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Reading through Bonnie and Quentin’s interview, I kept thinking, “It was meant to be!” So many pieces of their love story and their sweet Virginia wedding came together in such a way that neither of them could have planned better–the fact that they met in the bar Bonnie’s dad had helped build years before, or that Bonnie’s dress is called “Dahlia” and she carried a gorgeous bouquet of the same bloom, for example. That’s not to say that everything was perfect along the way–no wedding ever is–but with such a firm foundation in place, Bonnie and Quentin were able to make the best of every moment (including an unexpected tornado warning in the middle of their reception!).

Thanks so much to Katie Nesbitt for sharing this lovely day with us!

Finding and working with Carly Reed Designs on the invitations and other paper elements was my favorite part of planning the wedding. After a few months of searching many invitation websites and stores, I was at a loss on what I wanted. There were certainly invitations I liked, but nothing that really felt like us. When I found Carly and saw that she also lived in Richmond, I knew I had to work with her! Going through the custom invitation design process was so much fun! Carly was extremely patient with me while we went through the process and allowed me to be as nit-picky as I wanted to be. I heard from many guests that they often have a “meh” attitude when they receive invitations, but they loved ours!

Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were somewhat of a surprise– intentionally! Our florist is a farmer florist, so they couldn’t guarantee that they’d be able to produce or sustainably procure specific flowers. I had requested peonies or dahlias, and we were lucky to get gorgeous, large dahlias. I was so pleased with how all the flowers turned out. The selection and the colors fit our wedding perfectly.

Our families had collectively visited 32 venues all across Virginia before we found Riverside on the Potomac! We were still living in New York City when we first got engaged, so we were reliant on reports from our parents. When my parents found Riverside on the Potomac and sent me the pictures, we knew it was perfect.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We opted to do a first look and we are so glad we did. This allowed us time to do formal pictures with our wedding party and each other that otherwise would have been stolen from the cocktail hour (or not taken at all!). The best part about doing a first look was that it totally calmed both of our nerves. I think this may have made the ceremony even more special, since rather than me being an emotional basket case, we were able to be calm and focus on soaking in the words we were saying and the moments.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! The week before the wedding, I lost the earrings I was planning to wear. Luckily, one of my bridesmaids owned the same pair, so I just borrowed hers! My underwear was blue. I wore my mother’s veil as my something old, which was so special I really loved the way it made my otherwise-simple attire much more formal and bridal for the ceremony. Initially, I didn’t think I was going to use it since it had yellowed over the years, but after a little TLC with OxyClean and bleach, it ended up looking much better than expected. My shoes and dress were new.

On the day of the wedding, there was a potential for thunderstorms leading up to the ceremony time. The weather held out for the first look, pictures, ceremony, and cocktail hour, but right as we were lining up for the introduction at the reception, it began to pour. Since everything was inside from there on out, we thought we were in the clear! A few minutes after we sat down to eat, we began to hear the lovely noise phones make when there is a weather alert in the area. There were hushed whispers of a tornado warning, but no one was quite sure what to do. This is northern Virginia–we don’t typically get tornadoes! After a few minutes, I noticed my dad fumbling trying to turn the music off to make an announcement. I got up to help and ended up making the announcement that we needed to evacuate to the basement! How many brides have had to do that? Everyone made their way downstairs, drinks in hand. Luckily the “basement” was really renovated horse stalls with nice chairs and tables set up (we had even had our rehearsal dinner in the space!). The guests thought it was so fun and exciting (particularly since we were safely in a basement). It ended up being perfect for mingling with everyone, and we got some great pictures. While we would have preferred if this hadn’t happened, we think we made the best of it. All our guests said this would be a wedding they would never forget!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both attended Virginia Tech and met during our last year in Blacksburg, even though we lived next door to each other for a year prior to meeting. We met one night in September at the famous TOTS (Top of the Stairs) bar in Blacksburg. My dad helped build the bar while working there back in the ’70s. Mutual friends began talking that night, and we locked eyes. The next July, Quentin followed me to New York City.
Tell us all about the proposal! We both love New Orleans, and Quentin considers it a far more romantic place than New York. We were there during Jazz Fest, and on our last day, we took a long walk to brunch. Quentin took us on a scenic detour to a nearby park that he had previously scouted. He asked me to sit on one of those amazing, swooping, curvy New Orleans oak trees so he could take my picture, and then instead of whipping out a camera from his backpack, he went for the ring. He grabbed the wrong hand, because even after dating someone for five and a half years, that moment can make your knees weak! Of course, I said, “Yes!”
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 158
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was an intensive process. After the ninth store, I knew I needed to find someone who carried the Blush by Hayley Paige dress I had been eyeing online for months. I was lucky enough to get in touch with the lovely ladies at Pure English Bridal, and while they didn’t carry the exact dress, they were more than willing to have the sample shipped to their store. After some failed attempts with other stores to get the dress, I knew they were truly going above and beyond. As soon as I saw the dress, I knew I was going to get it. I hadn’t tried on anything similar anywhere else, and I loved the simple design with the light Swiss dot fabric. It proved to be the perfect dress for a hot and humid June day in Virginia.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Unfortunately, neither of us even saw the wedding cake or dessert table at the wedding! With the tornado warning and evacuation, there was just too much going on. We ended up cutting the cake the next evening at my parents’ house before we departed for the honeymoon.

