I have been looking forward to Rachel and Robert’s destination wedding for quite some time now! These two sweethearts planned their Morais Vineyards wedding while living in a small town outside of Pittsburgh. When they found Morais, they knew they had found the perfect place for their summer wedding. They also planned the wedding on a Friday in June, which gave their friends and family the rest of the weekend to enjoy Virginia wine country. Little did any of us know that their wedding day would be one of the rainiest and “floodiest” days of the entire year! It would have Rachel and Robert thanking God that they booked a venue like Morais Vineyards in this kind of weather.
I always leave early on wedding days and as I was driving in the torrential rain, I begin to hear reports on the radio of road closures (including my own road home) and flooding statewide. Then I hear that Virginia has been declared a state of emergency. A little further down the road and I get stuck behind an accident in which a large truck dumped a load full of gigantic plywood on and off route 29. Despite the back up, I still arrived a little early to find Rachel absolutely beaming and excited about her wedding day! Nothing could dampen this young woman’s excitement about marrying her Prince Charming!
Rachel had the PERFECT place to prepare for the day. Morais Vineyards is home to one of the prettiest bridal suites. She and all her ladies were quite comfortable and cozy. Rachel’s color palette of steel and navy blue with an abundance of greenery was just lovely. And she looked stunning in her Eve of Milady gown! The flower girls couldn’t agree more!
When it’s raining and you can’t photograph bridal portraits outside, this is just the place to capture it all. Rachel unveiled her final look to her ladies before the donned their dresses as well.
What a lovely setting in which to relax and photograph portraits. Considering 95% of the day was photographed with artificial lighting, having a gorgeous background helps it to look as natural and ambient as possible. Rachel’s look was stunning yet soft, bold yet beautiful!
Before long, it was time to photograph the ladies together. We left the bridal suite to head over to the ballroom!
The rest of Rachel’s portraits were photographed in the ballroom along with photos of the ladies and it was amazing! What a photogenic bunch of women!
These lovely ladies helped Rachel prepare with a few final touches because soon it was time for her first look with Robert!
Let’s not forget these dapper men who also worked hard to prepare for the big day. Robert looked as if he walked straight off the cover of GQ magazine. He and his brother/best man and all the other groomsmen were quite the gentlemen!
I LOVE first looks and I love how the groom has a chance to get his nerves calmed down a bit before the ceremony. The bride and groom get to spend time together before the pomp and circumstance of the day begins. And Rachel and Robert’s first look on the spiral staircase was no exception. This was truly special!
After the first look, the rain had subsided to a slight drizzle but the ground was still saturated. So we photographed some portraits in the ballroom as well as a few outside.
Then we returned inside for some full bridal party photographs as well as a very special first look that Rachel shared with her daddy. Now these get me every time!
Rachel and Robert hosted a lovely ceremony in the Morais ballroom. I can’t think of a much better location on a rainy day! There were so many amazing moments…at the end of the blog post, be sure to see more highlights because it was a beautiful ceremony!
After some group photos, and some more special moments, we photographed the happy couple in front of this antique wine cabinet and then in the wine cellar. Morais has a gorgeous barrel room and we made good use of it! Then it was time for the reception to begin.
The reception was incredible! It was so full of life and love, great food and gorgeous decorations! Look at this lovely set up, courtesy of Main Street Weddings and Events and The Posey Detail.
I learned so much more about Rachel and Robert during the toasts. But the overarching theme is that they are perfect for each other, they are deeply caring individuals and their love for family and friends is tremendous. One thing that really stuck out to me was Rachel’s maid of honor telling us how Rachel proved to be a one-on-a-million friend because of the time she spent with her. Quality time together seems so rare these days when people can get overwhelmed and busy…hearing about Rachel’s commitment to give her full attention to others was monumental.
Now I can’t neglect to show you some other early reception details like this cake from Gateau!
And of course, Rachel and Roberts first dance! They took dancing classes and they certainly paid off.
That daddy/daughter dance and mother/son dance are truly special moments…
The reception was filled with so many sweet and tender moments, unforgettable traditions and so much love between family and friends! And the cake walk was something else!
Then of course the cake cutting! There was definitely a little playful smashing going on…
The night continued with dancing, drinks and more dancing. Their family and friends continued on long after Rebekah and I left. What a better way to say “I do.” You wouldn’t even have known the weather was rainy or the roads were flooded. We were surrounded by what felt like sunshine! Congratulations Rachel and Robert! Scroll down to see the wedding professionals who helped make their day happen as well as see many more highlights from the day.
Robert and Rachel started dating during Rachel’s sophomore year of college and have been inseparable ever since. They dated for four years before Robert proposed a year ago. While they currently live in the Pittsburgh area with their puppy, Bentley.
Rachel boasts about how Robert is a skilled event planner, as he organizes the most thoughtful trips and gifts. They had planned on going to a Sandals resort in the Caribbean as a getaway trip. Robert made it very clear that this was not an engagement trip because they had just built their house the year before. So in order to save money, Rachel would have to wait at least a year for a ring.
Rachel managed to find out about a special beach dinner he had planned on the trip. He told her it was to make up for not being engaged yet. Typically, Robert can’t keep a secret to save his life! So Rachel believed him without a doubt in her mind.
At the beautiful beach dinner, Robert began talking about how he wanted to honeymoon to a Sandals resort some day as well. He said, “I have something to ask you first.” Then he came around the table and the waiter came over with the ring in the center of flower pedals. Robert descended to one knee and popped the question! Rachel said it was the most incredible moment, one she could never forget.
Thank you to these cool cats who helped make their wedding day so very special! And to see more Virginia Winery Weddings, peruse HERE.
Venue: Morais Vineyards
Planning: Main Street Weddings and Events
Florals: The Posey Detail
Hair and Make Up: Kristen C. Artistry
Band: Bachelors Boy Band
Wedding Dress: Eve of Milady
Dress Boutique: Bridal Beginning
Wedding Rings: Casa Doro
Menswear: Jos. A. Bank
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Caterer: Caroline Street Catering
Cake Artist: Gateau
Invitation Suite: Nota Bene Paper
Reception Decor: Main Street Weddings and The Posey Detail
Linens: Main Street Linens
Transportation: Prime Time Limo
Second Shooting: Rebekah Kemp
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, 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!