We are typing this blog with full hearts and more importantly...full bellies. We've been eagerly anticipating the #brookslongoriabash for months because of how much fun Rebecca and William are, the chance to shoot at a mostly outdoor venue/ceremony right as the leaves began to turn, and the promise of the best wedding food and dessert we've ever experienced. A win in every category!
We met Rebecca many moons ago at a bridal show and she immediately stuck out among the brides because of how sweet she was and her bright purple hair. Will instantly won us over when he mentioned his job as a chef at Magpie, a RVA restaurant we had been dying to try. The thing that became immediately apparent as we began to shoot THEIR ENGAGMENT PHOTOS was how deeply they cared for each other. Rebecca was constantly looking longily into Will's eyes and Will was always on the lookout for ways to serve his future bride. They were bursting at the seams to get hitched!
Their wedding day started early at Rebecca's place of business, Bombshell Beauty Lounge in Short Pump. We arrived to find Rebecca, her bridesmaids, her mother/mother in law, and her grandmother (who was the life of the party) getting their hair and makeup done. The salon looked like the inside of a Barbie playhouse with it's bright pink walls and pinup posters. It's easy to see why Rebecca says "it's hard to be sad or stressed when you work in a place like this". The girl's makeup was blended flawlessly with their skin color and each hairstyle was unique. The maid of honor's even incorporated a glittery headband straight out of The Great Gatsby!
Several hours later the bridal party arrived at The Manor House in Mechanicsville to find a beautiful Japanese garden, tons of green space, and an arbor lit with white string lights for the ceremony. The weather was cool, the sun was shining, and the leaves were turning. How beautiful! The bridal party was made up solely of family members. On Will's side was his father, grandfather, and brother in law. On Rebecca's side, she had the beauty of her sister and Will's sister to balance out the handsome, good looks of the guys. The men were sporting navy suits and the tie bars given to them by Will as gifts. The bridesmaids were in a shade of purple that matched the boutonniere's perfectly. It was very special to see such a closely knit party and definitely the first time we've seen a grandfather groomsmen. So sweet!
We always cherish being part of those intimate, emotional moments and most of the time are holding back tears ourselves (big cameras hide rivers of tears we've found). Tears of joy abounded whether it was exchanging letters and presents early in the evening, to the first look, to the exchanging of handwritten vows, to toasts. You could tell they were so happy to be finally enjoying a day they'd been planning for so long and when they first laid eyes on each other they were stunned speechless for a few seconds!
The guests began to arrive and the sun began to set. Will and his groomsmen walked down the aisle to a string rendition of a classic Blink 182 song and Becca made a grand entrance with a long walk from the front of the venue. Her childhood pastor led an elegant service and then stepped aside as the couple recited their heartfelt vows. The couple then shared a romantic kiss under the stars before heading inside for cocktail hour.
The reception food was definitely a sight to be seen and one that we had been looking forward to all day. Toast, one of our favorite Richmond restaurants, had prepared brisket sandwiches, candied bacon, shrimp n grits, bruschetta, mac n cheese, pimento cheese sandiches and more. It was all we could to not to stuff ourselves with seconds and thirds! Before long it was time to cut the cake and then round 2 of our food heaven began. Proper Pie and Shyndigz fulfilled our sweet tooth craving with items like salted caramel chocolate cake, fresh fruit cake, salted caramel pumpkin pie, and more. Roll us onto the dance floor for dancing pictures please!
Marty of Steady Sounds records provided hours of 80's music for guests to dance to. It was a rare sight, but he was actually spinning real records. Yes kids, music existed before laptops did! It was really fun to hear fresh music in a wedding setting and the guests laughed several times as someone jumped to hard near the DJ booth and caused the needle to skip. Rebecca and her friends were still dancing the night away as we congratulated the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. William Longoria.
If I could summarize the theme of this wedding it would be: Enjoy the Small Things. Rebecca and Will went to great effort make their wedding a classy event and you could tell their family and friends appreciated it. Whether it was bringing in other members of the burgeoning Richmond food scene to provide dinner and dessert or choosing a DJ who owns one of the hidden gems of Richmond's music scene, they handpicked every detail to match their passion for friendship and family. Everyone savored that last sweet bite of pie and most could be seen inhaling the scent of their parting gift, a Sugar Shack doughnut. Love was in the air and easily mixed with the smells of that glorious glorious food (pardon our stomach rumbles). Congrats Will and Becca and thanks for making us feel like one of the crew!
Here are a few of our favorite pictures. Share a memory below in the comments if you were in attendance!
| CREATIVE TEAM |
PHOTOGRAPHERS | Allie & Brad Strouse of Strouse Photography
GETTING READY LOCATION - BRIDE | Bombshell Salon - Short Pump
OFFICIANT | Mark Andrist - Lakeridge Baptist Church
HAIR | Natty Jackson - Bombshell Salon - Short Pump
MAKE UP | Nika Kulay - Bombshell Salon - Short Pump
FLORIST | Bride, Sister of the Bride and Mother of the Bride
RECEPTION VENUE | The Manor House
RECEPTION COORDINATOR | Andrea Perkins
CATERING | Toast - Jessica and Josh Bufford
CAKES | Shyndigz
PIES | Proper Pie
INVITATIONS | Bride designed on Zazzle
ENTERTAINMENT | Marty Kay of Steady Sounds
BRIDAL GOWN | Urban Set Bride
BRIDAL GOWN DESIGNER | Venus Bridal
BRIDE'S SHOES | TBD
BRIDESMAID ATTIRE | Modcloth
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE | Men's Wearhouse
RINGS | Jared