Mel + Taylor's Buckeye Farm Wedding | Blacksburg Wedding Photographer

Mel and Taylor’s May the 4th Be With You Wedding

Taylor and Mel first met in college 12 years ago. They fell out of touch for a while but reconnected 3 years ago when Mel was on a girl’s night out. The following week they saw Eric Gress play at Sharkey’s with a bunch of friends and started hanging out regularly from then on. Taylor surprised Mel by proposing on a cruise ship during his dad’s 60th birthday formal dinner.

When I arrived at Buckeye Farms, Mel and her bridesmaids were busy getting ready with a mixed CD of love songs that Taylor made for her playing in the background [can I please get a collective “awwwwww”]. In addition to the mixed CD gift, Taylor also gave Mel and a customized bottle of wine. Mel’s gift to Taylor was a pocket square from The Tie Bar that was embroidered with his grandparents’ names by The Quilt Label Lady.

Their wedding ceremony took place in a river bend in Newport. Their altar was copper and draped in blue fabric that perfectly matched Mel’s custom-made blue wedding dress with beautiful flower arrangements fashioned by the bride’s sister, Angela Hassan. Taylor said two sets of vows that day, one promising his love and devotion to Mel and one promising his love and devotion to his new son, little Randy – we collectively shed tears and my mascara ran down my face which was thankfully shielded by my camera.

At their reception, the tables were draped in beautiful pale fabric with terrariums holding succulents and white tapered candles set in a cement base. Their guests enjoyed bags of coffee from Brugh Coffee as their wedding favors. We made the mad dash from the barn to the reception location through a downpour of rain, which we were thankful had held off till we had finished the ceremony and photos. In the barn was their alternative take on a guestbook, a beautiful poster-sized illustrated portrait of what they looked like on their wedding day. Their wedding cake was homemade and surrounded by family member’s wedding photos showing off their “generations of love”. Being that their wedding fell on May the 4th, Mel and Taylor had to do the obligatory lightsaber send-off, which I loved so very much.

Mel has been a dear friend of mine for years now. She’s always uplifting, generous, and putting off all the good vibes. Naturally, I was thrilled when she chose me to photograph her wedding! I don’t want to leave Taylor out on all the personal lovey-dovey stuff, I have watched him become the most amazing father to his new son Randy. Watching them together has brought me to tears multiple times. This little family is full of magical individuals and with their powers combined will fill you with so many warm fuzzies. Did you happen to catch Taylor + Mel's Radford Engagement Photos?

Wedding Vendor Team
Blacksburg Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer, assisted by Michelle Turek
Venue: Buckeye Farm, Newport, Virginia, dana22todd@gmail.com
Day of Coordinator: Danielle Lambert Events
Blue Wedding Gown: Custom designed with the bride by Anomalie in San Francisco
Florist: Angela Hassan
Officiant: Gina Rhea, Radford, Virginia
Catering: Heathwood Market, Blacksburg, Virginia
Jewelry: Todd’s Jewelry, Christiansburg, Virginia
DJ: A Party’s Favorite Entertainment, Tyrone Chavers, Roanoke, Virginia
Hair: Alysha Shorter and Crystal O’Dell, Unique Salon, Radford, Virginia
Bridesmaid Dresses: Birdy Grey
Groomsmen Attire: Black Tie
Videographer: Truly Yours by DNA Visions, Alex Jones
Transportation: Tangent Outfitters Shuttle
Chair and Heater Rentals: Tents R Us
Invitations, Wedding Cake, & Makeup: All the bride’s handiwork!


A big thank you to Alex Jones of Truly Yours by DNA Visions for letting me share your beautiful videography from Mel and Taylor’s wedding!

Arnold + Ruby's Backyard Wedding on the Chesapeake Bay in Reedville, Virginia | Virginia Wedding Photographers

Arnold and Ruby’s wedding took place on the Chesapeake Bay in Reedville, Virginia. Their loved ones came into town from all over the globe to enjoy their celebration: Philippines, Dubai, Los Angeles, Texas, New York, and Northern Virginia. When I first spoke to Ruby, she said that she wanted me to capture the true essence of the wedding – love, togetherness, and family. They first met when they were introduced by family and friends. Arnold proposed to Ruby in France at the Eiffel Tower. Ruby wore a stunning cap-sleeved dress from Gowns by Carina and a pair of her mother’s earrings.

