Weddings

When Their Wedding Plans Were Put on Hold, This Couple Eloped at the Goodstone Inn

Meredith Mommers and Christopher Reynold exchanged vows on May 16 with their families watching on Zoom.

Meredith Mommers, a lawyer originally from Roscoe, Illinois, and Christopher Reynolds, a sales professional from Richmond, were set up on a blind date by mutual friends. They arranged a date at Bar Deco, and Chris, who got there first, texted Meredith to tell her he was “the first person at the bar when you walk in.” When Meredith arrived, she walked up to the first guy she saw “….who was not Chris,” she says. “Chris saw the whole thing! We laughed and I quickly [noticed] how easy he is to talk to, and his great sense of humor.” About his first impression of Meredith, Christopher says he thought Meredith was “beautiful, intelligent, and someone you could be yourself with–even on a first date.” The date was a success and the two got to know one another over gin and tonics.

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They dated for about two-and-a-half years when Chris joined Meredith towards the end of a business trip in Europe. When Meredith’s work commitments were finished, they traveled the Amalfi coast, where they met up with friends.

“On our first night in Positano, Chris proposed on our balcony overlooking the sunset over the Mediterranean,” says Meredith. “We met up with our friends for a champagne toast over oysters at Le Sirenuse, which had been on our bucket list of places to visit. It was during the trip that we decided that it was only fitting that the friends who were there with us during our engagement be our officiant and groomsman! Although we had to postpone our wedding, they were with us the day we eloped.”

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Meredith and Chris were engaged for eleven months, with their sights set on marrying at the Inn at Perry Cabin–the resort at which they were staying the year before when they first discussed getting married. Due to the pandemic, they ultimately had to pause the planning and postpone their wedding, but as their original wedding date grew closer, they decided that, says Meredith, “although so many things remain uncertain right now–including our new wedding date–the one thing we didn’t want to postpone was making a commitment to one another.” With just a few weeks notice, they say they started making calls and working with their planner, Pam of Pamela Barefoot Events, to put together the details of an elopement at the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, Virginia. “Pam has been with us every step of the way during our wedding planning and postponement,” says Meredith, “and knows our taste and what is important to us. She has an eye for detail and upped the wow factor in so many ways. The cake and table setting were a complete surprise and took my breath away when I walked up the hilltop to where we had dinner.” Also a bit of a surprise? The florals! “I sent a picture of my dress to Amaryllis and they picked flowers from their farm,” Meredith says. “They couldn’t have been a more perfect compliment to the day.”

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When the couple set out to plan their elopement, it was important to them that the day share some of the elements of the wedding they had planned: “a beautiful outdoor landscape, spring flowers, gourmet food and a wedding cake, our family (via Zoom) and a photographer to capture the moments we couldn’t share in person with friends and family.”

For the ceremony, Meredith surprised Chris with Tiffany’s wedding bands to exchange. “We had purchased wedding bands that were still at the jeweler’s when DC shut down,” Meredith explains. “I decided to surprise Chris with wedding bands by calling Tiffany’s, who overnighted them to me.  I was worried he would figure it out, but it was his turn to be surprised by a ring!”

 

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After the ceremony, the newlyweds dined on steak (for Meredith) and salmon (for Chris), which were plated in advance to maintain social distancing, and sipped Moscow Mules (that were also pre-made and preserved in shaker). For dessert, they enjoyed a white cake with buttercream frosting from Buttercream Bakeshop.

Meredith says her favorite detail from the day are actually the photos. “Elisa captured the excitement and emotion we felt that day in such a natural way. Her photos allow us to share all of the special moments with the people we love who could not be with us that day.”

Following the elopement, the couple stayed at the St. Regis in DC, where, Meredith says, “they made us feel like honeymooners with a beautiful suite and a small wedding cake!” Their original honeymoon, planned to South Africa and the Seychelles, is still in the works, but currently on hold..

 

The Details:

Photography:  Elisa Bricker | Venue: The Goodstone Inn | Planning & Design: Pamela Barefoot Events and Design | Florist: Amaryllis Floral and Event Design
Stationery: Emily Baird Design | Catering: The Goodstone Inn | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Makeup Artist: Tutorial by Mimi B Tran
Bride’s Attire: Dolce & Gabbana gown from Neiman Marcus; Alexandre Birman shoes | Groom’s Attire: Ted Baker suit from Nordstrom| Rentals: Emerson James Rental | Officiant: Bill Cochran from Say I Do Your Way

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Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.