Meg and JJ’s wedding in the picturesque foothills of Virginia totally knocked it out of the ballpark. We absolutely melted over the 1000-watt smiles and grins from ear to ear; the touching, emotional moments photographed by Awesomesauce Photography; and the beautiful rustic motifs ideal for their November wedding at Sundara. The mauve, plum, and lavender shades were a much-loved fall twist on color palettes for the season than we’re used to and it popped out so sublimely. If mountain chic is a thing, this wedding is definitely it.
How did you meet?
I moved to Richmond to serve on staff at a church and we met my second Sunday in worship. We were just friends for awhile, but once we started spending time together outside of church, we quickly realized we had a deeper connection. I’m grateful my church was so supportive of this unique circumstance!
What is your proposal story?
JJ hates Valentine’s day with a vehement passion–“a hallmark holiday created with the sole purpose of bolstering consumerism,” he says. After he spent so much time throwing shade at Valentine’s Day, he realized it would be the perfect day to propose. I would have no idea it was coming and be totally surprised. And he was right! I walked into my living room, still in sweat pants after a yoga class, not planning anything special for the holiday, and JJ was on his knee with a ring box in his hand. I was so shocked I literally shut the door in his face. I just couldn’t process what was happening. Then, of course, I started crying, opened the door, sat down in front of him, and said the best yes I’ve ever said.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Being a minister, I wanted to make sure the ceremony was the main thing, so we spent a good deal of our time working with our two officiants on creating a service that felt true to our relationship and to God. I’ve also seen couples who spend so much time planing the wedding that they forget about the marriage, so we tried hard to prioritize time together and our commitment to premarital counseling, even in the midst of the busiest planning months.
That being said, I had LOADS of fun organizing ideas, researching options, and making our vision a reality for the reception. I think our priority was that our guests feel taken care of… we wanted the food to be good, and we arranged a seating chart so that all of our friends from so many different parts of our lives would be able to find people they could easily connect with.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
All the “waiting” in the hours leading up to ceremony was stressful to me. But as soon as I saw JJ, the gravitas of the moment sunk in for me and the anxieties vanished. We had a “first look” so we got a few minutes together to really savor the moment, and I don’t think I’ll every forget what those minutes felt like. I also loved being given away, by both my mom and dad, and the sweetness of being surrounded by friends who prayed over us. The reception was a total blast–we danced and drank champagne and ate all sorts of yummy things. One of my favorite moments of the reception was near the end, when they finally played one of the songs we’d most requested–At Last, by Etta James. There weren’t many people on the dance floor at that moment, but I drug JJ on and we snuggled up close to one another and I leaned my head on his chest and closed my eyes. When I opened them again we were surrounded by so many couples, also drawn to this song, and to being connected in a sweet and still way. It was beautiful.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Trust your gut–you and your partner know one another, and you know the nature of your relationship. Find ways to make sure you wedding embodies that essence. Don’t let others opinions or hopes or expectations determine your choices.
The below wedding pros made this amazing event happen. See more of their work by visiting their website.