Their families are made up of many talented individuals who helped make the event a smashing success. Ruby’s daughter, Angela Hassan [La Fleur Du Jour Flowers] was the florist putting together the most amazing purple, white, cream, and blush floral arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres. Her son, Jay Mitra, who works for a film production company in the Philippines was the videographer. The cake was made by her niece, Chef Katrina Pascual, who is a renowned pastry chef, also from the Philippines. Other delectable delights included cookies from Poochie’s Bakery and pies from Mom’s Apple Pie. Pinstripes in Georgetown, Washington DC catered the event. Rental décor, seating, plates, and flatware were provided by Party Perfect in Richmond, Virginia.

Marcus + Kayla's Radford Theater Wedding Photos | Radford, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Marcus and Kayla’s wedding was a bit of a whirlwind due to the hurricane coming through, you may have even read about it on the cover of the Roanoke Times last week: “Hurricane Michael flooding can't stop dream wedding fit for the silver screen” by Jacob Demmitt. Their original plan was to have an outdoor wedding by the river, unfortunately, two days before they were set to be wed their entire venue was underwater. The situation looked a little hopeless, I cannot imagine how stressful it must have been at that time. Thankfully, Paul, the owner of Radford Theatre where the couple likes to volunteer, stepped up to save the day. He canceled a showing of “Venom” to allow them to move their nuptials to the stave of the theatre. They were then able to secure The Side Door for their reception and the wedding was back on track!

Marcus and Kayla have been together for 14 years since they were high school sweethearts. They are kind, considerate, and a hell of a lot of fun – traits that they have passed along to their sweet son, Leo. I consider myself extremely fortunate to call them my friends. I met them at The Side Door that Saturday as they were putting the finishing touches on their almost fully DIY wedding décor. Once everyone was dressed [the fellas in white shirts, brown pants and suspenders and the ladies in mismatched bridesmaid dresses of their own choosing with Kayla rocking her boho Free People dress], we all took a leisurely stroll through downtown Radford to the ceremony. Radford Theatre provided free popcorn for Marcus and Kayla’s wedding guests as everyone was ushered into the center row seats. The couple exchanged vows up on stage with their illustrated likeness drawn by the bride was projected on the screen.

Afterward, we meandered back to The Side Door for their reception. I love their eclectic bohemian wedding décor – vintage mismatched plates and glasses; dreamcatchers [by yours truly]; centerpieces of wine and whiskey bottles with tapered candles, Himalayan salt tea light holders, succulents, and agate slices. In lieu of a guestbook, they had a photo booth with a backdrop made by Kayla’s mom and a Fuji Instax mini – after guests took their photo, they were pinned up on a braided cord for everyone to enjoy. Kayla’s sister made a delicious red velvet cake and cupcakes decorated with dried flowers and baby’s breath. Their cake topper was articulated paper dolls of Marcus and Kayla.

Wedding Vendors
Radford Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Venue: Radford Theatre
Reception Venue: The Side Door
Wedding Dress: Free People
Dried Flower Bouquet: Betty from the Newbern Fall Festival
Wedding Cake: Michelle Crowder aka Go Bake a Cake Shell!
Entertainment: DJ D Hood
Décor Assistance: Kirstin at JoAnn Fabrics
Everything Else: DIY by the Bride!

Russell + Emily's German Club at Virginia Tech Wedding | Blacksburg, Virginia Wedding Photographers

I am eternally grateful to Stephanie of Diamond Events for connecting me with Russell and Emily.  We hit it off immediately from our initial phone call to our in-person meeting, I just love this couple so much! They told me the story of how they met when they were students at Virginia Tech where Emily tutored Russell at math.  One of my favorite parts of the reception was when the maid of honor retold this story complete with flip charts and in story form inspired by Dr. Seuss. Russell proposed to Emily by having her best friend and maid of honor dress up Emily’s favorite horse in the barn at Virginia Tech where he asked her to be his wife.

