Belles Blog

Emily + Christian

There may have been rain clouds on Emily and Christian’s wedding day, but that didn’t stop them from making the best of it! The girls got ready for the big day at the Linden Row Inn and took great pictures with their matching umbrellas!

The Church of the Holy Comforter was absolutely stunning for the couple’s ceremony, followed by an ever so elegant reception at The Commonwealth Club.  Flowers Make Scents created impressive centerpieces that were highlighted by The Lighting Professors, creating a classic, romantic feeling throughout the ballroom.

One of our favorite things about this wedding was witnessing the bond between the bride and her brother.  It it is always so sweet to see the two families become one, sharing special moments together throughout the evening! Thanks to Emily and Christian for letting Belles be a part of your special day!


Vendors: Wedding Coordinators: Belles & Whistles; Ceremony: Church of the Holy Comforter; Reception: Commonwealth Club; Music: DJ Patrick with Richmond Nard's; Florist: Flowers Make Scents; Cake: Sugar and Salt; Photographer: Rebecca Keeling; Videographer: Silver Streak; Transportation: RVA Trolley; Hair/Makeup: Avenue 42; Lighting: Lighting Professors; Rentals: Paisley & Jade

Sarah + Mihai

Last October, we had the great pleasure of helping Sarah and Mihai plan their fall nuptials. Sarah, a nurse, and Mihai, a Thoracic Surgeon met in the ICU...and the rest was history!  Mihai studied at MCV and his adoptive family lives in the Richmond area, making it a special place he calls home. The couple currently live and work in Ohio, but chose Richmond as a midway destination for their wedding. 

We know planning from afar can be difficult, so were glad to be able to help map out their vision and tie it all together while both were miles away. It was great to be back at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design the perfect location for the couple's intimate celebration. The two were married in the garden area surrounded my friends and family, including Mihai's parents all the way from Romania.  The couple lit a candle in memory of Sarah's late father, which added a very sentimental detail to the ceremony. 

Following their vows, cocktail hour continued on the outdoor patio, followed by a formal, seated dinner and dancing! We loved the fact that her entire group could dine together at one candle lit kings table in the long gallery.  The evening was a great success and we were so honored to get to share in Sarah and Mihai's big day. We wish the couple all the best!


The Belles

Vendors: Wedding Coordination: Belles & Whistles; Venue: The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design; Catering: Culinary Connection; Florals: Petals & Twigs; Music: Sam Hill Entertainment--Blue Tips Rhythm Revue; Cake: Sugar Britches; Photography: Wendell Powell; Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design; Transportation: Taylor's Classic Trolley's; Hair/Makeup: Kelsey Dayberry; Rentals: Paisley & Jade

Virginia Rep's "Anything Goes" Gala

Virginia Repertory Theatre's annual "Anything Goes" Gala this past January was an elegant, chic affair that not only was a great party, but also surpassed ALL previous years fundraising goals! Our team had the pleasure of working alongside the theatre's talented board committee and staff, together creating an impactful, exciting atmosphere for guests with the events "Opening Night" theme.  Thanks to the help of gracious sponsors, hosts and participants, and with staff working tirelessly behind the scenes, the Gala was able to bring in $400,000 for Virginia Rep!

The black and gold decor and candle lit ballroom provided a warm glow, and the perfect setting as we highlighted a variety of "Opening Nights" VA Rep produced over the decades.  Guests were greeted at the entryway with a display of costumed mannequins representing the incredible handiwork of Virginia Rep's designers.   A showcase from favorites Mary Poppins, River Ditty, and West Side Story were performed by Virginia Rep's award winning professional theatre artists.  The live auction led by Justin Swisher, did not disappoint and was thrilling for all!     

This organization has served Virginia for over 60 years- adults, children, families and schools- while contributing to the cultural, educational, and economic life of our city and region. We were thrilled to be a part of celebrating all they do with such a rewarding event that provides a fun evening and an even better addition to the Richmond community. We can't wait for next year!

Annie + Jackson

We first laid eyes on this stunner of a venue -Upper Shirley Vineyard- upon opening spring of 2016, and couldn't wait to design some events on the beautiful property backing up to the James River. We didn't hesitate to dive in..remember the  "Low Country Lux" shoot we styled with vendor pals that fall?!   Less than a year later, we were thrilled when we met Annie and her family, and got started planning she and Jackson's big day there! 

Annie and Jackson too, were big fans of Upper Shirley, and longtime friends of Chef Carlisle so they visited often.  Prosecco, a picnic by the water, and a pony ride later ended in Jackson's proposal to Annie.   Naturally, this helped solidify their choice to book the Vineyard for their wedding at one of their favorite places.  

For the ceremony, Annie and Jackson said "I do" at the Grace and Holy Trinity Church in downtown Richmond. Guests were then transported to the reception at Upper Shirley where they were greeted by a full gospel choir singing on the veranda! Annie and Jackson made their grand entrance riding in on a horse and carriage and joined their 350+guests for hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and socializing by the water, before migrating to their grand tented reception.  

