Julie and Steven were married at Clover Forest Plantation in Goochland, Va. on September 14. “It reminded me of the house I grew up in,” Julie said. “They were both built during the same time period, so I felt right in my comfort zone.” The bride wore a sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a layered skirt, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Notice the polka dots? “They were on the bodice of my wedding gown, which inspired me to use this pattern in other parts of the decor like the invitations, linens, and even the paper straws,” she said. Fun fact: Julie is a graphic designer! Bridesmaids wore short purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses and seeded eucalyptus. “The ceremony location had a beautiful pergola that overlooked a private lake for us to say our ‘I do’s’ underneath,” Julie said. “It had an overall romantic, Southern charm to it. Having our dog, Madison, as the flower girl was really important to both of us. We had a little flower collar made for her and had a ‘maid walk her down the aisle.” Guests were asked to write well wishes and advice on cards for the new Mr. and Mrs. Tables were decorated with gray linens, pink napkins, and mini pots filled with succulents. “Steven’s brother, Michael, performed ‘Thank You’ by Led Zepplin on his guitar for our first dance,” she said. “This unique song means a lot, and we thought it was special to hear it played live. It also took some attention off of us while we were dancing, since we ran out of time to practice.”
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
We only looked at four venues and Clover Forest was the last one we saw. We knew that as soon as we approached this long and winding driveway that this plantation built in the 1700s was perfectly in sync with our personal style. Everything from the grand interiors, the library with antique carpets and mahogany walls, the beautiful lawn, brick walkways and lake in the back, it was just the perfect place for us. We could easily imagine a perfect autumn day there with all of our friends and family, and trust me, we had to really use our imaginations since when we first saw the plantation, there were several feet of snow on the ground!
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. The overall plaid theme was by far our favorite detail. We’re both plaid-crazy guys, so we made sure to include that part of our style in the big day. Our custom-made suits were plaid. There were plaid table runners that we painstakingly sourced with our amazing event planner, and we even carried the menswear theme throughout to the table cards and stickers on the wedding favors (mini candy bins full of M&Ms), which were inspired by classic striped oxford shirts and men’s shirt labels. Even the cupcakes had plaid toppers.
2. We put a lot of attention into the food and drinks, which we also wanted to reflect our personalities. We had beautiful mini glasses of French fries for cocktail hour passed along with exotic dipping sauces, bacon wrapped dates (a favorite appetizer of ours), and we even wanted to have our favorite wines and other adult beverages with dinner.
3. With such an interesting array of friends and family, it was great to see some of them meet for the first time. We were absolutely touched that people literally came from near and far (from Virginia, New York City where we live, from Milan, London, Paris, and even one of our best friends who is a Marine, came home for the wedding from Afghanistan). The fusion of people, who mean so much to us, really made the day.
3. Give us the one moment from your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
Standing in a room of this grand old mansion and watching (from behind curtains) everyone arrive in their beautiful outfits and full of smiles was especially memorable and got the evening off to a great start. Then, we both remember the long walk from the house, through the gardens, and down to the ceremony site, walking to a hand-picked song by us that meant a lot (R.E.M.’s “At My Most Beautiful”). But, most of all, the vows were really memorable. We both spent a lot of time on them, and they were full of emotion as well as humor. Rich (a radio DJ by trade, someone who gets paid to talk each day) got choked up on the very first word — so much so, Michael had to do his vows first to get Rich through. It made each word all the more special.