Kristen Thomas Photography » Northern Virginia Portrait & Wedding Photographer

Our Forever Day | Barren Ridge Vineyards

I woke up on July 17 with a very calming, peaceful feeling. The day had arrived, and I was about to marry the man God had prepared just for me.  While I was getting ready, family and friends were at the vineyard setting up chairs and hanging tiny light bulb vases.  Everything was going as planned…

Then the dark clouds rolled in and I started to worry…  just a little.  We were planning for an outside ceremony at Barren Ridge Vineyards, and while we could move everything inside, we really dreamed of saying our vows outside in the gorgeous setting we had envisioned.

As I put on my jewelry and Stephanie made last minute dress alterations… it began to rain.  Not a slight drizzle, but it started to pour…  We proceeded to take some pictures of me and my bridesmaids on my parents front porch and hoped for the best.

As I rode with Dave and Patrick to the vineyards the rain had stopped, but we weren’t in the clear yet.  It was supposed to storm again at 4:00 pm, our ceremony time.  Everyone kept assuring me, “It’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day!” Why???  Was this just a phrase to somehow calm those brides who’s dreams of outside weddings had been ruined?  Who would think such a thing was good luck?  After the wedding, I learned that since the wedding day is “tying the knot,” rain is considered good luck since a wet knot is harder to untie….

We arrived at the vineyard for the First Look. (I’ll feature more about the reasons for choosing a First Look in another post, but it allowed us to see each other before the wedding and take many pictures ahead of time.  Definitely recommend it!)   John was standing at the top of the hill.  As I walked up the long gravel road to meet him, it was amazing to think about how often I had prayed for my husband.  Wondered what he would be like and what his name would be.  His name is John, and he was waiting for me, his bride.  The moments of first seeing each other were priceless.

After lots of pictures, the ceremony was about to begin.  Not a rain cloud in sight! God is so good and gave us an amazingly beautiful sunny ceremony.  And after vows, rings, unity sand and a kiss, we were pronounced husband and wife at exactly 4:17 pm on July 17th!

Today marks three months married for us, and 29 years for my parents!  Happy Anniversary!

We have to give thanks to our amazing vendors…

Venue: Barren Ridge Vineyards – The setting was spectacular, and their coordinator, Melinda, was so helpful in working with us to make sure the day coordinated beautifully.

Wedding Director: Nicole Riley – Best director ever! Seriously cannot thank her enough for all her hard work.  She flawlessly coordinated a large wedding party (16 adults + 2 flower girls!) and handled lots of things behind-the-scenes that I didn’t even find out about until afterwards.  So, thank you Nicole for cleaning up glass when the lightbulbs broke, wiping off wet chairs from the rain, attempting to redirect a random limousine from interrupting our ceremony and simply being fabulous!  I’ll recommend you to anyone!

Photographers: After we got engaged, I was frequently asked, “So, who’s going to do your photography?”  I really didn’t have to put a whole lot of thought into this question.  I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with lots of great photographers over the years, but I knew who I wanted to capture my special day.  Two of the most fabulous photographers I know, David Madison of David Madison Photography and Sabrena Deal of S. Carter Studios.  Yeah, I couldn’t pick just one…

Videographer: Patrick Ryan – Dear friend and “big brother” for almost 10 years, I was so thankful he was willing to use his talents to capture our day.  I can’t wait to see the final result, I know it will be wonderful!

Flowers: Waynesboro Florist – We had visited several florists in town, and Webber impressed us from the first visit to the shop.  He listened to our ideas and had wonderful advice for how we could implement them.  He was knowledgeable about the different flowers and even ordered a sample for me to see a few weeks before to make sure the colors were what we liked.  We were thrilled with what he created for us!

Caterer: Willie McNeal of Weddings & Things – Our food was amazing! His servers were professional and kind, they served the meals quickly and everything was hot and sooo good!

Cake: Orpha Beyeler – She had created the cake for my sister’s wedding, so I knew I had to have her for my own.  She seriously makes the best tasting and most elegant cakes we have ever seen.  We were so pleased!

Groom’s Cake & Maid of Honor Extraordinaire: Megan Tomlinson – I know you put in a lot of hours even before you arrived into town.  Your cake was spectacular, and I appreciate all your hard work with the decorating, setting up (for the rehearsal dinner and wedding) and preparing everything that needed to be done for the day.

Program Design: Paul Tomlinson of Waxed Designs – He was able to take the embossed design from our invitations and embed it into our program.  Very talented designer and patient brother-in-law!

Music: Stan Wood – Thank you so much for providing our wonderful music.  You did a great job and we are so thankful for your work!

My Parents: I know you’re not technically “vendors” but you both provided so much for this day.  I appreciate all the hours of helping me string beads, hollow out light bulb vases, paint wooden letters, hand emboss invitations and each place card, set up and tear down, hard work for our day.  Everything was so worth it… we love and appreciate every detail! Thanks for listening to all my crazy ideas, calming me down during stressful moments and being the best parents a girl could ask for.  I know you’ve been praying for me to find this special man, for what seems like forever, and I’m so grateful for your years of prayers, worry and support.  Love you so much!

  • October 17, 2010 - 7:54 pm

    DADDY & Mom - Very touching and just beautiful! Daddy thinks you need to go into writing – you journal things very well. We are so thankful God brought John into your life in His perfect timing. It was a perfect and beautiful day – and the start to a beautiful life together. And Baba would be so happy that you married a John!!
    We love you,
    Mom and DaddyReplyCancel

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