Weddings

This Sweet Virginia Wedding Was Planned in Just Six Months

When we first laid eyes on Laura Manley and Nathan Bryan’s gorgeous rustic wedding at Rixey Manor, we were surprised to learn that they pulled off this beautiful day in just over six months. But with the help of loved ones, they brought the celebration together and filled it with many personal touches, many of which were captured by Sarah Houston Photography in the photos below.

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Laura and Nathan were both participating in Relay for Life at Virginia Tech, an all-night track walkathon that raises money to fight cancer. Though they were both walking with separate groups of friends, when Laura noticed Nathan walking behind her, she decided to strike up a conversation with the handsome stranger. They ended up hanging out through the rest of the event, both surprised by how much they already liked each other. The next day, Laura invited Nathan to hear her sing in a talent show, after which they continued getting to know one another over coffee and ice cream.

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Laura and Nathan were both participating in Relay for Life at Virginia Tech, an all-night track walkathon that raises money to fight cancer. Though they were both walking with separate groups of friends, when Laura noticed Nathan walking behind her, she decided to strike up a conversation with the handsome stranger. They ended up hanging out through the rest of the event, both surprised by how much they already liked each other. The next day, Laura invited Nathan to hear her sing in a talent show, after which they continued getting to know one another over coffee and ice cream.
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Six years later, Nathan was on vacation with Laura at her family’s beach house. They woke at sunrise and walked out onto the beach, and it was there that Nathan asked her to be his wife.

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They planned the wedding quickly, in just over six months’ time, at Virginia’s Rixey Manor. The night before the wedding, Laura and Nathan set out musical instruments and spent the evening jamming with family. “That night really set the tone for the entire wedding weekend,” says Laura. “It was spontaneous, fun, and filled with family.”

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The wedding was brought together with many family members’ contributions: a cousin did Laura’s hair and makeup, the groom’s sister made the cake, and a cousin also sang the first dance song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. In lieu of favors, Laura and Nathan made donations to Finley’s Green Leap Forward and Make-A-Wish Foundation. After an evening of celebrating with loved ones, the happy couple departed into the summer night under a shower of sparklers.

VENDORS

Venue: Rixey Manor | Photographer: Sarah Houston Photography | Bride’s Gown: J. Crew | Groom’s Attire: Tommy Hilfiger | Hair & Makeup Artist: Family Member of the Couple | Event Coordinator: Isadora Martin-Dye, Rixey Manor | Cake: Family Member of the Couple | Florist: Family Member of the Couple | Caterers: Clearwater Catering | Videographer: Wedit | Music/Entertainment: DJ Lauren Bobby | Invitations: Michaels

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.