Every once in a while, a couple walks through our doors and the first meeting is like magic. It feels like a first date when 5 minutes in, you can already envision yourself getting married. Rachel and her sister, Sarah Grace, came to us about a year out from planning – they found us on Instagram and we immediately fell in love with them! [We eventually got to meet Robert, but he quickly trusted us – and was much happier hunting and fishing!] I can’t quite tell you exactly what it was that made us fall in love so fast – it may have been their warm nature, their laughs that were genuine and full of spirit, or their trust in our team. But what I can tell you is that we made magic over the 12 months of planning.
I’m a fan of lists, so here are my top 5 things I think you should know about this wedding.
1 – The threat of Hurricane Florence forced us to make a reschedule call the Monday before the wedding. With the rental company not wanting to put their staff and equipment in danger – and the local Hotel shutting down, we had to push the date back 6 weeks. It turned our fall wedding season upside down, but I can honestly say – making it through those six weeks has shown me that our team can literally do ANYTHING! Try us! We even pulled off an 80 person wedding on their originally scheduled date for close friends and family at a different location – which was beautiful, since Hurricane Florence never even showed up! <insert face palm emoji>
2 – This wedding was GORGEOUS! Our vendor teams pulled out all the stops and months later, we are still swooning over the photos and details. From custom engraved oyster knives, a bourbon bar, specially sourced chandeliers, a top notch band out of Atlanta, lush over the top florals, beautiful furnishings and fireworks – oh yes, the fireworks – it was truly a night to remember! When you’re done reading, you should absolutely check out the list of vendors below and follow all of them! #dreamteam
3 – Our bride and her sister lost both of their parents over the last few years. With her future mother-in-law not living in town, we naturally slid into that maternal/best-friend role. There were tears at times, a LOT of brainstorming on how to honor her amazing parents, and a focus on making this a FUN event that everyone would remember. The presence of her parents was felt in many meaningful ways. Lace from her mom’s wedding dress was set in gold and used as a hairpiece in Rachel’s hair. Her father’s wedding band was reshaped into Rachel’s wedding band, lilies – her mother’s favorite flower – were placed on the seat where she would have sat, and their family visited the cemetery after the nuptials and placed the flowers on their headstones. The guests truly felt their presence and they were honored in a positive loving way!
4 – There was mud – SO much mud at this wedding. If you were to think in your head about how much mud would make you lose your mind at a wedding – it was more mud than that. But, I can without a doubt say that this wedding was that much more meaningful (and memorable) because of this mud. Picture this – guests being shuttled from a driveway across a football field sized mud pit to a beautiful tent two by two in a four-wheel drive cart. The 7 tier cake being delivered in the hands of the baker while riding in that same cart. Every tray of food and piece of catering equipment getting carried by hand across that muddy field. The band’s truck getting stuck in the mud and having to get pulled out by a tractor at 1am. A foot of water getting pumped out of the catering tent the morning of the event. 20 pieces of plywood showing up with the farm hands to create pathways between the main tent and the cocktail hour tent. What we learned was because we hired the best vendors, none of the mud mattered. Everyone showed up, ready to work, and put on a top notch event. The couple was ecstatic, the guests were thrilled, and everyone had an amazing and memorable time. I think our vendor team is that much closer for having gone through this wedding together!
5 – No matter what happens, the couple’s energy is what makes an event. As you can tell, a lot of challenges were thrown both our way and at our clients. But through it all, Rachel and Robert’s positivity, their love, their excitement, and their character and what showed up on their wedding day. All the mud, hurricanes, and personal hurdles they have faced couldn’t put a damper on their day. I cried twice that day – the first was out of concern when I arrived on site at the beginning of the day, and second when the fireworks went off and we got big hugs from our clients at the end of the night.
Rachel and Robert – we cheers you – for being awesome clients that we will never forget!!
Stephanie Yonce Photography | Sweet Fix | Lighting Professors | A Sharper Palate | Advanced Visual Production | Avenue 42 Style Studio | Belle Arte | Candy Sims Calligraphy | Chesapeake Inn | East Coast Entertainment | English Tea Paperie | Hewick Plantation | James Limousine | La Tavola | Lou Stevens Glam Squad | Paper on the Avenue | Riverdale24 Productions | Skyline Tent Co. | The Main Attraction Band | The Tides Inn | The Wild Bunch | Virginia Skypainters | White Glove Rentals