Cass and Dave set out to show their guests, many of whom were visiting Virginia from afar, a true Southern experience! Upper Shirley Vineyards is set against the James River and it was the perfect setting for their classic, minimalist summer wedding. Selecting a color palette of shades of blue, which beautifully offset the whitewashed reception hall and lush green ceremony locale, the couple worked with Maggie Richard to create a relaxed and slightly preppy atmosphere. Cute and comfy LulaKate bridesmaids frocks were accompanied by fluffy bouquets by The Proper Petal, who also created a beautiful ceremony arbor and clean and simple reception tables, all reflecting the event’s summery vibe. We are totally smitten by the beautiful images from Audrey Rose Photography!
In their own words
How did you meet?
It was August 2010, and we were both about to start our first jobs out of college – the same job, in fact, as we were both hired to be admissions counselors at our alma mater, University of Mary Washington. Although we were both in the same graduating class, it wasn’t until that first day on the job that we officially met each other. We quickly learned that we shared another connection, as Cass’s mom grew up in Ridgefield and attended Ridgefield High – graduating just a few years before Dave! We became fast friends, bonding over reviewing mediocre college essays and the thrill of eating lunch in the campus faculty-staff dining hall. Over the next few years, we enjoyed life after college in Fredericksburg, Virginia, becoming friends with many of the people we’re still close with today. After a couple of years of friendship, we both realized that there was something more to our relationship. We started taking things more seriously in the fall of 2013, and moved to Richmond, Virginia together the following spring.
What is your proposal story?
After about 3 years together, we knew we were ready to take the next step. This past July, we went on vacation with Dave’s family to Newport, Rhode Island. Dave decided that he wanted to pop the question at Castle Hill, a beautiful historic inn on the water at the entrance to the Newport harbor. The plan was to start the evening with cocktails at Castle Hill. Dave got down on one knee in front of family, friends, and hundreds of other people who were also there watching the sunset. Cass was so surprised and excited that she put out the wrong hand and had the ring on her right finger for a while before anyone noticed! She had no idea that Dave had even bought a ring, much less that he was going to propose on this trip. He was able to pull off the ultimate surprise and it is a memory that we will cherish forever.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Making sure our guests had a great experience was most important for us. We splurged on food and drinks, as well as the band, because we wanted our guests to really enjoy themselves. We skipped a big fancy wedding cake in favor of our favorite cake from a local restaurant (tres leches cake from Kuba Kuba). We also kept the decor simple – the venue was beautiful and didn’t need a lot of added decor.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Reading our vows was definitely a highlight. We had beautiful weather, and during our ceremony you could hear the breeze and the river running. We wrote our own vows and read them together – it was a really special moment. Our first dance and dances with our parents were also really special. We had taken dance classes and were really proud of how we did – and we had a ton of fun with it! Finally, Dave’s old band played a few songs while the band we had hired took a break. I think a lot of our guests were suprised and had a lot of fun dancing along.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
My cousin Monica was one of my bridesmaids, but at the last minute she wasn’t able to attend the wedding. She was nine months pregnant and her doctor wouldn’t let her travel to be there on our day. Since she couldn’t be there, she sent me a really special locket that our grandmother had given her before she passed away a few years ago. The locket had a picture of Monica on one side, and a picture of me on the other side – both of when we were little girls. I had our florist tie it into my bridal bouquet, and it was really special to have that with me for the ceremony.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Remain calm, enjoy the planning as much as you can, but don’t let it run your life. Everything will come together, and whatever doesn’t work out won’t matter in the end!
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