Virginia weddings are so beautiful, and when you couple a wedding with a gorgeous bride, a military groom and a horse and carriage exit, it is definitely a day full of dreams come true. We also love hearing from the bride’s point of view, so enjoy the couple’s story peppered throughout their photos, taken by Seth Roberts Photography.
How They Met
We actually met in middle school. Thomas always tells people the first time we met was in sixth grade at a dance, but I don’t remember meeting him there. We went to the eighth grade formal as friends and then began dating right before Freshman year of high school. After graduation, Thomas went to JMU and I went to Virginia Tech, but we kept dating all four years- spending A LOT of time on 81 driving back and forth between schools.
1. What inspired you while planning your wedding? I have followed wedding blogs and websites for years and years. My shelves were stocked with my bridal magazine collection. When it was time for me to put together the look and feel of our wedding it was easy to pull all of my favorite images together. I started creating inspiration boards and worked with my wedding planner, Lindsay Averette, to narrow down our vision. In the end, we ended up going for a formal, tradition-packed event that friends and family of all ages would enjoy.
2. What were some of your favorite wedding day details? Stationary was one of the hardest things for us to nail down, but it turned out being one of our favorite details. With such a traditional ceremony and formal reception it was a way to add our personality and my love for stripes to the event.
3. Any DIY (do it yourself) details? I designed my dress! With the help of the wonderful women of Bella Rosa of course. I couldn’t decide between two dresses, so we took my favorite parts of each dress and incorporated them into my dream dress. It was a long process but they were super patient with me. They even completely redesigned the back of my dress the weekend before the wedding.
We also created the ribbon wands used for our exit after the reception. Since we were inside we couldn’t use sparklers, and I worried that bubbles would make the stairs slippery. Ribbons were perfect and the look and sounds (we attached small bells) was beautiful.
4) What were some of your favorite wedding day memories? Absolutely the ceremony. Father Renninger made it very personable. I don’t think either one of us could explain how we felt in those 45 minutes, but it was perfect. We knew we wanted an amazing party, but more than that we wanted a wedding. Thomas’ parents and my grandparents got married at St. Bridget’s, and it was really special that we were married there as well.
5) Any advice you’d have for future brides? Candles, candles, candles! At the last minute I bought a ton of candles. They helped make the ballroom feel more intimate and added a beautiful ambience to the room.
Besides that, use the resources that are out there for brides. There are so many gorgeous blogs to pull inspiration from and helpful websites to keep you organized (extremely helpful since I was planning my wedding from Wisconsin). Many sites offer everything you need in one place, but I liked using a variety of sites for certain aspects of our planning.
Thank you so much, Ashley for telling us about your big day! We wish you and Thomas a wonderful, happy lifetime together.