1 of 18
Photos by Katelyn James Photography
2 of 18
POP OF COLOR
Clare didn't want her colors to compete with the Bolling Haxall House's décor, so florist Janie Medley of Flora Design included minimal pops of color in the flowers.
3 of 18
4 of 18
5 of 18
The Rev. Charles Aiken performed the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church ceremony.
6 of 18
7 of 18
PRETTY IN PINK
The bride with her girls (left to right), Julienne Brown, Victoria Busey and Cristie Varvaro.
8 of 18
9 of 18
STRIKE A POSE
“I felt very strong about not spending a lot on a dress,” Clare says. Her $700 Mori Lee gown, which was nearly identical to a $4,000 Amsale she initially coveted, was ivory with a ruffled collar and buttons down the back.
10 of 18
11 of 18
12 of 18
13 of 18
Clare purchased this long veil on eBay because the one her mother wore during her own wedding was too short.
14 of 18
PLEASE BE SEATED
Guests enjoyed a brunch-themed dinner at long, family-style tables.
15 of 18
NEW YORK MINUTE
Matt and Clare assigned the table numbers as special places around Manhattan that they like to go.
16 of 18
17 of 18
Jean Jacques Bakery provided the wedding cake
18 of 18
There wasn’t a dry eye at the reception after Clare’s dad, Jefrey Brown, read a poem he wrote for his little girl on the night of her first birthday.
Matt Meneely knew his girlfriend, Clare Brown, was going to be difficult to surprise with an engagement.
The pair, who met during graduate school in Syracuse, N.Y., lived together in New York City, which made secrets difficult. So Matt waited for a day that Clare wouldn’t expect it —Valentine’s Day, her least favorite holiday. When he popped the question, Clare was indeed surprised.
Clare had experience planning events in New York City, so she knew how much that would cost.
Instead, the couple used their 16-month engagement to plan a wedding in Clare’s hometown of Richmond that fit their taste and budget. The June 2, 2012, nuptials were held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in the Fan, where Clare sang in the choir growing up. The ceremony itself was short and sweet and included some intimate details, such as readings by her sister and Matt’s brother. As a tribute to Matt’s work in the movie industry and the couple’s love of film, the wedding party walked down the aisle to the “Feather Theme Song” from Forest Gump.
Since Matt and Clare did a first-look photo shoot before the ceremony, they were able to jump right in and enjoy the cocktail hour with their guests at the reception. Then everyone dined on brunch for dinner. Clare is a big breakfast person, so White House Catering served some of her favorites, including chef-prepared pancakes, omelets, potatoes and steak.
The reception was decorated simply with white flowers (primarily baby’s breath) so as not to compete with the house's existing décor. Photos from both of their parents’ weddings were placed around the site. Clare’s parents had also wed on June 2 — 28 years prior.
In lieu of favors, the couple had a candy buffet for guests to take home treats. The table included Clare’s favorite gummy candies and Matt’s beloved chocolates. After the wedding, and before returning home to New York City, the couple honeymooned at a quiet resort in Mexico.
Photography Katelyn James Photography
Ceremony St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Reception Bolling Haxall House
Cake Jean Jacques Bakery
Florist Janie Medley of Flora Design