Wedding Wednesday: The Early Wedding

The Early Wedding

June 11, 2016

Photography by: Essential Sunshine Photography

Sarah Gayle Ballagh and Tyler Early connected through an online dating website. Tyler was slow to initiate a first date, but Sarah had the idea of enticing him with a Salem Red Sox game. She knew he wouldn’t be able to say no to that, and she was right, but as it turned out, the game ended up raining out. Instead, the two decided to meet at Mac n Bob’s for dinner. It right before their first date, the first time Tyler saw her walking down the sidewalk toward him, that he knew this was the woman he was going to marry.

When Tyler decided to propose, there was no other place he could think to pop the question other than that same slab of sidewalk. The two even managed to get a game in, as Tyler had his and her parents both waiting for them at that night’s Salem Red Sox game. The couple spent the evening celebrating with one another, their parents, and America’s favorite past time.

Sarah’s favorite color is yellow. So it was no surprise to anyone when yellow became the focus color of the wedding. It was elegantly paired with the groomsmen’s gray suits and the yellow tulip centerpieces fit in perfectly with their rustic barn venue. Sarah’s bridesmaids each wore a yellow dress, and even Sarah herself dawned a yellow belt with her reception dress.

The couple was glad to share each moment of their wedding day with their friends and family. Sarah’s dog was even able to make an appearance for a few pictures between the ceremony and the reception. The whole day was full of love and laughter, not wanting to leave a single person (or family pet) out of their day. Their guests enjoyed themselves with garden games like badminton, corquet, and ladder ball and later flooded the dance floor to dance the night away. The atmosphere was inviting, happy, and wonderfully implemented.

Sarah has been a member of the United States Army for 11 years, so it was important to the couple to honor her commitment and sacrifice, as well as the others in their life who serve. The couple chose to participate in the traditional military cake cutting, using an Army NCO sword.  Names of family members in the military were listed in the wedding program, and they had a special dedicated flower arrangement on display at both the ceremony and the reception.

When planning a wedding it’s hard to gauge what your guests will remember, and with so many wonderful and unique touches and heartfelt gestures the Early’s put into their big day, there are many things to choose from. But, everyone is sure to remember the love and commitment that went into this couples wedding day.

Make sure to see more of the Early Wedding on page 54 of bridebook!

Dress: Chantilly Lace

Florist: Creative Occasions

Cake: Mary Ogilvie

Venue: Sinkland Farms

Caterer: Blue Ridge Catering

Planner: Linda Garbee

Jewelry: Haywood’s Jewelers

DJ: The Domino Band

Attendant Dresses: Weddington Way

Groomsmen’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

Makeup & Hair: Les Cheveux Salon & Day Spa

Ceremony Music: Roanoke Symphony Strings Trio

Hotel: The Inn at Virginia Tech

Wedding Wednesday: The Dannenberg Wedding

The Dannenberg Wedding

December 19, 2015

Photography by: Crystal George Studios

Stephanie Nance and Richard Dannenberg met through an online community and mutual friends at a dance game tournament. The two maintained a long distance relationship full of fun-packed weekend visits spent together. It was a normal day when Richard popped the question. He often brought his cello on these weekend trips, so when he brought it out to play Stephanie a song, she didn’t think twice about it. What caused a pause was the stage-fright Richard was  suffering from as he played the song, which included the phrase “I propose to you…” After the proposal, which included many ring pops and one beautiful engagement ring, Stephanie was at a loss for words. It took a moment before she finally blurted her affirmation.

This white, red, and black affair was a Christmas themed celebration of love and community. There was mistletoe hanging from chandelier and pine cone accents decorating the venue, there were even two pine cones perched on the cake, wearing a top hat and veil, cake toppers that Stephanie made herself. The whole event was a subtle tribute to the couple’s mutual faith.

Early in their relationship, while visiting friends, they both ordered ice cream for a sweet alternative breakfast, unaware of what the other had chosen. It only seemed fitting that the couple incorporate their mutual love for ice cream, in this already love filled event. The event had an open ice cream bar, which was full of sweet fixings for the perfect sundae.

On top of their mutual love for ice cream, this couple felt their love for music should also be showcased during the reception. Instead of the traditional band or DJ, Stephanie spent hours carefully choosing a playlist that she felt would enhance the couple’s wedding, indulge their musical styles, and also please their friends and family. Stephanie points out that though her mother doesn’t usually like her music, she caught her bopping along.

