooms, while others my mom and maternal grandmother collected from thrift stores for the wedding. Each vase had beautiful flowers from the florist and from the cutting garden that my mom had grown with some of my favorite flowers for the wedding, including gerbera daisies, zinnias, cosmos, glads, snapdragons, nasturtiums, and more.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern element of our wedding was the food. The food was primarily prepared by friends and family, and it was a major highlight of the wedding. My parents host a 4th of July party each year, and some of my dad’s friends always bring a fryer to make fried fish and hush puppies. They were generous enough to agree to fry fish, shrimp, and hush puppies for the wedding. The fish and shrimp came from a local fish market that I have always loved eating at. We also offered cheese grits that my mom’s friend cooked. Her secret recipe is unbelievable, and she created the best cheese grits that anyone had ever tasted! We also had a corn on the cob bar. We had grilled corn with a ton of toppings (like cheese, butter, spices, and sriracha) that people could add to their corn as they desired. It was a total hit!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was the first week of college, and there were so many new names and faces, I accidentally stopped listening when people would tell me their names. Then “get to know your neighbor” turned into “introduce your neighbor to the entire group” without warning. Of course, I had forgotten (or never listened to) my neighbor (Dennis)’s name, so I found myself introducing my “new friend from Delaware who has a brother who went to Yale” to the group. I felt so absolutely horrible, so I tried to become Dennis’ friend, always saying hello and remembering his name. As it turned out, we got along pretty well, so we quickly became the best of friends! We spent late evenings chatting in my dorm room, and we shared many many meals in the Davenport dining hall. Over the next four years, our friendship blossomed and became all the more important to each of us. He met my family and even came to Palmetto for spring break a couple of times. (He might have fallen in love with Palmetto before he fell in love with me. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t find love at first sight with Palmetto?) By the time senior year rolled around, Dennis and I both began realizing that we really didn’t want to be without one another (at least in spirit, since we were already committed to be in different states). After long talks and Dennis’ realization that “we’re probably going to get married,” we decided to give it a go. Before we knew it, we graduated and spent the summer traveling before we landed in Durham and Boston.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Dennis: After asking for Dacie’s parents’ blessing, I found a beautiful spot at the National Arboretum (just outside of DC) where I wanted to propose. I developed a plan with one of Dacie’s best friends, Chelsea, for her to casually suggest it as a fun weekend activity when all three of us were out at dinner together. I would find a last-minute excuse to bail, and then I would surprise them at the arboretum. But when Chelsea brought it up, I apparently agreed “too enthusiastically” because the next morning, Dacie woke up in tears saying “I didn’t want to, but I think I accidentally figured out when you’re going to propose!” To throw her off, I came up with an excuse that would put me out of town on the day that I was “supposed to” propose. I even created a fake email address posing as one of my company’s investors and sent myself an email insisting that I come to New York that weekend. I had a fake email conversation with myself and everything…I showed these email to Dacie, and she totally bought it. This time. the conversation was, “You’re really not proposing this weekend? This was the only possible weekend before August! I have to wait at least another five weeks?” So here I am, the night before I’m about to propose, denying that I’m proposing tomorrow, while simultaneously telling her that we’ll be engaged before she knows it. I’m glad I never have to try pulling that off again. At 6 A.M. the next morning, I left the apartment to catch my fake train to NYC for my fake meeting. I sat at a coffee shop for five hours before heading to the National Arboretum, accompanied by my friends, who had agreed to take photos of the occasion. We found our spot and just waited for Dacie and Chelsea to get there. The entire time, I was getting texts from Dacie, asking how my meeting went. When Dacie turned a corner and saw me in front of her, she was totally speechless. (Crushed it!) I immediately forgot everything that I had planned to say, and just babbled for a bit before getting down on one knee and asking her to marry me. She was so emotional and so happy–it was the best moment of my life. We then explored the Arboretum for a couple hours and drove back into the city for dinner at a restaurant called Marcel’s. At the end of the night, I had one final surprise: both of our families and a few close friends waiting at our apartment to celebrate the occasion with us. The day couldn’t have gone any better.
When did y’all get married? May 7, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 220
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D. Early on in our engagement, Dennis and I were walking through the Duke Gardens with a wedding going on nearby, and this song began to play. I totally lost it and began sobbing, overwhelmed by joy and excitement that we would be married soon. From that point on, every time I heard that song, I was overcome with happy tears, so Dennis was excited to see me walk down the aisle to it. When he was younger, Dennis was hired to play the violin at weddings pretty often, so he had some favorite songs that he wanted the string quartet to play during the other parts of the wedding. Our first dance song was to “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. When we were freshmen in college, Dennis and I went to a Jason Mraz concert with two of our friends, so we have always enjoyed listening to him together. When we started dating after three and a half years of being best friends, this song feels like the anthem of our relationship.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For my something old, my mom had some old jewelry melted down and turned into bangles for my sister, herself, and me. One piece of jewelry was a ring that my dad got her for Mother’s Day when she was pregnant with me. My mom surprised me with the bangles as I was getting dressed for the wedding! For something new, we wrapped the scraps from my new wedding dress around my bouquet. I had not really thought through something blue, but my bridesmaids had my back. When they realized I did not have anything blue, they gave me several options. I opted for the understated blue bobby pin that I wore in my hair. A friend of mine who was recently married had purchased an extra garter set, so I borrowed that from her. I actually forgot to wear it on the day of the wedding, but I think it still counts!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so happy to be married. The week after the wedding, I graduated from law school and we moved to a new city. We are just excited to settle into our new lives and apartment together! Many adventures await!

