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My two favorite wedding details are almost always the bride’s dress and her bouquet. In my experience, finding my dress and seeing my bouquet were the two moments when “being a bride” really hit me, and that only made these two details even more special to me in every wedding I see! From those details alone, I’m sure it’s easy to see why we fell head over heels in love with Emily and Jim’s black-tie farm wedding–her Oscar de la Renta gown is so striking, and that bouquet by Victoria Clausen Floral Events is one for the books! That’s not all that captured our hearts about their celebration though–we also loved seeing their joyful ceremony moments, the creative ways they showed hospitality to their guests, and the two incredibly meaningful places where they hosted their loved ones for their big day.

Thank you so much to Kate Headley for sharing this stunning day with us for V8!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I am obsessed with my wedding dress. I tried on many dresses, but could not stop thinking about this dress. I loved the texture of the flowers embroidered on the Chantilly lace, and the seed pearls helped to give it a sweetness and elegance that I had never seen before. The veil was gorgeous – it was embroidered with the same flowers and seed pearls. I did not want to take it off!
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? When it came to the bridesmaids’ dresses, I was looking for something different…something that did not look like the typical bridesmaid dress. I spotted this Lela Rose dress and immediately knew it would be perfect. The embroidered flowers on the bodice echoed the embroidery on my dress, and complemented the garden feel of the wedding. We chose navy to contrast with the bright flowers, but also at the request of my maid of honor, my sister.

Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple? We were inspired by springtime on my farm – it is incredibly lush and verdant, with flowers blooming everywhere. I wanted our wedding to capture that “English garden” atmosphere. The service was at our church, St. John’s, at 4:30 p.m., and the reception followed at the farm. Due to the size of the church, we had a small ceremony, and then a much larger reception. St. John’s was where I was raised, and also where Jim proposed, so it was really special to share it with our closest family and friends. The farm could not have been more beautiful that day. Having the reception at my family home helped to make the black-tie party that much more warm and joyful. We essentially got the best of both worlds, as we had both an intimate ceremony and a huge party!

Jim and I loved that, due to the small size of the church, we could see every single face when we looked out over the audience. Even though it was a bit of a blur, you could feel the love and joy emanating from every corner of the church. I barely held it together when walking down the aisle, whereas Jim was calm and beaming. Our officiant could sense my nerves, so during the opening exhortation when Jim and I each took turns responding, “I will,” to her questions, she paused during the question. I jumped the gun and eagerly said, “I will!” before she had even finished asking the question, and Jim and the entire audience erupted into laughter. The gaff helped break the ice and my nerves disappeared. After the ceremony, she admitted that she planned the pause to help me relax, and it definitely worked!

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We were inspired by the natural beauty of my parents’ farm, which has rolling hills and beautiful flowers. I love flowers, so the idea was to create an “English garden” atmosphere that was teeming with blooms and greenery. We used brightly colored flowers and lush greenery, with textured linens and lanterns everywhere. Everything was glowing, from the illuminated trees to the incandescent clear tent. We were also always aware that we were inviting people to my family’s home, so every detail was designed to make the reception welcoming and intimate.

The reception was a glowing, joyful, and elegant party. It was black-tie, but warm and exuberant, as it was at my family home. The cocktail hour was in the front of the house, and then we invited everyone into the house to pass into the backyard for the reception. To continue the intimate feeling, guests were greeted at their seats by thank you notes from Jim and me. Even though it was a big wedding, it was very important to us that our guests knew that they were the most special part of our celebration.

The flowers were key to the entire event. I wanted them to be lush, abundant and bright. Each part of the wedding had the most incredible flowers, from the beautiful floral arch at the church, to the flower-covered arbor and escort card display, to the stunning azaleas, roses, hydrangeas and more planted throughout the grounds. Both the wedding flowers and the landscaping came together to create a verdant landscape that looked like something from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. The wedding cake and groom’s cake were absolutely delicious – I’m still dreaming of them. The wedding cake was made of layers of coconut and strawberry cake, and was covered in little flowers that matched my wedding dress. The groom’s cake was red velvet and was an architectural feat. In honor of UVA, the cake was designed to look like the famous Rotunda, complete with columns, porticos and a domed roof.

