I have so enjoyed getting to know Jessica and Chris. From when I first spoke with them, I knew Jessica was such a special woman. She is a teacher of children with special needs as well as a dance coach at the school she teaches. Jessica has a heart for children and I believe the little ones at her Morais Vineyards wedding would say the same! She made sure to have a candy bar and a fun photo booth at the wedding which proved the perfect entertainment for them.
So it takes a special guy to snag a woman like Jessica! Chris is a soft-spoken, hard-working man who adores Jessica. He has already become such an important part of her family and is happy to help them and serve them as well. Truly these two make a wonderful couple.
Their Morais Vineyard wedding day began with rain, lots of rain. There have certainly been more rainy Saturdays this summer season than I can ever remember. So it wasn’t a big surprise. But it always comes as a bit of a disappointment for any bride who has a gorgeous outdoor ceremony planned. However, photographing weddings on rainy days at Morais Vineyards has become nothing new to me! I was fully confident that these two would have a wonderful day no matter the weather. And Jessica was too.
Jessica enjoyed the time getting getting ready with her ladies and the Morais Vineyards bridal suite is the most cozy place to be. While I photographed the details, they enjoyed snacks and champaign together while being pampered. The girls were nothing short of helpful, encouraging and full of excitement.
After preparations were done, it was time to photograph Jessica and her ladies. We did so in the balcony area of the Morais reception hall. Underneath of us, preparations were being made by the team from Main Street Weddings for for the ceremony to be held indoors. And they looked amazing! Jessica and her women were all stunning, graceful and in full anticipation of a fantastic day.
Then Jessica posed for a few bridal portraits before a very special first look with her first love…her father.
After that precious moment Jessica readied herself for the ceremony. And with the help of some incredible bridesmaids, we attached her special portrait of Jessica and her grandfather to her bouquet. Now she was ready to tie the knot!
But what about those men? The guys were just as excited as the ladies and my other photographer, Adrianne, captured the guys perfectly…expressing just how fun and dapper they truly were.
Wow! What a faith-filled ceremony not without tears, laughter and an almost missing ring! Chris’ brother did produce the ring after a little bit of searching his pockets. LOL! It made for some good laughter! I also thought Chris might fall over when he saw Jessica for the first time. Everything about the ceremony was just perfect. From Jessica and her father’s walk down the aisle together to the couples’ vows they prepared especially for one another. After hearing them, I am convinced that these two have what it takes for a lifetime of a working, committed and loving marriage. It was an absolute privilege to watch them tie the knot.
The backdrop was simply perfect for the wedding as well…you would never have known that rain caused this ceremony to be moved indoors because it was just perfect! Morais Vineyards has the most lovely reception space that doubles as the perfect ceremony spot with enough room for all the guests to be comfortably seated and out of the weather.
I loved our group portrait time, especially working with those kiddos! And their bridal party was so supportive, fun and paid attention so well too.
After the group photos, we escaped to the wine cellar for some incredible images there as well as more in the ceremony/reception site. It was still raining so we didn’t have an opportunity then to take any outside…but there is good news to come!
And truly, Jessica and Chris had such a lovely wedding venue that it didn’t matter where they were in the venue…it always seemed to be perfect. Maybe that’s because they are so easy to engage. When a couple has this much chemistry, the love shines through in any location!
While we were photographing, the team at Main Street Weddings and The Chef’s Table were flipping the ceremony site into the reception site. And it was fabulous! All of the details (that floral table garland!) from The Posey Detail just added the perfect touches to an already spectacular day.
I loved their idea to have each table sign sine bottles for them to drink at each anniversary! And their head table was a wonderful place for a family style seating…
The cake and baked goods were nothing short of incredible as well. From the monogrammed cookies to the confectionary flowers, everything was a sweet show of love!
When it was time for Jessica and Chris to enter into their reception; they made an incredible grand entry right into their first dance.
Immediately following Jessica’ father’s welcoming speech, we headed outside because the skies had cleared up enough for a few photographs under the umbrella as well as some without once it cleared some more! It was great timing to be able to have some golden hour time after all.
Chris and Jessica danced their way around the front facade of the venue and by the side of the vineyard as well. They may not have had a rain free day, but they certainly had a lovely, romantic, joy-filled day.
In fact, they were so happy about golden hour that Jessica jumped at the chance…even if it meant postponing eating for a while!
