When Coastal Virginia Meets English Garden

If you've followed our editor-in-chief Chelsea and Robert's love story in the last almost two years, then you know what a feat this intimate wedding picnic was here in Hampton Roads! Under the travel ban preventing non-U.S. citizens from entering the country during the pandemic, Robert (aka Mr. B) wasn't allowed into the States, so a Virginia wedding could never even be an option for them. So with the loophole of visiting as the legal spouse of a U.S. citizen, a second, more low-key wedding celebration for Chelsea's American loved ones in the form of a casual chic picnic was to take place. With ESTAs canceled/reinstated, Delta variant on the rise, flights canceled/rebooked, and navigating COVID-19 test requirements for two countries, it was a journey and is the perfect reason why hiring solid wedding professionals you trust is of the utmost importance. The unexpected in unprecedented times is always guaranteed to happen!

Photographed by Dani White Photography and coordinated by Antonia Christianson Events, the theme was "Coastal Virginia meets English Garden" and this creative team knew exactly how to pull it all off at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center in Williamsburg! With picnic tables and the historic ambiance already provided, Cuisine created a delicious 100% gluten-free British and Virginian inspired menu with a charcuterie station of sweet potato biscuits, chutneys, hand pies, and more alongside passed appetizers of British sausage rolls, Chesapeake Bay crab, and watermelon popsicles. Palette of Petals designed floral centerpieces with coastal-inspired wooden boxes overflowing in floral textures that mirrored the quintessential English garden aesthetic, and to help connect their two transatlantic events, photos from Chelsea and Robert's UK special day decorated the tables on top of Waterford Event Rentals' linens.

Pandemic safety and accessibility were important to the happy couple to help their nearest and dearest feel comfortable and cared for while having a great time, so they provided cute personalized face masks for those who wanted one, hand sanitizer stations in different areas, an open air photo booth by DCPG Photography (where Queen Lizzie even makes an appearance!), and plenty of outdoor space for people to move around in.

With a color palette of dusty blue, pinks, and grays, it was a team effort of DIY projects by the couple and friends, picnic blanket vignettes styled with pillows from Mad Hatter Vintage Rentals, bumblebee emblems, their kitty Miss Pickles Barrington cameos, lawn games provided by friends (also Robert's new American favorite: cornhole!), the most yummy triple chocolate gluten-free cake by Kadi Bakes, and even signage from High Oak and Co. -- Chelsea and Robert's own UK shop!

Above all, Chelsea says, "My loved ones finally got to forget about the pandemic heaviness for a few hours and also meet the guy who was worth moving across an ocean for. I'm sure they were glad to see me again, but let's be real, I know they just wanted to listen to Mr. B talk with his accent! Fair enough, really."

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You can also read more of Chelsea and her Mr. B's love story on Belle the Magazine. Their UK wedding day hasn't been published yet, but we will update this when it does!

Photography: Dani White Photography | Event Planning: Antonia Christianson Events | Venue: Freedom Park Interpretive Center via James City County Parks & Recreation | Florals: Palette of Petals | Catering: Cuisine | Linens: Waterford Event Rentals | Signage: High Oak and Co. via Etsy | Rentals: Mad Hatter Vintage Rentals | Photo Booth: DCPG Photography | Wedding Cake: Kadi Bakes | Photo Booth Props & Lawn Games: DIY by Friends | Digital Invitations: Greenvelope | Chocolate Favors: Chocolates Unlimited via Etsy | Custom Face Masks: For Your Party via Etsy

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