virginia weddings

Real Virginia Wedding: Bradley & Carrie

Virginia Bride features weddings weekly here on the blog. Being featured in the blog does not necessarily mean they are featured in the print magazine.

Bride: Carrie Mason, 26, Nurse

Groom: Bradley Farmer26, Construction Manager

Date: September 30, 2023

Venue: The Barns at Mattaponi Springs

Guests: 145


Chance Meeting Over Milkshakes

Bradley and Carrie met ten years ago when they were high school juniors and while working their first jobs at the same company. The bride said, “A few co-workers planned to get ice cream one night after work, but they each canceled, leaving only us.” “We got milkshakes and talked all night.” “Days later, we had our first date at Plaza Azteca, and after dinner, we hung out at Bradley’s home until curfew, and the rest is history.”


On July 23, 2022, Bradley proposed to Carrie at their favorite spot, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Carrie recalled, “We were on a family vacation and sitting on the beach with Bradley’s sister, Taylor, and brother-in-law.” “Taylor wanted a photo with her husband, and I took a few for her, then she wanted to take photos of us, and as she was snapping photos, Bradley got down on one knee to propose.”


The Barns at Mattaponi Springs is in Virginia between Richmond and Fredericksburg. It’s a country estate with sophisticated elegance and rustic charm overlooking the water. The all-inclusive venue offers two climate-controlled Barns with a capacity of 200, overnight accommodations, golf, and much more.

Bradley and Carrie chose this venue because they loved the view of the grassy field with the pond in the distance. The couple said, “It was the perfect spot for our ceremony.” 

The Poplar Barn was the correct size for their reception because of their large guest count, and the Pine Barn offered a smaller, more intimate option for their rehearsal dinner.

The bride said, “The venue offered dressing suites, and after the rehearsal dinner, my friends and I spent the night in The Manor House, and the guys stayed in the Potomac Cottage.” “Everything was immaculate.”


Tammy Anderson, the venue’s Events Director, was the couple’s coordinator. The bride said, “She handled everything on the wedding day, which went smoothly.” “She managed vendors, bridal party, and family and helped ensure the timeline we agreed on was completed appropriately.”


Carrie said, “I wanted a simple/romantic theme for our wedding, and I liked the idea of having mirrors for our signage.” “I purchased, secondhand, or borrowed all the mirrors used in the wedding.” “My bridesmaid, Sarah, helped me use a Cricut machine to cut all the letterings.” 

The wedding colors were dusty blue, ivory, and greenery with gold accents. The bride said, “I chose dusty blue because it is one of my favorite colors.” 


King William Florist created the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and flowers to decorate the wedding arbor. Carrie ordered pre-made greenery garland, white roses, baby’s breath, and extra spare pieces of greenery for the reception centerpieces.



Carrie said, “I wanted a simple ball gown.” “Something that made me feel like a bride but comfortable.”

The bride said, “I wore Kendra Scott earrings.” “I told Bradley I wanted these earrings for our wedding day.” “He surprised me with them as a Christmas present in 2019.” 

Carrie’s something old was a white gold bracelet from Kendra Scott; something borrowed was a ring lent from an aunt; Badgley Mischka’s blue heels with jewels were her something blue; and something new was a gift from Bradley, a David Yurman bracelet.


The bride chose a large white floral bouquet with greenery and smaller complimentary bouquets for the bridesmaids. 


The bridesmaids wore personalized dusty blue dresses from Azazie.


The groom wore a navy suit and vest from Generation Tux, a dusty blue tie, and a pocket square. Bradley’s socks were embroidered with his initials. The groomsmen wore the same suit and socks with their initials. The boutonnieres were a white rose with greenery.


The first looks were held on the side lawn of The Manor House. 

The bride recalled, “My dad had not seen my dress, so having a first look with him was a sentimental moment I will always cherish.” 

The couple decided on a first look for two reasons: so their photographer could capture Bradley’s expression as he saw Carrie in her wedding gown and veil for the first time and to complete their couple portraits before the ceremony, allowing them to join their guests during the cocktail hour.


The ceremony was held on the front lawn of The Manor House, overlooking the pond. The venue supplied the couple’s hand-made wooden arch and natural wood folding chairs for the ceremony.

The arch was decorated with large white flowers, roses, and greenery. The Manor House doors that opened for the bride’s entrance were decorated with green wreaths and fresh white roses. Each aisle chair was decorated with a white rose with greenery and tied with a dusty blue ribbon. 


The cocktail hour was held on the lawn between The Manor House and the Poplar Barn’s outdoor covered space filled with wooden cocktail tables. As guests mingled, they were served mini pimento grilled cheese, pineapple-marinated flank steak skewers, and bacon-wrapped BBQ chicken bites. 


The reception was held in the Poplar Barn with wooden features: farm tables, x-back chairs, a bar, and display shelves.


The couple entered the reception to the music “Snap Yo Fingers” by E-40, Lil Jon. The bride said, “We had our bridal party do fun entrances; watching them enter the reception was cool.” 


The DJ played pop, classic rock, and country music during the reception. The bride said, “We had so much fun.” “We spent most of the night on the dance floor, and as the sunset, we added glow sticks.”


The buffet menu included a garden salad, roasted pork loin rubbed with fresh rosemary and garlic, served with creamy herb chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

First Dances

The couple’s first dance song was “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. Father and daughter danced to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw, and the Mother/Son song was “My Wish” by Rascal Flats.


The couple selected a sweetheart cake and assorted cupcake flavors for guests. 


The favors included koozies and an assortment of homemade cookies. 


The couple shared a private last dance in the Poplar Barn, followed by a sparkler exit. 


The couple honeymooned in Kauai, HI. 


Wedding Venue: The Barns at Mattaponi Springs – @barnsatmattaponisprings

Engagement Venue: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Engagement Photographer: Stephanie Alberse – @stephanie.albersephoto

Wedding Photographer: Stephanie Alberse – @stephanie.albersephoto

Videographer: Rilee Jackson – @rileejacksonvisuals

Coordinator: The Barns at Mattaponi Springs – @barnsatmattaponisprings

Officiant: Brian Purcell (Family Friend)

Legal Officiant: Relish – Say I Do!! Officiant & Photographer – @relishp

Gown: Ava Laurene – @avalaurennebride

Alterations: @seansalterations

Veil: Borrowed from a friend

Shoes: Badgley Mischka- @badgleymischka

Hair: FBJ Weddings – @fbjweddings

Makeup: FBJ Weddings – @fbjweddings

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: @azazieoffical

Groom’s Attire: @generationtux

Groomsmen Attire: @generationtux

Invitations: @zola

Flowers: King William Florist – @kwfweddings

Rental Equipment: Party Perfect – @partyperfect804

Catering: @eatcateringrva

Music: Steve’s Mobile DJ Service

Cake: Rach’s Home Cakery

Favors: @sycamorestudiosco

If you are planning a wedding in Roanoke Virginia, Richmond Virginia, Fredericksburg/Northern Virginia, The Shenandoah Valley, Coastal Virginia or in Charlottesville/ Lynchburg Va. we can help with your wedding planning and ideas.

The author: Debra Shepperson

Debra is a native of Virginia, having lived in both Roanoke and Richmond. She is the co-owner of Relish – Say I Do!! Officiant & Photographer. She is an artist who aims to create ceremony scripts and capture photos that evoke positive emotional responses, inspire others, and deliver nostalgia. Debra holds a graduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth and an undergraduate degree from Saint Leo University, Florida. Before gaining more than ten years of wedding-related experience, Debra was a human resource executive. She has been happily married to the co-owner of Relish for more than 20 years.