Bride Spotlight: Corinne

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Happy, happy wedding week, Corinne and Thomas!!! I can’t believe their wedding week is officially here, and I know these two lovebirds are so, so very excited to tie the knot and celebrate with their family and friends in their home of Charlottesville, Virginia! It’s hard to put into words just how special Corinne, Thomas, and their families are and how utterly thrilled I am for them to be married this weekend… and to bring their dream wedding day to life!

I have absolutely loved getting to know Corinne and Thomas as a couple more and more throughout the wedding planning process over the last year. Corinne and Thomas are such sweet, thoughtful, loving, and generous people, and they bring out the very best in one another. I love getting to witness a love like theirs, and it brings me the deepest joy knowing that we get to celebrate their wedding and first day of marriage this week!

It’s not easy planning a wedding in the midst of a pandemic and needing to pivot plans and dreams at the last minute, but these two have been so very, very gracious, flexible, and understanding every step of the way. They were originally supposed to get married in early June, and we made the hard decision that it was better to postpone their wedding date a couple months for the health and safety of their guests. And even with an August wedding date, we’ve needed to pivot many original plans to accommodate for the health and safety of their families, friends, and vendors. At the end of the day, even with some changes and updates, it’s going to be the sweetest, most extraordinary day as Corinne and Thomas become husband and wife.

It’s such a joyful occasion to celebrate with their beloved family and friends and to kick off married life for Corinne and Thomas in such a beautiful, marvelous, romantic, and meaningful way. Their faith and sharing that faith and their love with their families and friends have been the foundation of the wedding day that we have planned, and it will be such a testament to them and where their hope lies.

Corinne and Thomas, your wedding week is finally here, and I hope you feel nothing but an abundance of love, peace, and joy as you two are married and are celebrated with such profound joy and excitement! You were clearly made for one another, and your love is so inspiring.

I’m so excited to share Corinne’s bride spotlight with you today, where you can learn more about the two of them, their love story, and what they’re most excited about on their wedding day! Also, are they not the most attractive couple just bursting with joy?! Their love and happiness simply radiates in their engagement session by the incomparable Adelyn Boling — swoon!

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1.Tell us a little bit about you and your fiance, Thomas.

Thomas was born and raised in Virginia while I moved quite a bit growing up.  I consider myself to be from Southern California since I went to part of high school there. After graduating from college in North Carolina, I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to teach first grade and be near extended family.  Thomas moved here for work after spending some time in southeast Africa. Thomas and I both attended the same church for an entire year before meeting.  It’s a pretty large church so that wasn’t too surprising. We were volunteering at a local ministry when we first met.  We talked about all kinds of things while scrubbing counters and deep-cleaning a refrigerator and a new friendship began.  A month later we started chatting and somewhat out of nowhere I invited him to my birthday party.  Much to both of our surprise, he came!  A few days later, Thomas asked me out on our first date.  It lasted 5 1/2 hours and was pretty much perfect.  We bonded over our love of travel and our families. We also both love playing board games and hiking but will give blank stares if anyone asks us questions about professional sports.

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2. What are you most excited for about your wedding day? Do you have a moment of your wedding day that you’re most anticipating?

There are so many things I’m excited about for the wedding day! It’s hard to choose. Getting to finally call Thomas my husband after the ceremony is at the top of the list though. I’m sure it will feel a bit surreal after we’ve waited longer than originally expected.

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3. What was your biggest inspiration for your wedding design?

Our venue! We’re getting married at a quintessential Virginia venue with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a beautiful and elegant brick building with white columns. Our design goal was to highlight the beauty of the venue while incorporating a few additional touches.  I’m excited to see it come together!

4. Are you doing a first look or saving it for walking down the aisle?

We are saving it for the aisle! We’re pretty traditional and this was something Thomas and I knew we wanted from the beginning. I’m so excited to walk down the aisle with my dad and see Thomas standing at the other end!

5. Describe your style in one word.

elegant and classic Virginia (sorry that’s more than one!)

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6. What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind?

We love to go on walks together after long days as well as read and hike. Central Virginia also has a ton of Vineyards and we’re still trying to work our way through them!

7. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Thomas love to do together?
I’m super passionate about my work in education—specifically reading education. We also both love traveling and service.  I spent eight years of my childhood on a tropical island in Eastern Asia and Thomas spent two years in Mozambique with the Peace Corps.  Our first trip together was supposed to be our honeymoon to Slovenia and Croatia.  We’ve pushed it back to summer 2021 and we can’t wait to explore the world together!  Down the road, I would also love to take Thomas to Japan and visit the island where I grew up. At home in Charlottesville, we love to cook, go on old-fashioned picnics and spend time with family and friends.

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8. What has been the biggest surprise in the wedding planning process?

I don’t think anyone expected to be planning around a pandemic.  It has been such a gift to have someone as organized as Stephanie as our wedding planner in the midst of postponing our wedding.  When we found out our original date would no longer work, but before I could say “pandemic”, Stephanie found the magic date in which all of our vendors were available.  Stephanie, our families and our friends have all been a huge gift to us during this season. I can’t imagine planning this wedding without so many supportive people on our team. There were certainly some sad parts that came with the date change, like not being able to have the ceremony at our church (where Thomas asked me out on our first date) and missing family and friends who are unable to travel due to COVID. However, all things considered, so much has come together and I know it’s going to be the perfect day to marry my best friend.  We already feel so loved and supported by our families. At the end of the day, we’ll be married and we just can’t wait. We’ll also have a brand new nephew to help us celebrate!

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9. What is your favorite part of your wedding design?

