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Amber and Jordan met as camp counselors, and on the last night of the summer, they stayed up until 4 A.M. trying to figure out how to make their new relationship work long-distance. For a couple who took such care planning for their courtship, I’m sure they were equally as invested in planning for their marriage! From Jordan’s sweet post-proposal video of their family and friends sharing encouragement, to reading their personal wedding vows the day before their wedding, these two stayed focused on what matters most: their marriage and their community. Family was certainly a priority for Amber and Jordan, and I am smitten with the way they chose to display their family photos. What a beautiful nod to their loved ones!

Big hugs to our friend Emily March Photography for sharing this sweet celebration with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and old was a pearl bracelet that my mother had worn on her wedding day. My something new was my dress and my jewelry that Jordan gave to me as a wedding gift, and last but not least, my something blue was my garter!

I went to Celebration Bridal Shop in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia and tried on several dresses. I only tried on a few before I figured out that I was looking for: a classic, timeless, and comfortable dress. My dress was a simple ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. It even had pockets! I added a beaded floral belt and an elegant lace bolero to top it off, because it needed just a little something extra to make it mine.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows; however, we said them to each other the night before and said traditional vows during the ceremony. We decided to do this because we thought it was important to express to each other what we expect in marriage and to promise to the other person what we are going to do to make it last. Because of my lack of public speaking skills, we thought reading our vows in private would be better than in front of 100 people.

We both agree that our most memorable moment from our wedding day was the seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. We also enjoyed the time we spent taking pictures together out in the wilderness!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was held at a historic estate in Central Virginia. We included monograms and plenty of fresh flowers, country music, whiskey, sweet tea, and above all, two families that celebrated the marriage of their children in union with Christ! The groomsmen also all wore socks in the colors of their favorite sports teams.

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! Our table numbers at the wedding were coordinates of memorable places in our relationship, such as where we met, where we had our first date, our church, where Jordan proposed, and where we grew up. I think it was memorable for our guests as well!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved a lot of money by doing DIY projects. Jordan made our centerpiece boxes and I painted them. I made the jewelry for the bridesmaids, my headpiece, the escort cards, our card box, the ladder picture stand, the table numbers, the monogrammed wreath on the front door, and all of the signage for the entire wedding!

My wedding flowers were so beautiful and I wish I could have preserved them forever! We used a mix of peonies, lamb’s ear, roses, and anemones. They were the perfect balance between soft, subtle colors and greenery. I was very impressed with Irvington Spring Farms and the work they did!

