Wedding Wednesday: The Morris Wedding

The Morris Wedding

April 30, 2016

Photography by: Sam Stroud Photography

Joanna Frye and Andrew Morris sure enjoyed taking their time. The couple dated off and on in high school, but it wasn’t until they both got to college that their relationship got serious. On that same theme, Andrew’s proposal was drawn out over the course of eleven months. For Valentine’s day, Andrew gifted Joanna with a box of envelopes. The final envelope in the box contained tickets to see the Biltmore House at Christmas. While taking pictures at the overlook of the house, Andrew said “I just really want to marry you!” This was no surprise to Joanna, as Andrew had been saying this for months. This time, though, Andrew got down on one knee.

Joanna and Andrew’s wedding did not have a “theme,” but instead, the couple aimed to invoke a certain feeling in their guests. Their goal was to make them feel welcomed and invited. To do this, the couple utilized soft blushes and ivories, with the occasional pop of navy blue. As the night continued, the pink shades began to darker, and the color scheme was brought full circle with an ombre flower cascade on the staircase at their reception.

The food they served at their wedding was very important to both Joanna and Andrew. The couple worked with their caterer to create food stations that reflected these favorite places, flavors, and foods that the couple was able to experience together during the course of their long distance relationship. And then, of course, there was the wedding cake. With Joanna being a pastry chef, many people expected that she would be making her own cake. However, she wanted to be able to enjoy her day as the bride that she was. She worked closely with the caterer designing the cake, and she was able to really bring her vision alive, without having to stress about assembling the cake herself.

The wedding was made possible by close relationships with not just the guests, but many of the vendors as well. Working closely with these vendors, that they already had close relationships with made the planning process all the more special. That planning paid off, and the couple  were able to celebrate their marriage in a day full of flowers, good food, and great company.

Make sure to see more from the Morris Wedding on page 44 of bridebook!

Dress: Tiffany’s Bridal

Florist: Creative Occasions

Cake: Center Stage Catering

Venue: Taubman Museum of Art

Caterer: Blue Ridge Catering

Planner: Events by Sherri

Jewelry: Jewells Fine Jewelry

Makeup: Charisse Crammer

Hair: Amy Dodson

DJ: RSP Entertainment

Attendant Dresses: Pearl’s Place

Groomsmen Attire: Proms, Pageants, & Pretty Things

Lighting: Lighting Ninja, INC

Rentals: Country Road Vintage Rentals

Transportation: Prestige Limousine Service & Executive Service

Videographer: Solo Koo Wedding Films

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

Wedding Wednesday: The Kennedy Wedding

Katie & Elias Kennedy

March 21, 2015

Photography by Tara Lilly Photography and Design

Elias and Katie first met when they were neighbors during Katie’s time at Radford while earning her graduate degree. Soon after they started dating, though, this couple had to bear the burden of distance but grew in their relationship when Elias moved to Maryland for a year. After their love passed that test, however, Katie moved to D.C. and they were able to continue their relationship in a much more intimate proximity.

Christmas-time is the season of magic and excitement, which is why Elias picked the day after Christmas to propose. Katie had just been coming home from the holidays with her family when she opened her apartment door to the surprise. Elias had worked hard to recreate a meal from one of their favorite restaurants in Charleston, SC (love a man who can cook!), and decorated the room in an abundance of flower petals. Needless to say, though, the best surprise for Katie was seeing him down on one knee. Elias asked her to marry him and Katie was more than willing to spend the rest of her life with him.

The ceremony was beautiful and filled with small moments that the couple cherished. Katie says her most special memories were the “first look” with Elias, getting ready for their first dance, and their exit at the end of the night which was made magical by the guests holding sparklers. Family was an important factor in the wedding to both bride and groom, so they were able to Katie’s brother and sister as attendants. There was a combination of traditional and modern elements in the wedding, which included traditional wedding vows, a unity candle, and contemporary readings of The Art of Marriage and Blessing of the Hands.

