“When I rode home that night with my brother I told him several times that I thought I was in love…it was early in the morning and he didn’t pay much attention, but it turned out to be true.”

First, apologies for how late I am in posting today. Things have been SO crazy busy but I am pleased as punch to be sharing this beautiful wedding from Julie Napear Photography this Thursday afternoon [better late than never]. Rachel & Jeff’s real Virginia wedding took place at the Rosemont Manor near Leesburg, VA. Rachel’s lace wedding gown and their soft summer color palette are beautiful summer wedding inspiration.

I also have a ton of details from the groom, Jeff [I LOVE when the groom is the one telling me all the details, it doesn’t happen often, so when it does, I get extra happy abotu it!] to share along with the feature! Enjoy!

Rachel & Jeff’s Gorgeous Summer Wedding in Berryville, VA

How they met:

Rachel and I met through mutual friends at the end of ’07.  I was temporarily home in Winchester (where i grew up) waiting to take a job in Wilmington, NC.  She went to Loudoun Valley and is from Lovettsville, VA.  Her last name is Lee which should give you an idea of about how long her family has been there…   she went to Radford and actually became very good friends with several of my friends from High School.

We were introduced once just before x-mas but didn’t talk much.  Our first real conversation, a few weeks later, took place at a party for a mutual friend who had just returned home from Iraq.  We talked a bit, mostly making fun of each other, and when I rode home that night with my brother I told him several times that I thought I was in love…it was early in the morning and he didn’t pay much attention, but it turned out to be true.


Jeff also included this shot with the details of the proposal!

I was fortunate enough to get the approval from her Father and Mother about a month before actually proposing.  I surprised her with a tripe to Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg on June 6, 2010.  I had my father go early and hide with a camera to capture everything.

When she found out where we were going, she actually booked a haircut for herself, so I dropped her off, she ran in, and I basically had to wait around for an hour+ on her.  I kept texting and calling after a while, which certainly annoyed her, but as soon as she came out, we walked out front and iIproposed.

She forgave me for harassing her and said yes.


 Rachel’s lace gown with all those ruffles is just GORGEOUS. I love that is has all this extra flowy fabric, but isn’t a big poof. I also love her hair – the curls sort of woven and the cute little pearl flowers as accents!

Oh her shoes … the bows! LOVE.

Initial planning & how they found/picked their venue:

When we started out with the planning, we really did not have any firm idea on what we wanted to do.  We kicked around renting a tent and doing it somewhere outside, but when you actually price out tents, it doesn’t appear to save you that much.  In addition, as we both work, we really started to lean toward getting a venue that had everything included.

There was no way we could have both worked full time, and thought of everything we need if we’d have gone the tent route….lighting, generator, tables, chairs, etc … it was just too much.  So when we first walked Rosemont Manor in Berryville, we thought it was perfect.  It was a great combination of all the modern amenities that we didn’t have to worry about organizing while also giving the feel of an old Virginia wedding.



Click inside for the rest of Rachel & Jeff’s beautiful, summer wedding at the Rosemont Manor in Virginia!

Rachel’s Uncle is a real-life cowboy from Oklahoma!! He wrote and performed a song for the couple at the wedding.

More from Jeff on the talented family’s involvement:

Her family is very talented so we had her Aunt sing “Amazing Grace” during the ceremony.  We also had her Uncle, a cowboy in OK, write a song specifically for us and he sang it during the ceremony as well.

It was really unique and added a little change to the ceremony.  They both did an outstanding job and we could not have been happier with how it turned out.

On why they picked a Friday for their wedding [*warning you might need a tissue*]:

  Our date was Aug. 5th, a Friday.  It was a bit of an inconvenience for people having to work but we chose the day because it was the 60th wedding anniversary of Rachel’s grandparents.  Her grandfather passed on a couple years ago, but her grandmother was there which was special.  We set up a table at the reception with a picture of them.  we were thankful to share the day.

So touching and beautiful …

 I LOVE this black feather hairpiece this bridesmaids is wearing. love it!

