I really can’t think of a better way to begin the 2018 Virginia Wedding Season than with a Harrisonburg Wedding. I had the honor of serving at The Columns at Six Penny Farm with a couple I have truly enjoyed getting to know…Jackie and Todd. These two have been a complete joy to work with since the first time we chatted.
We first had coffee together at Harrisonburg’s finest Black Sheep Coffee. Meeting in the town of my alma mater with any fellow JMU grad is a treat but these two were beyond expectations. From their humble beginnings as a couple to Todd’s romantic surprise proposal at Versailles, I was caught up in their love story right away.
Since they live in South Carolina, we had to be strategic about planning their Morven Park engagement session. Of all the places in Virginia, this one really captures a close feel to the French countryside with a piece of historical architecture as well. Their engagement session was so lovely and I knew their wedding day would reflect their joy and beauty as a couple as well.
Getting married right outside of JMU also comes with special unique privileges. They include a stunning view of Massanutten’s peak, local wine, and fields of green beset by rolling hills and an expanse of endless sky. This set the backdrop from what was a perfect day!
The Columns at Six Penny Farm boast a very lovely bridal suite, which made bridal preparations comfortable and easy. Once the details were photographed and Jackie and her girls were ready, I had the joy of recording some special moments. A group of Jackie’s close friends prayed with her…what a special moment to start off the day in thanksgiving and praise. Jackie’s mother then inserted her hair comb and they both shared a portrait together with Jackie’s grandmother’s painting. We then took some time to photograph Jackie and her bridesmaids preparing with her and enjoying some snuggle time of the couch.
The temperature outside was perfect but the wind was fierce. However, Yisell Santos did such an amazing job on Jackie’s hair that we never had to worry about pinning or redo-ing anything. Jackie was radiant in her Mori Lee Gatsby style dress! Her ladies all wore different shades of blue and looked fantastic together. After the ladies and the gents had time together, it was time for Jackie and Todd’s first look.
Jackie surprised Todd behind the manor house at The Columns at Six Penny Farm and tapped him on the shoulder. As he turned, he was a mix of tears, laughter and smiles! They spent time together enjoying each other’s company and getting excited about the rest of the day ahead. We had a very sweet and special time photographing their couples portraits.
After some portraits together, the rest of the bridal party joined us. Then we also photographed inside of the house for a while on the spiral staircase.
Then Jackie and her dad shared a Guinness together after their first look on the staircase! You really can’t top such a sweet father/daughter moment. Jackie’s dad was truly one proud poppa.
Right before the ceremony was to begin, the clouds rolled in. But it didn’t rain and rather provided a beautiful backdrop over the mountains! Jackie surprised Todd again by walking down the aisle with a full tulle skirt she had donned over her wedding gown. She moved from Gatsby glam to Belle of the Ball!
The ceremony was full of faith, love and devotion. Jackie and Todd wrote their own vows and they also celebrated with a Hawaiian blessing. This was also an honor to Todd’s family who lived in Hawaii for many years. The view was matchless and the vows were so lovely and true.
We had a short family group photo time, full bridal party photographs and then some “Just Married” photos of Jackie and Todd. No Harrisonburg wedding is complete without late afternoon photographs with that background!
Jackie wore her skirt for these photographs in the incredibly green fields surrounding The Columns at Six Penny Farm. Her gorgeous blooms from The Posey Detail remained hearty and lovely. The newlyweds had fun “frolicking” in the fields before enjoying some of their cocktail hour time.
That view though!!!!
The reception began with a grand entrance of the bridal party, followed by Jackie and Todd. Then the dinner just happened to include a pasta bar and a tater tot bar!
Jackie and Todd had planned a special reception that included their first dance as husband and wife, and a traditional daddy/daughter dance and a mother/son dance. These always make me tear up!
Right as the sun was setting behind Massanutten, we ventured outside for the golden hour moments. Not only did Adrianne and I capture Jackie and Todd at that time, but their married bridal party members as well. This included Katie and Dan who first referred me to Jackie and Todd as I photographed their five year anniversary session at Waterperry Farm and Gardens.
Jackie and Todd’s reception included a champaign tower, cake cutting, toasts by the Maid of Honor and Best Man and a special surprise. Todd’s dad had a special surprise for them as well. He sang Frank Sinatra while they danced and I thought Frank might actually be in the room with us…it was spectacular!
As the guests danced the night away up until the sparkler exit, I felt blessed to be able to serve this extraordinary couple. Thank you Jackie and Todd for the honor of serving you on your big day!!! Here is their story up until this big day and scroll down to see more images of their Harrisonburg Wedding at The Columns at Six Penny Farm!
In 2009, after finishing a culinary program at Maui Community College in Maui, Todd relocated to Harrisonburg to live with a few friends. He also would attend classes at Blue Ridge Community College with the intention of transferring to another four year university.
Jackie was born and raised in the Harrisonburg community, and in early August of 2009, she was preparing to start her Junior year at James Madison University. It was her first year living off campus with some friends and one evening they decided to go hangout at the apartment’s pool. Todd and his roommates had the same thought and their two groups met that night and instantly clicked.
Through the course of the evening Todd and Jackie found many similar interests and shared their future aspirations. As they continued to see each other regularly with friends, their shared interests grew. Slowly the big group hang outs narrowed down to just the two of them. Their relationship blossomed over time. Jackie says that whenever she thinks back to that first meeting, she remembers how comfortable she felt with him and the instant connection they shared.
