The Barlow wedding of this past weekend is proof that friends, family, a beautiful setting, and a couple who are obviously in love, is all you need to make a storybook wedding. The leaves were changing, the temperatures were cooling, and Jessica and BJ couldn't have asked for a more perfect day to tie the knot.
According to best man, Brandon, and maid of honor, Ember, Jessica and BJ met several years ago at a surprise party for a friend. BJ was struck by Jessica's beauty, but was too nervous to talk to her! As all guys know, beautiful girls are rare creatures and when we find one, it's always a struggle to figure out an approach. BJ did what most smart guys do, he took stock of his talents and went with the one he thought would give him the best chance of impressing Jessica: his dancing skills! Obviously it worked and later in the night we all got to see the skills that brought us to this special event.
OAKLAND BAPTIST CHURCH IN GUM SPRINGS, VA was the location for getting ready pictures and the ceremony. We arrived to the smell of Brunswick stew (the church was hosting a fall festival) and quickly found Jessica and her bridesmaids getting their makeup done while chatting, snacking, and dancing to the hits of the early 2000's. Large bridal parties always means constant laughter, trading of embarrassing stories, and plenty of love for the bride-to-be. These girls were no exception. They were quick to make a joke, but even quicker to lend a hand to their best friend and sister from another mister.
The guys were getting ready a few rooms away and Peyton, the ring bearer, kept the guys on their toes with TMNT punches, optical illusions (ask him to stick his thumb through his ear), and plenty of jokes. The guys were looking dapper in gray suits, but avoided the tux rental woes by adding a fresh set of Converse Chuck Taylor's to their attire. They laughed about a few tux store mishaps like shrunken vests and rental bags with no pants, but took it all in stride on behalf of their best friend and brother BJ.
Allie and I are suckers for emotional grooms and the second the entrance doors opened and BJ saw his bride for the first time with tears in his eyes, we are pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the room! Their love for each other was so overflowing they could barely get through their vows. Love like that is rare and always so special to see. The ceremony featured a John Lennon love poem and a heartfelt message delivered by the pastor. Jessica and BJ shared a sweet kiss and then were announced as Mr. and Mrs. Scott Barlow, JR!
The reception took place at the beautiful Richmond Country Club which was the perfect size and style for this group of friends and family. The ballroom featured a brick and marble fireplace with several gorgeous chandeliers and easy access to the real hot spot: the dance floor. Within minutes of finishing dinner, the bride and groom were on the dance floor for an acoustic version of "Stellar" by Incubus. The simple beauty and raw emotion of that song is a perfect representation of Jessica and BJ as a couple. Before long the rest of their guests were on the dance floor and most didn't leave until the end of the night! The youngest attendees (under 6 years old) were the ones dancing the hardest and DJ Reggie even remarked that this was one of the quickest crowds he'd seen to be infected by the beat!
In addition to their wedding cake, Jessica and BJ also enjoyed cupcakes and our personal favorite: cupcake shaped chocolate cheesecake bites. Soon the music began to fade and it was time for the couple to make their grand exit. Their friends and family lined the steps to the country club and lit sparklers while enjoying the crisp fall air. Jessica and BJ were all smiles as they exited together and stopped for a quick kiss under the sparks before hopping into their getaway vehicle and heading off into the night.
We always feel close to our couples, but with Jessica and BJ we share unique passions for things like alternative music and married couple tattoos. When we found out their relationship blossomed over a shared love for Incubus and they had complementing ring finger tattoos, we knew this would be a perfect match!
Jessica and BJ's love for each other and their loved ones is easy to see and it was an honor to be accepted into their family for the day, to share in their celebration. Here are a few of our favorites, posted with love and a hint of pumpkin spice!
| CREATIVE TEAM |
PHOTOGRAPHERS | Allie & Brad Strouse of Strouse Photography
GETTING READY LOCATION - BRIDE | Oakland Baptist Church
GETTING READY LOCATION - GROOM | Oakland Baptist Church
CHURCH | Oakland Baptist Church
CHURCH COORDINATOR | Katie Jones
SENIOR PASTOR | Pastor Raines
HAIR | Jennifer Mantura
MAKE UP | Jennifer Mantura
FLORIST | Victoria Zachary with Flowerama
RECEPTION VENUE | Richmond Country Club
RECEPTION COORDINATORS | Tammy McCoy
CATERING | Richmond Country Club
CAKES | Pam Harlowe, local baker in Louisa County
INVITATIONS | Paperteriere
ENTERTAINMENT & LIGHTING | DJ Reggie Campbell with Choice Entertainment
BRIDAL GOWN | Amanda's Touch
BRIDAL GOWN DESIGNER | Amanda's Touch
BRIDE'S SHOES | Nina
BRIDESMAID ATTIRE | Alfred Angelo
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE | Jos A Bank
RINGS | Diamond's Direct
HENNA | The Henna Lady - Colleen Heller