Real Wedding: A Tuscany Inspired Fall Wedding at Dover Hall in Richmond, Virginia

August 3, 2021

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The Most Amazing First Dance

 

Planning a wedding during a pandemic is 100% not for the faint of heart. It is stressful, it is confusing, and it can be expensive. The rules change quickly and we need to make decisions fast. 

I am so fortunate to have Channing and Nathaniel as one of our couples affected by Covid. (Not that I wish a pandemic on anyone’s wedding, it’s just that they were so great with everything.) They handled the multiple unknowns, the date changes, the inventory shortages, and the last minute policy changes, with such a level of style and grace.  They focused on each other, their families, and their love.  Their story is one of strength, commitment, and romance. It really brought everything back into perspective on what a wedding is really all about. 

Inspiration for the Wedding:

The original plan for this wedding was a Spring 2020 event.  When it started looking like Virginia was not going to allow for their guest count, we postponed the wedding until Fall 2020.  The original colors were a pretty mist blue and a soft pink with gold accents.  When it looked like we were switching to a fall event, we added terracotta and copper as the accents to warm up the look. 

The inspiration for the wedding was Tuscany, Italy.  The couple was planning an Italian honeymoon and wanted to bring some of that inspiration back through their wedding. 

To create a very intentional experience for the guests and to draw inspiration from Italy, we did a few things. 

Ceremony:

As guests arrived they were escorted to the garden courtyards at Dover Hall.  They were first greeted with a hanging table full of Italian wedding cookies that were homemade by the grooms mother.  They then were passed a flute of Prosecco that was displayed on a wooden shelf with greenery.  The guests then proceeded through the entry way into the second courtyard where they received a chilled, lavender scented hand towel.  Once they had refreshed their hands, and gotten all of the powdered sugar off of them, they walked down to the ceremony site. Upon arriving at the ceremony site, the guests picked up a kissing bell wand to ring at the first kiss.  The couple was married at the pool with a draped altar and a sparkling wine unity ceremony.  

Cocktail Hour:

After the ceremony, guests were invited to cocktail hour.  Here the guests listened to the sounds of live music, caught up with friends in the lounge, and enjoyed signature drinks from a custom bar with the cutest sign. One of the signature drinks was named after the couples dog, who cameoed in a few places around the wedding.  The escort display was one of our favorites to date. i wanted to showcase the venue, bring in a touch of natural elements, and still keep it modern and timeliness.  We rented in wooden columns, had acrylic cut in custom lengths and hand lettered, and flanked this by busts found at the venue. The florist softened the look with greenery and candles. 

Reception:  

With the current covid restrictions, we had to get a little creative when setting up this portion of the evening.  We were required to have a certain number of people per square footage, be a certain distance from the band, and have the tables spaced out six feet. Of course that meant we needed to extend the reception space to the terrace and put up a tent.  This was a very quick turn round and our local vendors really came together in the last hour to make this happen. There was a band, great food, beautiful place settings, and the MOST amazing, choreographed first dance.  The dance floor was packed, and the guests, Jewish and not, had a great time doing the Hora. Guests were able to free flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces, ensuring that each guest felt comfortable and was able to spend time with their friends and family. The party was happening inside with the band and the bar, but we did make the outside terrace inviting as well.  There was soft seating, and a custom cigar bar for people to enjoy. 

The Grand Exit:

As the event started wrapping up, we styled the front entry table with wine crates, and the cutest olive trees that was provided by the couple.  English Tea Paperie had hand painted a venue print, and it was on display for everyone to enjoy.  The guests picked up their olive tree, a sparkler, and headed out for the grand exit.  The guest lined up for a sparkler exit and our newlyweds got the best photos. The getaway car was the family’s Mule golf cart that the groomsmen had decorated for the couple. 

The Fashion:

This family was super stylish and knows that a good party deserves a good outfit. The Brides gown was from the designer, Made with Love Bridal, from Annalise Bridal Bridal Boutique here in Richmond Va. The grooms tuxedo was custom made at Alton Lane.  The father of the bride had custom shoes made from Alton Lane, and a very fun bowtie from Brackish. The bridesmaids dresses were Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids. The getting ready robes came from Pretty Robes.  There was a vintage watch and purse that were family heirlooms from Europe, and were passed down from the Bride’s grandmother. 

If you noticed a pineapple, and were wondering what that is about, I’ll tell you.  A pineapple is a universal, more popular in the south, symbol of hospitality.  It became a joke in the Groom’s friend circle that they would bring a pineapple with them to parties and music festivals.  They referred to themselves as the Pineapple Party People. Naturally, when one of the members of the Pineapple Party People, get married, the pineapple comes too. 

This was such a great event, and these people and vendors were such a pleasure to work with. 

I am happy to say that this wedding was published in Carats and Cake.  You can see the publication here.

As always, I would love to chat.

Vendors

Venue: Dover Hall  
Photography:  Shannon Moffit 
Videography: CY Wedding Films  
Cake: Sweet Fix
Ceremony/Cocktail Hour musicians: Blairs West Band 
Specialty Rentals: Paisley and Jade 
Tent Draping: Lighting Professors
Escort Display/Signage: Leah Letters 
Grooms Attire: Alton Lane 
FOB Bowtie: Brackish 
Bridesmaids: Jenny Yoo 

 

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