Real RVA Wedding: Jessie & Jeff

An online exclusive wedding!

Blog-49

May 26, 2013

How They Met

It was the summer before their sophomore year of high school at the Math and Science High School at Clover Hill in Midlothian when Jessie and her friend decided to beat the heat by going ice skating at Skate Nation. Though Jessie didn’t know him at the time, her friend invited Jeff, their fellow classmate, to meet them at the ice skating rink as friends.

After a few hours of flirting, Jessie realized she had a crush on Jeff and left the ice skating rink that night wanting to get to know him better, so when he called her a few days later “just to talk,” she was so excited! They hit it off on the phone, talking about everything from their favorite hobbies to the sports they played, and realized they had a lot in common. After many more phone and AOL Instant Messenger dates (the texting of 2002!), they finally went on a real date to the movies.

Then, on July 21, 2002, after seeing the movie “Sum of All Fears,” Jeff asked Jessie to officially be his girlfriend — and she of course said yes!

Now, 10 years later — and after graduating from both high school and JMU together — the two are still as happy as ever! In fact, Jessie and Jeff still live in Midlothian with their adorable Golden Retriever, Maggie!

Blog-5

Blog-6

Blog-1

How He Asked

It was Jessie and Jeff’s 10 year dating anniversary, and they wanted to enjoy the day together somewhere they had never been before, so they decided to walk around Maymont Park here in Richmond. They kept checking the weather all week, fearing that it was supposed to rain on Saturday and that their day would be washed out. Fortunately, when Saturday morning came around, the clouds were holding out, so they stuck with the Maymont plan. Jessie didn’t know then just how much Jeff was hoping the weather would hold out!

After walking through the entrance to the park, Jeff suggested that they take the path down to the Japanese Gardens where there was beautiful landscaping, a pond and a bridge overlooking the area. As they were walking toward the bridge, Jeff started recalling their dating history and everything that they had been through together, as well as everything that they wanted to accomplish in the years to come. Needless to say, Jessie was thrown off about the conversation at first, wondering where he was going with all of this. Then, on the bridge overlooking the pond, Jeff got down on one knee and asked Jessie to marry him. She, of course, said “Yes!!” as he slipped a GORGEOUS ring on her finger!

Blog-28

He then said, “Smile!” as he pointed out one of his classmates who was taking pictures of the whole engagement! It was such a great surprise! Jeff and Jessie then had his classmate take a few more pictures of them around the park before, as if waiting for just the right moment, it began to rain.

Later that night, Jeff surprised Jessie with an amazing dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park in Midlothian, VA. Though she thought it was just going to be the two of them, Jeff and Jessie’s parents were all waiting for them at the restaurant to celebrate!

Blog-3

Blog-8

Blog-9

Blog-10

The Perfect Place

When it came to choosing The John Marshall Ballrooms, Jessie says it was love at first sight.  ”We chose the The John Marshall Ballrooms because of its classic Richmond charm! We always wanted to have an indoor ceremony and reception (that way we didn’t have to worry about the weather!), but we didn’t want the formality of a church. We also liked the idea of having everything in one place, making it easier and more convenient for our guests. When touring various venues, we absolutely fell in love with the grandeur of the Virginia Ballroom and the fact that we could make it what we wanted – love at first sight you might say! We also loved its location downtown, allowing our guests from out of town to experience the Richmond that we love!”

Blog-11

Blog-13

Blog-14

Blog-16

Blog-17

Blog-18

Decor Details

When it came to choosing a theme, Jessie & Jeff were keeping Spring in mind for their May wedding.  They chose sage green, deep purple and ivory and added tons of flowers to give their wedding a fresh, romantic feel.  Jessie says, “Since we were having the ceremony and reception both in the same space, we wanted to differentiate between the two events. For the ceremony, we went with a more romantic, toned-down lighting, used lots of flowers and had a harp and flute duo from Lyrical Images perform. For the reception, we still used a lot of flowers, but we went with a more casual lighting for dinner and a fun, purple lighting for dancing to the DJ!”

Blog-19Blog-21

The couple’s Golden Retriever, Maggie, was well represented on their cake table.

Blog-23

Blog-25Jessie & Jeff wanted to wow their guests, so they took dance lessons at Simply Ballroom before their big day.

Blog-26

Blog-27

Blog-30

JLP-347

The JMU Road Dog was there to represent the couple’s alma mater and encourage guests to grab sweets that stayed true to the color scheme.

