Erin and David planned a timeless, intimate celebration for their closest friends and family at Berry Hill Resort in Virginia. They wanted to showcase the beauty and Southern charm that Virginia has to offer on their wedding day, so they planned a classic black & white wedding in the middle of September and used our Simple Elegance invitation suite to set the tone for their big day. The simple monogram that they included on their invitations invitations helped inspire other decorative elements throughout their wedding, from the welcome sign and programs at the ceremony to gift bags and beer koozies at the reception. The beautiful bride Erin shared some of her favorite moments from her wedding day with us, along with some helpful advice for future brides-to-be — take a look!
From the bride, Erin: The key detail for us was family. While we were grateful everyone was celebrating our love, our wedding was a special tribute to our families. We love traditions and kept them at the center of everything we did. I recycled my mom’s once Cathedral length Italian lace veil by cutting it into a more modern style. I also wore my grandmother’s vintage watch that my Maid of Honor and older sister had gifted me the morning of my wedding day. Even the table numbers represented the years our parents, siblings, and grandparents had married – along with their wedding photos. It was also important for us to remember our loved ones watching from Heaven with a remembrance table at the reception. We used an old whiskey barrel to keep with the Southern theme.
David and I did not see each other on our wedding day until I walked down the aisle. I was escorted by my father who wore traditional dress blues, representing his 23 years in the US Army. My grandmother, who turned 93 the night before our wedding, read her favorite Bible verse during the ceremony. We wanted a traditional day but also tried to add unique parts in our wedding. My niece escorted my 11 year old Chihuahua down the aisle, and my bridesmaids (6 sisters and 3 friends!) each wore their own little black dress. I did my own hair and makeup, and I even designed my own bouquet to create something different that was unstructured, soft, and beautiful. Our cake was designed after the cascading detail of my wedding dress.
David and I decided to write our own vows individually. It was an emotional moment as he read his first and I realized we had used the same phrase – “I choose you”– in our vows. As if I needed another reminder that we were meant for one another, that moment will be the greatest memory of our wedding day.
When it comes to planning, this might be the most important piece of advice I could offer: there are no rules. Rank what is important to you and begin a budget. If flowers are the most important part of your wedding and will bring you the most happiness, spend as much as you want. You can splurge on what’s important to you if you save on the things that are not. It’s definitely smart to find that balance. I knew that photography and invitations were two of the most important parts of our wedding, so we made those a priority and we selected those first. I even found a calligrapher who was out of state to save money on that, because a hand addressed invitation was really important to me. I had 9 bridesmaids and David only had 6 groomsmen. I did my own makeup and wore my hair down. These might seem like small details, but they were decisions I debated over and over and got many opinions on. My mom gave the best response when she said, “Do what will make you happy”. Staying true to yourself is under emphasized in the planning process. Don’t rush into a venue or a dress if you don’t really love it. If a certain vendor is out of your price point, be honest with them about it and see if they’re flexible or can customize your package. Go after what is important to you and you will be grateful you did. Be cautious what you tell your friends and guests before the actual wedding because not everyone will agree on time, attire, venue, etc. and they will voice those opinions. It was so tempting with Pinterest, other people’s opinions, and vendors to sway away from what David and I wanted for our day, but after it was all said & done, we’re both glad we did what we were passionate about. Planning a wedding also means putting the bride and groom at the heart of it, so don’t forget that or ever feel guilty for it.
Many thanks to Erin and David for sharing a look inside their wedding day with us!
Photography: Graham Terhune | Venue & Catering: The Berry Hill Resort | Flowers: Rod Meek, Lynchburg, Virginia | Cake: Edible Art | Groom’s Tux: Abbeydale | Bride’s Dress: Alvina Valenta, couture collection | Music: Bunn DJ Company