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Tag: Abby Jiu

A big part of setting my own wedding date was which flowers would be in season, and while I don’t know if Ashley and Shane planned this from the beginning, with that criteria in mind, they couldn’t have picked a more magical weekend to become husband and wife! These two met, fell in love, and tied the knot in our nation’s capital, and their wedding date landed exactly when the iconic Washington D.C. cherry blossom trees were in full bloom. With the help of their planner, A. Dominick Events, and their florist, Amaryllis Inc., they fully embraced the opportunity to incorporate these seasonal blooms into their day. The results included one of the most incredible ceremony set-ups I have ever seen, as well as some of the prettiest portraits!

We were so thrilled to include Ashley and Shane in V8–thanks so much to Abby Jiu for sharing their special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? My wedding dress was the first dress I tried on at the first bridal salon I visited! I had my dress customized by the designer, Modern Trousseau. I loved everything about it!

Our wedding was a spring wedding in Washington, D.C. It occurred the weekend that the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom. We held our ceremony and reception at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. It started at 5:30 p.m. and the attire was black-tie optional.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? We had a religious ceremony officiated by Reverend Jeff Mazal. We opted to use traditional vows, and reciting them was the most special part of the ceremony. We also had a wine box ceremony at our wedding, which we loved. Our guests seemed to enjoy it too.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? We had a string quartet, Pop Culture Strings, perform the music for our ceremony. For the processional, they played “What a Wonderful World.” I walked down the aisle to “Canon in D.” Our recessional song was “We Found Love” by Rihanna.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: The décor of the ceremony. The cherry blossom-lined aisle made walking down the aisle to Shane more magical than I could have ever imagined.

For the ceremony and reception decor, we chose to focus on modern elements with accents of lush, seasonal florals in shades of pink. The guests were greeted with an escort card display of lucite tables featuring pale pink roses, cherry blossoms, and orchids. The modern aspects of the lucite provided a striking contrast to the stone entryway of the historic venue. At the ceremony, we used lucite chairs, and a breathtaking aisle was created out of cherry blossom branches sitting on pale pink boxes. As the guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the ceremony space was transformed and transitioned to deeper shades of pink. The patterned navy linens tied back to the wedding invitations, while the pops of pink in the table arrangements and napkins brought a fun punch to the otherwise gray room.

Tell us about your wedding flowers. How did you choose them? What did you love about them? I was not a bride who came in with a list of the kinds of flowers that she had to have at her wedding. I knew that I wanted a lot of pink florals, but that was it! I really trusted our florist, Amaryllis, to create beautiful arrangements based on my taste. They did an amazing job! My bouquet was made of garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, and gloriosa lilies. The bridesmaid bouquets included softer colors than the bridal bouquet, and featured pale pink garden roses and a touch of dusty miller.

We had a sit-down dinner that started with a wonderful spring salad, follow by a surf-and-turf entrée. We served a petite filet mignon and a crab cake. Following dinner, we had dessert and cookie tables that guests were able to choose from. The caterers also passed around some late-night snacks, which our friends loved after working up their appetites on the dance floor. The late night snacks included french fries, beef sliders, and mini pizzas.

