Ryan & Despina | The Airlie Center, Virginia Garden Wedding Photographer
It’s not very often when I meet my couple for the first time the day of their wedding. Well, Sunday morning was my first time meeting Ryan and Despina, and it wasn’t long before these two became my new friends! Haha! They are one of the most appreciative, encouraging, loving and beautiful (inside and out!) couples I had the privilege of photographing. :) I’m not sure how they managed to plan a wedding in three months, but it was impressive seeing the vision come to life! Despina and Ryan reached out to me a couple months ago regarding their wedding day, and I knew these two were special just from our phone call. That gut feeling was correct because they left me smitten after Sunday night!
Looking through their detail photos, I cannot believe they managed to pull together a wedding with a beautiful, classy theme in such a short amount of time! Despina’s family comes from a small island in Greece, so they created their wedding details to capture some Grecian elements. I loved all of the golden leaf delicate details, from the garter to the boutonnieres.
Despina was just about ready to get into her one of a kind dress until she spotted her mom after hair and makeup. She immediately gasped and told her mom that she looked like a movie star! Everyone looked like Greek goddesses with the neutral-toned flowy dresses and gold leaf details in the hair! As soon as Despina got into her dress, Ryan’s little ones came in, and GOODNESS, those adorable kids looked like they were ready for Children Vogue! They wore the fluffiest, prettiest flower girl dresses, sparkly shoes, and gold leaf headbands to match the wedding party. Despina wasn’t even fully ready when she immediately ran over to the girls to give them hugs and help them get dressed. :) I love how both, Ryan and Despina, put their kids first!
Earlier that day, we were a little nervous about the weather because it seemed like the entire week was dreary, cold and wet. Sunday morning was chilly and cloudy, but as soon as the first look happened, the sun came out to shine on the celebration the remainder of the day for the first time in what seemed like a week! What a blessing. :) Speaking of the first look, these two know how to get me emotional! I felt every bit of love and admiration throughout their first look, and I was overcome by tears. At least I wasn’t the only one tearing up that day. ;) It was a very emotional day for many, especially during the ceremony, seeing the love shared between each other and of course, their children. After they declared and promised their love for one another, they were pronounced as husband and wife, and everyone cheered by throwing flower petals in the air! I love joyful moments like the ones below. :)
After we ran around the property taking photos, Ryan and Despina joined their guests at the reception to start the celebrating! Family and friends came from all over to be a part of this special day, and I know it meant the world to them! After dining with their guests and listening to the personal speeches given by Despina’s beautiful daughter and Ryan’s father, it was time to bust moves on the dance floor! I have to admit, there are a lot of photos of one little flower girl who literally bounced off walls throughout the reception, but gosh, she was a bundle of energy!!! I loved that they incorporated Greecian music and even did a traditional dance! So fun!!! When it was time for the sparkler exit, everyone cleared out, and Ryan and Despina came back inside to dance one last dance by themselves before leaving. It was sweet because while they danced, one of the flower girls leaned against the door admiring them dancing. It was as if she was watching a Disney movie with the smile she had on her face. :) Soon after, they were sent off with farewell wishes through the sparkler exit. Now, they don’t only have each other to have and to hold, but two families, now one. :)
A huge thank you to Ryan and Despina for having me on Sunday!! What a perfect day for your celebration! I’m so glad everything came together for you all after the sleepless nights of labor leading up to the big day! Your hard work paid off in a short amount of time! <3 You guys were literally a joy to be around and photograph. Such an honor!! Congratulations and enjoy a preview of my many favorites!!! XOXO!
Thanks to the wonderful vendor team:
Venue: Airlie Center in Warrenton, VA
Wedding Planner: Polly Planners
Hair: Hair by Melissa Elbert
Makeup: Jesse Sánchez
Florist: M & M Wedding Solutions
Baker: Haute Cakes Pastry Shop
DJ: Chris Styles DJs
Dress Designer: Elegance by Roya Bridal
Officiant: Loree Draude
Rentals: Main Street Weddings & Events