Real Richmond Wedding: Amber + Michael’s Gatsby-Inspired Gathering
Amber and Michael
March 8, 2019
How They Met
Amber and Michael met on the infamous match.com, a website known for bringing compatible people together. After emailing a few times and chatting on the phone, they planned their first date at a local Richmond restaurant. Within just a couple of days, they went on their second date to a winery and were inseparable ever since.
In December of 2018, Michael surprised Amber with a trip to Mexico for New Year’s Eve. They danced the night away under palm trees until the clock struck twelve. At midnight, fireworks went off and everyone cheered as they watched the sky light up. Amber looked back at Michael with joy on her face only to see him holding a beautiful ring. He asked her to be his wife and she, of course, said yes!
The pair’s goal when looking for a venue was to find a place they could do everything. The Mill at Fine Creek was available for their ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, accommodations, and most importantly offered Friday weddings, making it the perfect spot for them!
The Great Gatsby was their biggest inspiration when it came to décor. Amber and Michael wanted it to be the most “un-wedding wedding” and more like a glamorous cocktail party, making black and gold the perfect accent colors.
A mixture of farmhouse tables and rounds kept things interesting and were accented with lots of candles, lanterns, sequins, and greenery. The head table sat underneath dangling fairy lights, bringing a warm glow to the space that was lit up with purple lights. They wanted to incorporate letter-pressing and calligraphy into their save-the-dates, invitations, envelopes, place cards, and seating charts. According to Amber, one of the best last-minute decisions she made was opting for a flower wall. Their ceremony was originally supposed to be outdoors, but due to rain, it was moved inside making the flower wall a perfect backdrop.
Amber and Michael’s ceremony was non-traditional and very personal. They had a close friend officiate and each of them wrote their own vows as well as the entire marriage ceremony itself. Both wedding parties consisted of their five children and closest friends. Amber’s bridesmaids walked down the aisle with gold lanterns that were accented with sprigs of greenery and glowing fairy lights, followed by the couple walking down the aisle to the song “Higher” by Kwamie Liv with their french bulldog in tow.
For the reception, Amber and Michael both changed outfits. Amber into a black, beaded evening gown and Michael into a burgundy, velvet jacket. Everyone enjoyed warm gumbo (perfect for the rainy day), a buffet-style dinner, and bite-sized desserts like croquembouche, mini tarts, cupcakes, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Every detail was perfectly “them” and exactly how they wanted!
Favorite Part of the Day
“Quite honestly I don’t have a favorite part. The whole wedding day was absolutely perfect. Getting ready with the girls was relaxing and full of laughs. Seeing Mike for the first time (we had a first look) was awesome! Our ceremony, despite the rain and having to move it inside, was gorgeous and meaningful. Including our pup Francois was awesome and he made everyone smile! Right after the ceremony we headed back to Miller’s Cottage while they flipped the room and we waited to head into the reception. My brothers joined us and the whole wedding party too. We did a few shots and celebrated and Mike and I look back at those moments and smile! Then the reception – it was absolutely everything I envisioned! Mike and I together gave a welcome speech, we had our first dance in the main room, ate some great food, hugged and laughed with all our closest friends and family, listened to the most epic speeches and danced the night away. We wouldn’t do anything different. Actually, can we do it again? Every year? Mike loved it all too but he definitely loved those speeches! They were the best.”
“Trying to stay on a budget was by far the hardest part.”
Best Piece of Advice
“Make sure you plan YOUR wedding. Not your mother or father’s or sister’s or best friend’s. This is your wedding so make sure that it’s all about you as a couple and as individuals. In other words, don’t do something just because your mom wants you to or because you just happened to see it somewhere. Also, choose your priorities and concentrate on those.”
*All information in our Featured Weddings is provided by the couple. Richmond Weddings™ is not responsible for discovering and adding vendors who were not on the submission form completed by the couple.* All photos courtesy of Rebecca Keeling Studio
Additional Vendors: Wedding Photography: Rebecca Keeling Studio | Rehearsal Dinner + Catering: The Mill at Fine Creek – Miller’s Cottage | Wedding Videography: Double Take | Wedding Day-of-Coordinator: Chelsea with Illumination Events Studio | Ceremony + Reception Site: The Mill at Fine Creek (moved inside due to rain) | Officiant: Family Friend | Gown: Glitter and Lace Formals | Shoes: Kate Spade + Gianni Bini | Hair: Lara with LGB Hair Designs | Makeup: Kara with Kara Waggoner Beauty | Groom’s Bands: Manly Bands | Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse | Bride’s Accessories: Stella and Dot + Kendra Scott | Invitations + Stationery: Monday Morning Press | Flowers: Cultivate Event Co. (Formerly known as Stems and Sweets) | Flower Wall: Sweet Pear Paper | Calligraphy: The Lettering Lady | Lighting: Leap AV | Cake/Sweets: Liberty Baking, Edible Arrangements, + Family Friend