If there’s ever an occasion to have a red, white, and blue wedding in Virginia, it’s a 4th of July wedding just outside our nation’s capital! Susan and Adam were married on July 4, 2010, at Thomas Birkby House in Leesburg, Virginia on a beautiful day that began with an outdoor ceremony and ended with fireworks at a local park. Susan and Adam worked with Courtney from A Sweet Soiree to bring their wedding vision to reality without going overboard with stars and stripes. The wedding party wore blue dresses and seersucker suites, while Courtney brought in some rustic touches for a sophisticated theme of Americana-meets-southern-farm wedding.
From Susan: Our wedding was a mix of Southern, classic, upscale, backyard party. We wanted guests to feel as if they were celebrating Fourth of July, just at our wedding. Courtney of A Sweet Soiree helped bring the vision together: Fourth of July, without the obvious stars and stripes. She suggested a garden, farm stand feel and it worked beautifully at the Thomas Birkby House in Leesburg, Virginia.
Adam’s favorite detail was the wedding party style. The groom and groomsmen wore cotton, khaki striped suits that looked like upscale seersucker. Following Courtney’s advice, they paired the suit with navy boat shoes – no socks. The bridesmaids (and my brother, who served as Man of Honor) wore navy with white shoes. I wore red frilly shoes under my white dress. My favorite detail had to be the DIY project Courtney tackled – the beautiful grapevine balls filled with flowers and lights. I also loved that the florist snuck a gardenia into my bouquet. Such a sweet, special surprise.
The 4th of July was a big part of the wedding – from the sparklers, to the yard games, friend chicken and pies, and watching fireworks. The cake topper and yard games were a nod to our alma mater, Virginia Tech, where Hokies are always ready for a tailgate. The wine was provided by Chateau Morisette, a winery popular in southwestern Virginia. During our ceremony, we remembered friends we lost during April 16. We also used music that was special to us. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental of Colbie Caillat’s ‘Bubbly’ and we recessed to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.’ Family was a big part of our wedding; family style long tables were used in the reception, my younger brother was my “man of honor” and both parents were invited to dance with siblings during the traditional first dances.
From Courtney of A Sweet Soiree: We started the design process considering the venue, which is a gorgeous old manor in Leesburg with perfectly manicured grounds, so we went in the direction of using a southern farm stand feel with fresh berries and grapevine details included throughout. We hung large grapevine balls through the trees with bright navy blue ribbon and the balls even had battery powered LED twinkle lights strung in them to make them extra eye-catching. The grapevine balls were continued on the reception tables where they were intertwined through white satin ribbon and weaved through the flower and berry arrangements down the length of the tables. There were “americana” inspired details throughout: seersucker suits, boat shoes, cookies that served as flavors that were an oatmeal raisin chocolate chip M&M combination, and of course, fireworks and sparklers.
From Susan: Our main priority was to give our guests a welcoming 4th of July party. The feel was relaxed, but fun and pretty. The location allowed us to be outside in a beautiful garden. The food –sliders, fried chicken, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, steak with bourbon barbeque sauce, pies – reflected a 4th of July party. The berries decorating the table reflected the peak of summer. Our parents graciously rented buses to take guests to the local fireworks, and then back to Red Hot and Blue for more food and drinks.
Susan’s advice for other DC-area couples:
Our advice would be: choose the vendors that truly listen and hear what you want. This advice goes for the officiant to the caterer. Some vendors will really *get* your ideas – have faith in them, communicate with them, and they will, most likely, go beyond your expectations. Hiring a wedding planner also helped us understand better what we wanted on our wedding day and helped us accomplish planning a wedding from afar.
The fireworks at the local park had to be the most meaningful and beautiful (besides the ceremony). Having all our guests enjoy such a magical moment was truly special. People were so excited to see a wedding there, they treated us like royalty and encouraged lots of kissing. But mostly, the fireworks allowed for us to enjoy a quiet moment that felt totally private but open at the same time. We had a chance to sit and be with each other and really take in the night. You could feel the happiness hanging in the air while we all sat on the grass (even in my dress!) and took in the amazing night.
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Susan and Adam’s wedding:
Venue: Thomas Birkby House
Photography: Saskia Paulussen Photography
Event Planning and Design: A Sweet Soiree
Favors: Mom’s Apple Pie Company
Floral Design: Karin’s Florist
Transportation: Reston Limo
DJ: Black Tie DJs
Cake: Cakes by Megan
Cake Topper: The Pink Koala
Officiant: Leora Motley
Hair and Makeup: Lisa Yaffe
Photo Credits: Saskia Paulussen Photography