For fellow college sweethearts Megan and Jack, getting to know each other meant walking to and from their dorm rooms for early morning classes at UVA. But when it came time to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted their celebration to highlight the beauty and history of their hometown of Richmond. With many out of town guests, Megan and Jack wanted to share as much of its charm as possible, so it’s no surprise they chose the beautiful Tuckahoe Plantation as their reception venue! Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, guests were served family-style as a way to encourage connections — a choice that easily became Megan’s favorite from the night!
Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing M + J’s beautiful black tie wedding with us!
I love cascading bouquets, and I chose flowers that were mainly white with hints of blue and green. My bridesmaids’ dresses were a neutral color, so I wanted the flowers to provide a small pop of color. Our florist did an amazing job taking my vision and putting together bouquets that reflected my style.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we chose mostly classical music. For walking down the aisle, we wanted something sweet and peaceful, so we chose Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” At the reception, we had an incredible band called Soul Expressions who played mainly Motown and jazz music. We wanted music that would get everyone up and dancing. Our first dance song was “More” by Frank Sinatra. We love his music and felt that this song really encapsulated how we feel about one another.
Our priest, Father Michael Renninger, was wonderful. He met with us many times before the wedding to really get to know us as a couple, and he did a pre-rehearsal rehearsal for just the two of us so that we wouldn’t have to worry about making any decisions the day before the wedding (for example, what we wanted to be introduced to the congregation as). He has been a family friend for many years, but it was great to talk to him as a couple. More than half of our guests are not Catholic, and we think that Father Mike did a great job of making everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Shopping for my wedding dress was surprisingly easy and stress-free. I went to one salon and only tried on two dresses. I knew exactly what style I wanted, and that I wanted to have a long-sleeved lace jacket made to wear for the ceremony and remove for the reception.
We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty and history of Richmond. Many of our guests were from out of town and were visiting for the first time, so we wanted them to experience as much of the city, its history, and its charm as possible. The Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Richmond and was built in the late 1800s. It is impressive, but not ostentatious. We didn’t need to fill the space with flowers and decorations because it is beautiful by itself. For our reception, we chose Tuckahoe Plantation. The plantation is about 20 minutes outside of the city, on the James River. Being UVA graduates, we were drawn to Tuckahoe because Thomas Jefferson lived there for several years as a child. The house and gardens were open for our guests to tour, so they had a chance to learn some of the history of the estate.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the family-style dinner. It provided a chance for us to place together groups of people who might not know each other, but who we thought would get along. It was fun to look out during dinner and see everyone passing platters, laughing, and getting to know one another over amazing food. Our caterer did an incredible job of adding beautiful garnishes to the dishes so that each platter looked like a decoration in itself.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jack and I met at UVA. We lived in the same dorm our first year and had the same early morning class first semester. We got to know each other while walking to and from class together. We were close friends for our first two years of school and started dating the summer before our third year. I was in Charlottesville taking a Spanish class, and Jack was interning in DC and would drive down every weekend to visit. For our first date, we went our for chocolate milkshakes at Ben and Jerry’s.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jack proposed the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2014. His family was in Charlottesville for the holiday, and my family was at our house in Richmond. We all drove out to meet at Pippin Hill to spend the afternoon wine tasting and then to get dinner with both families. Shortly after my family arrived, Jack pulled me aside to go on a walk. He proposed in the vineyard’s grapevines.
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was lemon with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. Because it was the middle of summer, we wanted something that was lighter. We decided to have a small, two-tiered wedding cake for the cutting, but we served mini cupcakes to the guests in a variety of flavors (including our wedding cake flavor) so that everyone could taste a few different ones.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed earrings from my mom, and had my new monogram embroidered in blue into the hem of my wedding dress. The diamond in my engagement ring comes from Jack’s great-great-grandmother, I wore a bracelet that Jack’s mom gave me that was given to her by her mother (it dates back to the early twentieth century), and I wore a pair of Ferragamo shoes that were my late grandmother’s as something old. My something new was my wedding dress and veil.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our planning was shockingly stress-free. Both of our families were very helpful in divvying up tasks. The one thing that does stand out as a challenge, though, was the guest list. There were many people that both families wanted to include, so we had to make some difficult decisions. One thing we did decide was to not include any plus-ones.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress about things that don’t go perfectly, because none of the guests know the whole plan, and they will never know if something was or was not meant to happen. For example, our getaway car showed up thirty minutes late, which allowed us to have an impromptu receiving line as our guests were getting on the buses to leave. Everyone thought that it was such a great touch that we got to say goodbye and give hugs, and no one knew that it wasn’t part of our initial plan!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We didn’t live together before we got married, so we are looking forward to setting up our new home and starting this next chapter!
Photographer: Ashley Cox Photography | Planner and Caterer: Lona Crittendon of Cater 2 Events | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart | Reception Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Wedding Cake: The Mixing Bowl Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Commonwealth Event Company and Classic Party Rentals of Virginia | Band: Soul Expressions | Paper Products: The Preppy Pink Pony | Bride’s Gown and Accessories: Alyne | Gown Alterations and Bolero: Fariba Bridal Alterations and Design | Hair Stylist: Circle Square Salon | Makeup Artist: Kelsey Dewberry | Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Mist Grey by BHLDN | Menswear: Vera Wang | Transportation: James River Transportation