Richmond, VA Wedding Photographer

Pink Poppies In Honor of the Bride’s Grandfather Inspired This Couple’s Virginia Estate Wedding | As Seen on Style Me Pretty


Emily and Christian met on Emily’s very first day of work after her college graduation. Fast forward over four years to a riverside engagement and Emily and Christian were married in front of 180 guests in a lush pink garden soirée nestled in the rural countryside of Virginia. Shades of pink and coral, inspired by the bride’s sentimental love of poppies, could be found incorporated throughout the wedding day from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the flower arrangements, linens and paper goods.

The couple chose Dover Hall Estate, an English Tudor estate with rolling hills and stone terraces in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, as their venue. Dover Hall Estate sits in close proximity to where Emily and Christian both grew up. Upon their first visit to the property, the couple was immediately attracted to the estate’s luxurious grounds and interior spaces. As self-proclaimed “foodies,” Christian and Emily also loved that Dover Hall Estate provides its own cuisine and bar, and is well known for its culinary experience. Turning onto the long estate driveway, visitors are greeted by sprawling vines of the estate’s Seven Lady Vineyards, which supplies a portion of the estate’s wine selection. 

Both project managers by nature and profession, Emily and Christian appreciate a close attention to details and logistics, and knew they wanted to hire an experienced planner to assist them with their wedding. When the couple first started planning with luxury event design firm, Jamie Lynn Signature Weddings, their main request was to create an atmosphere of fun and comfort for their guests. “Choose your own adventure” became the mantra for the event design concept. The idea was to encourage guests to meander through the old-world inspired venue, while always being within earshot of the live band and never too far from the wedding festivities. Emily also requested colorful shades of pink and orange, grazing stations and soft seating for a relaxed guest experience, and very specifically: poppies in honor of her late grandfather, “Poppi.”

The inspiration for the wedding quickly developed around the poppy’s whimsical nature and vibrant colors – a variety of pink hues, coral, and orange. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, poppies went out of season the week before the wedding and were mostly unattainable, giving florist Olivera Floral Design the challenge to bring this vision to life in a newly-imagined way within the same color palette. The bouquets were each constructed entirely of blooms. Emily had no fear of color on her wedding day, and envisioned floral designs that were different than the greenery-heavy arrangements that are popular right now. Her bouquet incorporated locally grown California poppies, foxglove, snapdragons, dahlias, and scabiosa, as well as coral charm peonies, garden roses, butterfly ranunculus and sweet peas.

Poppies were also a main feature of the couple’s stationery, designed by North Carolina company, Ivy and Linen Design. The custom save the dates featured light pink cotton paper with a letterpress poppy design and fonts in a deeper shade of rose. The wedding invitations incorporated letterpress printing and a pink rose oil painting envelope liner as a nod to the fresh-picked garden vibe of the event. The invitation suites were sealed with a custom burgundy monogram wax seal with the initials of Emily and Christian’s first names. 

Emily’s bridesmaids wore matching floor-length ‘Raya’ dresses by Jenny Yoo in the wild rose shade. She gifted her girls Flora Nikrooz silk pajamas from Saks Fifth Avenue and earrings from Olive + Piper to wear on the wedding day. The girls carried small hand-tied bouquets featuring the same variety of blooms as Emily’s bouquet. Christian and Emily’s French bulldog, Milo, made an appearance in a pink bow tie prior to the ceremony for his photo op with the couple. Milo’s sweet portrait also took center stage on the cocktail napkins and drink koozies at the bars. 

An ombre champagne display with custom neon sign welcomed guests as they arrived for the 6 o’clock ceremony. The acrylic shelves were stocked with sparkling libations consisting of the estate’s own champagne, rosé, and mimosas mixed with grapefruit or orange juice.

