Real Richmond Wedding: Suzanna and O’Neill’s Hokie Wedding
Suzanna and O’Neill
October 21, 2017
How They Met
Suzanna and O’Neill are not sure of the exact date they first met. They had several mutual friends at their Alma Mater, Virginia Tech, and Suzanna’s sorority often hung out with O’Neill’s fraternity. Since O’Neill was older than Suzanna, he would frequently make trips back to Blacksburg to watch the Hokies play. After one home game, the two found themselves at the same German Club football party. Towards the end of each football party, there is a “country hour.” Suzanna explains, “O’Neill used his charm to reel me into dancing with him.”
The two continued this back and forth relationship until Suzanna finally showed some interest in O’Neill. One night, Suzanna had the idea of asking O’Neill to her spring formal, but unfortunately, that was the same weekend as O’Neill’s brother’s Bachelor Party. “He offered something better than a formal date…to be his date to his brother’s wedding in late May.” The two have been going strong ever since. “He introduced me to Lake Gaston and Hardee’s biscuits and I introduced him to guacamole and HGTV.”
O’Neill asked Suzanna to be his wife at his family’s lake house in Lake Gaston in May of 2016. This was a place of many memories for these two, “it was one of our first dates and a place where we spent many weekends together with his family.” The evening of the proposal, they went on a walk around the neighborhood which led them to the community point, a piece of land that juts out into the lake. There he popped the question, and Suzanna said yes. “Being that it had rained earlier, there was even a rainbow right above us as it happened!”
The two Hokies wanted a venue that would be a blank canvas and something they could be creative with their decor. They also wanted to highlight the city they both love, Richmond.
As for the theme, Suzanna’s mother describes it as, “Downtown Abbey meets Pippin Hill.” Basically, they incorporated Victorian vibes with rustic elements. “I love fall weddings so I knew I wanted to incorporate deep red and light pink into the colors.” Suzanna’s girls wore champagne dresses, all different styles, and carried bouquets of deep red, pink, peach, and lush greenery. “I chose these colors because it incorporated fall colors while also staying consistent with the theme.” Their ceremony was unique, in that it involved both of their faiths, the perfect combination as they said “I do” in front of 200 of their closest family and friends.
At their reception, they used small white pumpkins with name cards attached for the seating, another nod to the fall theme. The couple did quite a bit of DIY-ing in the months leading up, including a donut wall and hand-painted signs. “Lots of Pinteresting!”
Their night ended in an epic dance party where the new Mr. and Mrs hit the dance floor with all of their closest family and friends. A perfect ending to a perfect day.
Favorite Part of the Day
“Such a hard question! I would say we both really enjoyed the ceremony, it felt so special to the both of us; we had two officiants so both of our faiths, Catholic and Presbyterian, would be represented.” Suzanna also cherished the morning time and getting ready with her best friends, belting out favorite songs and popping champagne!
Suzanna and O’Neill ran into some issues with renovations at their venue. “The whole ordeal took about 2 weeks to work out, but they worked with us and let us follow through with the set plans.”
Best Piece of Advice
“If you are trying to decide on whether to have a videographer or not, I highly recommend going for it! It was something I debated for a while, but I am SO happy I did! Also, make sure you carve out some time in the days leading up to pack for your honeymoon. Or else you’ll end up in St. Lucia for a week with one swimsuit!”
Engagement/Wedding Photography: Jason Collins Photography | Bridesmaid Brunch: Bistro 27 | Videography: White Tree Wedding Productions | Ceremony Site: Three Chopt Presbyterian Church | Reception Site: The Carillon | Officiants: Rev. Todd Davidson and Father Michael Renninger | Ceremony Music: Doug Brown, Ginter Park Presbyterian | Shoes: BHLDN | Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN, David’s Bridal | Hair: Hair Envy, Kelly Bowker | Makeup: The Highlight Makeup Artistry | Formalwear: Jim’s Formalwear | Invitations & Stationery: Designed by bride, Cards and Pockets | Flowers: Blooms by Baird | Rentals (2): Paisley & Jade | Music: Dance Candy, Sam Hill Entertainment | Cakes/Sweets: Morsels and Country Style Donuts | Guest Accommodations: Hampton Inn Downtown Richmond