Photos by Xiaoqi Li Photography

October 9, 2021

How did you two meet?

Our paths crossed at the University of Virginia, which brought me from Homewood, Alabama, and Will from Richmond, Virginia. Majoring in different subjects and being a year apart in age, we may have missed each other entirely if not for the University Guide Service, which is UVA’s student-run historical and admissions tour guide organization. We both joined Guides in spring 2013 and knew each other as friends. It was not until our last remaining months on UVA’s grounds that we fell in love while living as neighbors in the Academical Village–the original 1817 student rooms designed by Thomas Jefferson. After graduating and weathering a year of long-distance while I taught English in France, we now live happily together on the same continent.

The Proposal

On June 22, 2019, we returned to where our story began. Unbeknownst to Emily, Will had plotted with one of my best friends, who is a UVA medical student, to come up with a fake awards ceremony to get me on the Lawn by sunset. Fifteen minutes before the “8 p.m. ceremony,” Will pulled out a letter to launch us into a scavenger hunt to “walk down memory lane,” back to all of the places that are special to us. Will got down on one knee and popped the question at Garden II! We celebrated with a sunset happy hour and danced on the balcony of Pavilion VII.

Favorite Wedding Moment

Our favorite moment was the private first look we shared in Garden II at the University of Virginia, where Will proposed back in 2019. Our photographer, Xiaoqi, made us close our eyes and stand back-to-back, before leaving and letting us turn to see each other all dressed up and share the personal vows we had written.

Favorite Wedding Detail

Mary Ellen LaFreniere and her sister, of Steelcut Flowers, created a gorgeous flower arch around the entrance to the church that made one feel as though she  were going through a wildflower wardrobe to Narnia when entering the wedding ceremony.

Ceremony Venue: St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church Reception Venue: The Wool Factory Florist: Steelcut Flowers Caterer: The Wool Factory Wedding Planner/Day Of Coordinator: Kelsey Mayo Ros with Donovan Groves Events Cake: Cakes by Rachel Wedding Dress: The Lovely Bride Bridal Hair & Makeup: Amy Loope Groom’s Attire: Alton Lane DJ/Wedding Band: The Adrian Duke Project Wedding Transportation: A Goff Limousine and Bus Company Wedding Night Accommodations: The Colonnade Club at the University of Virginia