Meet Nadia, the owner and planner behind Virginia Grace!
Virginia Grace is an event management company experienced in providing planning, design, direction, and coordination services for successful events. Our mission is to delight and inspire our clients by providing unmatched management services to remove stress and create memorable weddings.
The name of the company has great significance. Virginia is in honor of the University, where I received my formal education earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in accounting, the Commonwealth, where the General Assembly is the oldest law making body in the US, and it’s my home. Virginia, for me, represents a rich history of rules and structure, law and order, family and foundation. Grace is defined as elegance, beauty of manner or form. The theological definition of grace is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God that operates in each of us to strengthen us. I believe I’ve been uniquely gifted to bring together the structure of Virginia with the free flowing beauty of Grace. Virginia Grace is a standard of excellence, southern hospitality, and service that is unparalleled.
How did you get started in this business?
I’ve always had a spirit of service and hospitality and enjoyed bringing people together for celebrations. I built a career as a certified public accountant and started a small catering company to release my creative energies and lessen the stress of my full time accounting job. My catering clients began asking me for suggestions with other elements of their celebrations, and I began accepting additional responsibility for planning the details of their events.
The catering business grew very organically; and I discovered that I preferred dealing with the all the details and logistics of the event rather than focusing only on the food. I value education and sought a certification in wedding and event planning which taught me more about the business. I secured an internship with Your Wedding Experience presented by David Tutera, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s your favorite wedding story?
It’s so hard to choose one favorite wedding story! However, I will highlight the wedding of Alan and Audra because the wedding planning story is so unique, and it’s unlikely that I will find this type of experience again. The couple dated for ten years and finally decided to get married by going to the courthouse with the justice of the peace. They informed their family of their plans, but Alan’s aunt had a different idea in mind. She contacted me, and we worked together to plan a ceremony and luncheon for their closest family and friends. The bride chose her dress, selected a wedding color, and agreed upon the menu items for the luncheon. Virginia Grace was able to plan and execute all the other details of their wedding day, in consultation with Alan’s aunt, as a surprise to the couple. In fact, my first time meeting the couple was moments before the wedding.
I shed tears of joy during their ceremony because it was so intimate and touching. Alan and Audra expressed great appreciation for the work we had done, and they were really pleased with all the detailed touches that we incorporated into the wedding day. They enjoyed celebrating with those closest to them and all their wedding memories are stress free. It was great to be able to provide such detailed service to this couple and to create a wedding day experience that was more than what they dreamed.
Why do you like working with weddings?
I’m a hopeless romantic, and I LOVE a good love story. I’m intrigued by the details of how couples find themselves together and the uniqueness of each relationship. I like working with weddings because I get to witness the journey to the aisle and contribute my gifts to making the couple’s wedding dreams come true.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
My one piece of advice for couples is to partner with professionals that are experienced and can demonstrate that they can be trusted to handle the intricate details of the wedding day. Working with trusted professionals allows the couple to focus each other and enjoy their engagement by continuing to grow in their relationship and building the life they want to have together. The wedding marks an important day in the lifelong commitment that is marriage.
Specifically, relying upon our team’s planning, design, direction, and coordination services to make wedding day dreams come true saves valuable time so the couple can focus on the marriage. The cost of these management services are often covered by the savings we’re able to negotiate with other vendors and through recommendations that we make based on our experience. To sum it up, partner with professionals to save time, stay on budget, and savor the moments that you have together – that’s my one piece of advice.
How far in advance should couples book your services?
I would love to work with clients from the time of their engagement until they’ve said I do. I believe that booking a year to sixteen months prior to the wedding day is ideal. This allows us to build the best relationships with our clients and partner with the best professionals well in advance, building a cohesive team to carry out the couple’s wedding dreams.
I’ve found that even if they’re looking for direction and coordination services, couples that book less than three months prior to their wedding do not get the full benefit of our services. Therefore, I suggest that couples reach out to us as soon as possible to ensure stress free wedding memories.
What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?
I’m most inspired by listening to couples and hearing the unique details of their love story. Most often those details are incorporated into the décor, the meal, the music, or some other special moment during their wedding day. I travel domestically and internationally and find inspiration in the sights and sounds of other regions. Additionally, I get inspiration while visiting venues, working with other wedding vendors, shopping, enjoying the beauty outdoors, or going through everyday life. I try to pause and capture the everyday things that inspire me with the hashtag #inspirationeverywhere.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
When I’m not working, my favorite pastimes are getting lost in good fiction, enjoying live music, and exploring the globe. My favorite outdoor activities are enjoying fruity beverages on restaurant patios and sandy white beaches. Good company and great conversation help me unwind when I’m away from work.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
Many people are surprised to learn the number of celebrities I’ve “discovered” after their performances and convinced to take a photo with me. I have a wall of fame in my home and each photograph has an interesting story behind it. Most of the photos were taken well before digital cameras and cell phone cameras were common. For most of my life, I’ve followed all the rules very strictly, but I think my wall of fame proves that sometimes you have to take a risk to get what you really want!
Thank you, Nadia, for answering our questions! If you’d like to learn more about how Virginia Grace can make your event spectacular, please visit www.vagraceevents.com.