JLP-352

FloraCulture did a beautiful on keeping the romance fresh and Spring-y in the elegant ballroom, and Classic Party Rentals of VA made sure that the long family-style table and other guest tables were kept sophisticated with deep purple linens over top of ivory.

JLP-342

JLP-343

JLP-344

JLP-346

Jessie says, “We wanted everyone to be surprised that we were using the same space for both the ceremony and the reception, and that we could make them look so different between the two events.”  We definitely think you accomplished it, Jessie!  The dramatic lighting from Blue Steel Lighting and Design made all the difference, especially when it came time to hit the dance floor!Blog-43

Blog-32

Blog-38

Blog-42

Blog-45

Blog-48

Blog-49

Blog-50

At the end of the night, Down Under Limousine was there to whisk the newlyweds away to their St. Lucian honeymoon!

Blog-51Photography: James Linkowitz Photography

Wedding Coordination: Lovebirds Events

Ceremony & Reception Site: The John Marshall Ballrooms

Ceremony Music: Lyrical Images

Invitations: By Invitation Only

Florals: FloraCulture LLC

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals of VA

Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design

Catering: Homemades by Suzanne

Music: Choice Entertainment‘s DJ Reggie Campbell

Dance Instruction: Simply Ballroom

Transportation: Down Under Limousine

Accommodations: Richmond Marriott Downtown & Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown

read more

Ten Years in the Making – Historic Mankin Mansion Celebrates Milestone

In 2004, Paula and Martin Ramirez left their California roots and purchased Historic Mankin Mansion, a hidden gem located just minutes from Downtown Richmond that was in mere ruins when they came upon it. After two years of thoughtful and extensive renovation, they restored the one hundred year-old estate, transforming it into the prestigious wedding resort it is known for today.

“It seems like just yesterday we were hosting our very first event, welcoming local wedding professionals into our home,” shares Martin. “Since that time, we have had the pleasure of hosting hundreds of unforgettable events.”

Together with their seasoned wedding planning team, Paula and Martin provide full service event planning for all their wedding clients. One Day Wedding or Weekend Wedding Packages are available at the estate, with the latter offering guests the comfort of overnight stays for a destination-style celebration.

“Above all, we have had the joy of meeting and becoming friends with so many wonderful ...

read more

Pre-Wedding Skin Care Tips

By Melanie Mueller

In the midst of all the wedding planning, brides commonly overlook the health and appearance of their skin. You will be photographed more times on the day of your wedding than any other occasion, and you want your skin to look as amazing as your wedding decor. That also means you will scrutinize every blemish and line on your face! Let’s look at some common questions that brides have regarding their skin and preparing for their big day, and how you can get your skin picture perfect.

How soon should I work on skincare prior to my wedding day?

Skincare should be an everyday routine because your skin is constantly changing and constantly under internal and external stressors like diet, stress and pollution. If you are not on the right skincare regimen, you may be doing more harm than good to your skin. The best thing to do is schedule a facial with a ...

read more

Real RVA Weddings: Sara & Josh

June 29, 2013

How They Met

Sara and Josh met through Josh’s roommate during their freshman year at Clemson University.  They were both dating other people but got along great as friends.  Then, as luck would have it, Sara and Josh both became single over Christmas break.  On Valentine’s Day, Josh asked Sara out on their first official date: dinner and a Clemson basketball game – a little tidbit that will make their proposal story that much sweeter!



How He Asked

The two kept up a strong long-distance relationship when Sara moved to Kansas for graduate school.  On one of her visits, Josh planned a visit to Clemson, which is, of course, one of their favorite places.  The friends they were meeting for lunch were “running late,” so Josh suggested he and Sara kill some time by sneaking into Littlejohn Coliseum, the basketball arena where they had their first date.  Sara was so nervous about getting caught ...

read more

Keep Calm & Plan On

By Paula Ramirez

Brides-to-be have quite a bit on their mind during the wedding planning process —which venue to select, finding the perfect dress, staying on budget, etc. Between the bevy of details, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Stress can lead to meltdowns, but the good news is that there are ways to stay stress-free and balanced while planning your dream wedding.

First and foremost, make it a priority to hire professionals to assist you with your Big Day. It's absolutely 100% okay to not know what you're doing! It is each wedding professionals' jobs to help guide you through the planning process and ease your concerns. The key is to assemble a team that understands your vision so they will know exactly what you need.