Our first dance was to “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke. It was one of the first songs Jim had played for me when we first began dating. In the months leading up to the wedding, Jim and I took dance lessons (but I think we canceled more than we attended). Needless to say, we improvised our first dance, rather than sticking to the fancy routine our instructor had attempted to teach us!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Jim and I met as students at the University of Virginia School of Law. Jim, a third-year at the time, was (and still is) very close to several of my good friends from Princeton. We were introduced during the first week of my first year and began dating shortly thereafter. During our first date, we discovered that my parents and Jim’s father were all members of the class of 1982 at the Law School. They had not kept in touch, but remembered each other very well. The following May was their 30th Reunion – needless to say, their classmates loved the idea that the children of members of the Class of ’82 were now dating.
Describe the proposal: During the fall of my third year, Jim’s family joined my family for Thanksgiving at my parents’ farm. I knew that Jim had asked my father for my hand, but I had no idea when he would propose. On Thanksgiving Day, after attending the traditional blessing of the hounds, Jim asked if I would go for a drive with him. We drove to my small, country church, where I had always dreamed of getting married. The church is a beautiful 19th century stone church, located right in the middle of horse country. We walked around the gardens until we arrived to the front of the church, where Jim got down on one knee. After I said “yes,” we sat for fifteen minutes in the gardens, taking in what had just happened. We then drove back to my parents’ house (and almost ran out of gas on our way!), and were met by our families and a champagne toast. It could not have been more perfect.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? We met with our officiant, the Reverend Tracy A. Bruce, for marriage counseling sessions during the months preceding the wedding. Tracy is the Rector of St. John’s, our church, and she is absolutely wonderful. Although we were a little apprehensive before beginning, the sessions turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Elegant, radiant, and intimate
How many guests attended your wedding? We had about 120 at the ceremony and 325 at the reception.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: Everyone involved with planning and putting on the wedding was incredible, which makes it hard to pick out one detail. If I have to choose, whenever I look back at the photographs from the weekend, my eyes stay a little longer on how incredible the church looked and how happy Emily looked during the ceremony.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? My mother led the charge on the music selection, and her suggestions were thoughtful and created the perfect atmosphere. We had an amazing trumpeter and organist, as well as a soloist who performed throughout the ceremony. The processional was Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary in D Major.” We sang one of my favorite hymns, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” and then the soloist sang “The Wedding Song” by Peeters. After the blessing of the marriage, the soloist sang “A Nuptial Blessing” by Joncas as the benediction. We walked out to “Hornpipe” from Handel’s Water Music, followed by his “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.”
Tell us about your grand exit. For the last song of the night, the band invited us on stage to dance and sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” They then parted the crowd and sent us off into the night, where Jim and I stood and watched our friends dance during the last few bars of the song. We did not do a sparkler sendoff, instead opting to hold an after-party by our pool. We had blankets and Adirondack chairs, fire pits with s’mores ingredients and delicious snacks – mini pizzas, pigs-in-a-blanket, and grilled short rib and cheese sandwiches. It was the perfect way to end the night, and amazingly, no one ended up in the pool!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Find the best, most reliable vendors possible and RELAX. It will be amazing, no matter what happens.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’re settling into married life in Washington, D.C. and look forward to relaxing after the wedding. We are most excited for the puppy that will be joining us this spring!

Photographer: Kate Headley | Planner: Pineapple Productions | Designer and Florals: Victoria Clausen Floral Events | Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Church, Western Run Parish | Reception Venue: Private Residence | Caterer: Linwoods | Cake Baker: Sugarbakers | Bride’s Gown and Veil: Oscar de la Renta | Bridal Salon: Saks Fifth Avenue | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lela Rose | Hair Stylist: Judy Messina and Dana Smith of Public Image | Makeup Artist: Leah Margosis | Groomsmen Fashion: The Tuxedo House | Save the Dates: Mr. Boddington | Paper Goods: Pleasure of Your Company | Linens: Table Toppers | Tents: Loane Bros., Inc. | Transportation: American Limo | Lighting/Fireworks: Digital Lightning | Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love how the cake matched her dress!!

  2. avatar Brook Paris reply

    That glass tent and gold iron chairs- WOW.

  3. avatar Jay reply

    Such intricate embroidery! The bride’s choice is truly classy.

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Inspiration can be so helpful when planning a wedding, but it can also become overwhelming, which is why I can completely understand why Gabriella and Colin were so thankful to have their wedding planner, Eventi by Diana Venditto, helping them edit down all the adorable ideas that they came across. Together, they chose to include meaningful details that were not only sentimental, but also oh so fun, like their bow tie bar and their balloon release! While it was a fun experience for guests, releasing the balloons was also a sweet nod to Gabriella’s parents, who released balloons at their wedding many years before. Including subtle details like this, and having all their friends and family along to celebrate, made Gabriella feel like “the luckiest girl in the world!” Y’all, I hope every bride feels that way!

We’re so lucky Marta Locklear was on hand to capture this beautiful day!

