Memorable Moments 

Wedding Vendors Share Tales From the Field

Peggy Hudert, Wedding Coordinator
Valentine Richmond History Center

"Romance is alive and well at the Valentine History Richmond Center, where our fountain in the garden is a place of many wonderful beginnings. One couple met there while attending the outdoor wedding of mutual friends. When they decided to get married, they choose to include the fountain as part of their wedding. The officiant mentioned it during the ceremony. We also placed a temporary historical marker at the very spot where they met so that guests could visit it during the celebration.

They then lived happily ever after, as did another couple who were really taken with the fountain during a site tour. Later in the day, the man called to see if they could return to the site for a second visit. We were glad to accommodate them and when they returned, they went to the fountain where the gentleman got down on one knee and proposed. It was such a romantic moment - we were glad to help make it possible."

Dianne Lapkin, Owner

"Though mothers of the bride and groom are our specialty, our clothes make everyone who wears them look and feel special, not typical. A good example of this was a fashion show we did one fall for the residents of the Beth Sholom Home of Virginia. As part of the event, some of its residents modeled our clothes much to the delight of those in the audience. One gentleman in particular, who was in his eighties, was absolutely smitten when he saw his 70-something girlfriend modeling dresses on stage. When the show was over, he approached me and asked if they could come to the store so she could try on some more dresses for him. Though Freda was closed at the time, I agreed and off we went.

At Freda, the woman tried on some of our outfits, coming out of the dressing room each time to seek the gentleman's opinion. At one point she emerges absolutely radiant in a beautiful dress, to which her suitor responds by asking her if she would do him the honor of wearing it when she became his wife. After her joyous yes, we broke out the champagne, made a toast to the new couple and christened the dressing room she had been using "The Bridal Suite."

Rebecca D'Angelo, Photographer
Rebecca D'Angelo Photography/

Sometimes being in love means knowing when to let go, as photographer Rebecca D'Angelo learned first-hand at a wedding she was hired to shoot. "I was at the church with the bride, taking some pre-wedding photos of her getting ready when suddenly there was a knock at the door. The bride opens the door and standing there is a man in street clothes, shaking so uncontrollably that he has to lean on the person next to him for support. The bride takes one look at him, draws a deep breath and says 'No, no, no.' Given the circumstances, I immediately thought the man was a jilted suitor coming to win back the bride's hand like a scene straight from the movies.

Imagine my surprise when, a short time later, it becomes clear that the caller is not a lost love but the groom himself, coming to say he's changed his mind. I'm standing there with camera in hand, with everything unfolding so fast there's no time for me to make a discreet exit. When all is said and done, the two parted ways with the bride-to-be heading solo to the reception. I left, reminded that marriage is serious business and that things usually happen for a reason."



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