A Botanical-Themed Fall Wedding in Virginia

meg nick wedding couple
Photo: Elisa Bricker

This poolside reception was bursting with luscious flowers and elegant greenery.

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Meg and Nick

meg nick wedding couple hug
Elisa Bricker

Nick Barnicle and Meg Carrigan had a clumsy start to their relationship. The former catcher for the Georgetown University baseball team attended an athletic alumni dinner in February 2014, where he won a raffle for a team-signed baseball. As Nick left the event, he bumped right into Meg Carrigan, whose father also played catcher for the same team decades prior. Nick's commemorative ball crashed to the floor in its case. "People were staring, picking up the pieces of shattered plastic, and looking for the ball," he says. "I looked up and there she was. Wow." The pair struck up a conversation later in the evening, when they both serendipitously ended up at the local watering hole, leading to the start of a whirlwind romance.

A little more than a year after, Nick—an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of a television and film company called Prospect Productions—decided to pop the question at Meg's family farm in Virginia. But upon arrival at the farm, Meg's father gave them a list of manual chores, like stacking wood and checking the fireplace for snakes. "We're sweating, it's hot, we're worried about snakes, and I have this ring burning a hole in my pocket," says Nick. "But I go for it anyway. 'Play the schedule' as they say." Meg said yes, and the couple celebrated with tears, laughter, Champagne, and family. According to Meg, a New-York based digital creative producer who works with Tory Burch and Tory Sport, "Nick told me we were going to get married the night we met. I didn't quite believe him, but I'm happy he was right."

Flash forward to the fall of 2016, the Brooklyn-based couple tied the knot in two separate weddings. They first had a small Catholic ceremony with about 15 family members on Friday, October 21, 2016, at Georgetown University's Copley Crypt Chapel. Then, on Saturday, October 22, about 120 guests gathered the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, Virginia, for a larger gathering filled with lush greenery and botanical touches. The venue is sentimental, since Meg grew up horseback riding in the area, and fit their desired wedding aesthetic of "Virginia Hunt Country meets South of France."

But the best part of having two separate celebrations? "Marrying Nick twice in one weekend," says the happy bride.

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The Invitations

meg nick wedding invite
Elisa Bricker

Illustrator and calligrapher Stephanie Fishwick created the couple's bespoke invitations. "Using botanicals as the foundation for the invite, we worked together to incorporate jeweled insects, fly fishing lures (Nick loves the sport), protea and dogwood flowers (the latter being the state flower of Virginia), and other flora to create the most luscious and whimsical invitation suite," says Meg. The stationery was rounded out with designs by Katie Fischer Design, who also relied on botanical elements to create a cohesive presentation for all of the big day's paper elements.

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The Welcome Boxes

meg nick wedding welcome box inside
Elisa Bricker

With the help of Marigold and Grey, custom welcome gifts were created for the guests. The pine wood boxes were filled with Perrier, Champagne, sweet and salty treats, hand-painted cookies with protea flower decorations, and Advil.

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The Attire

meg nick wedding couple
Elisa Bricker

The groom sported a navy Isaia suit with a faint checked pattern, a botanical print tie from Salvatore Ferragamo, and Alden shoes. Meg wore a Stella McCartney dress, which she bought while shopping with her mom in New York City. "Stella McCartney has always been a favorite of mine, and while in her Soho boutique, I asked if they had any white dresses. As it happened, they had one, with one size left. I ended up walking out with my wedding dress that day," she says. Meg completed the look with diamond studs, a ruby and diamond insect brooch pinned at her waist, and a classic ponytail styled by Colin McCarthy.

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Statement Shoes

meg nick wedding shoes
Elisa Bricker

Meg paired the dress with blush-colored satin heels from Stella McCartney, which featured a chunky wooden heel covered in crystals. "They were sort of business in the front, party in the back," she says of her choice of footwear.

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The Rings

meg nick wedding rings
Elisa Bricker

For the engagement ring, Nick worked with Boston-based jeweler Donna DePrisco to design a diamond eternity band. Then, on the morning of the wedding, Nick surprised Meg with a second one, "which he made clear covered him jewelry-wise for the next decade," says Meg.

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The Bouquet

meg nick wedding bouquet
Elisa Bricker

Isha Foss Design created Meg's bouquet using king protea, juliet garden roses, cafe au lait and burgundy dahlias, thistle, astrantia, grevillea foliage, gunni and silver dollar eucalyptus, filbert foliage, and acacia foliage.

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Polished Pins

meg nick wedding pins
Elisa Bricker

Nick and Meg opted out of having a wedding party, but they still wanted the men in their families to stand out. They gifted each one a vintage lapel pin with a dogwood bloom in honor of the location.

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Motherly Love

meg nick wedding mom
Elisa Bricker

Meg's mom Sherry wore a chic top and ball skirt from Neiman Marcus paired with Jimmy Choo heels. "They've been married for almost 40 years," Meg says of her parents. "I think their example alone is better than any words of wisdom one could give."

