Real Richmond Wedding: Jessica and Mark’s Snowy Celebration

Jessica Mark Hollyfield Manor Real Richmond Wedding

Jessica and Mark
December 9, 2017

How They Met
Mark and Jessica first met in August 2011 at JMU when Mark moved into the townhouse next to Jessica’s. By happenstance, they were also in the same English class that semester, where they immediately hit it off. Although they were spending all their time together, they had an official first date at a local favorite, Blue Nile. It was late November, and coincidentally, it started snowing on their way home.

The Proposal
Mark asked Jessica to be his wife under the Christmas decorations at Maymont Mansion. Jessica explains, “Everyone who knows me knows I love all things Christmas.” Mark and Jessica had been dating long distance, and one of the first things they did when they landed in Richmond was tour the Mansion. So, when Mark gave Jessica “tickets” as a gift, she was thrilled. The day of the tour, Mark suggested they walk through the garden beforehand. “As we were walking through the pergola he got down on one knee and proposed! It was perfect.” Mark later confessed that both the tickets and the tour were fake…a ploy to get Jessica to their favorite spot during their favorite time of year. After she said yes, they went to dinner where Jessica was surprised to see some of their closest family and friends.

The Details
“I grew up on a farm in Delaware, and I wanted to incorporate some items from home.” While they didn’t have an exact theme for their big day, they wanted a mix of elegance, nature, and Jessica’s favorite color, purple. They used tree stumps and antlers in their decor, all brought from Jessica’s family farm.

Like something out of a Hollywood film, on the day of their wedding, snow fell from the sky, blanketing everything in a pristine, gorgeous white. “I still can’t believe we got a snow storm for our wedding, it made the day extra magical.” Jessica and her bridesmaids looked stunning against the white backdrop, the eggplant and wisteria popping. The two said their handwritten vows in front of the grand fireplace. “We wanted our wedding day to reflect our life together and make sure it was romantic and personal.”

At their cozy reception, Jessica and Mark surprised their guests with a choreographed first dance. “We surprised everyone with a Viennese Waltz to Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty.” The two and their guests danced the night away as snow continued to fall in sheets of white.

Favorite Part of the Day
“My favorite part of the day was, of course, getting to marry Mark! All of the planning was over and it was time to celebrate and enjoy the best day! I also LOVE snow and couldn’t believe we got a snow storm for our wedding. It made the day extra magical.” For Mark, it was the magical snow.

Biggest Challenge
“The guest list! I did not want a very large wedding and I was really surprised at how quickly the numbers go up when you are incorporating two sides together. I was very worried for months it was going to be too many, but by the time all the RSVPs came in it was fine.”

Best Piece of Advice
“Wedding planning is hard and don’t lose sight of what you want as a couple for the day. I think some people get caught up in thinking about if their guests will like this or that, but that’s not what the day is about, and ultimately it doesn’t matter what they think. It’s about you as a couple and how you want to celebrate your big day.”

Vendor Credits:

Budget $20,000|
Guests 100|
Bridesmaid Dresses |
Engagement Photography |
Honeymoon & Travel Journeys, Inc.|
Wedding Photography |

Additional Vendors:

Engagement Site (RW VENDOR): Maymont |  Rehearsal Dinner: Anna’s Italian Restaurant | Shower Location: Layton’s Chance Vineyard | Caterer/Ceremony/Reception Site: Hollyfield Manor | Officiant: Craig Janney | Ceremony Music: Violinist Treese Gold | Gown: Mori Lee, Sixpence Bridal | Shoes: Michael Kors | Hair: Studio FBJ, Alicia and Tia | Makeup: Kara Waggoner | Jeweler: Finks | Formalwear: Mens Wearhouse | Invitations & Stationery/Favors: Etsy | Flowers: Christopher Flowers | Band: Dharma Bombs | Dance Instruction: Dance Masters | Cakes/Sweets: Pearl’s Bake Shoppe  | Accommodations: Holiday Inn Mechanicsville

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