Their wedding was full of Christmas cheer and love. The two loved that they were able to involve their friends from all around the country, from Seattle to Orlando, and with their relationship being long distance, it was a chance for their two extended-families to really come together.

Make sure to see more of the Dannenberg Wedding on page 38 of bridebook!

Dress: Celebration Bridal

Florist: Gillespie’s Flowers

Cake: The Homestead

Venue: The Homestead

Caterer: The Homestead

Planner: The Homestead

Jewelry: Haywood’s Jewelers and Kranich’s Jewelers

Attendant Dresses: David’s Bridal

Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse

Wedding Favors: Sugar Tree Country Store

 

Wedding Wednesday: The Mayes Wedding

The Mayes Wedding

November 14, 2015

Photography by: Lori Hedrick Photography

Christian Mayes and Sarah Landrum met through mutual friends who were trying to set up Christian. It took a while for the two of them to warm up to one another, but finally, on a rainy Sunday, Christian invited Sarah to lunch by saying, “I gotta eat, you gotta eat, so we might as well do it together.” From that moment on, Sarah says she knew that he was different. On their 9-month anniversary, Christian proposed on an after-dinner walk by the river. He said, reminiscent of their beginnings as a couple, “I’ve got to get married, and you’ve got to get married, so you might as well marry me.”

Sarah wasn’t sure about her husband-to-be’s idea of a brunch wedding. As it turned out, a brunch wedding was just to this couple’s taste. This way they could wake up in the morning and immediately begin the preparations and enjoy the festivities. There was no waiting around, as the ceremony started at 11:00 A.M, and, with a November wedding, they were able to enjoy the warmest part of the day with their guests.

Besides the early ceremony and reception, the day was highlighted with a traditional, classic reception. But, like with the brunch-aspect, Sarah and William wanted to add themselves into the event. One thing that they both find important is the legacy of love and support that they both come from. They celebrated their families by having a “family themed” wedding. There was a wedding dance for all married couples; each couple was slowly dismissed based on how long they’d been married. Sarah’s and William’s grandparents were the last two couples dancing.

Their wedding was a beautiful autumnal affair, with soft golds, browns, and creams, with the occasional pop of maroon and green. This celebration of their love and appreciation for their family was the perfect way to honor their own love and new beginning as husband and wife.

Make sure to see more of the Mayes Wedding on page 36 of bridebook!

Dress: Becky’s Bridal

Florist: Petals by Alisha

Cake: Coffee Cakes

Venue: West Manor Estate

Caterer: West Manor Estate

Planner: A Little Party Events

Jewelry: Ginger’s Jewelry

DJ: Barry Tosh

Attendant Dresses: Becky’s Bridal

Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse

Hair: Kathryn O’Brien & Joe Jones

Videography: Solo Koo Wedding Films

 

From the Editor: On Our 5th Issue

One of our questions on our wedding submission form is “What made your wedding day unique?” While every wedding is superbly beautiful and unique in its own right, it’s this question that often merits a variation of the same response:

“Our family and friends.”

This is not only funny to me that so many respond with this answer, but incredibly eye-opening. Perhaps what is so magical about our wedding day is not the gorgeous gown or fantastic flowers (though those are certainly important!), but instead the idea that your wedding brings people together.

Whether your families are meeting for the first time or your reception is a great excuse to bring your best friends from college back together, every couple has the same dream in their head – that their loved ones will be there on your big day to support, love and celebrate your marriage.

Your wedding day is the ultimate showcase of love, but not only for you and your spouse. It’s also a chance to show your love for guests who have traveled many miles or helped you hand-stamp 100 invitations. When we dance the night away, it’s with our very favorite people in the entire world. And what could be more special than that in making your wedding day so uniquely you?

In our 5th issue, you’ll find incredible weddings that will not only inspire you (and maybe swoon a little), but will hopefully give you that cozy warmth felt when surrounded by “your people,” those who know and love you best.

To love and magic, friends and family – may we all be so lucky to celebrate with the uniqueness that is your wedding day!

Liz Long, editor

Cover Reveal: Our 5th Issue

We are so excited to reveal the cover for our 5th issue, featuring Morgan Coartney surrounded by her beautiful bridesmaids on her wedding day that took place at Sinkland Farms. Cover image by Skyryder Photography.

