Melissa and Joseph

We kicked off 2015 with a wedding that included some amazing locations and vendors.  I can't wait to share with you guys the visual beauty that the Bowling and Schwarzenboeck guests were treated to!  But first thing is first, lets establish the location before we get to meeting this fabulous family. 

I arrived plenty early, as I always try to do.  I drove from one site to the other, making sure I knew all the correct ways to navigate the streets of downtown Roanoke.  Roanoke was my home about 20 years ago.  I lived in Roanoke for hmm.. maybe 11 years? I snapped a few pictures from the parking lot below the Cathedral.  When we have two sites, I like to drive between the two, just in case I get separated from the wedding party or put in a car with an out-of-towner.  Getting lost could be devastating to the timing of the day!  I usually ride up with the bride to assist her with the gown while she gets in and out of the vehicle, but you never know.     

Next stop, The Patrick Henry Hotel...

Yes you read that correctly, The newly restored, Patrick Henry Hotel.  Do they have a one-two punch of locations, or what? There must be someone involved who has really good taste... ;) 

When I entered the hotel, I greeted the bride and set up my steamer to heat up.  That takes about 20 mins, so I try to get there early, plug in, unpack, and get a few photos before my time officially starts.  As I wandered the halls, a kind man with an interesting accent greeted me.  He said, "Let me show you something.  In the ballroom, there are chandeliers that cost $350,000.00 a piece when they were restored and installed 3 years ago."  There were two of them!  While I studied the chandeliers, I noticed a cake lady doing acrobatics on a chair.  I came closer and introduced myself, taking pictures of her finishing touches.  



The ladies seemed unsettled with the length of the pins that anchored the letters into the cake.  They wished aloud that they had wire snips.  I pulled mine from my sewing bag that I was wearing and offered them to them.  I always keep a pair of pliers and snips in my bag.  The monogram was shortened and the letters were placed perfectly.   

The "cake lady" was Linda Price, from Priceless Cups and Cakes. She did a beautiful job. 

Lets go meet the bride and her gown...

The gown was a Bliss from Klienfeld's in Manhattan.  It was purchased from Church Street Bridal.  We redesigned the gown at Melissa's direction.  There were so many things we changed about the gown!  Melissa and I would joke that no one is allowed to peek at the inside of the dress because it was a patchwork menagerie of changes.  I actually noticed an unfinished edge in her under layer while I was dressing her and had to heat seal it, for fear that it would fray a little inside.  We try not to allow things like that to slip by us, but it was a lot to keep up with!  

Melissa specifically wanted me to mention Thuy of Brambleton Studio for hair and MG Skincare for makeup.

In the second photo, meet the bride, Melissa!  She is the queen of detail and knows exactly how she wants things to be.  I don't know how she kept up with it all. She had a great team that reflected her fine taste, but she was also very present in the management of the day.  It helps things run so much smoother! 

One of my first jobs to tackle was a design upgrade for the flower girl.  They gave me trim and flowers to sew to the dress and I set to work.  


Flowers were broad, waxed leaves and hydrangeas with fern.  Flowers by Eddie.  

Melissa's planner was a close friend of hers, Tammy Hale. 

There's a fabulous story behind these Manolos.  Melissa had a budget for her gown and alterations.  She saved so much by buying her gown from Church Street and using The Gilded Thimble for alterations and wedding day services that she had splurge money left over! How many brides get to trek to Nordies and buy a pair of Manolos with leftover budget money?  Not many.  This girl is good!! 

You may want to click the above pictures to enlarge them.  This Cathedral is crazy beautiful!!!!

Here Melissa enters with her Dad. Check out that "Gilded" fit!

They held Mass during their ceremony.  The photographers, Kevin Hurley and his assistant made their way around, covering all of the beauty.  Kevin was great to work with.  He and his second shooter were geared out! Kevin shows great discretion.  He is kind to both the guests and fellow vendors.  He kept things moving on time, but was never pushy.  He was sensitive in his selection of lighting and the timing of when it was appropriate to use it.  They were a great team and I can't wait to see his photographs of this day. 


After the ceremony, we returned to the Hotel.  I helped Melissa out of her gown for a break and tied her bustles up for her.  Check out those bustles below.  She chose a triple french demi-bustle.  As she spoke with the caterer, I was left standing with her new husband.  We admired her together.  I mentioned how detailed she was and told him, "You know, throughout life- some days her detailed nature may drive you crazy, but if you give her her lead, your life will be amazing."  He said assuredly, "Oh, I know!!  

I love it when I see marriages that are started out with mutual respect and a bend for the other's strengths.  Those are the greatest partnerships!