Exclusive: Modern "Bridgerton" Vibes Filled Sean Taylor's Ornate Wedding at Dover Hall in Richmond, Virginia
Sean Taylor and Eric Carlstrom’s love story almost didn’t happen. “We had multiple missed connection moments and finally reconnected on Tinder years later,” Sean details. It was as though destiny was giving them a second chance to find each other. Their relationship faced its first major hurdle when they moved apart. Sean remembers, “We were long distance for two years when I moved up to NYC from RVA until Eric moved up with me.” On a magical Christmas morning in 2021, Eric surprised Sean at her family’s home. He popped the question with the perfect piece of jewelry. The bride recalls, “He knew I wanted a solitaire ring with a thin gold band and got exactly that!”
The pair’s wedding planning journey was a labor of love, inspired by their deep connection and desire for a celebration that reflected their unique personalities and shared history. Having hosted a smaller wedding prior to this celebration due to the pandemic, they were determined to make their special day an authentic representation of their love story from the beginning. The bride had the invaluable guidance of a close friend: an expert in the wedding industry. Sean enthusiastically shares, “One of my close friends, Anne Forbes, is a wedding planner with the Hive Collective in Richmond, VA, so she was our first call.” This early decision set the tone for a well-orchestrated and beautifully executed wedding.
To ensure Anne could fully enjoy the big day with them, the couple enlisted the expertise of an additional day-of coordinator. This thoughtful approach allowed Anne to relax and celebrate alongside Sean and Eric, making the day even more memorable. For the location of their wedding, Sean and Eric chose Richmond, Virginia, the city where their love story had initially blossomed. It held a special place in their hearts, and they were eager to share their affection for the town with their loved ones. They selected the enchanting Dover Hall thanks to its old-world charm and fairytale ambiance. “We chose Dover Hall because of its feel, despite being built in the 90s,” the bride reveals. “It’s truly a fairytale estate; there’s simply nothing else like it in the area, and it inspired the overall luxe, Bridgerton vibe of the wedding.”
Their wedding theme, which Sean describes as a blend of “Regency-chic, romantic opulence, rococo, luxe and royal elements,” set the stage for a day filled with love and grandeur. The color palette they settled on was initially envisioned as all white, but they eventually decided on white with dusty blues for the tablescape and florals. This ended up being the perfect choice. “I wanted something that would complement, not compete with, my bold, eclectic bridesmaids,” tells the bride. She took the time to style unique looks for each bridesmaid, aiming to make everyone feel comfortable while maintaining a chic and cohesive group appearance. The groomsmen, on the other hand, donned Calvin Klein tuxedos from Men’s Wearhouse.
When it came to their own attire, Sean and Eric were committed to finding the perfect fit and style that represented their individual tastes. Eric stood tall at 6’7” and had his tuxedo custom-made at a local studio. Sean, on the other hand, had faced a set of challenges when trying to find her dream gown. “I had a designer turn me down for my size, but I ended up with my dream dress with Christian Siriano,” she smiles.
On the wedding day itself, the couple’s meticulous planning paid off. The florals took center stage, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of an overgrown English garden. The decor perfectly matched their theme, from asymmetrical pillars adorned with calligraphy at the entrance to baroque gold mirrors adding an opulent touch. Sean walked down the aisle escorted by her father, and the couple chose a Taylor Swift cover, “Duomo Wildest Dreams,” for their ceremony music, adding a touch of levity to the moment’s grandeur. The emotional high point of the day was undoubtedly when Sean and Eric exchanged their heartfelt vows. “We both wrote our own vows, and I’m so glad we chose to be vulnerable.”
Their reception in an opulent ballroom on a checkered dance floor under disco balls and suspended greenery was filled with dancing and revelry. As they reflected on their wedding, Sean cherishes the energy and love shared among their diverse guests, describing it as truly special. Instead of traditional wedding favors, they opted to provide a portrait photographer during cocktail hours, allowing guests to capture unforgettable memories.
Sean and Eric’s wedding day truly reflected their love and authenticity. Sean concludes, “I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding. Every bit of it felt so authentic to us.”