How & when did you meet?
Justin and I met at Old Dominion University in the fall of 2007. I reached out to my friend, who was also Justin’s college roommate at the time, because I was in desperate need of tutoring for an accounting class. Justin wasn’t great at math — but with his charming personality we hit it off!
How & when did you get engaged?
We got engaged at the Old Dominion Homecoming game on September 24, 2016. Justin wanted to propose right where it all began! He popped the question in front of the “Big Blue” lion statute. We were met with applause and cheers from fellow Monarchs who were there celebrating the “big game.” ODU even posted the news on their Facebook page!
Why did you pick Lesner Inn for your venue?
We looked at other venues but when we arrived at Lesner Inn we knew this was “it”! The location provided the perfect atmosphere for us to say “I do”!
What outside vendors did you use & why did you choose them?
We had amazing vendors that truly made our day so spectacular!
- Our photographer, Dustin Lewis, was recommended from the Lesner Inn “preferred vendor list”. After meeting him, we knew his personable approach to photography and artistic vision would be the perfect match for us.
- Our videographer, Intellect Media, we met at a bridal show. After looking at sample videos online from several different vendors, the production quality of Intellect Media’s video was reminiscent of a big-budget Hollywood film. After meeting with both Marcus and Eric, we knew their professionalism and knowledge of their craft would be the perfect way to capture our love story on our special day.
- I met our florist Debbie from Fluttering Flowers at a bridal show also. Her flair for floral arrangements and genteel persona was a winning combination.
- Based off of the recommendation from several vendors we sought out Deb from Incredible Edibles for our cake. We went into the cake tasting and Deb was so accommodating and helpful in deciding what “sweet treats” we would offer our guests.
- We knew from the beginning we wanted Astro DJ to provide the entertainment for the evening. Rodney Charles had been a DJ for a friend’s wedding the year prior. His style and choice of music meshed perfectly with our idea for a “great night”.
- I met Waterford Event rentals at a bridal show. After meeting with Rebecca who was so helpful and kind, I knew that I had to use some of their beautiful linens to “complete” my wedding look!
- I met Soirees by Lauren at a bridal show. I hired them for day of coordination and they helped me to feel like a guest at my own wedding!
What was your vision for your wedding day & did it change throughout the process? If so, how?
The vision for my wedding day was to have a beautiful, fun-filled day that I would not forget! Throughout the process, some of my ideas changed slightly — but overall, I kept my “end frame” in sight which was to focus on marrying my best friend and celebrating one of the best days of my life!
Did you have a theme? If so, how did you choose it?
Our theme for the wedding was “Old Hollywood”. We chose this theme because Justin is a huge fan of films (he has a collection of over 1800 blue rays) and I love anything glamorous and from that era. We used cinematic elements such as each table was a name of a film, having a “popcorn” bar, etc. Our colors were black, gold, ivory, and blush to bring in those “Old Hollywood” elements.
What were you most excited about for your wedding day?
We were most excited to have all of our family and friends in one room to help us celebrate this huge milestone in our lives.
Were there any personal touches that you put on your wedding day that were really special to you?
On our cake, we had two brooches that were from each of our grandmothers who had passed away. We were very close to them so this was a way of having them there. We also had our grandparents wedding photos on the cake table as a tribute to them.
Are there any funny or silly moments from your wedding day or the planning process that stand out to you?
Everyone dancing and enjoying the music at the reception to include two elderly family members grooving on the dance floor with their walkers.
What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?
Our advice is to enjoy the “journey” of wedding planning. It is easy to get caught up in the stress and “perfection” that a wedding has to be but remember the most important thing is that you are getting married. No one will notice if the decorations are not in the right order or if a bow is not correct, what your guests will take away from a wedding is the overall feeling of fun and enjoyment they experienced.
They definitely hit the nail on the head with that advice! Planning can become stressful if you let it, but just enjoying every bit of the process is what makes it so fun. At the end of the day the most important thing is that you are marrying your best friend surrounded by the people who love you most!
Photos from Dustin Lewis Images!