virginia weddings

Real Virginia Wedding- Erica & Brett

By: Rita Pike

This wedding was recently featured in Virginia Bride Magazine’s print edition.

BRIDE: Erica Lynn Hess, 26, Registered Dietitian

GROOM: Brett Daniel Memoli, 25, Corporate Recruiter
DATE: September 21st, 2019
LOCATION: The Manor House at Kings Charter

During their Junior year at Virginia Tech, Erica and Brett met in a nutrition class. After they had been dating a while, they visited friends from college in Hawaii. On the fourth day of their spectacular vacation, they went to Makapu’s Lookout. “As I was turning to look towards the group, Brett was behind me, down on one knee. The rest is history!”

The happy couple wanted to take a hands-on approach to their special day, so they did everything up until the day of the wedding. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My mom and sister were lifesavers! I was not local at the time, so they handled everything from finding venues to arranging meetings. Thanks to them and the help of our day-of planner, Mary Jane, wedding planning felt like a breeze.”

For this special day, Erica chose peach and gray for their color scheme, with accents of maroon, and various shades of orange, yellow, and green. “We didn’t have a theme [of our own in mind] and all design recommendations/implementation came from our wonderful florist, Zoie, our day-of planner, Mary Jane, and our decorators/family friends, Ronnie and Michael!”

Erica found her stunning gown among Anthropologie’s bridal collection, BHLDN. “It was an ivory dress made of chiffon, fitted top, and flowed from the waist. My veil was my mother’s that she wore on her wedding day. We were amazed at how well they matched! I kept things simple with my jewelry and wore earrings from Nordstrom Rack. For the shoes, I wore decorative sandals from Nordstrom Rack for the ceremony and Keds from their wedding collection for the cocktail hour and reception. All alternations to the gown and veil were made by Barbara with Fashions by Barbara.”

The six bridesmaids wore floor-length, peach dresses from Azazie in their style of choice, while the six groomsmen wore gray suits from Joseph A. Bank, with peach ties from Azazie and peach and gray argyle socks from Bold Socks.

For the ceremony and reception, Erica and Brett wanted to talk full advantage of the beautiful venue. “Our ceremony was in the front yard, surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees with the house in the background. For cocktail hour, we utilized the backyard where we had cocktail tables and yard games set-up for guests. Given the size of our wedding, we did our first dance under the gazebo in the backyard and gradually moved inside for dinner and the reception. For dinner, we had tables set up in the main room and a back room. Once it was time to party, we moved the bridal party table to open up the dance floor in the main room. If guests wanted a break from the dancing, they could go out into the beautifully lit backyard and get some fresh air!”

Richard Bunch was Erica’s minister from childhood, so the couple was especially grateful to have him officiate. Having him was very important to Erica. “I grew up with Richard as my minister and knew he would make our ceremony beautiful and help all feel welcome. During the ceremony, Brett and I wanted to do something that signified our union, so we incorporated the lighting of the Unity Candle. Before the ceremony, our mothers each lit a candle at the altar. Brett and I then used those candles to light our candle to show two becoming one.”

Congratulations to Erica and Brett!


CEREMONY + RECEPTION SITE: The Manor House at King’s Charter, 804-550-0020

PHOTOGRAPHY: Debra and Lee Shepperson at Relish Photography by Lee LLC,

OFFICIANT: Richard Bunch at Unity of Richmond

GOWN: BHLDN by Anthropologie in Georgetown, Washington DC

SHOES: Nordstrom’s Rack

HAIR + MAKEUP: Wedding Beauty 4 U by RheaClare Griggs


FORMALWEAR: Joseph A. Bank




FLOWERS: Flowers by Zoie by Zoie Ragousis,

CATERING: Edward’s Catering by Sam Edwards,

MUSIC: Seth Kravitz at Rhythm of Love,

LIGHTING: Glass Castle Events by Durwood Pierce

CAKE: Sweetz 4 You LLC by Porsha Thurston,

FAVORS: – Rich’s Stitches by Chris and Cecilia Rich,

TRANSPORTATION: Richmond Limousine, & First Class Limo,

ACCOMMODATIONS: SpringHill Suites by Marriot Richmond North/Glen Allen, 804-266-9403 & Courtyard by Marriot Richmond North/Glen Allen, 804-266-6900

HONEYMOON: Sunset at the Palms, Negril, Jamaica –

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.