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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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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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I remember when I saw Erica and John’s wedding for the first time in a draft for V8. I was immediately taken with their romantic color palette of pink, cream, and glittery gold, the stunning backdrop that Pippin Hill Farm provided, and, most of all, how joyfully in love these two are. With the help of Amore Events by Cody, Erica and John honored their respective upbringings with an “apples and cheese” theme running throughout their wedding details–Erica is from New York and John is from Wisconsin. This theme even carried into their late-night treats of cheesecakes and apple pies! Adorable theme and beautiful details aside, reading about John’s favorite part of their wedding makes their day even sweeter! One thing he mentioned was, “The 10 minutes with my wife immediately following the ceremony.” After seven years of marriage, I too can remember those unforgettable moments post-ceremony, and can attest to just how incredible and fleeting they are!

Thanks to Rachel May for sharing this beautiful day with us in print!

We got married at 6 P.M. on Saturday, September 5, 2015. When we got engaged, we knew right away that we wanted to get married outdoors in order to celebrate how much we love adventure, nature, and natural beauty. I knew that I wanted to get married in a barn, as the rustic chic look appealed to me as soon as I started wedding planning. We found a few barns in upstate New York that were pretty, but ultimately decided that we wanted to be in a location that had significance to both of us. We decided to start looking in southern Virginia because of all the amazing times we had spent together renting cabins in the Shenandoah. After some recommendations from friends, we drove to Charlottesville and starting looking for venues. Given that we got engaged at a winery (and how much we both love wine), we started thinking that a winery could be the perfect location. When we saw Pippin Hill, we fell in love with the beautiful scenery right away. We booked Pippin Hill about two days after first visiting, and we plan to go back year after year for our anniversary. It is such a special and beautiful place, and we are so glad we got to spend the best day of our lives there!

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? When I first started looking at bridesmaid dresses, I fell in love with some pink Donna Morgan dresses and quickly sent them out to all of my bridesmaids. After searching through some blogs, though, I really started to like the mix-and-match bridesmaid dress look, and wanted to go that route. I found out two of my girls had already ordered the Donna Morgans, so I couldn’t go completely mix-and-match, as they had already started tailoring their dresses. I decided to do pairs of different dresses, and I love the way it all turned out!

I went dress shopping in both DC and New York with some of my bridesmaids and my mom. I thought I would love romantic tulle, but every time I tried on those dresses, something just didn’t feel right–like I wasn’t being myself. My style is very clean and classic, and I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day. It was important to me and John that we remained authentic to who we are on the day of our wedding, so I knew I had found my dress when I felt like the prettiest version of myself when I tried it on. My favorite thing about my dress is the way it made John react when he saw me for the first time. He just kept saying, “Your dress! Your dress! It’s beautiful. You look beautiful!” That was the reaction I was looking for.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? Our wedding ceremony was the most beautiful and important forty minutes of our lives. My dad performed our ceremony, which was so special because he worked hard to make his remarks meaningful and personal. Both of our sisters-in-law read special passages, and every moment of the ceremony was emotional and true to who we are as a couple. It was truly gorgeous.

What songs did you use for your ceremony? For the bridal party processional, we used India Arie’s “Can I Walk With You.” I’ve wanted that song to be played at my wedding since I was a little girl, and it was so special to hear it on the big day! For my entrance, we used the traditional bridal march. For the recessional, we used Ray Lamontange’s “You Are the Best Thing.”

My favorite details were the ones that infused our apple, cheese, and literary motif. I’m from New York (“The Big Apple”) and John is from Wisconsin, which is known for its cheese. We’re both educators and we both love to read, so we wanted to infuse our love of books into the wedding as well. We had a beautiful logo made that was on our menu, welcome bag tags, and gift bags. We served cheeses from Wisconsin and New York during cocktail hour. For dessert, we served cheesecakes and apple pies. As a late night snack, guests enjoyed grilled cheese and apple sandwiches. Our centerpieces included a book display that looked gorgeous, and our cake stand was surrounded by books. I love how the theme was woven throughout the ceremony, reception, and all the small details of the wedding.

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Where to begin? Our colors were pink, cream and glittery gold, and the room was full of those colors. Our florist, Amy Webb of Blue Ridge Florals, did a wonderful job bringing the wedding colors to life through the flowers. My favorite part of the reception was the floral ladders hanging over the long farm tables. They were dripping with flowers and candles, and they were just gorgeous. We had bistro lights cascading from the beautiful wooden rafters at Pippin Hill. We had books to represent our love of literacy around the cake stand, in our logo, and on the tables. We also had apples as escort cards to go along with our apple and cheese theme. There were so many small details that made the wedding come together and it was absolutely perfect!

John loves John Legend and I love his song “Stay With You,” so deciding on our first dance song was a really easy choice. John also loves live music, so he had the awesome idea to have one of his very talented groomsmen sing our first dance song. I heard Raphael practicing for the first time right after the ceremony (he wanted to keep the performance a surprise for us) and was astounded. He sounded amazing! John’s extremely talented orchestra teacher, Kendall Isadore, accompanied Raph on violin, and turned it into such a beautiful cover. The week of the wedding, John and I took a few dance classes, so we had some pretty cool dips and tricks up our sleeves!

