A Navy Affair
What were you inspired by while planning your wedding?
We won a contest, so a majority of the big decisions had been made for us (coordinator, venue, designer, baker, etc.) What inspired us most was the amazing creativity of all of these people working on our behalf. With just 27 days to plan a wedding, we went into the first planning meeting feeling excited but overwhelmed. Within an hour, we discovered how amazing these vendors are at their craft. They asked thoughtful questions and quickly discovered who "we" were. As each vendor honed ideas, we felt a great sense of relief. We immediately realized, "Why should we nit pick over small details, when we can just let these people do what they do so well?" And we were so glad we did!! With a little bit of direction from us (color palate, general "feel") this incredible team ran with the ball and knocked our socks off. We honestly could not think of a single thing that we would have done differently. We heard so much that the wedding was so "us." That is a testament to the talents of everyone with whom we worked. Moreover, it is the result of each vendor being so fully invested in collaborating with one another to make everything perfect. Their creativity and commitment made for the happiest day of our lives.
What were some of your favorite wedding day details?
Waking up on your wedding day stress free is the mark of an exceptional wedding coordinator. Thank you, Lindsay. Having an advocate to ensure everything is coming together gives you the time to be present in every moment of the day.
- Capturing the moments on camera felt so authentic. We were lucky to have two incredibly talented photographers who took the time to learn who we were. As a result, they balanced posed photos along with those "in between" moments when we were truly ourselves. Thank you Michael and David. They made photos that truly captured "us," not the ideal of us.
- Who knew you could furnish a wedding without white plastic chairs? Cluster seating using vintage furniture gave our wedding a warm and intimate feel. Paisley and Jade struck the perfect balance between rustic and modern for the room. The signature style was also a key element of a beautiful shelved backdrop for the ceremony with displays of flowers and personal items.
- Despite the snow on the ground, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens is a magical place in any season. With such a variety of settings, it is the perfect place to host a classic or modern wedding either indoors or outdoors. The natural beauty and incredible light made for exceptional photographs. With walls of windows and stunning views, the Tea House was intimate without feeling small (even with all our furnishings from Paisley and Jade).
- The moment we walked into the venue, the most visually striking element were the flowers. Arranged in a variety of sizes and boxes, the flowers accented every table and shelf. What we found so interesting is that a good florist is like having a good tailor. Casey Godlove at Strawberry Fields, Flowers, and Finds truly found our "style" in color, texture, and variety.
- During the reception, people kept walking up to us to say congratulations. At times, it was hard to determine if they were congratulating us, or the catering team. The incredible foods provided by Merriweather Lewis were as beautiful as they were delicious. Ample portions ensured everyone got to taste the broad range of Mediterranean inspired foods.
- Our "first look" was an incredible moment of romance and authenticity. 707 Menswear brought that moment to life by helping us pick complimentary outfits without revealing them to each other. The team at 707 made sure everything fit perfectly and selected great accents including tie styles, pocket squares, and some amazing socks. After 16 years, the first look made us feel like we were on our first date.
- What is a wedding without the cake? Isn't that what everyone comes for, really? Sweet Fix. Oh Sweet Fix. The designer was inspired to bring elements of our wedding invitation (beautifully created by Design Corral) to the cake decoration! This was the perfect signature and brought the design elements of the wedding full circle. We selected a lavender cake with a honey buttercream icing. This unique choice brought a wonderful yet subtle change from traditional choices. It disappeared quickly, along with the second level of chocolate with salted caramel icing. It will be a long year waiting to cut into the anniversary topper!
- Our casual post reception gathering at Hardywood Brewery allowed us to celebrate with many more of our friends! Relaxing with a beer, we enjoyed 3 hours of casual socializing. Mosaic catering brought the food truck and we provided small plate items for noshing. The beer and the food were delicious.
