Stephanie & Michael
September 12, 2015
How They Met
Before I was in graduate school, I was a dietitian at VCU Medical Center. I participated in morning rounds with the ICU team so I got to know my co-workers from different departments well. There was usually a group of about 5-10 students, residents, pharmacists, and attending physicians. Michael just happened to be completing an ICU medicine rotation in my unit and was assigned to my team for the month. We developed a working friendship during that month and kept in contact occasionally as friends. Later that year, one of my good family friends suffered an unfortunate accident. I visited him often while he was in the hospital, and as fate would have it, Michael was taking care of him on the night shifts. He would come in early to try to catch me, and we re-connected. My family friend, probably a bit hazy on pain medications, told his wife one night that he was going to sing at our wedding. Shortly after, Michael and I started dating, and the rest is history. That family friend is now well recovered and attended the wedding!
Stephanie wore her sister’s dress, but she worked with Charla, owner of Pleiades Bridal Design, to re-design aspects of the dress for a change. Stephanie says, “We added lace from my grandmother’s dress and from my Aunt’s veil. It was pretty special to wear a dress that had pieces from some of the most favorite women in my life.”
How He Asked
On one of our first dates, we picked up Alamo BBQ and had a picnic by the James River. We both loved the jalapeño mac and cheese! As a joke, I told Michael if he could ever make mac and cheese that good, I would marry him on the spot. We continued to love this mac and cheese, and sometimes we would sneak out of the hospital to get it from Alamo and have a quick lunch break.
Last Christmas, Michael and I went to Canada to visit his parents. He planned a picnic at the lake complete with ice skating and a bonfire. While we were enjoying the fire, he said he was going to whip up a quick snack. First he brought out cheese and wine. Next, he put a full bowl of jalepeno mac and cheese in front of me, and I knew right away what was about to happen! I looked back over and he is on one knee, holding a beautiful ring made of old family diamonds with a shiny new setting. Turns out, he had brought the mac and cheese all the way from Richmond in a small cooler hidden from me!
Why did you pick the venues that you chose?
We were looking for an outdoor venue that was in Richmond, as we both love the city. We are both science nerds and had seen some pictures online of the train track setting at the Science Museum of Virginia. We visited to see and fell in love! The trains and large grass spaces were perfect for what we had in mind. The staff at the Museum was awesome, very flexible, laid back, and easy to work with. That definitely matches our personalities, so it was a great fit.
What inspired your wedding décor? Did you have a theme in mind?
We wanted décor that matched our personalities. We didn’t really want anything too formal and relied on our vendors to help us with the details. We wanted bright, fun colors, and a laid back, cozy atmosphere. I love sunflowers and wildflowers, and my florist took that and ran with it! The decorations were eclectic and fun—cantina lights, an open air dance floor, and touches of Richmond, like Hardywood Singel on tap and a Richmond skyline print as our guest book.
We just wanted our guests to have a good time and be able to celebrate with us. Most of our efforts went into planning something that was easy to attend, accommodating and fun.
We had a table dedicated to celebrating all the love we are surrounded by with a display of all of our family and friends’ wedding pictures. Our guests could look through our family and wedding party’s wedding photos with the date. It was one of my favorite parts we planned for.
What was your absolute favorite part of the day?
Instead of the traditional entrance at the back of the ceremony, my bridesmaids, flower girl, and myself with my dad got to walk down the train terminal to enter the ceremony which was really different and was a change from the usual. Turning the corner with my dad, seeing Michael all dressed up, looking very handsome and smiling as I walked towards him was my favorite part of the day. Michael says his favorite part was seeing me in my dress walking towards him. He might have teared up a little bit, too.
Gown & Veil: Pleiades Bridal Design
Rentals & Lighting: Classic Party Rentals of Virginia
Photography: Kim Stockwell Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Ardent Craft Ales
Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Alamo BBQ
Wedding Consultant: RSVP Consultants
Officiant: Jacob Sahms
Ceremony Music: Erin Frye
Rings: Schwartzchild Jewlers
Bride’s Jewelry: Lou Lou Boutique
Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations & Stationery: Shae McGrath
Flowers: Photosynthesis Floral Design
Catering: White House Catering
Music: Kendall New
Sweets: Carytown Cupcakes
Favors: Lowe’s (flower seeds)
Transportation: RVA Transit
Accommodations: Courtyard Residence Inn Richmond Downtown