Real Richmond Wedding: Shae & Mike

We are excited to bring you another RW blog exclusive wedding from Alex C Tenser Photography!

Shae & Mike
October 18, 2014


When and how did you meet?

“We met working at The Grill on Patterson & Libbie in 2011. Mike had just moved home from living in Colorado after college, and I had just decided to go back to school and get my masters.”

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How did he ask?

“Mike and I packed up the truck and headed to Lynhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach for a kayaking day. We were having a picnic lunch, and Mike got down on one knee. It was perfect — so casual and so us!”

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What was your absolute favorite part of the day?   Does your groom have a different favorite?

“One of my favorite part of the day was showing off my dress. My dad’s grandmother made my mom’s dress for their wedding, and I was lucky enough to have the dress re-designed for me. Charla Bjostad, the owner of Pleiades Bridal Design, designed my dress only using the fabric from my mom’s dress. Mike kept saying he knew what my dress looked like because he had seen my mom’s dress, but it was great seeing everyone reaction to my dress. It was a very special moment for everyone, especially my mom and dad.”

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Why did you pick the venues that you chose?  

“We both decided it meant most to us to be married in a Catholic church, as both of our families are Catholic. One of the only things Mike wanted in our planning was that no one would have to drive anywhere after the reception. We started looking in the city and knew as soon as  we went into the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Pauly Center that this was it. I was an art major in undergrad and love the VMFA,  so it was very special. When we decided on that, it was just perfect that St. Benedict Catholic Church is right across the street! It was very Richmond, which is super important to us and very special that it was in the Fan district because we lived there together, and that’s where our relationship really started.”

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What inspired your wedding decor?

“I wanted a very traditional wedding with our own ‘glitzy-casual’ feel. The venue made it very easy! Our decor was very minimal because the space was GORGEOUS.”

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Which part of your wedding did you want to WOW your guests?

We wanted a fun, fun PARTY-and I think we got it! From the moment the wedding party was introduced, people did not leave the dance floor. Mike is a big food guy, so we spent lots of time picking the food options. People loved that it was very easy flowing with no real schedule. I wanted people to feel a close connection to us by the decor, pictures, food, and I think even with 300 people, it worked!”

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“Besides my dress I would have to say the best was the non-stop dancing!! Our DJ, Bill Gilliam, the owner of Choice Entertainment, was incredible and really set the stage for the fun. Mike surprised his mom and during his mother & son dance. He had Bill start playing Tupac  instead of  the Van Morison song they had planned. It was hysterical!”

“My other favorite thing was having wedding pictures of our family, wedding party, and very special people in our lives.”


RW Vendors

Gown & Veil | Heirloom gown remade by Charla Bjostad, Pleiades Bridal Design

Reception Music | Bill Gilliam, Choice Entertainment

Accommodations | The Jefferson Hotel & Richmond  Marriott Downtown

Additional Vendors

Engagement & Wedding Photography | Alex C Tenser Photography

Rehearsal Dinner |  The Tobacco Company

Shower Location | private residence in  Midlothian

Wedding Consultant | Michelle Oliver, VMFA

Ceremony Site & Music | St. Benedict Catholic Church

Reception Site & Catering | Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Officiant | Fr. Don Lemay St. Edward the Confessor

Bride’s Shoes | Betsy Johnson Blue

Hair | Coco Howell, Ahead Of Hair, Midlothian

Makeup | Deanna Delgado, Bobbi Brown

Bride’s Jewelry | vintage pieces

Bridesmaid Dresses | Alfred Sung

Formalwear | Jos. A Bank

Invitations & Stationery |  DIY

Flowers | Photosynthesis Floral Design

Cake/Sweets | Jennifer Buchel Specialty Cakes

Honeymoon | Grand Occidental Gulf of Papaguyo Guanacoste, Costa Rica

One comment on “Real Richmond Wedding: Shae & Mike”

    This was the. Most. Beautiful. Wedding. Ever. And the Alex Tenser photos captured it all. We were lucky to be there to celebrate with you!

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