Chris and Kathleen celebrated their marriage last weekend at Rust Manor House in Leesburg, Virginia. They chose one of my favorite venues (garden ceremonies have my heart), and with Claire Durán Weddings & Events at the helm, I knew it would be a beautiful celebration of love.
Chris and Kathleen are college sweethearts, and they actually met in Williamsburg at Busch Gardens. They discovered they both attended William & Mary, which led to their friendship, which eventually led to dating! After adding long distance into their relationship due to work and school in different cities over the years, they finally got engaged and started planning their beautiful wedding!
Working with these two has been a dream. I drove out to Williamsburg for their engagement session, which was such a treat! Not only did I have a blast exploring William & Mary with them, but they also introduced me to The Cheese Shop (spoiler alert: it’s delicious). We talked about travel (one of their favorite things to do together), wedding planning and how they couldn’t wait to have a fun night celebrating with everyone.
So when their wedding day arrived ten months later, I knew it would be a special day filled with meaningful details. I didn’t realize, however, just how many fun surprises were in store!
To start, Kathleen’s parents made the wedding cake, and her dad made the arbor for their ceremony. Both turned out beautifully, and the cake was delicious! Their custom invitations included a watercolor of Rust Manor House and their custom crest, which was a theme throughout all their wedding paper goods. Their wedding seating chart was a watercolor map featuring some of their favorite destinations, and the table numbers reflected this too. Adorable paper sailboats were used as place cards, and their guest book was a map for their guests to sign.
In addition to their beautiful decor choices, they also surprised each other. Kathleen made Chris custom corn hole boards, and he made her their very own “Our Adventure Book” from the movie Up with photos from all their adventures together. Kathleen and her cousins also welcomed Chris into the family with official cousins shirts, which made for a fun reception event.
Finally, everyone was shocked when William & Mary’s Griffin mascot made a surprise entrance on the dance floor! Needless to say, many photos were taken with the Griffin, and everyone had a blast dancing to the live music throughout the evening. Since Chris is in the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard flag was displayed at Rust Manor, and they included a sword in the cake cutting ceremony.
From the sweet ceremony to the exciting bubble exit, it was definitely one for the books! Congratulations, Kathleen and Chris! I wish you both the very best as you start this great adventure together. Cheers to officially being married!!
Hair: Nina Nguyen
Makeup: Heather Rea Style Studio LLC
Dress: Bellissima Bridal
Videographer: Dana Lynn Photography
Catering: Great Blue Heron Catering
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Groomsmen & groom attire: The Black Tux
Engagement Ring: Blue Nile
Wedding Bands: Beverly’s Jewelers in Hollywood, FL
Entertainment: Livin’ the Dream
String Quartet: Two Rivers Chamber Music
Rentals: Wood Boar Woodworking
Second Photographer: Sarah Botta Photography