Timeless Early Fall Wedding At Two Rivers Country Club

Not every bride has obsessed over every little detail of their wedding day since the day they were born, such is the case with Nicole Parkinson.  When her day came,  a stunning timeless wedding with classic details & chic execution took place all the same!  Nicole & Aaron Laurin found the perfect spot where two rivers, James River and Chickahominy River meet, celebrating along the banks at the Two Rivers Country Club.  Nicole has written for me perhaps one of the most honest & sweet Novella’s of the Bride yet, offering a wonderfully honest & genuine account of how she didnt already have every little detail picked out years before, how they had a quick engagement & how making decisions was not her strong suit. I adore Nicole for her forthright story, as I know the truth is that so many other brides go through exactly the same thing, and I truly hope that those brides read this and realize that there is still an absolutely gorgeous wedding at the other end of the rainbow all the same!  Allow the gorgeous florals of mixed blooms & petite leaves to enchant you and the chic minimal modern touches to encourage you!


Novella  of the Bride…

Wedding Buzzwords ~ Timeless, Traditional, Classic, Simple, & Elegant

I am a nurse in a pediatric emergency room at a Level I trauma center. My job is more than just a job for me. I love what I do and I love serving people and helping them in their time of need.  My job is very stressful. So I try to not do anything else that is stressful. I am a worrier and I care about how everyone else is feeling. Making the seating chart for the wedding reception was one of the worst things in the world because I wanted everyone to be happy!  I don’t like being the center of attention either. Aaron does landscaping, he works for a health system taking care of their grounds and also has his own business on the side. Aaron is laidback. We compliment each other perfectly in every way. We both love being outdoors. We have two Bluetick Coonhounds who are special needs dogs (one has idiopathic epilepsy and one has severe separation anxiety) who are like our children. No, seriously, I love my dogs. A bluetick coonhound is sort of the reason Aaron and I are together. So originally, I went to college to study Animal Science, I wanted to be a large animal veterinarian. I really like cows too. Anyways, so while I was working at a vet clinic here in my hometown on breaks from school, Aaron brought his Bluetick Coonhound, Holly, into the vet. I fell in love with this dog, and wanted my own. So a few months later, I ended up getting my own Bluetick Coonhound, Pepper.  Fast forward three years later, I had graduated college and had decided to pursue nursing. I was a waitress and bartender and Aaron and his friend came in one day. When I was closing out his tab, I recognized his name and asked him if he had a dog named Holly. He was little weirded out and told me that he used to but unfortunately she had passed. I quickly explained that I used to work at the vet clinic and I have a crazy good memory, and I wasn’t some crazy stalker. And then we started talking about the dogs and then other stuff and hit it off. We became Facebook friends and then the rest is history. We’ve been insanely busy the past year or so, I graduated nursing school last december, started two new jobs, we bought a house, got engaged, planned a wedding, adopted our second dog (the one with separation anxiety), and got married. Oh we got engaged April 16th, 2013 and got married November 9th, 2013. I wanted a short engagment, I work best under a time crunch. So we haven’t had much time to ourselves. We are thoroughly enjoying being married, especially since we don’t have much on our plate. We hope to start doing more of the things we love now.

It was very important for us to have a church ceremony. We are parishoners at St. Bede Catholic Church and wanted a Catholic wedding, so it was only fitting that we get married at the church we belong to. The William and Mary Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel used to be St. Bede Catholic Church until about 10 years ago when the newer church was built. So the Chapel was the church I grew up going to, and because of its age and character I preferred the Chapel over the newer church. As far as picking the reception place, the water has always been a happy place for me. I grew up boating and fishing, and taking family vacations to the lake. I’ve always appreciated the beauty of the waterfront and Aaron grew up on Lake Champlain, so it was only fitting that we had our reception at a venue on the riverfront. Its especially fitting because Two Rivers Country Club is where the James River and Chickahominy Rivers meet, so its somewhat symbolic of two lives coming together and the view is gorgeous!

