13th Aug 2018

Alyssa & Alex

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The Big Question

Alex asked me if I would go to lunch with his mom and grandmother one December afternoon. When we pulled up, he said his mom was running late, telling me we should go to the rooftop next door "just to see what's up there". It was drizzling, and I told him I'd probably rather see the rooftop when it was nice out, but after he called the building to ask if we could take a look around, I went along with his plan.

When the door opened to the rooftop, as I turned to view the Richmond, Virginia skyline, I suddenly saw two best friends hiding behind a wall with my parents and Alex's sister. When I turned back to look at Alex, he was lowering to his knee with a wonderful proposal neither he nor I remember. It was such a surreal, memorable moment in a beautiful location overlooking the city where we met.

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One of the most special parts of the day was when the clouds cleared and the sun shone for just a few minutes. I feel so sure it was a sign that my Poppop, who passed away just 10 days before the proposal, was there watching over us.

The group popped a champagne bottle on the rooftop and went to the Hall family's home to have a delicious lunch. Even if it was a little rainy, it was a perfect day! Which should have foreshadowed how the wedding day would go.

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Shop 'Til You Drop

With my two closest Richmond friends, I took a road trip to Virginia Beach, VA to meet my mom to dress shop. I had lived in Virginia Beach a few years ago and had heard good things about the dress shops there, so I was excited to take a look!

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At our first shop, I found a few dresses I loved, but I never had the feeling that I had found *the* dress. I knew I didn't want strapless nor any sparkle on my dress, but other than that, I was open to suggestions. After trying on many halters and off the shoulder gowns, we headed to Ava Clara Bridal, where Melinda selected a few based on my preferences. 

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Paz was the second dress I tried on, and as soon as I walked to the 3-way mirror, I fell in love with the drama of the gorgeous flowing train coupled with the timeless chantilly lace neckline and flattering bodice. I adored that Paz made me feel like a classic, chic Cinderella bride! To really emphasize my waistline, I ordered a custom version of Paz with extra crinoline. 

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The Perfect Day

Since I have always dreamed of an outdoor wedding with lush greenery and sunshine, Tuckahoe Plantation felt like the perfect location for our wedding. Lush gardens for cocktail hour, a ceremony space lined with crate myrtles, and a reception area overlooking the James River sounded lovely. As my father said in his speech that night, "Brides plan, and God laughs." We had an unprecedented 3 inches of rain that day, a torrential downpour that began right after our first look and never let up.

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Although June 2 began as a beautiful day, the wedding did not go at all to plan. We had to move the ceremony under a tent, which still flooded, scrapping our gorgeous floral archway ceremony backdrop. I didn't get to showcase my gorgeous train, as it would have been dragging through the mud. My bridesmaids and I all ended up needing to be barefoot the entire evening.  However, I was determined to make our wedding day one I would remember as happy and fun with a whole lotta love! As we waited for the downpour to subside, we danced in the main house where Thomas Jefferson grew up, changing the words of Taylor Swift's song "22" to "We'll just keep dancing like it's... dry outside!" That will always be one of my favorite memories of the day.

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Because Alex and I have such wonderful family and friends surrounding us, and we had a dream team of planners (Tart Event Co.) to help us coordinate the day's bumps, it was the most unforgettable day. It made us so thankful for the people in our lives who went with the flow and made our day a great party in the rain and mud! We had the animals from the grounds join the party and, I even did a split on the dance floor at the end of my night in my mud-soaked (and still gorgeous) dress! People will be talking about our wedding for years to come.

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Wise Words

There will always be something that doesn't go exactly according to plan. Try to embrace it and turn it into something that makes your day even better than you imagined! You will be thankful you turned the lemons into lemonade!

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Photographer: Alicia White
Dress: Paz
Location: Tuckahoe Plantation
Stockist: Ava Clara
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