I must admit from the very beginning that this may be my favorite blog to write thus far. The bride and groom are my best friends and throughout their wedding planning I wore many hats, including bridesmaid, wedding planner, and venue assistant. It was wild and wonderful at the same time and I’m so excited to finally share their day! Graham and Shannon have the most beautiful love story – they met freshmen year at Christopher Newport University and became best friends. After four years of friendship, something changed and they fell in love. After that, it was a quick ride through dating and engagement, and (with a little help from yours truly) they began their journey as husband and wife at the HPO.
This bride and groom made faith, family and friends the priority for their wedding day and what a sweet gift that was! It was incredible to see the amount of people who gathered around to make this day happen. At the end of it all, everyone couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had. As a wedding coordinator, that is always the goal so I was so relieved to receive that feedback. The wedding party and a team of helpers woke up early Sunday morning and met at the HPO – luckily we grabbed doughnuts beforehand to make the morning a little sweeter!
Shannon and I have a deep love for doughnuts and bagels so I finally made a doughnut wall. Brunch game = strong.
I’m a firm believer in wearing your prettiest robe and sipping mimosas the morning of your wedding, and Shannon did just that.
Scarves were the perfect bridesmaid gift for the windy November day.
Our talented friend Adelyn was the photographer for the day and she surprised me when she asked me to help Shannon with her shoes. It’s amazing how the little things can mean so much on days like these.
But first, let me take a selfie.
Shannon & Graham’s wedding bands were created by our friend Anna Hubbard. Having an artist you’ve developed a personal relationship with create your bands brings them even more significance.
Shannon found her dress unexpectedly with her sweet mama one day. It’s a Sofia gown designed by Matthew Christopher but we found the perfect fabric and seamstress to add custom straps and create Shannon’s dream dress.
The red carnations were added to Shannon’s hair last-minute and it was the perfect finishing touch!
Love this shot with our emerald green dresses!
Graham works for Ledbury in Richmond, VA so the gentlemen rocked Ledbury shirts & ties and J. Crew pants.
Graham decided from the beginning that he wanted the first time he saw Shannon to be when she walked down the aisle. Well, from the moment the ceremony began there was not a dry eye in the house. As you can see, the wedding party also couldn’t keep it together (myself included!).
Shannon’s father is a pastor so he walked her down the aisle and then preformed the ceremony for his youngest daughter.
We talked about different options for the ceremony backdrop but I love that they decided on dark grey. It made Shannon’s dress look even lovelier and gave the forest feel that we aimed for in the wedding design.
Mill Point Park never disappoints for portrait location – especially when the bride and groom are so madly in love!
Shannon wanted the outside brought indoors for the wedding, so we tried to create a “forest floor” feel with lots of wild greenery. Shannon’s also a bit of a Southern bell so we incorporated farm tables and lace.
Our sweet friend with a green thumb, Sara Maria Blanton, arranged centerpieces and other dear ones created this magnolia leaf seating chart.
Shannon & Graham’s first dance was actually their first dance ever. It was the most precious moment for us to share in.
Gotta bustle that dress to dance the night away!
Mother of the groom had some of the best moves on the dance floor!
And to bring a little twist to the night, the bride and groom had a taco bar for dinner and pies for dessert. Yum!
Then, Mr. & Mrs. McNeely sealed their perfect wedding day with a kiss (and a velvet romper!).
November 19, 2017 was one for the books and a day we couldn’t have done without the help of many wonderful vendors and friends. On a personal note, I’ll cherish these photos forever with the people I love in the place I love!
Photographer Adelyn Boling Photography
Coordinator Sara Maria Blanton & Madeline Wheeler
Rentals Big Top Entertainment
Linens Splendid Seating
Bouquets & Boutonnieres Pam Pollard’s Flowers
Caterer Omar’s Carriage House
Bride’s Dress Matthew Christopher
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Azazie
Invitations Paperless Post
Hair Stylist Ann-Marie Hyatt of Shear Style Salon & Spa