Upper Shirley is a one-of-a-kind venue and Annie is certainly a one-of-a-kind bride! Her decor was colorful, bright, and beautiful just like her personality. Wiley's Florist created a wow-ing floral chandelier installation in conjunction with The Lighting Professors that hung from the ceiling of the high peak reception tent--absolutely stunning! Klaxton Brown Band got the music pumping and the couple, friends, and family danced the night away as the talented team of Wendell Powell captured it all! 

Thanks Annie + Jackson for allowing us to be a part of the fun!

xo - The Belles

Vendors: Ceremony: Grace and Holy Trinity; Reception: Upper Shirley Vineyard; Florals: Wiley's Florist; Cake: Sweet Fix; Caterer: Upper Shirley; Photography: Wendell Powell; Videography: Starring You Productions; Band: EastCoast Entertainment--Klaxton Brown Band; Choir: J-Unity; Transporation: Hundley's Carriage, James Limousine Service; Rentals: Commonwealth Event Company, Paisley & Jade, Temp Power; Lighting: Lighting Professors; Hair/Makeup:  Lou Stevens, Shelter Salon

Kristen + Ben

A crisp fall September day, with not a cloud in the sky + one of our favorite couples made for an absolutely beautiful Southern styled wedding to kick off our 2017 fall season!!

Kristen, a Richmond native, and Ben from Pennsylvania- decided they needed just a little help with wedding planning from afar, (and while apart from one another) while working hard as surgical residents in Maryland and Michigan.  We were lucky to have connected with them, and had a blast working closely behind the scenes to plan their big day. 

St. Mark's Episcopal Church in the fan hosted the couples' ceremony.  Just a couple blocks away, the dreamy castle-like Branch Museum of Architecture and Design provided a perfect space for the newlyweds, family, and friends to enjoy cocktails, dinner, and lots of dancing! A timeless all-white palette with hints of green and gold highlighted the historical venue. A stunning 65 foot magnolia garland centerpiece complete with white roses and floating candles made for a warm, romantic dinner table in the Long Gallery. The bar was complete with "his" + "hers" cocktails - A Mezcal Mule and Old Fashioned, along with everyone's southern fav- a Mint Julep. The white and magnolia decor (the bride's favorite) continued into the Great Hall and cascaded off of the sweetheart table, and a giant sugar magnolia adorned their wedding cake.  Floating candles warmed the fireplace and created the perfect setting for toasts, dancing and merry making.   This was one for the books!! We wish you many years of love and happiness Kristen + Ben!


The Belles


Vendors: Ceremony: St. Marks Episcopal Church; Reception: Branch Museum of Architecture & Design; Florist: Wiley's Florist; Cake: Sweet Fix; Caterer: White House; Photography: Allison Kuhn Creative; Band: Black Tie; Transportation: James Limousine; Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Lighting Professors; Hair/Makeup: Elle Style Studio; Accomodations: Linden Row Inn

"In the Heights" with Rep 35

Every summer, we have the pleasure of helping put together Virginia Repertory Theatre's young professionals event for "Rep 35."  By connecting young professionals in the community, the group aims to cultivate and engage members in theatre and performing arts in Richmond.  This years theme highlighted their season finale, the vibrant award winning musical, In the Heights, written by Lin Manuel-Miranda, and it definitely did not disappoint! 

Colorful graffiti and Latin American inspired decor brought the venue to life. Local artist, Alexander Wu Wei created a custom graffiti installation.  Using branded "Rep35" bandanas, he incorporated a design of a sunset in Washington Heights, where the show takes place.  At the end of the event, each guest got to choose a bandana, or "slice of the sunset," to take home as a souvenir. Each discounted YP ticket included drink specials, Boka Takos, King of Pops (..YUM!) and a show ticket.  With over 100 guests in attendance, the Rep 35 team had their greatest turn out yet, gathering professionals, theatre lovers, and everyone in between for a fun night out. 

Thanks, Virginia Rep for allowing us to be a part of it!

"Low Country Luxury" Inspiration, Among Virginia Vines

We've been bursting at the seams with excitement to share with you all a recap of this shoot featured in Virginia Bride Magazine!  We were inspired by Upper Shirley Vineyard the moment we laid eyes on it.  The venue's aura and design are captivating. Big open porches nestled alongside the riverfront, wine tasting, and exceptional southern cuisine matched with the character of a good ole' Southern Plantation (neighbor to Shirley Plantation, America's oldest working farm) reminded us of the ambiance of a place like Charleston.  

After sipping wine with owners Tayloe Dameron and Executive Chef, Carlisle Bannister and chatting about their vision for the new place,  we decided to capture this ambiance by producing a "Low Country Luxury" styled shoot that exuded southern charm.

Using this inspiration and a romantic color palette, our team of talented friends and creatives made it happen (credits below)!  The Vineyards’ landscape accompanied with lush, but attainable floral highlights of Pampas grass and Spanish moss in a dramatic arch provided the perfect backdrop for a sunset ceremony.  Navy velvet, satin blush, stripes, and gold accents highlighted the staged reception, while perfect lounges on the veranda porch brought the vision of Southern hospitality to life. Our shoot encompasses a fresh take on a Southern vineyard wedding– complete with pimento, bourbon, bacon and bowties in Charles City, Virginia!

