Katie Stoops Photography

Elese & Ray: The Barns at Hamilton Station

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Elese & Ray had one of my favorite weddings…everything seemed to happen & flow how it was supposed to. Lots of laughter, warm hugs, and the spirit of simply having fun & enjoying the day was on everyone’s faces. Unfortunately, a few days before the wedding, Ray broke his ankle during a big police training camp from one of those giant tires (400+lbs) falling on it. Regardless, it was such a time of celebration and I am so happy to have been a part of it. Elese-you are definitely one of the coolest Brides I’ve ever met! xoxoKatie

Venue: The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards / Bride’s Dress & Necklace: J Crew / Design & Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals / Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas/ Florals: Petals & Hedges / Catering: Kangaroo Boxing Club in DC / Cakes & Sweets: Vegan Treats 
Why we choose The Barns: We had searched and searched for locations that were not only vineyards but they also needed a rustic chic outdoorsy feel.When we arrived at The Barns at Hamilton Station that’s exactly what we found. We loved it! Another great thing for us was it was only about an hour or so from the city which meant all of our guest could make it no problem. On top of all of that, the staff at the Barns are absolutely wonderful to work with. We couldn’t have found a better place for our wedding.

Favorite part of wedding day: Well of course the whole day was my favorite, but two parts stood out. The first was me hiding in the farm house watching Ray get out of his truck looking all handsome in his kilt. I was so,so, SO excited that I was getting to marry my very best friend. The second was when Ray and I were standing outside of the dining area waiting to be introduced. We finally had a moment to ourselves to just be quietly together. He said some of the sweetest things to me in those 5 minutes before returning to the fabulous wedding whirlwind. Definitely my two favorite moments.

Favorite part about planning: This is a hard one! I am so, so grateful for my wonderful mother and our amazing wedding team. If it was not for them I probably would still be planning our wedding. I think my favorite part was dress shopping with my mom. She was a trooper! My sister lives in Illinois and all of my best friends are out of state. So she had to be like 6 people in one. I finally settled on the 4th dress I bought after months of searching (OMG that’s crazy to think I went through so many dresses!). I also really enjoyed the small things like wine tasting with my dad & step-mom and trying out different caters with Ray or even putting together our music for the dj. It’s fun to be able to spend time with loved ones while planning a huge life event.

Advice to couples planning: ASK FOR HELP. This is such a big day for the couple and I know every bride wants things to be perfect. I know for a fact that if I didn’t have my family and our wedding team I would have struggled through the planning. I went in with a plan to do a lot of things myself (flowers, cakes, take home gifts) and I am happy that I let other people take over those task for me. Working a demanding full-time job and having to find time to plan is next to impossible. I know I would have been such a wreck before the wedding if I was up all night doing flower arrangements or icing a wedding cake.

Alex & Jeff’s DC Garden wedding at the Textile Museum

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What better way to welcome Spring (fingers crossed) than to show you this intimate garden wedding in the heart of DC. I could have photographed Alex & Jeff forever!

Event Designer: Events in the City / Venue: Textile Museum / Bridal gown: Judd Waddell / Hair & Makeup: Victoria Stiles / Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie / Catering: Windows Catering / Florals: Growing Wild Floral / DJ: DJ D-Mac / Day of Paper: Intrigue Design Studio / Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Furniture Rentals: American Furniture Rentals

Happy Valentine’s Day! Heather & Patrick’s Tuckahoe Plantation wedding

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Happy Valentine’s Day you lovebirds! I am delighted to share with you this beautiful Virginia wedding from this past Fall. What’s even better is that NazFilms has made a Super 8 film from Heather & Patrick’s big day that you can watch below! Lots of love to all of you!

Heather & Patrick :: Tuckahoe Plantation Virginia Wedding from NAZFILMS on Vimeo.


Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation / Gown designer: Allure / Bridesmaid dresses: Bari Jay / Hair & Makeup: Alison Harper & Company / Florals: Flowers by Mona Ray / Wedding coordinator: Jenn Siess Henry / Cake: The Buttercream Bee /Invitations: Chelsey Emery via Etsy /Catering: Mosaic / Film: NazFilms

From Heather:

