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Even before their engagement, Katie had already envisioned her dream setting for her and Scott’s wedding, and when she spotted Murray Hill in a local magazine, she knew it was the perfect place to carry out that vision. With the help and guidance of their planner Grit & Grace, plus stunning blooms by Holly Heider Chapple, Katie and Scott welcomed guests to an understated, yet completely beautiful, wedding celebration. And, while their wedding cake was the focal point of their dessert buffet, how fun is it that they had “his and her favorites” up for grabs, including cookies and dairy milk for Scott and mini cannoli and French macarons for Katie? Personalized touches like that are always so special!

Big hugs to our friends and Blue Ribbon Vendors Jodi and Kurt Photography for sharing this sweet day with us!

I was absolutely in love with my wedding flowers. Holly was so spot on with her floral design. We wanted to include subtle shades of green, white, and yellow, with pops of coral poppies. Unfortunately, the time of year made poppies a bit harder to find, so Holly warned me early on that she would do her best but couldn’t guarantee that she would be able to get them. However, the day of, when I received my bouquet, it was overflowing with poppies. Holly had managed to find them from a local grower, and they couldn’t have been more beautiful.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did premarital counseling with Scott’s brother, who officiated the wedding, and his wife. The premarital counseling was very helpful for us, as we were able to continue to learn more about each other and how we approach life and faith.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. We both struggled with finding the perfect words to describe our love for each other, but knew that we both wanted to try to use our own words in front of our family and friends. Scott’s favorite line of my vows was when I promised to continue to listen to country music as long as it wasn’t too twangy (I didn’t like country music prior to meeting Scott, but now am a huge fan!). My favorite part of Scott’s vows was, “From the first time we met in the parking lot of a softball field, I knew that you were going to be someone very special to me. Your laugh, your smile, your eyes, and your yoga pants all told me I had finally found the partner I had been longing for.”

On our way home from getting engaged, Scott had already downloaded a local wedding magazine on his iPad for me to look through. I already had a vision in mind for the setting, and while flipping through the pages, I stumbled upon one of the real weddings featured in the magazine that fit my vision perfectly. It was a barn wedding with Edison string lights that were simple, understated, and so beautiful. I immediately told Scott that that was where I wanted to have our wedding. The following week, we visited Murray Hill and fell in love with the property and it’s owners, Peggy and John. With a ceremony location overlooking the Potomac River, a beautiful garden and reflecting pool for the cocktail hour, and a whimsical stroll through the woods to get to the three-sided barn on the property, they had everything that we had envisioned for our special day. We knew we didn’t need to look any further and booked our wedding date that same day.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Without a doubt, our wedding would not have been as big of a success without Megan Pollard from Grit and Grace. We had looked into several other vendors in the area, but, by chance, interviewed Megan first. We left that first meeting with Megan and cancelled all other interviews with other planners. She was exactly who we were looking for. Megan was there day and night to provide her professional (and personal) opinion on anything and everything we needed. She understood what we wanted and knew how to make it happen. As our big day came to an end, marking the end of our professional relationship with Megan, we texted her as we rode away from the venue to ask if we could be friends now. She simply replied, “I’m glad you feel it too.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Some of our favorite details of our wedding were our table numbers and guest book. Each table was the name of a city that Scott and I were fortunate enough to travel to over the course of our relationship. To tie into the travel theme, our guest book was a vintage atlas with a sign that said “Eat Well & Travel Often–Let Us Know Where We Should Go.” We wanted our guests to show us their favorite spots in the world and give us some ideas of where we should travel to in the future.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We both are big bourbon lovers. Our signature cocktail during the cocktail hour and reception was Woodford Bourbon and Ginger Beer. Although, in true Southern style, we spent most of the evening enjoying the Woodford on the rocks!

