February 7, 2018
By Marissa McCormick on Richmond Weddings
How They Met:
Allison and Bryan met through a mutual friend, Zach, in the summer of 2011. Allison, who’s originally from Richmond, was home visiting from North Carolina State University when she met Zach’s roommate, Bryan. Sparks were flying as soon as they met and within weeks they were dating. But as summer romances go, summer eventually came to an end. Allison explains, “We both agreed that when I went back to school in August, we would go our separate ways.” But the two couldn’t stop talking and ended up dating long distance, making the 2.5-hour trip every other weekend. They dated long distance for the rest of Allison’s college career until she moved back to Richmond where the two started their life together.
Bryan asked Allison to be his wife in October 2014. “We went hiking, one of our favorite pastimes, on some trails along Skyline Drive. It was our favorite time of year to go out to the mountains because it is SO pretty when the leaves change.” They decided to hike Dark Hollow Falls, a beautiful scenic trail along a mountain waterfall. When they got to the bottom of the waterfall, they decided to take a break. “Bryan had awkwardly been carrying his sweatshirt the whole time, even though I told him he didn’t need it.” Before they hiked back up, Bryan got down on one knee, dropped the sweatshirt, and revealed that he had been using it to hide the ring box the whole time. “I never actually said ‘yes,’ I was too excited! I just kept asking, ‘Wait, for real? Seriously?’”
The two chose The Onmi because of its gorgeous ballroom and location in the heart of Richmond. Allison originally didn’t want a hotel wedding, but The Omni made it SO easy to be able to do everything under one roof. They also loved the idea that once the party was over they were able to just walk upstairs to their rooms. “The vast majority of our guests were from out of town, so we loved being able to have them stay in an area where there was so much for them to do during the day on Saturday.”
They wanted their theme to be classy, timeless, elegant, and incorporate those vibrant colors that come with a Virginia fall. They stuck with black, white, and gray as base colors with accents of burnt oranges, reds, and yellow to give everything that “pop” of fall color. “We really wanted to WOW people with a much more formal environment.” Everybody and everything were dressed to the nines.
Allison and Bryan used event lighting to give The Omni ballroom an amber overtone so that it really felt like fall in the space. The two decided on a Kings Table for their reception because, while the day was about them, they really wanted to share the night with those closest to them. “Our table had a total of 18 people at it! But it was important to us to have our whole bridal party and their dates join us for dinner and celebrate together.”
Favorite Part of the Day:
“It’s so hard to pick! But I would have to say the quick five minutes between the end of the ceremony and the start of cocktail hour was my favorite time. It was the only time we got alone, and even though it was quick, it was so nice to be able to reflect on the fact that we had just gotten married to my new husband.”
“I think the biggest challenge was one of the first steps, finding a venue!”
Best Piece of Advice:
“Don’t rush! After you get engaged, you’re super excited and just want to be married, but having a 2-year-engagement was the best decision we ever made. It made planning SO easy because we had plenty of time to make each and every decision!”