A Classic Garden Wedding in the Heart of Richmond, Virginia
Fate first brought Brooke McClure and Daniel Scott together in 2009; the future couple both worked at a Staples in northern Virginia during high school. The bride today remembers her future husband as "quiet" and "tall." Though she wished then he could "relieve her of her cashier duties," he was often needed in the back thanks to his 6-foot-5 frame.
Fast forward to their undergraduate days at James Madison University in 2011. Again, Brooke noticed Daniel—this time on the basketball court—and finally decided to reach out. In what she describes as a classic mid-aughts move, she wrote her number on his Facebook wall and suggested they get together. Her bold approach was effective. A month later, they were officially a couple.
Five years later, Brooke, a research associate at Costar, was heading to brunch in Washington, D.C., on a windy September day with friends and family for her birthday. Her boyfriend, a correctional officer, had insisted that he couldn't make it due to work. Accompanied by her mom Leah, Brooke trekked to the Lincoln Memorial to meet coworkers before they walked to the waterfront venue. Despite Brooke's wishes to go inside the memorial to escape the winds, Leah insisted they should wait outside. Moments later, Daniel appeared, carrying a VHS tape of Aladdin (one of the bride's favorite Disney flicks) with a ring inside. After dropping to one knee to pop the question, she said "yes"—and the rest is history.
After a 19-month engagement, they said "I do" on April 12, 2018, in front of 86 guests at Maymount, a 100-acre estate (with Victorian Era roots!) in the heart of Richmond. The big day went off without a hitch, thanks to event planning behind the scenes by Jessica Ashley Events.
An Italian-Inspired Garden Venue
"We both wanted to be married outdoors," says Brooke of her and Daniel's venue requirements. The couple, who had just relocated to Richmond, quickly settled on Maymount's Italian Gardens. "We loved the garden and it's natural beauty and how easily our guests could move from ceremony to the reception area."
Soft Color Palette
When brainstorming their big-day color palette, the couple, along with their planner, Jessica of Jessica Ashley Events, didn't want to overpower the venue's Romanesque-style architecture and elaborate gardens. "Our goal was not to upstage them, but to highlight their beauty with the muted color palette that Brooke chose," Jessica adds. "The soft blues and greens complemented the early spring season while bringing cohesion to the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception."
As for the on-palette bridesmaids' dresses? The Show Me Your Mumu and Jenny Yoo gowns shaped the bulk of the wedding's color scheme: "Soft neutral colors surrounded by light grays, blues, and greens with gold accents," says Brooke.
Brooke's bridesmaids consisted of her two sisters, two childhood friends from grade school, and four best friends from college. The group got ready with a Champagne toast of Veuve Clicquot Brut, a gift from Brooke's parents. Hair and makeup was done by Avenue 42 Salon.
Brooke looked radiant in her BHLDN wedding dress, which she loved for its fit, long train, and intricate lace detailing. The bride added an heirloom French lace veil (her mother's, which she wore on her own wedding day), an Etsy headpiece, earrings borrowed from a friend, a sapphire and diamond tennis bracelet on loan from her mom, a David Yurman pearl necklace (a gift from her step-father), and Badgley Mischka pumps to complete her look.
From the bride's bouquet to the flowers incorporated in the reception décor, the couple kept their greenery-centric blooms simple, but on-palette. The bride's vision? Light, airy arrangements in shades blue, green, and gray. Ultimately Brooke was thrilled with the results from Alyssa of The Posey Detail.
Daniel and his groomsmen—friends from childhood and college—looked dapper in gray suits with white shirts and light blue ties, all from Generation Tux.
First Look with Dad
The couple decided against a first look, since they both wanted the bride's aisle debut to be a surprise. "I chose instead to have a first look with my step-father, Steven McClure. He is truly my dad so it was good to spend that special time with him before the ceremony," says Brooke. "He gave me my bouquet, the David Yurman pearl necklace which was a gift from him and my mother, plus a note that Daniel had written me."
The wedding—which had a semi-formal dress code—commenced at 5:30 p.m. in the Italian Garden. Luckily, the spring day arrived with temperatures around 75 degrees—a close call, since Brooke says it had snowed in the area just a week before. The couple took portraits in the garden post-ceremony before moving onto the grounds of the estate for photos with their families and wedding party.
