JDE Bride: Julia



Happy Friday friends!!  It's been a little while since I've brought you a JDE Brides post.  So I'm super pumped to start the weekend off with my bride and incredible friend Julia sharing about her gorgeous King Family Vineyards wedding!

Introduce yourself!  And your husband!
Hey there!  I'm Julia Ogden and I'm an English teacher and have a small business called Water's Edge Design  I'm also a JDE bride and my husband Justin and I got married just this past October at King Family Vineyards in Charlottesville, VA.

Rebecca Keeling Studios
What's your love story?  How did the two of you meet?  How did he pop the question?
I might be biased, but I think our love story is pretty special.  Justin and I actually met online!  I had gotten over the ending of a long relationship and felt ready to get back out there.  I just wasn't exactly sure how to do that!  My friend convinced me to sign up on a free online dating site and things just kind of snowballed from there.  I went on a LOT of bad dates, and a few good dates.  Met a lot of great guys, who just weren't MY GUY.  I even started a blog to catalog all of my adventures in trying to find the one.  Months passed and I Was ready to give up.  I went onto the online dating site to deactivate my profile when I saw that I had a message from a handsome guy with the most unbelievably cute dimples.  It was sweet and simple and at the end of it, he asked if he could call me.  He literally wrote "may I call you?" so old fashioned and sweet.  I figured, why not....I'll give it one more chance.  I gave him my number and immediately deactivated my profile.  If he wasn't it, I was going to give this whole dating thing a break for a while.

That first date turned into two years together and on the anniversary of our first date, December 15th, Justin took me to go see the lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens...we walked around the grounds, got hot chocolate, and the whole time I could tell he was trying to get me to a spot where we could be alone.  We saw this little path that lead through the woods to a gazebo, but it was roped off.  We felt like rebels hopping over it and he lead me down the path to where it was quiet and secluded.  He took my hand, lead me into the middle of the gazebo and got down on one knee to propose.  Of course I said yes....more like yelled it haha...and he told me that our whole family was meeting us at a restaurant nearby so we could celebrate together.  It was honestly the best day of my entire life.

What five words would you use to describe your wedding?
We started planning the wedding right away and I really wanted it to represent us and our personalities.  Pinterest can be super overwhelming and unrealistic so I used it a little bit for some inspiration, but mostly thought about what elements we loved in our life.  If I could choose 5 words to describe our wedding, they would be:
Romantic
Sentimental
Organic
Fair tale {I know that's two lol}
Warm

Elizabeth Henson Photos
What were your favorite & least favorite parts of wedding planning?
My favorite parts of wedding planning were:
1. How much time I got to spend with my mom and Justin's mom doing the planning.
2. Finding all of the beautiful pieces we would use for the decor.  Styling is my favorite thing to do, so to do something on this big of a scale was so fun!
3. All of the site visits and tastings!  It was so exciting to have everyone treat you like royalty and come on, free food and wine!?  Sign me up!
4. Finding my wedding dress.  I went with a small group of the women in my family and it was just so special to get to spend the day with them.  It was a pretty magical moment seeing how emotional they got.

My least favorite parts of wedding planning were:
1. Worrying about the budget.  We didn't realize it, but Charlottesville is the 2nd or 3rd most expensive wedding location in the US....THE US PEOPLE!  We just love that area because we are UVA fans and I go there every fall with my girlfriends for a winery trip.  Everything was so outrageously expensive and after we splurged on the venue, I didn't know how we were going to fit in everything else.
2. All of the tiny details that you have to make decisions about.  It can get super overwhelming and you just wanna hands things off to someone else.  {Enter Just Dandy Events to talk me off the ledge}

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
After the wedding, we stayed in Charlottesville at the sweetest little Airbnb.  It was within 5 minutes of downtown and it even had the cutest goats on the property!  It was so much more romantic and cozy than a hotel room and we have plans to go back every year for our anniversary.  We left that Tuesday for our honeymoon in Ireland and it was an incredible whirlwind trip.  We had so much fun exploring the little towns, meeting the nicest locals, and basically eating and drinking Guinness constantly.  We got home and needed another vacation from the wedding/honeymoon excitement.

