This has truly been a wedding full of anticipation! It is the kind of wedding that any Charlottesville Wedding Photographer would dream of! I am so vey honored to share Mollie and Garrett’s big day at Walden Hall. Mollie and Garrett are a joyful couple and as their family and friends expressed during the toasts, they really do both care for others and value family and friends to the utmost. Their love story is unique and sweet and in fact, I need to share three fun facts about them that I shared in their engagement blog earlier this year!
1. Garrett proposed in the middle of an ice skating rink! (Read on to hear the whole story)
2. They decided to put their relationship on hold while they completed their most difficult year in school so they could focus on their academics (how mature is that????!!).
3. They are big foodies and LOVE the DC area but planned a Walden Hall wedding in a beautiful part of the state of Virginia!
Mollie began her day with her lovely bridesmaids and when I arrived they were happily enjoying being pampered with hair and make up. They were having so much fun already that they eagerly hopped in a few champaign popping photos with Mollie, some with rollers still in their hair. All had matching robes to lounge in…what a great, supportive group of women!
Mollie looked absolutely stunning in her Stella York gown! And how about that fainting room at Walden Hall?! Our bride donned her elegant attire along with a bouquet created by Garrett’s mom. Katy, Garrett’s mother, is responsible for all the amazing floral designs from the day and everything was nothing less than perfect. You can tell when a bride just loves her bouquet!
Mollie had a first look planned with her dad and her father wanted to make sure he was dressed for the day and ready to meet her as well. It was a precious moment in the fainting room between father and daughter (one of my favorites of the day). After her time with her adoring father, Mollie shared a first look with Garrett. I thought Garrett might actually fall over after seeing her! He was almost knocked off his feet at how gorgeous she looked and how happy she was to see him. During some romantic portraits together, they shared sweet sentiments and private words in each other’s ears. A stroll by the pond and a look at the arbor under which they would soon wed resulted in the easing of nerves and the building of excitement for the ceremony.
And the ceremony was incredible! What a view, what a group of guests and what an amazing couple…everything came together for an unforgettable ceremony with a pastor who knew them well and testified as to their readiness to continue their journey together now in marriage. He also honored both sets of parents…something not always done during ceremonies. And oh my goodness what a sweet flower girl escorted by some pretty dapper ring bearers!
During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed appetizers by the pool and in front of the reception space while we went off for a few sunset photos after the family group photos. We even ventured into the secret wooded space behind Walden Hall! And then when it was time for the reception, everyone enjoyed a dinner from Harvest Moon Catering, complete with lovely tables decorated with decor from the endlessly talented Alyssa with The Posey Detail. And Garrett brewed his own beer for guests as well! How thoughtful is that?!
My absolute favorite part of the reception were the toasts/speeches. We heard from Garrett’s brother, the Maid of Honor and Mollie’s twin brother . It was so sweet to hear such great stories, thoughtful sentiments and to share in the laughter and the tears that ensued. I learned a LOT more about these two, as did many of the guests!
I also cannot leave out the fact that Mollie bleeds purple and gold as well and a JMU crowd never disappoints! Mollie friends were eager to celebrate with their fellow alumni. And the entire bridal party was so very supportive and enthusiastic the entire day.
I really could go on and on about this wonderful day and this incredible couple, but I think what follows gives you some great insight into their love story!
Congratulations Mollie and Garrett! I am so honored to have served you and witnessed your big day!
In Garrett’s own words, here is a narrative of their precious love story:
“Our love story really starts about four years ago when we were just starting junior year of college. We were both at a party hosted by mutual friends and started dancing with each other. We really didn’t just dance though, we struck up a great conversation in the middle of this dark, sweaty, dance floor and talked about all sorts of things…kind of like we were on a nervous first date and wanted to ask every question we could to get to know each other. After that night, I had to see this girl again. I got her number and asked to meet up the next day, which we did. We continued our late night talk for about three hours at a Panera. I remember leaving there feeling like I had about no other girl.
We continued to see each other and realized we really had something. Unfortunately, we also had one of the busiest academic years either of us would have. Mollie had just gotten into nursing school and I was in the notorious Junior Year of the engineering program. We decided that if we wanted to put 100% towards our relationship we should not try and balance it with our academics. Looking back, I am so convinced that this move we made saved our relationship and our success in school…which helped place us where we are today.
So with that foundation, we started talking again the summer of our senior year when we were interning in DC. We decided to meet up for dinner, thinking we were just going to meet up and catch up as old friends. But, everything just seemed so right. We jumped right back into where we were and had an amazing summer exploring the city and spending as much time as we could with each other. We dated that year and have been continually growing together since then for almost three years now.
There are very few tough times, but in the end we work so compatible with each other that those tough times are always supported by a willingness to get even stronger together. We are constantly exploring and checking things off our bucket list. We are beer and food connoisseurs (or at least we think we are) and we never stop pushing each other to do something new and fun. I can’t imagine spending these moments with anyone else and I know that is something that will never fade away.”
And to add to the joy of this story, here is Garrett’s perspective on how he proposed:
“I proposed to Mollie on December 22nd, 2016. I had asked her Mom and Dad for their blessing and bought a ring a few months prior. I wanted to keep everything an absolute secret, so besides our parents and a few close friends, no one knew it was coming. I had it in my head that I would propose somewhere in DC, because that is really where our first few dates were together and it is always a sentimental spot to go to for us. I was super nervous, so I did a dry run of the route a few days before and kind of worked out some details in my head so I felt comfortable about it running smoothly that day. I think because of my technical background, I did this just out of assurance so I wouldn’t get too nervous on the spot and not know exactly what to do.
So that day, I got off work early to make reservations at a place we had been dying to go to in DC, Rose’s Luxury. They only take reservations the day of your visit and you have to wait outside in line for reservations. So I ended up driving into DC and waiting about 1.5 hours to get a spot later that night. I drove back home and picked Mollie up (telling her I was just getting off work). I knew that it may be a while till we ate and I wanted to keep her in a good mood, so I had some snacks in the car for her. I brought her to the ice skating rink in the Sculpture Garden which had been on our bucket list.
We put our skates on and after some warming up I started to plan when I would get down on one knee. The rink was crowded so I had a difficult time thinking about how I would pull her out of the crowd, and unexpectedly the loud speaker went off and said everyone needed to clear the ice for the zamboni. I pulled her into the center of the ring and got down on one knee somehow without falling over! She had no idea what was going on until I pulled the ring out and she happily said yes.
We skated off the ice and were met by my photographer friend who had captured the whole thing and took some more pictures with us after. We got in our car and called our immediate family surprising them with the good news and continued our euphoric moment to the surprise dinner. We undoubtedly had one of the most amazing meals we have ever had and plenty of celebration and congrats from the staff there. Overall, I think we can confidently say it was the best day of our lives together (so far).”
Now I can imagine that October 14 is their new best day ever!!!
And here are the wonderful folks who helped make their day so very special:
Planning and rentals: The Posey Detail
Florals: Katy Cashman (the groom’s mom!)
Catering: Harvest Moon Catering
Cake: Eloise’s Pastries
DJ: Double J Entertainment/ DJ Jon James
Videography: RVA Productions
Wedding Gown: Stella York from Bridals by Elena
Wedding Bands: Pave Jewelers
Engagement Ring: James Allen Rings
Menswear: The Black Tux
Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way
Stationery: Minted Weddings
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding Photographer, Culpeper Wedding Photographer, Fredericksburg Wedding Photographer, Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Destination Wedding Photographer and a wedding photographer in the surrounding areas.