I am excited to share Annelise and Jared’s wedding with you today! Annelise is one of my best friends from James Madison University (JMU). We were both dance majors and right before our final year at JMU, we went on an alternative “spring break” to New Orleans, LA to rehab homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. It’s one of my favorite JMU memories!
Jared and Annelise were blessed with warm weather for their April wedding, which was perfect for an early evening ceremony. The venue was a gorgeous plantation-style home tucked away in the Virginia countryside. The whole wedding party was able to stay in the house and enjoy meals together over their wedding weekend. There were so many personal details from the ceremony song selections and the firetruck ring bearer entrance (as a tribute to Jared’s career as a firefighter) to the dance Annelise had with her brother and the toasts by their best friends and parents.
Enjoy the images of the beautiful day and make sure you scroll to the end to see the highlight film of the celebration!
SK: How did you and Jared meet?
Jared and I met in College through our mutual friend (my maid of honor) Nicole. Our first meeting was at a party where I told him I liked his muscles and pretty much the rest is history.
SK: Share your love story:
Anyone who was around us when we first met can attest to the fact that we were basically inseparable and completely infatuated with each other, we were definitely that annoying couple in the beginning. After graduation and a little over a year of spending pretty much everyday together, I moved to London to study for a year. Even with a six hour time difference and only communicating through e-mail and skype/gchat (which half the time froze or cut out on us), we made it work. Jared even came to visit me in London for 2 weeks over the Holidays. By the time my year in London was coming to an end, I was more then ready to be back in Virginia with Jared and we moved in together shortly after I returned to the U.S. About 6 months into living together, we added another member to our family, our puppy child, Riley and soon after that our second puppy child Lilly. We have lived together ever since with our two puppies.
SK: How did he propose?
On Christmas day we woke up extra early so we could exchange our gifts for each other and go to the gym before driving to Lynchburg to spend the day with his family. He had stuffed my stocking with tissue paper and ring pops and at the bottom was a box. When I opened the box I found a ring pop and a note that said swolemate? At that moment he got down on one knee with the actual ring and asked if I would marry him. I immediately said yes and hugged him as tightly as I could. I kept expecting him to do it when we had all our friends and family there so it was a complete surprise and a the perfect and intimate moment. I am so glad we were able to have that time together, just us before all the calls, texts and seeing his family.
SK: What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
The whole day was memorable, but I think the most memorable was when I saw Jared at the end of the aisle for the first time. For that single moment, the only thing that I saw was him and, despite all the people around us, it felt like we were the only people there.
SK: You and Jared decided against doing a “first look” before the wedding. Can you share how you connected prior to the ceremony instead?
We opted to write each other letters and do a gift exchange. Even though I didn’t get to see him before the ceremony, reading his letter gave me a sense of calm before the ceremony. I was glad we kept that tradition because it really made that first moment coming down the aisle so special.
SK: What inspired your wedding colors and design?
I just loved the color combination of mint and grey. The grey was classic and elegant and the mint was fun and modern.
SK: What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you?
We wanted somewhere that we could spend the weekend with our family and friends and party all weekend, so when we found Apple Blossom, it was the perfect spot. It is known as the “party plantation” and so much is included in the weekend package, including the amazing owner Peggy who helped with everything from the beginning planning to the day of coordination.
SK: What special songs did you use throughout your wedding? Why did you choose them?
We used a lot of meaningful songs during our ceremony. We both love music and especially in the beginning of our relationship, we would always send each other song lyrics. We used some of those songs and also picked a first dance song that was one of “our songs”. A lot of the music we listen to is not popular and not exactly something you would play at a wedding, but I was glad we got to have fun with the ceremony and make it so personal.
SK: What was your favorite detail of the wedding?
The mint Converses and the Fire Wagon :)
SK: How many friends and family members attended your wedding?
The final count was 120.
SK: What advice do you have for those currently planning a wedding?
Give yourself plenty of time and get the big things out of the way first. Also, stay true to you and your partner, it’s your wedding and at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that you’re married.
SK: Where did you honeymoon?
We went to a Cabin in Luray, Virginia for a couple days right after our wedding. With Jared being in his rookie year as a firefighter and me starting a new job we didn’t have time to take a real honeymoon but we are working on planning a honeymoon for our one year anniversary.
SK: What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together?
Hopefully, we will be buying our first house and adding another member to our family, a German Shepard puppy.
Congratulations, Annelise & Jared!