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. Though I didn’t get a piece myself because I was too busy dancing, everyone said that the wedding cake was delicious. We had a marble wedding cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, as well as cheesecakes and apple pies to go along with our theme. We also had a s’mores pit for guests to enjoy a late night treat!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met while on a business trip to Houston in March 2013. We were both training for new leadership roles, me to be a vice principal and John to start his own school. The trip was an orientation for the five-week leadership program. I did not know many of the KIPP DC people, and John, having been with the company for six years at that point, warmly welcomed me into the group. John even gave me one of his drink tickets that night, and we spent the entire evening talking and getting to know each other. We had breakfast the next morning and even changed our travel arrangements in order to fly back to DC together at the end of the weekend. Even though we worked for the same organization in DC, we had never met before that fateful weekend. John always reminds me that he knew of me long before meeting me, and had always wanted to know more about that fourth grade teacher folks were buzzing about. We’ve been inseparable since the day we met.
Describe the proposal: I knew John was the one within weeks of meeting him. In fact, the truth is that I proposed to John first (about 10 months before he did). It seemed like I was joking when I shouted at him, “We should get married!” But really, I knew I meant what I had said. When we planned a 2014 trip to Argentina, I thought it would be the perfect time to really get engaged. When I called my dad for a final farewell and he asked me where I was going and who I was going with, my anxiety kicked into high gear. Was my intuition wrong? Was John not going to propose? Surely, my dad would know if John planned on asking me to marry him while on this vacation. Finally, my birthday arrived (part of the reason we were going to Argentina was to celebrate my birthday), and I finally had something else to be excited about. My mind moved away from the potential proposal–I resolved to have fun in Argentina and enjoy time with the love of my life. When we woke up the morning before my birthday, John announced that we would be flying to Mendoza, the wine country of Argentina. The next day (my birthday), as we sat and ate breakfast in the tiny restaurant of our inn, I heard an old car horn beeping outside. When I walked out of the restaurant, I saw a small circle of people gawking at a old Model A-style convertible. Still forcing myself to believe that this was all just for my birthday, we got in the car and were whisked away to the famous Nieto Seniter Vineyard. We began walking around the property and John walked us to two horses being held by a traditional Argentinian gaucho (cowboy). Little did they both know, I am pretty afraid of horses. Nonetheless, after some persistent urging from John, I got on and we went for a beautiful horseback ride through the vineyard at the foot of the Andes Mountains. After a while, the gaucho motioned for the horses to stop, and John got me (reluctantly) off the horse. We walked down a path and there under a tree was a picnic, a book, and a bottle of champagne. John opened the book, and inside, was a gorgeous ring, and he asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes. Then, remembering my conversation with my dad on the plane, I asked, “Does my dad know?” John said of course, my dad had been in on it the whole time. John then told me to look up, and I saw one of the photographers from earlier in a tree–he had captured the whole proposal. Next to the wedding, our proposal was the second best day of my life!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My diamond is a 1.5-carat, round cushion-cut diamond. After John designed my ring, the store loved it so much that they named my setting the “Erica Setting.” John chose my ring and diamond based on quality of stone and the pronounced setting arrangement. John says my bold love is nearly matched with my bold ring–the stone stands alone at the top, but is supported by smaller paving diamonds below. John likes to compare my ring to our love. Our love stands at the top and is the boldest of its kind, but we have lots of family and friends to support us and help us shine along the way.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, enchanting, unforgettable
How many guests attended your wedding? 140
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: A letter from my bride, the first look, a house to stay in with family in the days leading up to the wedding, fantastic food, local beer, Wisconsin cheese, Mi Amigo cigars, the mountain backdrop, a Kit-Kat s’more station, and the 10 minutes with my wife immediately following the ceremony.
What were some of the highlights of the reception? My favorite moment of the reception was at the end of the night when we played our last song, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Our friends were singing at the top of their lungs, and John picked me up and swung me around right at the height of the song. It was awesome. I also loved my dad’s toast. It was so heartfelt and emotional, and was a very special moment.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? We did a bouquet toss. My good friend caught it and I love her boyfriend so…fingers crossed!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? I am looking forward to having adventures with my husband for the rest of my life. Whether it is hiking four miles up a mountain in Yosemite, jumping off cliffs in Jamaica, riding horses in Argentina, or just enjoying a four-hour-long “Cops” marathon in our living room, I always have a great time when I’m with him. I’m looking forward to forever. Next, we are focusing on buying our first house and getting some more room for our dog, Stella!

Photographer: Rachel May Photography | Videographer: Mwendo Weddings | Planner and Designer: Amore Events by Cody | Venue, Caterer, and Linens: Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards | Florals: Blue Ridge Florals | Cake Baker: Sweethaus Bakery | Bride’s Gown: “Margot” by Anna Maier | Bridal Salon: Gabriella New York | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bride’s Accessories:  BHLDN | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Annabelle” in Cashmere by Jenny Yoo, “Beaded Chiffon Blouson Dress” in Blush and Taupe by Adrianna Pappell, “Rachel” in Petal by Donna Morgan, “Laura” in Petal by Donna Morgan, “Tori” in Cream by Paper Crown | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Tiffany Lumpkin | Menswear: Allure Bridals | Paper Goods: Dandelion Patch | Rentals, Linens, and Reception Décor: MS Events | Favors: Fromagination | Transportation: Blue Ridge Tours | Lighting: Blue Ridge Lighting

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Perry Vaile reply

    Whoa this was beautiful! Rachel, beautifully done!

  2. avatar Jevettra Gardner reply

    Just a gorgeous wedding and the details are just oozing with wonderfulness!!

  3. avatar Chantal reply

    What a stunning affair – and beautiful photography. Might I ask where the bride got the ring box? I’m looking for one just like it. Thank you!

    xo,
    Chantal

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