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The Ceremony Set-Up

meg nick wedding ceremony arch
Elisa Bricker

The Goodstone Inn, a countryside estate located off a winding road in the heart of Virginia Hunt Country, provided a naturally stunning backdrop for a wedding. "Our ceremony took place in front of the wisteria-covered ruins of the estate's original neoclassical stone mansion, which burned down in the early 1900s," says Meg. The couple stood under a makeshift arch, which is actually the mansion's main doorway that leads to an outdoor pool.

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Artsy Arrangements

meg nick wedding ceremony flowers
Elisa Bricker

Given the beauty of the venue, Meg and Nick opted to keep flowers to a minimum. Still, they adorned their ceremony site with arrangements that matched the bride's bouquet and included king protea, dahlias, grevillea foliage, and gunni and silver dollar eucalyptus. "I really wanted the greenery and floral elements to feel super organic but with interesting texture," says Meg.

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The Processional

meg nick wedding dad
Elisa Bricker

At 4:30 p.m., the Sage String Quartet kicked off the ceremony by playing the National Anthem, as a nod to Nick's love of baseball. Meg's dad walked her down the aisle to "Nessun Dorma."

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Sentimental Readings

meg nick wedding reading
Elisa Bricker

The ceremony included two readings: Nick's younger brother Tim read lyrics from Bruce Springsteen's classic love ballad "If I Should Fall Behind," and Meg's dad recited his favorite Robert Frost poem, "The Master Speed." In fact, Frost wrote the poem for his own daughter on her wedding day.

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The Recessional

meg nick wedding recessional
Elisa Bricker

After reciting traditional vows, Meg and Nick recessed up the aisle to "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles.

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Cocktail Hour

meg nick wedding lounge
Elisa Bricker

After the short ceremony, guests gathered around the venue's heated outdoor pool for cocktail hour. "Since the ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and dancing were all very centralized in and around the pool, we wanted to create more intimate lounge areas," says Meg. Rentals provided by Paisley & Jade and AFR included green velvet couches and chairs, vintage rugs, Moroccan poufs, wicker peacock chairs, and side tables with gold and brass accents. Candles and throw blankets gave the space a comfortable and inviting appeal.

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The Escort Cards

meg nick wedding flutes
Elisa Bricker

In place of traditional escort cards, Katie Fischer Design created name tags for each guest that were attached to bubbling glasses of Champagne.

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The Reception

meg nick wedding reception tables
Elisa Bricker

The reception took place at 6:30 p.m. around the pool. A clear tent adorned with garlands kept guests warm amidst the brisk October weather. Meg and Nick worked with the award-winning chef at the Goodstone Inn to create their menu. "A party with limited food and drink is a cardinal sin in my book," Meg says. So they decided on fresh and seasonal fare: a soup trio with wild mushroom soup, butternut squash bisque, and corn chowder; an arugula and apple salad with shaved fennel, asiago cheese, and bourbon candied pecans in a lemon vinaigrette; seared scallops on parmesan polenta; and braised short ribs with fall risotto and sautéed spinach.

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The Table Settings

meg nick wedding placesetting
Elisa Bricker

Forty-foot tables covered with crisp white linens, garlands, greenery, and white tea lights set the scene for the reception. Bamboo chairs made everything feel even more organic. Isha Foss created the garlands with Salal leaves, baby blue and silver dollar eucalyptus, and Grevillea foliage. Katie Fischer Design created custom menus, which doubled as place cards atop the vintage-style plates.

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Making a Splash

meg nick wedding pool
Elisa Bricker

During his toast, Nick's brother Colin decided to dive into the pool, fully clothed and in his cowboy boots, to give the newlyweds a hug. "It was actually a highlight for both of us," says Meg.

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Delectable Desserts

bridal shower food table
Elisa Bricker

Buttercream Bake Shop in Washington, D.C., created all desserts for the reception. According to Meg, they "surprised us with these gorgeous sugar cookies decorated with jeweled scarab beetles and protea flowers, inspired by Stephanie's illustrations." The couple also served macarons and a variety of other sweets.

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meg nick wedding couple formal
Elisa Bricker

Photography, Elisa Bricker

Location and Catering, Goodstone Inn

Event Planning, Sara Bauleke of Bella Notte

Flowers, Isha Foss Design

Videography, Toy Box Productions

Stationery, Stephanie Fishwick (invitation illustration and calligraphy); Katie Fischer (printing and design)

Cake and Dessert, Buttercream Bake Shop

Music, Sage String Quartet (ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner); The National Reserve (reception)

Rentals, AFR (cocktail hour lounge furniture); Paisley & Jade (cocktail hour lounge furniture); La Tavola (linens); Party Rental Ltd. (linens, plates); Capital Party Rental (tent); United Metro Golf Cart (golf carts)

Bride's Gown, Stella McCartney

Bride's Shoes, Stella McCartney

Hair, Colin McCarthy

Groom's Suit, Isaia

Groom's Accessories, Salvatore Ferragamo tie; Alden shoes

Lighting, John Farr Lighting Design

Transportation, Reliable Limousine

Sound, Potomac Sound

Welcome Baskets, Marigold & Grey

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