Our wedding cake was gorgeous, and it tasted amazing as well! Geisel Nye did an awesome job combining three different cakes that I liked into our perfect wedding cake! One layer was Boston cream pie and the other two smaller layers were banana cake with Nutella frosting and chocolate ganache.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in 2012 while working at a Christian summer camp, Shiloh Adventure Camp in Cocoa, Florida. We were the only two counselors that year who were crazy enough to take on the entire summer! After the kids had left on the last day of camp, we decided to relax together a little before the end-of-summer party at a local church. When we left the party, we ended up sitting in his truck until around 4 A.M., just talking and getting to know each other better. Even though we didn’t want that night to end, we had to go to bed, and Jordan kissed my forehead before I left. We got maybe two hours of sleep that night, and then had to tear down camp the next day. After that long day of work, we decided to go to the beach to hang out for a little bit before I started my drive back home. We ended up trying to figure out how to make a long-distance relationship work. Over the next two years, we dated long-distance, and while it was difficult at times, we trusted the plan God had given us and enjoyed every second. Jordan moved up to Lynchburg after graduating college at UCF in June 2014!
Tell us all about the proposal! Jordan cleverly worked with my roommates to create an amazing day for me! My roommates drove his truck down to Smith Mountain Lake, parked it by the water, and decorated the bed of the truck with flowers and blankets and pillows. All the while, Jordan and I were on our way to the lake for a charity home tour that we had wanted to do for a while. Right before we got to the dock to pick up the boat, he pulled off to the side of the road and told me to come for a walk, which I thought was weird because it was raining! He then proceeded to walk to a gate that clearly stated “No Trespassing.” I quickly said, “I don’t think we should be here.” Jordan laughed at my typical adherence to rules, and we continued to walk toward the water. When I saw the truck, I knew what was about to happen. He proposed on bended knee in the rain and mud with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and it was perfect! After the proposal, he washed my feet and made several promises to me. He then surprised me with a video that he had put together (with the help of his brother) starring our families and friends. They talked about when they knew we might get married and how we have changed for the better since meeting each other. It was better than I could have ever imagined. All in all, it was perfect and I could not have asked for anything better!
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to keep with the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding. I wanted the first time Jordan saw me to be when I walked down the aisle. I didn’t care about getting first look pictures or getting photos out of the way–I cared about Jordan and that special moment when we would first lay our eyes on each other on our wedding day. (However, I did get a few peeks at him through a window!)
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose West Manor Estate because even though we visited on a dreary, rainy day, we still loved the beauty of the grounds and the elegance of the inside of the house! I told myself that if I loved it this much on a cold, rainy day in October, how much more would I love it on a warm, sunny day in May?
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We read “Foundations Of Marriage” by Regina Hill.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We attended pre-marital counseling at our church. This kept us focused on our marriage instead of our wedding day! I believe this should be a priority for anyone getting married–it gave us the opportunity to take a step back from planning and focus on our relationship.
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? Just more of the same! We are looking forward to living life together, going grocery shopping, exercising, and watching our puppy grow up! What could be better than doing life with your best friend?

Photographer: Emily March Photography / Venue and Caterer: West Manor Estate / Florist: Irvington Spring Farm / Cake Baker: Geisel Nye of Cakeview llc. / DJ: Alan Dever Entertainment / Paper Products: A Paper Wedding / Bride’s Gown: Sophia and Camilla / Bride’s Veil: Belles Veils / Hair and Makeup: Spa4109 / Bride’s Shoes: Modcloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: RenzRags / Menswear: Giorgio Napoli

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Wedding Venues reply

    Great photo-relation ! thx for sharing, the shots are perfect !

  2. avatar Arlene Bass Grandmother reply

    We are so happy for Amber and Jordan add hope they have lots of happiness in all the years to come. The wedding was so beautiful. This is such a special treat for all to see. Thank you. All our love for this special couple. All our Love and Kisses, Grandma and Granddad Bill. See you soon.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Love the beautiful card box!

  4. avatar Tulle Convertible Bridesmaid Dresses with Different Color Options | reply

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I can’t think of a sweeter way to spend this Tuesday morning than getting lost in Stephanie and Glenn’s wedding! These two met and became best friends during late nights of studying in medical school, and it wasn’t long before their feelings grew into something more. Once Glenn surprised the notoriously hard-to-surprise Stephanie with a proposal, they began planning their Virginia wine country wedding with so much intention and purpose. Everything from their venue to their table names to the flowers was meaningful, and thanks to Stephanie’s lovely taste and Glenn’s secret creative side, it was beautiful, too!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Rachel May for sharing this special day with us!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Monograms, monograms, monograms! We printed our custom monogram on our invitations, programs, menu, place cards, guest book, and more. We even crafted our monogram out of 300+ wine corks and placed it over the mantle in the tasting room during cocktail hour. We bought our bridesmaids and groomsmen monogrammed items as gifts (big oxfords for the girls to get ready in and tervis tumblers, and cuff links for the boys). My gift to Glenn on our wedding day was a monogrammed tie clip with our wedding date on the back. He got me a gold monogrammed necklace with my new initials that I wore at our reception. I also wore monogrammed gold Jack Rogers sandals with my new initials for the reception. Also, PEARLS! A Southern girl is never without her pearls. I gave my bridesmaids pearl earrings and necklaces and wore a beautiful family heirloom pearl ring for the ceremony.