Photographer: Sarah & Ben | Planner: Jennifer Sayko | Venue: Private residence | Florist: Kings Wholesale Florist | Cake Baker: Matt & Dom’s | Rentals: All Event Rentals | Band: Strings Attached | DJ: Luke Stultz | Bride’s Gown: “Mademoiselle” by Sarah Seven | Bridal Salon: The Sentimentalist | Hair and Makeup: Salon Linnea | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ann Taylor Loft | Groom’s Attire: Blank Label and Gap | Groomsmen Attire: Gap

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Linda reply

    what a stunning wedding ! best wishes to this couple

  2. avatar Jess reply

    This wedding makes me oh so happy!!

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  4. avatar Victoria reply

    Love the use of color at this stunning wedding!

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As soon as Caitlin and Davis’ wedding photos arrived in Lisa‘s inbox, she knew I would fall head over heels. A classic Southern church wedding filled with monograms and magnolias? You can bet your bottom dollar she was right! Magnolias are my very favorite flower–I not only love how gorgeous they are, but also how they seem to honor the South with every bloom. For Caitlin and Davis, the use of magnolia leaves and flowers throughout their wedding weekend had an even deeper meaning that makes my heart so happy: it was their way of honoring Davis’ parents. On Davis’ parents wedding day, Davis’ father and groomsmen had cut down and arranged magnolia leaves and blooms found on a neighbor’s tree to create the decor, so decades later, it was only fitting that Caitlin and Davis included magnolias in their day, too. What an incredibly sweet family tradition in the making!

Thank you so much to Landon Jacob for sharing this beautiful day with us!

On the day Davis and I got engaged, my mother had a “wedding survival kit” prepared for the two of us, complete with various wedding magazines to browse. Too excited to sleep after our family dinner, I snuck into my television room and spent hours looking at the various dresses, hairstyles, bouquets, and wedding colors. I fell in love with a classic, silk dress, complete with an Audrey Hepburn-esque bow on the front, but it ended up not being quite right for me. Back to square one, we went ahead and made a few calls to bridal boutiques in Raleigh. We squeezed in an appointment at one boutique upon the recommendation of a friend, and I described what I was looking for: an a-line dress, free of tulle and beading, with perhaps a bit of lace–very classic and sophisticated lines. After trying on a few dresses, I noticed a dress on the racks that called out to me. It had tulle, beading, a full princess-like skirt–all the things I had said I didn’t want–but I just loved it! I tried it on, and knew instantly that it was the dress for me. It fit me like a glove from the first fitting to the wedding day, proving how perfect it truly was.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. When we first began to think about our wedding, I placed a lot of emphasis on Davis seeing me for the first time as I walked down the aisle. The more we got into the planning process, the more we realized how equally important time with our family and friends was to us, and how much we wanted to soak in as many moments with them as possible on our wedding day. Doing a first look allowed us to keep that special moment between the two of us, but also allowed us to spend more time with family and friends at the reception. It was the best of both worlds!

