Real Richmond Wedding | Emily + Bill at The Renaissance
Emily and Bill
August 3, 2019
How They Met
Emily and Bill met in September 2014 at a football tailgate at their alma mater, Bridgewater College. The two had noticed each other at the tailgate, but it wasn’t until after the game that they started talking. Emily explains the meet, “We still can’t remember who made the first move but by the end of the night, we had exchanged numbers.”
Their first official “hang out” was at their college library, but their first date was at a local Mexican restaurant, followed by an attempt to pick some sunflowers. “It was very sweet, and to this day, going out to Mexican is still on of our favorite dates!”
Bill had originally planned a proposal with some college friends at some breweries in Charlottesville, but the night before seemed right. “We had a low-key night in, cooking dinner and hanging out. We decided to go on walk for ice cream.” Something told Bill to bring the ring in his pocket, just in case. After ice cream, the two went to watch the sunset on Brown’s Island and as Emily turned to leave, Bill was down on one knee! “I thought he was joking until he showed me the ring!”
Looking back on the night, they both agree how perfect the proposal was for them. “It was a beautiful night, ice cream was involved, we were overlooking our favorite city and able to celebrate those first few exchanged moments, just us.”
When these two decided on a summer wedding, they knew they wanted a venue that was completely indoors, close to their apartment, all-inclusive, and had a location to take pictures outside. The Renaissance checked all the boxes. “After the tour and reviewing the package from Tommy, we were quick to select our date and move forward in the process. It had everything we wanted with plenty of opportunities to create the wedding day we visualized.”
On the day of their August wedding, they chose to do a private vow reading during their first look. Emily wanted to do personalized vows and Bill wanted to just exchange letters, so they compromised and read their heartfelt vows to each other in private. “I’m so glad we chose to do this because it was an opportunity to be more vulnerable without everyone watching and we were able to spend a few minutes laughing and crying with just each other and getting the nerves out.” Plus, being on the Quirk rooftop overlooking their beloved city was just the cherry on top.
With the innate grandness of The Renaissance, they didn’t have to do too much decor-wise. They had a blue color theme, with gold touches. “I kept trying to find ways to throw in some light pink and by coincidence, my mom ended up wearing a gorgeous light pink dress!”
At their reception they brought in unique touches to make the celebration their’s. They played tribute to Bridgewater College by having a few pennants around, as well as a group picture with the school’s flag.
They also wanted to include their entire family. “We had a generations of love table that had our parents and grandparents wedding photos. We also remembered loved ones that are no longer with us.” For their florals, they wanted a romantic and airy feel. Their ceremony had gorgeous petals and candles that gave way to their reception full of beautiful centerpieces and dreamy floating candles.
Favorite Part of the Day
“We both say our first look/private vow reading was our favorite. The excitement building up and being on the rooftop was perfect. A close second is being on the dance floor with everyone all night!”
“We did value other peoples’ opinions because we wanted our family and friends to have a good time too but at times I think we forgot to ask ourselves what it was that we wanted. Luckily we both are pretty laid back and just cared about getting married and everything fell into place beautifully.”
Best Piece of Advice
“Make wedding counseling a priority during your engagement. It keeps things in perspective and reminds you that you are preparing for a lifetime together, not just one day. And remember to have fun with every part of the planning process and on [your] wedding day. It goes by so fast!”
*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 Caiti Garter Photography.
RW Vendor: Caterer: The Renaissance
Engagement & Wedding Photography: Caiti Garter Photography | Videography: RVA Productions | Wedding Consultant: Richmond Bridal Consulting | Gown/Veil: Ava Laurenne Bride | Gown Alterations: Fariba’s Bridal Alterations | Shoes: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Kennedy Blue | Accessories: Etsy | Hair/Makeup: Lou Stevens | Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse | Flowers: FloraWorx LLC | Dance Instruction: Fred Astaire Richmond | Cakes/Sweets: Pearl’s Bake Shoppe | Accommodations (2): Quirk Hotel | Officiant: Rev. Gibby Elder | Lighting: Leap Light + Sound | DJ/Band: Tony Wesson