Rebecca Keeling Studios
Who were your vendors?
Venue: King Family Vineyards
Coordination: Just Dandy Events
Photographer & Videographer: Rebecca Keeling Studios
Florist: Courtney Inghram Events
Lighting: The Lighting Professors
Caterer: Glorious Foods
Cake: Everything Emma
Styling & Decor: Water's Edge Design

If you could do one thing different throughout your entire wedding planning journey, what would it be?
I don't think I would really change anything that happened in the wedding planning journey.  I do wish our location had been a little less expensive, but it was exactly what we pictured and felt so very us, that I can't really wish we had gone somewhere else.

Do you have any advice for future brides?
1. Hire a coordinator...it is really hard trying to do everything yourself and you, at the VERY LEAST, need a day of coordinator.  That day flies by and little things are constantly popping up.  Like one of your tables collapsing in the middle of dinner lol!  As much as you love your aunt or best friend, they might not always know how to handle these things.  You need someone with experience.
2. Get ready at your venue or very close by your venue.  We booked a house close by the venue for the bridesmaids to stay at, and for us to get ready all together that morning.  Unfortunately, we had to change locations the week before and ended up at a house 30 minutes away from the venue.  It made things feel a little rushed that morning and in all the craziness, we left my bouquet behind.  Luckily someone able to bring it before the ceremony, but I didn't have it for all the wedding party pictures.  It made me sad.
3. Take a deep breath, use Pinterest sparingly, and remember that your day is going to be perfect because you are getting to marry your dream guy/girl.  Everything else is just icing on the cake.  You getting stressed out and unhappy during the planning process is the opposite of what should be happening.  Take your time, use your partner as a stress reliever and sounding board.  Try not to take advice from too many people, everyone thinks they are an expert, but only you know what you really want.  Just have fun with it and remind yourself that this is a really incredible time in your life.  It goes by fast, so don't waste in with over-analyzing table cloth colors.

IYQ Photography
Such wonderful advice Julia!!!  For a look back on some of my favorite parts of Justin & Julia's beautiful day, check out this blog post.

2016 JDE Brides Brunch



This past Sunday I got to spoil my 2016 brides and it was such a great time!!  It's a really tough time of year to get everyone together because of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but I'm so glad a few of us were able to take the time to relax and catch up a bit!


I'm fairly certain this sign is going in my office.  Champagne for Breakfast!!



Emma from Everything Emma provided all the food and, as usual, it was just perfect.  I left feeling twenty pounds heavier and needing a serious nap.






  My friend Heidi from Heidi Calma Photography was sweet enough to come and take a few pictures of the day for me and I'm so grateful!  Thank you Heidi!!!  These two ladies are just the best ever and I rarely get pictures with the two of them together!




I'm in awe of how wonderful my couples were this year and I'm so excited I got the opportunity to spoil my brides a little bit.  They definitely deserved it!!!  Now I'm excited to welcome all the 2017 couples I'm lucky enough to get to know.  Can't wait to make your day absolutely perfect!

JDE Brides: Chelsea



Happy Monday friends!!  Let's kick the week off with a JDE Brides feature!!  Chelsea is here to tell us the best parts of her journey through wedding planning, what she would do differently, and to offer a little bit of advice to all of you!



Introduce yourself!  And your husband!
Who are the Lindos you ask?  We are an active, upbeat couple that try to live graciously among others.  I am a Doctoral Physical Therapy student at ODU and Jaine is a soccer coach for various clubs/organizations.

What's your love story?  How did the two of you meet & how did he pop the question?
We met at NC Wesleyan College.  Long story short, I was looking for something on campus and asked him and he pretended he knew where it was to stall long enough to ask for my number and the rest was history!  He popped the question with such thoughtfulness!  At the beach in November he arranged purple flower petals in the sand in the shape of a heart and hired a violinist to play two of my favorite love songs before and after he asked.  Funny side note: I was having a terrible day that day and almost didn't come to the beach!  Also, we walked out on to the beach and I saw a violinist; I made a comment about how it was weird that someone would come to the beach by themselves to play the violin.  Haha!  Then I realized what was going on when he said we should go listen.


What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding?
Disney inspired, classy touches, subtle details, fun, {relatively} stress free!