We chose three readings: Proverbs 3:1-6, Corinthians 13:1-13, and Colossians 3:12-17. The first is one of our parents’ favorite Bible passages. The second, though used often, is one of my favorite passages, and the third passage was one we found while looking for readings–it really spoke to how we want to live our lives together in marriage. As much as I loved each of our readings for various reasons, I also loved the Bible passage we used at the end of our program, as I thought it was a wonderful final thought to impart to our guests: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else” (Thessalonians 3:12). Furthermore, it really speaks to our love not only for each other, but for our family and friends who were celebrating with us.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? St. Paul’s was my personal church after I converted to Episcopalian about two years prior to our wedding. We held our reception at Old Town Club, which is the club I grew up going to in town. It was extra special because I was the swim coach there for many years, and worked alongside Jeana McLean, the special events coordinator at OTC, for various swim team events. It was such fun for me to move from planning a hot dog dinner for the swim team to planning my wedding with her!

My mom and I ADORE flowers, and have admired Reggie’s work for years. We were so excited to find out he was available to help us on our special day. He came and met with us for hours, fine-tuning the look we were going for, and learning all of our favorites. Magnolias, peonies, roses, tulips, hydrangeas, and ranunculus are all favorite blooms, and we knew we wanted to do some type of hanging greenery element to create a one-of-a-kind look in our tent for dinner. We also wanted a clean and classic look with all whites and greens to create an elegant setting for our cocktail hour, dinner and reception.

One of the best parts of wedding planning was the food, wine, and cake tasting! We decided on a play off of the clean and classic look of the flowers and event as a whole, creating a plain white cake with pearled edges, an oversized bow (I have loved bows since I was little), and a gold-edged magnolia blossom. Our flavors were vanilla with strawberry, almond with raspberry, and chocolate with cookies and cream filling. A fun fact about the cake was that it was “fake cake” in the tent! Getting married in June and having a seated dinner in a tent, we were concerned about the hot temperatures and the cake falling. Chloe and Becca helped us develop the genius idea to have one slice of real cake to cut, marked off by ribbon on the cake’s platform, and the rest be a fondant, styrofoam creation. This way, our cake in the tent would look amazing, while our cake coming out of the kitchen would be fresh and delicious.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take time to soak in the small moments. I still vividly remember gripping my dad’s arm before walking down the aisle; we remember standing in the club’s office, hearing everyone buzzing outside before the confetti throw; and we remember the looks on my grandmothers’ and mother’s faces as they danced on stage with my bridesmaids and me. Pictures can say a thousand words, but we love having our personal memories too.

