Real Richmond Wedding: Anna and Ray at The Omni Richmond Hotel
Anna and Ray
September 2, 2017
How They Met
Anna and Ray met in 2006 during Memorial Day Weekend. Anna’s radio station was hosting a beach party, and a mutual friend happened to be camping down the road with some friends. Anna explains, “She mentioned this guy Ray that would be perfect for me.” But Anna had no interest in being set up. Later that night the same friend asked Anna to go with her to pick up her boyfriend, a secret attempt to get her and Ray in the same room. Anna sat down at the only seat available in front of a cute guy at the bar. “We instantly had a connection…both of us making fun of each other, teasing, flirting, and being sarcastic.” Low and behold, that cute guy ended up being Ray! They took it slow, even though they were head over heels for each other, and made it official four months later.
Ray asked Anna to be his wife on October 15, 2016. Anna had flown up to Michigan, where Ray was living at the time, for a friend’s wedding weekend. Before Anna had to fly back to Richmond to make it on the air that next morning, they stopped at a winery in Traverse City. Anna says, “He was honestly annoying me that day because he was on his phone SO much!” Turns out Ray was just trying to make sure everything was perfect for the proposal to come. They eventually took a walk to a riverbank where there was a bottle in the water; inside there was a message. It ended up being a beautiful poem where Ray asked Anna to marry him. Anna said “yes” and proceeded to cry all her makeup off in the process! “It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.”
The church was a no-brainer for Anna as her grandfather was one of the founding fathers of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral. “My parents were married there, my big brother was baptized, and we’ve had many family celebrations there.”
The two wanted their night to be dripping with glam, but not overdone. They went with a romantic, exquisite, and feminine theme for their early fall wedding. To play up the romantic notes, they went with blush, sage, light green, champagne, and a hint of light blue for their colors.
After saying “I do” in front of their closest family and friends, they traveled to the Omni Richmond Hotel, where they took the glam to the next level. With the help of Flowers Make Sense and their planning team the entire look came together just like they had dreamed. “I can’t even believe how I had this beautiful idea in my head and the vendors magically created it!”
Their reception was a mix of old and new, incorporating Greek traditions throughout. “I used my Godmother’s exquisite candelabras, topped with flowers…We had different heights at every table…it was glam all the way!”
One major WOW factor at their wedding? Their seven feet tall, upside down cake! They were even featured on Cooking Channel’s Cake Hunters! It incorporated Ray’s love for the outdoors, as well as Anna’s love for the Palace of Versailles.
Their timeless night ended in a dance party with plenty of cake and happiness to go around.
Favorite Part of the Day
For Anna, it’s hard to pick just one favorite part, so she picked three. “1. My first look with my dad, the look on his face when he saw me is unforgettable. We both cried. 2. Walking down the aisle to my future husband. 3. Playing a pre-recorded message to my father that our DJ played over the intro of my dance with my dad.”
For Ray, it was seeing old friends and catching up during the happiest day of his life.
“The actual PLANNING. Logistically it was hard because my parents live in Raleigh, NC my husband lives in MI, I live in Richmond and none of my bridesmaids lived in Richmond… it was SO difficult planning a wedding with all of the important people not in the same state.”
Best Piece of Advice
“Start early! And try not to stress. Looking back there were arguments and some heartache that went along with the wedding planning, and I think that some brides pretend that the planning process is a breeze… and sometimes it’s just not! When those bumps in the road come along… breathe…. take a step back, relax, and de-stress…because yes budgets are important, flowers, linens, transportation etc BUT the most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life and your best friend. You can’t ever lose sight of the reason for the wedding. At the end of the day after the wedding is over it is you and your spouse creating a home and life together.”
Catering/Rentals (2): Omni Hotel Richmond (RW Vendor) | Hair Accessories: Tiffanys Bridal (RW Vendor) | Rehearsal Dinner: David Napier’s White House Catering, The Old City Bar | Videography: Positive Visions Media | Wedding Consultant: Elevated Events of Virginia | Ceremony Site: Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral | Officiant: Reverend Nicholas G. Bacalis | Gown/Veil: Lanna Addison Bridal | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Additional Accessories: Earrings from Dillard’s, Stefana and Koumbara handmade | Hair/Makeup: Elle Style Studio, Welsy/Kara | Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse | Jewelers (2): Jared, Manly Bands | Cakes: Fluffy Thoughts, Sugar and Salt RVA | Transportation: Winn Transportation | Rentals (3): Paisley and Jade | Other: Master’s Touch Florist & Event Design