Photographer Comments: “Jessica and JR’s wedding was elegant and timeless. They are such a wonderful couple. It was an absolutely joy to get to know them and photograph their closest friends and family! Jessica truly out did herself!
“Every detail was thoughtfully put together and she even handmade her wedding dress, bouquet, and invitation suite. The two had a beautiful Catholic ceremony in Haymarket before heading over the the Piedmont Club to celebrate!
“We explored the grounds at sunset for bride and groom photos- finishing up just before the rain storm! After much dancing and food, the couple said goodbye with a sparkler exit!”
Bridal Q & A
Here is their story from the bride:
How we met
We met in 2009 through mutual friends at Virginia Tech and started dating a year later. We fell in love and after seven amazing years of travel, adventure, and laughter, J.R. proposed!
J.R. invited Jessica to dinner at Fiola Mare on the Georgetown waterfront, convincing her it was to celebrate Valentine’s Day even though it was three days past the actual holiday.
When they arrived to the restaurant, everything seemed normal for the most part. They were greeted at the restaurant with a beautiful table and flowers and two glasses of champagne. After appetizers and dinner, J.R. got down on one knee and asked Jessica, “Will you marry me?” Of course, she said, “Yes!” After the couple finished a romantic dessert together, they joined family and friends to celebrate their engagement.
Although the couple loves living in DC, having the wedding in Jessica’s hometown, Haymarket, VA, made perfect sense since Jessica grew up in northern Virginia and JR is from Richmond. The venue, Piedmont Club, which overlooks a beautiful, private golf course, was perfect since the couple enjoys golfing together. We invited 185 people to celebrate the nuptials and the evening reception.
Although employed full time as a physician assistant, the bride loves DIY. The invitations and accompaniments were designed by the bride and printed by a family friend. The gold framed escort cards were created using a template from Etsy.
The bride spent the morning with her bridesmaids, wearing matching black and white striped Kate Spade pajamas and toasting with bubbly. The groom relaxed with his groomsmen (his brothers) in sports jerseys, while enjoying a beer.
The bride designed and made her silk and satin gown, with a lace tulle overlay, herself, along with her cathedral length veil. She immediately fell in love with her Betsy Johnson wedges for both the style (white lace and pearl details, blue soles) and comfort (which she didn’t take off all night!).
The bridal party’s matching pink B.B. Dakota dresses were chosen when the bride stumbled upon them while online shopping. I knew they were perfect as soon as I saw them!
The black tuxedos were custom made for the groom, groomsmen, groom’s father, and bride’s father.
Focusing on white hydrangeas and pink and cream roses, the bride created a bridal bouquet, 6 bridesmaid bouquets, a toss bouquet, eighteen round centerpieces, 2 altar arrangements, a eucalyptus garland, and several decorative pieces.
The aesthetic I was going for was modern and elegant, yet traditional, which began on April 28, 2018 with a 2 PM catholic mass at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Chantilly. I wanted soft, romantic lighting, which was attained by scattered gold votives on the tables and a custom made lighted backdrop. I couldn’t find anything that was perfect, so I assembled a backdrop using a sheer curtain, a strand of lights, and a backdrop, which created the perfect lighting to complement the sweetheart table.
The color scheme focused on pink, gold, and white, which was reflected by the pink lace overlay bridesmaid dresses, flowers, and reception details, like the gold votives, pink napkins, and champagne studded chargers.
“As my father walked me down the aisle and I saw J.R. Standing at the altar, the wedding day felt real and complete. When my Dad lifted my veil, kissed my cheek, and handed me over to J.R., I was so happy. Throughout the ceremony went on, we looked out at all our friends and family who came to share our special day with us and we felt so blessed. As we exchanged rings and shared a few kisses, we walked back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Joyce.”
Guests headed to the reception and were greeted by an outdoor cocktail hour and hor d’oeuvres ranging from mini crab cakes to stuffed mushrooms. The couple opted for a more personal guestbook, encouraging guests to snap a photo and write a note. Dinner included three courses: a caprese Salad (groom’s favorite), filet mignon with creamy mashed potatoes or salmon with risotto, finished with wedding cake. The couple toasted champagne and cut their tiered cake (lavender and Swiss honey buttercream cake and red velvet with caramel cream cheese frosting), decorated elegantly and simply with fresh roses. Fire pits and cigars awaited guests when they needed a respite from dancing. Guests left the ceremony and grabbed a favor: His and Hers snacks (His- Bold Chex mix, Hers- Lindt truffles). The couple left the reception through a tunnel of glowing sparklers.
Not wanting the party to end so soon, the bride’s parents invited everyone back to their house for an after party— complete with boxes of pizza— which lasted until the early morning. Sunday morning, the bride’s parents hosted a farewell brunch for family. The rehearsal dinner was held Friday night, hosted by the groom’s family, at Grafton Street in Gainesville, VA.
Vendors in this Wedding
Bridesmaid Dresses: B.B. Dakota
Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Bakery: Simply Desserts Online
Event Venue: Piedmont Club
Ceremony Location: St. Veronica’s Catholic Church
DJ: DJ Bobby G
Beauty: Hyer Beauty
Beauty: Agape Airbrush Makeup and Hair
Photographer: Shelly Pate Photography
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