The rest of the reception was filled with sweet sentiments, toasts, fun traditions and dancing. Chris’ brother and Jessica’s sister had nothing but the kindest things to say about them. It was also evident that they have been welcomed into each other’s families with the utmost joy.
And of course, one of my favorite wedding reception traditions, the daddy/daughter dance and the mother/son dance was not without tears and hugs!
After some cake cutting, a bouquet and garter toss, it was time for some more dancing and photo booth action!
When the bride is a dance instructor, you can bet there will be lots of good dancing! And Nate Clancey is just the guy to get the party started.
This was truly and unforgettable day and Jessica and Chris are just the most gracious hosts, paying close attention to the details and loving their guests. Thank you Chris and Jessica for the honor of serving you on your big day!
Congratulations and I am excited for your future together!
Scroll down to see their story, the cool cats who helped make their day possible as well as more highlights from their BIG DAY at Morais Vineyards!
“Chris and Jessica met 3 years ago while she was in graduate school completing her special education degree. Dance has always been a huge part of Jessica’s life so she knew it was a good sign when the two met out dancing with friends. Neither of them were expecting or looking for anyone, but they couldn’t deny the instant chemistry between them.
Since then, Jessica and Chris are inseparable and undeniably meant for each other. Between their love of family, video games, craft beers, and their two cats; the two of them are a perfect match. Whether it’s a spontaneous weekend away exploring a new town or a lazy pizza and wine night in, the two can make any situation a good time as long as they have each other. Although their friends may tease them for being cheesy, they just embrace it because they know how lucky they are to have found each other.”
“To Jessica it was just another Friday at work, but to Chris it was the most exciting, nerve-racking day of his life. Earlier that week Chris asked if Jessica would be interested in going to a family friend’s cookout on Friday evening which of course Jessica eagerly agreed to. Little did she know, she was about to get the biggest surprise of her life. When the day finally arrived, Chris picked up Jessica and they were off to the ‘cookout.’
Looking back on it, the two can’t help but laugh when they reflect on their completely opposite emotional states during the drive. Jessica was exhausted from a particularly tough day teaching, while Chris’ adrenaline was getting the best of him. Although Chris would like to describe himself as calm, cool and collected, even he can’t deny that he was acting anything but.
For the entire 40 minute drive, Chris made sure to fill every ounce of silence with irrelevant small talk in an effort to keep Jessica from catching on to him. As they winded up the driveway of the ‘cookout’ location, Jessica asked Chris if he’d call his mom, who he had said would be there, to ensure that they were parked in the right spot. In a moment of panic, Chris held his cell phone up to his ear and faked the call, while his cheek inadvertently dialed Jessica’s phone but she remained clueless!
Chris then led Jessica across the front yard of the Airbnb that he had rented out for the weekend. They turned the corner of the house and walked towards the fire pit area overlooking a small valley. At that point Jessica looked at the little white table, topped with roses and wine, and wondered how they planned to entertain an entire cookout with just one bottle.
With a little help from the sweet Airbnb owners, Jessica was caught completely off-guard as the couple’s song began playing over the outdoor speaker system. She knew something big was about to happen when she looked over at his tear filled eyes and he said to her ‘you know I love you, right?’ The rest was a blur of pure love and excitement for the two. In the moment she said yes, both Jessica and Chris were shaking and teary eyed, hardly able to speak, with the exception of Jessica repeating, ‘this isn’t real!’
They spent the weekend exploring surrounding wineries during the day and cuddling by the fire at night, daydreaming about what their future held and all the adventures to come. The two can honestly say that it was the best weekend of their lives.”
To see more Virginia Winery Weddings, peruse HERE.
Venue: Morais Vineyards
Planning/Coordination: Main Street Weddings
Florals/Rentals: The Posey Detail
Veil: Justine M. Couture
Videography: Harrison Wedding Films
Photobooth: Flash Photo Booth
Meanswear: The Mens Wearhouse
Rings: Quest Fine Jewelers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Caterer: The Chef’s Table
Cake Artist and Baker: Amphora Bakery
Invitation Suite: Minted Weddings
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Hair and Make Up: Gabby and Martha
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding Photographer, BaltimoreWedding Photographer and Maryland Wedding Photographer. She is also a Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Arizona Wedding Photographer and a Destination Wedding Photographer!