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STRONG A(TRACK)TION: The pair shared a kiss during an impromptu photo underneath the train tracks near Main Street Station. Smith wore a gray suit from Urban Set Groom, and Pierce’s maroon and gold suit (one of three colored suits he wore throughout the day) is from ASOS.
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HANKY PANKY: Pierce screen-printed by hand each invitation onto a vintage lace handkerchief.
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A LITTLE BIT LOUDER NOW: Pierce took a “deadpan selfie” with Richmond magazine Food Editor Stephanie Breijo while guests danced to “Shout” during the reception.
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CAMEO APPEARANCE: Pierce collected an array of vintage cameo brooches that he mixed and matched to decorate the lapels of his three suits.
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ROYAL COUPLE: The couple shared their first married kiss at the end of their ceremony while standing on Havana ’59’s third-floor deck.
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A ROOM OF QUIRKS: Pierce and Smith stayed at Quirk Hotel during their wedding weekend. Here, Smith was refining his vows in preparation for the ceremony.
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AMERICAN PIE: In lieu of cake, guests dined on peach, plum, pecan, pear and berry pies from WPA Bakery.
One could say that Michael-Birch Pierce and Anthony Smith were destined to be together, though it didn’t seem that way in the beginning. Pierce, a fashion designer and fiber artist who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Smith, a musician, teacher and musical director for theater, met 10 years ago through a friend Pierce was dating at the time. Three years later, they met again at a dinner party — this time, Pierce was single, but Smith had come with a date. A month later, Pierce worked up the courage to ask Smith out. After dating for six years, the pair became engaged while watching the Academy Awards in February 2015.
Envisioning an eclectic soiree in their beloved downtown Richmond, the creative couple chose the rooftop bar of Havana ’59 for their spring nuptials. Décor and floral choices followed a vintage tropical theme: Roses and ranunculus in soft pastel shades were combined with palm leaves and lush greenery. Pierce also incorporated Confederate jasmine as a nod to his time spent living in Savannah, Georgia — “to me, it’s the best smell in the world,” he says. The pair also used milk glass vases, vintage picture frames and trinkets from their home to set the scene.
A buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres including coconut shrimp, pork morsels, beef empanadas, plantain fritters, and crab and salmon cakes kept guests fueled. The couple’s signature drink was a classic mojito — “Havana ’59 has the best mojitos in town, and our guests enjoyed A LOT of them,” Pierce says.
The couple’s quirky relationship was reflected during a special moment in their ceremony. Pierce says he often jokingly sings “The Thanksgiving Song (Pass the Cranberry Sauce)” from the animated sitcom “Bob’s Burgers” to Smith, and he teased him about singing it during his vows. Unbeknownst to Pierce, Smith began reciting the lyrics to the song during his own vows. Pierce says,“I was completely surprised, and it was a really great, lighthearted moment.”
Catering: Havana ’59
Pies: WPA Bakery
Flowers: Amanda Burnette
DJ: Rudy Lopez
Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Christine Greenberg and Keneil Rainey (respectively), Wood Grain & Lace Events