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For fellow college sweethearts Megan and Jack, getting to know each other meant walking to and from their dorm rooms for early morning classes at UVA. But when it came time to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted their celebration to highlight the beauty and history of their hometown of Richmond. With many out of town guests, Megan and Jack wanted to share as much of its charm as possible, so it’s no surprise they chose the beautiful Tuckahoe Plantation as their reception venue! Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, guests were served family-style as a way to encourage connections — a choice that easily became Megan’s favorite from the night!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing M + J’s beautiful black tie wedding with us!

I love cascading bouquets, and I chose flowers that were mainly white with hints of blue and green. My bridesmaids’ dresses were a neutral color, so I wanted the flowers to provide a small pop of color. Our florist did an amazing job taking my vision and putting together bouquets that reflected my style.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we chose mostly classical music. For walking down the aisle, we wanted something sweet and peaceful, so we chose Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” At the reception, we had an incredible band called Soul Expressions who played mainly Motown and jazz music. We wanted music that would get everyone up and dancing. Our first dance song was “More” by Frank Sinatra. We love his music and felt that this song really encapsulated how we feel about one another.

Our priest, Father Michael Renninger, was wonderful. He met with us many times before the wedding to really get to know us as a couple, and he did a pre-rehearsal rehearsal for just the two of us so that we wouldn’t have to worry about making any decisions the day before the wedding (for example, what we wanted to be introduced to the congregation as). He has been a family friend for many years, but it was great to talk to him as a couple. More than half of our guests are not Catholic, and we think that Father Mike did a great job of making everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Shopping for my wedding dress was surprisingly easy and stress-free. I went to one salon and only tried on two dresses. I knew exactly what style I wanted, and that I wanted to have a long-sleeved lace jacket made to wear for the ceremony and remove for the reception.

We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty and history of Richmond. Many of our guests were from out of town and were visiting for the first time, so we wanted them to experience as much of the city, its history, and its charm as possible. The Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Richmond and was built in the late 1800s. It is impressive, but not ostentatious. We didn’t need to fill the space with flowers and decorations because it is beautiful by itself. For our reception, we chose Tuckahoe Plantation. The plantation is about 20 minutes outside of the city, on the James River. Being UVA graduates, we were drawn to Tuckahoe because Thomas Jefferson lived there for several years as a child. The house and gardens were open for our guests to tour, so they had a chance to learn some of the history of the estate.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the family-style dinner. It provided a chance for us to place together groups of people who might not know each other, but who we thought would get along. It was fun to look out during dinner and see everyone passing platters, laughing, and getting to know one another over amazing food. Our caterer did an incredible job of adding beautiful garnishes to the dishes so that each platter looked like a decoration in itself.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jack and I met at UVA. We lived in the same dorm our first year and had the same early morning class first semester. We got to know each other while walking to and from class together. We were close friends for our first two years of school and started dating the summer before our third year. I was in Charlottesville taking a Spanish class, and Jack was interning in DC and would drive down every weekend to visit. For our first date, we went our for chocolate milkshakes at Ben and Jerry’s.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jack proposed the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2014. His family was in Charlottesville for the holiday, and my family was at our house in Richmond. We all drove out to meet at Pippin Hill to spend the afternoon wine tasting and then to get dinner with both families. Shortly after my family arrived, Jack pulled me aside to go on a walk. He proposed in the vineyard’s grapevines.
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was lemon with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. Because it was the middle of summer, we wanted something that was lighter. We decided to have a small, two-tiered wedding cake for the cutting, but we served mini cupcakes to the guests in a variety of flavors (including our wedding cake flavor) so that everyone could taste a few different ones.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed earrings from my mom, and had my new monogram embroidered in blue into the hem of my wedding dress. The diamond in my engagement ring comes from Jack’s great-great-grandmother, I wore a bracelet that Jack’s mom gave me that was given to her by her mother (it dates back to the early twentieth century), and I wore a pair of Ferragamo shoes that were my late grandmother’s as something old. My something new was my wedding dress and veil.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our planning was shockingly stress-free. Both of our families were very helpful in divvying up tasks. The one thing that does stand out as a challenge, though, was the guest list. There were many people that both families wanted to include, so we had to make some difficult decisions. One thing we did decide was to not include any plus-ones.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress about things that don’t go perfectly, because none of the guests know the whole plan, and they will never know if something was or was not meant to happen. For example, our getaway car showed up thirty minutes late, which allowed us to have an impromptu receiving line as our guests were getting on the buses to leave. Everyone thought that it was such a great touch that we got to say goodbye and give hugs, and no one knew that it wasn’t part of our initial plan!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We didn’t live together before we got married, so we are looking forward to setting up our new home and starting this next chapter!

