Real Richmond Wedding: Allison and Matt at the VMFA

Allison and Matt

September 24, 2016

How they met
Allison & Matt met in April 2012 at a BBQ hosted by Matt and his neighbor in their shared backyard. The two saw each other again on one other social gathering among mutual friends, including an RVA Fashion Week event at Can Can that she was modeling in. Allison says, “Eventually, my two best girlfriends joined our party. We had met abroad in France the summer prior and inherently, we had all picked up smoking. As the three of us lit our cigarettes, we were severely reprimanded — Matt, and his group of friends are oncologists. Matt won me over when he pulled the cigarette from my mouth, took a drag, and then threw it out!”

The proposal
Matt proposed at their home in the Museum District after a lovely dinner at their favorite restaurant, Belmont Food Shop. Allison says, “The idea of ‘home’ has always meant so much to us. We built our home together, and we find home in each other’s hearts. When Matt said ‘I have everything I’ve ever wanted except for you as my wife,’ I felt this amazing excitement about what life has in store for us. It was perfect.”

Wedding Details
Since it has always been one of their favorite spots in RVA, choosing the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) for their reception venue was the easiest decision the two made for their wedding. Rather than keeping to one theme, their wedding was a multicultural event that included elements of Allison’s Louisiana background and Matt’s Jewish heritage. The decor aimed for an understated elegance in order to complement the beauty of the VMFA and its art collections. Their wedding symbol was the Chinese character for “double happiness” painted in calligraphy by close friend Lorelei Chang.  Allison says “Matt’s bachelor party took place in Iceland. When he returned, he told me that it’s a Icelandic pagan tradition to get married in a “ring of fire”. This became the basis for the altar at our ceremony.”

Their mothers and aunt, and some friends who Allison states are “spectacularly talented” played a big part in their decor. Mom Karen designed the ceremony programs, name cards, table numbers, and a special card explaining the many family traditions which became the underlying “theme” of the wedding. Their other mom, Val and Aunt Polly hand-rolled handkerchiefs for guests to wave as part of the second line parade. Allison tells us “My life-long friend and “sister” Sarah Milhoan arranged an acapella version of “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads to be sung by the VCU Commonwealth Singers, lead by conductor Erin Freeman as Matt and I recessed from the ceremony. It was INSANE! My maid of honor Julianna Lee designed and created beautiful hand-painted signs displayed throughout our reception area.”

To honor Allison’s Louisiana heritage, she and Matt incorporated a second line parade march from the ceremony to the VMFA for the reception. Richmond’s own No BS Brass Band led the way, and the newlyweds agree it was one of the coolest things they have ever done!

Further Credits

Wedding Photography: Alex C Tenser | Accommodations: Richmond Marriott Downtown | Engagement Photography: Hillary Harvey Photography | Videography: B. Sandridge Wedding Films | Rehearsal Dinner: Graffiato | Ceremony: Virginia Historical Society | Reception & Catering: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | Officiant: Marc Green, Paul Clements, & Dr. Gay Lee Einstein | Ceremony Music: VCU Commonwealth Singers | Gown: Oscar de la Renta | Veil: Etsy | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Noir by Lazaro; Mariella’s Bridal | Accessories: Swaroski | Hair: Salon Vivace, Josh Cruz-Magee | Makeup: Salon Vivace | Jeweler: Lux Bond and Green| Formalwear: S. Cohen; Formals By Antonio| Invitations & Stationery: The Printer Gatherer | Photo Booth: Swell Booth | Music: No BS Brass Band, The Bachelor Boys Band | Cake/Sweets: Whisk Bakery | Favors: Bridgewater Chocolates | Transportation: Newton’s Bus Service | Honeymoon: India and Sri Lanka; Nomad Travels