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.

Real Virginia Wedding: Stephen & Leah

Bride: Leah Schwartz, 25, 4th Grade Teacher

Groom: Stephen Russell, 26, Market Research Analyst

Date: May 4, 2024

Venue: Seven Springs, Manquin, Virginia

Guests: 120


Stephen and Leah met 15 years ago at Moody Middle School in Richmond, Virginia, in 2009. They became friends during a physical education class in 6th grade and remained close despite attending different high schools. Their first date was November 9, 2014, when they watched the movie “22 Jump Street” at The Byrd Theater in Carytown, Richmond, Virginia. On June 18, 2022, Stephen proposed to Leah on the rooftop of the Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. 


Stephen and Leah’s weekend celebration began with a lovely arrival on Friday afternoon at Seven Springs, a stunning wedding venue in Manquin, Virginia. The evening continued with a cozy rehearsal dinner in the venue’s charming carriage houses. The wedding ceremony occurred at 4 p.m. on May 4, 2024, and was followed by a memorable stay on site until Sunday morning for 20 guests, including the couple, family, and the wedding party. 


The venue is a charming historic house and farm in King William County, Virginia, surrounded by lush greenery, magnificent magnolia trees, and vibrant azalea bushes. Its flexible event spaces seamlessly combine outdoor charm with indoor comfort. The spacious pavilion, with adjustable walls, ensures a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor settings, catering to the unpredictability of the weather.

Tracy Gilland was the couple’s coordinator. She worked closely with vendors before the wedding, creating a detailed schedule for the wedding day. She managed floor plans and seating arrangements for the 120 guests attending the ceremony and reception.

The couple chose light pink, white, and neutral greens as the primary colors for their wedding, aiming to create a light springtime ambiance that accentuated the venue’s beauty.

Leah, who is Jewish, incorporated many Jewish traditions into her wedding. Stephen and Leah were married under a chuppah, stomped on the glass, signed a ketubah, and danced the horah at the reception.


Leah’s wedding dress was an A-line tulle gown with a sweetheart neckline and spaghetti straps.  It was purchased from Kleinfelds in New York. Martina Liana was the designer, and the Style Number is #1497-XS. The dress was beautifully altered with a sweetheart neckline, a side slit was carefully stitched, and a delicate white lining was added.

Leah looked elegant with diamond huggy earrings and a drop pearl from Angara, along with a small crystal tennis bracelet from Linjer. She added a sparkly headband from Etsy and her mom’s diamond necklace for the reception. Leah wore Tiffany Eau de Parfum and Badgley Mischka white heels with a tulle bow on the back, matching her dress’s tulle, creating a truly enchanting look.

The bridal bouquet consisted of ivory flowers with some textured greenery. The flowers used included White Lisianthus, Ranunculus, Freesia, White Veronica, White Playa Roses, and Silver Dollar Italian Ruscus. Leah also attached one of her grandfather’s cufflinks to the bouquet. Her grandfather had unexpectedly passed away just three weeks before the wedding, and it was vital for her to incorporate his memory into the day. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of the bridal bouquet.

The bridesmaids looked stunning in their floor-length dresses, all in a beautiful rose quartz color. Each dress had a unique style, adding a lovely touch to the overall look.

Stephen looked dashing in a sleek black tuxedo from Alton Lane, complete with a stylish black bow tie, suspenders, and black and white polka dot socks from J.Crew. He added a sentimental touch by wearing his grandfather’s gold square cufflinks and an engraved Fossil watch featuring his and Leah’s names and wedding date. The personalized touch extended to his tuxedo jacket, lined in maroon with orange stitching and adorned with their initials and wedding date.

His boutonniere was a beautiful arrangement of ivory ranunculus and spray roses, accented with natural greenery and finished with an elegant ivory ribbon wrap. The groomsmen’s boutonnieres complemented this design, creating a cohesive and stylish look for the wedding party.

The groomsmen were dressed in sharp black tuxedos from Macy’s, complemented by black bow ties and suspenders from The Tie Bar. As a token of appreciation for being part of the wedding, Stephen gifted each of them stylish black and white polka dot socks, black cufflinks, and studs to complete their ensemble.


The wedding ceremony occurred between two magnolia trees behind the main house at Seven Springs. Stephen and Leah’s chuppah was adorned with ivory blooms and greenery. A close friend from New York City officiated the ceremony, and Leah was escorted down the aisle by her parents as the processional music, an instrumental version of “Enchanted,” played. The bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the Bridgerton Symphony Version of “Wildest Dreams.” Nephews served as flower children, and two large flower arrangements on custom-made pink pedestals marked the beginning of the aisle. During the ceremony, the translation of their Ketubah, the Jewish marriage agreement, was read aloud, and they exchanged traditional vows. The recessional music was “Paper Rings” by Taylor Swift.


