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!