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I’m not sure anything makes a wedding celebration more special (or Southern!) than when family is weaved through the entire thing! Such was certainly the case for Katie and Alex, starting with their ceremony venue–these two followed in Katie’s parents’ footsteps by getting married at the University of Virginia chapel. Along with drawing inspiration from their families for their wedding details (they especially loved their family photo display and the groom’s cake designed in honor of their dog!), Katie and Alex’s loved ones also came through in a big way to bring this special day to life. The perfect example: when they couldn’t make it to Virginia a month before the wedding to bury the bourbon, Katie’s cousin took the task into her own hands! As you can see in these photos by Rachel May, the tradition was a great success, leading to many new family memories being created as Katie and Alex celebrated their marriage.

P.S. Don’t miss the stories of Alex’s Christmas proposal or Katie’s most memorable wedding day moment below–both are stories for the books!

The vendor that truly set our wedding apart from others was the very talented Kristy Rice from Momental Designs. Her team hand-painted all of our save the dates, invitations, ceremony programs, menu cards, table numbers, and welcome bag inserts. The designs they created for us were works of art that not only captured Charlottesville’s beauty, but also told our story as a couple. I also have to mention Jodi Macfarlan, who did the stunning calligraphy for our seating chart and place cards at the reception. Her work is seriously the prettiest calligraphy I have ever seen, and her ability to match the designs of our paper goods was beyond impressive.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did not have something borrowed, blue, old, and new. My mom told me that she didn’t partake in the tradition when she got married, and my parents have been married for over thirty-five years, so I didn’t feel the need to either!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It has always been a struggle for me to find dresses that fit well, so to be honest, I was sort of dreading the whole process. My parents were planning a trip from Atlanta to Houston to meet AY’s parents for the first time, so I thought it would be the perfect time to look for a dress with both of our moms and his sisters. We went to Ivory Bridal Atelier in Houston and I tried on several dresses. While every dress the store had was so beautiful, nothing seemed to fit me the right way. Just as I was losing hope, the store manager mentioned that a Fall 2015 Anne Barge dress had just come in. At first glance, I wasn’t in love–it was a light blush color and had an antique look to it. I wanted an ivory dress, but at that point, I was willing to give it a shot. As soon as I stepped into the gown, I got that first feeling of “this might be the one.” It had all this gorgeous lace on the bodice and at the very bottom of the dress. When I saw the matching veil, I was blown away. I knew this was my dress when I found out that I could order it in ivory! With a few magic touches from Linda’s Couture Alterations in Houston, it became everything I was hoping for. Looking back on the whole wedding planning process, dress shopping was absolutely one of my favorite memories and is such a special occasion that every bride should look forward to!

Our fabulous wedding planner, Cody Grannis of Amore Events, created the bouquets for the wedding party and the floral arrangements for the reception. Cody did an amazing job arranging different types of roses with dark greenery to accentuate the light pink in the bridesmaids’ dresses and really make them pop. For my bouquet, I wanted something that looked natural and almost messy, as if the flowers were picked from a wild garden. It came out even better than I had envisioned and was truly unlike any bouquet I’d ever seen. The flowers for the ceremony were designed by Amy Webb from Blue Ridge Floral Design. Amy completely got my vision when I told her that I wanted to have an entrance for the Chapel unlike anything that has ever been done there before. She created this gorgeous floral arch with white roses and greenery that surrounded the front doors of the Chapel. It was such a dreamy piece that perfectly established the entire look and feel for our ceremony.

