Virginia wedding

Real Wedding Wednesday: Jessica & Craig

Jessica and Craig have known for a long time that they were meant to be. They met in high school, while hanging out at a mutual friend’s house. Over the course of the next few months, their friendship morphed into romance. “We are your stereotypical high school sweethearts. We have been together for 14 happy years.”

Their best date was an amazing adventure into Helen, GA, where they went hiking. “At the base of the waterfall he proposed. We spent the rest of the day exploring local wineries and enjoying our mountain cabin.”

Jessica and Craig wanted an intimate wedding. They asked Craig’s father, Raymond, to officiate the wedding. “It was very intimate and special for us. We also had our dog Marley as the dog of honor. Since we didn’t have any attendants, we had siblings and parents sitting at the dock right next to us and my mother passed us the rings to start our future together.”

The Scoop

Bride: Jessica, 30

Groom: Craig, 32

Wedding date: October 5, 2019

Number of guests: 60

Jessica chose a gorgeous lace gown from Justin Alexander, with a sweetheart neckline. With this stunning strapless, she wore her groom’s grandmother’s pearl necklace. She also honored her soon-to-be mother-in-law by wearing her garter from her own wedding in 1981.

For their wedding, they used blue and white table linens to “tie it into being a lake wedding and greenery with the Limonium and tree fern.” They also gave nautical bags with chocolates and mints inside as their tie-in favors.

This stunning venue on Smith Mountain Lake is just down the road from the groom’s parents’ house. They’ve been making memories there for 16+ years, so it seemed the perfect fit for their wedding. The beautiful views of the lake and Rock Island didn’t hurt!

“All guests were close family and friends. We wanted to keep it small and intimate.” The emphasis was enjoying time together with each other and family and close friends while enjoying the gorgeous views all around.

Jessica offers these thoughts to fellow brides in the midst of planning their own special days.

“As the guest started to arrive, they poured themselves a glass of champagne to enjoy while they walked down to the lakeside ceremony. Some advice may be that you can host a beautiful, fun wedding and stick to a reasonable budget.”

Congratulations to you both!


Vendor Credits

Venue: Happy Endings at Smith Mountain Lake

Photographer: Hannah Lee Photography, (540)759-0325

Officiant: Raymond Beaulieu (the groom’s father)

Gown: Justin Alexander dress from Formal Elegance, Lynchburg, VA

Shoes: David’s Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Emily Garbee-Harris from Body Works Day Spa and Salon

Save-the-Dates: Zola

Invitations: The bride’s mother made the invitations

Flowers: Jai from Blue Lady, Bedford, VA,

Catering: Bella Events Catering, 540-330-6544

Music: DJ Cameron Wheeler

Cake: Bella Events Catering, 540-330-6544

Honeymoon: Secretes Maroma in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

The author: rita

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.