Belles Blog

Carly + Jamie

I am so excited to share this wedding with you all today!  

Carly and Jamie both grew up in Richmond, VA, but met in DC while both working up in Northern, VA.  Their wedding ceremony was held at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, where the couple attends and where Jamie popped the big question.  April 22 turned out to be a stormy afternoon, but the couple and their guests hardly noticed with the grand celebration at hand. 

Their cocktail reception took place at The Commonwealth Club downtown. Carly's vision was actually inspired by her love of ginger jars!  Pulling the royal blue from that inspiration, that hue was incorporated throughout the rest of the wedding design, with pops of pink to soften the look for their springtime affair. 

The vendor team transformed the gorgeous ballroom for over 300 guests like I'd never seen it before.  Pink uplighting surrounded the room with gold lanterns over the dance floor.  Show-stopping floral arrangements highlighted the entrance to the space with blooming branches, and a grand 5 tier cake was a true stand out accentuated by a cascade of florals from top to bottom!  

The couple tied in some fun details including "Transfusion" cocktails, a grooms cake--giving a nod to Jamie's favorite football teams (alma mater, JMU Bulldogs & the Dallas Cowboys)--and a custom drawing of the church by the ever so talented Ginny Rogan. The 12 piece Motown style band, Right On, lead a rocking party, complete with costume changes and conga lines!  

Carly recalled her favorite memories from the day: the first look, in which she was grateful the weather cooperated- until right after that moment when skies opened up and it poured!  She and Jamie also were glad to have a few moments together before their intro's to the reception.  "We stuffed our faces with some of the food from downstairs, had a drink and practiced our first dance! We were singing the lyrics to ourselves up in the room which we still laugh about today."  The most special part overall though she said, was having the people they love most all in one place. 

We are so grateful to have been a part of these beautiful memories.  Congratulations, Carly and Jamie!

Vendors: Coordinator: Belles & Whistles; Venue: St. Mary's Episcopal and Commonwealth Club; Music: Right on Band; Florist: White House Flowers; Cake: Sweet Fix; Photography: Stephanie Yonce; Lighting: Lighting Professors; Hair/Makeup: Avenue 42; Transportation: James Limousine and RVA Trolley

Julie + Justin

After months of preparation, Julie and Justin's big day finally arrived in May.  The couple chose Fairview Farm for the venue, where the rustic elegance speaks for itself.  Can we say stunning backdrops and countryside!  

The two met at VCU during an internship program.  Justin now works in law enforcement, and Julie with at-risk kids in Henrico County.   You can immediately see Julie and Justin's caring and calm personalities upon meeting them, and we were lucky to stumble upon them during the planning process!  

When a beautiful day quickly turned stormy, both were calm and kept focus on what the day is really about.  After 15 minutes of showers, thunder, and hail - yes, hail- the skies opened up and sunshine swept in just in time!  Friends and family witnessed Julie and Justin's vows outside the barn in front of a stunning, ombre pink floral curtain!

After the picturesque ceremony, guests sipped Bourbon Peach Tea under the pavilion, played corn hole, and admired the scenery. When Julie and Justin entered the barn for their first dance, their sheer joy, love, and happiness radiated throughout. This is what makes our job at Belles & Whistles worth it!  Cheers to many years ahead Julie + Justin.   We loved being a part of this very special day.

xo

Vendors: Event Coordinator: Belles & Whistles; Venue: Fairview Farm Events; Florist: Carrington Florist; Cake: Pearl's Cupcakes; Caterer: Cater 2 Events; Photography: Mike Topham Photography; Videography: White Tree Productions; DJ: Black Tie Events; Hair/Makeup: Curl Up & Dye

Katherine + Anthony

It was such a joy working on this wedding--our first of spring this season back in March. Katherine and Anthony both come from huge families, and therefore, their wedding was most certainly a grand family affair!  Katherine, the oldest of five, is a dedicated teacher, and Anthony, one of ten, is in his residency at MCV. Their wedding party was made up entirely of their beautiful brothers and sisters.

The ceremony took place in the heart of the fan at St. Benedict's Catholic Church.  The brides' family rented a house just down the street from the church, where all had a relaxing morning getting ready for the big day.  After the ceremony, a trolley picked up the wedding party which transported them all around Richmond, while photographer Jason Collins captured some really fun photos amongst the amazing backdrops our city has to offer!

This couple’s style was a little more modern, but incorporated some traditional elements into their day. The ballroom of the Bolling Haxall House in Richmond was illuminated with never ending candlelight and perimeter uplighting.  150 guests toasted the couple and celebrated into the evening, keeping the dance floor rocking all night with Black Tie Entertainment.  An assorted cake display from RVA favorite Shindigz, did not disappoint!

