Grab a Badge
Heather & Rob: A Jane Austen–Inspired Wedding at Virginia Beach’s Church Point Manor
Photos By Bit of Ivory Photography
By Lauren Kathryn on Dec 9, 2013 at 5:00 am in Vintage
It didn’t take long for Heather Wilson, an IT analyst, and Rob Atherton, a software engineer, to fall ardently in love with one another. “You just know when you’ve met your person,” said Heather, who describes herself and her husband as “old souls and romantics.” This fitting description was reflected in the couple’s charmingly intimate nuptials, which took place on September 14, 2013—the date of Heather’s parents’ 39th wedding anniversary—at Virginia Beach’s Church Point Manor, an elegantly appointed and warmly inviting bed-and-breakfast converted from a Victorian-era farmhouse built on the original tract of land bequeathed by King Charles the First to colonist Adam Thoroughgood.
The venue itself set the tone for the event. “We wanted to recreate the feeling of an at-home wedding from our parents’ generation, a wedding where everyone could spend an afternoon lollygagging on the porches and enjoying each other’s conversation without it feeling scheduled, ” Heather said. “We were blessed with some pretty incredible vendors who really got our vision.”
A main source of inspiration was beloved English novelist Jane Austen. “As a young girl, I was an avid reader and writer, and there were quite a few nods to my main muse, Jane Austen, in the details,” Heather said. “I’m convinced that both Rob and I lived in the English countryside in a previous life.”
Fortuitously, the area’s most sought-after photographer, Bit of Ivory’s Chelsea LaVere, happens to be a Jane Austen addict herself, and the day’s images, imbued with so much heart and soul, have a decidedly Austenian air.
Heather wore Watters’ delicately dramatic “Hollywood” gown, which she found at couture bridal boutique Pure English.
Jane Austen, who took a keen interest in gardening, would no doubt have admired Heather’s romantic bridal bouquet, designed by Palette of Petals. “It was wrapped with my maternal grandmother’s handkerchief, then wrapped again with my paternal grandmother’s pearls,” Heather said. “Nestled among the flowers was my maternal grandmother’s watch, which my mom let me borrow long ago.”
The couple chose to write their own vows, and Rob surprised Heather by quoting Mr. Darcy. The ceremony was her favorite part of the day. “At one point, the only sound was the breeze rustling the leaves, and it was just perfect,” she said.
“It was important to me that everything be personal,” Heather said. “I spent our engagement collecting teapots for the centerpieces, distressing furniture, and basically stalking every antique market in the area. Almost every piece of décor came from our personal collection. Rob, God bless him, went along with it all.”
Created by Patti Cakes, the couple’s three-tiered fondant cake, adorned with a cluster of garden roses, was lovely in its simplicity.
Heather and Rob’s wedding celebrated not one but two love stories; the day also marked Heather’s parents’ 39th anniversary.
Sharing is Happiness
Photography > bit of ivory photography
Ceremony Venue > Church Point Manor
Reception Venue > Church Point Manor
Event Design and Planning > heather wilson-atherton
Flowers > palette of petals
Catering > chef by design
Cake > patti cakes inc.
Officiant > susan turner
Rentals > distinctive event rentals
DJ > roger cruz of astro entertainment
Ceremony Music > guitarist adam hill
Bride’s Dress > watters
Bridal Boutique > Pure English
Maid of Honor’s Dress > wtoo
Groom’s and Best Man’s Attire > men’s wearhouse
Hair > bridesmade
Makeup > bridesmade
Invitations > minted
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What's Being Said
The Ivory Pearl, Dec 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Are those Bagley Mischna shoes? So pretty!
Sara, Dec 10, 2013 at 3:56 am
This wedding is gorgeous! How perfect is that cake?!
Ariana - Hey Wedding Lady, Dec 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm
Oh so romantic! What a fantastically sweet wedding!
Chelsea LaVere, Dec 9, 2013 at 11:23 am
Ah! You write so beautifully, Lauren! Thank you so much for the fantastic feature! Heather and Rob just shine! I think Jane would be proud. ;)
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