Real Wedding: Shelton & Lawton

This February, Ryan and I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of our dear friends, Lawton and Shelton, who we’ve known since our Teach for America days. It’s such a treat to share their sweet wedding with you today, especially since Shelton sent over such a thoughtful write-up about the day.

Many elements of the wedding were influenced by the February date. Many decisions, ranging from our color palette to our menu were inspired by the season. While most brides worry that the weather won’t be nice, I found myself worried that we were going to have unseasonably warm temperatures. Ridiculous!

Wedding planning for us was completely a team effort. I think the wedding industry is very bride focused, but I couldn’t have made it without Lawton’s involvement in every decision. He helped me to remember to focus on what was most important about the wedding – marrying my best friend.

The Episcopal wedding liturgy doesn’t traditionally include the line “you may now kiss the bride.” During the rehearsal, our priest, who felt that a bride and groom shouldn’t have to be given permission to kiss anyway, suggested an appropriate point in the ceremony for us to kiss. At the agreed upon time, we kissed at the altar before being announced as husband and wife. The congregation, not knowing about our previous arrangement, all laughed believing we had jumped the gun. I hadn’t even thought about how everyone else would react, and it’s a moment I will never forget!

My sister and I made the paper garlands and the cake topper. My family loves themselves a craft, and I had a list a mile long of things that I would have loved to do myself, but we tried to minimize the number of projects so that everyone could fully enjoy the days leading up to the wedding.

One of the biggest surprises of the night? Lawton, along with many of his friends and his father’s friends doing the “Gator” when the band played Shout. I can’t believe the number of people who took turns sliding on their backs onto the dance floor one after another as the band played the song over and over!


Photography: Meghan McSweeney

Ceremony venue: St. James Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia

Reception venue: Country Club of Virginia, James River Clubhouse

Bride’s ceremony dress: Jenny Yoo purchased at Hannelore’s of Olde Town

Dancing dress: LulaKate purchased at Bella Bridesmaid

Hair, makeup: Nicki Crocker for Cary Town In Style Salon, 804-355-6334

Groom’s suit: JoS. A. Bank

Flowers: Judy Hillman

Fabric flowers: Emersonmade

Cake, catering: Country Club of Virginia

Band: Gentlemen and Their Lady


Congratulations dear friends! We had an absolute blast at your wedding, and your relationship is a model for the rest of us. We love you! See more from this darling wedding over at photographer Meghan McSweeney’s blog.


Bella Bridesmaid is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.


  • infamousqbert says:

    such a sweet looking celebration! i wonder, do you think shelton would mind writing up a tutorial on those paper garlands? they’re so adorable and would be a wonderful project for lots of different type of parties. just a thought. i understand if she doesn’t want to/doesn’t have the time, but i thought it couldn’t hurt to ask.

    • I completely agree! It seems like they are in every picture and would have taken her forever!

  • I love the fact that the groom was involved in the planning of the wedding, it seems he did that the right way. I went to a wedding two months ago where the groom made most of the decisions, and well…you could tell…not in a good way.

  • Shelton says:

    Thank you sweet friend! We had a blast too … something I wish on every couple!

    I’ll write a garland tutorial for you all. It’s really simple but time consuming; it involves a bazillion paper circles & hours at the sewing machine.


  • Congrats to your friends; they look wonderful! Winter is an excellent time to have a wedding!

  • MeitsMo says:

    Everything looked so incredible! I love the warm fur coat over Shelton’s bridal dress is such a stunning photograph. I also love the bow on the nape of the neck- so pretty and classic! What a beautiful couple!! I love the idea of changing up the ‘you may kiss the bride’ and how cute that the audience thought you were too excited to wait- so sweet! Please do write up how to make those paper garlands- hopefully can be done with a glass of wine in hand :).

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