If you’re dreaming of a winter wedding, you are going to fall for this elegant Virginia wedding from Karen Allen. There are so many sweet details like the cozy bride and groom chairs to the hot cocoa bar to the glove favors!
With always loving the uniqueness of a winter wedding, we wanted our day to be comfortable and cozy but still elegant and timeless. The Mill at Fine Creek was a perfect setting to help display our personalities of casual and artsy but with a classic feel. We fell in love with the stone ruins and the charming sounds of the creek. With our soft and simple color pallet of navy blue, grey, and white, Rhea Calpeno with Photosynthesis Floral Design was able to create rustic yet whimsically simple arrangements to compliment the location. The textures and organic flow of each bundle helped tie together the theme and atmosphere of the entire wedding day.
That morning, it was a select few women I invited to get ready at the bridal suite. I wanted to pay each of them a special thank-you by making personalized coffee mugs, slippers, and plaid accessories to get ready in. My mom set up an adorable bagel bar to welcome everyone and incorporated a display of hers, her mom’s, and my sister’s china patterns. Since I only asked my best friend, Renny as a bridesmaid and my sister, Jamison as my Maid of Honor, I wanted them to know how significant they were in my life and wedding day. I gifted them each personalized sapphire earrings to wear that day. Similarly and not to forget about the men, Steven gave his groomsmen, Homer and best man, Alex, custom cuff links in the shape of the state of Maryland, where we all grew up. Now that we are all living in different states, it was a piece of our day that they could wear and remember.
With it being December event, I knew right at the beginning stages of planning that I wanted a wedding gown with sleeves. My mom’s dress had stunning lace sleeves (even though it was the dead of summer) and I have always loved the romantic look of them. After finding my perfect gown that actually didn’t have sleeves, it took some faith and incredibly talented professionals at the bridal boutique (all the way in Raleigh!) to create custom sleeves from the designer’s tulle and lace appliqués. I wouldn’t have had it any other way – it allowed me to envision and literally piece together a truly original and unique dress of my own. After that I couldn’t stop there, so I continued making and designing one-of-a-kind pieces for our wedding that could help tell our story.
Although, I had never imagined our winter wedding ceremony would actually be performed outside (with the weather at that time of year), the stone ruins were the dreamiest backdrop. I made a canvas sign of the ceremony to display each meaningful piece and person of the worship service. To hopefully warm our guests through the service, I had created custom coffee sleeves and signs to touch up a deliciously made hot cocoa and coffee bar. My friend and local Richmond artist, David Green, was able to make my dream come true of having a live painting during our cocktail hour. It was a special artistic flair that was even more meaningful with him performing it.
Since Steven and I had been together so long, and were more than excited to be married, we both wanted a short engagement. With that we knew we would have to truly plan everything together. It was a team effort from the very beginning. With spontaneous lunches and after-meeting drinks, we made sure that each planning session was fun and followed with an unanimous decision that we both were all-in on.
Everything I had an idea of doing seemed to fit right into place – I was able to add my grandmother, Mom-mom’s buttons from her gown down the back of my dress and the color matched perfectly! The inspiration of my mom’s sleeves came full circle when I realized that her lace pattern, oddly enough, looked incredibly similar to my gown (I guess some things never go out of style!). With pieces of her lace, I created hair barrettes for my sister (my MOH) and I to wear that day. It was unbelievably special to be able to incorporate aspects of the women who helped make me who I am today. In order to continue to honor the influences in our lives, we found pictures of each set of grandparents on their wedding days. The search and contacting family members to help find these treasures was half the fun.
Our evening was truly perfect in every way we could imagine and even more so in ways we didn’t. Amidst the celebrating, Karen Allen, our photographer, was able to steal us away to capture the most perfect night portraits. This time alone meant more to us than she knows – it was a moment together for Steven and I to really feel the joy of the day and exciting beginning to our lives together. Illuminated in the stone ruins, it was a peace and stillness in the night between the two of us.
Photography | Karen Allen Photography | Venue | The Mill at Fine Creek | Florals | Photosynthesis Floral Design | Cake | Pearl’s Cupcakes | Entertainment | The Bachelor Boys | Dress | Custom Mikaella Bridal from Maggi Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses | Alfred Angelo | Hair and Makeup | Studio FBJ Weddings | Painter | Liberated Flow – Live Painer