Bridal Suite: A Glimpse into the Lives of Three Engaged Roommates 

Part II: The Planning Phase

click to enlarge three_brides_maids_article.jpg

Catherine Summerson, 24, and Bill Mealor, 25

Engaged: October 22, 2005

Wedding Date: July, 2006


Catherine, a Richmond native, is a financial analyst. Her fiancé, Bill, who hails from Memphis, Tennessee, currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he works in commercial real estate. After a wedding at the First Presbyterian Church in Richmond and a Caribbean honeymoon, the couple plans to reside in Atlanta.



Kara Kihm, 25, and Mac Wilson, 24

Engaged: September 13, 2005

Wedding Date: September, 2006


Both Kara and Mac are Richmond natives. Kara is a hospice social worker and Mac is a commercial real estate broker. Kara and Mac plan to get married on Dafuskie Island, which is a small island off the coast of South Carolina.



Lindsey Fitts, 24, and Tripp Copeland, 25

Engaged: October 1, 2005

Wedding Date: August, 2006


Lindsey, who has roots in Birmingham, Alabama, is a second-year law student at the University of Richmond. Tripp, who is from Richmond, is a third-year law student at the same school. The couple plans to wed at The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.



Catherine and Bill's Plans



Style: It's been awhile since we last spoke. How is everyone holding up?

Catherine: Great! It's been really fun and we're still enjoying ourselves.

Style: Describe your wedding.

Catherine: It's going to be a traditional, formal wedding that takes place in the evening at the First Presbyterian Church here in town. Our reception's going to be at the Tuckahoe Woman's Club.

Style: Do you have your dress?

Catherine: Yes, it just arrived! I love it. It's from Saks Fifth Avenue at Stony Point Fashion Park. Emma, one of the store's sales associates, was fabulous. She seemed to know right away what type of dress I liked and which ones would look good on me. It's a relief to have the dress taken care of — it's one less thing to worry about.

Style: Are the rest of the wedding party's outfits coming together?

Catherine: Yes. My bridesmaids are wearing formal strapless gowns from Jingles that have below-the-knee hemlines. Bill and his groomsmen are wearing formal black tuxedos with tails and white bow ties and vests.

Style: Have the invitations been sent?

Catherine: Not yet, but we have sent the Save-the-Date cards. We ordered our Save-the-Date cards and invitations from Paul's Paper here in town, and they were so helpful! It was a relief to get the Save-the-Dates in the mail. We're already getting responses from people.

Style: Have you and Bill set up a wedding website for your guests?

Catherine: No, but information is getting out just fine by word-of-mouth.

Style: Have you decided on the flowers?

Catherine: We're going with bright flowers that pop and add color. My mom is working with our florist, Terry White, to find the right ones.

Style: Have you selected a photographer?

Catherine: Yes, we've actually chosen two. Robert Harris of Robert Harris Photography will do our wedding shots. He comes highly recommended by several of our friends and has already done a great job with our engagement photo. We're considering videography but haven't made a decision yet. Rutsen Eagle and Katie Doner of Eagle Eye Photography are covering our rehearsal dinner. They also took pictures at our engagement party. Everyone was raving about them at the party! They were awesome!

Style: Tell us about the cake.

Catherine: It's going to be a traditional 3 or 4-tiered chocolate cake with white icing. We're not having a groom's cake.

Style: Speaking of food, how's the menu shaping up?

Catherine: Great! Silver Spoon Catering is doing a fabulous job helping us. We'll have heavy hors d'hourves and cooking stations.

Style: What's in store for the reception?

Catherine: An open bar and the Motown band, Casper, at the Tuckahoe Woman's Club. The band was one of the first things I booked because I wanted to be sure everyone had a good time at the reception.

Style: What are you and Bill doing to make the wedding special for you and your guests?

Catherine: After the ceremony and the formal photographs, Bill and I are joining the wedding party for a trolley ride to the reception. It'll be a nice way to enjoy some time together. Bill and I have also picked out songs for our first and last dances that have special meaning to us. I'm also thinking about taking some dance lessons with Bill and my dad so we can surprise everyone on the dance floor.

Style: As your wedding draws nearer, are you spending more or less time preparing for it?

Catherine: More! I'm also making plans to move to Atlanta, which includes buying a house and changing jobs, and being in three other weddings — all before Thanksgiving! It's a little hectic right now, but I'm having so much fun too.

Style: Do you have any advice for other couples who are at this stage of the wedding planning?

Catherine: Enjoy it! At the end of the day, no one will remember what color your flowers were or what songs they heard. They're there to celebrate your marriage and that's whats important.



Lindsey and Tripp's Plans



Style: It's been awhile since we last spoke. How is everyone holding up?

Lindsey: So far, so good!

Style: Describe your wedding.

Lindsey: Pretty relaxed and fun as we're having an outdoor ceremony at The Homestead. We want our guests to make a vacation of it, so we're planning parties, a golf tournament and special activities that will take place throughout the weekend. Many of our guests will be traveling from out of town, so we want to make this an enjoyable destination for them.

Style: Do you have your dress?

Lindsey: I actually got it in December at Saks on a trip to New York. It should be in by June, so I'm very excited!

