JDE Brides: Ariel

Ariel & I met back in the summer of 2009 when we were bridesmaids together in a friend's gorgeous wedding.  We hit it off immediately!  She was just as sarcastic as I am and we just rolled with each others jokes and giggled uncontrollably every time we got together.  I.Adore.Her.

Fast forward to 2012, and Ariel was getting married!!!  And she asked me to be her coordinator!  There was so much I loved about her day.  The venue was perfect, the food was incredible, and the guests were an absolute blast.

I could go on all day about how perfect this wedding was, but I think I'll let Ariel have her turn.  :)

Who are you and who is your husband?  I'm Ariel and I married Jon

How did the two of you meet?  When I Was 20, I rented my first apartment with my best friend and her boyfriend at the time.  Her boyfriend had a plethora of friends coming over and hanging out all the time playing Madden, but one friend of his always stood out, Jon.  He was hilarious and he always had this way of making me feel like I was the only person in the room.  He asked me out on our first date to Carrabbas {ooh lala} and as time went on I just fell in love with everything about him.

How did he pop the question?  On Valentine's Day night, he started preparing dinner and asked me if I wanted to go down tot he beach and look at the moon.  It was like, 40 degrees outside and I was just thinking about how cold it was, so I told him I didn't want to go.  He kept insisting, but I still said no.  Since I was being so difficult he had to improvise and he finally proposed to me, very privately in our bedroom.  Which was perfect for me. :)

What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding?  Elegant, vintage, eclectic, fun & simple

What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning?  My favorite thing about the wedding planning was picking out the colors for the wedding and all the decor.  My least favorite part was wrangling in my family to make this wedding happen!

Where did you go for your honeymoon?  Kauai, Hawaii.  The most beautiful place on earth.  We had the most amazing 7 days of our lives.

Who were your vendors?
Food: Mobile Pig-Nic {I didn't hear one bad word about them from my guests.  In fact, I heard the opposite: that the staff was friendly and helpful and the food was amazing!}
Photographer: Val and Sarah Photography
Dress: All the Rage Virginia Beach
Venue: The Planters Club, Suffolk, VA
Cake: My aunt Donna made our cake for us as a gift :)

If you could do one thing different, what would it be?  When it was time for me to go down the aisle, my music wouldn't play.  I just stood there at the end of the aisle waiting for the music to cue me in.  I looked at my brother, who was in charge of the music and basically panicking, trying to figure out why it wouldn't play.  So after about 25 seconds of me just standing there and everyone staring at me with no music playing, I finally just said "I really wanted my entrance song, so I'm just going to sing it out loud as I walk down the aisle."  Then all my family and friends joined in as I walked down to meet Jon.  It was a pretty cool recovery, but I would have definitely preferred my grand entrance.  Haha!

Any advice for future brides?  My advice is to soak in every moment of your wedding.  Soak in the ceremony and all the hugs from family and friends. Appreciate the music and the food and the cake.  Most importantly, in all the hustle and bustle of the wedding day, take a few minutes to slip away from the crowd with your new husband and just visit with one another.  It's a moment you'll be thankful you took.

JDE Brides: Alison

Alison and Jarrell's November 2013 wedding was SUCH a great time.  The bridal party was incredible, the party was such a blast, and the venue was beautiful.  Alison and Jarrell were introduced to me by my very best friend {one of the bridesmaids} and they were just so different from any other couple I've ever worked with!  Alison was so easy-going and just ready to be married, she wasn't too worried about many of the details of the big day.  And Jarrell was easily the most involved groom I've ever met.  Working with them was so much fun and, by the end of it, I felt like we were friends.

Who are you and who is your husband: Alison & Jarrell

How did the two of you meet? We initially met through mutual friends. He was dating someone, I was doing my own thing. It wasn't until we had a digital art class together at ODU that we started acknowledging each others presence. He would message me on facebook, always want to see my project and how it was coming along...basically all up in my business all the time! He came off a little cocky to me because he was writing columns for a local webzine at the time and would send them to me and tell me to read them. I was not interested by any means. It took him time after time of complimenting my outfits, trying to meet with me after class and about a million other methods to finally get me to watch a movie with him.

