With a wedding date inspired by the brides’s grandparents, who was remembered as being the perfect example of a partnership built on kindness, compassion, and love, this couple celebrated their day with delicious food, cold drinks, and good music at Wolftrap Farm in Gordonsville, VA.
We met through a mutual friend at Christopher Newport University. We’re college sweethearts.
The proposal was private and romantic, but also a little bit goofy, which captures our partnership perfectly. On our 5-year dating anniversary, Thomas spontaneously suggested a fancy dinner at Texas de Brazil (an incredible Brazilian Steakhouse). I tend to do the planning for these types of things, so I was immediately suspicious. The weirdest part was not being able to talk to Thomas about it directly. He’s truly my other half, we talk to each other about everything, so keeping all of my nervous excitement from him was tough. My best friend since middle school, Gretchen, was my emotional rock, texting me throughout the day and getting me through the whole “what to wear” phase. At the restaurant, we were seated at a private table in the back corner. We were there for maybe 10 minutes–and I most definitely had half of a buttered roll stuffed into my mouth–when Thomas decided he couldn’t wait any longer and quietly slipped down to one knee. Between my immediate outburst of happy crying and trying to finish chewing my roll, I have no recollection of what exactly Thomas said. (He doesn’t either!) All I knew was that my best friend and partner was just as crazy about me as I was him, and I couldn’t wait to get that ring on my finger!
The hunt for a wedding dress spanned many websites and Pinterest boards, and I was drawn to styles like the Morilee collection by Madeline Gardner. I began searching for nearby bridal shops carrying that designer and stumbled upon Icon Formal & Bridal in Darnestown, Maryland. It was a great experience–a small boutique with a room full of gorgeous gowns and plenty of comfortable seating for my mom, maid-of-honor, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. My dress is part of the Allure Bridals collection (Style 9104), a gorgeous ivory mermaid gown with intricate lace detailing, just the right amount of crystal beading, contour straps, and a beautiful heart-shaped opening in the back. It was the perfect dress for a barn-style wedding and immediately stood out as my favorite. (My sister-in-law knew it was the one right away, but I was definitely fighting off the “but what if I like another one” vibe.) I tried on maybe 1 or 2 other gowns but kept coming back to this one–the way it fit me, the detailing, and the romantic feeling it gave me was just perfect!
Oh, for sure! We are typically inseparable and not at all the traditional type. There was nothing better than starting the day with my partner, taking care of our two fur babies (Stonewall and Braxton) per usual, and seeing Thomas first thing that morning kept me grounded. We did a practice run of the ceremony that morning, just us two and Thomas’ brother, John, who officiated the ceremony. It was the perfect quiet, private moment amid the chaos of a busy wedding day! We also did a first look, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. He’s my other half–there’s no way I’d want him to be the last person to see me!
There are so many to choose from! One of my favorite moments was surprising my mom with a mother-daughter dance to “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones. She had no idea! It was a special moment that (I hope) showed her how much her guidance and support means to me. Also, exiting through an arc of sparklers (and a deafening wall of cheers from our closest friends and family), we walked hand-in-hand down a country lane and off into the night towards the farm house we were staying in. We literally walked off into our future together as husband and wife, the absolute perfect ending to a truly wonderful wedding day.
Advice for future couples planning their wedding
Regardless of any experience you might have with event planning, it is 100% worthwhile to hire a wedding planner, or at the very least a day-of coordinator. That investment is so worth giving you peace-of-mind when the big day arrives. I was able to relax and be in the moment each step of the day because I knew that our amazing planner, Brenda, had it all completely under control.
Photography | Awesomesauce Photography
Ceremony and Reception Venue | Wolftrap Farm
Caterer | Morris Catering
Dress Store | Icon Formal & Bridal
Florist | Sam’s Club