Real RVA Wedding: Martha & Tim’s Kentucky Derby Wedding

Martha & Tim

May 7, 2016

How They Met

While Martha was a college senior majoring in mass communications at VCU in 2012, she was chosen for a summer communications internship at the Richmond SPCA. Part of her job would be bringing the adoptable animals to the radio and TV stations for their featured “Adopt Me” segment. During her first week on the job, she met a handsome Greek behind the weather desk named Tim.

Tim had recently taken a job as a meteorologist at WRIC Channel 8 in Richmond. Coming from his previous job as Head Meteorologist at WHAG Hagerstown, MD, Tim was only a week into his new position in Richmond. On his first Friday, he found out a pet would be coming into the studio to be featured for adoption. Another big animal lover, he made sure to come over and make friends with this young blonde SPCA intern, and the adoptable dog.  The summer of 2012 continued like this, and Tim and Martha became friends. Once the internship was over, they stayed in touch as acquaintances.

It wasn’t until the Fall of 2014, however, that Tim and Martha reconnected. A friend of Martha’s spent time with Tim and others at a Channel 8 gathering where she suggested she knew the perfect girl for him — her name was Martha. He was dumbfounded. He already knew her! So she arranged a double date, and the rest is history!

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Martha wore pearls that belonged to her grandmother, and a handkerchief that was worn by her great-great-great-great grandmother on her wedding day in the 1800s.

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How He Asked

After a Fall Sunday brunch, a regular routine for these two, Tim went to run some errands.  He told Martha to keep an eye out for an incoming text message. That text message came, and in it was an explanation of the scavenger hunt Tim had planned for her, as well as her first clue.

Martha drove from location to location, finding a clue and written memory about each place. Each spot played a role in their relationship, from the first place they met in 2012 to the location of their first date. Tim eventually met up with Martha and accompanied her to the location of their initial double-date where the other couple was waiting.

After sharing laughs and memories with them, Tim drove Martha to the Science Museum of Virginia — the site of their first kiss. On the second level walkway overlooking the beautiful marble pillars of the rotunda, Tim gave Martha one last written memory: a three-page letter detailing moments from that special evening at the museum, the evolution of their relationship, and hopes and dreams of their future.

There, Tim knelt down on one knee and asked Martha to spend her life with him. Without hesitation, she said yes!

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The Perfect Place

Martha says, “We are both HUGE history buffs, and Tim especially loves Revolutionary War history. Additionally, Colonial Williamsburg has been a special place for my family. We take yearly family vacations to Colonial Williamsburg and stay in the historic area. Since many of my family members have passed away, it was sentimental to get married in a place with so many wonderful memories.”

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Two Ceremonies

Martha says, “We decided to do two ceremonies: the first in Colonial Williamsburg and the second at Ford’s Colony Country Club. In Colonial Williamsburg, we did a short ceremony where we exchanged vows that we had written to one another in front of our immediate families and wedding party. It was intimate, romantic, and simply perfect.

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The Best Part

My favorite moment of the day was exchanging our personal vows in the gardens of Colonial Williamsburg, a place so near and dear to my heart. I felt the memories of my loved one around me as I walked down the oyster-shelled path towards Tim. The beauty of the flowers in bloom and charming colonial architecture made the scene perfect, and an image that takes my breath away even to this day.”

The Groom’s favorite moment was seeing Martha for the first time walking toward him in the Colonial Williamsburg garden. She looked stunning. Another favorite moment was taking his new wife’s hand and dazzling the guests with their first dance. He loved being surrounded by his big, Greek family and other loved ones, as well as his new family.

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We wanted to have a second ceremony to include ALL of the guests. We opted for the traditional vows instead of the personal ones for this ceremony but also chose to include personal details. In honor of my Scottish heritage, we included a traditional Scottish handfastening ceremony. In honor of Tim’s Greek heritage, we included the traditional Greek Crowns or Stefanas.”

