A Romantic Garden Wedding at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico, Virginia

While searching for a classic venue, April Morrissett (24 and a research analyst) and Brett Shaffer (25 and a medical resident) came across the Lewis

While searching for a classic venue, April Morrissett (24 and a research analyst) and Brett Shaffer (25 and a medical resident) came across the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico, Virginia, where the private gardens inspired their wedding day theme. "We embraced our venue and applied cool colors of dusty blue and lavender," April says. "We allowed the natural landscape and our floral centerpieces to drive the garden theme." Surrounded by flower beds and tall trees, April and Brett used the environment as the main decor for the ceremony space. Black Creek Flowers & Sweets arranged white and purple flowers that served as aisle decorations, matching April's lovely bouquet filled with roses, scabiosa, hydrangeas and a mix of other blooms. The wedding party stood on both sides of the white trellis, with bridesmaids wearing dusty blue floor-length dresses while the groomsmen sported charcoal gray suits with black ties. At the tented reception, Marie Violet Photography captured high and low flower centerpieces that brought the surrounding outside gardens in. We adored all the romantic blooms that supported the garden theme of the day, including the four-tier cake speckled with flowers that ended the meal on a sweet note. A tip from April: "Showcase your friends' and families' talents. My cousin graciously sang our first dance, and it created a special moment that no one else could have done."

April wore a pair of ivory peep-toe Badgley Mischka heels, with a large sparkly brooch accenting the top of each shoe. The shoes went nicely with April's elegant white dress.
"I embraced a simple, natural look with my gown—a white dress with a sweetheart neckline and trumpet style," April says. "A textured overlay resembling ivy covered the top half of the dress, which transitioned into a tulle skirt with floral designs at the bottom. The dress seemed fit for a garden."
April held an ivory and purple bouquet filled with roses, scabiosa, hydrangeas and leafy greens mixed together, arranged by Black Creek Flowers & Sweets. "My mother has several beautiful hydrangea bushes planted by a family member who had since passed away," April says. "I wanted hydrangeas to be incorporated into the bouquets to honor them."
April and Brett bought white card stock and created the programs themselves. They printed the colorful font on the paper, cut the invitations evenly and placed them inside a woven basket to pass out at the ceremony.
The ceremony took place outside at the garden, surrounded by flower beds and tall trees. April and Brett added purple and ivory flowers that lined the aisle. Other than that, the rest of the decor came from the environment.
April picked a dusty blue color, floor-length and chiffon material for the Dessy Group bridesmaid dresses, then left the style up to each bridesmaid. "My bridesmaids have a range of personal styles and preferences," April says. "I knew the pictures would look best if everyone felt special and happy with what they wore."
A mixture of ivory roses, purple hydrangeas and greenery accented the folding chairs that lined the aisle. The arrangements matched April's bridal bouquet.
"We incorporated Irish and Jewish traditions as a nod to our respective families," April says. "The presence of blue and tying of the wedding knot paid homage to my Irish roots. Our rabbi facilitated many of the Jewish traditions by performing the blessing of the wine and presiding over a midceremony signing of the ketubah. Finally, we both broke glass at the close of the ceremony."
Brett proposed with a beautiful cushion-cut solitaire diamond set in a bar band. The ring rested on top of the two wedding rings exchanged at the ceremony, all designed by Ken & Dana Design. "I put together a Pinterest board of several engagement ring styles that Brett used as a guide," April says. "While I had a general idea of what I liked—sparkly and a solitaire—I really wanted Brett to have fun choosing the ring."
Black Creek Flowers & Sweets arranged a lavender and green thistle boutonniere mixed with greenery for Brett. He pinned the arrangement on the lapel of his charcoal gray suit jacket from Men's Wearhouse.
April and Brett took their first steps as a married couple surrounded by the gardens at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico, Virginia. They interlaced their arms as they walked up the aisle to a rendition of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on guitar and ukelele.
At the tented reception, guests sat at round dining tables decorated with flower centerpieces. White and purple blooms mixed with greenery made up this arrangement, designed by Black Creek Flowers & Sweets.
White and purple roses, blue hydrangeas and leafy greens filled gold vases, displayed on top of dining tables at the reception at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico, Virginia. Tall arrangements with similar flowers decorated other tables, all of which brought the outside garden setting inside for guests to enjoy.
April and Brett stood with their wedding party outside at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico, Virginia, surrounded by tall trees. The bridesmaids wore dusty blue floor-length dresses while the groomsmen sported charcoal gray suits paired with black ties.
During the tented reception, April and Brett danced and twirled to their first song, "Lovesong" by Adele. "The song has aged well over the decades, originating with the Cure, then 311, and finally Adele," April says. "We intend to do the same."
Purple and white flowers decorated the top and sides of the white cake made up of one blue marble tier. Flavors included chocolate with caramel, red velvet, vanilla and white almond—all covered in buttercream frosting.
As April and Brett exited the venue, friends and family members lined up on both sides to send them off the right way. "We exited through a cloud of bubbles and cheers from our family and friends," April says. "Before we left the crowd, we both stopped to give our mothers one last big hug."