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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?

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Katelyn James, for sharing this joyful day with us!

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!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Finley / Engagement Rings reply

    What a pretty color combination! Love this!

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    Those tablescapes are divine!

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  4. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    Lovely wedding! Love the blue color that was used.

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  7. avatar Dahlia reply

    I am in dire need of a seersucker garter set! Where did you get it?

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Gracious, how absolutely Southern and stunning is Rosa? With her chic dark hair, classic Lela Rose gown, and WishPiece belt, she’s reminiscent of a modern Scarlett O’Hara! And that caplet? Le sigh! Beyond obsessing over her wedding day style, I am completely taken by the sweet details of Rosa and Vincent’s wedding, many of which were created by their friends and family. I especially love their ceremony arch–the wood was donated by their dear friends, then carefully constructed by the Vincent and his father, and finally, lovingly decorated with flowers by Rosa’s family. It’s no wonder Vincent wanted to place it in their home after the wedding!

Thanks so very much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Gracie Blue Photography for sharing this sweet day!

My dress was the very first wedding-related purchase I made. I showed Vincent pictures of dresses from a particular designer I kept gravitating toward, Lela Rose, and he was really impressed by one in particular. One that, of course, wasn’t as exciting to me, but I figured I probably couldn’t afford any of her dresses anyway, so it didn’t matter. I looked up the only boutique in Georgia that carries Lela Rose dresses, and found out they were having a sample sale…that was ending in ONE day. Talk about pressure! I went to the boutique by myself and tried on all kinds of designers, styles, and silhouettes. Lo and behold, the dress my fiancé had picked out was not only at the boutique, but was the one that spoke to me the most when I tried it on. I went back the next day to try it on again and bought it, almost immediately feeling remorse. For months and months, I drove my fiancé nuts about my dress indecision. It wasn’t until a few days before the wedding, when it all came together after alterations and with the accessories, that I absolutely fell in love with all of it. My mom’s reaction helped seal the deal.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did. We both have large families, and we wanted to have some nice private time before the wedding to get good pictures in. We also wanted to have pictures of our reactions to one another. We anticipated it being pretty emotional, but it was actually quite the opposite. Our first look was literally a matter of me tapping Vincent’s shoulder, him turning around, us both exclaiming, “You look great!”, and giving each other high fives for putting together really excellent outfits.

Late in the evening, while we were dancing, the 4-year-old daughter of a friend was dancing nearby. I knelt and touched her hand to dance with her, and the moment I touched her, she squealed in total fan-girl excitement. There were a few little girls there who thought I was a “real princess.” It was absolutely hilarious and unforgettable!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: From Vincent: The ceremony arch. Some friends had some raw cedar logs laying in their backyard, which they generously donated. I hauled them to my parents’ house, and my dad and I spent an evening cleaning them up and figuring out how they would go together. My dad managed to put the cleaned and cut logs together into this beautiful, rustic arch, and then Rosa’s family and friends decorated it with flowers. Their hard work created a beautiful, memorable frame around us during the ceremony. It turned out perfectly. I sort of want it at our house.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We took a day trip all around North Georgia and all the way to Chattanooga to take a look at a few venues. We found a couple of contenders, but none seemed quite right. On our drive back home, we drove by a friend’s property in rural North Georgia, and the decision seemed so simple. Our friend’s property was just as beautiful as some of the venues we had looked at, and it provided the flexibility we wanted in terms of time and catering. We knew having our wedding there would be a HUGE undertaking, but my family was up to the challenge.

We ordered tiny wooden pencils with our wedding hashtag (#rosaplusvincent) embossed in gold. We put them at every place setting, along with a fill-in-the-blank card. We got to see so many wedding pictures on social media from our friends and family because of the hashtag. I’m glad we did it!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs in as many ways as possible. Almost every detail at our wedding was DIY, or made by friends and family, from the beautiful flowers to the arch. It was such a blessing to have so much help and support. One of the biggest ways we cut costs was by using a restaurant that we love and frequent in Atlanta for our food. We also bought salad greens and dressing in bulk at a wholesale food mart. We had enough food to feed 125-150 people and it cost us just under $1000.

From Vincent: I was most surprised by the fireworks during the reception. When friends of ours asked for our approval to buy fireworks, I thought that they meant sparklers or something. When that first burst hit the horizon, I was absolutely awestruck. All I could do was hold my bride’s hand and watch the lights explode and twinkle above us. It was a symbol to me of all the trouble and expense people had gone through on our behalf, and it was absolutely humbling.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at party at a mutual friend’s house. We instantly wrote one another off romantically–neither of us thought we were compatible! However, we’re both web designers, so we grew to be good friends over the course of a year or so. Eventually, we both realized we got butterflies when the other walked into the room! Neither of us had seen it coming. We started dating, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! Vincent proposed a year after he told me he loved me on a blue bench in the town square. Unbeknownst to me, Vincent designed a ring, composed a song for me, and with the help of his family, maneuvered me onto that very same blue bench. He and his four brothers performed the song while I sat there with red roses in my lap, staring and laughing and crying. The song ended with Vincent on one knee.
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 115
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We walked away from our ceremony to Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True”–it was such a fun little moment to leave the ceremony arch to one of the happiest love songs ever. It set the tone for the dance party later on that included dance hits from the 80’s and 90’s. For our first dance, we chose “This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies. It’s a classic song that’s emblematic of our relationship and our lives. We’d waited awhile to find one another, but this was finally our year!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cake wasn’t a huge priority for us, but it turned out incredible. A friend of a friend put it together. It was a naked cake garnished with strawberries and white buttercream on top. While we didn’t get to eat any at the wedding, we took a piece with us and enjoyed it the following night at our cozy cabin.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The sheer volume of things we had to do. We didn’t hire a planner, and we had a pretty small budget, so getting everything done on time and on budget was a challenge. Planning a wedding with a demanding full-time job is no fun. Thank goodness for the friends and family members who helped along the way!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? It’s so hard to choose because we didn’t hire many things out, but the few things we DID hire out ended up being great decisions. Our photographer, Gracie Blue, was such a pro. We didn’t have a coordinator, and at times, she stepped in to make sure people were in the right place at the right time, especially if it meant getting the right shot (and often, it did). We hired her a year ahead of time, and it was a really great decision.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Rely on your support group–friends, family, and vendors. Do not try to do everything yourself; you will go absolutely nuts if you try to keep up with it all. Delegate, delegate, delegate! On the day of, please, just enjoy yourself. Don’t stress about last-minute to-do’s; let things happen as they happen. It’s a celebration, so celebrate!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After over a year of planning and sweating details, it is so nice to just relax and be together, without wedding plans looming over our heads! We are looking forward to merging our skills as web and graphic designers and starting our own business together!

Photographer: Gracie Blue Photography / Videographer: Sam Nagele / Cake Baker: Cakes by Pinks / Catering: GIO’s Chicken / Rentals: Suburban Rental / Bride’s Gown: “The Boulevard” By Lela Rose / Bridal Salon: Kelly’s Closet / Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN / Bride’s Sash: WishPiece / Hair Stylist: Mally Maglione / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Groom’s Jacket and Shirt: Suitsupply / Groom’s Pocket Square and Pants: J.Crew / Groom’s Bow Tie: Penguin / Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Tent Rental: Amerevent / Home-Brewed Beer: YayBrew

Gracie Blue Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Beautiful photos! And her dress is just darling!

  2. avatar Charmaine reply

    Adore her wedding dress!

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