I had always wanted to go dress shopping with just my mom and my best friend since childhood, Megan. A few weeks after the proposal, they drove down to Richmond to meet me on my day off and we went to Bella Rosa Bridal. I had seen a picture of a dress on Bella Rosa’s blog that was brand new to the store and asked to try it on. The first six or seven dresses that I tried on were all beautiful, but I knew I couldn’t make a decision until I tried the blog dress on. When I tried it on, I felt so beautiful. I absolutely loved the raw silk skirt and the illusion neckline, but it was so different from what I had pictured myself in–there was no lace! I felt torn, but when I looked at my mom and Megan’s faces, I knew that this was the one. The wonderful ladies at Bella Rosa were able to adapt the dress when I suggested we cut out the majority of the back and make it into a big wide “V” back. I also added a large bow with long, streaming ties. I have always wanted a bow on my wedding dress and knew it wouldn’t be complete without it! On the day of my wedding, I couldn’t wait to get into my beautiful dress. It was so perfectly me, and I had so much fun dancing the night away in my big skirt with the bow floating behind me!

Describe your wedding flowers. My mom is an incredible gardener and our lawn is always overflowing with beautiful blooms. She taught me a love of flowers from an early age, so choosing which flowers we wanted at the wedding was easy! I chose a loose, hand-tied bouquet in shades of ivory, soft peach, and blush with ranunculus, garden roses, parrot tulips, coral charm peonies, clematis, viburnum, and sweet peas, with lots of dusty miller and greenery. The sweet peas were especially important to me because my parents have been calling me “Sweet Pea” as a nickname since birth. I also wanted clematis because my mother has an incredible trellis of clematis at our family home, and I’ve always thought they were so simple and beautiful. All of the flowers for the bouquets were tied with ribbon streamers in champagne, ivory, and blush.

What I didn’t anticipate was how nervous I’d be on the wedding day! While getting my hair and makeup done, I was getting anxious and shaky about reading the vows we had written in front of so many people, and I really just wanted to see Glenn! The moment that he turned around and saw me in my dress for the first time is a moment I’ll never forget. Just holding his hand and giving him a kiss immediately calmed me and helped me relax and get excited for the rest of the evening. After that, it was smooth sailing!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I first visited Veritas Winery when I was in undergrad at UVA. I fell in love with it instantly: the location at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the gorgeous draped ballroom, and (of course!) the amazing wine. After my first visit there, I jokingly told my parents that I was going to get married there someday! Over the years, my family has spent many afternoons wine tasting at Veritas. When Glenn and I first became friends, I took him on a trip to Charlottesville to visit wineries, and Veritas was our first stop. I remember thinking then how special Veritas will always be to me. After we got engaged and decided the wedding would be in Virginia wine country, we browsed a few different places, but Veritas was always in the back of my mind. When Glenn’s sister came to visit just two weeks after our engagement, we took her to Veritas and showed her the ballroom. She turned to us and said, “Why is there even any question? This place is just perfect for the two of you!” That really sealed the deal!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did, and it was tougher than I had expected! We didn’t consult each other on them at all, but we did compare word counts to make sure they were a similar length. When we sent them to our officiant, she replied, “Oh, you two are just too perfect for each other, just you wait!” Glenn and I know each other so well that we both included nearly the exact same things: we joked about teaching our kids to root for both the UVA Hoos and the UCLA Bruins, we talked about supporting each other through all of the adventures of life, and we promised to listen to each other and never take a simple “I love you” for granted, amongst many others. They were so perfect.