The most memorable moment for me was seeing my grandfather at the front of the Chapel. My grandfather suffers from Parkinson’s and had a few rough days leading up to the wedding–so rough that we were concerned he might not be able to make it to the ceremony. When I met AY at the altar, I looked to my right and saw a light shining through the stained glass windows of the dark chapel right onto my grandfather. Tears immediately came to my eyes. It was such an unforgettable moment because it was everything that my family had been praying for leading up to the wedding. That same light beam later moved over to me and AY, shining down on us as we said our vows. I remember hearing gasps from the congregation right when it happened, and several guests even came up to us afterwards asking if we had planned it, but perfection like that can only be explained as a gift from above!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? This is an easy one! My parents also graduated from the University of Virginia and were married at the University Chapel on June 28, 1981, so from the moment AY and I started dating during college, I dreamed of following in their footsteps. The University Chapel is so beautiful and rich in history and is such a meaningful place for my family–I really couldn’t imagine us getting married anywhere else. For the reception venue, Charlottesville has so many stunning venues for brides to choose from. AY and I wanted to pick somewhere memorable to us from our time together at UVA. Wine tasting at King Family Vineyards was always one of our favorite activities, and, their views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are breathtaking and second to none!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Is it okay if we have two favorites? A detail we were really excited about was the Moscow mules, which were passed during cocktail hour. Served in a cute copper mug, they seem to always bring smiles to faces. That’s how we knew Moscow mules would be the perfect signature drink for our wedding–plus, they are also really refreshing on a hot summer day! Another detail that was definitely a wow-factor was the wedding memory table, a display of old family wedding photographs designed by my mother. It was a special way to remember our history and give a presence to our loved ones who have passed. It turned out so beautifully and was something our guests really enjoyed.

A Southern tradition we included in our wedding was burying the bourbon, believed by Southerners to keep the rain away. I tend to worry about silly things like the weather, so when I heard about this tradition, I had to find a way to make it happen, especially because every wedding planner will tell you that Charlottesville weather is the most unpredictable. My cousin and a bridesmaid in our wedding, Jayne Anne, is currently a student at UVA, and offered to bury the bourbon for us at King Family Vineyards, as we live in Dallas, Texas and couldn’t find time to make the trip. In true UVA fashion, she chose to bury Jefferson Reserve, and exactly a month later, we had the most beautiful weather for our big day. To Jayne Anne’s surprise, AY and I asked her to do the honors and dig up the bourbon at the reception, too! We owed her big time for bringing us sunny skies and high-70 temperatures at the end of June! It was such a funny sight to see Jayne Anne trying to dig up the bourbon with the massive shovel provided by King Family–an image we will continue to laugh about for years to come! Once the bourbon was retrieved, AY and I said cheers with two antique sterling silver shot glasses from Tiffany’s, given to us by my mother as a wedding present a few days before the wedding. Each shot glass had our new initials engraved on the front and are keepsakes we will forever cherish in remembrance of the tradition.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Especially when times get stressful, try to remember what the day is really about. A dear friend of mine would remind of that by saying, “No more or no less married” when I would start to worry or compare our wedding with others. It’s easy to get wrapped up in it all and lose sight of what’s really important, but your wedding will be perfect in its own way. As you make it about the love that you have for each other, it will, without a doubt, be the best day of your life.

The cake mastermind, Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations, made both our wedding and groom’s cakes. Our wedding cake was a four-tiered cake with roses and gold leaf flakes decorating the rim of each tier. The cake flavors were hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla butter cake with French vanilla buttercream. I was so blown away by our wedding cake–it was beautiful inside and out and looked like something out of a magazine! Our groom’s cake was designed to look like AY’s beloved family dog, Ellie B. Young, who wasn’t able to travel to Charlottesville to celebrate with us. The cake was around two feet tall and featured chocolate cake with Oreo chocolate icing. It was such a sweet surprise for the Youngs that Ellie B. could make an appearance at the wedding, even if it was just in cake form! Having parents that grew up in Charlottesville, there are several local spots that are sentimental for my family. One of those places is The White Spot located on the Corner. It serves an infamous dessert called the “Grillswith,” a grilled and butter-brushed Krispy Kreme donut with vanilla ice cream on top. Our caterer, C&O Restaurant, replicated the recipe perfectly and served Grillswiths to our guests as the late night snack at the reception. I swear, I’ve never seen people react in such a way to a dessert! Everyone couldn’t stop talking about how delicious they were and it was definitely a fun treat for our guests who also know and love The White Spot.