- Linden Row Inn hosted us in a suite for the wedding day and night. Decorated to capture the history of the Inn, the suite was a beautiful backdrop for our "first look" photos. After the wedding, we had a few friends stop by and enjoyed cocktails in the living room of the suite. The king size bed was luxurious and comfortable. We could not have asked for a better place to spend our wedding day and night.
- While it was not on the wedding day, our brunch at the Hilton Garden Inn was spectacular. The incredible assortment of foods were southern inspired and provided a taste of our hometown. The service was incredibly friendly and fast. The "make your own" mimosa and bloody mary bar was a fun twist on these classic brunch drinks.
- Perhaps the most powerful thing from our wedding, aside from actually getting hitched, was the realization that every person in that room shared a common bond; our love for them and their love for us. That love was a very real and tangible thing, and was just an overwhelming feeling. To be able to stand up and look around the room and see so much love was a feeling that you just can't describe. It makes you feel like the luckiest person in the room.
- We took a slightly different tack with our wedding. We both have a background in the theater, and we wanted everyone to know from the very beginning that we wanted this wedding to feel a little different. Much more relaxed. And so we started with a musical number. The only people who knew were Lindsay our coordinator and Josh our keyboardist. It was slightly nerve wracking (at least for Dan), but it came off well and after opening with a duet, the wedding itself was a piece of cake.
- Even after being together for 16 years, actually saying the words and getting married meant more to us than either of us ever expected.
Did you have any DIY details?
This isn't news to lots of people, but Pinterest was the perfect way for us to share ideas with each other and our team. We could pin clothes, styles, colors, and anything else that inspired us. It was a great way to see ideas come together.
We added personal items to the decorations. We found a few key momentos that represented special times in our life. We also displayed photos of grandparents in memory. A niece created a personalized chalkboard message which greeted our guests.
Having a good friend serve as officiant brought such a personal feel to the experience. It made the ceremony feel so personal and authentic.
Small surprises kept things spontaneous. We entered singing a comical duet which surprised even the wedding party. Unscripted vows, personalized song lyrics, and even joining Facebook were some of the ways we surprised each other and our friends. The wedding still held a reverent feel but had our signature.
The wedding party was allowed to select their own outfits. While a color palette and style was provided, it was not strictly enforced. We ended up with a beautiful combination of complimentary outfits and colors, without perfectly matching. Each person wore a style and color that best suited him/her. The outfit diversity made for a wonderful visual dynamic that complimented the flowers and decor.
What would you say are some of your favorite wedding day memories?
Even after all this time, feeling so full of love that you think your heart might burst.
Laughing and crying in equal measure.
Being surrounded by more love than you thought was possible.
Having an amazing coordinator who was able to answer every question, often before they were asked.
What advice would you give to future couples planning their wedding?
- Be present in the moment, not the details. Just show up and be in love.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. Seriously. At the end of the day it's about the two of you.
- Laugh. Please laugh.
- We planned our wedding in 27 days, including three snow storms. While a little more time might have been nice, neither of us would have wanted to spend a year or more planning. More time would have meant time to second guess, and we were able to trust our instincts. More importantly, trust the people you are working with, whether they be professionals or friends. Don't overthink it.
- Rely on your friends. They love you and want to help you.
- Find ways to make the wedding personal. Don't follow the rule book. :)
- Photography By Michael Simon Photography
- Photography By David Abel Photography
- Event Planning & Design By LK Events & Design
- Paper Goods By Design Corral
- Attire By 707 Menswear
- Post-Wedding Brunch By Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown
- Custom Illustration on Cake & Paper Goods By Tucker Adamson
- Rehearsal Dinner By The Urban Farmhouse Market & Café
- After Party By Hardywood
- After Party Food Truck By Mosaic Edibles
- Transportation By James Limousine
- Ceremony Location By Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
- Accommodations By Linden Row Inn
- Catering By Meriwether Godsey
- Jewelry (Gifts) By On Pointe Designs
- Rentals By Paisley & Jade
- Music By Eileen Edmonds
- Florals By Strawberry Fields Flowers & Finds
- Cake By Sweet Fix