THE BRIDAL PARTY
When Amanda Kimbrough Miller and James Monte Ford Jr. met in January 2009, she was in her first year of working as a nurse, and he helped train her at the VCU Medical Center Evans-Haynes Burn Center. The pair spent a lot of time in professional settings that year, and the following year they celebrated their joint birthday (Jan. 6) together. Amanda, who had been harboring a crush, surprised Monte with a kiss, and they were instantly an item.
Monte proposed on Aug. 19, 2011, at the Jefferson Hotel, an evening originally designed to celebrate Amanda’s first day of graduate school. Wedding planning followed. Amanda and Monte’s Aug. 4, 2012, wedding was almost derailed, though. A lack of communication from the venue that the bride-to-be had chosen was giving her uneasy feelings. Monte did some research and discovered that the business was going bankrupt. Enter Castle Hill Cider. Wedding planner Colleen Cook of CCS Events turned the couple on to the site.
The ceremony was held outside under four European Linden trees, with the 125 guests seated in rented church pews. “I wanted the ceremony to feel sacred like we were in a church, yet be outside because being out in nature is spiritual to me,” Amanda says.
Harpist Virginia Schweninger played songs throughout, including Etta James’ “At Last,” and a flutter of butterflies was released once the couple was pronounced man and wife.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour on the lawn with watermelon bellinis and caramel apple martinis. Later, inside the barn area, guests were served a full dinner that included lamb shanks, salad, family-style sides and wine.
The reception was decorated with romantic Southern touches, including lace table overlays and chair covers made by Monte’s mom. To incorporate Amanda’s love for horses, the couple painted horseshoes as table numbers.
After the wedding, Amanda and Monte, who live in Richmond’s Northside, celebrated their new life together in Kauai, Hawaii.
Photos Abi Q Photography
Ceremony / Reception Castle Hill Cider
Hair and Makeup Avenue42
Catering Catering by Jill
Reception Band The Heartbeat of Soul
Wedding Planner Colleen Cook of CCS Events
Cake Tiffany Pajic