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We could not decide on just one flavor for our wedding cake, so we had three: carrot cake, a traditional buttercream cake, and chocolate truffle.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. When you ask either of us how we met, we generally reply with a chuckle and say “at a bar.” In 2010, Shane was working part-time as a DJ at a bar in the historic neighborhood of Georgetown in D.C. I was at the bar for a friend’s birthday celebration. Shane struck up a conversation and we hit it off immediately.
Describe the proposal: Shane knew only one thing about how he wanted to propose: he wanted it to be a surprise. He proposed on May 25, 2014. The weeks prior had been full of excitement–we spent a week in the Dominican Republic, Shane graduated from George Washington University, and almost all of his immediate family came to town to visit for his graduation festivities! I was hoping a proposal would happen at one of those events, but it didn’t. A week after Shane’s graduation, one of my best friends, Sara, came home for a visit. Sara wanted to spend some time outside of the National Cathedral (we both had attended and graduated from the National Cathedral School for Girls). I thought this was a great idea and tried to convince Shane to come along. He appeared to be a bit uninterested, but eventually obliged. We all spent about an hour walking through the Cathedral and pointing out our favorite stained glass windows, and walking around the grounds and down into the chapels. Our last stop was the Bishop’s Garden, which is one of my favorite places. By this time, I was ready to leave so we could get home to prepare for a cookout we were hosting that night. However, Shane insisted that we sit and enjoy the garden for a while longer, so we found a spot in the grass. It was then that Shane pulled the engagement ring out of his pocket and asked me to be his wife! Of course, I said yes!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Energetic, joyful, fun
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? Shane found it difficult to pick his most memorable or touching moment of the wedding day, but he would say it was a tie between walking back up the aisle with me after the ceremony and the toasts. For me, the most touching moment was when Shane recited our vows.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? All of the guests at our wedding are extremely important to us. However, our most special guest was my 90-year-old grandmother. It was such a blessing to have her share our special day with us.
What’s next for you as a couple? Shane is beginning graduate school in the fall. We are going to work to become established in our careers and build a strong foundation for our marriage.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? If it is in your budget, hire a wedding planner. It was the best decision we made and truly helped us enjoy the process.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: The best advice we received during the wedding celebration was to take a few minutes to appreciate and process what’s happening around us on our wedding day. It is one of the only days of your life when all of your friends and family will be in the same place. Enjoy it!

Photographer: Abby Jiu | Videographer: Blue Sky Films | Planner: A. Dominick Events | Venue: Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium | Florals: Amaryllis, Inc. | Caterer: Design Cuisine | Cake Baker: Kendall’s Cakes | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Bridal Salon: Hitched Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride’s Jewelry: David Yurman | Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale | Hair Stylist: Decade Hair Design | Makeup Artist: Nour Kazoun | Groom’s Tuxedo: Alton Lane | Groom’s Shoes: Paul Parkman | Groomsmen Fashion: The Black Tux | Ties: The Tie Bar | Paper Goods: Cheree Berry Paper | Rentals: Party Rental and DC Rental | Linens: La Tavola | Transportation: Atlantic | Lighting: Frosting Lighting | Officiant: Rev. Jeff Mazal of Weddings by Jeff | Valet: MJ Valet | A Capella Choir: Hullabahoos | Pop Tarts: Ted’s Bulletin | Chocolates: Historical Chocolate Company | Champagne Splits: Personal Wine | Welcome Bags: Wedding Chicks | Cake Topper: Better Off Wed | String Quartet: Pop Culture Strings | Band: Sound Connections | Escort Cards: Lettering by Lynne

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Sarah Chancey reply

    The cherry blossoms are to die for in this design, I love how they incorporated it in their photos outside and then brought it inside, genius! Also, how adorable is this couple?

  2. avatar April reply

    What a beautiful wedding! All of the details are carefully thought out. It’s almost as breathtaking as the bride herself.

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Hello, belles! I’m in New York City today spending a few hours with the Chapel Designers, a group of fabulous florists! Our good friend (and Blue Ribbon Vendor) Holly Chapple asked me to speak about the history of Southern Weddings and how we create our editorials, and I was tickled pink to do so. In honor of spring, we thought it would be fun to share a few gorgeous bouquets by the talented attendees and Holly herself. I hope these pretty blooms help get you ready for warmer temps and gentle breezes (as if we needed any help!)

