Real RVA Wedding: Natalie & Will
Natalie & Will
July 31, 2015
How They Met
Natalie tells us, “We met in 2012 while working together at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond. Shortly after we met, Will moved on to a job at VCU. After crossing paths one evening at F.W. Sullivan’s, then a first date at Juleps, our story began. We fell in love and after two whirlwind years of adventure, laughter, dog-parenting, and spending time getting to know and love one another’s friends and family, Will proposed!”
How He Asked
“Will told me he made dinner plans for my 27th birthday, which happened to be on a cold, dark Monday night in November. I told him I’d be just as happy ordering pizza from 8 ½, but he was insistent on going out to dinner. On the way, a friend asked me to pick something up at her apartment, so I asked Will drive by her place. Little did I know, this was all part of the plan. When I left the door of her apartment and stepped out into the garden courtyard of the apartment building, he was there on one knee! This apartment building on Davis Avenue was special to us. I previously lived there and it’s where he picked me up for our first date. Next, three of my closest friends popped out of bushes to surprise me with a camera, champagne and our beloved cocker spaniel, Brodie, in tow! After that, we went to Stella’s for my “birthday dinner” where he again surprised me with our parents and friends gathered together to celebrate.”
The Perfect Place
The bride says, “I spent lots of time (too much!) venue searching in other areas but was having a hard time deciding. Nothing was standing out as the obvious choice. Once we settled on having the wedding in Richmond, everything fell into place, and I’m so glad we decided to have it here!
Since neither of us grew up in Richmond, we had lots of out of town guests visiting for the wedding. Once we decided on having the wedding here, it became really important to us to give our guests the true Richmond vibe and showcase the place we’re now proud to call home. Monumental Church and Main Street Station both offer so much charm and character; I couldn’t resist this venue duo!
I’ve always been interested in design and decorating on an amateur level and used our wedding as a platform for practicing this passion. I was able to utilize and repurpose many things I already had around the house for décor. It was easy to let the venues simply speak for themselves and not go overboard decorating.
We didn’t exactly have a theme for the wedding, but I intentionally used a wide palate of colors to guide choices and design. I chose navy, grey, gold, peach, coral and ivory paired with lots of floral greenery.
The WOW Factor
Early in the planning process, Will and I together decided on our top three priorities for our wedding. Having (1) a great band, (2) good food/drink and (3) awesome venue(s) were what we prioritized to create a memorable night for our guests. We wanted to give our guests the vibe of “upscale party,” which I think we achieved with these priorities. Looking back, I’m so glad we prioritized together this way!
To best work with our venue and the size of our wedding guest list (just under 200), we opted for a cocktail style reception with heavy passed heavy hor d’oeuvres during cocktail hour and had three dinner stations during the reception. We planned for seating for about two thirds of the guest list at any given time. We received so many compliments after the wedding on the style of the event, and many people told us how much they appreciated being able to sit where they wanted and move around throughout the night.
Convenience to our guests was also top of mind during the planning process. With many out-of-towners, it was important that our venues were all really close to the hotel, and we were able to achieve that easily downtown. We provided trolley transportation to get everyone to the ceremony and reception, which kept things moving quickly and coolly in July heat. At the end of the night, guests were able to walk 2-3 blocks back to the designated hotel or better yet, follow us to the after-party at Sine.
Natalie & Will opted for a First Look with their photographer, Kristine Pringle. Natalie says, “I met Kristine at the Richmond Weddings™ Show. I was drawn to the style of her work and her sweet personality!”
The Best Part
My favorite moments were time spent with my groom, friends and family on the dance floor! Our band was fantastic and it seemed like hardly anyone sat down for long. Will says his favorite part of the day was seeing me! We did a first-look at Monumental Church and were so happy with how it all turned out.
Photography: Kristine Pringle Photography
Ceremony Site: Monumental Church, Historic Richmond
Jeweler: Diamonds Direct
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals of Virginia
Dance Instruction: Rigby’s Jig
Accommodations: The Jefferson Hotel
Rehearsal Dinner: C Street Restaurant
Videography: White Tree Wedding Productions
Day-of Coordination: Heather Higgins Wedding & Event Planning
Reception Site: Main Street Station
Officiant: Pastor John Wagler, Hill City Church
Ceremony Music: Susan Davis
Gown & Veil: Maya Couture
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Hair: Salon Van De, Elijah Greene
Makeup: BRIDEface Richmond
Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN
Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations & Stationery: Birch Paper & Design
Flowers: Black Creek Flowers and Sweets
Catering: Champagne Taste
Band: In Full
Cake/Sweets: Lark Bake Shop
Transportation: RVA Trolley
Additional Accommodations: Courtyard Richmond Downtown