I grew up on an island on the Chesapeake Bay–our house on the Magothy River has the most beautiful sunsets. We have a large, close-knit family and lifelong family friends on the island who were all an important part of the wedding weekend. I always knew I wanted to get married on the Island, and having our whole extended family and my island family involved in our wedding was so special.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Diana set up a beautiful bow tie bar, where we asked guests to exchange their traditional ties for bright bow ties! We also walked down the aisle to music by a live bluegrass band.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many little details! Diana, our wedding planner, did such an amazing job tying them all together. It’s really easy to go on Pinterest and decide you want to do every adorable thing you see. Diana really understood our vision and did a great job editing what we wanted to make it special without being overwhelming. The groomsmen and ring bearers wore bow ties that matched the napkins, menus, save the dates, invites, etc. We also had a bow tie bar! I think the most special and meaningful part of the wedding was when we released balloons after the ceremony. It is something my parents did at their wedding, so it just felt like such a beautiful, subtle way to honor them.

Our main dessert was s’mores! We wanted to do something casual and fun. My parents have a fire pit that created the perfect bonfire. Our caterer, Sascha’s, makes their own marshmallows with coconut, and we provided all different chocolates to use in the s’mores. We also had a small chocolate wedding cake so we could do a traditional cake cutting.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At the end of the night, the DJ started to play “Piano Man.” All of a sudden, in such an organic way, the entire dance floor made a big circle, singing along arm in arm. I remember looking around the room and seeing both of our our families and friends from all different parts of our lives, from near and far, all together. It was such a powerful moment for me. I knew our wedding would be such a special day for Colin and I, but I never realized I would truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Colin and I met while working for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Colin started working for Brady after surviving the Virginia Tech massacre (he was shot four times). He is a passionate advocate for gun violence prevention. I started working at Brady after college, before I joined Teach for America.
Tell us all about the proposal! He surprised me at school! He had a whole plan set up with my principal and the other teachers at my school. They set up a meeting with me at the end of the day, and then Colin showed up. I was really confused at first, but then he got down on one knee. Neither of us can remember what he said! We immediately called our families and friends. Everyone was so happy for us–it was just a great day.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 260
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. When I showed my mother and mother-in-law-to-be the dress I had ordered online, they politely told me I should return it. The next day, my mother offered to take me to a bridal salon, which is where I chose my gorgeous Vera Wang gown.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Both my parents and Colin’s parents have amazing marriages, and they have both modeled to us what a happy, healthy marriage looks like. I think it was the best gift they could have given us.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? It was really hard to set our budget! I think having a wedding planner helped us set and stick to our budget because she had a better understanding of how much things would cost. She also helped us figure out what to spend money on and decide what wasn’t as important.
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 just incredible. I would call our planner, Diana, with an idea and she would take it, run with it, and come back with something so perfect. She really was the magic behind the whole wedding! We also had an amazing caterer, Sascha’s, who took our vision and created a fantastic menu that really complemented our wedding. There were bacon straws, s’mores, and Southern bbq–we were in heaven!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are really just enjoying our time together! In the future, we hope to start a family.

Photographer: Marta Locklear / Videographer: Bowen Films / Planner and Florist: Eventi by Diana Venditto / Caterer: Sascha’s / DJ: Marc Wilner / Band: Skribe / Paper Products: MLC Design / Bride’s Gown: “Delaney” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang / Hair Stylist: Rumors Hair Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Menswear: J. Crew / Photo Booth: Pixilated Photobooth

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

    what a joy working with eventi by diana and this amazing couple! beautiful feature of this extraordinary wedding

  2. avatar Ksenia reply

    So romantic wedding!

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I’d have to agree with Kathie–being announced as Mr. and Mrs. your-new-last-name is one of the most memorable moments of a wedding (even if it’s pronounced wrong, like when you new last name is Kloess–pronounced “close,” by the way!). There is something so magical about it–it somehow solidifies in your mind that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with your best friend! Along with hearing those sweet words for the first time, Kathie and Matt also shared with us that seeing their stunning tent for the first time was one of their favorite moments of the day, and I can totally see why! They worked with the gals at Karson Butler Events to take the already lovely Inn at Perry Cabin and create a wedding day that was as beautiful as it was guest-friendly. They even provided an on-site nanny for their guests with littles ones–so thoughtful!

Big thanks to our friend Kate Stoops for sharing this wedding day with us for V7!

My bouquet was a lush, romantic, hand-gathered bouquet of beautiful flowers in shades of ivory and soft peach. Our florist incorporated a brooch that has been in my family since the 1800’s.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. The ceremony took place in a small, Catholic church in St. Michaels, Maryland. My brother and Matt’s aunt did the readings. It was very special to us because we had Matt’s family priest from Colorado marry us.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? No, but we did mention my cousin’s husband, who is in the Army and was overseas, as well as my mom, who passed away in 2007.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? That it took me 30 minutes to pick it out! It was the second dress I tried on, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I was not a high maintenance bride, so I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses. As long as it was within my color scheme, I felt confident that my bridesmaids would pick something that would work for them and look great.

