This crazy summer heatwave has me wishing that fall would hurry up and get here!  Lucky for us, we can pretend that cooler temperatures are right around the corner with this gorgeous Virginia wedding from David Abel Photography.  Held at the Belmont Country Club in Ashburn, Virginia, SaraBeth and Jamie’s wedding is full of vibrant color and stunning modern floral arrangements from Holly Chapple Flowers.  So pretty!

From SaraBeth:  Jamie and I wanted our wedding to be sophisticated and elegant but ultimately to showcase our heart – for each other and our guests.  Ultimately, I wanted the day to be really sweet for our guests.  I wanted them to feel our love for them and our love for each other.  My main priorities were good food, a beautiful venue, and lots of love.

We invited only people that meant something to us – family, friends and even colleagues – people that had supported us, encouraged us, loved us and stood by us and our families through the years.  In that light, we kept the guest list intimate, so that it was a truly meaningful group of people.  I didn’t want our day to be about showing off or “look at us” but rather about the great relationships we had with everyone in that room and our sincere gratitude for the love, friendship and support our guests had given us and our families.

I wanted a “wedding book” that I could actually do something with.  I opted for a Martha Stewart style vase where guests could sign and personalize cards with varying sentiments like “You know you’re in love when…” or “We wish you…”  I was really touched by some of the remarks and poetry of our guests, and I cannot wait to make art out of the beautiful little cards.  I think I will frame a handful and put them up in our home, as a reminder of the love and support that others have for us.

It’s hard to name one favorite detail.  My florist, Holly Chapple Flowers blew me away with the pieces she put together for us – and with her extra touches.  She brought a beauty to my day that I truly couldn’t have imagined.  On top of that, my favorite details were those added by my Mum.  My Mum was an amazing help with many of the little details that added to our day – from sewing table sashes, to finding matching chair ribbons, to putting together beautiful favor boxes for our guests.

During our reception, we surprised my Dad by playing a remix of an old tape he had made for me when I was a little girl.  He sent us tapes when we were little and he was away for work.  The clip we played was of my Dad saying some of the most encouraging, loving and meaningul things – about me, my future and his love for me.  When the tape started playing, my Dad immediately burst into tears – as did the majority of our guests!  It was one of the most loving touches of our wedding and still one of the most memorable.  Multiple wedding guests and friends still bring that up tender moment as one of the most meaningful ones for them.

SaraBeth was kind enough to share some fabulous advice for fellow DC-area brides!

First, I’d say to always remember the whole point of the day, which isn’t about the amount of money you spend (or how much money you get), or how high your gift pile reaches, or how long your guest list is.  It’s about making a lifetime commitment to this person that you love with a love that is greater than ever before.  Recognize that when your vows are over, you two are starting anew.  Your pasts are behind you and you can walk into your new life together fresh.

Ultimately, I advise every soon-to-be-bride to surround herself only with people that she knows will help take care of her on her day.  There are plenty of vendors, family, friends, and even religious figures that just won’t have you top of mind during your planning process – and especially on your big day.  So, be sure to choose only those that you get a good “vibe” from, and who make you feel excited about your day.  Choose people who clearly want to help you achieve the day of your dreams.  Sometimes, you may want to avoid “skimping” in order to make sure you hire the best people.  We had to dump the florist that we had initially hired (we lost money doing so), because we realized she had a horrnedous personality and that she ultimately was not going to do what it took to give us what we were asking for.  We ended up going to a slightly more expensive florist (who was ultimately incredibly affordable given the quality, beauty and personal touches taht she ultimately delivers).  Going with a florist that I ultimately knew was a good person that cared about me and my day was totally worth it – she blew us away on the day of our wedding.

Finally, it seems so cliché but remember to take time to soak it all up on your big day!  Try to slow down and really take in the many memorable moments.  As everyone says, it flies by super fast and before you know it, you are driving away waving goodbye to the day of your dreams that was so many years in the making.

The following Washington, DC area vendors contributed to SaraBeth and Jamie’s wedding:

Venue: Belmont Country Club
Photography: David Abel Photography
Floral Design: Holly Chapple Flowers
Videography: Bella Bride Wedding Films
Cake: Edibles Incredible
DJ: DC Beckster DJ Services

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

Photo Credits: David Abel Photography

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