Glenn and I both envisioned a non-traditional, outdoor wedding ceremony. My dad has always been a music lover and we have spent countless hours in the car together jamming to our favorites: The Beatles and Queen. Glenn has always been an oldies fan and is a die-hard motown fan, so our wedding quickly developed a retro music vibe. My dad and I walked down the aisle to my favorite childhood song, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. When the ceremony was over, Glenn and I recessed to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, one of our all-time favorites!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Too hard to choose! Maybe taking sunset photos with our vintage Packard car while our guests were at cocktail hour–it was so dreamy and romantic and private, and we loved it! Our other favorite detail was all of the table names and the guest book that Glenn drew by hand. We are big foodies, so we named our tables after our favorite restaurants in different cities across the U.S., and Glenn drew each restaurant’s logo by hand. He also made a huge canvas guest book with the states of Virginia and California on it, featuring pictures of our favorite places in each state. The guest book and our table numbers are now in our new home and we will cherish them forever!

Describe your dessert. Neither Glenn nor I are huge cake fans, and we wanted to find a way to bring some of Richmond, our home for the past four years, to Charlottesville. We decided to bring desserts from two of our favorite local Richmond vendors to Veritas. We served pies (apple, mixed berry streusel, coconut cream, and banoffee) from Proper Pie at the reception and gave out twelve varieties of the most delicious doughnuts you’ve ever had from Sugar Shack Donuts (a place we visit almost once a week!) as favors. We served them with to-go cups of coffee and waters for guests to take on the buses home, and they were a huge hit! We did want a small cake to do the ceremonial cutting with, so we got a delicious raspberry chai cake with buttercream icing.

Our first dance was to another oldie-but-goodie cover that we discovered on one of our very first dates: “Baby I’m Yours” by the Arctic Monkeys. We had an incredible reception band, The Dickens, and they played such an awesome variety–everything from motown to hip hop. The dance floor was packed until the lights went up at the end of the night and we sang UVA’s “Good Ole Song” and UCLA’s fight song a capella.

Big hugs to East West Productions for sharing this video from Stephanie + Glenn’s day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Glenn and I met during our first year of medical school at the Medical College of Virginia. He was a quiet guy from Los Angeles and immediately befriended many of our other classmates from California, but as the first few weeks went by, our friend groups started meshing and hanging out quite a bit. Glenn and I started studying in the same study hall at school and spent countless late nights quizzing each other and giving each other pep talks. We became best friends first, and by the end of our first year of medical school, we were hanging out all the time, doing silly things like grocery shopping and watching movies together. It wasn’t until I brought Glenn to my parents’ house during the summer after first year that I realized how close we were. In fact, my mother took me aside and said, “You’re totally going to wind up with Glenn. I don’t know why you two aren’t together already. You’re just perfect for each other!” After that, I started realizing how much my feelings for Glenn were growing, but I had no idea how he felt. Finally, in January of our second year of medical school, Glenn leaned down and kissed me while we were dancing at our school’s annual Winter Ball. We’ve been inseparable ever since! We knew there would be a lot of obstacles in the way, especially the fact that we would have to go through a special match process called “couples matching” in the residency match at the end of medical school. Our entire fourth year of medical school was filled with anxiety as we waited until the end of March to find out if we would be starting our married life together or across the country from each other. When match day came, we received the best possible news: we would be staying in Virginia to complete our respective residencies! Two weeks later, we walked down the aisle to say “I do” on the most perfect day ever.
Tell us all about the proposal! I am always the one who likes to plan and ask questions, so I am generally very difficult to surprise. In his infinite genius, Glenn decided to let me do all the work and then hijack my plans. I had planned to do an early birthday dinner with all of my best girlfriends just a few days before my birthday, which he knew would be the perfect opportunity to have my closest friends and family all together. After dinner with my girlfriends, they surprised me by taking me to a wine bar instead of someone’s house for wine and dessert. When we got to the wine bar, we “learned” that it was closed because of a fire (my friends had already known this and used it as a diversion!). They insisted that we head to the very fancy French restaurant across the street instead. I balked, stating that it was too expensive, but they insisted. As we were walking into the restaurant, I joked to my friends, “Hey guys, wouldn’t it be so funny if Glenn showed up here with flowers and proposed?” Little did I know! The maitre d’ told us he only had one table in the private room at the very back. As I turned the corner, leading the pack of my friends, I saw my parents out of the corner of my eye and then my sweet Glenn. He got down on one knee in a room full of my closest friends and family and told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. In between tears and sniffles, I squeaked out an “of course” and we celebrated with champagne and dessert at a table lined with dozens of roses. It was absolutely perfect.
When did y’all get married? April 4, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 100
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was the most special. I’ve been dreaming of wearing my mother’s veil since I was a little girl. She made it by hand for her wedding 35 years ago and it’s so beautiful. We have pictures of me wearing her veil for dress-up when I was six years old, and when I went to try on dresses, I always had that veil in my mind. I couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle in anything else! My something blue was my maiden monogram label in the bodice of my dress. My something borrowed was a hankie from the 1920s that my Grammy gave to me. My something new was a vintage pearl ring and earrings that my mother gave me on the day of the wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did a lot of DIY projects! Glenn is so artistic…I had no idea before we started wedding planning! He designed all of our table names, our guest book, and our wine cork monogram. We also had a lot of help from family. Even my 94-year-old grandmother spent two days tying ribbons on our programs and helping us stuff our welcome bags!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The wedding day will be over before you know it! Spend extra on the vendors who will help you preserve those memories forever, like a photographer and videographer.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We start our jobs as residents at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System on July 1! Glenn will be an Orthopedic Surgeon and I will be an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. We bought our first house two weeks after our wedding, and have spent most of the month of June learning about the joys of home ownership: lots of painting and projects! We are also looking forward to taking our honeymoon together in the next year, if our busy intern schedules allow us! We are excited to start a family (and maybe get a dog!) when the time is right, and, of course, to grow in our love for each other!