Weddings are known to cause stress on the bride, but Katie was able to ease her way into marriage by having an amazing and experienced team to help her plan the big day. Stress-free was Katie’s goal and she definitely achieved it by ending her night with a walk to Texas Tavern with Elias and eating a cheesy western in her wedding dress. Sounds like happily ever after!

Be sure to see the Kennedy wedding on page 38 of the fourth issue of bridebook!

Dress: Allure Bridals
Florist: Caroline LaRocca Event Design
Cake: Evie’s Wedding Cakes
Venue: Patrick Henry Ballroom
Caterer: Center Stage Catering
Planner: Caroline LaRocca Event Design
DJ: RSP Entertainment
Makeup: Jessica Hall
Hair: Rachel Vassar
Seamstress: Sew Right, LLC

Wedding Wednesday: The Eller Wedding

A.J. & Sarah Eller
 June 28, 2014
Photography by Autumn Harrison Photography

 One night at a concert, A.J. made a brave move and decided to talk to the girl behind him, but all he could come up with was “I bet I know when your birthday is!” (The two had mutual friends at the concert, and earlier that evening her birthday had come up in conversation, which prepared him for his pickup line!) The two continued to talk all night long and in the following days over the phone. A few weeks later they went on their first date and have been together ever since. With a little help from Sarah for the venue and time, A.J. planned a weekend getaway at an inn in Asheville, North Carolina. They enjoyed a full day of breakfast, driving, hiking, and a beautiful dinner. After dinner, the couple sipped on wine near fire pits before taking a photo by a waterfall. A.J. took Sarah’s hands in his to share some meaningful words before handing her an envelope which held his concert ticket from the night they met. As Sarah read the words “Will you marry me?” on the ticket, A.J. bent to one knee. Their garden party themed wedding was centered around their lakeside venue at Smith Mountain Lake, which offered surrounding views of the mountains. Bistro tables, Adirondack chairs, and a vintage wedding lounge served as décor as well as seating for guests to enjoy their day on the lake. It was important that guests have fun while in attendance, so games like corn hole, lawn Jenga, and bocce ball were set up on the lawn. Gray, white, and yellow set the color scheme for the wedding, which tied the games, décor, and scenery all together. They also had a fire pit for making s’mores, which served as the wedding favors, and a bar was set up to greet guests with a drink. For the ceremony, a window frame draped with white linens and flowers served as the arch. Jars filled with ivory peonies, ranunculus, and spray roses hung from hooks lining the aisles alongside white chairs. This set the scene for Sarah’s most memorable moment: seeing A.J. at the end of the aisle. For the reception, the pavilion was covered in garden lights to create a romantic venue for guests to enjoy great music and food. After their sparkler sendoff and boat getaway, the couple honeymooned in Antigua.

Be sure to see the Eller wedding on page 62 of the third issue of bridebook!

Dress: Martina Liana from Lana Addison
Florist: Caroline LaRocca Event Design
Cake: La Bella Torta
Venue: The Point at Parkway Marina
Caterer: Center Stage Catering
Planner: Caroline LaRocca Event Design
Jewelry: Diamonds Direct
DJ & Pianist: Kings Entertainment- Jamie Strassburg; Marc Hoffman
Attendants’ Dresses: Alfred Sung from Savvy Formal Wear
Groomsmen’s Attire: Cam Newton MADE from Belk
Videographer: Michael’s Video
Hair & Makeup: Azario Salon & Day Spa– Megan Byrd