Style: Are the rest of the wedding party's outfits coming together?

Lindsey: Yes. The bridesmaids' dresses have been ordered from Saeyoung Vu Couture, which has an amazing bridal shop in Washington, DC. We went with hot pink strapless, tea-length gowns that have bright orange sashes. Tripp and his groomsmen will wear tan colored suits from Peter Blair. We're still working on their ties.

Style: Have the invitations been sent?

Lindsey: Not yet. They've been ordered and will go out in June. We did send our Save-the-Date cards out in March so our guests will have enough time to make their travel plans.

Style: Have you and Tripp set up a wedding website for your guests?

Lindsey: No, we didn't think it was necessary.

Style: Have you decided on the flowers?

Lindsey: Pretty much, I'm working with Natalie Easterly of Flowers by Natalie. I've told her the colors and we've discussed some ideas; she does beautiful work so I'm not worried! She's been really helpful, even going to The Homestead with us for a site check that has generated a lot of great ideas we're considering.

Style: Have you selected a photographer?

Lindsey: Yes, Bill and Anne Holland of Holland Photo Arts in Charlottesville. They're wonderful and extremely helpful. They even came to Richmond to meet with us. We've decided on a photojournalistic approach because it's able to capture a lot of the details and important moments that most brides and grooms don't get a chance to notice on their wedding day.

Style: Tell us about the cake.

Lindsey: The Homestead's going to make it. We have one that we're leaning towards, but we haven't made a final decision. I haven't decided about a groom's cake yet.

Style: Speaking of food, how's the menu shaping up?

Lindsey: We're going with comfort food that will be served in a warm and relaxed setting.

Style: What's in store for the reception?

Lindsey: After dinner, our guests will go into the Crystal Room, my favorite room at the Homestead, where an open bar and the band, Liquid Pleasure, will be waiting. Jack Shannon of East Coast Entertainment was really wonderful in helping us select the band. Tripp and I told him what type of music we wanted and based on this, Jack made arrangements for us to listen to bands we should consider.

Style: What are you and Tripp doing to make the wedding special for you and your guests?

Lindsey: Since we're having a destination wedding and everyone's staying at the same hotel for a few days, they'll be plenty of opportunities for all of us to spend some time together and enjoy ourselves.

Style: As your wedding date nears, are you spending more or less time preparing for it?

Lindsey: Definitely more. Now that all the big decisions have been made, the details are starting to snowball.

Style: Do you have any advice for other couples who are at this stage of the wedding planning?

Lindsey: Don't sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you're married and, chances are, no one is even going to notice the details that you are worrying about.



Kara and Mac's Plans



Style: It's been awhile since we last spoke. How is everyone holding up?

Kara: We're still really excited. Now that a lot of the decisions have been made, I feel more on top of things.

Style: Describe your wedding.

Kara: A tropical theme on the beach.

Style: Do you have your dress?

Kara: Yes, I ordered it locally. It's a very simple, yet elegant strapless, full-length ivory gown that is tiered from the waist down. It's gorgeous yet still practical for walking on the beach.

Style: Are the rest of the wedding party's outfits coming together?

Kara: We already have the bridesmaids' long, flowing turquoise gowns. While we haven't ironed all of the details about what Mac and his groomsmen will wear, we're getting there.

Style: Have the invitations been sent?

Kara: No, but the Save-the-Date cards have. Since our wedding takes place on a holiday weekend and it's out of town, we really wanted to give people plenty of time to make arrangements so they can attend.

Style: Have you and Mac set up a wedding website for your guests?

Kara: No. I know that they're convenient for guests, but I'm not that high-tech with the computer.

Style: Have you decided on the flowers?

Kara: Something tropical, like stargazer lilies, which the bridesmaids will carry. We'll decorate the tables and the wedding and reception areas with them to add a tropical feel to the day.

Style: Have you selected a photographer?

Kara: Yes, we're using a local photographer that our site's wedding coordinator recommended. She's doing a great job coordinating these details for us from afar. I'm not really worried since whatever happens that day, it's more about my friends and family witnessing the ceremony than the details. The details are nice, but the wedding is the real reason we're bringing everyone together.

Style: Tell us about the cake.

Kara: It'll be an all white, tiered cake that is decorated with flowers like those carried by the bridesmaids. We're not having a groom's cake.

Style: Speaking of food, how's the menu shaping up?

Kara: It's coming along. Mac's working on it because he's a self-proclaimed connoisseur of food.

Style: What's in store for the reception?

Kara: A beach backdrop with food, an open bar and a Motown band.

Style: What are you and Mac doing to make the wedding special for you and your guests?

Kara: The whole wedding is very special to us. I'm heading down the week before to help finalize everything and to make sure our plans don't get down to the wire.

Style: As your wedding draws nearer, are you spending more or less time preparing for it?

Kara: More time. My upcoming bachelorette party will be a welcome distraction!

Style: Do you have any advice for other couples who are at this stage of the wedding planning?

Kara: Pick your battles and get everything done as early as possible. As the day gets closer, there's not much room for error.

Be sure to look for an update on these couples' weddings in the next issue of BridalStyle!





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