Photographer: Ashley Cox Photography | Planner and Caterer: Lona Crittendon of Cater 2 Events | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart | Reception Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Wedding Cake: The Mixing Bowl Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Commonwealth Event Company and Classic Party Rentals of Virginia | Band: Soul Expressions | Paper Products: The Preppy Pink Pony | Bride’s Gown and Accessories: Alyne | Gown Alterations and Bolero: Fariba Bridal Alterations and Design | Hair Stylist: Circle Square Salon | Makeup Artist: Kelsey Dewberry | Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Mist Grey by BHLDN | Menswear: Vera Wang | Transportation: James River Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa

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Though I have lived all over the country, I have always felt that there is something magical about the South. Of course, I am sure I’m a bit partial having grown up below the Mason-Dixon, but if Veronica and Patrick are any indication, my love is justified! Veronica and Patrick visited Trump Winery while dating and were quite smitten, so post-engagement, they didn’t have to look around much before deciding to invite their friends and family there to celebrate their marriage with a destination wedding. These two might not have a drop of Southern blood in them, but with the help of Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events, they planned a sweetly Southern soirée, complete with a family-style dinner that’d make even a born-and-bred Southerner feel right at home!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing this Charlottesville beauty!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was a pair of beautiful earrings from my mother-in-law. My something old was my veil, which is about 180 years old and has been worn by every bride in Pat’s family! My something new was easy, my dress. We kind of forgot the something blue, so we took a piece of baby blue string from a pair of pajamas and tied it around my bouquet for a bit.

I had a pretty precise idea of what I wanted. I actually went to a few different shops with friends, but ended up finding my dress by myself during my lunch break. My mom didn’t even see it until my first fitting!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not. For as long as I can remember, at every wedding I’ve gone to, when the bride comes down the aisle, I always watch the groom instead of the bride. The look on the groom’s face when he sees the bride for the first time is so telling, it’s so hard to hide your emotions at that point! That moment was really important to me, and I didn’t want to miss out on it.

I had a pretty specific vision for the flowers, and Amy at Blue Ridge Floral Design executed it perfectly. I didn’t want anything too put together or perfect. I wanted something that looked like it was just picked from a garden–very natural and beautiful with lots of greens and more muted tones. My bouquet was my favorite, full of peonies, garden roses, jasmine and Veronica flowers, which Amy included as a surprise.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? While Pat was in law school in D.C. and I was still living in Miami (long before we were engaged), we made an effort to try and take short trips on the weekends I came to visit. We visited Charlottesville during a long weekend and did a winery tour. Our driver snuck us up to the top of the Trump Winery, and we loved it. When we got engaged, we didn’t look around much.

This is a little embarrassing, but our cake was so good that I took a tupperware full of it on my flight to our honeymoon! Rachel from Cakes by Rachel is apparently some sort of magician. The cake was really beautiful, and simply decorated with fresh fruit and some of the flowers we used. I’ve been eyeing the top part in the freezer for a few weeks–not sure if it’ll make it to the one-year mark!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met when we were 15 years old. Two of our best friends were dating and they introduced us, but sparks didn’t fly just yet. A few years later, we became Words with Friends opponents. Funnily enough, I read an article about a couple that met and got married via Words with Friends, and I jokingly sent him a message letting him know I wouldn’t be able to play with him anymore because I needed to play others in order to find a husband. Fast forward a couple of years, I was moving into my new apartment with my best friend (who was really excited for us to have this awesome bachelorette pad together). Patrick’s friend lived in the building, and when we asked him for help bringing up a couple of things, Patrick was there. Within a few weeks, we were dating, and my best friend’s bachelorette pad dreams vanished.
Tell us all about the proposal! Oh, this is a good one! Pat is from Peru, and we took a family trip to Machu Picchu. The day before we hiked up the Huayna Picchu, Pat watched a three-hour video of a guy who recorded his entire hike up with a GoPro strapped to his head. I was pretty annoyed, but I didn’t realize he was trying to stake out a good spot to propose! The next morning, we woke up at 4 A.M. and took a bus up a very narrow, winding path to the mountain. His sister insisted on braiding my hair, but I was so tired, I didn’t protest. When we got to the top of the mountain, I peered over a rock to look down at the bottom. When I turned around, Pat had gotten down on one knee, and his brother and sister were behind him photographing and videotaping us!
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. All of our songs were pretty special to us–music is an important part of our relationship. Pat and I decided on “Something” by The Beatles for our first dance. For months before the wedding, I searched for songs that would be fitting for my dad and I. We are both huge Pink Floyd fans, and a few days before the wedding, we decided that we didn’t really care to be traditional and chose “Wish You Were Here.” Pat surprised us and played the guitar during our dance! Pat and his mom danced to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, which was so fitting for them.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My family is from Nicaragua and Pat’s is from Peru, and for the most part, our friends are all Latin as well. We don’t have a drop of Southern blood in us, so it was a lot of fun to have our wedding in Charlottesville because it was such an adventure for everyone! I’d say the most Southern thing was the cuisine, especially because it was served family-style! Harvest Moon did an amazing job–we had chicken and waffle skewers, salted butter corn bread, beef short ribs, and mac and cheese.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the biggest way I cut costs was actually by hiring a wedding planner. Cinda at White Birch Events is truly a wizard. She reviewed all of my estimates and told me where I could cut costs, figured out where to repurpose my flowers with my florist, and simply brought me back down to earth when I would mention something that was outside of my budget or unnecessary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Travel! We have a huge list of places we want to visit, but limited PTO…

Photographer: Ashley Cox | Videographer: Carly Rae Productions | Planner: Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events | Venue: Trump Winery | Florist: Blue Ridge Florals | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Rachel | Caterer: Harvest Moon Catering | Band: The Finns | DJ: Slable | Bride’s Gown: “Calla” by Monique Lhuillier | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Rouge 9 Makeup Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Gucci | Groom’s Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna | Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss and Armani | Photo Booth: Mox Box | Get Away Car: Albemarle Limousine | Buses: Easy Riders

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar VERONICA + PATRICK | Ashley Cox Photography reply

    […] So honored to have this gorgeous wedding featured on Southern Weddings! […]

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We Southerners sure are proud of our alma maters, so it’s no surprise that Kimberley and Jonathon were ecstatic to have been selected in the lottery to follow the time-honored University of Virginia tradition of getting married at the chapel on the campus grounds! Together with their planner, Amore Events, they planned a beautiful day full of sweet details and absolutely stunning florals. Out-of-town guests (flying in from Asia, Australia, and around the country!) were treated not only to Kimberley and Jonathon’s love and pride in their university, but also a glimpse at where their love story began. For their alumni friends, this celebration was a highly anticipated homecoming! Along with experiencing where these two started their journey, I’m sure hearing them recite the vows that they wrote together during the ceremony was truly remarkable!

We’re so thankful Ashley Cox captured all the sweet moments!

My flowers were absolutely gorgeous! Cody did a fantastic job representing the UVA colors of orange and blue. I wanted a fluffy, soft bouquet and it was breathtaking! The orange poppies really popped.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress hunt revolved around my mom’s veil. It was the only item that I knew I wanted, so I focused on finding the perfect dress to go with it. Since my parents live half a world away in Singapore, a few of my bridesmaids and close friends went with me to help me choose. It was a great day of bonding and beautiful dresses, but I was still unsure and chose to leave empty-handed. When my parents visited a few months later, we found a few contenders, but not the one. Then, my mom suggested that I look into creating a custom dress, and I never looked back. I got to wear the dress of my dreams!

We were hesitant about doing a first look when Cody first suggested it, but it ended up being a great decision. It gave us a private moment to share together during the hustle and bustle of our wedding day. We were also able to get some great pictures at both the chapel and vineyard without taking too much time away from the cocktail hour, so that was a plus!

We wrote the whole ceremony together. It was an intimidating task, but it was a great bonding experience for us. We wrote our own personal vows and kept them secret until the ceremony. It made hearing our promises to each other even more special!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As alumni of the University of Virginia, getting married at the chapel on the grounds is a time-honored tradition. When we found out that our request was selected in the lottery, we were ecstatic! It allowed us to show our pride and love for our university as we completed one journey and started another. Our reception was held outdoors under a Sperry tent at Keswick Vineyards. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the venue is breathtaking, and we were hooked from the minute we saw it. Having separate ceremony and reception venues gave us the opportunity to give our out-of-town guests a glimpse at our college playground, while, needless to say, for our alumni friends, it was a highly anticipated homecoming.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Besides all the monograms, we wanted to add a little Texas flair to our wedding to represent where we now live. In the middle of dancing, the DJ played a few fun country songs. We ran to the guestbook table, where we had set up our cowboy boots as decorations, and put them on. The boots were special; Jon’s are made of sharkskin and mine are green lizard skin. Everyone had a blast. We also tried to showcase food from the region, such as candied bacon, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and Virginia cheeses.

We had a full dessert bar along with a cupcake spread and a traditional wedding cake. Our dessert bar included candied bacon, milk and white chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate cups, fudge brownies, blondies, and lemon bars. There were three types of cupcakes: orange and blue funfetti with peach filling, lemon poppy with strawberry filling, and red velvet with cream cheese. The cake was a fudge chip cake with cherry filling and vanilla buttercream icing. It was all delicious and we loved the variety!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The first time I laid eyes on Jon, he had a faux hawk, was wearing a Space Jam tank, and had a plastic duck bill on his face. His fraternity was hosting a ’90s party and a group of them had decided to dress up as Space Jam characters–Jon was Daffy Duck! I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but when the resident advisor of my first-year dorm introduced him to me, I was just very amused. Even though our first meeting was less than stellar, my resident advisor continued to sing Jon’s praises. Jon asked me to dinner a few weeks later and I accepted. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! On date nights, we love trying new restaurants. That night, Jon chose a beautiful restaurant with a delicious tasting menu. It was a particularly special dinner since Jon had recently accepted a job in Houston and was moving away from Virginia. I didn’t think I would be able to join him, so we were trying to take full advantage of the time we had together. Four courses later, we were full, happy, and waiting for dessert. We had both ordered the same dessert, and Jon joked that he wouldn’t have to worry about me stealing his. When dessert arrived, I remember seeing something shiny in mine. My mind went blank and I could only manage a lame “Why is my dessert different?” Jon said he could see the realization cross my face as he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. I was so stunned that I barely heard him. He was just glad that I said yes!
When did y’all get married? August 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something old was a gift from my mom. It was a diamond necklace and earrings set that my dad gave her when I was born. I was over the moon when she gave it to me to wear on my wedding day. My something borrowed was the cathedral veil that my mom wore on her wedding day. When we took it out of storage, it broke our hearts to see a tear, but we managed to stitch it up, and it felt so special to walk down the aisle with it on. For my something new, I picked heels from Jimmy Choo. I wanted a pair of shoes that I could wear again, and my blue nail polish complemented them perfectly.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Distance was one of the biggest challenges we had to overcome. On top of planning a Virginia wedding from Texas, we had guests flying in from Asia, Australia, and around the country. Fielding calls from 200 of your family and friends about what to do, special exceptions, and guest count were definitely stressful. The other big challenge was combining the cultures of the East and West. Our families are both Chinese and we wanted to acknowledge our Chinese culture, while also celebrating in the Western way. We split the day in half, reserving the morning for traditional cultural events like the tea ceremony–a tea drinking ritual with the family elders where they are given the opportunity to bless the marriage–and the afternoon and evening for the traditional Western ceremony, reception, and party!
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 looking forward to having free time to read, travel, and just hang out! The wedding process is very time-consuming, and sometimes, you wonder if it’s worth it. Now that we aren’t planning, we want to explore the world!

Photographer: Ashley Cox / Planner and Florist: Cody Grannis / Ceremony Venue: University of Virginia Chapel / Reception Venue: Keswick Vineyards / Cake and Dessert Baker: Buttercream Dreams / Caterer: Roadside Chive / Rentals: MS Events / Lighting: Skyline Tent Company / DJ: Derek Austin / Monogrammed Bow Ties: Mercy Streams / Bride’s Gown: Custom from Ieie Bridal / Headpiece: Enze Bridal / Hair Stylist: Brianna Adams / Makeup Artist: Susan Lim / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Navy Blue Lace by Watters / Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmen Attire: Menguin / Custom Watercolor Wedding Map Guest Book: Luz Design / Wedding Vow Book: Noteworthy Design Co / Fudge Favors: My Chocolate Shoppe / Vintage Cowboy Boots: Texas Junk Company / Cake Topper: Emily Steffen

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

    Beautiful flowers and I love the bridesmaid dresses!

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