Don’t miss Caitlin and Davis’ wedding film by our Blue Ribbon Vendor Inkspot Crow below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I moved home to Winston-Salem, where Davis was in law school at Wake Forest University. I needed a roommate and, through friends, was set up to room with a childhood friend of Davis’, Ellery. Through Ellery and her boyfriend (now husband), Wes, Davis and I got to know each other. The greatest part about the start of our relationship was that we were friends first, and then began dating about seven months later.
Tell us all about the proposal! Once Davis graduated from law school, we dated long distance for about two years, as he got a job at a law firm in Raleigh. We often alternated travel between our two cities on the weekend, and we had already planned to spend the long Easter weekend together in Winston. I’m a teacher and often get to school early in the morning, but knew Davis was traveling to town, so I decided to take my time picking up the house and doing laundry before getting to school. Finally, I arrived, turned on the lights, set my coat down, and went to pull up my morning message on my white board. To my surprise, there was already a note written that read, “Will You Marry Me?” I stood at the board, pondering this message, wonder what student was playing a trick on me. I turned to head into the hall to find my trickster, when I heard a voice from the reading loft call out my name. Davis came down, flowers and ring in hand, got down on his knee, and asked me to marry him right there in my classroom. It was a special moment between just the two of us, but that special moment was made even sweeter when parents, colleagues, friends, and students celebrated with us in my classroom that day. The icing on the cake of our engagement day was Davis arranging a private dinner for both of our families at one of my favorite Winston restaurants. He spoke with the chef to create a personalized menu, ensured our siblings and grandparents could travel in from various parts of the country, and even had my favorite flowers arranged in the middle of the table. It truly was a perfect day!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 340
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not. We thought we would be too nervous to remember them! :)
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We loved it while we were dating and it seemed fitting for our first dance as husband and wife. An additional special moment involving music was when our horns section of the band came down into the tent as a second line, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” to get people out of their seats and up to the dance floor. This second line moment was a surprise for Emily, Davis’ sister, who lives in New Orleans and loves the tradition of a second line. Tears welled up in her eyes as she mouthed her thanks to us, and joined the crowd processing upstairs. It was so fun for us to create special moments for not only ourselves, but also for our family members on our wedding day.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were SO many elements of our day that we loved! However, probably most special was our use of magnolia leaves and blooms throughout our weekend. They were included in everything from our invitation suite and flowers to our embroidered cocktail napkins and cake decorations. Davis’ parents planned and executed all aspects of their own wedding, down to gathering and arranging flowers themselves. Days before their wedding, Davis’ father and groomsmen packed into a pick up truck and headed to a nearby neighbor’s farm, where they cut down and arranged many of the magnolia leaves and blooms found on the large trees in the yard. These were the only flowers for their special day, so we loved the idea of highlighting the magnolia in our design for our wedding day, too.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning our wedding, we took part in premarital counseling. While we feel like we communicate well and have discussed many important elements of our future–such as finances and a future family–it was nice to have a third party bring up new ideas for us to consider. I also kept a journal for Davis for the entire year leading up to our wedding day, sharing quotes, Bible passages, funny stories, and things I was looking forward to as a married couple. This was a part of his wedding gift, and I gave it to him days before our wedding so he could read it and share in the excitement I felt before our special day. Davis still claims this as one of his most cherished possessions.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have jumped into marriage head first! We are currently building a house and love going through the process. We have always heard about the stress it can bring, but we have truly enjoy making decisions and selections together. Beyond that, we look forward to continuing to travel and, someday down the road, having a family. We grew up with such wonderful examples of marriage and parenting in our own families, and can’t wait to hopefully set the same example for our children in the future.

Photographer: Landon Jacob Photography | Videographer: Inkspot Crow Films | Planner: Rebecca Rose Events | Ceremony Venue: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Old Town Club | Florist: Reggie’s Flower Shoppe | Cake Baker: Cakes by Chloe | Lighting, Tenting, Chairs, China, Glassware, and Flatware: Party Reflections | Band: Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters | Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music: Jazz Trio by Allegro Music | Paper Products: Rebecca Rose Creative | Bride’s Gown: “Amour” by Kenneth Pool | Bride’s Veil: Alexia’s Bridal | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Makeup for Your Day | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style #740 in Navy by Bill Levkoff | Bridal Salon: J Major’s Bridal Boutique | Menswear: Jean Yves | Linens: La Tavola and Nuage Designs | Envelope Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones

Rebecca Rose Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah Chancey reply

    Everything Landon does is absolute gold, and this wedding is no exception. I love the clean lines and elegant floral installations. The navy bridesmaid gowns also pair well with this elegant affair!

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My two favorite wedding details are almost always the bride’s dress and her bouquet. In my experience, finding my dress and seeing my bouquet were the two moments when “being a bride” really hit me, and that only made these two details even more special to me in every wedding I see! From those details alone, I’m sure it’s easy to see why we fell head over heels in love with Emily and Jim’s black-tie farm wedding–her Oscar de la Renta gown is so striking, and that bouquet by Victoria Clausen Floral Events is one for the books! That’s not all that captured our hearts about their celebration though–we also loved seeing their joyful ceremony moments, the creative ways they showed hospitality to their guests, and the two incredibly meaningful places where they hosted their loved ones for their big day.

