virginia weddings

Real Virginia Wedding: David & Regina

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: Regina Hall, 49, Marketing Director

Groom: David Sween, 57, Chief Operating Officer, Retired Navy Commander

Date: December 29, 2023

Venue: Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, Virginia

Couples Residence: Springfield, Virginia

Guests: 68


The Beginning

David and Regina met on June 9, 2019. They initially connected on They met at a seafood restaurant in Occoquan, Virginia a week later. Over dinner at Madigan’s Waterford, they felt an instant familiarity. David asked Regina, “have you ever wondered if you are on the last first date of the rest of your life?” 

I Love You

David said, “I love you,” first. “It took me a bit longer, two weeks,” said Regina.


David proposed to Regina on January 5, 2023. “He gave me a card for my birthday,” Regina said. “He then dropped to one knee and proposed with a 3”-inch cubic zirconia stunt ring.” “He picked a beautiful placeholder until we could go ring shopping.”


November 2023, Regina’s closest friends, nieces and David’s sister hosted a Bachelorette Party for the bride-to-be. It was held at The Winery at Bull Run in Centreville, Virginia. They later enjoyed dinner at Hamrock’s Restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia.


David and Regina’s ceremony and reception were held at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia on December 29, 2023.


David and Regina’s wedding theme was based on the song “The Time of Our Lives” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Their color palette was red, teal, gold, black and Tiffany blue. 


The Lodge’s wedding coordinator, Aleta Luther created the couple’s wedding timeline, coordinated logistics and decorated the ceremony and reception spaces.



Regina wore a Collette satin ball gown by Rebecca Ingram. It was alabaster in color. The ballgown featured shimmering pearl and Swarovski crystal embellishments at the halter neckline and V-back. An attached beaded belt completed the gown’s pleated skirt. The buttons were covered with satin material and beads, as was the zipper closure.

Regina wore pearl drop earrings. Her perfume was Orange Blossom by Jo Malone. Her Seva-styled champagne-colored shoes were a 2-inch T-strap by Paradox London. 

Regina’s Something:

Borrowed: Rose quartz stone carried in her pocket.

Blue: Tanzanite ring worn in memory of her older brother.

Old: Many heirloom brooches and a locket in memory of her dad adorned the bridal bouquet.


Regina’s bouquet was round and made of red satin artificial roses. It was embellished with pearls, rhinestones and heirloom items. The bridesmaid’s bouquet was made of artificial burgundy and white colored flowers with gold accents.


Regina’s bridesmaid wore a teal-colored a-line dress. The dress was a floor-length and an off-the-shoulder style. 


David wore a black tuxedo, a colored teal tie and a cummerbund. The groomsman was dressed in the same attire as the groom.

David finished his look with a miniature Navy medal insignia placed over his left chest pocket. 


David’s boutonniere was a single red rose. It was adorned with a guardian angel lapel pin that belonged to David’s mother. The groomsman’s boutonniere was a red rose.


Silver Pebble Photography was the couple’s photographer. Regina wore a 1960s mink cape for the outdoor photography session. The cape was purchased online through Luxury Vintage Girl, a bridal vintage fur shop. 

First Look

The photographer took first-look pictures of David and Regina at the Lodge’s pier. The same pier “Neil Kellerman” (Lonny Price) took “Baby” (Jennifer Grey) on a romantic walk in the 1987 Movie, “Dirty Dancing,” directed by Emile Ardolino.

Mountain Top

Digital memories of David and Regina were taken at a scenic overlook at the top of Salt Pond Mountain. “I prayed for just enough snow for beautiful pictures,” said Regina. “God delivered a few majestic moments.” “We will always treasure the mountaintop portraits.”


The ceremony was held on the first floor of the Lodge, in the Giles room. David and Regina said, “I do,” in front of a roaring gas fireplace opposite the room’s entrance. Regina’s youngest brother walked her down the aisle. And he gave her away in marriage to David. “My father and eldest brother walked with me in Spirit,” said Regina. Sixty-eight guests attended the ceremony. The guests were seated in white satin-covered chairs. 

The ceremony was live-streamed. Thirty guests watched in real-time from the comfort of their homes. David’s son-in-law, Josh Arnbrister officiated the ceremony. “We pulled a pre-tied sailor’s knot to celebrate that our relationship has grown stronger under pressure,” Regina said. The guests celebrated the couple with a bubble exit as the recessional music started. 


The cocktail hour was held at the opposite end of the room where the couple were married. David and Regina’s signature drinks were “Be My Baby” (Boulevardier) and “Love Man” (James Bond-style martini).