This is a bit random but I did not expect to love the linens as much as I do. Stephanie was amazing at helping us pick out the perfect combinations. I think I love them so much because it’s a part of the wedding design that I didn’t even consider when entering into the planning process.  The day we picked them out was one of the first times that made the wedding feel so real and so close. It was such a special day and I can’t wait to see everything come together at the reception.

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10. What is your favorite thing about Thomas?

There’s so much I love about Thomas but when I think about my favorite thing, I would say it’s his thoughtfulness. He’s not only thoughtful in the way he cares for other people but he also thinks deeply. He’s super wise and I appreciate how he’s quick to listen and slow to speak. It’s something I both love and admire about him. He also gets super excited about little things: like baguettes, picnics, and good books. All of which make me really happy.

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Stayed tuned this weekend for lots of sneak peeks of their wedding on my Instagram! I already can’t wait to see it all come to life for Corinne and Thomas as we celebrate this joyous, gorgeous day!

all photos by the incredible Adelyn Boling Photography

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As a note, this wedding is taking place in Virginia (not North Carolina, where many of my weddings occur), which is where Corinne and Thomas met, fell in love, and live! The current government and CDC mandates, regulations, and capacities for weddings in Virginia are all drastically different than in North Carolina. We are all taking countless health and safety precautions for both guests and vendors, staying well under the current maximum capacity for venues in Virginia, adhering to all required and recommended safety measures, including but not limited to: moving most all of the wedding outdoors, practicing social distancing, asking guests to wear masks, providing a livestream option of their ceremony for guests who aren’t attending, moving the dance floor outside, spreading out all ceremony and dinner seating and seating families/households together, posting signage, providing additional hand sanitizer and masks, keeping guests updated via email, and so much more! I just had to add in this little caveat that this wedding very much legal and allowed in Virginia and at their venue – and that the health and safety of their families, friends, and vendors are incredibly important concerns to all of us.

White Dresses for Intimate Weddings and Elopements

Weddings this year are looking drastically different than they typically do, that’s for sure! COVID and the global/nationwide pandemic are impacting weddings and celebrations more than any of us ever thought or expected, and carefully laid wedding plans are being completely turned upside down this year. I have a lot of thoughts about all of this – and a whole lot of stories to share someday! – but one thing is for certain: love is not canceled. I shared a heartfelt letter to 2020 brides a few months ago (and more thoughts on why you need a wedding planner now more than ever!), and this is the thought that keeps me going day in and day out, despite all of the heartache and pivoted plans and emotional moments (for my couples, their families, their friends, for the wedding industry, and even for myself). Love never fails. If, at the end of all of this, I can look back and remember how hard we all worked to create joyful moments, even in the hard circumstances, and to celebrate love… then I will count this year as a success, even when it sometimes feels like anything but.

Love is still celebrated, friends. Even if it’s on a much smaller scale and with pivoted wedding plans, love truly never fails. I firmly believe in a hope greater than the pandemic and the current state of the world, and this is what keeps me going. Being able to serve my couples well during an unprecedented time is what I am here to do… and trying my very best to infuse these hard days and smaller weddings with as much abundant love, heartfelt joy, and beautiful, meaningful celebration as possible!

All that to say, several of my 2020 couples have made the hard (but necessary) decision to postpone their larger wedding celebrations til 2021. While we hope to celebrate their ceremony and receptions with their full group of family and friends next year (with the same venues, vendors, and design plans as before  – just a change of date), many of these couples have decided that they wish to get married and make it official on their original wedding date! These intimate ceremonies and dinners are, of course, much different than we all originally planned for that date to look like, but I am so touched and so proud of how resilient, strong, flexible, and gracious these couples have been when their worlds are being turned upside down.

Several of my brides have decided to save their wedding gowns til their larger wedding celebration next year and instead wear a shorter or midi-length white dress as they are married on their original wedding date. Some brides have chosen to wear their wedding gown twice, both at their intimate celebration and again next year. Whatever each bride chooses is absolutely what’s best for her! And I know all of these wonderful 2020 brides are going to be so radiant, so stunning, and just so beautiful because they are marrying the love of their lives.

For the brides who have decided to elope or wear a different dress for their celebration, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite white dresses to consider as options! Whether it’s at a courthouse, in your childhood backyard, at your wedding venue, at a park, or somewhere special to you two, I can guarantee that your wedding day (or both of them!) will be the sweetest, most meaningful, most joyful day. Above all, it’s the day that your marriage begins. And whether it’s witnessed by 2 or 10 or 50 or 250 of your family members and friends, in person or virtually, as you always dreamt it to unfold or not… it’s a beautiful day and a beautiful marriage worth celebrating.

Needle & Thread from BHLDN // Monique Lhuillier from BHLDN

Monique Lhuillier from BHLDN // Ted Baker London

BHLDN Parsons dress // Amsale LW165

Amsale LW130 // Amsale LW137

BHLDN Promenade dress // Express floral lace

Carolina Herrera // Lela Rose Positano

Bloomingdales Rebecca Taylor // Bloomingdales Carmen Marc Valvo

David’s Bridal plus size // David’s Bridal plus size

Thankfully, there are countless stunning white dresses for elopements and intimate weddings – at all different styles, designers, sizes, and price points. It almost makes me wish I had a good reason to wear a new white dress! Brides, if you’ve had to pivot your wedding plans, I hope you find comfort in knowing that your wedding day (or both of your wedding days!) will be even more magical and marvelous than you’ve ever dreamt. I firmly believe that! And hopefully this little roundup of some beautiful dresses helps you envision what you may wear on your wedding day – or at any of your wedding events. No matter what you wear, your beauty and inner joy and excitement will shine through!