You can see Morgan’s wedding on page 64, plus more amazing weddings that are sure to inspire! Magazines will be hitting newsstands across southwest and central Virginia over the coming weeks, found at B&N, Target, Walmart, CVS and more, or can be ordered on our website. We can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Be sure to check back as we update our site with new blog posts, newsstand locations, more Wedding Wednesdays and much more!

History of Weddings

How a few of our traditions began!

Your wedding day is one of the biggest rites of passage you can go through, and it has been for centuries. Long before recorded history, men and women would tie the knot and start their own families (even if they didn’t call it tying the knot yet!). Some of our traditions seem like they’ve been around forever, but you may be surprised that many of our modern day wedding habits only date back a few centuries.

Rings

One of the biggest parts in any modern wedding is the rings. The groom proposes with a diamond ring, and then on the big day the groom and bride exchange simpler wedding bands, usually silver and gold. Diamonds, however, didn’t become popular until 1477, when Archduke Maximilian I proposed to Mary of Burgundy. The ring features several flat diamonds in the shape of an ‘M.’

Back in the cavemen days, men would tie grass around their wives’ ankles, wrists, and waists in an effort to control their spirits. Since then, the idea of binding the wives has reduced to just a finger. The first recorded mention of rings was in Egypt in 2800 BCE. These rings were simple gold or silver wire wrapped around the third finger of the left hand. This particular finger was chosen because it was believed there was a vein in that finger that went all the way to the heart, the vena amoris.

During the second century, grooms gave their brides a gold ring to wear during the ceremony and during special events. He also gave her an iron ring to wear at home, according to Pliny the Elder. The tradition of engagement rings dates back to 860, when Pope Nicholas I decreed that engagement rings are required of those who wish to marry. Peasants in the middle ages, too poor to afford rings, would break a coin in half, one half for the groom and the other for the bride.

Diamonds became vogue in the late 1800’s after a diamond mine was discovered in Cape Colony in South Africa and created a huge increase in the supply. Using gems had already become popular, but diamonds were by far the most valuable and therefore the most desired.

Flowers

Today, it’s common to see flowers everywhere you look at a wedding. The bridesmaids carry them, the venue is covered in them, and let’s not forget the bouquet the bride carries and later throws. But did you know decorating the church with them and carrying floral bouquets only started in the late 1500’s?

In medieval ages, often the only flowers were worn as a flower crown. And ‘bouquets’ usually consisted of various herbs, especially garlic. The different herbs each had different meanings, such as sage for wisdom or dill for lust. Garlic was also common in these arrangements, because they believed the smell would keep evil spirits away.

It became popular during Elizabethan times for bridesmaids to make bouquets for the guests and a garland of rosemary and roses for the bride. The bride would carry the garland until the end of the ceremony, and then she’d put it on her head. The tradition of decorating the church didn’t become popular until the Victorian age. On top of that, grooms would wear a flower in their lapel. In the country, the bride would walk to the chapel on a carpet of flower blossoms.

Cakes

You think wedding, you think cake. You think tall, three or four or five layers of cake, decorated with white icing and fancy writing. This custom, however, is less than 150 years old.

Back in ancient Rome, guests used to break bread over the newlyweds, symbolizing fertility, in much the same way as we throw rice. In medieval England, guests used to bring lots of little cakes. They would then stack these cakes and the bride and groom had to try and kiss over the top of it. If they successfully kissed, it was considered a good omen for the marriage. Later, brides would make what was called a bride pie and put a glass ring in it. It was considered bad luck not to take a piece of the bride pie, and whoever got the glass ring was said to be the next to marry. This custom slowly died out in favor of sweeter cakes and fruit pies.

The Wedding Party

It turns out marrying with your friends lined up behind you is a tradition that goes back quite a few years. Grooms had groomsmen first, dating all way back to the “Wedding by Capture” era. The groomsmen played the role of a small army, helping the groom fight off angry relatives while he married the bride.

Bridesmaids came into the picture much later, when weddings were actually planned. They helped the bride get ready, much the same way they do today.

The reason groomsmen and bridesmaids are typically dressed up like the bride and groom is because people used to believe it served as protection against evil. Evil spirits wishing to harm the newlyweds would be confused as to who was the bride and groom.

Wedding Wednesday: The Merritt Wedding

The Merritt Wedding

April 25, 2015

Photography by: Lori Hedrick Photography

Andrea and Owen met while working the same case for a client. It took a while for any romantic feelings to develop, but once they did Andrea started dropping hints until Owen asked her out (though he’ll tell you differently.)

