Today’s real Virginia wedding feature is everything I look for in a submission: personalized, creative, FUN, and 100% reflection of the couple. Jennifer & Ryan decided to forego the traditional 150+ person reception in a venue hall and had an intimate ceremony and dinner at Trummers on Main in Clifton, VA instead.
Now, just because the wedding wasn’t a traditional wedding reception, doesn’t mean the couple didn’t have fun with their decorations, details AND wedding portraits! They made lego’s for all the table tops’ escort ‘cards’ and even had lego figurines on hand for the guests to make during dinner. They also had a lego-shaped cake!!! Ok, enough from me, check out the beautiful images from Megan Noonan Photography below!
Jennifer & Ryan’s Intimate, Lego Infused Virginia Wedding
Photographer: Megan Noonan Photography | Rings (Wedding & Engagement): Quinn’s Goldsmith | Bridal Gown, Veil, & Hair-piece: White Swan Bridal | Bride’s Reception Dress: Nordstrom | Groom’s Attire: Austin’s Big and Tall | Venue: Trummer’s On Main | Catering: Trummer’s On Main | Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist: Bridal Artistry DC (Sonia) | Lego Cake: Cakes by Happy Eatery | Bouquet & Boutonnieres: Michael’s Flowers | Save the Dates & Evites: Punchbowl
How they met:
Jennifer and Ryan, both teachers, met at a Physics Teaching Academy at James Madison University (where Jennifer’s undergrad degree is from) in June 2009. [Ryan tells that he sat behind Jennifer in class and admired her athletic back every day and Jennifer remembers that she noticed Ryan running up the (very steep) hill from the University's Rec Center every afternoon.]
Jennifer’s lab partner decided to play match-maker and introduced Jennifer and Ryan at the culminating celebration the last night of the academy, by individually inviting each of them to have dinner with him and his wife. After dinner, Jenn and Ryan spent the rest of the night talking and playing games (pool, air hockey, cards) in the student center.
The following day, after the final session of the academy, the two had lunch at a little Italian place off-campus, exchanged phone numbers, and then played car-tag home up I-81 and 66.
When Jenn moved into her new place a few days later, Ryan brought over a bottle of wine as a housewarming gift and so it began…
The proposal story:
It happened during Ryan and Jenn’s 3rd time at the JMU Teaching Academy, three years after they met there. The previous night (Tuesday), they had walked all around campus, taking pictures and reminiscing about their summer stays at JMU before.
Wednesday night after dinner (during which Ryan was acting a little strange, and a member of their academy came by to “see how they were doing”), they decided to take another evening stroll around campus and take more pictures. On the new side of campus (where the academy was being held) there is a larger-than-life statue of Jimmy (James Madison), which they decided would be a fun place to snap some shots.
Ryan had brought his tripod along and turned around to set it up on the ledge facing the statue while Jenn stood by Jimmy. It seemed to be taking longer than usual for Ryan to get the camera set up, and when he turned around, he pulled a peach-shaped ring box out of his pocket, got down on one knee, and popped the question!
Ryan’s nickname for Jenn is Peach – thus the peach-shaped ring box, peach-colored engagement stone (Morganite), and peach touches elsewhere
Click inside for the rest of Ryan & Jenn’s intimate, offbeat Lego themed Virginia wedding!
On their intimate Virginia wedding:
We wanted a small, intimate wedding that would be a celebration of us. Initially, we considered VERY small – immediate family only, but then decided that we wanted to be able to celebrate with all our family. We came in right under 50 people, with only a few cousins and uncles unable to attend. Our colors combined Jenn’s favorite color (and one of JMU’s colors – where we met) purple, with orange and shades of burgundy – colors of our favorite season, autumn.
October was a perfect month for us to get married – it’s when our shared birthday (October 16) falls, it’s during our favorite season, autumn, the scenery and weather were perfect – not too hot or cold, beautiful leaves turning and falling.
I love how much fun they are having with their wedding portraits!!
On choosing their intimate Virginia wedding venue:
We chose Clifton as our location because of the cozy, historic, small-town feel and the various fun and charming photo opportunities. Trummer’s was a perfect venue because of its all-inclusive nature, and we had the entire upper floor to ourselves. There’s a bridal suite to get ready in, a bar dedicated to the upper level, they did custom cocktails with yummy passed hors d’oeuvres for our cocktail hour, as well as a delicious seated dinner.
The upstairs space is very versatile and transitioned smoothly from cocktails, to ceremony, to dinner and after. The first floor has a wine room that provided a rustic photo space, as well as a beautiful bar where people could wait and socialize.
We had SO much fun taking pictures with Megan! We did a first look, which I can’t over-recommend. There’s this big, red barn, across the street from Trummer’s. The ground was covered with fallen leaves and the scenery was just perfect. Megan had Ryan wait at the barn, facing away from us, and had me tap him on the shoulder to turn around. The two of us saw each other for the first time in our wedding attire, and getting to share that moment, just us, was so special!
Since we wanted a small wedding, and we didn’t know if Ryan’s best friend, stationed in Germany, was going to be able to make it to the wedding, we didn’t have attendants. Happily, Ali did make it and he added quite an entertaining role to our photo session before the wedding.
Details on their personalized wedding ceremony:
One of the teachers that Ryan works with volunteered to play the guitar/sing for the cocktail hour and ceremony. The couple walked in to “Storybook Love” by Mark Knopfler for the ceremony. (It’s the theme song from Princess Bride, a shared favorite movie of the couple, a discovery early-on that strengthened their interest in each other.)
Jenn’s team-teacher and close friend, Tory, wrote and performed the ceremony, really incorporating elements of the couple’s interests and life together. Jenn’s brother, Brian, played and sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli for the couple’s first dance.
On their DIY wedding projects & friends and family involvement in the wedding day:
There was a LOT of DIY for our wedding, and we couldn’t have done it without the extensive involvement of our families and close friends. Jenn’s mom did all the table decorations, including the LEGO programs, and labels for the LEGO mini-fig favors (with many of her side of the family’s helping hands).
Details on the Legos!
Jenn and Ryan both love science and are kids at heart. They love LEGOs (ok, maybe Ryan loves them a bit more than Jenn…) and use them as teaching tools in the classroom. The second and third times that they attended the teaching academy at JMU (including when Ryan proposed), they were there for LEGO Robotics.
Ryan has gotten a LEGO set for almost every holiday and birthday, and once Jenn was in the picture, his family made sure to include her in the tradition, which rekindled her enjoyment of the Bricks. The front page of Jenn and Ryan’s wedding website was a LEGO scene. Wanting to add a playful element to their wedding, they decided to have a LEGO set on each table for guests to build.
Instead of clinking glasses when guests wanted the couple to kiss, they had to hold up completed LEGO sets, and as favors, guests were encouraged to build their own LEGO minifigs, taking a base with the couple’s wedding date and motto (“Building a life together, brick by brick”) and adding legs, a torso, head, and accessories.
^ i love their wedding motto so much!!!
The candy table was DIYed!
Ryan’s parents did the candy table, with hand-decorated chocolate pretzel sticks and favor bags. Ryan’s sister, Becky, hand-made the tulle wreath for the couple’s table and lettered the seating cards, and his mom made the bride’s purple garter. J
enn’s cousin, Lara, lent her the same sparkly hair pins that she had used to help decorate Jenn’s prom hair the summer Lara stayed in DC with Jenn’s family.
Check out Jenn’s AWESOME purple french manicure:
Congratulations Jenn & Ryan!! Thank you so much for sharing all the awesome details of your intimate, Lego themed Virginia wedding with us! A special thanks again to Megan Noonan Photography for sharing her images.