The ceremony was held in the estate’s Two-Tiered Garden. A lush installation of whimsical, asymmetrical floral pillars and ground meadow arrangements set the backdrop for the ‘I dos.’ Campanula, statice, cherry blossoms, and a variety of locally-foraged greens accompanied the blooms used in the bouquets to create the ceremony installation focal point. Emily found her lace, off-the-shoulder wedding gown at Washington DC boutique, Ava Laurenne. She wore her cousin’s cathedral-length veil as her “something borrowed” piece. Bella Belle ‘Bridget’ tulle heels and earrings by Lindsay Marie Design completed Emily’s wedding day look. Christian’s father had the honor of officiating the wedding ceremony, offering advice and reflection on the couple’s relationship from a personal perspective. Ceremony musician duo, Perfect Harmony, played “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles as Emily and Christian took their walk down the aisle as a married couple. 

Transfusions, the couple’s signature drink, were offered to guests during cocktail hour on the Bluestone Terrace. The vodka-infused concoctions were served with custom acrylic drink stirrers with the monogram used in the invitation suites.

The terrace featured overhead bistro lighting and comfortable seating options with furniture rentals from Paisley and Jade. Check out another stunning editorial with luxury rentals from Paisley and Jade.

Sam Hill Entertainment band, The Dickens, kept the party going all evening. Emily and Christian opted for an informal-style dinner consisting of chef-attended grazing stations available throughout the night instead of a seated dinner, giving them more time to party with their guests on the dance floor. Guests dined on the estate’s popular shrimp and grits, truffle mac and cheese, beef tenderloin and fresh-roasted local vegetables. 

The outdoor gardens were brought inside the ballroom with greenery-adorned bistro lighting strung overhead. The intent of the design was to make the multi-story space feel more intimate and inviting for this relaxed reception. Highboy tables with barstools were intermingled with a few large round tables dressed in BBJ La Tavola ‘Charles Pink’ linens and compote floral centerpieces. Thanks to ideal weather, the floor-to-ceiling ballroom doors were left open to connect the outdoor terrace to the ballroom, providing easy flow between the spaces. Guests on the terrace could experience the sights and sounds of the band even from outside. The tall 4-tiered buttercream cake was created by Richmond-based bakery, Sweet Fix. The off-white tiers were iced in a textured application with the appearance of handmade paper using pressed flowers. A combination of hand-sculpted gumpaste flowers and live flowers were applied to add the finishing touch of pink, and of course, the poppies. The cake sat atop a patterned linen in front of the grand sandstone fireplace, originating from Scotland, and surrounded by a meadow of flowers repurposed from the ceremony.  

Emily and Christian danced the night away with their guests before they ended the evening enjoying Taco Bell hard and soft tacos with their guests before their sparkler sendoff and honeymoon at The Greenbrier. Check out another beautiful wedding inspired editorial shoot in the Virginia countryside at Salubria House.

Richmond, VA Wedding Photographer

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Photography | Madeline Trent Photography
Design & Planning | Jamie Lynn Signature Weddings
Venue & Catering | Dover Hall Estate 
Floral Design | Olivera Floral Design
Cake Design | Sweet Fix
Lighting | Lighting and Sound Co
Specialty Rentals | Paisley and Jade,  BBJ LaTavola
Paper | Ivy and Linen Design
Beauty | Transformation Artistry
Ceremony Music | Perfect Harmony Strings
Band | The Dickens Band Sam Hill Entertainment
Wedding Film | Films By Julie and Chris
Bridal Boutique | Ava Laurenne Bride
Shoes | Bella Belle Shoes
Gown Alterations | Seams Alterations
Bridal Jewelry | Lindsay Marie Design, Diamonds Direct
Groom Attire | Express, Vans
Bridesmaid Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids, Jenny Yoo NYC 
Bridesmaid Jewelry | Olive + Piper
Transportation | @audirichmond @jameslimorichmond

Richmond, VA Wedding Photographer

Richmond, VA Wedding Photographer

August 2, 2022

Richmond, VA Wedding Photographer | Dover Hall Estate Wedding