We started our reception with cocktail hour under gigantic trees decorated with string lights. A bluegrass band played in the background to keep the guests entertained while we took pictures. A silhouette artist made our guests their thank you gifts. Guests dined on finger foods, an antipasti bar, and signature drinks inspired by our home states.

We wanted the tent to feel romantic and warm. We used antique silver vases for the centerpieces and had lanterns and flowers hanging from the fabricated tree branches in the tent. Silhouettes of Matt and I hung behind our chairs. The cake stand was made to look like a tree stump with our initials carved into it. We also had couches and lounge chairs for guests to sit on.

What kind of food did you serve? Our appetizers were watermelon cubes with feta and aged balsamic, spicy tuna tartar, mini twice baked potato, Gougéres cups filled with truffled mac and cheese, coleslaw mix on mini potato rolls, shrimp wontons with Asian dipping sauce, and an Antipasto display. Dinner was yellow heirloom tomato gazpacho, pickled cucumber salad, roasted chicken breast, and pan-seared salmon.

Our cake was absolutely amazing. Maggie Austin did such a wonderful job–we couldn’t have asked for anything better. The cake was such a hit that our guests were asking for seconds, and we totally ran out!

Tell us about your grand exit. As the night died down, we left and looked back at our tent. The lights on the fabricated trees in the tent cast shadows, so when you looked at the top of the tent, you could see the shadows of the trees. It was beautiful, and a great way to end the night.

Date of your wedding: August 24, 2014
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Matt was working for a woman running for Congress in Colorado, and my family and I pledged to donate money to that campaign. Before an important fundraising deadline, Matt was required to drive to donor houses to pick up checks, including my house. We met and he picked up my check, and the next day, he called and asked me out on a date. I was supposed to be set up on a blind date through the same person running for Congress, but Matt asked me out first! We dated for six years before getting engaged.
Describe the proposal: Matt took me on a surprise overnight trip to the Inn at Little Washington. We arrived in the late afternoon and decided to have tea before heading up to our room. Normally, Matt would have wanted to take his time, but he kept asking if I was done and if we could go back upstairs. I finally gave in, and as I was getting ready for dinner, he turned to me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him with my late mom’s engagement ring. It was a complete surprise. I, of course, said yes, and the Inn at Little Washington helped us celebrate.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My engagement ring was my mom’s. She passed away in 2007. The ring means a lot to me, and it means even more that Matt understands how important she was and is in my life. Wearing her ring reminds me daily that she is still with me.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Memorable, fun, and exhilarating
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 60
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moments for me were the father-daughter dance, our first look, the dancing, looking at the tent for the first time, and being called Mr. and Mrs. Kazan.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My father and I danced to one of my late mother’s favorite songs, “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
What’s next for you as a couple? We just had a daughter, so we are looking forward to being parents.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Your wedding needs to be guest-friendly. We provided a nanny service for all of our friends who have small children, so they could enjoy the night knowing their children were close by and safe. Taking care of our guests was an important component of our wedding. Even though it’s your wedding, your guests (family and friends) need to be celebrated–without them, you would not be able to have such an amazing wedding.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: “Walk slowly back up the aisle after the ceremony is over to take it all in.”

Photographer: Katie Stoops / Planner and designer: Karson Butler Events / Ceremony venue: St. Michael’s Chapel / Reception venue and catering: Inn at Perry Cabin / Florals: Amaryllis, Inc. / Cake baker: Maggie Austin Cake / Bride’s gown: “2073B” by Watters / Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair stylist: Julie Jackson Stylists / Makeup artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Men’s attire: Brooks Brothers / Bow ties: Thomas Pink Ties / Paper products: The Dandelion Patch / Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy / Tent and lighting: Sugar Plum Tent / Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Silhouettes: Marie Cheek / Transportation: Sunny Limo / Cocktail hour band: Chester River Run-Off / DJ: Michael Bell of My Deejay / Babysitting service: Nannytainment

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

    Lovely shoot!

    Loves Malou

  2. avatar Lisa Werth reply

    This was such an amazing wedding for us at Nannytainment. I am sorry for delay in posting as I missed announcement of it being featured. We got some great images of the childcare set up and some terrific glimpses of the fun we had with the kids. It’s great timing to come across this now as I have a bride wanting a quote for there soon.

  3. avatar Richard Photo Lab reply

    […] Pink Virginia Wedding A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Katie Stoops – Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding (design by Karson Butler Events) A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Harwell Photography […]

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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