Thanks for allowing us to share in your memorable day.  Best wishes to you both! 

xo

Vendors: Wedding Coordinator: Belles & Whistles; Reception Venue: Bolling Haxall House; Cake: Shindigz; Caterer: Champagne Taste Catering; Photography: Jason Collins; DJ: Wayne Smith; Transportation: RVA Trolley; Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Paisley & Jade; Hair/Makeup: Elle Style Studio

Julia + Chet

After enduring a few cold winter weeks in Richmond, the sun and spring wedding season finally arrived!  We kicked things off with the dearest couple Julia and Chet: Julia, an elementary school teacher for children with disabilities and Chet, a dentist finishing his residency at the VA Hospital.  

The ceremony took place at St. Marks Episcopal Church in the heart of Richmond. Cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing followed just down the street in the stunning Marble Hall at the VMFA. The VMFA provided a modern, yet classic space for friends, family, and the couple to celebrate the evening. A unique detail Julia and Chet incorporated was a "guestbook" in the form of Jenga blocks that they asked guests to write well-wishes on; now, whenever the couple plays the game, they can reminisce about this amazing day! 

Julia and Chet's love radiated across the room the entire night and ended with a bubble send off, before they escaped in a rickshaw!  Although the two have called Richmond home for a while, they will soon embark on a new journey in a new state for Chet's job. Congratulations, Julia and Chet!   We wish you all the best!

Venues: St. Marks Episcopal Church and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Officiate: Dr. Stanley Sawyer;  Florist: Green Flamingo; Cake: Baker's Kitchen & Carytown Cupcakes; Photography: Allison Maxwell; Videography: Turtle Island Media/Silverthorn Films; DJ: On Tour DJ Service; Transportation: Black Car Richmond; Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; Hair/Makeup: Shine Blow Dry Bar

Lisa + Carroll

We had a wonderful time celebrating Lisa and Carroll at St. Patrick's Catholic Church and the John Marshall Ballrooms! This couple connected with us from Northern Virginia, but didn't feel that Nova was quite the best fit when it came to nailing down a wedding venue.  Just a short drive away, the charming setting they found in Church Hill and downtown Richmond spoke to them and felt like just the right place to host their wedding this past February. 

The bride, Lisa, carried on a long tradition of wearing a dime in her shoe, the same dime that has been in the family since 1941!

Between great music, an ice cream machine, and a really fun couple, the night was a huge hit!

Congratulations Lisa and Carroll! We had such a blast working with you!

Katie + Nick

Driving through Richmond you'll come upon one of the most beautiful, historic wedding venues, Main Street Station.  Katie and Nick tied the knot here in late November, which is a special place for this couple.  Not only did they have their first date here, but they were engaged here as well!  Katie dreamed of having her wedding here and her dreams came true after a personal letter written to the board was approved (as the building was closed for events during some construction)!

The Capitol Gardens proved to be a beautiful setting for the couple's first look. 

During the ceremony, the most gorgeous sunset glowed through the windows and added warmth to the classic ambiance of the room.

One of the most beautiful aspects of this wedding was the last dance.  The bride and groom opted to have a private last dance in the venue to take in the awe of the venue and occasion, which was so memorable.

 

Best wishes Katie and Nick! We couldn’t be happier for you!

Event Planning: Belles and Whistles Venue: Main Street Station Florist: Vogue Flowers Violinist: Jennifer Johnson Cake: The Mixing Bowl  Caterer: IK Catering  Photographer: Tori Watson Photo Booth: Shutter Booth Videographer: Dogwood Media Transportation: RVA Historical Tours Hundley Carriages Rentals: Rent E Quip Makeup: Transformation Artistry   Hotel Accommodations: Courtyard Mariott AV: Seagram’s System Audio Visual  Lighting: Black Tie Entertainment

Tracy + Kennon

Imagine beautiful, rolling green hills and horses galloping by as a backdrop for a romantic plantation wedding...you’re not dreaming! Tracy and Kennon were married on his family’s plantation, Norwood, which has been in the family since the 18th century.  It could not have been a more perfect day in June for dinner and dancing outdoors!

Tracy and Kennon lived across the hall from each other at USC. Kennon finally got the courage to talk to Tracy stating, “I’m not going to be that guy across the hall.” After a long period of friendship, they finally decided to be together.  They were engaged in the freshman hall between their two dorm rooms, going back to where it all began!

The couple decided to participate in the southern tradition of burying a bottle of bourbon to keep the rain away on their big day.  It surely worked!  A huge storm hit 2 days prior, leaving perfect blue skies for the wedding.

We were so happy to share such a special day with this beautiful couple!