Photographer: Rachel May Photography / Videographer: Caleb Lee of East West Productions / Planner: Allison Barnes Events / Venue, Caterer, and Lighting: Veritas Vineyard and Winery / Florist: Southern Blooms / Cake Baker: Hotcakes Bakery / Pies Baker: Proper Pie / Doughnuts: Sugar Shack / Band: The Dickens of Sam Hill Entertainment / Paper Products: Paper on the Avenue / Bride’s Gown: “12450” by Wtoo / Bridal Salon: Bella Rosa Bridal / Bride’s Hairpiece: Ayajewellery / Hair and Makeup: Jennifer Saunders MUA / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D660” in Palomino by Alfred Sung / Menswear: The Black Tux

Rachel May Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Love the color palette here and the venue is gorgeous!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    I love all the bows on their dresses! So cute!

  3. avatar Rachel May reply

    Thank you SO much for featuring Glenn & Stephanie’s wedding! It’s an honor to be featured on SW!

  4. avatar Clarisa reply

    Beautiful couple. As I see it was really amazing. I wish you all the good things in this world!

  5. avatar Elizabeth Cornwell reply

    This is a GORGEOUS wedding! Do y’all know what company did the big oxfords for the bride and bridesmaids?

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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I could not think of a more perfect venue for Caroline + Ben’s Virginia wedding than the Stoke farm — a historic Civil War era home that has been in Caroline’s friend’s family for years. For a bride who grew up playing in the boxwood gardens of the estate, having a reception there was a no-brainer, and the gorgeous gardens filled the night with something magical. Even the guests said they felt like they were in a movie! Of course, with a cute love story like these two (who friends thought were made to be because of their mutual height!), the movie-like setting was only a matter of good fortune and fond memories. The rest of the wedding was also decked in details contributed by family members and friends. One my favorites? The custom hand-painted crest that Caroline’s friend made for their paper goods. Gorgeous! Big thanks to Gabe Aceves for sharing this with us!

LOVE Ben’s big peony boutonniere! Caroline said peony season was a huge factor in setting a date. We don’t blame her at all.