Owen’s proposal was quite theatrical…literally. He likes to act with Roanoke’s community theaters, and it was at the end of a performance when he came to the front of the stage and got down on one knee. Andrea was in the front row, and he proposed right there with a live theater audience.

Andrea’s favorite moment from their wedding was their vows. They each wrote personal vows; Owen spoke about her personal passions and promised to support her, and Andrea talked about how good of a person he really was.

Their wedding took place at Andrea’s Alma Mater, Hollins University, with pink and green as their colors. The pastor was Owen’s father, an ordained Presbyterian minister.

Instead of favors for the guests, Andrea and Owen decided to make a donation to the RVSPCA in their guests’ names. And Andrea even donated her gown to Brides Across America after the wedding. Giving back to the community is very important to both of them. They used as many local vendors as they could. It was just their way of saying thanks to the local community.

Make sure to see more of the Merritt Wedding on page 116 of bridebook!

Dress: J. Crew

Florist: Gloriosa

Cake: Wildflour Café and Catering

Venue: Hollins University

Caterer: Meriwether Godsey at Hollins University

Planner: Kimberly Merritt

Jewelry: Fink’s

DJ: Master Taylor Entertainment

Attendant Dresses: David’s Bridal

Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

 

Wedding Wednesday: The Handy Wedding

Natalie & Jason Handy

October 10, 2015

Photography by: Lori Hedrick Photography

Natalie and Jason actually crossed paths several times on the volleyball court before introducing themselves at a pizza place. They got to chatting and Jason offered Natalie a slice, but she turned him down. Later, she and her friend did decide they wanted a pie so they walked out with one. They ran into Jason again not too long after, and he made a joke about the pizza they now had. Natalie threw the slice in her hand at him, and naturally true love bloomed from there.

To propose, Jason got the staff at Frankie Rowlands involved. They set up a word scramble challenge and asked the couple to participate. The first two that Natalie solved were her favorite food and drink at the restaurant, and she was more than ready for her third challenge. It was only three words, “Let’s get married.” Upon solving it, she looked up at Jason and said, “That’s not food.” Once she saw the ring and realized what was happening, she started laughing and accepted.

They both agree their favorite memory from their wedding day were their minor issues in cutting the cake. Someone had forgotten the serving knife, so they had to cut it with a small paring knife. Then, when trying to cut the cake, Jason couldn’t get the knife to go through. He even asked if the cake was frozen. After some thought they realized, no, it wasn’t frozen, they were trying to cut through the board separating the layers!

The wedding didn’t have a theme so much as Natalie just really, really liked candles and cylinders. They used them everywhere in the event space, lining the stairs and the aisle as well as putting them on the tables. For some extra color, they added flowers around the cylinders too. The effect of all the candlelight was a soft, romantic light, and it made their wedding feel even more magical.

Natalie and Jason wanted their menu to reflect them. Jason loved to grill, so they served chicken and flank steak grilled on the spot by Pumpernickle Pickle. For desserts, they had ten different kinds! The guests loved it, if the lack of leftovers was anything to go by.

Another important aspect of their wedding was their venue. They chose to get married on the Rooftop at Center in the Square in Roanoke, which gave them the freedom to do something special with the ceremony. Instead of having their guests sit in rows, they set the chairs up in a circle around them. It let the guests feel more included in the ceremony, and it provided an opportunity for some great candid shots!

Make sure to see more from the Handy Wedding on page 90 of bridebook!

Dress: Monique Lhuillier Couture from Nitsa’s Apparel
Florist: Creative Occasions
Cake: Kelli’s Cakes
Venue: Center in the Square
Caterer: Pumpernickel Pickle Catering
Planner: Simplicity
Jewelry: Tacori and Fink’s
DJ: Quest Entertainment
Lighting: Lighting Ninjas
Makeup: LASH
Hair: Prim Hair Salon
Rentals: Aztec Rental
Linens: BBJ Linens
Officiate: Mike Lauridsen of Parkway Wesleyan Church

Wedding Wednesday: The Turley Wedding

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Jessica & Brandyn Turley

October 3, 2015

Photography by: V.A. Photography

Jessica and Brandyn met back in high school, and they’ve been together through all stages of life ever since. After seven years, Brandyn managed to surprise Jessica with his proposal. He’d told her he was out of town on a business trip, but during that week he asked her to run over to his dad’s house to pick something up for him. She was directed to the garage, where they’d had their first kiss, and found him waiting on one knee. Brandyn even had an engagement party planned with all their friends and family.