Wedding Wednesday: The Suitt Wedding

Ben & Maggie Suitt
 May 31, 2014
Photography by Lesley Wray Photography

Ben knew he wanted to make his proposal to Maggie one of the most memorable moments of her life, so he pulled out all the stops when preparing to pop the question. With a little help, Ben transformed Maggie’s dock into their own Parisian paradise to surprise her. It included a red carpet, fountain, and a classic bistro style setup. Along with her ring, Ben presented Maggie with a lock and key for them to take back to Paris with them to attach to the famous Lover’s Bridge. He also included a picture of his late mother for her to be present with them in spirit on the unforgettable moment. Because Maggie and Ben both grew up on the water, they knew a nautical themed wedding on the lake was a must. Their colors of navy blue and pink tied in with the décor featuring anchor bottle openers as guest favors, nautical knot centerpieces, and the antique Chris Craft boat used in the couple’s sparkler send-off. The Showmen’s beach music style set the tone of the evening. The couple’s first dance song was “With This Ring,” and Maggie danced with her father to the song “My Girl.” They also enjoyed fabulous food at the reception complete with a special mac and cheese bar. To celebrate Ben’s love of Marvel comics, the groomsmen wore superhero t-shirts underneath their suits, and the groom’s cake featured a Spiderman and Black Cat cake topper.

Be sure to see the Suitt wedding on page 46 of the third issue of bridebook!

Dress: David’s Bridal
Florist: Creative Occasions
Cake: Evie’s Wedding Cakes
Ceremony: Trinity Ecumenical Parish
Venue: Bernard’s Landing
Caterer: Center Stage Catering
Planner: Simplicity
DJ: The Showmen/Sam Hill Entertainment
Attendants’ Dresses: J. Crew
Groomsmen’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Hair & Makeup: Bella Upstyles
Programs/Invitations/Table Numbers: Appalachia Press


Wedding Wednesday: The Buck Wedding

 Chad & Laura Buck

October 4, 2013

Photography by Meagan C. Iwaniszek-Reynolds

After fate brought them back together after being separated for four years after they dated for one, Chad was able to propose to Laura in a unique way. Laura is prone to nightmares and dreams that often leave her waking in tears, so Chad bought her a dream catcher to ward off these night terrors. The dream catcher did more than that, because attached to it was Laura’s engagement ring! The couple decided on a rustic country themed wedding with a peacock color scheme of black, purple and teal. These colors were carried throughout the flowers and centerpieces, which featured teal Mason jars as well as the colored lighting at the reception under the tent. The ceremony and reception were both held at Sundara, which Laura says gave them a very relaxing day in a peaceful environment to prepare for the wedding. It also gave her one of her favorite memories of the day: the perfect weather and beautiful view. Their close family and friends enjoyed the day with them and dined on 250 mini cupcakes as well as Brie and apple dip. Because Laura’s mother is a travel agent, they had only the best of the best for their honeymoon. Chad and Laura vacationed in the Dominican Republic where they had their own personal butler to make the trip even more special.

Be sure to see the Buck wedding on page 120 of the second issue of bridebook!

Dress: AmRhein’s
Florist: George’s Flowers
Cake: Center Stage Catering
Venue: Sundara
Caterer: Center Stage Catering
Planner: Amy McArthur
Jewelry: Fink’s
DJ: Quest Entertainment
Attendants’ Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groomsmen’s Attire: AmRhein’s
Transportation: Executive Town & Car


Wedding Wednesday: The Lembo Wedding

Aaron & Mallory Lembo
September 28, 2013
Photography by Kemper Mills Fant Photography