Our first dance was to “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” by The Tams. We thought this song was perfect for us, as AY’s last name (and now mine) is Young. The song also has a great Motown beat and is super easy to dance to!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first met at the Foxfield Races, an annual horse race in Charlottesville, during our first year at the University of Virginia. I was introduced to him as “AY,” short for Alex Young, and continue to call him AY to this day. We really didn’t get to know each other until we had a class together our second year. He was in the 8:00 A.M. class section of Commerce 180 and I was in the later section that everyone wanted to be in at 11:00. On the first day of class, AY slept in and missed his section, so he snuck into the later one. During the class, our professor asked the students to divide into groups for the semester. To this day, I can still picture the moment AY walked down the classroom hallway over to me and nervously asked to be in my group. I told him that he had to ask the professor for permission, once he admitted to being in the earlier section. Thankfully, the professor said yes, because I truly believe that our love story began with that study group. I spent more time laughing at his terrible jokes than actually doing work, but I also got to see what a great guy he was…and, he did most of the work. We were both dating other people at the time, but we became great friends because of the class. We finally started dating a month before graduation, and have been together since!
Tell us all about the proposal! AY came to Atlanta to spend Christmas with my family. On Christmas morning, he pulled me aside and told me that I needed to open my present early. He described it as “Christmas-y” and hinted that he wanted me to have a chance to use it before the day was over. He handed me a medium-sized box, and inside were six ornaments holding pictures of special moments during our relationship. I thought it was such a sweet present and understood why he wanted me to open it early. As I started to hang the picture ornaments on my parents’ Christmas tree, AY mentioned that he forgot to include one ornament in the box before he wrapped it. He hung the last ornament on the tree and asked me to look at the picture. Busy trying to find vacant spots on our very full tree, I just said, “Oh, that’s very cute” without really examining the picture. AY laughed and told me to look closer. When I did, I screamed, as I realized it was a picture of AY down on one knee in front of his family’s Christmas tree back home! He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in front of my family, who ran into the room as soon as they heard me scream. My mom was just as surprised as I was–she thought we had knocked over the Christmas tree!
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Having a male vocalist sing “Ave Maria” by J.S. Bach was one of the most important parts of the ceremony for us. My grandfather, who was a professor at UVA and a big reason why I went to school there, has always loved that song. His father (my great-grandfather) was a self-taught opera singer and sang “Ave Maria” at my grandparents’ wedding. We hoped it would evoke special memories, while also creating new ones for our families, and it certainly did!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Father Stephen Alcott, a priest from my grandparents’ church in Charlottesville, officiated our ceremony. Leading up to the wedding, AY and I met with Father Stephen several times for marital guidance and counseling. I would definitely encourage other couples to do so as well. Getting to know Father Stephen better and talking through our plan as a married couple put us completely at ease during our ceremony, allowing us to really enjoy and appreciate the moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We were very fortunate to have a wonderful wedding and a dream-come-true honeymoon. Now that we are officially the Youngs, we are looking forward to having some down time and getting the chance to be newlyweds. I also have to admit that our wedding diet kept us from trying the hot new restaurants in town, so we are pretty excited about not having to be good anymore!

Photographer: Rachel May Photography | Planner and Florist: Amore Events | Ceremony Venue: University of Virginia Chapel | Reception Venue: King Family Vineyards | Ceremony Florals: Blue Ridge Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Maliha Creations | Caterer: C&O Restaurant | Rentals: MS Events | Lanterns: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting | Cocktail Hour Guitarist: Peter Richardson | Band: Attraction via Sam Hill Entertainment | Calligrapher: Jodi Macfarlan Calligraphy and Joie de Vivre Calligraphy | Paper Products: Momental Designs | Bride’s Gown and Veil: “Avallon” by Anne Barge | Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier | Bridal Gown Alterations: Linda’s Couture Alterations | Bride’s Hair Piece: Lila Accessories | Hair Stylist: Brianna B. Adams | Makeup Artist: Gohar Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Bellini by Amsale | Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids | Groom’s Tuxedo: Suit Supply | Groom’s Cuff Links: Ledbury | Groom’s Bow Tie: The Cordial Churchman | Bride’s Robe: Girl with a Serious Dream | Bridesmaids’ Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Erwin Pearl | Maid of Honor’s Hair Accessory: Twigs & Honey | Bouquet Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Wedding Dress Hanger: Poppy and Scooter | Custom Napkins and Drink Stirrers: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Transportation: Ambassador Limousine and Albemarle Limousine | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Stage: Skyline Tent Company

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel May reply

    Thank you so much for the feature! It’s an honor to be on the SW blog! :)

  2. avatar Rosie reply

    Lisa this is beautiful! thank you for sharing.

