Last weekend I had the pleasure of helping out with my friend Christen's wedding. I met Christen back in May when I was looking for someone to help me with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for my website. If you are unfamiliar with SEO, it's this really complicated algorithm that Google uses when ranking websites on search engines. And it is constantly changing. Yay. Another planner in town had known Christen for a few years and suggested I reach out and get her expertise. We became fast friends. Most of our meetings consisted of chatting about our jobs, relationships, and life in general. She has helped my business grow and has pushed and challenged me along the way. I was honored when she asked if I would help out with some of the decor set up for her special day.
Photo by: Michelle Renee Photography
Christen and Nathan, have been together now for over 10 years. She is originally from New Jersey and he finds his roots in North Carolina. They met when Christen was a senior at Virginia Tech. Nathan was out of college and playing arena football by this time. He was visiting a friend at Tech back in 2005 when they met out with friends one night. She told me a few days before they were married that she noticed him right off; they had this instant connection between them. For their first date, Christen invited Nathan over and cooked him dinner. And you know what they say about the way to a man's heart? Well, that statement proved true for this couple. She said that even in the beginning, they were best friends and that that part was always really easy. After many trials and dating long distance for quite some time, Christen made the move to Richmond in 2011 so they could finally be together. Today, Christen works as a Marketing Specialist for a firm here in town as well as helping small businesses grow on the side. Nathan is a physical trainer and is in the process of securing space for his gym, Daniels Performance Enhancement. Christen knew that Nathan was the man she wanted to spend her life with and was overjoyed when he proposed in May of last year.
After their engagement, Christen went to work planning the wedding. They decided that they wanted a Classically Elegant wedding and therefore chose a color scheme of black, white, and pale blush with hints of gold. They were married at the Manor House at King's Charter which proved to be the perfect backdrop for their gorgeous wedding. The Manor House is full of old world charm and is ideal for a smaller sized wedding. The florals were soft and elegant and understated in the best kind of way.
Details Details Details! Christen did a wonderful job with all of the little details! From their gorgeous custom sewn black and white striped linens, to their quilt blocks guest book (Christen is an avid seamstress), to their handmade jam party favors, they literally thought of everything! My job that day was to help her coordinator Shelly (a friend from her time as an intern in college) with the decorations. If you know me, you know that design and decorating is one of my favorites things to do in the whole world! It was fun hanging the quilt blocks on a piece of string in between two ladders, cutting and tying baby's breath to the ends of the rows, and decorating the mantle above the fireplace to make it look all fancy.
As with most weddings, there were a few "hiccups" along the way. The weather was overcast and rainy so they had to move the ceremony location inside and one of the bridesmaids' cars broke down on the way back to the hotel (Yikes!) after hair and makeup, but Christen took it all in stride and nothing stopped this wedding from being lovely or from Christen and Nathan having the best day of their lives.
Last two photos by: Michelle Renee Photography
I will never forget when I saw Christen for the first time that day. She and her bridal party came through the side door of the kitchen shortly before the ceremony so the guests couldn't see them. I went in to greet them and see how they were doing. I have honestly never seen Christen look more beautiful or more joyful than she did standing there in her wedding dress. She was beaming from one ear to another and I remember thinking, "This is how every bride should look and feel on their wedding day." A little before they got there, Shelly had me pretend to be Christen so they could work on the timing of the bridal march with the DJ (since they had to move the ceremony inside). As I stood on the steps thinking of what Christen might feel as she walked down the aisle to Nathan after all of these years, it was all I could do not to cry. What made this wedding so special was not the details, not the food, or even the dancing. What made this wedding special was a love that has been faithful, committed, and steady through good times and bad. We should all love like this. Without judgement. Without demands. And with a deep understanding and steadfast commitment. I am so thrilled for Christen and Nathan and feel lucky to call her friend.
Thanks for stopping by!