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Disney World!!  We had a blast trying new foods/restaurants and watching new shows we hadn't seen before!


What were your favorite & least favorite parts of wedding planning?
Favorite part of planning was definitely planning/making the Disney details {I like Disney, can you tell?}  I also enjoyed meeting some amazing new people through the process which were our vendors!  I plan on keeping in touch with all of them.  Least favorite part was 100% the seating chart.  Good lord, this was the worst!  It's like advanced calculus trying to arrange your friends and family and you really can't put it together until you receive your RSVP's.  So by nature it is the last minute.  Second least favorite part was picking the songs.  I just had a hard time narrowing it down and envisioning what that song would be like in the moment.

Who were your vendors?
Venue: Founders Inn
Photographer: Angie McPherson Photos
Planner: Just Dandy Events
Cake: Bliss Bakery
DJ/Lighting: Astro DJ
Ceremony Music: And I Love Her Violins
Florist: Fluttering Flowers
Beauty: Maggie Carter     


If you could do one thing different throughout your entire wedding planning journey, what would it be?
I honestly can say that for the planning, I wouldn't have done a single thing differently! For the day of, while the sunset pictures turned out AMAZING {and actually some of them are my favorites for the whole day} I really missed that time with the guests at the reception and felt a little guilty about leaving for so long.

Do you have any advice for future brides?
Get a wedding planner {obviously Holly is the bomb.com}.  But seriously, I had the most stress free day EVER on my wedding day and I don't think a lot of people can say that.  A wedding planner, depending on what you decide with them, will also keep your planning on track and hold you accountable, which is what I needed.

Thank you so much for sharing Chelsea!!  I wish we could relive your wedding day all over again!!

 

JDE Brides: Rosalie



Oh friends....these JDE Brides posts are quickly becoming my favorite posts.  It's so much fun to relive each of my couples' wedding days & whole planning experience through the brides' eyes!  It brings back all the feels every time and this post is no different.  Rosalie and Troy's wedding was absolutely stunning, certainly a favorite wedding of all time for me.  And Rosalie just holds such a special place in my heart.  She's one of those brides that has become a treasured friend, as well as an amazing fellow wedding vendor!  If you're in the market for wedding invitations or even branding for your business, she is your girl!

Introduce yourself! And your husband!
My name is Rosalie and my wonderful husband is Troy. I grew up on a 100 acre farm in the small, yet charming town of Culpeper, VA and Troy is a beach boy born and raised in Virginia Beach who could spend all of his days on the water. We grew up on separate sides of the state and lived such different lifestyles, yet somehow hit it off when our worlds collided in 2008 in Harrisonburg, VA.

What’s your love story? How did the two of you meet? How did he pop the question?
Troy and I met at James Madison University at a small gathering of mutual friends one random school night. I was not prepared for what this gathering turned out to be seeing that my roommate Janie and I showed up wearing pajama pants. These weren’t just any pajama pants though, mine had tiny elves holding Christmas trees on them. Of course, Troy would argue that they were gnomes but regardless, they were Christmassy and it was APRIL. Luckily for me, even though he will never let me live it down, Troy was able to look past the gnome-elves and we instantly hit it off. I am a sucker for a good sense of humor and Troy has an incredible ability to make people laugh, whether it’s his witty responses, sharing of random trivial facts, or just by making a really silly face at the end of a sentence. I'm not sure I had ever laughed as hard as I did that night and he says the same of me... so naturally we became inseparable quickly and that's where our love story began

We dated for 6.5 years before Troy proposed. It was a brisk December morning,12/13/14 to be exact, at Pleasure House Point, where we often take our dog for long walks. We were sitting in the sand overlooking the Lynnhaven River while playing with Reggie when he started fidgeting in his coat pocket… and after convincing me he was just looking for a piece of gum, he pulled out the most sparkly vintage diamond ring! He topped it off with the most heartfelt words a gal could ever imagine hearing, and I remember thinking “is this actually happening?!” (SO cliché, I know) even though it was no secret that I had long been waiting for the moment. Troy did such an amazing job with the ring! He had my great grandmother’s engagement ring setting from 1913 set with a diamond from his grandmother’s ring... Everything was so special, low key and perfectly us! And being as attached (border-line obsessed) to Reggie as I am, I love that he was there to take it all in with us.

