The motto "Virginia is for lovers" rings true for Jessica Wood and Greg Turner, though not from the start. Friends since childhood, they grew up in the same neighborhood; both attended Virginia Tech, though they finally started dating after graduation. Just more than five years later, on December 11, 2010, they wed, just across state lines in Washington, D.C.
Throughout their engagement, Jessica kept saying she wanted a "wedding during Christmastime, not a Christmas wedding." Their winter nuptials were originally slated for the first weekend of December but they moved the date later in case their beloved college football team made it to the national championships (good thing -- they won).
With help from Ritzy Bee Events, they planned out every last detail, making their day warm, cozy, and full of holiday spirit for their 170 guests.
Jessica wore a Vera Wang gown that she bought at Saks Jandel and paired it with her grandmother's 1940s mink coat to stay warm in the 40-degree weather. She reworked her mother's old veil and wore diamond earrings given to her by Greg as a wedding present. Her Tacori engagement ring, from Charleston Alexander, finished off the look.
Greg looked sharp in a tuxedo from Men's Wearhouse and a white pocket square.
The bridesmaids wore Amsale dresses from Hitched Maids, along with mittens and sweaters given to them the night before by the bride (they had a sleepover at the Mayflower Hotel). Jessica also gave the girls matching flannel pajamas for their slumber party. She wanted it to feel like they were waking up on Christmas morning as sisters.
The 10 members of the bridal party posed for a portrait on the steps of the cathedral.
To show their Hokie pride, all of the groomsmen sported Virginia Tech suspenders, which were gifts from the groom. The guys also received jerseys of their favorite football and baseball players.
Varied centerpieces were accented with vintage sleigh bells and old hardcover books in shades of green and burgundy. The couple collected the books, trying to find titles relating to love or Washington, D.C. The clear and mercury-glass vessels contained peonies, berzelia balls, brunia, pepperberries, 'Polo' roses, 'High and Fantasy' roses, green hypericum berries, pieris 'Cupido', super parrot tulips, white freesia, and hellebores.
A dessert bar, created by RSVP Catering, offered a melange of sweets, including cookies shaped in the logo of their alma mater. RSVP Catering also prepared the evening's menu of comfort foods, including tomato soup with grilled cheese bites during cocktail hour and a cheeseburger and crab cake slider station.
Muslin sacks were rubber-stamped with "naughty" or "nice" and left out for guests, near a sign reading "Please conduct a brief self-evaluation of your behavior this year, and choose one accordingly." The naughty bags held chocolate "coal"; the nice bags were filled with peppermint sticks and peppermint-chocolate bark.
Photography and Videography: Kate Headley
Wedding Planning and Design: Ritzy Bee Events
Catering and Rentals: RSVP Catering
Flowers: Sidra Forman
Lighting: Frost Lighting
Hair and Makeup: Andre Chreky Salon