Photographer: Katie Nesbitt Photography / Planner: Just a Little Ditty / Venue: Riverside on the Potomac / Florist: LynnVale Studios / Caterer and Cake: Main Event Caterers / Band: Adrian Duke Project / Paper Products: Carly Reed Designs / Bride’s Gown: “Dahlia” by Blush by Hayley Paige / Bride’s Shoes and Earrings: J.Crew / Hair and Makeup: Creative Images / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Elsa” in Leaver’s Lace by J.Crew / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Invitation Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Katie / Escort Cards and Signage: Letterally Crafts

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    I think some of the loveliest weddings are those that effortlessly combine multiple sources of inspiration, and Kristen and Kevin’s celebration is a perfect example. With the help of their florist, Botanica, they married their love for the old Florida feel of The Gasparilla Inn with their memories of Monet’s country gardens, which they had visited during their travels to France. The result was absolutely stunning, as well as so sentimental to this sweet couple. The heirlooms they incorporated into the decor added even more meaning to this special day–Kristen’s parents’ cake topper and her great-grandfather’s moonshine bottles are a few not to be missed!

    Thank you so much to Divine Light Photography for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

    Kevin and I first met through a mutual friend during a visit to New York City. At the time, I was working in Atlanta for the Atlanta Braves baseball team and had no plans of ever moving to the city. Five years and a career change later, New York became my new home. Kevin soon reached out on Facebook, asking to meet up. Since a girl’s gotta eat (and New York ain’t cheap, y’all), I said yes and he took me to a Yankees game. We sat first row, third baseline–he was trying to show off, and I guess it worked, because we’ve been together ever since.

    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed, blue, and old was my great grandmother’s cocktail ring, which is a blue sapphire with diamonds set in platinum. It’s one of my momma’s prized pieces of jewelry, so it was awesome that she chose it for me to borrow. My something new was a gift from my maid of honor, Lori. We lost one of our Tri Delta sorority sisters and best friends in February, so she gave me an embroidered pansy handkerchief with my and her initials. It made me feel like I had a part of Tiff with me as I walked down the aisle.

    We wanted a destination-style wedding where both local and out-of-town guests could enjoy the weekend festivities. We chose the Gasparilla Inn and Club for its old world charm and sense of Southern hospitality. The town of Boca Grande (where The Gasparilla Inn is located) sits on an island off the Gulf of Mexico, giving us the seclusion we were looking for, but it also had the amenities to host an awesome party!

    Describe your wedding flowers. They were AMAZING!! We wanted the flowers to look wild and as if they had been picked from a garden. The year before we got married, we visited Monet’s country cottage in Giverny, France, and were able to see his beautiful gardens and water lilies, which inspired our wedding and the flowers.

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was the moonshine bar. Our florist was able to incorporate my great-grandfather’s moonshine bottles and crocks my parents had collected from Tennessee into the decor. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine provided the libations and gave the party an extra kick!

    Describe your wedding cake. Our wedding cake was very simple. We chose traditional buttercream icing and three different layers of cake: red velvet, strawberry cream, and chocolate. The cake topper was the same one my parents had used when they got married.

    Tell us all about the proposal! Kevin and I had just purchased our first apartment together in the city and were making a few updates before moving in. He told me to meet him at the apartment, because a contractor had a few questions for us. I showed up, and there was no contractor in sight. Kevin called me into the guest room, where I found rose petals all over the floor and him on one knee. I freaked out and started crying, and of course, said yes. After the proposal, he surprised me with a weekend getaway to The Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida.
    When did y’all get married? June 29, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
    Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look because we did not want to miss our cocktail hour to do pictures after the ceremony. We wanted to enjoy the bluegrass band and play yard games with our friends and family.
    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? A bluegrass band, a moonshine bar, and some Hank Williams Jr. and Garth Brooks out on the dance floor!
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a day-of coordinator. There is so much vendor coordination and so many little details that you can’t possibly remember all of them. The best money we spent on the whole wedding was Lindsay, our day of coordinator. She kept things on time, she dealt with last minute crisis and coordinated all of the vendors helping ensure things turned out the way we envisioned. Worth every penny!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Soon after our wedding, we were blessed with the news of a baby. Kevin and I welcomed a boy, Wyatt Drummond Wenk, on April 29, 2014. It was exactly 10 months after we were married. Marriage has been full of beautiful surprises and wonderful gifts of love!

    Photographer: Divine Light Photography / Day-of Coordinator: Lindsay Jimison / Ceremony Venue: Boca Grande United Methodist Church / Reception Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Gasparilla Inn and Club / Florals, Decor, and Lighting: Botanica Florist / Tent: TentLogix / Band: Bluegrass Band Highway 41 South / DJ: DJ Inpulse Entertainment / Paper Products: Sophie Askew / Bride’s Gown: “Mia” by Mira Zwillinger / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bridal Salon and Veil: Mark Ingram Atelier / Makeup Artist: Carrie LaMarca / Bride’s Shoes: “N°Prive 120 mm” by Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Menswear: Joseph A. Bank

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    5 Comments
    1. avatar Emily reply

      Kristen, I adore your gown! So fresh and spring-y :)

    2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

      A cocktail hour with a bluegrass band and yard games sounds divine!

    3. avatar Gasparilla Inn wedding Featured on Southern Weddings Blog reply

      […] style and we knew right away the SW Mag would be a perfect fit for Kristen & Kevin’s Gasparilla Inn wedding in Boca Grande, Florida. Everything about Boca Grande emanates the Old Florida style that is shared […]

    4. avatar 15 Awesome Ideas To Make Your Wedding Tent Shine! reply

      […] photo: Divine Light Photography // florals & decor: Botanica Florist // tent: Tent Logix // via: Southern Weddings […]

    5. avatar 11 Fancy Tented Wedding Decoration Ideas to Stun Your Guests – Elegantweddinginvites.com Blog reply

      […] via Southern Weddings […]

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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