Pink bouquet by Holly Chapple (photo by Jodi Miller); pink bouquet by Bloom Floral Design; astilbe bouquet by Holly Chapple (photo by Jodi Miller); green bouquet by Maidenhair Floral (photo by Ashley Upchurch)

Peach bouquet by Amy Lynne Originals (photo by Ashley Caroline); Queen Anne’s lace bouquet by Scarlett & Grace (photo by Sarah Maren); cream bouquet by Alicia Jayne Florals (photo by Jodi Miller)

Hot pink bouquet by Flourish Event Design (photo by BTW Photography); colorful bouquet by Lush Couture Floral (photo by Coburn Photography); pink and green bouquet by Root & Vine Design (photo by Revival Photography)

Red bouquet by Holly Chapple (photo by Abby Jiu); purple bouquet by What’s Up Buttercup (sMm Photography); purple bouquet by Michelle Edgemont (photo by Brklyn View)

Protea bouquet by Living Fresh Flower Studio (photo by Photographs by Caileigh) and pink bouquet by Parie Designs (photo by Mallory Morgan)

For more beautiful blooms, check out our Bouquets Pinterest board!

Jodi Miller and Holly Chapple are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Audrey reply

    I am so in love with these beautiful bouquets!

  2. avatar Winter reflections reply

    […] had both bizarre, laugh out loud moments {wearing a tablecloth for a photo shoot that featured on Southern Weddings} and times of despair and heartache, most recently when Holly lost her father. It was a colorful […]

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We often talk about the mission of Southern Weddings, and how we want to inspire couples to celebrate their families, the culture of the South, and what matters most to them. Y’all, nothing makes us happier than when we see couples do just that! Jen and Schuyler’s wedding had us seriously swooning when we featured it in V7. By incorporating Jen’s heritage into artwork in front of their escort table, and celebrating their big day in Virginia wine country–a place Jen and Schuyler both love–their wedding is such a lovely example of how details can be as meaningful as they are beautiful.

Thanks to Abby Jiu for sharing this sweet day with us!

I wanted the bridesmaid gifts to be really special, so I put together a bag of personalized gifts, such as monogrammed compacts with the quote “The best mirror is an old friend” engraved on the back, and ring holders with each lady’s name and an imprint of a gray dress imprinted on them. For our welcome bags, we had Antiquaria (the same company that did our invitations and day-of stationery) create a custom stamp for us, which we used to stamp the gift bags with our personal touch. We included snacks and a Virginia wine map. My favorite snack was chocolates from Cocoa Vienna, which are the best chocolates we have ever had. Some of the flavors included red velvet cake truffles and pumpkin truffles.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I have always known that I wanted some element of color for my wedding dress, but I was never sure what that element of color would be. I was being terribly picky and running out of time. Finally, at the last minute on a Friday, I scheduled an appointment at Hitched Salon in Georgetown for the next day. That weekend, Austin Scarlett was bringing in his creations straight off the runway for a trunk show. After trying on a few dresses in the store, the Camellia gown by Austin caught my eye and I asked my consultant if I could try it on. Once I put it on, it was so amazing. It was elegant and classic and so incredibly light, it was like walking on a cloud. Austin Scarlett was there with his business partner, Allison, and they were just the sweetest (it was really neat to have the designer there and to be able to talk with him and ask him questions about the dress!). On a whim, I asked Austin if it would be possible to recreate the dress in blush, and he said of course! When I finally got my dress, the blush tulle was just so stunning and subtle. The dress was really perfect, because it was exactly what I wanted and I was truly able to make the dress my own–no one else has a dress exactly like it!

When we were choosing a place to get married, the obvious choice was Charlottesville. It is a special place to both of us and has the most stunning views and scenery. We love great wine, and Veritas had some of our favorites from the region. They did an amazing job on the day of our wedding, and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. I wanted to give the bridesmaids a chance to show their own styles, and I didn’t want a “matchy-matchy” wedding party, so I gave the bridesmaids guidelines on the dress (gray and long, a pattern would be okay), and sent them some examples. Some of the ladies rented their dresses from Rent the Runway and some bought their dresses, and in the end, everyone looked amazing. I loved seeing the spectrum of unique gray dresses and how cohesive everything looked together.