What 6 words would you use to describe your wedding?
Coastal
Romantic
Classic
Intimate
Fun & heartfelt!

What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning?
As soon as we got engaged, we promised each other to make the wedding planning a fun, stress-free, and heartfelt journey... and I really feel that we accomplished that!

What I loved:
Trying on wedding dresses!
Having the best group of bridesmaids EVER
DIY craft sessions with Troy
Dreaming up a theme that represented both Troy and I. It was so much fun for me to blend my soft, playful, & feminine aesthetic with Troy’s rustic nautical roots to create our wedding day look! Being a graphic designer, I adored finding a way to incorporate this throughout every element of our day!
Meeting new people along the way. Aside from planning and experiencing the most amazing day of my life, the people I have met and the friendships I have gained through the process are truly invaluable!
Writing my vows and being reminded of the true importance behind it all

What I didn’t love about wedding planning:
Budgeting!
Accepting the fact that we would not be able to please everybody

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We spent a week out west! We started out in Big Sky, MT before exploring Yellowstone National Park and ultimately ending the week in Jackson Hole, WY. We had such a blast visiting all of the local shops, trying new foods, hiking, horseback riding, more hiking, pool side lounging, trying not to get eaten by a bear watching wildlife, and more hiking.

Who were your vendors?
Venue & Catering: Lesner Inn Catering Club
Coordinator: Just Dandy Events
Invitations & day of paper goods: Ro & Co Designs
Cake: Jarod Clemente (Troy’s cousin)
Dress: Wtoo “Mimi” gown purchased at Ava Clara Couture Bridal
Make up - Melissa Roomsberg of Dhalia Edwards
Hair - Andra Del Rosario at Salon Vivace
Linens (table runners) - Waterford Event Rentals
Ceremony/Cocktail/First Dance Music:  Jesse Chong
Reception DJ - Chuck Wills

If you could do one thing different throughout your entire wedding planning journey, what would it be?
Hire a videographer! I so wish I could sit back, press play, and revisit the moments that unfolded throughout the day. Especially being able to hear Troy and I recite our vows to one another.

Do you have any advice for future brides?
A few tips:
A First Look!  One of the best decisions we made was to take a moment away from all of the madness to see each other for the first time before our ceremony. It allowed us to take a deep breath, let the moment sink in, and feel all the emotion we were about to feel all day. And to see Troy’s reaction in such an intimate setting was honestly the most special moment of the day (aside from hearing his vows!). It was also a great way to get the wedding party portraits out of the way so we were able to spend more time with our guests after the ceremony!
Try not to stress!  Remember why you are getting married, and try to truly make it be an event about (and for) the both of you. Have faith in your vendors and wedding coordinator and trust that they will do their job well! And once it's happening, just go with it.



 


JDE Brides: Kaitlin




Kaitlin was my October 10th bride this year and her wedding definitely falls into the top five category for me.  I swooned the whole time over all the sentimental and well thought out details she had planned.  But at the end of the day, my favorite part was how Kaitlin and her new husband Jared really focused on the whole purpose of the day: To get married and start a wonderful journey together.  Here's what Kaitlin had to say about planning her wedding.

Introduce yourself! And your husband!
I’m Kaitlin and my husband is Jared.  I’m originally from Kalamazoo, MI - yes, there really is a Kalamazoo! I attended the University of Michigan, which makes me a proud Wolverine - I bleed maize n’ blue! After graduating from college, I took a job in Norfolk, VA and I’ve been here ever since. I’m currently the Marketing & Design Coordinator for a Property Management Company here in Hampton Roads. When I’m not working, I enjoy getting crafty, trying new restaurants, hanging out with friends, being in the sun n’ sand and cuddling with our cat, Leo and puppy, Scout.  Jared is originally from an itty bitty town called Montrose, Pennsylvania. Jared joined the Navy after graduating from high school - Last September marked his 8 year anniversary! Jared is a damage controlman, or what civilians would call a firefighter for the ship. Through the Navy, Jared has traveled the world and been to places such as Brazil, Peru, Korea, Malaysia, Dubai (three times), China, Australia, India, the Philippines and Haiti. When Jared isn’t working he enjoys playing sports, eating chicken wings, goofing around and hanging out with friends.