Any time someone asked me what my theme was during planning, I just responded “I don’t know.” The only theme I can think of is “timeless, classic, and traditional”.  I just wanted my wedding to be memorable and timeless. I wanted it to be classic, elegant, and simple. I am not trendy. I like things that last.  I like older things, and things that have character. In my everyday life, I am drawn to things that are high in quality, have character, and will last. I buy my clothes and handbags in hopes that I can use them for years. I wanted my wedding to have this same sort of appeal. I wanted it to be timeless. Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, and Kate Middleton are fashion icons I love. I wanted my wedding to just reflect myself and my tastes. I love wine, hence the wine dip favors, wine bottles, and wine corks. I love fall, hence the fall looking centerpieces. I love the outdoors and nature, hence the natural looking centerpieces.  I wanted my colors to be soft and romantic.

First thing, I am not a party planner. I will never be a party planner. I never once dreamed about my wedding (until I started planning it and the nightmares started). I always wanted to get married and be a wife, but for some reason I never envisioned my wedding until I had to start planning it. So, how my wedding and reception ended up coming together so perfectly, I have no idea. I was so indecisive when it came to all the little details. Wedding planning overwhelmed me, and I tended to spontaneous make decisions just to check things off the list. I work as nurse, and I work night shift and made many of my appointments for mornings when I got off work. I made many decisions, like picking our ceremony music after being awake for more than 20 hours. I was nervous the weeks before the wedding because I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I had told Susan who was in charge of the flowers, “these are the colors I want”, “I want it to be simple, elegant, classic”, and  “I trust your judgement”.  I had a vague idea what my arrangements were going to look like. I could only hope that the decor in the reception was going to come together. And I think not really having an expectation was what really made it. I was blown away by how well everything came together and it was so much better than I could have ever imagined it to be. We chose our favors while we weer at a wine tasting in Aaron’s hometown. It was actually my moms idea. We were tasting the wine and they gave us samples of these wine dips and we thought it would be perfect since we had wine bottles as the table number holders and the wine corks for the placecard holders. Also I think the saying “champagne taste on a beer budget” totally describes my wedding planning process. We actually did a lot of things DIY (like I made all the place cards and table numbers on my computer, removed the labels from the wine bottles, and made the placecard holders out of wine corks). It also helped having a family friend do the flowers. So I got all the wine bottles at a wine festival for free simply by asking one of the vendors what they were going to do with all their empty bottles!

Bride’s Favorite Moment: “I don’t know how I could pick just one moment. Collectively, everything was my favorite, and I’m going to cherish every memory from that day. And since I’m extremely indecisive, I’m going to give you a few of my favorite moments. We had such a blast dancing the night away with all of our friends and family. Aaron and I had such a great time ourselves, but it was so worth it seeing all of our guests having fun as well, there was so much great energy at the reception. Another of my favorite moments was when we were taking our pictures on the riverfront, when it was just Aaron and I, I just remember being so happy. Like I said before, the water is my happy place, so standing their holding on to my husband (even though they were taking our pictures) is a moment I will never forget! So our DJ was amazing to work with and was all about throwing personal touches in, she worked with us to create little tidbits about each member of our bridal party for the grand entrance. One thing she made Aaron and I do, was fill out a little questionairre about our relationship and how we met and so on. So as we made our grand entrance, we stepped into the room and stood there while she read our love story that she had put together from our answers. She did an amazing job and it was clever, funny, and sweet. I remember looking over at Aaron, and he was crying! And that was one of my favorite moments too! Also, the father daughter dance was one of my favorites too. I am my daddy’s girl, always have been, always will. I made a little recording for him telling him how much I loved him. Our DJ mixed it with our father daughter dance song “Just Fishin” by Trace Adkins. So my little recording played right as we started dancing and brought my dad and I think everyone else in the room to tears!”

Vendor Love

Ceremony: William & Mary Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel  | Reception: Two Rivers Country Club  | Wedding Dress: La Sposa, From The Inspired Bride  | Bridesmaid Dresses: Sorella Vita, From The Inspired Bride  | Shoes: Nina  | Hair + Makeup: Kristal Lane  | Groom’s Attire: The Inspired Bride  | Invitations: Vista Print  | Transportation: Sand Shark Limo  | Music: Liz Daley  | Florist: Susan Dippre {Family Friend}  | CatererTwo Rivers Country Club  | Baker: Lorena Niculica {Family Friend}  | Photographer: Jen + Ashley Photography