Jessica’s favorite memory of her big day was walking down the aisle. Her stepfather walked her to the top of the aisle and then handed her off to her father, but not before both men shared a hug. It meant a lot to Jessica to see both her dads in solidarity before she married her best friend.

The theme of the wedding was the Great Gatsby. Jessica had a 1920’s styled dress from BHLDN, and they strung twinkle lights in the ceremony and reception space. Gold candelabras and accents tied the theme together, but the real showstopper was the vintage 1920’s Rolls Royce getaway car.

They used flowers for most of their decorating, combining soft blush colors with deep burgundy and rich green accents. The three-foot gold candelabras and short, round gold vases were used together to create tiered centerpieces. The sweetheart table was embellished with a green garland and mercury glass votive candleholders.

Food was served family-style, and it did not disappoint. They served root vegetables in hollowed-out baby pumpkins, dishes seasoned to perfection, and an incredible presentation. The cake was even created using Jessica’s grandmother’s pound cake recipe.

Part of what made their wedding so unique was because of Jessica’s parents. Both of them are in the wedding business, and they spent over a year planning the perfect outdoor wedding. Jessica and Brandyn also wrote their own vows, which really helped to personalize the day and make it their own.

Make sure to see more of the Turley Wedding on page 88 of bridebook!

Dress: BHLDN
Florist: George’s Flowers
Cake: Plantation Creations Catering
Venue: Plantation on Sunnybrook
Caterer: Plantation Creations Catering
Planner: Tammy Scaggs- Plantation on Sunnybrook
Jewelry: BHLDN
DJ: RSP Entertainment
Attendant Dresses: The Newfangled Bride
Groomsmen Attire: Davidson’s
Hair & Makeup: Les Cheveux Salon & Day Spa

Wedding Wednesday: The Prisley Wedding

Sandee & Stephen Prisley Wedding

September 12, 2015

Photography by: Noah Magnifico- Photographer

After both Sandee and Stephen had posted statuses on Facebook on Valentine’s Day, a mutual friend introduced them to each other. They traded messages back and forth for a while, and then they met for Brunch at Rockfish. They spent the morning talking, and the rest was history.

Steve’s proposal came as a complete surprise for Sandee. He invited her along on a work conference to Virginia Beach because he knew she loved the ocean. On a walk along the beach, just as Sandee was asking if he was ready to go back to the hotel, Steve caught her in a kiss and started telling her how much he loved having her in his life. She didn’t even realize it was a proposal until halfway through! When he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring, the people in the hotel behind them cheered.

Sandee’s favorite memory of the wedding was when the reverend read the letters she and Steve had written for each other. His letter was loving, funny, and wise—Just like him. (Clowning around during the cake cutting was a close second though!)

The style of the wedding was what Sandee jokingly called “vintage whimsical.” She and her mother made about thirty pillows using lace from her grandmother’s stash and map-printed fabric to represent Steve, and they scattered them on the benches during the ceremony. Sandee also made, refashioned, or repurposed all the cupcake stands, designed the table centerpieces, crafted the aisle markers for the ceremony, and made their cake toppers. The main colors of the wedding were rich red coral and aqua blue, with lime green and orange as accents.

The train of Sandee’s dress was fashioned from the Watteau train on her mother’s dress, and the gold brooch pinned at the top had been worn by her great-grandmother, grandmother, and her mother.

For their venue, they chose the Center in the Square Rooftop. The amazing vista of the mountains and the city was only part of the reason why; they also had a history with it. The night of its grand re-opening, they had gotten dinner downtown and found a band playing in the market. It was the first night they danced together, and the night Sandee realized she was falling in love.

To end the wedding, they had a parade from the reception to the hotel. It was only a few blocks away, so they handed out maracas, bells, and kazoos. Thirty or forty guests came along through the streets and across a footbridge, the perfect ending to a wonderful day!

Make sure to see more from the Prisley Wedding on page 84 of bridebook!

Dress: Nicole Miller from Nordstrom’s
Florist: Creative Occasions
Cake: Evie’s Wedding Cakes
Venue: Center in the Square
Caterer: Center Stage Catering
Planner: The Perfect Fairytale
Jewelry: Sylvie and Brilliant Earth
DJ: Music, Music, and More Music
Groomsmen Attire: Proms, Pageants, and Pretty Things
Hair: Bliss Studio- Brandy Moorman
Makeup: Pampered & Polished- Jolina Goad