Thank you so much to Kate Headley for sharing this stunning day with us for V8!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I am obsessed with my wedding dress. I tried on many dresses, but could not stop thinking about this dress. I loved the texture of the flowers embroidered on the Chantilly lace, and the seed pearls helped to give it a sweetness and elegance that I had never seen before. The veil was gorgeous – it was embroidered with the same flowers and seed pearls. I did not want to take it off!
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? When it came to the bridesmaids’ dresses, I was looking for something different…something that did not look like the typical bridesmaid dress. I spotted this Lela Rose dress and immediately knew it would be perfect. The embroidered flowers on the bodice echoed the embroidery on my dress, and complemented the garden feel of the wedding. We chose navy to contrast with the bright flowers, but also at the request of my maid of honor, my sister.

Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple? We were inspired by springtime on my farm – it is incredibly lush and verdant, with flowers blooming everywhere. I wanted our wedding to capture that “English garden” atmosphere. The service was at our church, St. John’s, at 4:30 p.m., and the reception followed at the farm. Due to the size of the church, we had a small ceremony, and then a much larger reception. St. John’s was where I was raised, and also where Jim proposed, so it was really special to share it with our closest family and friends. The farm could not have been more beautiful that day. Having the reception at my family home helped to make the black-tie party that much more warm and joyful. We essentially got the best of both worlds, as we had both an intimate ceremony and a huge party!

Jim and I loved that, due to the small size of the church, we could see every single face when we looked out over the audience. Even though it was a bit of a blur, you could feel the love and joy emanating from every corner of the church. I barely held it together when walking down the aisle, whereas Jim was calm and beaming. Our officiant could sense my nerves, so during the opening exhortation when Jim and I each took turns responding, “I will,” to her questions, she paused during the question. I jumped the gun and eagerly said, “I will!” before she had even finished asking the question, and Jim and the entire audience erupted into laughter. The gaff helped break the ice and my nerves disappeared. After the ceremony, she admitted that she planned the pause to help me relax, and it definitely worked!

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We were inspired by the natural beauty of my parents’ farm, which has rolling hills and beautiful flowers. I love flowers, so the idea was to create an “English garden” atmosphere that was teeming with blooms and greenery. We used brightly colored flowers and lush greenery, with textured linens and lanterns everywhere. Everything was glowing, from the illuminated trees to the incandescent clear tent. We were also always aware that we were inviting people to my family’s home, so every detail was designed to make the reception welcoming and intimate.

The reception was a glowing, joyful, and elegant party. It was black-tie, but warm and exuberant, as it was at my family home. The cocktail hour was in the front of the house, and then we invited everyone into the house to pass into the backyard for the reception. To continue the intimate feeling, guests were greeted at their seats by thank you notes from Jim and me. Even though it was a big wedding, it was very important to us that our guests knew that they were the most special part of our celebration.

The flowers were key to the entire event. I wanted them to be lush, abundant and bright. Each part of the wedding had the most incredible flowers, from the beautiful floral arch at the church, to the flower-covered arbor and escort card display, to the stunning azaleas, roses, hydrangeas and more planted throughout the grounds. Both the wedding flowers and the landscaping came together to create a verdant landscape that looked like something from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. The wedding cake and groom’s cake were absolutely delicious – I’m still dreaming of them. The wedding cake was made of layers of coconut and strawberry cake, and was covered in little flowers that matched my wedding dress. The groom’s cake was red velvet and was an architectural feat. In honor of UVA, the cake was designed to look like the famous Rotunda, complete with columns, porticos and a domed roof.