When Aaron and Mallory first met, it seemed as though the two didn’t have much in common, but after several coffee chats, they realized they fit together well. Two years later, after a cold day walking pups for their annual Mutt Strut in Philadelphia, Aaron proposed to Mallory on her alma mater’s campus. Because of Aaron’s love of nature and Mallory’s equestrian Southern roots, they quickly agreed on an outdoor wedding. On a whim, they stopped to look at Sundara and fell in love at first sight. Mallory had several favorite memories of the day, including dancing on the table with her father, wearing her late mother-in-law’s belly dancing skirt while standing with family, and showing off a few newly-acquired dance moves with her new husband. Aaron reflects on a love note Mallory wrote him before the wedding that he read while waiting on his groomsmen and left him feeling, “without a doubt, believing he is the luckiest man alive.” Their details made all the difference in their unique wedding: Mallory wore a penny in her shoe from her sister’s wedding 15 years prior, while their childhoods were showcased with family photos strung on a clothesline; food from both family backgrounds represented each side, with Italian, Southern, and Greek flavors for dinner; because the couple met over Turkish coffee, there was a coffee bar with Turkish accents. Maps highlights their roots as well as dream destinations, while Aaron’s late mother was commemorated through photos and two hand-sewn pillows with special quotes, and her wine case displayed at the front of the altar. Aaron’s father made cornhole boards and tree slices that were used as tabletop decor were cut from her aunt’s backyard. Aaron and Mallory’s wine blending ceremony was most unique; Aaron used an Italian grape unique to where his ancestors were from and is grown and bottled in his New Jersey hometown, while Mallory’s was her favorite grape she discovered while studying abroad in Spain. Aaron also wrote the ceremony containing Buddhist, Catholic, and Native American sentiments. Feathers, tree slices, branches, and succulents were used in boutonnieres and decor, while guests were given favors of little succulents to grow at home. The happy newlyweds spent a few extra days in Roanoke as tourists and they’ve also planned a trip to Turkey and southeast Asia in the next year or two.

Be sure to see the Lembo wedding on page 90 of the second issue of bridebook, on newsstands now!

Dress: Winnie Couture
Florist: Creative Occasions and Bowman & Clark (Allie Webber)
Cake: Evie’s Wildflour Wedding Cakes
Venue: Sundara
Caterer: Center Stage Catering
Planner: Tinsel & Twine
Jewelry: Kings Jewelers
DJ: RSP Entertainment
Attendants’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Groomsmen’s Attire: John Varvatos from Nordstrom
Lighting: Lighting Professors
Hair: Azario Salon & Day Spa
Makeup: Help Me Rhonda
Photo Booth: Star City Photobooth


Delectable Dishes: Wedding Reception Food Trends

From stations to buffets, wedding receptions these days are featuring some of the yummiest options for guests – and the happy couple – to savor.

A caterer is one of the big ticket items on your wedding checklist, especially for brides who consider themselves “foodies.” Wedding reception food is no longer simply about feeding your guests. It’s important, of course, but more brides are considering food trends and how things look on a person’s plate. Many couples also want to incorporate their own favorite things into their wedding meal.

“Local and sustainable are important,” says Blue Ridge Catering Director Mark Baldwin. “We’re seeing more weddings bringing in local food and beer that feature their area.”

Items such as local honey can be used to flavor food and specialty drinks, while gourmet coffee stations boast flavorful local beans. Cheeses, charcuterie, and local breads and butter are also popular for couples who believe in the locavore movement.

“We encourage the use of local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible. There is an endless variety to choose from,” says Karen Schopp, catering director at Center Stage Catering.

Couples are also leaning towards local because it provides opportunities to visit farms, breweries and wineries in the region. Imagine spending a gorgeous spring day touring the nearby breweries, and discussing your favorites with the future husband as well as any wedding day details.

“It can be a very fun process for a memorable menu on their special day,” adds Schopp.

Sit down dinners are still quite common, though it depends on the couple and their budget. Formal plated dinners allow for a more elevated experience in service and presentation and can cost more due to the need for staff and equipment. Buffet dinners and heavy hors d’oeuvres allow guests to try a wide variety of food flavors while brides save money on the more casual atmosphere.

Stations are popular options that create a relaxed ambiance for guests. With three or four stations, this not only gives guests a chance to mingle, but also offers a broader spectrum of food. If there are cultural differences between the bride and groom, stations create the ability to blend the best of both worlds. It’s also advantageous for those with vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free guests.

“Presentation is more important than ever, aesthetically speaking,” says Baldwin.

