The sun glistened on the Apple Blossom Inn located in Providence Forge VA on this gorgeous day in May. Marie Kristine and Andrew’s wedding was the perfect mix of Southern charm and elegance brimming with substantial dose of humidity in true Virginia style.
We first met back in middle school; we were both in band and had lost touch during high school since my family moved. But our senior year my marching band attended a competition that was hosted by Andy’s high school and we ran into each other then. We kept in touch after that and even tried dating for a bit in college but that didn’t work out. After college I moved to Northern Virginia for work but we still couldn’t forget each other. We would hang out every once in a while, when I was home. It was finally in spring 2016 that I agreed to give us a shot again after refusing several times on the grounds that I didn’t want a long-distance relationship. Other than saying “yes” and “I do”, that was the best decision of my life.
We had been shopping for an engagement ring for a couple months back in fall 2016. At one point before Christmas I asked Andy straight out whether he had a ring; he told me no (key words: told me). But even though he had told me he didn’t have a ring, I was still kind of nervous opening gifts on Christmas morning. He totally threw me off the scent though by gifting me a beautiful necklace. Little did I know there was more scheming! That year we were splitting our time: Christmas with his family and New Year’s with my family in Montreal. So a couple days after Christmas we flew to Montreal. This was Andy’s first time meeting my Canadian family. We did our gift exchange with dad, stepmom and brother. At the end, Andy asked if that was it for gifts and when everyone said yes, he said he had one more gift. My hands started shaking. Then he took my hand pulled me to my feet, got on one knee and said “this is a gift from me to you and from us to our families and friends. Will you marry me?” Cue the waterfalls! I said yes through a flood of happy tears. But that’s not all! I found out afterwards that he had asked everyone!! He had dinner with my mom and stepdad to ask for their blessing. Then, he had a conversation with my dad and stepmom the day before the proposal about it too. He even chatted with my brother about it! Needless to say, everyone knew it was happening except me!
Family is super important to my brother Andy and myself. So I wanted to include his mom in the dress shopping experience. We went to David’s Bridal without any expectations. I had looked at some dresses before and had liked a couple but hadn’t been ready to commit yet. The consultant pulled 4 dresses; I saved my favorite for last. And sure enough once I put on that gown it was magical. It for perfectly, it was so flattering, it had the right amount of lace and sparkle. It was perfect. And of course, everyone started to cry!
Yes we did a first look. We would not have changed a thing! It relieved a lot of anxiety and nervousness. I think we were both pretty nervous before that but once we saw each other, it was all excitement.
The first look was our favorite part. It was such an anticipated moment since we hadn’t seen each other all day, Andy had no idea what I would look like, and I hadn’t seen him in his full suit before.
Advice for future couples planning their wedding
1) start early and don’t leave things up to crunch time
2) do what you want! It’s your day, it’s about you.
3) that being said, pick your battles. Some details are just not worth the stress and argument.
Photography | Awesomesauce Photography
Venue | Apple Blossom Inn
Dress Store | David’s Bridal
Hair Stylist | Scotland Street Salon
Makeup | Bella Vita Artistry
Groom’s Attire | Men’s Warehouse
DJ | On Tour DJ Service
Dessert | Nothing Bundt Cake
Awesomesauce Photography offers colorful, fun, and emotional storytelling wedding photography at an affordable price. Based in Richmond, VA available for travel worldwide.