During the cocktail hour, guests gathered on the lawn between the ceremony site and the pavilion. The lawn was decorated with high-top tables covered with rose tablecloths. String lights and two fire pit tables added to the ambiance. A neon light arch that said “Happily Ever After” was set up as a backdrop for guests to take pictures. Two bars were available for guests to enjoy drinks, offering a custom cocktail menu with five specialty drinks. Hors d’oeuvres such as mini chicken biscuits, mini empanadas, and falafel were also served.


The reception was held in the pavilion at the venue. It was beautifully decorated with a large circular chandelier and string lights wrapped in greenery. The guest book and seating chart were placed near the main entrance. The seating chart was designed as a large pink arch that said “our favorite people” on it. Fourteen round tables seated the guests, each representing a special milestone in the couple’s relationship, showcasing a unique story and photos from that particular year. The tables were adorned with flowers and candles and covered with white tablecloths and pink napkins. The couple and the wedding party were seated at a long head table, displaying Leah’s bouquet and tall pink taper candles in gold.

The bridal party entered the “Bulls” theme music by The Alan Parsons Project, while the bride and groom were introduced to “Marry You” lyrics by Bruno Mars. Leah’s brother, Jordan, and bridesmaid, Nina, surprised everyone by wielding lightsabers during their introduction as a nod to “May the Fourth.”

Father and daughter danced to “Butterfly Fly Away” by Miley Cyrus and boogied to “Dance Like Yo Daddy” by Megain Trainor. Mother and son danced to the lyrics “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor.

After the first dances, Stephen and Leah switched their shoes to customized white Nike Air Force One sneakers with “MR” and “MRS” stitched on the back.

The highlight of the dance party was the hora, during which some of the bridal party lifted us into the air in chairs.

Dinner was a plated meal with a choice of salmon or chicken, served with mashed potatoes and broccoli as side dishes.

The cake was a three-tiered cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. Two layers were almond with chocolate ganache filling, while the middle layer had just vanilla buttercream. The cake topper was the same one Leah’s grandparents used on their wedding cake in 1963.

While their guests were getting ready for the sparkler send-off, Stephen and Leah had a final dance to the lyrics of Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”

Bride: @_leahrosee

Groom: @stephenr25


VENUE: Seven Springs @sevenspringsva 

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristen Cranham @kristencranham

VIDEOGRAPHER: Profound Videos @profoundweddingfilms

DAY OF PLANNER: Tracy Gilland @sevenspringsva 

ENGAGEMENT RING: Tiffany & Co @tiffanyandco 

WEDDING BANDS: Tiffany & Co @tiffanyandco   

Schwarzchild Jewelers @schwarzschildjewelers 

GOWN: Kleinfeld Bridal @kleinfeldbirdal 

Martina Liana @martinalianabridal

VEIL: Kleinfeld Bridal @kleinfeldbirdal 

SHOES: Badgley Mischka @badgleymischka 

HAIR/MAKEUP: Grace Salon @gracesalonrva 

BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Bella Bridesmaids @bellabridesmaids

GROOM’S ATTIRE: Alton Lane @altonlane 

INVITATIONS: Merrymaker Fine Paper @merrymakerfinepaper

FLOWERS: King William Florist @kwfweddings 

CATERING: Groovin’ Gourmets @groovingourmets

MUSIC: 196 Events @196events 

CAKE: Fat Rabbit @fatrabbitcakes

FAVORS: Mon Aimee Chocolat @monaimeechocolat

TRANSPORTATION: Richmond Limo @richmondlimo 

ACCOMMODATIONS: Seven Springs @sevenspringsva 


Daios Cove @daios_cove 

Stella Rocca @stella_roccamare 

Fresh Hotel @freshhotelathens 

Marriott Copenhnagen @marriottcopenhagen

GUEST HOTEL: Delta Hotel Marriott Richmond Downtown @deltahotelsrva

DECORATIONS: Firefly Scenic Studio – Kasi Struachler @fireflyscenicstudio

BEER & WINE: De Fles Winkel @fles_wink 

ENGAGEMENT VENUE: Quirk Hotel @quirkhotelrva @quirk_rooftop_rva

OFFICIANT: Ben Katz, New York, New York

LEGAL OFFICIANT: Polly Wall, Richmond, Virginia


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.