I’m not sure a wedding venue can get more gorgeous than the one I’m sharing today – a stately 200-year-old Southern mansion surrounded by rolling Virginia farmland and manicured gardens. And to top it off, one of my favorite photographers, Katie Stoops, documented everything in her amazingly sublime way. Read on for wonderful insight from the glowing bride, Kate …
Says the bride, Kate, “We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, and the Oatlands had the most beautiful grounds we had seen. It was a garden party! My bridesmaids wore floral dresses, we had floral patterned fans for our guests to use, the centerpieces were flower boxes, the gift bags had paper birds on them, and even the escort cards sat in a box with moss and succulents. We encouraged our guests to dress casually – sundresses for the ladies and khakis for the gentlemen.
Kate + Steve’s Love Story
We met the old fashioned way – on an internet dating site. After talking online a few times, we met for drinks and had an instant connection. A year and a day after our first date, Steve proposed at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay, Calif., with the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen (of course, I’m biased)!
I really enjoy being crafty, so I did a lot of the decorations myself. I had a lot of fun and have since thought about helping other brides with crafting things for their wedding as a side business. [If you’re interested in more details, you can e-mail Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org] I designed, and in most cases made, the Save the Date, the “Welcome” chalkboard, the program, the lemonade glasses and tags, the lemonade stand and gift table runners, the greenhouse card holder, the table numbers, the favor bags, the pie stands and labels, the escort cards, the escort card boxes, and my veil. One of my best friends did all of the calligraphy for the wedding invitations. As a surprise wedding present, he also set up a photo guest book, and took polaroids of everyone there who signed.
Favorite memory of the day? It was definitely having all of our friends and family in one place. I can’t think of another time that will ever happen. Also, we loved getting down on the dance floor to our favorite cheesy 90s pop music.
And Kate’s closing advice for planning a wedding: “Take it all in! The planning will be stressful, but make sure you let it all go once the wedding weekend begins. Relax and enjoy every second of it! And most importantly, remember not to take anything too seriously. No one will notice if the caterer used two different table cloths. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you will be marrying the love of your life!”
Credits: Venue: The Oatlands /Wedding Gown: J Crew/ Shoes: Kate Spade/Bridesmaid Dresses: Jill Stuart (purchased at Bloomingdales)/Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss/Groomsmen’s Suits: their own/Florals: Loda Floral Design/Food: Well Dunn Catering /Tent & Rentals: Capital Party Rentals / Invitations & Paper: Minted