Images: Valerie Demo Photography

Sometimes when I get the email alert about a submission from a particular photographer, I get instantly giddy. Such is the case with Valerie Demo Photography – she gets the BEST couples & weddings and takes THE MOST GORGEOUS pictures. Today’s real Virginia wedding is no different – with a stunning botanical, industrial design, SO. MANY. LIGHTS. and a celebrity officiant: Governor Terry McAuliffe!

This localized Virginia wedding took local VA to a whole new level with having the governor officiate ;) But there’s a lot more Virginia themed wedding details to love in today’s feature, so let’s get to it.

Meghan and Matt both work for Virginia… and are both deeply invested with Richmond where they now live and the Commonwealth. Not only did they want a wedding day that was beautiful and full of dancing (and boy, was it) and love… but one that celebrated our great state.  With vows that promised to ONLY drink Virginia craft beer and one of the iconic LOVE signs setting the stage behind their sweetheart table… Matt and Meghan managed to knock it out the the park when their officiate turned out to be Meghan’s boss… the Governor, Terry McAuliffe.

Set at Historic Tredegar (a civil-war era Iron works), Meghan, Matt, and planner Colleen Cook (CCS Events) planned a night filled with lights and gorgeous florals.

From the bride: “I think Colleen (the wedding planner) described it as botanical industrial? LOTS of lights. I’m talking bistro lights in the tent, outside the tent, a wall of light strings, lanterns EVERYWHERE (on the steps, in the trees), candles, an illuminated LOVE sign, and a standing white LOVE sign. My dress is a blush (champagne) color, the bridesmaids are wearing a “storm” color dress, and the guys are in a navy pinstripe (even the ring bearer). The flower girl will be in a super cute white dress and a flower crown. We’re having beautiful blue lido glasses at each place setting. Food will be served station-style with a Southern staples (BBQ Bar/Mac&Cheese and Shrimp/Grits) Station and Low Country Station (Tuscan Chicken, Beef Medallions, Sashimi Tuna), all catered by Mosaic. We’re also having late night bites of bacon blue cheese burgers!! And to kick it all off – Rappahannock River Oysters and a signature drink (Megjito and Mattjito) during the cocktail hour!”

How we met: “I was sitting by the pool at The Locks in downtown Richmond with my friend, Rachel. Little did I know that just a few hours later, I would meet the man with whom I would spend the rest of my life. While relaxing on that sunny Sunday afternoon, I noticed a group of guys walk into the pool. I should say, I noticed one in particular who ended up sitting right next to me.

After the normal introductions, we started talking. You know, the usual things: where we were from, our jobs, favorite sports teams, etc – and after a while, it was time for me to head home for the evening. I got up, packed my things, said goodbye and walked out.

On the way home, I called my friend, Elizabeth, to tell her about this great guy I’d just met at the pool. Her first question was, “Well, did you give him your number?” Of course I didn’t!

But in my hopeless romantic mind, I figured if we were meant to be together, we’d run into each other again.

Yes, in a city with a population of more than 215,000, I was sure we’d run into each other again. Completely plausible, right?

The weekend was over and I headed to work on Monday morning. After sifting through the weekend emails and getting back into the workweek, I received an email from the City Attorney’s office that afternoon. Apparently, Matt found my email address through the state database and decided to follow up on our pool introduction.My hopeless romantic self was right. (Thank goodness Matt is so resourceful!)

It took a few weeks to finally get together, but I’m so happy we did! Our first date was at Legend Brewery. Matt was coming straight from work to pick me up and was taking me to a part of the city I’d never been to – Manchester (and for those that don’t know, we now live just four blocks away from Legend!). After hours of great conversation, the waiter kindly asked us to leave because they were closing for the night!”


Photographer:  Valerie Demo Photography | Lighting: The Lighting & Sound Company  | Bakery: Pearl’s Bake Shoppe | Musicians: Xtreme DJ’s | Floral Designer: Tommy’s Gardens | Musicians: Samson Trinh | Officiant: Terry McAuliffe: Governor of Virginia  | Beauty:Avenue 42 Style Studio | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Indochino | Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bride’s Dress Store: Modern Trousseau Nashville | Event Planner: CCS Events | Museum: Tredegar Iron Works | Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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