Brides! I can not express to you how much I love, love, love this idea. To think of the term “runaway bride” normally means a gal escaping her wedding day (after all that planning?), but here it is a cute term to mean… well, brides running for fun and a cause. Love it! I saw this on Instagram, and I reached out to owner, 5k coordinator and photographer Stephanie Messick to find out all of the nitty gritty about this event. I hope you find it as fun and interesting as I did… and what a LOVELY place to host a run. Fabulous!
Here is what Stephanie had to say:
Q: This is a really creative idea, so tell me… what inspired you to start this 5k for brides-to-be?
A: The past two years, I have gathered my brides to participate in a fun run together. As a wedding photographer, I love connecting with my clients more on a friend level rather than a “sign and show up” kind of relationship. What I realized during the fun runs I have organized for my brides, is that they are a great opportunity for community building. Whether it was a foam run or a color run, I managed to create an experience for them by having them dress up in white tutus and veils to celebrate the “bride”! Most likely, they were strangers, but because they had one thing in common, they were brought together to create friendships and have a carefree, cheerful time.
We have previously signed up through a nationwide run organization, but I thought why not make this “bride run” its own event (but even bigger so it’s open to all brides/bridesmaids)? That’s where Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run came about, and we are so excited to make this plan a reality to be experienced by all brides/bridesmaids in the Virginia/DC Metro area!
Q: Ingenious! So, tell me a little about the causes that are supported.
A: We are proud supporters of the Forever Angels of Virginia and St. Anthony’s Bridal and because of the registration fee, they are one step closer to helping so many other causes in this world! Forever Angels of Virginia creates little, precious gowns from donated wedding dresses for a loss of infant(s). Beautiful detailing on the “angelic gowns” brings a sense of comfort to the parents.
St. Anthony’s Bridal gives hope to brides who cannot necessarily provide the funds for an extravagant wedding. With their tools and talent, they are able to give so much to brides beyond just their wedding day. When planning for this event, I knew I wanted to find a local, wedding-related charity. I was captivated when I found these two wonderful missions and thought it was appropriate for this wedding-related run.
Q: I love your heart for others. So who do you think makes for a great participant for the 5k?
A: We are targeting this event to newly engaged brides and their best friends/bridesmaids. It’s a great occasion to have the girls get together and create memories! Not to mention, not only is it a workout, but it will get the girls laughing throughout the 5k course from the activities every half mile. At the finish line, there will be some preferred vendors who are ready to chat if the bride is interested in learning more about a vendor’s service. What a great way to mingle, network and potentially check a vendor off the list!
Q: Wow. There are so many purposes to this one event – exercise, fun, camaraderie, finding vendors, supporting causes. How great! So, can you tell our readers the details for the event itself?
A: Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run is happening on April 2nd, 2016 at the gorgeous Marriott Ranch in Hume, Virginia located 15 minutes northwest of Warrenton. Marriott Ranch was an ideal location as the venue is surrounded by 360 degree mountain views. A peaceful, relaxing and ideal location for this event. The funny thing about this event was when Marriott Ranch told me that they already marked out a 5k course years ago but never used it! Registration is open now at the early bird rate of $25 a person. The run/jog starts at 9 a.m. with plenty of time to have fun throughout the course! It’s not timed so everyone can go at their pace and make this as much of an exercise as they want to.
If you would like to find this event on social media, be sure to hit the following links:
All photos by Stephanie Messick Photography.