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A kiss under the arbor in the Grace Arents Garden at Sarah and Simon’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Wedding. Photos by Steven and Lily photography

A kiss under the arbor in the Grace Arents Garden at Sarah and Simon’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Wedding. Photos by Steven and Lily photography

Editor’s Note: One thing we haven’t written much about on this blog is weddings. But, we love to host weddings! And for some, especially out-of-town guests, it’s a visitors first introduction to the Garden, so we want to make a good impression. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was named, a “Best of Weddings 2010 Winner” by The Knot.  According to Virginia brides and “Best Place for a Wedding Reception” by Virginia Living magazine, 2012. Facility rental fees directly support the Garden’s educational mission Groom Simon Sjogren and bride Sarah Karp  had their dream wedding photographed by Steven and Lily Photography, and were kind enough to share their photos.  We thought it would be a good chance to show you what a Garden wedding in the Grace Arents Garden, with a tented reception at at Bloemendaal House looks like.  We hope to feature future blog posts showing weddings in other areas of the Garden including Flagler Pavilion and  the Rose Garden.

monet

A moment on the Monet Bridge. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

Groom, Simon Sjogren, and bride, Sarah Karp, were kind enough to share some of their reflections of the big day with us on this blog, and are featured today as a guest bloggers. We hope you enjoy it! One thing that Simon and Sarah did  for their wedding that we wanted to point out was  they had Daevid’s of Nofolk, their florist, arrange the chairs into an “S” shape curl, surrounding them in the Grace Arents Garden.  It adds a unique touch to an already unique wedding. 

Sarah & Simon in the Grace Arents Garden at Lewis Ginter.

Sarah & Simon in the Grace Arents Garden at Lewis Ginter. Photo by Steven & Lily Photography

Here’s Simon:

Sarah and I were very fortunate of how the evening turned out given the circumstances of the weather. Below are some of my thoughts on our big day. Our wedding day, Saturday, June 22, 2013 started off beautifully.  The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was a perfect summer’s day.

The day began with a “Groomsmen Day of Golf” and I thought that we finally would be able to rest easy about the weather after having looked at the 10-days forecast over the past few weeks obsessively!  Well, the weather decided otherwise.  The clouds rolled in and so did the rain.  It began pouring buckets in Midlothian at about 3:30 pm where my family was traveling from – and so was our “getaway car.”

A touch of rain falling from the Ginkgo tree as the wind blows during Sarah and Simon’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Wedding. Photo by Steven & Lily Photography

A touch of rain falling from the Ginkgo tree as the wind blows during Sarah and Simon’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Wedding. Photo by Steven & Lily Photography

My Dad insisted we would be unable to have it be a part of the wedding due to the weather however in some twist of fate, my late grandfather, whom the car was given to us from, seemed to convince him otherwise and through the rain, the car came and was able to be used at the end of the night.  Not only did our getaway car make it just fine, so did our guests, friends, and family – all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the event.

The kiss! Sarah and Simon’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Wedding. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

The kiss! The kiss! Sarah and Simon’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Wedding. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

Even when Sally, our wedding coordinator, presented me with a “game-time” decision of whether we were going to have our ceremony in the tent, I knew it was all going to work out for our guests, and most importantly, for the bride, my wife.  Both Sarah and I told each other, no matter what, we are going to have the ceremony outside as planned – and we did. Just as things seemed to worsen, the weather decided to ease up. The clouds began to open up, the birds started chirping, and the ceremony commenced without a hitch – with the exception of a few rain drops from the trees which caused a commotion among a few guests and lifting of a few umbrellas – adding to the already memorable moments of the day. What made these climatic changes all the more interesting though were the color of the clouds and sun peeking through, which made for exquisite shots from our photographers, Steven and Lily, who grasped the occasion seamlessly and on par with the ever-so changing conditions. There was even a moment where a rainbow (or two) decided to show up during our reception! What a wonderful evening – one Sarah and I will never forget.

rainbow

A rainbow! Really? Magic! Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a beautiful and magical setting for a wedding. It sure made our dreams come true and also made for such memorable moments we will both cherish forever.

Here’s Sarah:

I went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for the first time on a very cold day in January 2012. I was newly engaged and very excited to find the perfect venue for our wedding! Despite the chilly temperature and lack of blooms, I saw something special at LGBG. I didn’t need to see the garden on a summer day to appreciate the wonderful layout and landscaping. I knew right away that I wanted our ceremony in the Grace Arents Garden and the reception at Bloemendaal House. I pictured the beauty of a ceremony under the arbor and the elegance of a tented reception around the historic house. The facility events coordinator, Donna Reynolds, was always very helpful and prompt in answering my questions about having the wedding at LGBG.

s formation of chairs

The “S” shaped formation for the seating. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

One of the biggest challenges of planning an outdoor wedding is the unpredictability of Mother Nature. June 22, our wedding day, started out as a sunny summer day. When I arrived at the garden at 4 p.m. with my bridesmaids, the clouds rolled in and the rain started. Everyone assured me it would pass, but the rain kept coming down as the ceremony time neared. I was determined to get married in the planned location! I did not want the chairs to be moved under the tent for the ceremony, especially since our incredible designer created a swirling “S” seating arrangement so I would walk past each guest.

bride maids

The bride’s maids. Photos by Steven and Lily photography

Cutting the cake. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

Cutting the cake. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

A chandelier hanging under the tent, for a classy touch. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

A chandelier hanging under the tent, for a classy touch. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

evening kiss

An evening kiss, just around the corner from the celebration. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

getaway

Saying goodbye at the end of the evening. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

getway

The famous getaway car that almost wasn’t used because of the earlier rain. Photo by Steven and Lily photography.

We decided to delay the ceremony a few minutes in hopes that the rain would soon stop. That fateful decision proved to be worth it! A few raindrops fell from the trees during the ceremony which made for fun photos. The garden sparkled with lush greenery and vibrant colors. The storm clouds added an element of mystery to our special evening. It wasn’t too hot, we didn’t have to worry about shadows being cast while photos were taken, and a double rainbow appeared during the reception. I highly recommend LGBG to any couple looking to tie the knot in a gorgeous garden setting. All of our guests commented on how beautiful and memorable the whole evening was. Thank you to everyone at LGBG who made the entire process so wonderful from the beginning.

To view the complete album you can visit Stephen and Lily Photography.

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2 Responses to “A Perfect Garden Wedding at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden”

  1. I enjoyed reading Simon’s post. I love the picture of you and Sarah kissing like underneath that rainbow. That was really magical. Nature was really cooperating that day huh? Well, anyway, i’m definitely sure it was a lovely wedding the guests had a lot of fun. Oh and i love the place. There’s really something about garden weddings.

  2. Thanks Debra. We appreciate your kind words. We are so lucky that Simon & Sarah were willing to share their wedding story — and their wonderful photos! ~Jonah

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