john marshall ballrooms wedding photos richmond va

Keyana & Derek

July 10, 2016

Derek & Keyana met at a party in 2007, but it wasn’t until a chance meeting at the grocery store five years later that love started to bloom. Their unintended meeting became lunch, and lunch became dinners and study sessions as they both worked on graduate programs. Derek planned an elaborate surprise proposal with over 40 of the couple’s family members and friends right here in RVA!

The couple chose The John Marshall Ballrooms for its stunning architecture and history. They wanted to let their Southern Sweetheart motif shine through while also combining sparkle, florals, southern touches, and a celebration of love.

After months of planning, Keyana notes her favorite moment of the day as walking down the aisle to Derek on her grandfather’s arm. “All the planning and decision making, all the practicing, all the budgeting, all things wedding culminated with walking down the aisle to Derek, holding on to the arm of my grandfather, who had experienced a mini stroke the previous year. It was an overwhelming, emotional experience. To see all of the people that had touched our lives in one room was a moment that was so fulfilling,” Keyana says.

Derek has a similar favorite from the wedding day!  He says, “My favorite part of the wedding was when those front doors opened and my bride began to walk down the aisle. I felt accomplished in my life and extremely emotional because at that moment I knew that God chose the right mate. Also, when she surprised me by singing during the ceremony, I thought I was marrying Anita Baker or something!”

The couple tells us, “When you walk into The John Marshall, you are absolutely wowed with marble staircases, palladium windows, and vintage crystal chandeliers. It was exactly the type of place that would speak to the southern location and the grandeur that we both wanted to extend for our wedding day. The John Marshall Ballrooms also met our expectations for a venue that would host both the ceremony and reception events and allow for beautiful sunlight to shine through for our ceremony with a large ballroom feel for our reception area. Outside of the venue and location, at the heart of the John Marshall Ballroom is the delicious food and the service staff. The food is absolutely, positively delicious, and the service staff are friendly and loving.”

Keyana has some great advice for current and future brides: “Don’t let your vision overshadow what is important — if you want perfection, don’t plan a wedding!”