We know that the bridal party typically stands with the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony. Although we thought that was great (it is so comforting to have your best friends and family standing with you), we also wanted the ceremony to be very intimate between us, with no distractions. Therefore, we decided to have our wedding party sit during the ceremony so that it would just be the two of us standing.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Early in the planning process, we were drawn to subtle, beautiful colors, like blush, whites, and greens. We loved the French toile print we chose for our cocktail tables, and that quickly became an inspiration for our black tie vineyard wedding. We were drawn to the natural and timeless look of the toile, and loved how the European formality of the print elevated our more casual venue. Throughout the planning process, the subtle, soft blush color of my dress also remained a constant source of inspiration, which led to a feminine color palette accented with gold for the evening. Being inspired by the French toile print naturally led the design to subtle Parisian accents, like bistro lights, gauzy organza runners, filigree votives, and romantic floral décor.

What kind of food did you serve? Our menu included butternut squash soup with apple chutney, roasted sirloin steak with horseradish mashed potato, citrus shrimp, seared red snapper with roasted eggplant, cabbage ragout with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, and truffle risotto with ratatouille and red wine reduction with fried leeks.

One of the most unique parts of our wedding was the painter who painted our wedding, Dan Nelson. As our wedding gift, Schuyler’s aunt brought him in to paint our ceremony. He not only painted the scene of our ceremony, but he also stayed throughout the entire reception to finish the painting as part of the evening’s entertainment. All our guests loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it after the wedding–he was so fun to watch! The final oil painting turned out so beautifully and is now hanging in our home. It is such a perfect reminder of our wedding day, and we love seeing it every day.

What was the funniest moment? I fell off the chair during the Hora!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We first met when we were 15 years old at a summer camp. We knew each other, but were not really friends, and did not keep in touch after the summer ended. By chance, we both ended up going to UVA for college, and ran into each other during my fourth year (his third year) at the gym. We recognized each other and chatted for a bit. We did not start dating, however, until a few years later, after we had both graduated. Even after that, we were long distance for awhile (due to grad schools, jobs, etc.), but were finally able to settle down in the same city.
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We chose a date in late fall (October 26, 2013) because we knew the changing colors of the leaves would make for beautiful photos. We love Virginia wine country and wanted to invite our guests to a venue that was fun and special for us.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Refined, personal, and classic
How many guests attended your wedding? 131
What did the groom and groomsmen wear? Schuyler wore a custom English-tailored tuxedo with his grandfather’s gold cuff links. The groomsmen wore tuxedos of their own choosing, paired with gifts from the groom: mix-and-match gray silk pocket squares and cuff links.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I wanted to incorporate something from my heritage, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. I proposed the traditional paper cut-out double-happiness characters to Kate (our planner), and wanted to know if there was an elegant way to incorporate it somewhere. Kate suggested that we create artwork for in front of the escort card table. I thought it was a wonderful plan, so we had Nikki, our calligrapher (an amazing artist) design the paper cut-out of the Chinese characters, as well as the other elements of the display. We framed them in mirrored frames, and our florist and decor vendor, Beehive Events, provided the draping to hang the artwork on. It was a great personal touch, and now we get to hang the artwork in our home!

Photographer: Abby Jiu / Videographer: Underground Short Films / Planning and Design: Kate Harlan of Simply Chic Events / Venue and Catering: Veritas Winery and Vineyard / Florist: Beehive Events / Cake Baker: Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations / Bride’s Gown: “Camellia” by Austin Scarlett / Bridal Salon: Hitched / Bride’s Shoes: Lola Cruz / Bridesmaid Dresses: Robert Rodriguez, BCBG MAXAZRIA, Liz Fields, and David’s Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Joy Pfister of Faces by Joy / Paper Goods: Antiquaria / Rentals: Beehive Events and Festive Fare / Transportation: Ambassador Limo / Live Painting Artist: Daniel Nelson

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Wow! So pretty! I just love the bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    This is where I’m having my wedding in just 4 months!! Looks absolutely beautiful!!

  3. avatar Caitlin reply

    I adore the ring holders that the bride customized for her maids. Any idea on where they are from?

  4. avatar Sweetheart Tables for Fall | The Dandelion Patch reply

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