Happily ever after

Minimal details let love shine

Jen Fariello

Melanie Morris & Susan LeeOctober 28, 2017, at Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Melanie wanted to elope. Susan wanted a fairy tale. So they went for the best of both words: a wedding that struck the right balance between elegance, glam and sophistication, but that also created a festive, warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests.

Because the brides felt they didn’t have any talent for crafting, they employed Chelsea Stobbart from Wedding Welcomes to create gift boxes for their guests.

In more practical terms, that meant a clean color palette—white flowers (lilies, hydrangeas, roses and orchids), white linens (with a hint of sequin sparkle) and a few gold accents. For personal touches, they added a small pineapple to one of the tables (to remind them of Maui, where they got engaged), wine glasses with the JMU emblem for the table of Melanie’s college friends. and the couple drank from a pair of Norlan whisky glasses they had recently been gifted.

And settling on the venue itself was easy to agree on—they’d spent a weekend at Veritas in 2015 and, says Susan, “fell in love with the property.”

Susan’s brother, a trained singer, sang “Pure Imagination” with the Plum Blossom String Quartet during the ceremony.

“Its majestic views, beautiful mountains and the amazing hospitality and food at the Farmhouse. At the time, we thought this would be an awesome venue for a wedding.”

And what was their favorite moment from the day? Says Susan, “All of it!”

A doctor and a nurse, Susan and Melanie met at work, and were together five years before they got married.

Although the brides are vegetarian, they added meat to the menu to appeal to guests. “We wanted really good, common food presented in an elegant way,” Susan says.

The Details

Event planner: Adam Donovan-Groves (Donovan-Groves Events) Officiant: Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen Flowers: Amy Webb (Blue Ridge Floral Design) Cake: Maliha Creations Ceremony music: Peter Markush and the Plum Blossom String Quartet Reception music: DJ Derek Tobler Brides’ attire: Romona Keveza (Susan); custom suit by Thom James and shirt by Basler (Melanie) Shoes: Christian Louboutin (Susan); Stuart Weitzman and Gucci (Melanie) Wedding party attire: vowtobechic.com, Monique Lhuillier Rings: Fink’s Jewelers (Roanoke) Makeup: Carolyn Thombs Makeup Artistry (Susan and bridal party); Mary Margaret Isbell (Melanie) Videographer: Tom Daly Gift boxes: Wedding Welcomes Photo booth: Photo Booth of Charlottesville Lighting: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting