My best friend and her husband celebrated their third anniversary on Tuesday, so I have been reminiscing about their Williamsburg wedding all week. One of my favorite memories from their wedding weekend is their rehearsal dinner at Kingsmill, so you can imagine my delight when I opened up these pictures from Courtney and Jared’s big day, at that same beautiful place! I love the sweeping Virginia scenery that framed their celebration, but I think my favorite thing about Courtney and Jared’s wedding is their use of monograms and their heart behind them. As Courtney said, “We love how a monogram serves as a unique representation of us as a couple.” Shouldn’t every wedding detail do just that?
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I love this sweet tradition! My something blue was my seersucker monogrammed garter. I had a lot of something news, including my dress, shoes, and jewelry. For my something old and borrowed, I incorporated all of my grandparents’ wedding rings into my bouquet. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents are no longer with us, and I thought that having their rings close to me when we said “I do” would be a great way to honor them and their long-lasting marriages.
We knew that we wanted to get married in Williamsburg since it’s where we met. We had played golf together at Kingsmill when we were in college, and once we toured the grounds again with a wedding-planning mindset, we knew that it was the perfect place for us!
Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers are one of my favorite parts of a wedding, so I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of flowers into our special day! Karen Roa of Aleen Floral Design was an absolute joy to work with–she is amazingly talented and brought all of my flower ideas to life! I love softer blooms like hydrangeas and peonies, so we tried to incorporate them as much as possible in arrangements. My favorite piece that Karen created was an ombré pink bed of hydrangeas that we used to display all of the escort cards.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to combine traditional vows with a personalized phrase at the end.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our officiant read an excerpt from “Union” by Robert Fulghum, and my sister read “I Carry Your Heart” by E.E. Cummings.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We love how a monogram serves as a unique representation of us as a couple, so we incorporated them in as many places as we could! Both of us grew up in Virginia and wanted to give our out-of-town guests a taste of the Old Dominion in their welcome bags. We included Virginia peanuts and Forbes’ saltwater taffy, made in my hometown of Virginia Beach.
We chose a traditional four-tiered wedding cake with our monogram displayed on the top layer. The cake was a vanilla cake soaked in Bailey’s with hazelnut buttercream and milk chocolate truffles between the layers. Soaking the cake made it super moist, and we were enjoying it for days after the wedding! I love the tradition of a groom’s cake, so I surprised Jared with one right after we cut our wedding cake–he loves Chipotle and the pastry chef at Kingsmill did an amazing job creating a red velvet “burrito” cake complete with chips and guacamole!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Hands down, our favorite part of the wedding was the fireworks show we surprised our guests with towards the end of the evening! Only five people knew about it leading up to the big day, and it was so much fun to have something unexpected for our guests.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the fall of 2010 when we were both students at the College of William and Mary. We had both been roaming the halls of the business school for several years, but had never crossed paths until we were both chosen by a professor to participate in a special 10-person class that competed in a national tax competition at the end of the semester. We have been together ever since, and our professor and his wife attended the wedding!
Tell us all about the proposal! In the summer of 2012, Jared organized a long weekend getaway in Virginia wine country so we could celebrate his last few weeks of freedom before starting a full-time job. We love visiting this area together, and I was ecstatic to be spending a few nights at the beautiful Clifton Inn! After visiting a few wineries during the day and having an amazing dinner at the Boar’s Head Inn, we decided to go for a walk around Clifton’s property. I had just purchased a new camera, so I was eager to snap some pictures, so I handed Jared my black lens cap as we made our way onto the dock of the lake. After snapping a few pictures down on the water, I asked for my lens cap back, and instead, Jared placed a black velvet box in my hand! He clasped my hands and then proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? About six months before our wedding, we were informed that the LPGA was changing the date of its annual tournament at Kingsmill from its usual weekend to the weekend of our wedding. Hearing that tens of thousands of people would be roaming the property and the Golf Channel would be live broadcasting while we were saying “I do” was more than a little unnerving. After working closely with Kingsmill management, we took some extra precautions to ensure that our wedding ceremony wouldn’t be affected. The entire evening went off without a hitch!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My mother is a talented calligrapher, so we were able to save costs on addressing all of our invitations and place cards ourselves.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? All of our vendors were truly great to work with throughout the entire planning process, but we were most eager to work with our photographer, Katelyn James! I instantly fell in love with her work and knew she would be perfect for our most special day. To top it off, Katelyn and her husband, Michael, are one of the sweetest, most genuine couples we have ever met. We couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures and will cherish them for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take the time to enjoy being engaged! We chose to have a long engagement so that we could have more time to plan and secure all of the vendors that we wanted. Even after almost two years of planning, I thought it all went by so quickly and I wish I could relive it all over again!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? A week after we returned from our honeymoon, we put an offer in to buy our first home, and shortly thereafter, we became homeowners! We are enjoying the process of making our first house a home and tackling DIY projects together.
Photographer: Katelyn James / Videographer: Jason Faulkner / Planner: Brittany Richardson / Venue, Catering, Rentals, Lighting, and Cake: Kingsmill Resort / Florist: Aleen Floral Design / Band: The Jangling Reinharts / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbon: Oatmeal Lace Designs / Paper Products: William Arthur / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3018” by Lazaro / Bridal Salon: Hannelore’s of Olde Town / Bride’s Jewelry: Thomas Knoell / Hair Stylist: Chelsea Styles / Makeup Artist: Kristine Marie French / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers, Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Heidi” by J.Crew / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / String Quartet: Fitz Pro Musicians / Fireworks: Virginia Skypainters
Katelyn James is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!