When I arrived at the German Club Manor at Virginia Tech on the day of their wedding, the weather for the day was starting to look a little ominous.  Sure enough, by the time Emily was putting on her Allure Bridals wedding dress, Blacksburg was hit with a downpour complete with a flash flood watch.  We didn’t let the cloudburst ruin our fun, the first look we had planned for Duck Pond was scooted over to the porch of Solitude.  It was here that we first got a look at Russell’s hot pink chicken and waffles socks and his Virginia Tech suspenders.  In a real-life Cinderella moment, Russell helped Emily into a pair of hiking boots, so she wouldn’t ruin her custom “something blue” wedding shoes while walking through the mud.  We caught a break between showers and did end up being able to take some photos by the Duck Pond before we headed back to the Manor for the wedding ceremony and reception.

Diamond Events put together a beautiful ceremony space with a large wooden altar draped in white flowing fabric and the aisle lined in a garland of white, pink, and maroon flowers which they magically flipped during the cocktail hour to double as the reception location.  Kanta Bosniak officiated their wedding ceremony and did a lovely job of telling Russell and Emily’s love story and was kind enough to share her words with me for this blog post:

They met in the fall of 2012 when Emily was his math tutor at the student success center. He chose her because her name was the only one on the list he could pronounce. They saw each other every week and became friends. In a move that may have been part education and part attraction related, he persistently convinced her to tutor him for Calc 2. They began hanging out in the spring of 2013 and by the late winter, their friendship had deepened. They had their first kiss in February 2014 and in March, on the first day of spring break, they decided to call it “dating.”

As synchronicity would have it, they both went on spring break on the same island in South Carolina. She was meeting a friend there and he was on a Habitat for Humanity service trip. It was during this trip that they both realized they had met their special person. Russell developed a plan and implemented it with the help of family and friends. First, he asked Emily’s Dad and Mom for their blessing in January 2017. In the spring, he initiated phase 2. In May, he asked their friend Andrea to help coordinate and set the stage at the Equestrian Center at Virginia Tech. 

On Mother’s Day Weekend, she invited Emily to come to meet her at the barn on the way to Mother’s Day dinner at the Palisades. All their family was to be present at the dinner and both were aware of what was about to happen. When Emily arrived, Andrea left… and there was Russell with candles lit and roses. He led her to a photo-collage of pictures of them over the years, dropped down on one knee, and they made each other a promise that is fulfilled today.

Following their ceremony, we were lucky enough to get another break in the rain to take photos which I was so thrilled about – sorry not sorry for the 4 million bride and groom photos in this blog post.

Kidd Carter of Blue Ridge Entertainment and K92 provided the entertainment for the night.  Who gets starstruck by a local radio DJ?  This girl.  Russell and Emily’s friends and family members are so much fun, as soon as the first special dances were over, EVERYONE hit the dance floor.  This provided the perfect opportunity for me to run directly over to the buffet stations from Hazelbea Catering including a mac and cheese station, Mexican food, and Asian lettuce wraps.  Speaking of the first dance, Russell and Emily rocked it big time and had obviously been practicing because I was able to get tons of stunning spinning dress photos!  Once everyone had danced to the Hokie Pokey, played air guitar, and completely danced their butts off, it was time to send off the happy couple with a sparkler send-off complete with a dip and a kiss.  Congratulations to Emily and Russell, thank you for letting me document your special day!

 

Blacksburg Wedding Vendors
Blacksburg, Virginia Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Planner and Florist: Diamond Events
Wedding Officiant: Kanta Bosniak
Hair and Makeup: Elite Style Salon
Cake Baker: Casey’s Cake
Caterer: Hazelbea Catering
Wedding Bands: Brilliant Earth
DJ: Kidd Carter, Blue Ridge Entertainment
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals from The Bride’s House
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Banks
Videographer: SJ Video
Wedding Venue: German Club Manor, Virginia Tech

Mallary + Steven Intimate Asheville, North Carolina Wedding

I was so excited to make the trip down to Asheville, North Carolina to photograph Mallary and Steven’s wedding. The ceremony took place on the porch of a home overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains where they spent a long weekend celebrating with their families. It was a huge honor to be invited to spend their special day with them and work with them for the second time. If you want to see more of this adorable couple, check out Mallary + Steven's Blacksburg Engagement Session.