Wedding Wednesday: The Whitaker Wedding

The Whitaker Wedding

June 11, 2016

Photography by: Pat Cori Photography

Sarah Rhodes and Robert “Buddy” Whitaker, Junior were both attending Hollins College when they met in 2008. Sarah was a senior and Buddy a first year grad student. But, it wasn’t until later that the two began their romance. Sarah moved to New York City after college, and the two kept in touch. It was casual until Buddy found himself in the city visiting some of his friends. The two reconnected at a birthday party, which led them to pursue a cross-country-long-distance-relationship for six months. Buddy eventually relocated from Los Angles to New York City.

The couple were on a weekend trip to Texas, staying with a friend, when Buddy popped the questions. Sarah walked into their friend’s apartment, only to be greeted by a ring box and a tray of cupcakes with “Will You Marry me?” written in the icing. With a sweet proposal like that, it’s no surprise she said yes.

Sarah wanted a wedding full of southern charm and tradition, while honoring the couples friendship and relationship. By having their wedding at Hollins Universtiy, the couple was easily able to tie their southern theme and their relationship into one. Having their wedding at the place they met 8 years earlier was a lovely tribute to the couple’s beginning. The two were even able to paint “the rock” in honor of their wedding, a long-time tradition at the college.

In honor of their southern roots, the couple served sweet tea at their wedding and handed out Virginia is for lovers gift bags. Their cake was a simple, tiered, and coconut flavored. It was white, with a textured design, and a gold topper, fitting the couple’s color scheme of coral, peach, ivory, and gold. The colors blended beautifully with the exposed brick in their reception area.

The couple honored both their past and their future with their southern themed wedding. Being able to return to their beginning to celebrate the start to their marriage was a sentiment not lost on the guests. The couple even chose songs from their favorite films to be played my a string trio during the ceremony. The couple perfectly captured their love for each other with their June wedding.

Make sure to see more of the Whitaker Wedding on page 56 of bridebook!

Dress: Maya Couture

Florist: George’s Flowers

Cake: Ellie Wallace

Venue: Hollins University

Caterer: Hollins University – Meriwether Godsey

Planner: Megan Terry & Brittany Foutz

DJ: Quest Entertainment

Attendant Dresses: Alfred Sung

Groomsmen’s Attire: Original Penguin

Hair: Roots Salon – Jillian Nance

Makeup: Lash, etc. – Jessica Hall

Venue Spotlight: Hollins University

Our students aren’t the only ones who start new lives at Hollins!

We have two indoor chapels, as well as several outdoor options, which can accommodate ceremonies from 25 – 600 and multiple reception spaces (both indoor and outdoor) which can accommodate from 25 – 350.

From the southern charm of the Green Drawing Room, the tall trees and meandering stream that define the Beale Garden, or the stately porches and lush foliage of the Front Quad, we have what you are looking for to make your wedding a memorable event for you and your guests.

Many people are surprised to learn that our students aren’t the only ones who start new lives at Hollins. In fact, we host a large number of weddings and special events each year.

In addition to our beautiful facilities and grounds, Hollins offers exclusive catering by Meriwether Godsey, as well as two unique lodging options for your bridal party and guests.  Whether you’re looking for a small, intimate space or a large, outdoor gathering, Hollins is the place to make your wedding unforgettable!

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 Wright-Hoza Wedding

Debora Wright & Roy Hoza

April 4, 2015

Photography by Kimberley Izatt Photography

Christmastime is always known as the season for magic—and love. Debora and Roy went on their first date to watch the Christmas boat parade in Richmond. They stood on a balcony that overlooked the glowing James River while sipping on champagne and inching closer together in the cold. With an evening like that, it wasn’t a surprise that the two fell in love! Later on Roy prepared a proposal full of comfort and love. On one romantic evening spent at home, he kneeled down and asked Deborah to be his wife. Of course, she was more than ecstatic to accept.

However, the engagement wasn’t without hardship as Debora was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. It is during this period that the couple can think of some of their most fond memories. Roy was Debora’s faithful and loving caregiver throughout her illness, and supported her all the way to her victory. It was this time in their relationship that the two became closer than ever and they realized that the strength and love between them could conquer all. During their vows, the phrase “In sickness and health” really held meaning for them because they knew it would sustain them through any trials that should come their way.

