Real Richmond Wedding | Emilee + Austin at Historic Mankin Mansion
Emilee + Austin
July 6th, 2019
How They Met
Emilee and Austin first met through mutual friends in middle school. Even though they went to different schools, they always stayed in touch via texting and their summer swim league within their neighborhood. And when Austin transferred to public school in 9th grade, Emilee followed the next year. Emilee explains, “We were known as those ‘best friends’ that were destined to be together.” But it wasn’t until 2011 when they accepted their fate and shared their first kiss at the playground in their neighborhood. Destined to be together, the two dated through the remainder of high school, college, and eight years later they tied the knot!
“Austin’s proposal was perfect.” They began their proposal date with dinner and a movie, then once they were back at their house, they decided to take a walk under the stars with their pup, Steele. “We walked to the playground where we shared our first kiss. Before I knew it, Austin was on one knee and I was saying, ‘YES!'”
The two have Emilee’s mother, Julie, to thank for finding Historic Mankin Mansion. “When we were planning, she kept mentioning how great Martin and Paula (the Owners) are and how gorgeous Historic Mankin Mansion was.” The two were sold. It perfectly matched their taste, classy and sophisticated, but also close to home.
For their ceremony on their summer day, they kept it short and simple. With their pup, Steele, as their ring bearer, they said their “I do’s” in front 180 of their closest friends and family. During their nuptials, they had a theme from Ruth 1:16, “Where you go, I will go.” A special passage, since Austin is in The Air Force and they had already lived in three separate states. “The Air Force might move us to many places, but as long as we have each other, we have everything we need.”
Their wedding theme was based on their romance, and since the grounds at Historic Mankin Mansion were already gorgeous, they didn’t have to do too much decor. “The beauty of Mankin spoke for itself.” When it came to their colors, the two wanted to honor Austin’s service by displaying his mess dress uniform at their wedding. To complement the dark blue, Emilee brought in a dusty rose and a touch of gold sparkle. “As graduates of West Virginia University, we couldn’t imagine not having blue and gold apart of our day!”
At their reception, they had a few hidden surprises for their guests. To thank the guests for celebrating in the Virginia summer humidity, they had a gelato bar with different flavors. “Being an ice cream lover myself, this was the PERFECT treat on our very hot day.” The second surprise, and Emilee’s favorite, was a fireworks show, “How can you celebrate the Fourth of July without fireworks?!” And since Historic Mankin Mansion is one of the only venues in Richmond with the licensing to have fireworks, the grounds were filled with captivated guests as the sky lit up with shimmer and sparkle. “It was truly the perfect ending to our night!”
Favorite Part of the Day
Emilee describes her favorite part of the day, “Seeing Austin for the first time. After eight years of dating, it felt so surreal to see him waiting for me at the end of the aisle.”
Austin’s favorite part of the day was visiting with all of their friends and family. “Thankfully, we were able to have friends from high school, college, and the Air Force. It was so much fun seeing all of our friends and family mix and mingle!”
“The biggest challenge of planning was planning from 20 hours away. At the time, we were stationed in Oklahoma. However, with the help of our families and Mankin Mansion, planning went off without a hitch! I really cannot praise Mankin enough for their guidance in planning our big day! Our wedding planner Lauren was so attentive and she was always available.”
Best Piece of Advice
“Just enjoy the day! I think so often we as humans strive for perfection, especially when so much time and money was involved. But this is YOUR special day to celebrate your love. So be present and be stress-free! Your guests have traveled to celebrate your love, so make sure you celebrate it too!”
*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 Red Cardinal Studio.
RW Vendors: Wedding Coordinator/DJ: Historic Mankin Mansion
Addt’l Vendors: Wedding Photography: Red Cardinal Studio | Engagement Photography: Hazel and Haze Photography | Rehearsal Dinner: Gather | Videography: Michael Ellis Photography | Caterer/Rentals: Edwards Catering | Officiant: Pastor, David Hockney Jr. | Gown Designer: Watters | Gown Salon/Veil: Bridal Elegance | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lex’s of Carytown | Hair: Jennifer Saunders Bridal | Makeup: Lauren Whitlow | Formalwear: Jos A Bank | Invitations & Stationery: Edie Bethke Creations | Flowers: Flowers by Zoie | Photobooth: Jedi Prints | Cakes/Sweets: The Sweet Stop, Raina Washington | Gelato: DeLuca Gelato | Accommodations: The Hilton Group