I met P.K. and Chris for the first time just a couple of weeks before their gorgeous intimate Virginia wedding at the Omni Homestead Resort, located in the breathtaking mountains of Hot Springs, Virginia. We met in the Shenandoah Mountains solely for the purpose of getting dressed up in (pretend) wedding attire and for them to hop on Chris’ motorcycle for some fun shots of them on the bike with the mountains behind them. (Talk about a fantastic guestbook idea!) I was instantly drawn to how sweet they were to each other, and their story is truly a testament to this!
How They Met: We met 16 years ago in a downtown Richmond nightclub. Ironically, neither of us were frequent flyers of the “club scene” but were both entertaining friends on that same evening. I was taking a girlfriend out who’d recently gone through a break-up…just to cheer her up. Chris had a young friend who had just moved to Richmond and he was showing his friend the downtown nightlife. Long story short…his young friend started flirting with me on the dance floor and Chris being a good “wingman” tried to entertain my friend for a moment. It was laughable at how not interested my friend was. She was essentially running away from him on the dance floor! ha! ha! While I was not interested in Chris’s young friend it was a nice fluff of the ego and as they say “boys will be boys”. Chris’ friend – a young college graduate – was quickly distracted by all the pretty ladies in the club when I stepped away for a moment…leaving Chris and me there to dance with one another. (I think my friend may have still been in hiding at that point. lol.) The rest is history. We’ve been together ever since.
The Proposal: April 22, 2017 – Chris planned a day trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I knew the proposal was probably coming soon but did not think it was going to be on that day. (He was just waaaay to calm!) We did the typical tourist thing…took a tour of the mansion and afterward, started to tour the gardens. In the corner of the rose garden, there is an iron bench and Chris suggested that we just take a seat to rest for a bit. As I was sitting, Chris handed me a card, and on the inside it said…”Today is the day”. When I looked up from reading the card, he was on one knee holding the ring box & proposed. There’s a little bit of backstory here…many years ago when we first started dating, Chris gave me a diamond ring as a gift. However, before presenting it to me…he wanted to make sure that I didn’t assume that this gift was THE ring. He was sure to emphasize that it was “just a ring”. So for sixteen years…I’ve been calling that piece of jewelry my “just a ring – ring”. When he proposed…his opening line was “before you open this, I just want you to know that this isn’t ‘just a ring’…it’s THE RING”…and then he proposed. We continued to tour the grounds of the Biltmore only to discover that there was actually an exhibit on display of antique and historical wedding gowns. Neither of us knew about the exhibit. Perfect timing!
The Perfect Date Night: When we’re together it’s usually on the weekends after a long work week. (We work in different states and do not get to see one another during the work week.) So a perfect date night for us is typically low-key and relaxed…and almost always includes a good meal!
As A Couple: We’re pretty “chill” as a couple. When we’re together, we both can be pretty silly and so we end up laughing A LOT! Individually, I am the type A, OCD everything has to be in perfectly straight lines kind of gal. But Chris is the laid back, go with the flow kind of guy. I find that we’re a nice balance for one another. Chris’ style is “comfortable” but presentable. He’s typically a jeans, nice shirt, and Converse kind of guy, but does love the occasional opportunity to jazz it up with a nice tailored suit. As for my style, I would say is pretty classic with a little bit of edge. Typically in a dress and heels of some sort… (as a side note, y’all, P.K. has GREAT taste in shoes, and we wear the same size. So, if you’re reading this, P.K. and ever need to off-load any heels…your favorite wedding photographer’s address is…tee hee hee.)
Chris and P.K.’s intimate Virginia wedding fell on the 16th anniversary of their first date, and it was the perfect day by far. The moment you turn the corner and see The Omni Homestead in your view, you know you’re in for a memorable experience. I’ve been to The Omni Homestead several times, mostly stopping through on little adventures in Bath County with my husband, but never had the opportunity to photograph a wedding there. The grounds are breathtaking. The historic, recognizable building itself with all its beautiful hallways and rooms, the lamp posts with colorful baskets of seasonal flowers, and the gorgeous little garden nooks sprinkled across the property. Then there’s the cooler-than-everywhere-else-around-you mountain air and the feeling of being instantly relaxed and well taken care of instantly. Typically when you’re doing a wedding at such a well-known, formal venue, the day has an air to it. A very serious air. But this day? I never felt that serious air, and for only ever having met P.K. once before, I felt like I was there photographing a girlfriend’s wedding day.
When I arrived, I got to sneak a peek at the work going down in the Tower Suite while setting up lighting, and you guys, I was blown away by the gorgeous details and meticulous attention paid to the setup. Seriously, wait until you see their gorgeous tablescape!! Between the gold and pink uplighting, the absolutely incredible floral design, the little details, and Colleen Cook’s design work, Chris and P.K.’s 23 guests were definitely treated to a beautiful experience celebrating such two very sweet, generous people at their memorable intimate Virginia wedding nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To say I was honored to watch the tears flow, the memories made, and celebrating is an understatement. There’s something truly special about you, Chris and P.K., and I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be there for you on such an amazing day.
Photographer // Melissa Durham Photography
Ceremony Location // The Tower Suite at The Omni Homestead Resort
Reception Venue // The Tower Suite at The Omni Homestead Resort
Wedding Planner // Colleen Cook of CCS Events
Officiant // Suzanne Garner
Floral Designer // Tommy’s Garden
Ceremony Musicians // TingTingBells Event Music
Bluegrass Reception Musicians // Gallatin Canyon Band
Caterer // The Omni Homestead
Cake Design // Candy Valley Cake Company
Hair Stylist // Jennifer Saunders of Jennifer Saunders Bridal
Makeup Artist // Jennifer Saunders of Jennifer Saunders Bridal
Wedding Gown Designer // Danielle Caprese
Bridal Boutique // Kleinfeld Bridal
Groom’s Attire // Men’s Wearhouse
Jeweler // Diamonds Direct
Invitations & Signage // Sarah Davenport of Dear June Paperie