How did the two of you meet?
Jared and I met through online dating, we had both joined the site in hopes of meeting new people. Our initial conversations were typical; filled with questions, flirting and a glimmer of hope that it could be something special. After a week of talking through OkCupid, I grew impatient that Jared had yet to ask for my phone number, so I took matters into my own hands and gave him my number with the hopes he’d take the hint. A couple of days went by and we had transitioned from talking through OkCupid to texting and phone calls. Again, I grew impatient that Jared hadn’t yet asked me out on a date… so I asked him if he wanted to meet up for ice cream. We met for the first time at Skinny Dip, a frozen yogurt bar near my house; I remember seeing him and thinking to myself, he’s even cuter in person. We spent the next two hours walking around and talking, just getting to know each other and from there the rest is history. Over the next several months, we continued getting to know each other, spending more and more time together. We’ve been inseparable from that point on.

How did he pop the question?
Jared and I had just returned from Michigan, after spending the weekend with my family for the holidays. After eating dinner he asked if I wanted any ice cream, and mentioned that he thought there were some ice cream sandwiches leftover from when his Mom was in town the weekend before. I got up and basically ran into the kitchen, frantically looking through the freezer trying to find the ice cream. After moving everything in the freezer (twice) and finding no ice cream, I was bummed and yelled to Jared “There’s no ice cream in here! You owe me!” I slammed the door shut and turned around to find him down on one knee with a little red box in his hand. It took him a couple of seconds before he said, “Will you marry me?” and of course I screamed “Yes!”

What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding?
Romantic, Classic, Elegant, DIY and Fun :)

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Playa Mujeres, Mexico. We knew we wanted to stay at an all-inclusive resort because we wanted to be able to relax and enjoy each other after all of the work, effort and stress that went into planning the wedding. Originally Jared and I were thinking about Jamaica, but after finding the Secrets Resorts in Playa Mujeres and falling in love with the setting and all their amenities, we knew we had found the right place for us!

What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning?
My favorite part of the wedding planning process was actually the planning! I’m a planner at heart, so it was a fun not only planning our dream wedding, but doing it with Jared. Through the wedding planning process we really grew as a couple, making each and every decision together, big or small. Whether we were adding items to our wedding registry, finalizing our menu or picking out napkin colors - we made those decisions together. Sure there were disagreements and times when it wasn’t easy to compromise, but at the end of the day, it made us a stronger couple and made the big day that much more special!

My least favorite part of the wedding planning process was trying to please everyone! To be honest, you just can’t do it - you’ll drive yourself crazy. It took a few months for me to realize that I wasn’t going to please everyone and be ok with that; I’m a people pleaser so it’s hard to me to accept. At the end of the day, Jared and I were the ones who needed to be happy - after all the day was about the two of us, our commitment to one another and our future together. You just have to remember that during the planning process - It’s easy to get caught up in all of the other details that go into planning a wedding.

Who were your vendors?
Ceremony & Reception: Founders Inn
Ceremony Musicians: Harbor String Quartet
Officiant: Chuck Daniel
Caterer: Founders Inn
Florist: Studio POSY
Dress: Jingles
Wedding Coordinator: Just Dandy Events

If you could do one thing differently throughout your entire wedding planning journey, what would it be?
If I could do one thing differently, it would be not stressing the little stuff. These days with Pinterest, it’s so easy to get caught up in the super cute, little details that everyone swoons over. Pinterest is great for inspiration and collecting your thoughts and vision into one place, but it also sets super high standards that are often hard to reach given budget restrictions, time, energy, etc. I frequently found myself pinning until 2:00am and then stressing about how I was going to be able to finish all of these little details that I had obsessed over. Remind yourself that the big day is about you and your husband, your love for one another and your future - It’s that simple!

