On the last day of classes at the University of Virginia in May of 2005, Virginia Hart met Patrick McAnaney, and immediately had a good feeling about him. "I called my mom and told her I'd met the man I would marry," says Ginny. "My mom didn't believe me!" But Ginny was right and, just over eight years later, Patrick proposed as the couple walked along the East River in Brooklyn, New York. "Everyone around us started cheering as he got down on one knee and pulled the ring box out of his sock," she laughs.
When it came to picking a location, Ginny and Patrick decided to bring their 150 guests back to where it all began: Charlottesville, VA. They fell in love with the oldest church in town, as well as the gorgeous views (and amazing staff) at Keswick Vineyards and, on October 18th, 2014, the college sweethearts made it official. They planned a formal-meets-fun celebration (think a wedding party in tuxedos, cornhole during cocktail hour, and a late-night French fry bar after a seated dinner), and had the festivities photographed by Elisa Bricker. "We wanted our wedding day to be special, but not too stuffy. It was a representation of who we are as a couple," Ginny says.
Ginny's a calligrapher, illustrator, and designer, so of course she took the invitation design into her own hands, using hints of blush and a confetti motif to add a playful touch.
Playing into that color scheme, she paired her engagement ring with a diamond and pink sapphire band borrowed from her mother, dressed her bridesmaids in pink gowns, and carried a bouquet of blush, pink, and ivory peonies, garden roses, astilbe, café au lait dahlias, and seeded eucalyptus.
Beaded and embroidered shoes were the perfect pair for the bride's shimmering Lazaro gown, with a sparkling tulle skirt, beaded straps, and jewel-encrusted bodice. "Patrick once told me that he loved how I looked in straps (such a guy comment to make!), so that guided my gown search. I loved how unique the beaded straps were, since strapless dresses are so popular," says Ginny.
Before walking into the ceremony, Ginny walked around the side of the church for her grand entrance. "As I nervously crept up the sidewalk, I heard a little girl on the playground across the street yell 'Look! A real-life princess!' and my heart burst," Ginny remembers. "If you're going to hear one thing before you walk down the aisle, I can't think of anything better than that!"
The couple's traditional ceremony took place at Christ Episcopal Church. "We had a carillonneur toll the bells as we exited. It was so magical," the bride says.
To set Patrick apart from his groomsmen, he wore a tuxedo with an off-white jacket while his groomsmen wore black.
Cocktails were served on the lawn of Keswick Vineyards, where guests (and the groomsmen!) could play the couple's custom UVA and Syracuse cornhole game.
Dark 'n Stormies were served alongside bacon-wrapped dates and crispy shrimp tempura. Peonies, dahlias, and garden roses floated in the pool, matching the arrangements set on each table.
Hand-lettered escort cards (written by the bride, of course) led guests to their seats.
Gold chargers and gold-printed menus added a glamorous touch to the reception tables. After steak chinoise and butternut squash ravioli, the newlyweds cut into their poppy seed almond cake. "The topper is the same one that Patrick's family has been using since his grandparents' wedding," says Ginny.
At the end of the night, the bride and groom headed to a pub they love near UVA. "We realized we'd both forgotten our IDs and wallets, so we used the 'we just got married' card all night. I'll never forget when a college student gave us money to buy a late-night sandwich on our way back to the hotel!" Ginny laughs.
The couple jetted to Puerto Vallarta for their honeymoon. "If you can, you should definitely take your honeymoon right after the wedding," advises Ginny. "I cannot stress enough how much you'll want to get away for a week and continue enjoying that blissful state!"
Ceremony Venue: Christ Episcopal Church || Reception Venue: Keswick Vinyeards || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro || Shoes: Emmy London || Veil: Cheryl King Couture || Hair & Makeup: Chelsi Woodson of Moxie Hair & Body Lounge || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Black by Vera Wang || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: James & Co. || Floral Design: Janie Medley Flora Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Virginia Lucas Hart || Cornhole Beanbags: Lots2Ofr2 || Music: organist - Albrecht Von Gaudeker, carillonneur - Clair Robinson, guitarist - Mike D'Antoni, DJ - Greg Tutwiler || Catering: The C&O || Cake: Favorite Cakes || Rentals: MS Events || Transportation: Albemarle Limousine || Videography: Shaking Hands Productions || Photography: Elisa Bricker
Can't get enough of this beautiful wedding? Then watch another couple say "I do" in Virginia in the video below!