A HUGE thanks to all involved in the shoot, and to Virginia Bride magazine - we had a blast!  Be sure to pick up your copy today online or in stores soon for more wedding inspiration. 

Vendors: Design and Coordination: Belles & Whistles; Venue & Catering: Upper Shirley Vineyard; Photography: Wendell Powell Photography; Florals: Wiley's Florist; Hair: Rachel Shrader at Elle Style Studio; Makeup: Lacretia Baskfield at Elle Style Studio; Rentals: Paisley & Jade and Classic Party Rentals; Lighting: Leap AV; Bourbon Bar: Bourbon Scout; Wedding Dress: Annalise Bridal; Jewelry: Schwarzschild Jewelry; Bowties: Peter Blair Accessories; Cake: Candy Valley Cake Company; Invitations & Stationery: Sue Corral Ink; Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids; Models: Bride: Desirae Marie, Groom: Ben Holmes, Maid of Honor/Best Man: Olivia & Daniel Croxton, Bridesmaid: Kate Belleman

Natalie + David

We might be biased, but Virginia is one of the best places for weddings because of the vast variety of venues that supply a unique canvas to each event.  Natalie and David's wedding highlighted one of our favorites!  Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Hofheimer Building.  This 14,400 square foot historic property that originated as the Herold R. Hofheimer Fine Rug Company provides a rare example of “Exotic-Revival style” architecture in the Richmond area.  The building offers rooftop views of the Scott's Addition neighborhood, high ceilings, hardwood floors, rustic exposed brick walls and features an iconic Mediterranean-style dome with mosaic tile. Ooo! 

 A sunset ceremony and cocktail hour kicked off their celebration before proceeding to the Loft for the reception. The decor that transformed this space created the perfect ambiance showing off Natalie and David's creative, spunky personalities.  Colorful floral centerpieces and eccentric gold and silver candles lined the farm tables for dinner, a custom hot neon "newlywoods" sign lit up the room, and a 4-tier donut tower from Sugar Shack added something sweet!

The evening concluded with fireworks on the rooftop and a huge dance party with DJ Rudy Lopez keeping everyone rocking! It was a pleasure to work with these two and we wish them the best. Congrats to the "Newlywoods!"  

Vendors: Event Coordinator: Belles & Whistles Event Planning; Ceremony & Reception: The Hofheimer Building; Music: DJ Rudy Lopez; Florist: Nicola Flora; Caterer: Mean Bird; Photography: Rachel Gierlach, BadA$$ Photobooth; Hair/Makeup: Elle Style Studio; Rentals: Classic Party Rentals 

Martha + Charles

Martha and Charles had a gorgeous ceremony at First Presbyterian Church, followed by a very Richmond reception at the Commonwealth Club.  Charles- Atlanta, GA native, and Richmond-er Martha, live together in New York City.  Trying to plan from out of state with busy jobs in the city was tough, so we gladly jumped aboard when they reached out for our help firming up plans for their big day.  We loved this color palette, and event highlights include beautifully designed stationery by Ella Letterpress, lighting design by the Pros, and the band Attraction kept the energy pumping in the room all night!  We loved being able to help them celebrate with friends and family from afar. 

Best wishes to Martha and Charles!

Event Coordinator: Belles & Whistles, Venues: First Presbyterian Church & Commonwealth Club, Flowers: Whitehouse Flowers, Music: Sam Hill Entertainment, Cake: Pearls, Photography: Meghan McSweeney, Transportation: James River Transportation,   First Class Limousine, Hair & Makeup: Avenue 42, Lighting: Lighting Professors, Accommodations: Jefferson HotelOmni Hotel

Rachel + Skyler

On a bright, chilly day in May, Rachel and Skyler said "I do." Friends and family traveled outside the city of Richmond to the Vintager Inn--a beautiful barn space in New Kent that painted the perfect setting for their rustic wedding. Although days of rainy, soggy weather moved the planned outdoor ceremony inside the barn, the love from family and friends that surrounded them and a hint of sunshine set the perfect scene for the couple.

Skyler and Rachel, who met in acting class at Longwood College, chose to write their own personal vows.  The two's love--and humor--made for a sentimental ceremony. Some of our favorite details included the DIY "cootie catcher" style programs, a "ring warming," a handmade theater escort card display, s'mores kits and a donut dessert display!  Rachel's gorgeous BLDN gown was also one of my favorite's! 

It was so special to see these two friends tie the knot.  Thank you for allowing us to take part. Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Broughman! 

Vendors: Wedding Coordinator: Belles & Whistles Event Planning; Venue: The Vintager Inn; Florist: Mallory Cave; Cake: Shindigz, Sugar Shack Donuts; Photography: Emily Patton Photography; DJ: Bow Tied Weddings; Transportation: James River Transportation, Black Car Richmond; Hair/Makeup: Blackbird; Accomodations: Hilton Garden Inn