I took my mom, sister and a bridesmaid to my first dress appointment. It was a lot more overwhelming than I had anticipated. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted but I knew what I didn’t want — no sparkles or extravagant beading, and no princess ball gown. I tried on about five dresses and the last one made my mom cry but I wasn’t sold. After that, I did a little online research and discovered that there were several Jim Hjelm dresses that I really liked. I called around and found a bridal store that carried this line; I also decided to go to this appointment on my own, as I have always enjoyed shopping solo. I tried on another five dresses. The fifth dress was Lazaro and this one in particular really stuck out. I brought my mom and best friend back a few days later and that sealed the deal.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? We decided not to do a first look. Photos were really important to me so I did consider it, but at the end of the day we both wanted to follow tradition and experience seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle. I think we made the right choice for us!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose to do the traditional wedding reading from 1 Corinthians and then a not-s- traditional reading that we really liked from Tobit 8:5b-8.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our first dance song was “Gotta Have You” by The Weepies. If you listen to or read the lyrics it may seem like an odd choice for a first dance song, and we debated using it for this reason. It had become “our song” at some point during the early part of our relationship so we decided to go with it anyway. It just felt right.

There were lots of challenges throughout the process but the biggest one was probably the weather leading up to the big day. We wanted an outdoor reception and our entire vision revolved around not having a tent, but you can’t predict the weather. We went ahead and put a tent on hold but had to let them know if we needed it or not the Tuesday before our wedding. The weather report kept going back and forth between scattered showers and full on rain leading up to our wedding weekend and I was a mess. The forecast started improving as we got closer to Tuesday and after many discussions we decided to forgo the tent and hope for the best — if it poured we would figure out a backup plan on the fly. Luckily we ended up having a more beautiful day than we could have ever asked for with perfectly blue skies and a cool breezy spring temperature. It was perfect.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: My aunt works for a gourmet food distributer so she has tons of great connections, including a friend who is a former White House pastry chef and now has a bakery in DC. My aunt’s friend made a lemon curd cake topped with fresh raspberries for my uncle’s wedding a couple years ago that was to-die-for. I am normally not a cake person but I told my aunt that when I got married, I needed this cake. Luckily for me she was able to make that happen. I am literally counting down the days until we can break into the leftover top sitting in my parent’s freezer!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Ben and I were a year apart at Roanoke College. After Ben’s junior year, he went on an intensive study trip in the Bahamas and met two of my best friends (and future bridesmaids) who thought we should meet, particularly since Ben is 6’8” and I am 6’1”! After school resumed, my friends introduced us at a party and we immediately hit it off. Unfortunately, we were interrupted by one of Ben’s friends (a future groomsman) before we could exchange phone numbers. I mentioned this to another one of my friends (another future bridesmaid) who at the time was dating, and is now engaged to, one of Ben’s teammates on the men’s basketball team. She promptly informed me I would be attending a party hosted by the men’s basketball team the next weekend. Apparently, she also informed all of Ben’s teammates (including a slew of future groomsmen) I was coming to see him because as soon as I walked in, I was serenaded by a raucous version of “Sweet Caroline.” I have never been more embarrassed! Luckily, Ben quickly put me at ease and a few days later took me out on our first date so we could get to know each other away from our future bridal party and the rest is history!
Describe the proposal. The week Ben proposed he told me he had been feeling badly about spending a lot of time at work and wanted to take me to a nice dinner on Friday night. He said that he had heard good things about “this place” but that the only reservation he could get was early in the evening so I would need to head straight to the restaurant from work. I should have been suspicious but he handled it so casually that I didn’t think anything of it. That Friday, Ben called me at work and informed me that he would need to pick me up from work a couple hours early because we had a bit of a drive to the restaurant. I thought something was up at this point, a suspicion that was confirmed when I got in Ben’s car and saw he had the GPS turned so that I could not see where we were going. An hour or so later, we stopped in front of a historic hotel in Annapolis, Maryland, where Ben told me we had a