Stations vary from items such as a macaroni and cheese setup, with all sorts of additions like bacon, pork belly or caramelized onions. Other ideas range from a mashed potato bar (with toppings such as sour cream and cheese, bacon, chives or butter) to a Southern station, complete with barbecue, ham biscuits, deviled eggs, and more staples you’d expect in a classic Virginia wedding.

Traditions are also being broken when it comes to reception food. Rather than cake, for example, brides are leaning toward more unique dessert ideas.

“Choices seem to be trending to more regional comfort desserts such as hand-pies and twists on classic regional flavors like banana cream pie éclairs or strawberry corn cake with clotted cream,” says Schopp. “In many instances, it’s about family favorites.”

This is a great idea for guests who don’t want to wait in line for cake or even for guests to take home and enjoy later. Cookie and milk shooters are a fun way to serve up sweets, as well as apple dipping with options like caramel and chocolate, nuts and sprinkles.

Perhaps that’s where the popular late night snack could come in. For the younger crowd looking for a snack after a few hours of drinking and dancing, tasty treats like sliders, tacos or a sundae bar are sure to be a hit.

With so many options and trends, make sure you find a caterer who will work with not only your budget, but with your personalities. Chefs are enthusiastic about making new ideas work for couples and often times have options you may have never considered.

Help Us Celebrate the 2nd Issue at our Launch Party!

We are SO excited to announce that our second issue is almost done! (Hooray!) We are blown away by the beautiful images and inspiration you’ll get from real brides and local vendors in your area. You simply MUST come to our launch party to help us celebrate the new issue of bridebook!

On Thursday, March 27th, from 6-9 pm, we’ll party it up at Charter Hall in downtown Roanoke with food, drinks, prizes, and more. Tickets are $25 each and include food from Center Stage Catering, cupcake favors from Viva La Cupcake, music by RSP Entertainment, party photos by William Mahone Photography, a fun photo booth with Star City Photobooth, gorgeous setup with help from Aztec Rental, AND local wine from Chateau Morrisette!

Even more exciting? We’ll do a very special cover reveal at 7:30pm and hand out our new issue to everyone there! Plus you’ll have a chance to win great prizes from photographers, restaurants, salons, and even a rock wall climbing gym!

We’re going to get decked out in our favorite pretty dresses and heels – what girl doesn’t love to get all dolled up? Wedding vendors will be in attendance too, so you’ll have a a chance to connect with them in a laidback atmosphere without the pressure of a typical bridal show.

This is your official invitation – click on the invite to purchase your tickets. It’s first come, first serve for up to 350 people, with an RSVP date of March 14th, so make sure to get your tickets ASAP! And YES, bring your husbands, fiancees, moms, bridesmaids, or anyone else who would love to attend! We can’t wait to dance the night away with all of you!

bridebook launch party invitation

Behind the Scenes of the Striffler Wedding

Emily Jones + Brett Striffler – September 1, 2012

Photography by Holly Cromer

Emily Jones and Brett Striffler met at Virginia Tech through mutual friends. A few years later, they were moving into their first home when they had an impromptu housewarming party – and Brett got down on one knee in front of all their friends! For their wedding, the couple wanted to showcase local Virginia artisans: foods, beers, and wines, to name a few. Emily described her wedding as a truly collective creative effort with talented friends and family. After their wedding, they made a quick getaway to Georgia, but are planning a vacation to Italy for their one year anniversary.

To read more about their love story and see more photos, pick up a copy of bridebook (on newsstands now) and flip to page 60!

Ann’s Bridals
FLORIST Arrington Flowers
CAKE Center Stage Catering
VENUE Boxtree Lodge
CATERER Center Stage Catering
WEDDING PLANNER That Wedding Bridal Consulting, Elizabeth Stevens
DJ Whatchaneed Productions
Jos. A. Bank and Tie Bar
FAVORS Bearer Farms

%d bloggers like this: