Meet the Couple: Meghan & Zach

I've been waiting for this wedding for almost a YEAR! Meghan and Zach are getting married this weekend at Norfolk Botanical Garden! Joining me will be Chef by Design, the Bachelor Boys, Courtney Inghram, Valerie Demo....basically a dream come true wedding for little ol' me. 

Take a few minutes to learn more about this ADORABLE pair. They have been together since high school and I'm not lying when I say their love makes me giggly. ps- Their reception is in the same room as their junior prom. Bless.

How did you meet?
We met in high school (in Chemistry class :) ). We were friends for a long time, and then decided to go to the winter dance together. We started dating in February of 2009 (or as much as you can “date” as a 16 year old haha). We kept dating through high school, and decided to try long distance in college. We made it through four long years stronger than when we started, and closer than ever. We lived in San Diego for almost 2 years, and moved back to Virginia when Zach’s San Diego based company moved us to their new location here.

What has been the best part about being engaged?
Sharing our love with friends & family. We have loved having excuses to see long distance friends and family that we haven’t seen in far too long. It’s been nice to be able to see so many people we love so many times this year!

What is your favorite quality about one another?
Meghan’s favorite quality about Zach: that he is thoughtful and a thinker. He is so sweet- he always remembers anniversaries, brings me flowers, surprises me with breakfast in bed, thanks me when I do little things around the house. He is also a deep thinker, very passionate, always trying to find the best solution to a problem whether at home or work, and he inspires me to be my best every day.
Zach’s favorite quality about Meghan: Her positive and optimistic outlook on all things. She always sees the best in people and seeks to uplift and make happy everyone around her. She faces new adventures and challenges eagerly and head on, with a contagious positive attitude. Her exuberance always keep us optimistic and dreaming. 

What are you most excited for on your wedding day?
Meghan: Seeing Zach’s face when he sees me!
Zach: Seeing Meghan walk down the aisle, sharing our love with such a great group of people

If you had to pick a word for your relationship, what would it be?
Mac’n'cheese

Three dreams/goals for your marriage?
1. Mature and evolve as individuals and together. Strengthen both our marriage and our friendship.
2. Always be grateful for each other.
3. Dream together. 

Photos by  Valerie Demo

Photos by Valerie Demo

Tune in on Saturday to see what is sure to be a BEAUTIFUL (and hot!!) day! Congrats, you two! Thank you for letting me be part of the best day ever!

Meet the Couple: Casey & Christos

It's officially wedding season!!!! I am sooooo excited to kick it off with this fun, spirited couple, Casey and Chris! The two will be married on April 1st at New Kent Winery! They hired me right before June was born, so I basically know them as well as I know my own daughter. Right, guys? Lol...maybe not quite, but I am a big fan of theirs. Enjoy learning more about them! 

This is super fun because they both gave me their own answers. Haha! 

How did you guys meet?

CASEY: We, actually, met online. We had both come out of long term relationships with people we knew it wouldn't work out with. Neither of us were expecting to find anything promising...like its online dating, what kind of people really use those kind of things? Chris messaged me, I messaged back-we hit it off and there wasn't a day after that we didn't talk. Heck, after our first date, I think there was like 2 days we didn't see each other. We just always wanted to be around each other, even if it was just taking a walk or going to the grocery store Sunday to get ready for the next work week.

CHRIS: I found her one day, actually at work on lunch. I sent her a message and was excited to see that she wrote me back. After that we started messaging and texting. I very quickly asked her on a date for the next day. I was very happy she agreed. AND it was the best first date. We literally talked for hours...like 5 on a bench...later where I proposed.

What is the best part about being engaged?

CASEY: For me, the best part of being engaged is knowing that you will have forever with that person. Chris and I both come from divorced parents but somehow both have been instilled with the value of marriage is forever. Marriage is a lifetime commitment that you make with another person. Being engaged and going through so many things together has challenged us. Being able to overcome those things as a couple reassures you that you are a team. Ups and downs, twists and turns happen, but then the thought is, would I want to go through those things with anyone else? No. When I'm upset and frustrated, Chris makes a stupid joke that makes me laugh and gets me out of my funk. Its so great to know that I will always have someone who compliments me and makes a perfect team.

CHRIS: I enjoy spending every available moment with Casey. Being there for her, being with her, helping her, making her laugh, and supporting her. It is exciting because we look forward to our future and planning a family and what could lie ahead. The steps we have made in our engagement, buying a house, renovating a house, living together, and planning a wedding have prepared us to be ready to move forward to marriage.

What is your favorite quality about one another?

CASEY: Why is it when we read this question, we both began to laugh? My favorite quality about Chris is... gosh this is tough. Not because I cant think of one, but because I cant choose just one. Can I pick 2? I would say Chris' sense of humor and caring nature. Sometimes Chris' sense of humor can makes me laugh and can pick me up from a bad mood or  a long day.It also makes for a very entertaining life. I also appreciate his caring nature. Chris is very protective and even gets upset about things that don't bother me, especially when he feels other people aren't treating me right or being considerate of me. Although sometimes I have to talk him down, I know he will always have my best interest at heart. 