Our first dance was to “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke. It was one of the first songs Jim had played for me when we first began dating. In the months leading up to the wedding, Jim and I took dance lessons (but I think we canceled more than we attended). Needless to say, we improvised our first dance, rather than sticking to the fancy routine our instructor had attempted to teach us!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Jim and I met as students at the University of Virginia School of Law. Jim, a third-year at the time, was (and still is) very close to several of my good friends from Princeton. We were introduced during the first week of my first year and began dating shortly thereafter. During our first date, we discovered that my parents and Jim’s father were all members of the class of 1982 at the Law School. They had not kept in touch, but remembered each other very well. The following May was their 30th Reunion – needless to say, their classmates loved the idea that the children of members of the Class of ’82 were now dating.
Describe the proposal: During the fall of my third year, Jim’s family joined my family for Thanksgiving at my parents’ farm. I knew that Jim had asked my father for my hand, but I had no idea when he would propose. On Thanksgiving Day, after attending the traditional blessing of the hounds, Jim asked if I would go for a drive with him. We drove to my small, country church, where I had always dreamed of getting married. The church is a beautiful 19th century stone church, located right in the middle of horse country. We walked around the gardens until we arrived to the front of the church, where Jim got down on one knee. After I said “yes,” we sat for fifteen minutes in the gardens, taking in what had just happened. We then drove back to my parents’ house (and almost ran out of gas on our way!), and were met by our families and a champagne toast. It could not have been more perfect.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? We met with our officiant, the Reverend Tracy A. Bruce, for marriage counseling sessions during the months preceding the wedding. Tracy is the Rector of St. John’s, our church, and she is absolutely wonderful. Although we were a little apprehensive before beginning, the sessions turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Elegant, radiant, and intimate
How many guests attended your wedding? We had about 120 at the ceremony and 325 at the reception.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: Everyone involved with planning and putting on the wedding was incredible, which makes it hard to pick out one detail. If I have to choose, whenever I look back at the photographs from the weekend, my eyes stay a little longer on how incredible the church looked and how happy Emily looked during the ceremony.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? My mother led the charge on the music selection, and her suggestions were thoughtful and created the perfect atmosphere. We had an amazing trumpeter and organist, as well as a soloist who performed throughout the ceremony. The processional was Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary in D Major.” We sang one of my favorite hymns, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” and then the soloist sang “The Wedding Song” by Peeters. After the blessing of the marriage, the soloist sang “A Nuptial Blessing” by Joncas as the benediction. We walked out to “Hornpipe” from Handel’s Water Music, followed by his “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.”
Tell us about your grand exit. For the last song of the night, the band invited us on stage to dance and sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” They then parted the crowd and sent us off into the night, where Jim and I stood and watched our friends dance during the last few bars of the song. We did not do a sparkler sendoff, instead opting to hold an after-party by our pool. We had blankets and Adirondack chairs, fire pits with s’mores ingredients and delicious snacks – mini pizzas, pigs-in-a-blanket, and grilled short rib and cheese sandwiches. It was the perfect way to end the night, and amazingly, no one ended up in the pool!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Find the best, most reliable vendors possible and RELAX. It will be amazing, no matter what happens.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’re settling into married life in Washington, D.C. and look forward to relaxing after the wedding. We are most excited for the puppy that will be joining us this spring!

Photographer: Kate Headley | Planner: Pineapple Productions | Designer and Florals: Victoria Clausen Floral Events | Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Church, Western Run Parish | Reception Venue: Private Residence | Caterer: Linwoods | Cake Baker: Sugarbakers | Bride’s Gown and Veil: Oscar de la Renta | Bridal Salon: Saks Fifth Avenue | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lela Rose | Hair Stylist: Judy Messina and Dana Smith of Public Image | Makeup Artist: Leah Margosis | Groomsmen Fashion: The Tuxedo House | Save the Dates: Mr. Boddington | Paper Goods: Pleasure of Your Company | Linens: Table Toppers | Tents: Loane Bros., Inc. | Transportation: American Limo | Lighting/Fireworks: Digital Lightning | Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love how the cake matched her dress!!

  2. avatar Brook Paris reply

    That glass tent and gold iron chairs- WOW.

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