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I’m a huge anglophile, so we wanted to incorporate an English flair to our big day. It’s British tradition that ladies wear hats or fascinators to weddings, so that served as a great link to the Derby. We studied English weddings, including the Royal Wedding in 2011, of course! That wedding inspired the idea of bringing nature inside for our reception space. We incorporated trees, several plants, ferns, and shrubs into our décor so walking into the reception was like walking into an English garden. It was magical!

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The Details

The bride tells us, “The wedding décor theme was a blend of two ideas. First, with my family’s love of the Kentucky Derby (my dad is from Kentucky, so it’s a holiday in the Brickey house!), we wanted to incorporate that into our day, especially the cocktail hour. Not only did we want to stream the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby during that time for everyone to watch, we also thought we would include everything “Derby” into our décor. Dozens of red roses were in the cocktail area, as well as jockey hats and silks. We even had Mint Juleps as one of the signature drinks! We also encouraged the ladies to wear hats or fascinators, which also helped tie in our British/Derby theme.”

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The Modjeska candies are unique to Kentucky and only made at a family-run company in Lawrenceville, KY, Bauer’s Candy.  Guests got to take these home as another nod to the Kentucky Derby and my father’s home state.

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Since Martha & Tim’s love story started in Virginia, they used the state flower, the dogwood, to bring the outdoors in for their reception space. Dogwood branches and flowers, as well as magnolia leaves filled the room. It was simple, elegant, and very Virginia!

The WOW Factor

Martha tells us, “We wanted our guests to be “WOWed” by the reception space, as well as our first dance. We wanted to take their breaths away as they entered the pavilion and feel like they were walking into an enchanting English garden. We also wanted to blow everyone away, especially Tim’s friends and family, by our first dance. Although I’ve been dancing for years, Tim is new to ballroom dancing. We trained for months, and he’s gotten quite good! He was able to show off his new foxtrot and cha-cha moves and his family was stunned. I was so proud!

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Advice from the Bride

Martha has some advice for couples planning THEIR big days: ” The Richmond Wedding Expo was a fantastic source! Although I had most of my vendors in place, the event gave me great ideas about decorations and color themes. One of the booths looked like an English Garden, and it helped evolved the idea of bringing an English garden inside. In another booth, a vendor had set up a table and incorporated upside down wine glasses into the decor. I thought the glass added an element of elegance, so I used that in our own table décor!”

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And as another special treat, we had our newest member, Dominic, owner of DreamClip Films, send us a little sneak peek of Martha & Tim’s wedding video!! Check that out HERE.

RW Vendors

Videography: DreamClip Films

Shower Location: The Jefferson Hotel

Wedding Rings: Diamonds Direct

Invitations & Stationery: Paper on the Avenue

Additional Vendors

Photography: Katherine Sparks Photography

Rehearsal Dinner: Riverwalk Restaurant

Ceremony Sites: St. George Tucker House, Colonial Williamsburg and Ford’s Colony Country Club

Reception: Ford’s Colony Country Club

Officiant: Rev. Ken Lane

Ceremony Music- colonial fife and drums

Gown & Veil- Stella York, The Inspired Bride

Ceremony Shoes- Capparos

Reception Shoes- Supadance, London

Hair & Makeup: Stacey Williamson, VioletVaila

Jewelry- Grandmother’s pieces

Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan Floral Lace Surplus Sheath Dress in Cherry Blossom, Lord & Taylor

Formalwear: Perry Ellis Portfolio Back Suits, Men’s Wearhouse

Flowers: Morrison’s Flowers

Catering: Colonial Williamsburg and Ford’s Colony Country Club

Band: The John Winntet

Dance Instruction: Pete Godfrey

Cake/Sweets: CakeAlicious

Favors: Modjeskas from Bauer’s Candy in Lawrenceburg, KY

Accommodations: The Marriott Manor Club at Ford’s Colony, The Williamsburg Inn

Honeymoon: The Majestic Elegance Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic