virginia weddings

Real Virginia Wedding- Michaela & Colby

BRIDE: Michaela Parris, 26, Director of Communications
GROOM: Colby Loftus, 25, Inventory Coordinator
DATE: September 16, 2020
LOCATION: Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, Virginia

Michaela and Colby grew up in the same hometown and knew of each other during high school. “In 2013, we started working retail at the same store. Colby’s sister also worked at the same store and insisted, rather forcefully, that we hangout outside of work. Colby and I went on a couple dates, hung out with our mutual friend groups, and started dating officially within a couple of months.”

After dating for several years, the couple took a trip to the Amalfi Coast with their best friends in 2018. “The Sunday after arriving, we took a day trip to Positano. We spent the morning lounging on the beach and living in general Italian bliss. After lunch, Colby suggested we search for coffee. We started walking up the steep and winding roads of the town ‘looking’ for a coffee place Colby had found on his phone. As we were walking, we ‘stumbled’ across the most picturesque view of the town. Colby insisted on taking a picture. He went to tie his conveniently untied shoe. When I looked back to him, he was on one knee with the ring!”

They planned their wedding for 2020, which as we know made planning all sorts of complicated. “We had planned a 75-person wedding at a local bed and breakfast for September 20, 2020. I did all the planning for that version of our wedding. Then COVID-19 happened, and we called the wedding off indefinitely. Then one morning after I woke up, I looked over at Colby still half asleep and told him I wanted to elope. He agreed. The planning for our elopement was seamless. Our photographer was able and willing to work the day, the Grandin Theatre was happy to have our business, and we were able to find an officiant who was still performing small ceremonies. It was planned within a couple of weeks. So yes, planning a wedding during a pandemic was extremely stressful. But if it hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have had our dream elopement.”

The couple chose black, gold, white, and green for their big day, going for a timeless, classic wedding. “The theater is a beautiful deco-style building with a fantastic main stage. This matched our colors and outfits perfectly. My dress and Colby’s suit also gave a nod to the ‘30s, old Hollywood atmosphere. It almost felt like stepping back in time. We wanted classic glamour and that’s exactly how it played out.”

During the time leading up to their special day, Michaela was working at a bridal store. “I actually purchased in total four wedding dresses. The one I ended up with was one of the most unique dresses I have ever seen to this day. It was an Allure gown, sheath in shape with an open back and completely beaded. It had t-shirt style sleeves with a beaded crosshatch pattern. Those aren’t the technical terms but it’s how I interpret the style. My shoes were a nude pump from BCBG. My earrings were thrifted online from Depop. I wore one of my grandmother’s coffin-style onyx rings which played into the art deco theme.”

Colby hand-picked every detail of his custom suit. “He knew he wanted a green suit from the beginning. He added his grandfather’s gold pocket watch after receiving it as a gift from his father.”

For their elopement photography, Michaela and Colby chose Paige Lucas. “She just got us. I worked with her previously when I modeled for our mutual friend’s clothing line. She was just a joy to work with and made me feel so comfortable. I knew that she would bring the perfect energy to our wedding day. Plus, her work was moody, genuine, and just different looking than they style of wedding photographers I was researching. I just had to have her!”

Since there were fewer time constraints on the day and plenty of available options, the couple chose to take photos at four locations within their neighborhood on the big day. First, they took shots at the wedding venue: Grandin Theatre. Secondly, they visited Pop’s Ice Cream for some photos. “This is a date night regular for Colby and me. They have the best ice cream in the world and the atmosphere is so fun. The vintage look was a perfect back drop. They also surprised us by playing the bag pipes as we walked down the sidewalk into the shop! We are so grateful for Anna and Brandon for making our day so special.”

Thirdly, they visited Memorial Bridge for the picturesque views. “I feel like it’s the gate into our neighborhood and symbolic of the time we’ve lived here.” Finally, they visited Black Dog Salvage. “I’ve wanted to do a photo shoot here for a while. It’s such a cool place with so many textures and amazing lighting. It’s also a staple in our neighborhood.”

Michaela expressed her appreciation and love for Colby’s character and their life together in her vows. “My vows were very meaningful and appreciative of how wonderful of a partner Colby is. And I mean partner in the sense of teammate, friend, co-pilot, etc. He just works so well with me, and we make a great team. Colby’s vows were hilarious and heartfelt. Referencing lots of inside jokes and personal details that a bigger audience would never understand. They were perfect.”

For a fun and special touch, Michaela chose the Marvel Avengers’ score for their processional. “We are both nerds. Colby more so. It was my surprise to him.”

Michaela leaves us with these thoughts: “Remain best friends above anything else. Make time to play like you would with your friends. Play games, wrestle, jump, dance, sing, laugh together. Your partner is the one friend you will have for life.”


CEREMONY SITE: Grandin Theatre, Roanoke, VA

PHOTOGRAPHY: Paige Lucas Photography, Roanoke, VA

OFFICIANT: Karen Osborne, Giles County, VA

GOWN: Allure Bridal purchased at Studio I DO, Roanoke, VA

SHOES: BCBG from New to Me Consignment, Roanoke, VA

HAIR & MAKEUP: Done by Bride


FLOWERS: George’s Flowers, Roanoke, VA

ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, VA

HONEYMOON: Mini-moon to Asheville, NC

The author: Angeline Frame

Angeline is the owner/publisher of Palm Beach Weddings Magazine and Virginia Bride Magazine and the show producer for The Greater Virginia Bridal Shows. She has a degree in Public Administration and Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. A former model and wedding venue owner- she loves all things wedding , fashion and decorating. In her spare time she likes to write, travel and get new ideas to share with brides.