During our first few weeks of dating, Scott was set on convincing me to like country music. He kept sending me lists of songs to listen to and I kept putting it off until he finally sent along Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted.” He said next to it “I think you’re really going to like this one.” When I finally listened to it, I realized all the lyrics perfectly described my feelings for him…I was hooked. I knew at that moment that that would be our song. The father/daughter dance was to The Cranberries’ “Dreams” (acoustic by Katey Sweeney and Jonathan Padden). The first concert I ever went to was with my dad to see The Cranberries on my 10th birthday. The concert was unforgettable and such a special moment for me and my dad that I wanted to honor it by having one of the songs for our dance. I also spent months trying to convince my son, Malcolm (10 years old), to dance with me at the wedding. He was a little shy and said he didn’t know how to slow dance. I said that it didn’t have to be a slow song and that he could even choose a country song if he wanted. Malcolm decided on one of his favorite country singers, Luke Bryan, and had an absolute blast dancing that night. It was the perfect way to start off the party and invite our guests to come join us on the dance floor.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Scott and I met through mutual friends while playing co-ed softball. Scott was new to the Northern Virginia area after growing up in Virginia Beach. The softball team was short a few players one Saturday morning, so his roommate invited him to come out and play. The first person Scott met as he strolled onto the field was me! After a few more softball games and a trip to a wine festival, we realized we had a connection, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! I joined Scott at a business conference at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. After coordinating with the hotel staff and his co-workers, the stage was set for the big event. The backdrop would be the hotel’s beach club at sunset, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Using a book we had been working through, “101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged,” Scott began to go through questions he had created to set up the big question. The final question Scott asked was, “Will you marry me?”
When did y’all get married? May 30, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 187
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding a wedding dress was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I am more of an independent dresser–not one to go out and shop with others because I hate the pressure. Having a slew of people join me as I picked out one of the most important garments of my life was a little overwhelming. I bought a dress that was beautiful and timeless, but it wasn’t me. When it came in nine months later, I realized I made a mistake. I quickly started researching other options and stumbled upon Nicole Miller’s Janey Gown from BHLDN and fell in love. It was everything I wanted in a gown, and had a quick turnaround time so it arrived just in time for the big day.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Scott and I decided not to do a first look, since we had both always dreamed of that moment when you turn the corner and see your husband/wife for the first time as they walk down aisle. We were a little more traditional in that sense and feared we would regret missing out on that opportunity. However, in hindsight, that is one aspect of our wedding we had wished we had been more open to. I was able to do a first look with my dad and son, and the pictures we captured from that moment were some of my favorites from the day. It also would have probably helped to calm my nerves to see Scott beforehand.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Ephesians 5:21-33
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. While we had a wedding cake, the focal point was our dessert buffet. Scott grew up in a household where–to this day–his family receives milk from a milkman who delivers directly to their home. He and his brothers had a ritual every night of having Oreos with dairy milk. I, on the other hand, have a deep love for cannolis and macarons. We decided for our wedding day that the desserts would speak to “his and her favorites,” including chocolate chip and Oreo cookies with shots of dairy milk, mini cannolis, French macarons, and sugar cookies in the shapes of softballs and baseball bats.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to save money by purchasing our own alcohol for the wedding. It was a little extra work to coordinate amounts and make sure it got to the venue, but in the end, it was worth it for the money we were able to save.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At one point during the reception, everyone was on the dance floor and “Wagon Wheel” came on. Everyone started singing in unison and then all of a sudden, Scott, Malcolm, and I all got hoisted up on people’s shoulders and were sitting above the crowd watching all the happiness and joy around us. We felt completely supported (both physically and emotionally) by all our loved ones and were absolutely elated.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t forget about the real reason you’re getting married; you love your partner and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Wedding planning is filled with deadlines, stress, and compromise. At the end of the day, always realize being married and planning a wedding are two different things, with one distinctly more enjoyable than the other!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Since our big day, we’ve added a four-legged friend to our family. Harper is a beagle/lab mix that we rescued from South Carolina. She is a Southern belle at heart, but won’t hesitate to enjoy a good pair of leather shoes from time to time. We will continue to travel and eat our way through our bucket list of vacation spots.

Photographer: Jodi and Kurt Photography | Planner: Grit & Grace | Venue: Murray Hill | Florist and Lighting: Holly Heider Chapple | Caterer, Cake, and Dessert Baker: Ridgewells Catering | Rentals: DC Rentals | DJ: Premier DJ Services | Signs: Sweet Carolina Collective | Paper Products: Brave Creative Design | Bride’s Gown: “Janey” by Nicole Miller | Bride’s Headpiece and Earrings: Ayajewellery | Hair and Makeup: Claudine Fay | Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Menswear: Jos. A. Banks | Dance Floor, Chalkboard Escort Card Board, and Furniture: Revolution Event Design & Production | Tent: Capital Party Rentals | Welcome Bag Cookies: Fresh Bakes | Ceremony Musicians: St. Charles String Quartet | Floral Linens and Cocktail Tables: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Invitation Suite: Haute Papier | Custom Koozies: Christine Meahan Designs