Favorite part of our day: Since Patrick and I opted not to do a first look, I really cherished the time we spent alone taking photos after our ceremony, soaking in the day and each other. When you asked to steal us away for a few minutes while everyone was enjoying dinner, we didn’t think twice about it. That drive down the long Tuckahoe Plantation driveway right before sunset, surrounded by nothing but trees and pristine nature, really gave us a chance to reflect on the excitement of the day. My other favorite part of the day was having all the girls over at our house the morning of for brunch while getting ready. We watched Gossip Girl, sipped on mimosas and relaxed in robes while being pampered with hair and make-up!
Why we chose Tuckahoe Plantation: Patrick and I toured four venues and the minute we walked around Tuckahoe Plantation, we knew it was perfect. It had its challenges, with our wedding scheduled mid-hurricane season and Tuckahoe being an outdoor venue, but we fell in love and didn’t look back.
Wedding planning details: I planned all the little details for our wedding and while I don’t have a creative bone in my body, I really tried to infuse the day with personal details that represented us as a couple. Some of my favorites were our wedding flowers, which included burgundy ranunculus and peach roses, a play on the colors of Virginia Tech where Patrick I first met in graduate school, a cork monogram “B” I made to display using corks I had collected throughout our engagement, two gorgeous vintage cars we were lucky enough to borrow from family friends to get to and from our venue that day and of course, getting married on our six year anniversary!
Other fun details: Patrick and I had so much fun incorporating meaningful details and celebrating small achievements during the months leading up to the wedding. We buried our bottle of bourbon the month before the wedding at the ceremony site in the pouring rain, which was such an adventure (and absolutely worth the beautiful weather we had on our wedding day!) We rented out one of our favorite local Richmond restaurants, Arcadia, for our rehearsal dinner so we could properly introduce our out-of-town friends and family to Richmond. We even scheduled cake tasting during my birthday weekend so we could indulge all weekend long.

We are featured today on Southern Weddings today!

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Hop on over to the Southern Weddings blog today to see a wedding that I haven’t posted on here. It’s a sweet home wedding with bright pink & red tones…just in time for Valentine’s Day. Can you even believe this amazing floral swing in the Bride’s backyard!?!

Click here to view this wedding

Heather & Greg, A Romantic Summer Wedding at the Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia

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Directly from the  Snippet & Ink post:

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Greg and I really wanted a location where our friends and family could enjoy exclusive use of the property and unwind for the weekend, sort of like a mini vacation. The Clifton Inn provided the perfect combination of a picturesque landscape, excellent service and accommodations, and superb food. Greg and I spent our first weekend at The Clifton Inn in April and we fell in love with everything about it.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Greg and I realized the weddings we’d attended that were designed for everyone to spend time together were those that we most enjoyed. Since our wedding was over Labor Day weekend, we tried to plan events that everyone could enjoy. Greg’s parents hosted welcome cocktails for all of our guests on Friday evening, our friends spent time at the pool on Saturday during the day, and we encouraged all of our guests to check out everything else that Charlottesville had to offer, from the shops downtown to the local wineries. Looking back, it was perfect. Even if Greg and I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time with each guest on our wedding night, we were able to spend quality time with them at other times throughout the weekend.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  It is hard to pick a favorite moment or part of the day from such a wonderful weekend, but Greg and I both loved the half hour we got to spend alone on the morning of our wedding. We each woke up early and played a friendly game of cornhole on the front lawn of the Inn. It was the only part of the day before we were married where it was just the two of us and it was the perfect moment together before the craziness of the day began.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received came from one of my best friends that had just gotten married the prior year. She told me to make a point of spending a few moments alone during the reception. Shortly after the dancing started, we grabbed hands and a plate of mini desserts and snuck into the backyard for a few moments together. From where we stood, we could watch everyone dancing under the lights. It was such a treat to enjoy that romantic moment alone with my new husband in the midst of so many people that loved us. I will always cherish this advice because you really do spend so little time alone on your wedding day. That moment for us will last a lifetime.

What advice do you have for other brides?  It might sound cliché, but really, whatever happens, go with the flow and stay calm. Also, hire a wedding planner! I could not have survived the wedding planning process without our amazing planner.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  You have to sit down and give serious thought to what is most important to you. If you splurge on everything, you will far exceed your budget. So pick out the one, two, or three most important aspects of the wedding to you and your husband-to-be and splurge on those areas. If it does not make the list, then you have to be flexible. For example, I always thought that I wanted a band at my wedding. We have been to many weddings where the band really made the reception. But, when Greg and I assessed what was most important to us, a band did not make the list. We decided to go with a DJ and it could not have been a better decision. We were able to stay closer within our budget, and most importantly, our DJ was fantastic!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  After our reception, we hosted a late night celebration at the pool with drinks and snacks. Greg and I didn’t hesitate to swap out our wedding gear for bathing suits so that we could spend a little more time with our guests. For me, this really symbolizes the entire weekend for us. We had such a great time celebrating this incredibly momentous occasion with everyone that had helped us to become the people that we were, individually, and together. We soaked up every moment of it!

Event Designer: Amanda Gray with Ashley Baber Weddings / Venue, Catering, & Cake: The Clifton Inn / Floral Designer: The Arrangement Company / Hair & Makeup: Lora Kelley / Floral Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar / Gown: Marisa / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Plate Rentals: Festive Fare / Lighting: Blue Ridge AV Lighting / Stationary: Ava Anderson & Rock Paper Design / DJ: Derek Tobler

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The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year’s Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at your and don’t really think you look older because they’ve grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they’re used to the look.- Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake