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Meg & Michael’s James River Backyard We...

Meg & Michael’s James River Backyard Wedding

Another beautiful micro wedding from a couple who refused to let the world stop love. Meg & Michael, challenged by the COVID pandemic decided to finally go for it with a beautiful backyard micro wedding along the banks of the James River. We have to say – they made the right choice! Their beautiful day is shared below …

from the photographer: “Meg and Michael were a couple who had their plans changed by COVID and made the very best of it. They opted for a small intimate wedding ceremony at the bride’s family home and will wait until next year to party with all of their closest friends. Although it wasn’t the big wedding they had planned, it was every bit as elegant and magical. Set on the banks of the James River, the home had been in the family for many years with tons of memories. Meg wore a beautiful lace dress, and walked out onto the floral adorned dock at sunset to wed her soon to be husband, Michael. The couple enjoyed cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres with family before sharing a dance to end the evening.”

How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?

In 2001, Meg’s family moved from Virginia Beach to Fort Wayne, Indiana after her dad accepted a new job. Little did they know what was in store! Meg went to Canterbury School and met Michael her senior year four years later. While Michael went to Canterbury as well, he was younger and they didn’t meet until Michael made his way to high school. It’s possible the two met sooner, but they met through the Stein Family! Stephanie Stein is one of Meg’s best friends, and her younger brother Mitch is Michael’s. Meg & Michael’s initial meeting and friendship can be traced back to get-togethers at the Stein’s house, which led to dates and a relationship. Meg went off to college, and eventually so did Michael – with minimal communication between the two. However, they both continued to keep tabs on each other over the years through social media and the Steins.

Fast forward 13 years… we reconnected at the Stein’s lake house in 2017. Meg was in town to visit Stephanie, and Michael was visiting Mitch. The surprise meet up was a shock, but the two instantly hit it off again. After the weekend, they both went their separate ways as Meg lived in Virginia Beach and Michael in Chicago – but continued to stay in touch. It wasn’t until a year later that Meg made plans to visit the Steins again and Michael offered to drive her if she flew into Chicago… and the rest is history!
Meg and Michael traveled back and forth between Chicago and Virginia Beach, and eventually, Michael proposed in August 2019 and moved to Virginia Beach that September. With both of their families now in Virginia, they are excited about their future and have started planting roots in Virginia Beach with their new puppy named Bluebird.

 Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.

One month before our original wedding date (May 9, 2020), we had to make the unfortunate decision to postpone our wedding due to the pandemic to September 19, 2020. We thought that would be enough time, but in August we realized that we were still not in the clear. At the time, Virginia had a 50-person gathering limit, so we made the decision go ahead and get married with our immediate families and aunts and uncles, and postpone the reception to April 3, 2021.
David captured our intimate ceremony beautifully and it was the most special evening — in many ways more meaningful than the bigger wedding we had planned.
In 2021, we had to once again make the unfortunate decision to postpone our reception again which will now be April 30th, 2022.
Fun fact: All three wedding dates are engraved in Michael’s wedding band.

Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?

We are both extremely close with our families and especially our grandparents, so being able to find a way that they could safely be there was very important to us.
Michael lost his paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother, and Meg’s maternal grandparents and two aunts were also no longer with us. Our beloved pug named Peaches unexpectedly passed away in June 2020 after just turning 6 years old. During our ceremony right before we said our vows, a large wake of water came across the bay just in front of where we were standing. We felt like this was our family in heaven giving us a sign that they were there with us in spirit.

What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?

We thought we wanted a big wedding and were so bummed that we couldn’t have our friends join us in September. However, what we didn’t realize was how much more meaningful and special our intimate ceremony would be with just are closest family members in attendance. Something we would never have experienced if it wasn’t for the regulations and pandemic.

What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?

Patience and how to be a team. We like to say this time has given us an amazing foundation that will help us tackle anything that comes our way.

What is your favorite thing about each other?

Our connection. It was so immediate and the ability to pick up right where we left off 13 years ago was so unique. We knew immediately it was special and something we couldn’t let go again.

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?

Working with amazing vendors who had our backs every step of the way and were so patient and accommodating as we navigated date changes and state regulations.

If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?

Don’t take things too seriously. As much as you try to plan, you never know what life is going to bring you. Remember to support your teammate and you can get through anything together.

Photographer: David Abel / Venue: Family Home / Stylist / Planner / Designer: Simply Perfect Events / Floral Designer: Isha Foss / Cake Designer: Graze Kitchen & Catering / Makeup Artist: Dhalia Edwards Makeup / Hair Stylist: Darling & Dapper / Rentals: Paisley & Jade / Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab


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