Grit & Grace and Jodi Miller Photography are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Jane Nash reply

    What a beautifully written piece perfectly describing my daughter, Katie and son-in-law, Scott’s wedding! It was an absolutely magical day filled with so much happiness, joy and LOVE! Great attention to every detail created a true weekend that all of their guests truly enjoyed. We are so fortunate to live in Loudoun County with an abundance of highly artistic, experienced and professional wedding providers. From the venue, the gorgeous flowers, the dresses, delicious food and cake, music and so much more, it was an extraordinary and special wedding event always to be remembered leaving memories to be celebrated year after year! Congratulations on your upcoming 1st wedding anniversary, Katie and Scott!

  2. avatar steven reply

    Wow, what a beautiful wedding, just perfect!

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My favorite thing about Theresa and James’ wedding is that they look like they’re having so much FUN in every single picture! When I read their interview, it quickly became evident how these two were able to relax and enjoy their day so much–they prioritized the details that meant the most to them, and then left everything in the very capable hands of our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Sapphire Events, to pull it all off. I love Theresa’s advice for brides, because it certainly seems like they took it to heart themselves, and created so many special moments because of it: “Don’t immediately dismiss every seemingly silly/goofy/embarrassing idea you come up with. A lot of the time, the goofy idea that you propose as a joke is the one that best expresses you and your partner…a few silly details can become almost inside jokes between you and your significant other, remind you why this other weird person is your match, help you relax during a sometimes formal event, and become the things you will remember most years down the line.”

Many thanks to Marissa Lambert for sharing this fun day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I had quite a few “old” items, including a sixpence in my shoe, passed down through the family, an “add-a-pearl” bracelet that my grandmother had amassed growing up, and my engagement ring, which had been passed down from my great-great-grandmother. My earrings were both old and borrowed–I borrowed my mother’s diamond stud earrings, one of which was made from the original diamond from her engagement ring. I also borrowed my veil from a friend. My dress and shoes were new, and my toenails were blue.

I never had the “feeling” or the “moment” when dress shopping–but I also didn’t really expect to. I found my dress in the third store on the first day I went looking. Both my mom and future mother-in-law had flown in to shop with me, and they both had “the moment” when I put the dress on. It took me a few more shops and a few more visits to finally commit, but–in the end–I felt beautiful on my wedding day, which is what matters.

Describe your wedding flowers. James and I wanted to focus on greenery and herbs as much as (or more than) flowers. We were hoping for a lush, natural feel, possibly incorporating the sense of smell with the herbs, and we tried to emphasize that to the florist more than getting into particulars about types of flowers and plants. All flowers are pretty, and I trusted her to use what was in season. The actual bouquets ended up being some of the most aromatic, enticing things I have ever smelled! As for colors, I asked for whites, creams, and hints of blush for the ceremony florals, to keep the palette crisp, and then for bright berry tones to be mixed in for the reception florals. The various tones of greens we used throughout acted as a neutral.

We did a first look, largely based on the recommendation of our amazing friend/wedding planner, and partly because we didn’t want to waste precious celebration time after the ceremony. Instead of the typical first look, where the bride sneaks up behind the groom and taps him on the shoulder, we made sure James and I first saw each other from a few yards apart. That way, we each got to take in the full picture and were able to savor the expressions and anticipation as I made the walk to meet him. I think it drove our photographer a little crazy, since she couldn’t capture both of us at once at the exact “reveal” moment, but this way, we were able to feel as though we were first seeing one another from either end of the aisle, while still getting all of the formal photos done before the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but we were lucky enough to have had a mutual friend, who knew us both individually before, as well as after we became a couple, act as our officiant. He was able to work in lots of personal details that made the ceremony feel tailored to us a couple.

As a nod to our Midwestern, Great Plains roots, we requested that the musicians play “Hoedown” from “Rodeo” by Aaron Copeland (the “beef–it’s what’s for dinner” song) as we walked back up the aisle. I’m not sure how many people caught it, but it was a detail that made us smile. Our first dance was to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. James really pushed to pick something else, since “Wonderful Tonight” is such a popular choice, but he made the mistake of making it our song by singing it in my ear as we danced at the very first wedding I took him to.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to do our first look and photos at the Latter Branch Library in New Orleans, which is was where we went on our first date. We did the ceremony and reception at a brand new venue in New Orleans, which came highly recommended by our planner. One of the things she knew we would love was that the venue has a library/lounge area. While we loved this detail in and of itself, we found out months later during one of the planning walk-throughs that all of the books used in the library had come from the Latter Branch Library!