Two years later, they both moved to Columbia, SC where Jackie would pursue a Master of Public Health and Todd would obtain a Bachelor of Science studying Marine Science. Jackie graduated in May of 2013 and Todd graduated in December of that year.
After earning their degrees, they secured what they thought would be temporary starter jobs in Columbia and adopted their most beloved fur-baby Dolli; (yes, she’s a cat but don’t tell her that because both she, Jackie and Todd think she’s their child). They both grew to really love their jobs and positions and demonstrate a remarkable ability to grow alongside one another, growing stronger as a team.
Travel and exploring new places and cultures was a common interest that Jackie and Todd discovered on their first night of meeting, and they’ve had many adventures since becoming a couple. Over the course of all of these adventures, particularly Maui, Washington state and Iceland, their friends and family awaited in anticipation that they would come back engaged; however each time they did not.
In early 2017, Jackie and Todd took a trip with friends to London and Paris. Like all of the trips before friends, family and colleagues would ask “do you think he’ll do it this trip?” Jackie’s response would be “No I don’t think so” Jackie really did not feel like Todd would ever risk bringing a ring across the Atlantic Ocean in case something were to happen to it. So the morning they were scheduled to depart, they were running behind and Jackie even assisted in packing both his carry on and checked baggage. There was clearly no little box in site…so it was going to be like any other amazing trip they’ve shared, but with no proposal.
The first half of the ten day trip was spent in London, somewhere Jackie has wanted to travel to for so long because of the history. They visited everywhere she wanted to go and as the majority of the group are major Harry Potter fans, they toured the studios as well! Going into the trip, Jackie hadn’t planned to like Paris as much as London, with the exception of Versailles, but she did! Paris was perfect and on the second to last day they finally made their trip to Château de Versailles.
That morning Jackie’s bestie, Katie was very insistent on arriving as soon as the gates opened to get the most of their time at the palace and its grounds. Once they arrived, the three couples parted ways to ensure each saw what they wanted to and then would meet up for lunch. Todd and Jackie took their time through the Chateau before progressing onto the immense gardens and fountains. They were both awestruck by the beauty, serenity and peace of the place.
At one point it started to sprinkle a bit and Todd made the comment that rain was good luck. After meeting up with the group for lunch they decided to take a group photo before splitting up again. Todd and Katie had the idea of taking the photo with the Château in the background so they made their way over to that part of the gardens.
When the group collected together, Todd located the perfect spot that provided a full view of the Château and they asked another tourist to take their photo. The photo ended up being the best group photo of the whole trip so they decided to do couple photos there as well, taking turns to ensure the three couples each got a good shot. When Jackie finished taking the picture for one couple, it was Todd and Jackie’s turn. Katie asked them to do it again since she didn’t have the HDR on the first time.
So they took their places again, and then then were told to do a silly pose like the Charlie’s Angels’ back-to-back. Jackie hates this kind of pose, so she started to walk away but the group convinced her to get back in frame and be a good sport, so she did. Waiting for the torture to be over, she heard Dan (Katie’s hubby) confirm he got the photo and she felt Todd pull away. She turned around to see Todd kneeling, presumably to tie his shoe, but to her immense surprise, not tying his shoe at all. Todd was down on one knee with a super sparkly thing in his hand.
Utterly in shock, her hands flew up to her mouth and she backed away! At the same time, Todd was overwhelmed by her shock and emotion and he forgot what he had initially planned to say. He was finally able to collect himself to ask her to marry him.
Nodding her head in tears of happiness, she joyfully accepted! With shaking hands, Todd steadied hers to slip the ring on her finger and kiss. Everyone around (friends and tourists) applauded. It turns out that her friends were instrumental in planning this all along, and their friend Dan was the one hiding the ring with him. Todd then surprised Jackie once again by taking her back to Paris just in time for a private horse-drawn carriage tour he had booked for the two of them before their dinner reservation. He knew that she would feel overwhelmed and would need time for just the two of them.
Following the carriage tour and dinner they met up again with their group to toast champagne and watch the Eiffel Tower light up at night. They still love to watch their engagement video once a week. Dan was secretly filming the whole time and Jackie still tears up each time they watch it. They cannot wait to spend the rest of their lives together!
Thank you to these incredible folks who helped make this day so special!
Venue: The Columns at Six Penny Farm
Planning & Florals: The Posey Detail
Hair and Make Up: Yisell Santos Hair and Make Up
Reception Decor: The Posey Detail
Catering: Eric Stamer
Stationery: Ivory Isle Designs and Minted
Wedding Gown: Mori Lee from New York Bride and Groom
Menswear: The Black Tux
Bridal Shoes: Tieks
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell, The Dessy Group, David’s Bridal
Ladies’ Robes: SS Weddings
Officiant: Tim Cole
Earrings: Nadri Jewelry
Haircomb: Amore Treasure
Wedding Band: Jared
Socks & Ties: The Tie Bar
Groom’s Ring: Clean Casting
Cake: Paradox Pastry
Alcohol Provider: Brix and Columns Vineyards
Check out the Ten Wedding Day Essentials you may not have considered yet for your wedding day!
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding Photographer, Baltimore Wedding Photographer and Harrisonburg Wedding Photographer. She is also a Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Arizona Wedding Photographer and a Destination Wedding Photographer!