It’s not always easy to plan a wedding that’s equally elegant and reflective of the bride’s and groom’s personalities, but Shelby and Ryan hit it out of the park! Everything about this sweet couple, from their ice-cream first date to their balloon-filled proposal (don’t miss the cute story below!), is charming and fun. So, it comes as no surprise that charming and unexpected details were a must at their Virginia wedding. Only in the South can a manor and whimsical, baseball-inspired decor mesh so effortlessly. As I’m sure you’ll agree, the result was darling!
Thank you so much to Michelle Renée Photography for sharing Shelby and Ryan’s day with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The first place that we tried (Celebration Bridal) was amazing. The service was great, and their selection was outstanding. I tried on a lot of dresses but knew that my heart was set on a full lace dress. I found one that I loved, but my mom and mother-in-law thought we should keep looking. We went to the second shop and were shocked at how awful it was in comparison. We immediately went back to Celebration and bought the dress that I had fallen in love with!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Watching Shelby walk down the aisle and getting to celebrate with so many friends and family members. Most people had to travel a long way, and it was humbling to see the sacrifices people made to be at our wedding. -Ryan
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Ryan is a huge baseball fan, so we had baseball inspiration throughout the whole wedding. Our wedding venue was also very Southern. We got married at an old estate that felt almost like an old plantation house.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As soon as we walked up to West Manor, Ryan knew it was where we were supposed to get married, and he was right! They are an all-inclusive venue and they made everything so easy for us. I was not stressed out one bit during our wedding planning. Our planner was amazing and so was the rest of the staff.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ryan and I met at our alma mater (and our current employer), Liberty University, when Ryan was a sophomore, and I was a freshman. I went to a hockey game with a group of my friends, and he was there with a group of his friends. One of my friends knew Ryan, so we went to go hang out with him, and he was so sweet and talkative. I didn’t think much about it, but the next night, I went to another hockey game alone. I saw Ryan and his friends there again, and after getting his phone number from our mutual friend, I texted him and asked if I could hang out with him. He said yes and we spent the rest of the game together. Later that night, he texted and asked if we could get ice cream the next day. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! My initial plan was to take Shelby on a hot air balloon ride and propose in mid-air, but that costs a few thousand dollars that I didn’t have. Instead, I decided to fill Shelby’s whole apartment with balloons and create a path for her to walk down. While walking down the path, I wanted her to pop different balloons that had handwritten notes in them saying things I love about her. In the last balloon, I wanted to have a wedding invitation to our future wedding. I went to the local Party City and explained what I wanted to do. The ladies at Party City were amazing! We decided that we would need 306 balloons to fill Shelby’s apartment. In order to get her out of her apartment, I enlisted the help of her best friends, who convinced Shelby to go out for a girls’ day with them to get lunch and manicures. They even convinced her that one of their moms had paid for them to get their nails done! I rented a U-Haul to pick up 20 bags of inflated balloons from Party City and after two hours of setting up, everything was ready to go. When Shelby returned, she was completely shocked! When she got to the last balloon with the wedding invitation to our future wedding in it, I came out of a room I was hiding in and got down on one knee to propose. She immediately said yes and was in tears! In the very next room, both of our families, who had watched the proposal on Skype, came out to celebrate with us! -Ryan
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 149
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. I wanted to see Ryan’s face for the first time while I was walking down the aisle. I did, however, have a first look with my dad. I wanted to get pictures of him seeing me for the first time because I am his baby girl!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t rush! A longer engagement is not a bad thing. It offers ample time to plan and make sure all details are covered.
Photographer: Michelle Renée Photography / Videographer: Ahava Weddings / Planner: Stephanie McBride / Venue and Catering: West Manor Estate / Florist and Cake: Love Is In The Air / DJ: Tony Camm / Bridal Salon and Veil: Celebration Bridal / Paper Products: Paper Snaps / Hair and Makeup: Studio Style and Spa / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Men’s Shoes: Vans