Here Comes the Bride
Both Brooke and Daniel agree that the processional—Brooke's mother and step-father walked her down the aisle to "You Do Something to Me" by Ella Fitzgerald—was their "favorite moment" of the big day. Another highlight, though, was the ceremony itself, which was officiated by Julie Dotson. The couple opted for traditional vows, says Brooke, since she "knew I would cry too easily" with hand-written promises.
During the service, the pair's friend, Katie, read a particularly poignant passage from the show One Tree Hill, based on a quote from Dante Alighieri: "Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always. A promise. Like a reward for persisting through life so long alone. A belief in each other and the possibility of love. A decision to ignore, simply rise above the pain of the past. A covenant, which at once binds two souls and yet severs prior ties. A celebration of the chance taken and the challenge that lies ahead. For two will always be stronger than one, like a team braced against the tempest civil world. And love will always be the guiding force in our lives. For tonight is a mere formality. Only an announcement to the world of feelings long held. Promises made long ago. In the sacred spaces of our hearts."
Husband and Wife
The newlyweds recessed to "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)" by John Legend.
Right after the service concluded, the newlyweds were driven around the Maymount property in a horse-drawn carriage. "We both really enjoyed that time because we were able to enjoy some quietness and revel in the fact that were now married before the rest of the night's festivities," Brooke says.
Cocktail hour took place in the Garden Hall at Maymont. Two signature cocktails were offered: The "Brooke Breeze" consisted of Skyy vodka, blood orange juice, rosemary, and Prosecco, while the "Scott Drop" featured Captain Morgan rum, Fireball, Coca-Cola, and a peppermint drop.
Acrylic Seating Chart
One of the bride's friends, Amanda Brown, helped design all of the chic acrylic signs (including the seating chart!) for the big day.
Simple, slightly-rustic tablescapes set the mood for the warm reception. The guests' round tables were circled with Chiavari chairs and topped with on-theme linens; dark brown chargers with trifold napkins, greenery and gold centerpieces with ivory pillar candles, gold votives, and acrylic table numbers with gold rim perfected the tabletops. The couple of the hour sat at a gold sequined sweetheart table with farmhouse-style chairs and bride and groom signs.
A sweet homage to late family members was presented in the form of black-and-white photos on a table for cards. An accompanying sign read, "We know would be here today if heaven wasn't so far away."
BBQ on the Menu
Catering for the big day was coordinated by Q Barbeque—their offerings were a hit with attendees. "During the cocktail hour, we served smoked chicken salad mini sandwiches and had a fresh fruit display," Brooke says. "During dinner, the menu consisted of pork, chicken and brisket barbeque, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, various barbeque sauces, mac and cheese, braised greens, and corn muffins."
The new Mr. and Mrs. Scott took their first married spin to "Say You Won't Let Go" by James Arthur. "We both loved the song and felt it accurately portrayed how we felt about each other and how we've grown in our relationship," the bride says.
Daniel says that dancing with his mom was one of his big-day highlights. The sweet pair hit the dance floor to "I'll Always Love My Mama" by the Intruders.
With My Whole Heart
A favorite photo-opp spot featured an Etsy banner with a salient quote. "Originally the plan was to have it as a backdrop at the altar, but it was extremely windy that day," note the bride and groom. "Jessica decided it would be best to put it in the reception area. It was a perfect backdrop for pictures with our guests."
Cakes by Marium whipped up the couple's semi-naked cake with grand manier plumped apricots and marcona almonds.
The dreamy donut bar was another creation from Cakes by Marium. Brooke and Daniel served up a fun mixture of flavors: Strawberry-rose with fresh berries, chocolate-dipped brown sugar with toasted marshmallow and graham cracker, and maple with candied bacon and a bourbon glaze were standouts, as were the apple cider and sea salt chocolate donut holes.
Happily Ever After
Soon after the evening drew to a close, the happy couple jetted off to Cozumel, Mexico, for their honeymoon.
Photography, Hannah Bjorndal
Event planning, Jessica Ashley Events
Catering, Q Barbeque
Flowers, The Posey Detail
Videography, Danny Freshley
Music, Bernard "BJ" Suber, aka DJ Deep Crates
Stationery calligraphy, Starry Eyed Letter Co
Cake and desserts, Cakes by Marium
Bride's gown, "Leigh" by BHLDN
Hair and makeup, Avenue 42 Salon
Menswear, Generation Tux
Transportation, James Limousine Service