Images: By Jacqui Photography

Happy New Year! Can we still say that even though we’re already 2 weeks in to 2020? I know its been a bit of ghost town here on the blog for a while, but Bree and I are committed to publishing posts on a more regular basis this year.

And with that, I suppose I should introduce myself. I’m Kara, one of Capitol Romance’s Associate Coordinators. I joined the team in 2016 after having Bree coordinate my wedding. I’ll be helping out with the blog, so you’ll be hearing my voice a bit more around here. Enough about me though. Let’s kick off the new year with this gorgeous wedding at Airlie!

We met through mutual friends. I had gotten out of a long-term relationship, and so had Sara, my friend and big from my college sorority (Delta Gamma at James Madison University). I told Sara to get on to try meeting new people. Match wasn’t working out for me, but Sara met a great guy named Richard and they hit it off from the start. One night, Sara asked if i wanted to come line dancing with her and some of Richard’s friends at a country bar in Alexandria. I was teaching and it was a school night, but I love to dance so I agreed. That was the night I met Chris.

He was an awesome (line) dancer and I was very impressed. He was one of the only guys on the dance floor, and I knew I wanted to see him again. We hung out as a group and always seemed to end up just the 2 of us. Our relationship grew from group hangouts, wineries, tailgates and concerts. Fast forward almost 5 years…Sara and Richard are married. Chris & I got to walk down the aisle together at their wedding & a year later (on their 1 year wedding anniversary…we got engaged)!

It was Chris’ birthday and we were meeting a few friends at the winery he belongs to, Doukenie, in Purcellville, VA. I got him a surprise birthday cake & he was expecting a surprise birthday party. I thought he was joking, but then he kept saying “man! I’m so excited for my surprise party!!!” and I started feeling bad & was worried that was going to be legitimately disappointed! We brought my dog, picked up his mom, got there and walked over towards the gazebo (instead of tasting room, as usual), and all our friends and family were there including several that flew in!!! Everyone sang happy birthday to him and I was like, “oh good!” He wanted a surprise party & I didn’t throw him one, so this is perfect! (Meanwhile I’m walking toward the gazebo, chasing the dog and my mom ran up to “hug” Chris & slip the ring in his pocket!)

We went over to the gazebo and Chris stood on the stairs and said, “Ok thank you everyone but the REAL reason you’re all here is…this girl has been great for the past couple years…I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry…uhh here we go (Chris gets down on one knee)…This has been in the works for a while…I love you! Will you marry me? (“Yes!”) Everyone cheered & there was all this food and wine, and more cake, and I notice more and more people I didn’t see before that were there for the surprise!!

We loved that everything was in one place, and it was all-inclusive, so we didn’t have to worry about a million decisions with multiple vendors. Everyone we worked with helped us make it personal. They listened to us, and made our wedding “us”

I didn’t have a particular style in mind, but I knew I wanted some DIY details. We chose colors of navy, dusty rose, and silver. I tried to mix in some rustic decor with wood and galvanized steel/metal accents because I thought that tied everything in well with our venue itself. For the flowers, I picked a “DIY” package through, and I selected the colors for each rose variety, and I added the white anemones which were the perfect addition.

We love weddings and dancing, and spending time with friends and family so our goal was to have an awesome party where everyone can eat good food, listen to great music, dance, and celebrate our love.

My favorite part of the day was hearing Chris express his love in his vows. It probably sounds cliche, but he’s not big on expressing his feelings verbally, so for him to do that in front of our friends and family was huge! Also, our first dance because I love dancing with Chris & it was so fun to be in the moment, but also know that everyone was completely focused on us and our amazing dance moves as we two-stepped to Ed Sheeran’s, “Perfect”.

My advice to other couples is to enjoy every moment. Everything will be perfect…it may not go exactly according to plan, but it is about you and your brand new husband/wife, and the love you share. That is all that matters. Don’t get hung up on the little details because honestly you’ll be the only one who notices, and it won’t/shouldn’t be the make it or break it of your day. Don’t stress! Love is all you need! :) There will (probably) never be another time in your life where you have an entire group of people that you love and care about, that love and care about you; they are there for you and your partner to celebrate your love. that’s really special! Everything that everyone tells you is 100% true/accurate – everything goes by extremely fast and it will be a blur. Live in the moment!


Venue: Airlie | Photographer: By Jacqui Photography | Flowers: The Bouqs Company | Desserts: Cookies by Karen, Pastries by Randolph |  Bride’s Dress: Anna’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie | Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux |


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