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Runaway Brides 5K as seen on Hill City Bride

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!

Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run as seen on Hill City Bride 1

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! 

Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run as seen on Hill City Bride 2

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.

Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run as seen on Hill City Bride 5

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!

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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

William and Mary Wedding as seen on Hill City Bride

There are so many elements to this wedding that I completely and utterly adore! DJ and Erin met at William & Mary in Williamsburg, so it’s absolutely perfect that they decided to say their nuptials on the property. The color combination of navy blue and white is so striking as you will see in many of the details along with the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Other loves? Be sure to notice the adorable ring bearer. His badge is super cute! DJ’s wedding band is also ingenious. It is made from a VA quarter… what a fun ring to have. Erin’s stunning, blush gown was also designed just for her.

You will also see a cake with ribbon pulls in it, which is such a fun, Southern (once Victorian) tradition. The bridesmaids tug on the ribbons and pull out charms. Each charm has a specific meaning. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding, and I got the baby carriage charm. So fun! I did have babies… eventually.

I hope that you enjoy this William & Mary wedding today, complete with a farmhouse table style reception. So lovely!

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Vendors:

Roanoke River Engagement as seen on Hill City Bride

It’s so fun when a couple chooses nature for their engagement session. Whether it’s a park, trail or body of water – the Roanoke River in this case – colors just pop against the lush greens of the leaves. So beautiful! Amber and Spencer met at culinary school, so they both enjoy creating delectable dishes. Their mutual interest created a friendship that soon blossomed into love!

Amber’s sister-in-law owns Bethanne Arthur Photography, so there is a fun story to go along with this session. Bethanne offered… One night on the way home from second shooting a wedding in Lexington, VA, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law, Amber. I just had this feeling when I saw her name pop up on my screen that she was about to tell me something really important. When I answered and she spoke, she spoke with such joy that I could just tell something amazing had happened! She told me that her boyfriend, Spencer, had proposed at the Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain. Bethanne has the big job of being both the Maid of Honor and photographer for their wedding this April. So fun! Enjoy this Roanoke River e-session today.

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Yorktown Virginia Wedding as seen on Hill City Bride

Wow! When I say colorful, I mean colorful – and joyful and stunning. This Yorktown wedding is all of the above and more. Emotion is just woven all throughout this event with dabbed tears, smiles and looks of love. So sweet!

I have to be completely honest and tell you that the calla lily is not my favorite flower – at all. But I’ve never seen dark ones, and they add such dimension and depth to Tanisha’s bouquet of roses, orchids and ivy. Stunning! The pinks and reds in this event blend so perfectly together.

Also, you will see a dirty bottle of bourbon. Lest you wonder why, let me tell you about this quirky Southern tradition. Supposedly if you bury a bottle of bourbon – upside down, exactly one month prior, on the particular spot the couple is saying their nuptials – it will not rain on the wedding day. I’m not sure if that works, but it seems to have been the perfect thing for Tanisha and Kermit. They had a lovely, sun filled event. Gorgeous!

Last, but not least, this wedding takes place in a location that is like a dream… which also happens to be Tanisha’s family home (on the water, no less!). Oh to get married where you grew up – so sentimental. I hope that you enjoy this colorful, Yorktown wedding today – complete with a horse drawn carriage and Seines, the chocolate lab. So fun!

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Vendors:

The Big Fake Wedding Virginia Beach as seen on Hill City Bride

We’ve all been to weddings before… they make us tear up, experience joy and even eat too much cake (is it bad to say that the cake is one of my favorite parts about a wedding?). If you are engaged, chances are that you have also been to a bridal show. Well, what if I told you that you can combine the two in one? A real live wedding that is actually a bridal show? Ok, well it IS a faux wedding, but it’s a whole new way to soak in a bridal event while seeing vendors in action.

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photo: The Light Company

Enter The Big Fake Wedding – happening all over the United States – which is coming to Virginia Beach on March 10th. So exciting!! Imagine all of the wedding “guests” being future brides and grooms ready to soak it all in and experience what the wedding professionals can really do. From florals and music to light bites all topped off with a dance party style reception, it sounds like a great way to wedding crash all while buying a ticket to the main event.

Oh, and when it comes to the nuptials, this bridal show alternative offers a ceremony in the form of an actual couple doing a vow renewal. How sweet to give a couple the opportunity to renew their love.

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This year’s VA Beach event takes place at the lovely Yacht Club at Marina Shores at 7pm. It’s Thursday, March 10th, which is ingenious – it’s like having a Thursday night out without having to use up the weekend. Perfect!

If you want to find out all of the nitty gritty details (and register!) for this event, just click here where there are a lot more details! It gives you a sneak peek into the color palette and dreamy ocean theme for the evening – think lovely blushes combined with soft sea glass colors for today’s ethereal bride.

Also, I hope to meet you there! I’ll be there hanging out in the Tunnel of Love with a little goodie to give you. SO EXCITED!! Come and experience The Big Fake Wedding. Spoiler alert: there’s a swag bag involved (hope I don’t get into trouble for spilling the beans). See you there! (Register here – I promise it will be fun and inspirational!)

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