How did he pop the question? It was our 2 year anniversary...I was 5-6 months pregnant at the time? Yes. Pretty pregnant. He booked a room at the Hilton at the oceanfront for a little "getaway" weekend. Saturday night we went to Pacifica for dinner and came back to the hotel. He began acting really strange when we got close to the room, and asked me to walk in first. When he opened the door for me there were rose petals all over the room, lilies on the bed and balloons filled the ceiling. When I turned around to be like "What on earth?" he was down on one knee.

What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding? 5 words? Oh. Ugh. Um. FUN. PARTY. FAMILY. FRIENDS. FOOD. I'll just say 5 "F" words. Haha
What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning? All of it. I often wanted to throw in the towel because I'm the queen of procrastination. Holly was great at staying on top of me. I warned her in the beginning she'd have to get on me about everything or else I'd let it fall to the wayside. I like to attend weddings. Not be the center of attention. That was super rough for me.

Where did you go for your honeymoon? We stayed at the Divi Carina resort in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Most beautiful island ever. I now want to live there. Such a remote, uncommercialized area. Beaches are filled with white sand and clear water. People are BEYOND friendly. We barely stayed on the resort at all. My husband and I are HUGE foodies, so we wanted to try everything in the area. We were there an entire week and I did NOT want to leave.

Who were your vendors? Our venue was Jasmine Plantation in Providence Forge/New Kent, VA. I had such a delightful experience with the owners that I have recommended the venue to all of my newly engaged friends. They were so helpful and accommodating. We used Mobile Pig-Nic as our caterer, delicious home-made southern soul food. Pulled pork, greens, 5 cheese Mac-n-Cheese.....chicken. You name it. It was delicious! Since the venue was SO gorgeous, we didn't need many flowers--we contacted Williamsburg Floral and they were super helpful on such a tight budget and short period of time. Some of our linens and accessories came from Distinctive Event Rentals and the rest I made myself. Our photographer is a close friend, Roberto Westbrook. He does amazing stock image photography! Check him out :). Our DJ was another close friend, Kyle "CanRock" Siebels and our cupcakes were made by Jennifer Hibbs of Battered and Baked Cupcakes. We were thankful to have SO many friends in the wedding business.

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be? Not have done any hoity-toity "crafty" things. I would rather have paid a little extra to just rent the centerpieces or have someone else make them. I also would have been more proactive with some of the vendors. I probably also would have done our original plan of having our wedding in September and not November. It was a tad bit chilly.

Any advice for future brides? Don't do a normal hotel venue. Everyone does that. You'd be surprised at how many farms, plantations, wineries have GREAT packages and it's something you can personalize. Make sure you shop around. Also, let your fiance take the wheel on some things. I'm a huge control-freak procrastinator extraordinaire, so mine was super helpful on making sure I had things done. All in all, enjoy every minute of it. I was lucky to have parents who basically let me do what I wanted and a husband that was willing to go along with my crazy ideas.

Alison & Jarrell

I met Alison & Jarrell through a mutual friend…namely my best friend.  The first time we met up to talk about their wedding, I immediately adored them.  They are such a fun couple.  They're incredible parents to their adorable little boy, Lennon {how freaking precious is that name?!}.  And I could tell as soon as I met them just how much they really love each other.  I was so excited to be included in their wedding planning and couldn't wait to see it all play out.

They were married November 23rd at the historic Jasmine Plantation in Providence Forge.  Let me just pause and say this: If you're looking for an outdoor venue that ticks all the boxes on your list of must-haves....CHECK THIS PLACE OUT.  Not only is it absolutely beautiful and different....but the grounds are so wonderfully maintained.  You can tell that it is a historic property, but it doesn't show its age.  It has been LOVED by its owners.  No sagging roof, no peeling paint.  This venue just seeps class and beauty.  And the owners are THE nicest and most helpful people I’ve ever met.  Seriously.  The Smiths go above and beyond to make sure that everyone feels right at home and welcomed.  It's incredible.

