This Elegant, Floral-Forward Micro Wedding in Virginia Came Together in Just Eight Weeks
Roxanne Irani, the founder of BAM Snacks, and Brad Manning, the co-founder of Two Blind Brothers, met at a joint birthday party for their mutual friends in New York City in April of 2017; they became an item shortly thereafter. A few years later, in February 2020, the duo was vacationing in St. John when Brad popped the question. His future wife happily said yes—and the two immediately began putting plans together for a destination wedding for the following year, in January 2021. COVID-19, which struck the country just days after Brad's proposal, had other plans. "Thankfully, we were very early on in the process when we decided that a January 2021 destination wedding was unlikely," Roxanne shares.
After a few months of noncommittal planning, the couple decided that they wanted to be married sooner rather than later, so they began preparing for their small, private wedding with just immediate families in attendance on September 19, 2020. "We had to act fast. We knew the wedding needed to be outside to be as safe as possible, and with the fall and cold weather around the corner, we didn't want to risk anything by waiting," Brad tells us.
By August, the pair had hired Taz Greer, their event planner, and landed on the private residence in Keswick, Virginia, where they were quarantining as a venue. They spent six weeks curating their entirely outdoor wedding, inspired by lush florals with a color palette of blush rose, dusty mauve, peach, champagne, gold, ginger, ivory, taupe, and sage green. They invited just family: a grand total of 22 guests. Roxanne has this piece of advice for brides and grooms navigating a similar landscape: "Just because it's small doesn't mean you can't wear the wedding dress you want or have the ceremony and party you expected," she says.
Brad and Roxanne sent out digital invitations right away to ensure their families were aware of their date, but it was important to them to send out paper suites, too; these featured a ginger-colored envelope, white card stock, and hand calligraphy in a rust-pink. The envelopes were lined with a pattern seen on the digital invites for a cohesive touch.
The Groom's Look
The groom went with a classic black tuxedo and bow tie from Suit Supply. His cuff links, from Reines Jewelers, were a gift Roxanne; his watch was a present from the bride's father. Roxanne's grandfather had given her father, his son-in-law, a watch on the day of his wedding, so it has become a tradition. The men wore boutonnières featuring mostly ivory blooms, including spray roses, dendrobium orchid blooms, abelia, hellebores, and seeded eucalyptus.
A First Look with Dad
Roxanne saw Brad for the first time that day as she walked down the aisle, but she shared a special first look with her father. "It was a very special moment," Roxanne remembers. "We both were emotional."
A Globe-Trotting Gown
When Roxanne began planning her original celebration, she began researching Israeli designers and fell in love with an Alon Livné lace wedding dress. "Ironically, this was the first dress I had ever looked at! I had only seen it online but fell in love and nothing I saw in person compared," she says. She purchased the custom-made dress sight unseen just five weeks before the big day—and it arrived just in time. "Because of COVID-19, there were no direct flights, so the dress was stuck in security in Israel, then went to Budapest, and then was stuck in customs in Louisville, Kentucky," Roxanne explains. "My bridal consultant Sandra was my saving grace. She worked her magic to get the dress expedited through a two-day custom check-in in Louisville. I'm so thankful!"
Tons of Texture
Roxanne held a gathered bouquet with varying textures in peach, blush, and ivory tones. The arrangement featured Distant Drum, Alabaster, and Princess Aiko garden roses; Majolica and Romantica Follies spray roses; hellebores; and abelia.
The duo admits that one of the hardest parts of the planning process was making sure their 22 guests were quarantining, staying safe, and getting COVID-19 tests ahead of time—along with setting up the day-of seating arrangements. "We had a very small, immediate-family-only wedding—but I wanted everyone to feel comfortable," the bride says. On site, they offered loved ones masks and hand sanitizer and made sure their vendors took precautions along the way, too.
A Floral Arbor
According to the couple's planner, Taz Greer, Roxanne's number-one design priority was a lush floral arbor for the ceremony. The arch incorporated blooms in hues of pink, champagne, and ivory. "To mirror the arbor, we added trailing greenery with a touch or flowers to the columns that framed the start of the aisle," Taz says, adding that the walkway was lined with organic arrangements in mossy flower boxes. Chairs were arranged with social distancing in mind.
Here Comes the Bride
Roxanne's father walked her down the aisle as a string quartet played "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles. "The moment I walked down the aisle, with all my closest family surrounding me, and saw my husband-to-be, I burst into happy tears," the bride says.
All in the Family
The bride's cousin officiated the service, which incorporated a few special readings and quotes; the duo exchanged vows as their families looked on.
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the pair joyfully recessed back up the aisle.
A shallow pool, embellished with greenery, pillar candles, and floating flowers, was the focal point of the cocktail hour. Roxanne and Brad offered two signature cocktails: Bloody Mary shooters (a drink they shared on their first date) and a spicy margarita, another favorite. Attendees also enjoyed a raw bar, cheese and charcuterie board, crab hush puppies, poke tuna, chicken tikka masala skewers, and veggie samosas.
Under the Lights
For the reception, one long dinner table lined with champagne silk linens was placed underneath a canopy of lights. The ceremony's Parisian-style cane-back chairs were repurposed for the party; they complemented the venue's architecture.
The table held several lush flower arrangements, composed of garden roses, cafe au lait dahlias, and abelia. Peach-toned pillar and taper candles, placed in etched hurricanes and glass cylinders, were mixed throughout.
At Each Setting
Place settings included Waterford crystal napkin rings that Roxanne purchased as a keepsake for the day; mixed vintage glassware; gold flatware; and stacked gold-rimmed dishware from Emerson James Rentals.
Time to Toast and Eat
To kick off the reception, Roxanne and Brad gave a special toast and followed their words with a painkiller shot. The aperitif is a St. John mainstay and nodded to the place of their engagement.
When the group was seated, each guest received a personalized, hand-calligraphed menu which told of the elegant three-course meal to come. It began with a grilled Caesar salad served in a Grana Padano cup, followed by a gluten-free Caprese pasta dish (using BAM Snacks black gram pasta); Roxanne is the company's founder. Main dish options included a dry-aged truffle beef tenderloin or seared Chilean sea bass.
The First Dance
Roxanne and Brad culled a playlist filled with their favorite songs; dancing took place underneath a covered porch in the event of rain. The pair shared their first dance to "The Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel. "Brad and I fell in love with the song the first time we heard it," Roxanne says. "It really spoke to our relationship and how we view love."
Cutting the Cake
The couple served a two-tiered strawberries-and-cream cake embellished with a single cafe au lait dahlia. The confection was set up in front of a fireplace that was decorated with flowers and trailing greens.
Roxanne and Brad also offered miniature cakes for each of their guests to take home and enjoy as a midnight snack. Flavors included carrot cake with salted caramel and vanilla cream cheese frosting and a chocolate buttermilk cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting and chocolate ganache.
At the end of the evening, the group gathered with sparklers as Roxanne and Brad were officially sent off into the night as husband and wife. The bride reflects on the celebration with incredible fondness: "There are many perks to a small wedding (no stress!) so you can truly enjoy your day. You can also enjoy being in the moment without having to say hi to hundreds of guests!"
Photography, Jen Fariello Photography
Videography, Peter Roeseller
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Taz Greer Events
Flowers, Southern Blooms by Pat's Floral Design
Invitations and Calligraphy, Arney Walker
Bride's Gown and Veil, Alon Livne; Mark Ingram Atelier
Hair and Makeup, Emily Artistry
Bride's Jewelry and Groom's Cuff Links, Reiness Jewelers
Groom's Suit, Suit Supply
Catering, The Catering Outfit