Do you have any advice for future brides?
My advice would be to have fun with it and enjoy each and every moment! You only get to experience it once and for most girls, it’s a day that you’ve dreamt of for a long, long time! You’ll be surprised how quickly the months turn to days and the days to hours before the big day arrives, and it’s over in what feels like the blink of an eye. So enjoy each and every moment of the planning process; enjoy being the center of attention during your bridal showers, calling your man ‘your fiancé’ every chance you get and have fun planning this very special day the two of you will remember for the rest of your life.
 

 


 

JDE Brides: Katelyn

If you haven't checked out Katelyn & David's wedding.....well, you're missing out.  Their wedding was definitely one of my very favorites that I had the opportunity to coordinate this year.  Katelyn & I go way back and I was so excited that I got to be a part of her big day!  She's one of the nicest and funniest people I know.  Read on to learn a bit more about her and hear the advice she has for future brides.



Who are you and who is your husband?  Katelyn & David

How did the two of you meet?  This is always a difficult question for me to answer....David and I technically met in fourth grade and I have the yearbook to prove I was in love with him {or at least thought he was a hottie} since day one.  And yes, that documentation was shown to all our friends and family in the middle of our wedding ceremony.  We re-met on February 13, 2008.  It was our junior year at Virginia Tech and I literally showed up at his house.  It was the night before my 21st birthday, and my sorority was having a Valentine's Date party.  I went date-less since I wanted to focus on being 21 and not worry about taking care of a date.  All of David's roommates were going, so they offered to host a pre-game at their house.  I had no clue that the house we were going to was David's before I got there, but we spotted each other across the dirty frat-house basement {romantic, I know} and wound up chatting most of the night away.  The next day, I got a phone call asking me to his fraternity's date party that weekend {I'll save that story for another time...} and we have been together ever since!

How did he pop the question?  On June 8, 2013, David convinced me that he had a work event at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club that afternoon.  It was a mostly-cloudy day with some scattered thunderstorms, but he suggested we have a picnic lunch before heading over.  Since David typically hates picnics, I immediately took him up on his offer.  He took me to his special spot on the dunes of 80th street where the sun popped out and he popped the question.  David thought ahead and had a photographer there to capture every moment.  No more than 2 minutes after the photographer left, the skies opened and the rain came down.  David convinced me that the "work event" that afternoon was still happening {I blame it on the post-engagement high....I mean, who would actually do that!?}.  He took me over to the Cavalier.  We headed over to a yacht docked at the club and when I opened the door, both of our families and best friends were there to help us celebrate our engagement day!  By this time, there was not a cloud in the sky, so we cruised around the bay for the afternoon, enjoying champagne, cupcakes, and each others company.  It was the most perfect day!

 
What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding?  Full of love and fun!

What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning?  Favorite: Our food tasting.  Least favorite: Everything else.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?  The Ritz-Carlton Club in St. Thomas....a very generous wedding gift!


Who were your vendors?
Coordinator - Just Dandy Events
Photography - Sami Proctor Photography & Design
Second Shooter - Elizabeth Henson Photos
Ceremony - Trinity Church
Recepption - Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club
Dress - Ava Clara
Cake - Plaza Bakery
DJ - Barry McKay
Linens - Waterford Event Rentals
Flowers - Bouquets were from Norfolk Wholesale Floral, Centerpieces were DIY from Sams Club
Invitations - LesliesCardArt from Etsy
Programs - PaigesPaper on Etsy


If you could do one thing different, what would it be?  Absolutely nothing, it was perfect!

Any advice for future brides?  Don't over-think things!  I was so easy going about the whole planning process because I didn't want to spend an insane amount of money {that's impossible by the way}.  I picked my vendors, told them what I wanted, and let it go.  I kept the decorations simple since I was DIYing it.  On the day of the wedding, I was actually blown away by how incredible everything looked and I think a lot of that had to do with not being so focused on every detail being extravagant and perfect.

JDE Brides: Nicole

I was referred to Nicole by a mutual friend back in 2013.  The first time I talked with her, I knew we'd get along great.  She was sweet and funny and easy-going....all while being THE most organized person I've ever met.  I love organization.  :)  I'm so happy I got to play a part in Steve & Nicole's big day.  It was a glorious, emotional, beautiful day.  Read on to get a glimpse of the day through Nicole's eyes and to see what advice she's passing along to future brides.