The wedding day was full of love and merriment as Roy and Debora brought their two families together from their previous marriages. Because of this, the theme of the day was symbolized with a circle. It was important to both of them that each member of their family participated in the ceremony. The event was small, with only 30 guests which the couple had seated in a circle around them. This was in order to represent the circle of love that was created by their relatives and close friends in attendance. Within the large circle of guests, there was a smaller circle of the wedding party including the bride and groom.

The wedding rings were kept in a mirrored box that was passed around the circle in order to be blessed by each guest, during which the harpist played “I Do, I Do it For you,” by Bryan Adams. This provided the intimate setting that the bride and groom desired in order to make their wedding unique.

The ceremony and reception took place in the Green Drawing Room, which is the main building of Hollins University. They chose this location because the bride and her mother are both alumni of the university. During her college years, Debora had lived in this building and spent a lot of time in the drawing room, so it help a lot of significance to be married to Roy there.

As a symbol of Debora’s victory over her breast cancer, the couple had pink roses decorating the wedding. The flower has always been significant in their relationship as it grew and Debora made sure to have them mixed into her spring bouquet. At the end of the ceremony, the bride and groom were sent off in a cascade of bubbles blown by their guests. The bubbles were their wedding favors and they came with a note that said “Blow bubbles of good wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs.”

Be sure to see the Wright-Hoza wedding on page 40 of the fourth issue of bridebook!

Mea culpa: In our extensive venue guide chart, we listed Hollins as having a smaller space than intended. Under Venue Capacity, Hollins will accept anywhere from 20-600 guests – plenty of room for all your favorite friends and family on your big day!

Dress: David’s Bridal
Florist: Green Designs, LLC
Cake: Confection Connection
Venue: Green Drawing Room, Hollins University
Caterer: Meriwether Godsey at Hollins University
Jewelry: International Gem & Jewelry Show
Harpist: Whitney Cairns
Attendants Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groomsman’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair: TJ Oldfield

Wedding Wednesday: The Benson Wedding

Chris & Katie Benson
July 12, 2014
Photography by Stephanie Parker Photography 

 Despite going to the same high school, it wasn’t until after college that these two were stet up by mutual friends. Three years later on a weekend trip to Wintergreen Resort, Chris and Katie went for a drive to enjoy the scenery. It was next to a strategically chosen and foggy overlook that Chris stopped the car, walked to the overlook, and asked Katie to marry him. Katie carried on the tradition and planned her wedding for the month of July, because her parents and brother also got married in July. The wedding party was special to the couple because Katie’s sister-in-law was her bridesmaid alongside Chris’s sister and Katie’s twin nieces acted as the flower girls. Chris’s best man was his dad, and Katie’s brother was a groomsman. A favorite moment from the wedding was when Chris and Katie had their “no-look” photo shoot before the ceremony, and Chris reached his hand around the door to hold Katie’s. This was the moment Katie became most excited for the big day ahead. During the reception the food played a big role as guests enjoyed filet medallions, chicken foster, crab mac and cheese, and The Hotel Roanoke’s signature potato cakes for dinner. During cocktail hour beforehand, guests dined on crab cakes and smoked chicken quesadillas. In addition to the great food, the wedding cake featured four different layers- two layers of spice cake with cream cheese frosting, Chris’s favorite German chocolate cake, and almond cake with buttercream icing. For favors, the couple gave out bags of Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses “from the new Mr. And Mrs.”

Be sure to see the Benson wedding on page 70 of the third issue of bridebook!

Dress: WToo from Bella Rosa Bridal
Florist: The Crystal Orchid
Cake: Evie’s Wedding Cakes
Ceremony: duPont Chapel at Hollins University
Venue: The Hotel Roanoke
Caterer: The Hotel Roanoke
Planner: Lindy Stetson
Jewelry: Fink’s
DJ: RSP Entertainment
Attendants’ Dresses: Alfred Sung from The Newfangled Bride
Groomsmen’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Hair & Makeup: Pampered & Polished Day Spa & Salon