You'll also want to invest in a personal planner, even if it is simply a binder to start. It will become your proverbial lifesaver, helping you stay on track with specific dates, ...

read more

Real RVA Wedding: Ashley & Phil

Our Cover Couple!

August 2, 2013

How They Met

Ashley and Phil met in a very Richmond way: in April 2011 at the Monument Avenue 10K! After the race, the two went to a VCU Final Four cookout with mutual friends and the rest is history.

How He Asked

Phil was going to propose at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens – but Ashley wasn’t cooperating that day. He ended up asking her in Ohio two days after Christmas 2012 in the middle of a big snowstorm! He popped the question in front of the gorgeous bay window in the house they now call theirs.



The Details

Since she and Phil would be moving to Ohio, Ashley wanted their wedding to have as many Southern touches as possible. Their colors, grey and dusty rose, fit perfectly with the classic, elegant and timeless feel she desired. What she and Phil wanted most of all, however, was to have everyone dancing and having ...

read more

Richmond Wedding Vendor Spotlight: eMotion Pictures Wedding Films

What could be better than reliving your wedding day on your 1st anniversary?  Of course you can look at your beautiful photos, but by hiring a videographer, you can hear your vows, watch yourself walk down the aisle in that dress and listen to the toasts all over again.  Read on to learn more about Chris Bryan, the president of eMotion Pictures Wedding Films and how he can help you relive your most special day.  We're pretty excited that he relocated to Richmond!

Tell us a little bit about your company!

eMotion Pictures is an award winning event videography company.

How did you get started in this business?

My parents are wedding photographers in Cincinnati, so it’s something I grew up around, but I never realized I’d get into myself. After I graduated from film school in New York, I got a job as a video editor for a company that had a hand in bringing coverage of the ...

read more

Falling Deeper in Love . . . One Step at a Time

By Eleanor Robertson

Your wedding day is fast approaching . . . have you taken dance lessons yet? Many couples plan on winging it or depending on the old-school cotillion steps they learned decades ago, but your first dance could be so much more than that. Think about it — this is the biggest event you’ve ever hosted. You don’t want to look like an 8th grader!

Learning how to dance isn’t really that difficult. Many couples don’t want it to be so complicated that makes it look like they took lessons. Instead, they prefer to look like they’ve been dancing together forever. A professional dance instructor can make that happen!

Most wedding dance sessions include anywhere from 4-10 lessons to work directly with your music and the parameters of your wedding. Once your instructor hears your song they can determine if it’s a Swing, a Foxtrot or a Two Step. Then the fun begins! Your instructor will ...

read more

Real RVA Weddings: Brooks & Amy



June 1, 2013

How They Met

Amy and Brooks met during their freshman year of high school where they both ran cross country. Amy for Saint Gertrude and Brooks for Benedictine. They remained great friends even when Brooks went to the United States Naval Academy and Amy went to Virginia Tech. During their sophomore year, the two realized they were talking on the phone more and more frequently and made plans to see each other on their next trips home. They began officially dating that May of 2009.

How He Asked 

A few weeks after their move to Charleston, SC, Amy and Brooks were staying at Amy’s parents beach house on Kiawah Island. On one of their morning bike rides on the beach, Brooks pretended the chain on his bike was broken. After stopping to take a look, Amy turned to tell Brooks there was nothing wrong with his chain only to find him on one knee!

The Perfect Place

Of ...

read more

Painting the Town TEAL: Paisley & Jade Debuts New Showroom in Scott’s Addition

For today's Vendor Spotlight, we'd like to congratulate our good friends at Paisley & Jade on their new "digs!"

Morgan Montgomery and Perkins Morgan, owners of vintage and eclectic rentals company Paisley & Jade, are thrilled to unveil their new warehouse and showroom, located in the heart of Scott’s Addition on 3119 West Moore Street.

“We're in a visual business in which clients want to be able to see how everything comes together,” explains Montgomery, noting this is the first of its kind in the area. “This new space allows them to get their eyes (and hands) on our items first hand, a welcome change by our diverse customer set, who have always appreciated our commitment to a fun and easy experience."

Their often-expanding collection features an array of curated selections including vintage sofas, farm-style chairs, chandeliers and antique sideboards. Montgomery and Morgan’s new space houses their entire rental inventory in an efficient and translucent fashion, while also ...

read more