Real Richmond Wedding: Mo and Matt’s Bright Spring Celebration

Mo and Matt
June 9, 2018

The Proposal
Matt proposed to Mo at his family’s river house on the Rappahannock River. Mo says, “It’s our favorite place to be in the summer with family and friends, it’s where our friendship turned into a crush and where we made memories as a young couple.” Matt had planned it all out. He convinced Mo that they were going down to the river to meet his parents and ready it before the summer season. That Saturday morning, they made breakfast and went out to the dock to fish, their favorite thing to do together at the river. After a while, Matt went back to the house to get refreshments and when he came back, he shyly said, “Mo, I love you.” Mo explains, “I reel in my line turning around wondering what prompted such a sweet comment and there he is sitting on the bench with a blue box in his hand!” Matt got down on one knee and told Mo, through tears, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Overwhelmed with emotions, Mo dropped to her knees with some “big ugly sobs” and told him yes. “And then shaking with so much emotion and tears, I had to ask him which hand it goes on!”

But the surprise wasn’t over. Matt then told Mo that his parents weren’t actually coming, and a limo would be at the house in an hour to take them to Merrior, their “happy place” to celebrate. Matt had kept the secret so well, only his dad and Mo’s dad knew, so they surprised their entire families one by one with facetimes while getting ready. “Only catch was, I thought we were going to be working all weekend, so I didn’t have a nice outfit packed! So we pull up to Merrior in a limo and I step out in converse, frayed jean shorts, and a tank top. Still, best. day. ever.”

The Details
Matt and Mo picked their venue for multiple reasons. The two both have a love and appreciation for the history of architecture and design. “It was stunningly elegant and with so much charm, but still a blank slate that we felt we could make into our own without overdoing it.” They also loved the proximity to downtown Richmond, giving their guests a true experience with the charming city they both love.

“I wouldn’t say we have a theme in mind, more of a vibe we were aiming for. We wanted everything to feel relaxed, organic, inviting, lush, and elegant.” They didn’t want it to feel fussy or overly fancy, but rather modern and classy. They really wanted the breathtaking architecture and simply modern accents of The Branch Museum to speak for themselves.

As for their colors, they were inspired by the soft natural greens, clean whites, and airy pinks of spring. “I like neutral colors on a whole…I didn’t set out with a color pallet, but rather gathered images of things that inspired me.” Their color scheme harmonized perfectly with the industrial accents found at their venue, like brick, marble, and copper. “A perfect mix of feminine and masculine.”

“We wanted Richmond to wow our guests, as it was many of their first times visiting.” They sourced their beers form Richmond breweries and wine from a special vineyard in Charlottesville giving their big day a special local flare. “We also wanted the food to be our centerpiece…and served a Tuscan family-style meal that would be not only the main table decor but also created that warm family atmosphere where guests got to know their neighbors and share the large dishes of delicious comfort food.”

To save on costs, after the ceremony and all the photos, the bridesmaids’ bouquets were put in vases and used as accents around the space in addition to some smaller arrangements. “I love greens, so in addition to the blooms, we had organic and wild garlands that snaked around the copper arbor that we were married under.” In lieu of traditional centerpieces, they used potted rosemary in small terracotta pots arranged in small clusters on the table with rose gold mirrored hexagons.

They paid homage to their special engagement by having Rappahannock Oysters at the wedding, a delicious addition to their family-style meal. The two danced to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” and ended their night on the dance floor singing along to throwback tunes.

For their favors, they had to-go boxes for the cake that said, “eat cake for breakfast!” “Matt and I never get to eat cake at weddings because we are always too busy dancing, and what better hangover cure is there than cake?!”

Favorite Part of the Day
“Our favorite part was exchanging our private vows just after the first look. We both wrote vows to each other that we wanted to share before the ceremony alone because we both knew there was no way we could get through them without lots and lots of tears.” Stationed right in front of the breathtaking windows, they cried, laughed, and embraced at that moment and shared their profound love with each other. “Also, Kathryn Ivy happened to take the most stunning, heartfelt, and most cherished photos then.”

Biggest Challenge
“Planning from DC and having limited time to come to Richmond and get all the planning done into a few weekends. Thank goodness we had Matt’s parents to use as home base and an amazing team of vendors who were so accommodating!” They also were limited in space and had to work hard to get as many guests as they could and still leave room for dancing. Mo says, “It was cozy!”

Best Piece of Advice
“The most important outcome of the wedding is that you are married to the love of your life if you remember that no matter how the day turns out it will be a success! That mantra kept me sane during the planning and relaxed on the wedding day!”

*All Information in our Feature Weddings is provided by the couple*

Further Credits

Shower Location: Villa Nutis | Rehearsal Dinner: Heritage | Wedding Consultant: The Hive Wedding Collective, Christine Greenberg | Ceremony/Reception Site: The Branch Museum | Officiant: Sterling Rives | Caterer (2): Rappahannock Oyster Company | Gown: BHLDN, Octavia Gown by Jenny Yoo | Alterations: Seams Alterations, Claudia | Shoes: DSW | Hair and Makeup: Avenue 42, Sara Rose and Brittany Johnson | Jeweler: Flawless Carat | Formalwear: Blank Label | Invitations: Created by Bride, Mo | Flowers: Amanda Burnette | Rentals (2): Paisley and Jade | DJ: Cam DiNunzio | Favors: ToGoFavors | Transportation: Richmond Trolley | Honeymoon: The Tides Inn