All in: A community of love buoys a big day

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Amateur astronomers (and the couple’s photographers) Ryan and Rach found out the Milky Way would be directly over the reception on the wedding night. Once the stars were out, they pulled Patrick and Elliott to the hillside for a few pictures beneath a sparkly sky.   Amateur astronomers (and the couple’s photographers) Ryan and Rach found out the Milky Way would be directly over the reception on the wedding night. Once the stars were out, they pulled Patrick and Elliott to the hillside for a few pictures beneath a sparkly sky.  

Patrick McGettigan & Elliott Glass

September 23, 2017, at Grace Estate Winery

Photographs by Ryan & Rach Photography

Throughout the night, Patrick and Elliott kept hearing from guests that the love and positivity in the tent was palpable. That was all the affirmation they needed.

“From the very beginning,” Patrick says, “our focus had been on celebrating love, celebrating our families and celebrating with each other.”

They paid special attention to including family—the grooms’ younger sisters served as “best men,” cousins served as ushers and greeters, aunts and uncles read the prayers. Even the intercessional hymn, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” was a favorite song of Patrick’s grandparents.

“Every part of the service was connected to someone important in our lives,” Patrick says. “It all served as a reminder that it is the people who have made our lives so blessed and wonderful to this point.”

That’s not to say they didn’t put a lot of thought into the look of the event, as well as the feel of it. The couple, who met through a mutual friend in 2013, knew from the start that they wanted a modern take on a classic Virginia wedding.

“We often said we wanted the wedding to be handsome, rather than beautiful,” Patrick says. That meant a color palette of black, cream, charcoal and green, colors they felt would pop against the backdrop of both St. Paul’s and Grace Estate.

In the end, though, it was all about the love.

Says Patrick, “September 23 was truly the best day of our lives, and it was all because of the people we were with.”


Close readings

Two couples Patrick and Elliott looked up to gave the readings. “We loved the idea of a married couple reading together, and giving us advice on our wedding day,” Patrick says.

Good thought

To save on costs, florist Lauren Thompson created nosegays (rather than full bouquets) for each of the couple’s attendants, which were later reused as décor during the reception. “It saved us from buying additional arrangements,” says Patrick, “and our attendants didn’t really want to carry the nosegays around all night anyway.”

Great sign

One of Patrick and Elliott’s favorite elements of the ceremony was their Quaker Marriage Certificate. One of the couple’s friends created a custom calligraphic design (incorporating the greens that made up the central part of their florals), and every wedding guest signed on the certificate. “In the Quaker tradition,” says Patrick, “the marriage is solemnified once every member of the community has signed, and we loved the idea of our marriage being blessed by everyone in attendance. The certificate is now framed in our living room, and makes us so happy to see the hand-written names of all of our guests.”

 


The details

Ceremony venue St. Paul’s Memorial Church Day-of coordinator Cristelle Koerper Officiant Reverend William Peyton Catering: C&O Flowers Bloom Floral Design Cake Sweethaus Music Bachelor Boys Band Grooms’ attire The Black Tux (Patrick); Generation Tux (Elliott) Rings Tiffany & Co. Wedding party hair Face Value Salon Transportation Easy Riders Bus Company Invitations Minted Event rentals MS Events


 

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