Two worlds blended together English-born Paul wed his American bride, Sara, in a setting fit for royalty. Friends and family traveled from all over to a weekend of celebration planned and design by Chancey Charm. Dover Hall and its English Countryside vibes set the tone for the events which included a sophisticated rehearsal and elegant wedding celebration showcasing “the couple’s unbridled love and refined style.” So many gorgeous details and an emerald green palette delight in florals by Tierra Floral Events, custom printing by Minted and desserts by Sweet Fix. Indulge yourself in all the customized details and stunning setting in these gorgeous images by David Abel Weddings.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Two worlds blended together as the English born groom wed his American bride in a setting fit for royalty. Friends and family traveled from all over to celebrate the union over a wedding weekend. The sophisticated rehearsal and wedding day were so beautifully designed and incorporated every element to showcase the couple’s unbridled love and refined style. The royal beauty of it all started with the elegantly appointed rehearsal dinner set in the Formal Dining Room of the Estate where guests shared an intimate dinner; enjoying wine and spirits all the while preparing to send the couple off to their wedding day with a gift of love and admiration. The wedding day was full of classic but modern English details. The couple had an unexpected second ceremony (that the bride describes below) with close family as well as a grand ceremony with all of their guests. The old world charm was beautifully curated in this wedding.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I wanted a timeless gown that I would look back on 50 years from now and still find elegant and classic. The drama of the train, with the buttons all the way to the hem, is my favorite part of the dress. The off-the-shoulder sleeves felt romantic, and there was even a bit of architectural design in the boning that felt really beautiful. I hope it is a piece that I will be able to pass along to a daughter one day, should she want to wear it. The very first time that I went dress shopping with my Mom, we went to a sample sale, and my Martina Liana gown was actually the very the first dress that I pulled. I fell in love with the gown, but wanted to make sure that I tried on every silhouette and style so that I *knew* this was the one. We went to a couple of other DC based bridal boutiques, and finally decided to work with the team at Elegance by Roya Bridal Artelier in Tysons Corner, VA.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
During our venue search, we decided not to do a British wedding in Paul’s home country of England, but we both absolutely fell in love with Dover Hall and its English Countryside vibes. We loved that guests would feel like they were being welcomed into our English country home (I wish!). We added little touches here & there that made the day feel more personal to us, our families, and our 6 year love story.
Between Paul and I, we only have 1 grandparent that is still with us, and he was unable to travel for the wedding from England, so it was important that we recognized our families past & present. We included wedding photos from both of our parents, and all 4 sets of grandparents, creating a family tree style display with everyone’s wedding photos.
Paul is a die-hard Tottenham Hotspur fan, so we had a custom wax seal created with their team logo for our escort cards. We utilized the Hotspur logo again in the bar area with custom gold mirrored drink stirrers as well. Anyone that knows Paul, knows that we would have some recognition of the Spurs! Paul & the rest of our male family members watched the team play that morning – thankfully they won!
Our two pups, Aspen & Karlos, mean the world to us, but they were unable to be at Dover Hall on our big day, so we included a custom cocktail napkins with their likenesses. I was really happy with how these turned out – they’re just so cute!
Instead of a traditional guest book, we had our friends and family sign a personalized globe that we can display in our home.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
We had a bit of a hiccup during the day where our officiant was held up in awful traffic. What could have been a big issue actually turned into a lovely situation where we had our big, indoor ballroom ceremony under the stunning fireplace with all of our guests, as well as a beautiful, intimate ceremony outside in the courtyard.
The owner of Dover Hall was so gracious and stepped up to read our ceremony script so that our timeline for the day was not drastically thrown off, and none of the guests had any clue! After the priest arrived, while our guests were enjoying cocktail hour, he performed the ceremony for us with just our immediate families outside in the courtyard. The weather was amazing for an August day in Virginia! There were fewer nerves the second time around! It was an lovely reiteration of our vows and special to have that moment with just our families as well. It’s a unique story to be able to say we were married twice in one day!
How we met.
We met on eHarmony, but neither of us actually made our own dating profiles. Both of us had friends make the profile for us, and I was Paul’s first date, and he was my second date. We’ll have been together for 5 years coming up on Nov 26. We’re both supportive of each other’s dreams and aspirations. We’re both close with our families. We have two dogs that we adore and we’re looking forward to starting our life as a married couple and building on this life that we have together.
How we became engaged.
We were in England for Paul’s family vacation at a place called CentreParcs. We were staying in little cabin homes by a lake and on the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, we went for a walk around the lake. There’s a picturesque little bridge over one of the inlets of the lake & Paul proposed there. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The he quickly ushered me off the bridge when other people were around because I was crying! We went back to the cabins & Paul’s whole family was there to celebrate with us.
Photography: David Abel Weddings// Professional Event Coordinator: Chancey Charm // Floral: Tierra Floral Events // Custom Printing: Minted // Venue & Catering: Dover Hall // Cinematographer: White Flair Productions // Hair: Amber Mortimer // Makeup: Katie Dietz // Bridal Gown: Martina Liana Elegance by Roya // Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Groom’s Suit: Indochino // Cake/Cupcakes: Sweet Fix // Celebrant: Father Jim Balija // Band: East Coast Entertainment Klaxton Brown // Ceremony Musician: RVA Harpist Christina Thomas // Transportation: Winn Bus // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box