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One of my favorite interview questions to read is what the couple’s most memorable moment is from their wedding day. Sometimes, the unexpected moments turn out to be the very best ones, but Adrienne and Scott’s is one for the record books! With the gracious help of the Tuckahoe Plantation staff, what could have been a very unfortunate situation (a tornado warning and a storm headed right toward their venue!) was replaced by a favorite memory (a few drinks indoors and a mini history lesson on Tuckahoe) that Adrienne, Scott, and their guests are still talking about! Though not ideal, Adrienne and Scott dealt with this challenge head on, hand in hand. I’m sure it’s not the first marriage lesson they were expecting, but I’d bet it’s one that will always stay with them.

Big hugs to Stephanie Yonce for capturing this lovely day!

Scott and I went to Houston to visit my parents, as well as so I could look for a dress with my mom, stepmom, and sister. We ended up dress shopping on my birthday, which was the best birthday present I could have asked for! My dress was the fourth one I tried on. I wasn’t 100 percent sold at first, but my mind kept going back to that particular dress when we looked at other ones. We ended up leaving the store and going to another. I think it took looking at some other options to realize that that one was it. We went back to the original store with my dad so he could see it–that’s when the tears came and we were sold!

My mom had a few requests when it came to the music. She requested she walk down the aisle to “I Will” by the Beatles, because that was the song she sang to me as a baby. She also requested I walk in to “Canon in D.” Obviously, we were happy to accommodate her requests. Scott and I walked back up the aisle to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates. We wanted to choose something fun and upbeat to really set the tone for the rest of the night.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. I don’t know if we had a favorite line–our vows were short and sweet and reflected our relationship perfectly.

Scott and I love being outside and knew that we wanted to have everything outside (yes, we knew the risk of weather, and boy, were we the classic example of why you should ALWAYS have a backup plan!). I had seen Tuckahoe Plantation online a few times and instantly fell in love. We toured a few places just to make sure we were covering all of our bases, but I think we both loved Tuckahoe from the start. We ended up choosing a “Texas meets Virginia” theme for the wedding, and knowing that Tuckahoe Plantation is the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson really sealed the deal.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Besides the flowers, our favorite detail might have been our stadium cups that I designed. One had our monogram on it surrounded by a wreath and the other had a drawing of Tuckahoe Plantation with our date at the bottom. Not only were they practical (no broken glass on the dance floor!), we also love going to friends’ houses and seeing the cups in their cupboards.

My mom is a florist in Houston and I had no doubt in my mind that she would do an amazing job. We talked a bunch about what we were thinking in terms of colors, style, particular flowers, and ideas. I got to the point when I was becoming so overwhelmed with details for the wedding, I finally threw my hands up and told her that I trusted her creativity and she could do whatever she wanted. She absolutely blew us away–everything was organic, colorful, out of the box, and complimented the venue perfectly. She even went to the lengths of sending us curly willow sticks in March, which we had to leave in water in our backyard while they sprouted leaves. I am pretty sure our new neighbors thought we were crazy! It was well worth the mosquito infestation to see that she used them to make the tent poles into floral trees. I wanted all of the other decor to take a backseat so the flowers could shine.

