A warm September day and the southern charm of the Wyndham VA Center Crossings Hotel was the setting for Leah and Sam's wedding this past Saturday and true to the decor, this mild-mannered and laid back couple embodied the grace and poise of a time gone by. A recommendation brought them to us and over the ensuing months we bonded over shared connections, family and lots of caffeine!
We arrived mid-afternoon and were given a tour of the sprawling estate. We found Leah and her bridesmaids in an elegantly appointed room sipping champagne and laughing in matching silk robes embossed with a personal monogram. They were quite the lively bunch sporting funny tattoos, big smiles and some crazy job titles (an international Au Pair to name one)!
The groomsmen came fully dressed in matching gray suits, brown shoes and argyle socks. Sam passed out one of the manliest groomsmen gifts ever- a previously fired .50 cal bullet with each groomsmen's initials that doubled as a bottle opener. Live ammunition and beer! What's manlier than that? The guys enjoyed pool and a few beers in the clubhouse as they eagerly awaited the evening's festivities and the impending VT vs UT game.
The ceremony site was decorated with flowers arranged by a family friend and featured a gorgeous brick "runway" for the bridal party to enter from. The large doors of the manor were motion activated so it inevitably led to one of the most dramatic entrances of a bride we've ever seen! Almost like magic opened the doors and the sunshine hit Leah as she walked slowly down the aisle with her father. Leah's uncle started the proceedings and then her father took over for the vows, scripture reading and formal pronouncement. Before they walked down the aisle as husband and wife the entire family (parents on both sides, grandma, their 5 month old son and the couple) held hands for an emotional prayer. Such a special moment!
The bridal party and guests moved into the air conditioned ballroom to enjoy cocktails and later a seated dinner featuring salmon and steak. Leah and Sam's first dance was a romantic Avett Brothers song that started slow and picked up speed towards the end. After dinner, they slow danced for the mother/son and father/daughter dance before their guests joined them on the dance floor for everything from classic hip hop to classic rock.
The traditional toasts were especially emotional with an impromptu speech from the Mother of the Bride and funny anecdotes from the best man and maid of honor. The Father of the Bride mentioned a funny moment from a few months before when they told Sam, "We've been married just over 30 years and are more than happy to help you with this wedding, but you do know that if you don't make it to 30 years we will be asking for a rebate of a pro-rated amount". With all seriousness in a funny moment Sam said, "I plan to be married for many more years than 30". How sweet!
As always, the reception ended too early, but luckily a majority of the attendees (including the couple) were spending the night on property so after a fantastic sparkler exit the couple and their guests went right back to celebrating!
Best wishes to Sam, Leah, Levi and the Goare/Moore families. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your special day!
PHOTOGRAPHERS | Allie & Brad Strouse of Strouse Photography
PLANNER & COORDINATOR | TeriLynne Peterson
HAIR & MAKE UP | Ave 42 Style Studio with Amy, Katie and Britny
WEDDING OFFICIANT | Frank Goare
FLOWERS & VIDEO | Pam Kennedy
CATERING | Wyndham VA Center Crossings Hotel
CAKE | Hanna Crooks
INVITATIONS | Leah & Sam
DJ | Chris Knight of A Sound Decision
BRIDAL GOWN | Tiffany's Bridal
BRIDESMAID DRESSES | David's Bridal
GROOM'S ATTIRE | Men's Warehouse
RINGS | Diamonds Direct