CHRIS: I learned about my favorite quality of Casey's before we even went on our first date. We were talking about our upcoming first date at a really nice restaurant and she jokes she would wear sweatpants for an opposing NFL team. Laughing out loud, I joked back that she wouldn't be able to sit at the same table and she replied that she would just stand up on the table and yell across to me. At that point, I knew she had a great sense of humor and she was a real person. A down to earth person. There is never a dull moment with us.

What are you most excited about on your wedding day?

CASEY: The thing I'm looking forward to the most about our wedding day is sharing our day with our friends and family. I cant wait to actually be married. To be Chris' wife. Its just a different feeling. When you know you are meant to be with someone there's nothing else to think about. It's a feeling that's hard to explain unless you just feel it. Sure, Chris and I have our ups and downs, but truly when they say "when you find the person you're suppose to be with, you'll know"- its true. To be able to share that with our family and friends who support us, is just invaluable. 

CHRIS: I'm really excited about just seeing her in her wedding dress walking to me, taking in the whole experience of being married.

One word to describe your relationship.

This one was tough for us. I think we both went symbolic.

CASEY: Flower. Flowers grow and bloom under the optimal conditions. Once they bloom, you need to provide care and nurturing to your flower. Like a relationship, there are things you will have to work on and provide for each other at different stages and situations in your relationship/life. Each flower has its own beauty and will live forever if taken care of and cherished.

CHRIS: Diamond. Diamonds are beautiful and one of the hardest materials in the world. They are resilient and can polished and cared for to maintain their beauty. They last forever but they don't come without flaws. The thing with a diamond is, their beauty well outweighs their flaws. 

Three dreams/goals for your marriage.

1. Raise a family. Whatever that may be for us, but definitely to raise our children as our parents raised us and instill our values in our children.

2. Work continuously on our relationship and show affection to each other as we grow old, not losing the meaning of love in busy lives.

3. Always work as a team. Life throws curve balls and gives you lemons- continuously support each other! Home runs and lemonade :)

Uuuggghhh....SO CUTE! You guys, I LOVED this post and can't wait to see you two tie the knot on Saturday!! So glad to be of help to you on your wedding day! xoxo

Photo: Sharon Elizabeth Photography - Ashley Acey

Shea & Adam | Meet the Couple

I have been waiting for this wedding ALL YEAR! Ever since Elyse and Chris got married in March, Adam and Shea have been on my mind constantly! Adam is Elyse's brother. I remember talking to them during Elyse and Chris' reception and they told me they were so happy they hired me. I guess maybe I was doing my usual run-around-like-a-crazy-person thing and that impressed them, not sure, BUT I was excited they were excited. Their wedding at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth is going to be SO GORGEOUS! Basically, their bridal party will be the most fit ever - most of them are super active at the Crossfit gym where Adam coaches. I'm doing their florals and think you'll really love what we have planned! 

Enjoy learning about this super sweet couple! Beautiful photos from the amazing We Are the Mitchells!

How did the two of you meet?
At the gym. Adam is the head coach at the gym I joined.

What has been the best part about being engaged?
We unexpectedly bought a house six months in to being engaged, so we have had a lot of fun with projects and decorating. We have really spent a lot of time making it our own.

Shea, what do you like most about Adam?
I love how humble and selfless he is. No matter what the situation is or who the person is, he is always willing to help them. Adam never hesitates to put others before himself. He also has the biggest heart of anyone I know.

Adam, what do you like most about Shea?
The thing I love most about Shea is how genuinely and lovingly she cares for others.  She pours her heart into everything she does.  Never thinking of herself first, she would do anything for anyone in need.  I have never met such a kind and loving soul.  

What are you most excited about for your wedding day?
We are so excited to share our special day with all of our family and friends. We can't wait to start this next chapter of life together.

If you had to pick a word for your relationship, what would it be?
Simple. From the day we started dated, everything has been so simple and so natural.

Three dreams/goals for your marriage.
1. Start a family
2. Build a strong faith based foundation for our children to live by.
3. Continue to be a light and positive influence to our family, friends, and others we will meet along the way.

Ah, they are a breath of fresh air! Check back next week for my behind the scenes recap of their big day! And follow along with my Instagram story at instagram.com/sterlingdawn. xoxo

Taylor & Quentin | Meet the Couple

Saturday is the big day! Taylor and Quentin will say "I do" and walk away as husband and wife. I first met Taylor through her mom, who attends church with me. The first conversation I had with Taylor, I could not ignore how excited she was to be Quentin's wife. That's the way conversations with engaged ladies should be, so I was totally cool with it. ;) 

Their wedding at Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is sure to be a day filled with joy and sweet personal touches. Check back next week for a recap. Until then, learn a little bit about the couple of the weekend!

What has been the best part about being engaged?
The best part about being engaged from my standpoint is the planning. It’s so fun and exciting to put together ideas I’ve had in my head for years for my dream wedding. Other than that, just being able to call Quentin my “fiancé” is rewarding and makes my heart feel all fuzzy anytime I say it. We will have been together for 6 years on October 1, so that day is very special for us. 

Taylor, what do you like most about Quentin?
There’s always 100 things someone could (hopefully) list about their significant other but his ability to just make me relax, calm down and enjoy each day and laugh is important and means a lot to me. I’m very organized and like to stick to set schedules so he kind of makes me bend the rules and enjoy the ride when I’m stressing and worrying too much. He is very honest which in some cases isn’t the greatest thing, but I know I can always count on him for the truth. He can make me laugh in the snap of a finger and we truly just have a blast together day in and day out. One of the most important qualities he has that drives me insane is how positive he is after any situation. He is constantly saying “things will get better,” “look at the bright side,” “this isn’t our outcome it’s just a detour.” No matter what life will throw at us, I know he is going to brush off the bad and move forward, even if he has to drag me when I don’t have the energy to strive for the light at the end of the tunnel through certain obstacles we will face. We work so well together and I think that is very imperative.

Quentin, what do you like most about Taylor?
I was told I have a paragraph to write about my favorite thing about Taylor. Her personality has stood out to me from the beginning. She is so loving and caring and too smart for her own good, which makes me mad sometimes cause it’s hard to win in certain situations. She isn’t very funny but her goofy laugh and witty personality always makes me laugh. She would seriously take the shoes off her feet to give to someone and she is constantly asking me what she can do to make something better after a rough day and making sure I always have what I need. She has truly been my best friend and go to for the past six years and I truly can’t thank her enough for being who she is and loving me unconditionally day in and day out. Her heart is bigger than anyone I have ever met and I truly feel so lucky to be able to call her mine. When I think of my future wife, I think of the one who I would want as the mother of my kids one day and I’ve never been able to second guess my first impression of her joyful personality and ability to care for anyone no matter what. She’s exactly the one I want by my side to experience everything with down the road.

What are you most excited about for your wedding day?
I’m most excited about spending the day with our families and coming together as one and just having a good time and having everyone we love under one roof to experience the love we have for each other. Most of my family has never met his family and vice versa so it will mean a lot for us to have everyone together. I’m excited for Quentin to see me in my wedding dress. 

If you had to pick a word for your relationship, what would it be?
One word for our relationship would definitely be adventurous. We aren’t the type to sit in the house or be bored at any time of the day. We are constantly on the move visiting friends, going to Duke Basketball games, Washington Nationals baseball games. We love going to batting cages, playing mini golf, bowling. Just always doing something together to enjoy ourselves. We can’t wait to one day travel and explore other areas of the world, whenever our checkbook lets us, which may be never but we can dream until then :)

Three dreams/goals for your marriage.
Grow together with Christ.
Never give up! Sadly, with young marriages and relationships these days in general, it is imperative to learn to work together and establish an understanding of perseverance through anything after we dedicate our marriage to Christ. It's a goal of ours to continue to learn to work together and get through anything.
Remaining to be each others best friend, biggest supporter and always remember to have fun and be as stress free as possible! Sometimes we have to remember to focus on the little things that brought us together and have kept us together and continue to work together and support each other throughout everything. 

Thank you both for letting me be part of your wedding day! It is an honor and a privilege to assist you on the best day of your lives!

Ally + Alec | Meet the Couple

I first met Ally at a bridal shop. My photog pal, Daytona, and I were picking out the perfect dress for my first ever styled shoot. Daytona kept telling me how beautiful Ally was and when she walked through the door, I TOTALLY believed her. Ally and Alec were the perfect models for our Brunch Styled Shoot. Ever since, I secretly hoped I'd get to play a part in their wedding day and now it's almost here!!

Their light and airy engagements were taken by  Annamarie Akins ! I cannot WAIT to see them rock the camera on wedding day!

Their light and airy engagements were taken by Annamarie Akins! I cannot WAIT to see them rock the camera on wedding day!

How did the two of you meet?
We met in high school and started dating when we were 17 after a year of being friends.

What has been the best part about being engaged?
Being able to refer to each other as fiance, putting together our new home, and starting our life together!

Ally, what do you like most about Alec?
I like Alec's gentleness and selflessness, his ability to be laid back while also being determined and hard-working, and also, he is hilarious!

Alec, what do you like most about Ally?
I like Ally's caring attitude and her compassionate and empathetic heart, her fiery nature (I call her a pistol), and also she is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.

What are you most excited about for your wedding day?
Our vows to each other and being able to celebrate our love with our friends and family.

If you had to pick a word for your relationship, what would it be?
Unshakable because we have been through hard circumstances, but our relationship has only gotten stronger. Also, adventurous because we have so much spontaneous fun together. (Sorry, couldn't pick one!)

Three dreams/goals for your marriage.
1. Always honor each others' identity and independence while working together as the greatest team we can be.
2. Travel the world together.
3. Establish a loving and welcoming home together.

There you have it, folks! One of the most deserving couples I have yet to meet. They have been through more than most people their age. I'm proud of them both for persevering and standing firm together. Can't wait til Friday, you guys!!!!

Luuuuvvvvv!!!!

Luuuuvvvvv!!!!

See more of their engagements from Annamarie Akins HERE!