Our first dance song was “I Get Carried Away” by George Strait– as a Texas girl, one of his songs was an obvious choice. My father/daughter dance song was “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” by The Tams. I actually ended up splitting my father/daughter dance with my dad and my 90-year-old grandfather–he absolutely stole the show and it was a moment I will always cherish.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in college my freshman year at High Point University in our “Jesus and the Gospels” class. Scott sat behind me and spent an entire semester throwing little balled up pieces of paper with his phone number on it into my bag. We didn’t start dating until four years later after Scott had graduated.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were down in Florida visiting my grandparents when Scott asked if I wanted to go for a walk on the beach. Scott hates any kind of PDA, so when I went to hold his hand, I asked him if it was too cheesy for him…that’s when he got down on one knee! I was completely surprised–I had no idea it was coming. When we got back to my grandparents’ house, we first told my grandmother, who was extremely excited for us. We then went inside and told my grandfather. He didn’t really have a reaction, which I found odd. My grandmother asked us if we had thought of any plans yet and my grandfather then said “What are you planning?” I told him again, a little louder, that Scott had proposed. His reaction was much more excited after he actually heard what I had said! I was especially glad Scott decided to propose while we were in Florida and that my grandmother was able to be a part of our story, because unfortunately, she passed away a month before our wedding.
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 110
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had two small, simple wedding cakes with flowers on top. We also had the world’s best pecan pies from Goode Company BBQ in Houston. Ever since I brought one back to Richmond after visiting Houston, Scott’s dad has told me I am never allowed back in the state unless I have one of their pies in hand!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My something borrowed was a pair of my grandmother’s earrings, which she helped me pick out on a visit to Florida. My something blue was my wedding band, which has sapphires (both of our birthstones) in it. My something old was both of my grandmothers’ wedding rings tied to my bouquet, my mother’s veil with lace from two of my great-grandmother’s wedding dresses, and a Texas Navy button my paternal grandfather gave my maternal grandfather when my parents were married. My something new was my dress and my gold Sperry Topsiders (I had to wear Sperrys on my last day of being a Sperry!).
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our day came right after all of our first dances. I was talking to one of our friends when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the owner of Tuckahoe Plantation on the front lawn talking to Sarah. I immediately went over to Sarah, and in the calmest voice, she told me, “So, we are going to have to take a little break–we have a tornado warning for the area and the storm is coming right for us. Family, the bridal party, and out-of-town guests are going to head into the main house for a little history lesson on the plantation, and everyone else is going to head to the Old Stable.” Sarah is queen of always telling her brides that guests are going to react to situations however the bride and groom react to them. I told Scott, and we grabbed a drink and headed indoors. A situation that could have ruined the entire wedding ended up being our favorite memory of the whole day. Everyone hung out inside for about 20-30 minutes, learned some more about Tuckahoe, and then went right back outside to enjoy the rest of the party. Even after talking to our friends weeks later, they all agree that it made for one memorable evening and they could not have had more fun. We truly cannot thank the family at Tuckahoe Plantation enough for their generosity, allowing all of our closest family and friends inside their home. They really went above and beyond to make sure that everyone was safe, and we are so appreciative of that. Their staff even went to the length of chopping up a tree that had fallen over the driveway in a matter of minutes to make sure that everyone was able to get home safely.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying making our new house a home with our dog, Miller!

Photographer: Stephanie Yonce / Planner: Sarah Taylor / Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation / Florist: Houston Flower Girls / Cake Baker: Gourmand Bakery / Caterer: A Sharper Palate / Rentals and Lighting: Commonwealth Event Company / DJ: Darrell Johnson / Band: Slack Family Band / Special Details: Paisley and Jade / Bride’s Gown: Allure / Hair Stylist: Noelle Eastwood of Avenue 42 / Makeup Artist: Megan Barden of Avenue 42 / Bride’s Shoes: Sperry / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Ties: Collared Greens Ties

Paisley & Jade is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie Yonce reply

    Thank you for sharing!! Love this couple to the stars. Their wedding was quite the adventure and can you imagine having a mother so talented!?

  2. avatar Paisley and Jade reply

    Thanks so much for including P&J in this beautiful Southern Weddings feature! Tuckahoe Plantation is one of our favorite venues and Stephanie Yonce captured some stunning images from this day. We were thrilled to play a part in this wonderful wedding!

  3. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #214 – Floridian Social reply

    […] Kudos to the bride and groom, their guests and the team at Tuckahoe Plantation for keeping this colorful celebration going after the […]

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