room for the night and that his boss had arranged a dinner reservation for us at the yacht club on the water. After an amazing sunset dinner, Ben handed me an envelope containing a picture of us celebrating my birthday the year before on a boat in front of the Washington Monument. It’s one of my favorite pictures. At the top it said, “Gotta have you…” which is the name of our song and on the back he had written the sweetest note. I was in shock and trying not to cry and didn’t even notice that he had gotten onto one knee. It was an incredibly special moment. Once I had stopped crying and could properly form sentences again, Ben told me the plan for the rest of the weekend. The next morning we would be having a celebratory brunch with our parents back in Virginia and then Sunday we would be flying to Mexico for four days at a small resort. He had even arranged for time off with my manager! Needless to say, Ben was in trouble with all of our guy friends after that one.
In what month did you get married? June
How many guests attended your wedding? About 175
Describe your wedding flowers: Peonies, peonies, peonies!! They are my absolute favorite and the fact that they were in season definitely factored into choosing the date we did. A family friend preserved peonies from her own garden leading up to the big day and our florist purchased the rest. All of the bouquets and arrangements were variations of peonies and garden roses. My parents have a lot of family silver that they have inherited over the years so we decided to use various pieces from their collection for the centerpiece arrangements. I love that it added a personal touch and also complimented the classic, garden party feel of our reception.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It’s hard to choose one thing but I would have to go with the hand painted crest that my amazingly talented friend painted for us. I am a graphic designer so I did all of our invites, however, I wanted to add something special to really make them our own. I talked to my friend and bridesmaid about my vision and she was able to create a personalized watercolor wedding crest for us. I feel like it really helped tie everything together and brought my vision to life. We couldn’t have been happier with how the invitations and programs turned out thanks to her artwork.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our band. Ben and I both love music and we love to dance so we always knew that we had to have a band. The process of finding the right band is not easy. I did tons of research and eventually ended up reaching out to an agency. This was the best decision I ever made. The person that I worked with at The Washington Talent Agency was so helpful and turned us onto a band called Encore. The best part was that the agency held demo’s at their office so that we could hear the band live before making a commitment. We instantly fell in love with Encore, they were incredibly energetic and very communicative leading up to the wedding. In the end, it was one of the easiest and best wedding decisions that we made, hands down.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I can’t choose one particular moment, but the overwhelming love and support that we felt was indescribable and we will never forget that feeling. It’s the happiest day of any couple’s life when they get married, but Ben and I are truly lucky not only to have one another but to come from the most supportive families and to have the most amazing group of friends. The day was made most special by having these people surrounding us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The best advice we got was from Ben’s dad. Whenever we started to stress, he told us not to worry, that the event would carry the day. He couldn’t have been more right.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Right now we are just enjoying married life and focusing on our careers. We both love to travel and hope to do lots of it in the next few years before really settling down and starting a family, one day.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Laura reply

    This is absolutely stunning! Beautiful, Gabe!!

  2. avatar Kaleigh reply

    Beautiful dress!! Looks like an amazing wedding. Congratulations

  3. avatar Kelsey reply

    Love this! And I’m going to need to know who did their wedding invitations/programs!!

  4. avatar Erin McLean reply

    Gorgeous!! I love all the details!!

  5. avatar gabe aceves reply

    Hi ladies, just wanted to say thank you so much for featuring this beautiful wedding! It was one of my favorites from 2012 and I am so happy to have it shown here. Thank you!

  6. avatar A Week’s Worth of Wedding Inspiration! | beautybrideorg reply

    […] Some foxy wedding invitations! (Scroll about a third of the way down.) —Southern Weddings […]

  7. avatar Brenda reply

    Would you please share the wedding cake recipe with the lemon curd filling and the rasberry topping? I don’t see the rasberries on top the cake picture; so if the rasberry was incorporated into the cake hidden beneath the frosting that would be a WOW factor with the frosting spread right over the rasberry glaze or jam? A great idea anyway. Hope you can share.

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