Don't Blink

“Don’t Blink”


I received a call from Jeannette one day and from that time on, I always looked forward to the next call. She has a giggle that brightens your day. She is the Mother of our April 2019 Bride however, her call was preceded a few weeks prior by a call from the sister of the bride, Jeannette Marie. She was the first to inquire for her sister Christina, who was very busy finishing her final year at UVA. Christina was experienced in planning from her own wedding but was now busy with three children including a newborn.


When Jeannette and her husband Angel traveled from Mississippi to meet, she was aware that it was my birthday week. Not even really knowing me yet, she brought me gifts! I now carry my “bling” pen with me to all of my meetings…it makes me smile.



Planning with this family was a joy. They were the epitome of what we encourage all of our couples and families…enjoy this time and “don’t blink”.



Christina and her sister Jeannette Marie were very different in the sense of planning their weddings. Jeannette Marie had quite an elaborate event. Though we were at Trump Grand Hall, Christina wanted to keep the tone fairly simple. She and Brian were very busy with school and careers in the medical field. However, meeting with them showed me their devotion to each other and to truly enjoying their wedding with family and friends.


I had the honor of joining them at their rehearsal dinner and was invited to sit next to the bride and groom. They were of course talking about their wedding day, but not so much about themselves. They were more interested in everyone involved and how they were doing with their part in the day. When it came to the children, they melted my heart. They took time to talk to me, taking an interest in my life and family. I want them to be my doctors someday for sure.


Their wedding day was perfect in every way. Brian was glowing as much as Christina….such happiness! Brian had written “Christina’s Love Song” performed by his brother and Best Man Chris. This was the first time Christina would hear the song as she walked the aisle with her Dad. In his witty style, Father Jim conducted an entertaining yet touching ceremony. Then announcing them as “Husband & Wife” their celebrations began!


The designs of Blue Ridge Florals added even more magic to the day. The views of the Grand Hall had the guests captivated as they took one picture after the next at cocktail hour. As we moved into the reception, I spoke to Jeannette who was beaming with pride and happiness. She leaves one tip for other Moms…bring a change of shoes!


As always, Harvest Moon Catering served a perfect and delectable dinner. Then came our favorite part…dessert! Unique to them, Christina and Brian decided against cake and created pie and cookie displays. The Pie Chest made their favorite flavors while a friend of the family made the best cookies ever (I think I was in a cookie coma).


The rest of the night was full of celebration with the help of Andy of Party Masters. The last song of the night was “Take Me Home Tonight” followed by a sparkler departure to The Albemarle Estate.


Congratulations Christina & Brian!


Trump Winery & Grand Hall

Father Jim, Contemporary

Blue Ridge Floral Design

Harvest Moon Catering

The Pie Chest

Rock Paper Scissors

Party Masters, DJ Andy Wilfong     

Photobooth of Charlottesville

A&A Limo

On Location Bridal, Judy Hayward

Robert Radifera Photography

The "Watch"


I have a special watch that I wear to our weddings. It’s not to tell time, but more like a bracelet. It has a very unique meaning that I share with our couples.


A few years ago, my sister and were cleaning out our parent’s home after their passing. As daunting and sad as this task is, it was extremely tough in that our parents were collectors…of lots of stuff that had lost value. However, Dad had kept his old watches over the years. They brought back memories of sitting in his lap at the kitchen table, Sunday afternoon rides, and going to work with him to hang out. Each one was special. We decided to keep this particular collection and since they were not operational, we came up with a special idea.


We visited our favorite jeweler, Andrew Minton Jewelers with this idea and he loved it. He had worked with Mom & Dad years before, knew them well and loved them too. He and his team removed the watch works to replace the face with tiny photos of Mom & Dad in their early years of growing up and falling in love. In one, Dad was in his Navy uniform. In another, they were laughing like they had just heard the funniest joke ever!



So a little of Mom & Dad go to every wedding with me. When our couples are lining up to be announced to the reception, I know this might be the last time I may have a chance to speak to them together. I take them aside and show them the watch and this is how it goes…


“I want to take a moment with you before you go in for your celebration and show you something very special.” Showing them the watch I say, “This is my Mom & Dad, and they were married 67 years…now that’s your goal!”



I get many reactions…


“They look so happy”

“We will do it!”

“We got a late start, but we’re going to give it a try!”


Planning weddings is a tough business but I hope that we are not just doing that, but building marriages. Thanks for the example Mom & Dad.




Andrew Minton Jewelers

Glenmore Country Club

Dominique Attaway Photography

Elsa & John

On a crisp November afternoon in the mountains just West of Charlottesville, a beautiful family joined. Elsa and John met as friends at first, but with much in common as busy business professionals. One of many things held in common was the love of their children and family - a central focus of their wedding.



John stood proud as their adorable children Abigail, Michael, Ben and Claire preceded Elsa who was escorted and given away by her son Jack. Jeff, a family friend, served as their officiant, making their experience even more personal and intimate.



The King Family Carriage House was classically decorated in midnight blue, ivory and vibrant autumn colors. Verde Natural Florals created exquisite décor alongside beautiful rentals from MS Events. Barbeque Exchange fashioned an immaculate Southern Fare meal complete with special treats to delight the kids.



The children were treated to a special table of treats, toys and games. As dinner concluded, Maid of Honor Lisa & Best Man Jeremy gave touching toasts to their newly married friends, followed by the bride Elsa and her Jack in the Mother/Son dance, and the groom John with his daughter Abigail in the Father/Daughter dance. T.D. Layman of Sound Enforcement kicked off the rest of the evening with all the right songs to keep everyone on the dance floor.


Bea & Thomas

October 13, 2018


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Thomas fixes broken hearts for a living and Bea solemnly swears to tell the truth…a match made in heaven. A beautiful day at James Monroe Highland celebrated their marriage with loving family and friends. Bea and her bridesmaids started their wedding weekend earlier in the week with winery tours, apple picking and girl fun. An early wedding morning with Anne of Charlottesville Makeup Artist and everyone was at their beautiful best.

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The exquisite floral design by M. Henry Design sparkled in the autumn sunlight, but not more than Bea as her Dad escorted her down the garden aisle to give her away to Thomas, who glowed as she approached. Gay Lee Einstein performed a touching ceremony, and after a recessional of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” the celebration begins!

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More sparkle as MS Events and C&O Catering, who served an impeccable menu, delightfully set the Highland Pavilion. Cakes by Rachel displayed a dessert table of special treats and a cutting cake for the bride and groom.

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Another tender moment shared between Bea and her Dad Larry, the Father Daughter dance was “Unforgettable”. Then it was dance…dance…dance! Bea twirled and twirled in her gorgeous gown….more sparkle.

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Thank you Andy Wilfong for an awesome party! A&A Limo stages us for a perfect sparkler getaway and it is “happily ever after”. We will forever enjoy photos by Jeffrey Gleason and video by Forever Films by Abby.



C&O Catering

M. Henry Design

MS Events

My Cake by Rachel

Gay Lee Einstein, Wedding Preacher for Hire

Party Masters DJ Andy Wilfong

Charlottesville Makeup Artist

A&A Limo

Forever Films by Abby

Jeffrey Gleason Photography