Ok, back to the wedding.  A few of my favorite highlights:  1. The mix of the roaring 20’s feel with some rustic elements.  2. This couple was after my heart when they explained their twist on the usual unity portion of the ceremony. They had a really pretty wooden box that contained two shot glasses and {drum roll please} a bottle of moonshine.  Yup, that’s right…during their ceremony, they took shots of moonshine together.  I seriously have THE coolest couples ever.  3. In the middle of their first dance, their one year old walked right out and joined them on the dance floor.  As if seeing a couple’s love for each other isn’t moving enough, seeing their overwhelming love for their little boy was just incredible.  There literally wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day, courtesy of Roberto Westbrook Photography. Check him out!

Another perk of this wedding? I was also lucky enough once again to work with Mobile Pig-Nic.  Their food is ridiculously delicious, but they’re so much more than just caterers.  Their staff is made up of the friendliest, most helpful people I think I’ve ever met.  I can’t help but recommend them to everyone I encounter.

Congratulations once again to Alison & Jarrell, along with Lennon and the rest of their families.  The wedding was incredibly beautiful and I wish you all the very best!

Ariel & Jon

I had the honor of coordinating a friend's wedding this past Saturday.  Ariel & I met back in the summer of 2009 when we were bridesmaids together in our friend Aubrey's wedding.  Aubrey had been telling me for months how well she thought Ariel & I would get along...and boy was she right.  We had the best time getting to know each other and have stayed in touch ever since.  When she asked me to coordinate her wedding to Jon {the brother of a high school friend of mine...Virginia Beach is a giant fish bowl sometimes}, I jumped at the opportunity.

Both the ceremony & reception were held in Suffolk at The Planter's Club.  I had never been to this venue, but I'd heard that it just recently underwent a major facelift.  When I arrived for the rehearsal Friday evening, I was blown away!  This property is waterfront {surprise!} and very spacious.  I knew immediately that the wedding was going to be a huge success.

We had perfect weather for the Big Day.  It was definitely hot, but since it was waterfront there was a great breeze to keep everyone cool.

Now is when I tell you my very favorite part of the day.  As with any wedding, there is always bound to be one thing that wouldn't go according to plan.  For this one, it was the music for the ceremony.  Ariel's brother had tested out all the music before the guests arrived and everything was ready to go.  However, when Ariel's father started to escort her down the aisle, we couldn't get the music to work.

Now....most of you are probably groaning and thinking of how terrible a situation that would be.  But let me tell you, the guests at this wedding were AMAZING.  Once they realized the music wasn't going to work, they all started humming the wedding march, in unison.  I cried.  It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen happen.  And I'm sure everyone in attendance will remember that for years to come.

This wedding gave me the chance to work with a few new vendors as well.  The entire thing was catered by a company called Mobile Pig-Nic.  Jerimiah came with a whole pig on a smoker hooked to the back of his truck.  He served bbq and all the fixings for a delicious dinner.  Not only was the food amazing, but the service was incredible.  Multiple times through out the night, I'd find Jerimiah helping Michelle & I restock the bar, clean up a spill, or empty a trash can.  He was ridiculously helpful!  I highly recommend Mobile Pig-Nic to anyone looking to cater a pig pickin'.

I also got the opportunity to work with the super talented Valerie Demo.  Valerie just did engagement pictures for two of my best friends.  I'm lucky enough to be in their wedding in September that Valerie will be photographing.  After seeing her work this weekend, I see why both Ariel & Jenna chose to have her capture their big days.  She's the sweetest person I've met in a long while with tons of energy and an eye for detail.  I really hope I get to work with her again soon.  And if not, there's always September!

Keep an eye out later this week for some pictures from this beautiful wedding!