James and I are not big cake people, so this was not a big focal point for us. We just wanted something that looked nice and tasted good for our guests. I had told him ahead of time that I was going to smash the cake in his face, but James didn’t believe me until it happened. We got into a full-out cake war–I’m pretty sure we have some photos with cake shoved up my nose! Laughing, goofing around, and going crazy with the cake is another of my favorite memories from the day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In true New Orleans fashion, James and I met a few times through mutual friends before finally being stuck together waiting out a hurricane. A group of us decided to get together to weather the storm (and to eat everything in our refrigerators!), and during those couple of days, we decided we kinda, sorta liked one another.
Tell us all about the proposal! James picked me up from work on a mundane Tuesday night and took me around town on a progressive date under the guise of scouting out potential party locations for my birthday at the end of the month. I suspected nothing, even when he mentioned that one of the restaurants would be a great rehearsal dinner venue! When we finally got home that night, our house was completely filled with flowers. He dropped to his knee in our living room, just the two of us, surrounded by blooms.
When did y’all get married? September 19, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 175
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: James had organized a group of friends to compete in a charity barbecue competition called Hogs for the Cause. The year after we started dating and I joined the team, the team won the cocktail category of the competition with a drink called a Bourbon Missile Crisis. We decided to serve the Bourbon Missile Crisis to guests prior to our ceremony and during cocktail hour, and we set out the team’s trophy to hold paper straws. Because guests had drinks for the ceremony, our programs were printed on cocktail napkins. We also had personalized wayfarer sunglasses available to wear during the outdoor ceremony, and to take home as favors. For the reception, we had flower crown headbands for the guests. A group of close, generous, crafty friends all gathered at our house a month or so before the wedding to help me hand-make nearly 100 flower crowns. We saw a few of those flower crown favors resurface again for Mardi Gras!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, where James and I met and are making our life together. We included a courtyard ceremony, a jazz band, and a brass band.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Along the way, someone advised us to make a list of our most valued aspects of the wedding, and to prioritize only those items. Nobody is going to remember every tiny detail, so splurge on one or two important things, and then make it work with the less important items.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t immediately dismiss every seemingly silly/goofy/embarrassing idea you come up with. A lot of the time, the goofy idea that you propose as a joke is the one that best expresses you and your partner. While you don’t want the entire wedding to feel unorganized, a few silly details can become almost inside jokes between you and your significant other, remind you why this other weird person is your match, help you relax during a sometimes formal event, and become the things you will remember most years down the line.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re looking forward to our blowout 50th anniversary vow renewal–and everything before and after!

Photographer: Marissa Lambert Photography | Planner and Rentals: Sapphire Events | Venue and Rentals: Il Mercato | Florist: Meade Wenzel | Cake Baker: Haydel’s Bakery | Caterer: Joel’s Catering | Lighting: Southern Hospitality Event Rentals | Bands: Harry Hardin, Joe Simon’s Jazz, and Paulin Brothers | DJ: DJ Mike Swift | Paper Products: Presse Dufour | Bride’s Gown: “Style 5911” by Stella York | Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Makeup Beauty Services | Bride’s Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo, J. Crew, Donna Morgan, Amsale, and BHLDN | Groom’s Tuxedo: Luca Falcone | Busses: American Luxury | Save the Dates, Napkins, and Programs: Rudman’s

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    Oooh I love how dreamy this is! And her dress is phenomenal!

  2. avatar Adrienna reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! Sapphire Events always put on such gorgeous affairs, with so much detail.

  3. avatar Meredith reply

    What a breathtaking day! Well captured, too!