Appetizers included beef tenderloin sliders with horseradish aioli, miniature crab cakes with remoulade and a crudite display served with dip. 


The reception was held in the Giles room of the Lodge.


The reception decor included white tablecloths and chairs. Red ties adorned the chairs. Glass pillars atop mirrors were the tables’ centerpieces. The pillars were water-filled, lit with waterproof LED tea lights, clear marbles and floating candles. Gold charges and red napkins finished the table decor.


The best man and the maid of honor entered the reception to the music of “Do You Love Me” by The Contours from the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. 

For their entrance, David and Regina performed a choreographed rumba to the lyrics of “True Companion” by Marc Cohn. 


David and Regina selected the Lodge’s “A Distinguished Affair” menu for their reception dinner. Guests were served freshly baked bread, butternut squash soup, a mixed green salad, pork roast with apple cider reduction and sausage garnish or apple butter roasted chicken. The side dishes were roasted carrots, shallots, broccoli, potato medley and herbed wild rice.

Guest Book

Emily Heskett was the couple’s videographer. She created a video guest book for David and Regina as a keepsake. Emily was able to capture messages from 70% of the attendees. To help guests feel comfortable with being videoed, Emily prompted them with questions about the bride and groom.


The reception’s soft white uplighting enhanced the dinner meal atmosphere. Later in the evening, as dancing commenced, the color of the uplighting was changed to teal.

Choreographed Dance

In the months preceding their wedding day, David and Regina trained with the dance instructor Maria Bliznetsova. 

David and Regina performed the mambo to the song “The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. They replicated all the dance moves except the famous “lift” by 

“Johnny Castle” (Patrick Swayze) and “Baby” (Jennifer Grey) in the 1987 Movie, “Dirty Dancing,” directed by Emile Ardolino. “Because we did not perform a lift, my niece organized a flash mob,” Regina said. “My nieces and nephews stormed the dance floor after our dance.” “They did lifts with their kids.” “One of my nephews and 12-year-old great-niece nailed a lift!”


The 2-tier vanilla wedding cake had buttercream frosting. The cake topper portrayed a couple performing the famous “lift” from the finale dance in the Movie, “Dirty Dancing.” The guests enjoyed vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. Cookies decorated with David’s Naval Academy emblem on them and inscribed with the words “Go Navy, Beat Army” were a guest favorite.


The couples’ favors were Tiffany blue boxes filled with their favorite candies.


The couple is planning a honeymoon trip to Savannah, Georgia in early May. 


“Accept that something you envisioned will not happen,” said Regina. “Have a backup plan for the most important things to you.” 


Dancing was one of the groom’s favorite parts of the wedding day. “We practiced the rumba and mambo for months,” said David. “We pulled off our dances perfectly.” “We inspired several couples to start taking dance lessons.”

Bride: Regina Hall Sween – @hall.regina


VENUE: Mountain Lake Lodge @mtnlakelodge  http://mtnlakelodge

VIDEOGRAPHER: Emily Heskett – @emilyheskett_photography

PHOTOGRAPHER: Silver Pebble Photography – @silverpebblephotography

CATERING: Mountain Lake Lodge @mtnlakelodge

COORDINATORS: Aleta Luther, Raechel Kiefer, Lyndsi Hale – @mtnlakelodge

PLANNING: The Master Plan – @wolferandc http://@wolferandco

OFFICIANT: Josh Arnbrister

LEGAL OFFICIANT: Aaron Riddle @virginiaelope

RINGS: James Allen @jamesallenrings

GOWN: LaBella Bridal @labellabridalva

STYLE: Rebecca Ingram

ALTERATIONS: LaBella Bridal @labellabridalva

MAKEUP: Sarah Hedges @primrosewedding

MUSIC: Rick Pruett @djrickpruett

CAKE: Sarah Hedges @primrosewedding

TRANSPORTATION: Enterprise @enterprise

ACCOMMODATIONS: Mountain Lake Lodge @mtnlakelodge

DANCE INSTRUCTOR: Maria Bliznetsova @maria_bliznetsova_pro


PHOTOBOOTH: Clear Choice Photobooth @clearchoicephotobooth

LIVESTREAM: Wedfuly @wedfuly

VINTAGE FUR: Luxury Vintage Girl @luxuryvintagegirl



INVITATIONS: Canva, Shutterfly

FLOWERS: Costco, Amazon, Temu



VEIL: Amazon

SHOES: Zappos 

HAIR: Allie Perkins

FAVORS: Walmart & Amazon

BACHELORETTE PARTY: Hamrock’s Restaurant, Fairfax, VA & The Winery at Bull Run – @wineryatbullrun

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.