More family involvement:

Rachel’s sister, Desiree, owns a landscaping company in Loudoun.  Desi worked with another family friend, Holly Chapple, who owns one of the best Floral companies in NOVA.  they helped put the flower arrangements together which was also a huge help. 


And some great advice:

Doing a good bit of the planning ourselves meant that we had to rely on family to give a lot of support.  We could not have done it without them.

I also think that spreading out the tasks helped to not overwhelm any one person.

Jeff shares his advice and personal experience with hiring a wedding photography [and not just ANY wedding photographer]:

We would recommend taking engagement photos to make sure you are happy with the photographer.  Truth be told, I wasn’t that excited about taking them, but it turned out to be a great decision.  We had an absolutely awful experience with a local photographer during the initial engagement shots.  We ultimately lost a deposit with the old photographer and contacted Julie Napear who had done a number of our friend’s weddings.

Looking back, this move turned out to be one of the best decisions.  Julie was worth every penny and we did not have to worry once about how her work would turn out.

I figured with all the advances of the modern day camera, it was pretty hard to mess up a picture.  However, I quickly learned with the first photographer that it can still be done.  We did not want to spend the entire wedding day worried about where we were standing and if the pictures would be usable; you get once chance.

^See. Take it from the GROOM even. Don’t be lax or cheap out on your wedding photography! Like Jeff said, you only get ONE chance.

Rachel & Jeff used DIY where they could to stay on top of their budget:

We were budget conscious so we tried to do as much ourselves that didn’t look too tacky.  I certainly relied on Rachel to tell me what was acceptable…we did the following which I think helped:

  • Made our save the dates from vistaprint.com
  • Had our invites done at a local printing company.  They were actually done on their “card stock” which was supposed to be the old scrap paper.  but too be honest, it looked like every other invite i’d seen and saved us a good bit.  they turned out great
  • We had candy bowls at the door for when people left.  we got the glass bowls at TJ Maxx for like $7 each
  • We had vista print also make stickers which we personally applied to candy bags
  • We bought ribbons from Michael’s, which were little stickers that we personally applied to to the place cards signifying chicken or beef.  they were super cheap
  • We had two big posters which told people where to sit.  it was a pain, but i made the whole thing in powerpoint and then just had the same company who did the invites print it for me in a nice format


Now about that cardboard cutout …

  A friend of mine was supposed to be in the wedding, but is a Captain in the Marine Corps.  He is leading troops in Afghanistan and could not be at the wedding.  Before he left, we joked about how he was going to send me a cardboard cut out for the wedding. i promised him that if he did I’d use it.  sure enough, he sent it and i had to use it. 


While we wanted everything to be formal and serious, this helped to keep it light and add some personality to the day.  I think little things like this make a huge difference in making the wedding day truly your own.

Congratulations Jeff & Rachel ~ your wedding was the epitome of beauty and all the personal details were incredible. Thank you for sharing and thank you to the talented Julie Napear Photography for sharing her images!



  1. Oh my gosh! This couple could not go wrong with Julie Napear as their photographer and Holly Chapple as their florist. The pictures are gorgeous… Thanks for this write up. The groom was so accurate and sweet in his presentation of their special day.

  2. I love everything about this post! Her dress caught my attention first, that lace is gorgeous! It’s really a beautiful wedding! I definitely should have listened to your warning to grab a tissue on why they picked the date they did..*sniff*! And I love the cardboard cutout.. what fun! :)

  3. Hahahaha that cardboard cutout is amazing! I wish we’d done that for my brother at my wedding, he was in Afghanistan.

    I LOVE the portrait of her sitting in the chair with the window behind whilst she fastens her earrings. So beautiful! Julie needs to put that on a canvas and put it in her office!

  4. Correct! You cannot go wrong with Julie. Gorgeous….love all of it. Miss my wedding work sooooooooooooooooooo much! pam

  5. Is there any way I can find out where this AMAZING dress came from? I saw it and knew immediately that it is my perfect dress! I would be so grateful if I could get some information.

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