Event Planning: Belles and Whistles. Venue Norwood. Caterer: A Sharper Palate. Florist: The Green Flamingo. Cake: Sweet Fix. Photographer: Doug @ Wendall Powell Band: Sam Hill Entertainment, Adrian Duke Band. AV Rentals: LEAP Audio VisualHotel Accommodations: La Quinta Inn and Suites & Hyatt House Richmond West Hair and Makeup: Elle Style Studio Transportation: Bio Ride & Black Car Richmond Rentals: RENT-E-QUIP & Edmund’s Waste Removal

 

 

Sarah + Nick

Early last month, we finished out the summer wedding season celebrating Sarah and Nick’s marriage! Despite the humidity, the ceremony and reception were beautiful! Thanks to Sam Stroud Photography for capturing these moments!

The couple was married at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on River Road, which boasts a multitude of windows and high ceilings, giving the ceremony a light, open-air feel. A reception at Willow Oaks Country Club followed featuring a cocktail hour and a delicious dinner menu. Other favorite moments include a beautiful first look at St. Mary’s, an old-fashioned trolley ride from St. Mary’s to Willow Oaks, the toasts, and a glow-stick and Rolls Royce send-off. Take a look at some of the special moments from the day below! 

One of the most special parts of day was Sarah and Nick’s first look at St. Mary’s! It was such a joy to witness this meaningful moment.

The ceremony was beautiful, and the mint colored bridesmaids dresses only added to the light, airy feel. 

This vintage trolley pulled up following the ceremony, likely surprising some guests! The bridal party took this fun ride from the ceremony to the reception!

The reception venue had a plentiful supply of photographs from throughout Sarah and Nick’s life – with table numbers featuring the photos of the bride and groom at that age, a photo book detailing their relationship, and engagement photos scattered throughout. The couple also honored important family and friends who were unable to be with them on their special day through a special display right outside the dinner event space.

During the toasts, Sarah’s sisters, Lauren and Anne Forrest Hyslop, shared some well wishes with the couple – in the Hyslop sisters’ own language! They shared many of the terms that had been created in the Hyslop household throughout their lives and interpreted the language for the rest of us!

The evening also featured sweet moments between Sarah and her father and Nick and his mother during their dances.

Last but not least, Sarah and Nick finished out the evening with a glow stick send off outside Willow Oaks. The guests had fun cheering the couple on towards the waiting vintage Rolls Royce! 

It was a privilege to be a part of your special day, Sarah and Nick! Best wishes for the future!

Emily + Thomas

Earlier this summer, we were privileged to share in the celebration of Emily and Thomas’ marriage in the heart of Richmond. There were so many special moments that we can’t wait to share!

Emily and Thomas said their vows at Grace Covenant Church on Monument Avenue. The church possessed a sense of historical grandeur with its stone walls, ornate stained glass, and high ceilings.

The ceremony was followed by a reception in the beautiful rotunda of the Science Museum of Virginia. The open-air feeling was perfect for mingling and gave each guest a great view of the dance floor for Emily and her dad’s rendition of the polka!

Other favorites included Emily and Thomas’ dreamy first look at the Capitol, a surprise carriage ride, an ice cream sundae bar, and a sparkler send off! Take a peek at some shots from the love-filled day below!

One of our favorite moments was Emily and Thomas’ first look at the Virginia Capitol. It was the perfect backdrop for this couple, and the scene couldn’t have been more beautiful!

Emily and Thomas served southern comfort food for their guests. A Sharper Palate did an excellent job with perfecting the menu, which featured fried macaroni and cheese bites and chicken and waffles as appetizers, a buffet featuring barbeque for dinner, and an ice cream sundae bar and popcorn for late night snacks.

One of the unique aspects of the wedding was the cake cutting. Emily and Thomas' cake featured personalized Coca-Cola toppers, and they used a knife from Iraq, where Thomas served for seven years, for the special moment.

The reception started off with the couple’s first dance followed by the father-daughter and mother-son dances. But, soon after friends and family took over the dance floor for what appeared to be one of the most fun parts of the night!

The evening finished out with sparklers and a get-away in this vintage bright red convertible! What a wonderful day filled with love and laughter! Thank you for letting us share it with you, Emily and Thomas!

"Dancing in the Street" with Rep 35

Last Friday, we worked with the Virginia Repertory Theatre to put together a fun pre-show party for "Rep 35" before a season finale performance of their hit musical Dreamgirls. Rep 35 is a program created by Virginia Repertory Theatre to spark interest in young professionals in the community, engage members in theatre, and bring awareness to the significance of the performing arts.

Director Chase Kniffen and members of the cast of Dreamgirls

The “Dancing In the Street” themed event had a Motown feel, with records galore and a bright red 1965 Buick Special to boot! 

The 100+ guests enjoyed food trucks, music, happy hour drink specials, and a raffle announced by two members of the Dreamgirls cast!

Guests enjoyed food from Slideways Mobile Bistro and ice cream from Mister Softee's food truck.

Members of the cast announce the winner of the raffle. The winner received a gift card to Graffiato's and two tickets to a future Signature show at Virginia Repertory Theatre.

Check out some more photos from the evening below!