Vineyard Vows: Jennifer and Shane Shepherd
Married May 26, 2018, at Potomac Point Winery in Stafford
The couple: Jennifer Shepherd, 42, a certified zoning official for Prince William County; and Shane Shepherd, 50, a mission systems CM coordinator for General Dynamics in Arlington. They live in Manassas.
First date: Dogfish Head Alehouse in Falls Church
The wedding: May 26, 2018, at Potomac Point Winery in Stafford, Virginia
Number of guests: 140
The ceremony: The couple exchanged vows under a gazebo adorned with grapes and vines, with panoramic views of the rolling vineyards. During the ceremony, a Family Unity Tree with heart-shaped locks was used to symbolize their blended family. The locks, engraved with the names of the bride and groom and their three children—Lauren, Hayden and Landon—were connected to branches of a Tree of Life. “With love, compassion, and patience,” Jenn explains, “we will reach high and wide and become as strong as the roots. Locking the family together as one.” Jenn’s daughter, Lauren Adams, served as maid of honor. Her son, Landon, was the ring-bearer.
Matron of honor: Suzanne Shepard
Best man: Rich McGilton
The theme: Tuscany. Rustic décor included burlap-wrapped mason jars filled with blue hydrangeas, and various accents hand-stamped with couple’s personal design of crisscrossed arrows (they have matching tattoos of the same emblem). In lieu of a traditional guestbook, attendees signed a personalized barrel top.
Flowers: The bride’s bouquet held royal blue hydrangeas accented with Queen Anne’s lace and eucalyptus. A handle of burlap and vintage ivory lace was adorned with an Irish Claddagh charm (a gift from the Jenn’s close friend Heidi, who was deployed at the time of the wedding). The groom and groomsmen wore boutonnieres of hydrangea and lady fern wrapped in jute rope with pearl and Swarovski crystal accents.
Bridal gown: David Tutera for Mon Cheri by designer Martin Thornburg, from Labella Bridal Boutique in Occoquan
Groom’s attire: Joseph Abboud
Personal touches: The bride’s jewelry, a white gold necklace with Swarovski crystals and pearls, and matching earrings and bracelet, were a special gift from the groom, handmade and designed by Seraphine Creations in Poland. In memory of Shane’s mom, Jenn wore his mother’s vintage blue-topaz and diamond ring as her “something old, something blue.” Her crystal crown (“something borrowed”) was on loan from her friend Tania.
Food and drink: Guests were greeted with a sangria bar featuring the vineyard’s own red wines, plus lemonade for kids. Passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour included deviled eggs with bacon; fried mac and cheese; brisket meatballs; and a variety of fresh cheeses with berries and figs. The couple also offered two signature cocktails: a “Sweet on You” strawberry lemonade and “Mint to Be” mojitos. Dinner included caprese salad; grilled chicken with sundried tomatoes; and herb-roasted tenderloin in a red-wine bordelaise, plus sides of truffle-creamed spinach and lemon risotto.
Wedding cake: A four-tiered lemon cake with strawberry coulis by Patticakes of Lakeridge
Music: DJ Ron Gray with Finest Sounds Entertainment
First dance: Lady Antebellum’s “Heart of the World”
After dark: Glow sticks lit up the night, and a sparkler send-off—with 150 sparklers pulled from a bucket of sand from the couple’s favorite beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida—recreated the sparks that flew the very first moment they met.
Photographer/videographer: Bobby Bandz Productions
Wedding coordinator: Sydney Brown at Potomac Point Winery
The honeymoon: Sandals Resort, St Lawrence Gap, Barbados. Highlights from the trip included catamaran snorkeling, and off-road tours through sugar plantations and across a 400-year-old molasses bridge.
Favorite local hangouts: Grevey’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, Ireland’s Four Provinces, Blackfinn, and picnic lunches in Azalea Park in Falls Church
Favorite quote: Mo anam cara, a Celtic phrase that translates as “My soul mate” or “My soul friend.” “The Celts believed that two souls could become one,” Jenn says. “The moment we met, we knew we had each found our twin.”