  4. avatar Sarah Drake reply

    Is there any way for me to get in touch with this bride? I am IN LOVE with that light blue bridesmaid dress with the one shoulder flowers. I can’t find it in the links provided. Please help! :)

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When you combine the word “magnolia” with “plantation” and then throw in an adorable couple, it’s a very safe bet that I’m going to swoon over the wedding! And while I’m not a betting woman, maybe I should be, because McKenna and Matt’s wedding at Magnolia Plantation is the sort of Southern wedding sweetness I can’t get enough of. It might be partially due to their colorful blooms from Branch Design Studio, but while those are stunning, I’m pretty sure it’s their contagious smiles and how smitten they are with each other. I adore how head over heels in love these two are–just look at McKenna’s post-ceremony smile! Pure bliss!

Big hugs to Dana Cubbage for sharing this delightful day!

I found my beautiful wedding dress at J. Major’s Bridal boutique in Charlotte! I was with my mom and my sister, and it was my birthday weekend. I knew in my head what I wanted my dress to look like, but I tried on a few different styles as that was what I was told to do. When I explained what my vision was, CJ at J. Majors pulled the most perfect gown. It was the Dakota from Enzoani, and I LOVED it. I bought it on the spot…best birthday present ever!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did! Our photographer highly recommended it for the timeline to go as smoothly as possible and she was absolutely right! My sweet hubby was so nervous as I walked up to him and tapped his shoulder…he said his knees were shaking! We both had immediate happy tears when we saw one another and it was one of the best moments of the day!

We love Charleston! I am from New Orleans, and Charleston has the historic charm and architectural beauty that reminds me of home. We fell in love with the breathtaking views at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. We truly wanted our guests to have a full experience at our wedding and this was the perfect venue for us!

Describe your wedding flowers. Perfect, stunning, classic, and elegant! I was absolutely obsessed. I even pressed all of the flowers from my bouquet so I wouldn’t have to throw them away! This was one of my splurges and I am so glad that I did….YAY for Branch Design Studios!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both attended UNC-Asheville from 2006-2010. He played baseball and I played soccer in college, and the athletes tended to stick together! We became friends freshman year and two of my teammates (and later bridesmaids) and I were always hanging out with him and his group of friends. I always seemed to have a boyfriend, and Matt patiently waited until February of our senior year in college when I was finally single, to ask me to dinner for Valentine’s Day. We have been together for five years since then, and I am so lucky that I was able to call Matt my best friend for nine years, my boyfriend for five, my fiancé, and now my sweet hubby!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were spending New Year’s and celebrating a late Christmas in Miami with Matt’s family, as we usually do. Part of my Christmas present from Matt was a trip to Key West because I had never been there before, and he knew I would love it. We planned to go the morning of New Year’s Day. We got on the road early and had a three-and-a-half hour drive. During that drive, I recapped the conversation of the night before, which revolved around people getting engaged and married and so on and so forth. I said, “We just aren’t like everyone else I guess–we aren’t a traditional couple! We will just probably get married later in life.” He quickly changed the subject to our amazing dinner we had reservations for at Latitudes on Sunset Key (because the ring was in the back seat and he was starting to sweat!). We had the best seat in the house at Latitudes–a table about 20 yards from the water, overlooking the sunset and the beautiful sailboats passing by…pure bliss! Matt asked our waiter to take some pictures of us with the sunset.The waiter even told me to fix my hair because it was “sorta messed up” (he knew what was about to go down, thank God!). We took three pictures, and Matt asked him to take just one more. I turned to pose, and when I turned back around again, Matt was on one knee with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen in my life, saying “Will you marry me?” I was in absolute shock! Then the tears came. Finally, he got off his knee and said, “So, is that yes?” I said YES and he put that ring on my finger as the restaurant cheered us on.
When did y’all get married? February 27, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I can’t pick, but I loved our oyster shell escort cards because my mother and I had painted them all!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil, which was made by my grandmother and worn by my mother and my sister–so special! I had my new monogram and wedding date sewed into my dress as a tag. I had it made with blue thread. All my jewelry was brand new, J. Crew perfection. For something old, I wore my favorite gold Target sandals–nothing special, but perfect for dancing!
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? I just started a new job! We are just soaking up being married and loving every minute of it!

Photographer: Dana Cubbage | Videographer: Anchor Films | Planner: Jessica Cruz | Venue: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Cake Baker: WildFlour Pastry | Caterer: B. Gourmet | Rentals: Event Works | Lighting: AV Connections | DJ: EPIC | Bride’s Gown: “Dakota” by Enzoani | Bride’s Jewelry and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Betsy Johnson and Target | Menswear: Menguin | Getaway Car: LowCountry Valet

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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