 
Who are you and who is your husband?  I am Nicole, my husband is Steve

How did you meet?  Steve and I officially met one evening in the Spring of 2010 at 501 City Grill. I was there for dinner with some girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays. A group of gentlemen walked in and out of them all, Steve caught my attention. We talked the night away and exchanged numbers, but nothing transpired immediately after. A few months later, I ran into him again but at another local establishment, Waterman’s. We’ve basically been inseparable since! Our rehearsal dinner was held in The Attic at Waterman’s and it was a neat way to share our story with family and friends that weekend.

How did he propose? Steve proposed in 2012. I call it the “year of the weddings” because between us both we attended a total of six weddings that year. Naturally, we began discussing our own future and wedding someday. On Friday, December 21st that year, we decided to exchange Christmas gifts early because as usual we were splitting our time between both families for the holiday. I opened a small wrapped box and found a card inside. It was a Hallmark singing card that played Hall & Oates, You Make My Dreams Come True (which on a side note, was the song we chose to dance to for our first dance at the wedding). He then asked me if I was ready for my real gift, went outside, and brought in...a beach cruiser bicycle!

The next morning, on December 22nd, we were getting ready to make a trip to the grocery store to prepare for holiday meals. I was literally still in my pajamas, when Steve walked up to me with another wrapped box and told me “you forgot a gift.” Puzzled, I sat on the couch and began opening the gift. Inside was another card, with a black and white image of a boy holding a bouquet of roses. Inside that card read one of the sweetest messages imagined, but more importantly asked one of the sweetest questions: Will you make another dream come true? After reading this, tears were streaming down my eyes of course, and that is when he knelt down and asked me to marry him!

Describe your wedding in 5 words:  Romantic, rustic, vintage, DIY (I count that as one word), and most importantly - FUN!


What was your favorite part of wedding planning? Together, one of our most favorite parts of wedding planning was the tasting and selecting the menu (because who doesn’t love being served a variety of delicious food to choose from?). But mainly, we got a chance to work together and we included food that represented each of us, from the petite Maryland style crab cakes, representing Steve’s family in Baltimore, to a mozzarella and tomato caprese, which incorporated my Italian heritage.

Some of my other favorites were dress shopping (of course!) and our engagement photo session. Our engagement session was definitely a blast. Our photographer is not only the best around but also super fun and it was great to get some practice in before our big day!

What was your least favorite part of wedding planning?  My least favorite part of wedding planning was trying to please everyone. It’s just flat out impossible. We stayed true to ourselves with our decisions and in the end everyone was extremely happy for us on our wedding day.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?  Antigua. We knew we wanted to stay at an all-inclusive resort because we wanted to fully relax after all of the work and effort that went into planning a wedding. We actually saw a commercial on TV for Sandals in Antigua, looked it up and fell in love with the resort and area. So, yes television advertising works haha!

Who were your vendors? 


Photographer: Andi Grant, Andi & Zoe Photography

Second Shooter: Brooke Tucker, Brooke Tucker Photography

Cocktail Hour Musician: Swell Luck

DJ: John “Rab” Rabulan

Vintage Rentals: Bluebird's Garage



Dress: Pure English
Invitations: Minted

Wedding Coordinator/Planner: YOU! :)

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?  Ask for help. I am terrible at asking for help and maybe it’s because I am an only child and have been pretty much independent for so long. It wasn’t until the Friday before, that I realized I signed myself up to do too much, but luckily I had incredible support that day. Steve, my mom, and Maid of Honor all came through and pitched in to help pull many of the last minute items together. I just wish I had asked sooner so that I wasn’t stressing out to get things done so close to the wedding day.

Do you have any advice for future brides? 
Focus on the love you have for each other. That’s what this event is about after all! It’s easy to overlook this major part, with all of the many details that go into planning a wedding (and there are a lot!), but it is so important to keep in mind throughout the entire engagement/wedding planning process and especially important on the day of. That love will really shine (especially in your pictures) and outweigh anything throughout the day because let’s face it, you can expect that not everything will go exactly according to plan on the day of. But as long as you have each other, any little detail that is not perfect will seem perfect anyway.

Photos courtesy of Andi & Zoe Photography

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.