The A-List

Wedding Cakes

A Cakes by Graham creation Photo by David Abel
Cakes by Graham
718 Cleveland St., 288-1920
Brides are ditching white icing and turning to color to make their cakes more dramatic. Popular designs include colored ribbons that match the bridesmaid’s dresses. Also look for dotted Swiss or picot embellishments on the cake. “Brides want their cake pretty, delicate and simple,” owner Graham Haddock says.
2. A Cake to Remember     
3. Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe

Shop for Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

Bella Rosa Bridal & Special Occasions
3979 Deep Rock Road, 855-1000
Mothers of the bride can shine on their daughter’s big day, too. Styles today are more informal, with shorter dresses and softer fabrics like chiffon.
2. Tiffanys Bridal
3. Jingles Bridal Salon


Two Become One Ministry (Rev. Brian Purcell)
7104 Mechanicsville Turnpike, 572-0833
Rev. Brian Purcell likes to help couples share their love story through their vows and to express the reasons why they want to be married. His most unusual wedding involved hiking up a mountain to perform the ceremony at the base of a waterfall.
2. Rev. Doug Bowman
3. Rev. Phyllis Min

Reception Location for a Small Wedding

Gardens at Serenity Cove
5254 Windsor Park Circle, Louisa, 457-4535
A true garden wedding venue, the Gardens at Serenity Cove features a lake as well as a natural creek and waterfall. Spring brings blooming azaleas, rhododendron and primrose.
2. Historic Mankin Mansion
3. The Boathouse

Place to Pop the Question

1700 Hampton St., 358-7166
The Italian and Japanese Gardens are prime spots for proposals. Engagement packages will allow the hopeful groom-to-be to propose in a variety of ways — think popping the question in the garden after a carriage ride. “We can arrange it so they can be here after hours for a more private experience,” facility rental manager Rebekah Davis says.
2. The Jefferson Hotel
3. The Boathouse

Groom/Groomsman Wear

Groom’s Corner at Tiffanys Bridal
1517 N. Parham Road, 273-6303
Grooms are shying away from the traditional black tuxedo, opting instead for gray, khaki or navy suits. Complete the look by adding a vest or tie in a color that complements the bridesmaids’ dresses.
2. Bella Rosa Bridal
& Special Occasions
3. Jos. A. Bank

Venue for a Large Wedding

The Renaissance
107 W. Broad St., 649-3373
Built in 1887, this Richmond historic landmark features a 5,000-square-foot ballroom with a 30-foot-ceilings and three crystal chandeliers. “We are a private, one-stop-shop venue,” senior event planner Thomas Waters says.
2. The Jefferson Hotel
3. Hotel John Marshall

Bridal Headpieces

Tiffanys Bridal
1517 N. Parham Road, 273-6303
In the world of wedding veils, the choice is usually between birdcage and cathedral-length. Whatever the choice, brides are opting to add a lot of bling, according to owner Sharon Townsend. “They want crystals and pearls that will pick up embellishments off their dress,” she says.
2. Bella Rosa Bridal
& Special Occasions
3. Tie: Bridal Elegance; Jingles Bridal Salon

Bridal Gown Salon

Bella Rosa Bridal & Special Occasions
3979 Deep Rock Road; 855-1000
Brides can choose from about 300 bridal gowns, 300 bridesmaid dresses and 150 mother-of-the-bride dresses. The shop is known not only for its selection and price range, but also for its one-on-one customer service.
2. Tiffanys Bridal
3. Jingles Bridal Salon

Place to Overnight on Your Wedding Night

The Jefferson Hotel
101 W. Franklin St., 649-4750
Since 1895, The Jefferson has been hosting happy couples on their wedding nights, with many returning for anniversaries. Keep your receipt, and on your 50th anniversary, hotel staff will honor the price that you paid on your wedding night. 
2. Historic Mankin Mansion
3. Tie: The Berkeley Hotel; Linden Row Inn

Local Product to Put in Welcome Baskets

Virginia Peanuts
No welcome basket would be complete without a can of Virginia peanuts. These crunchy delicacies come in salted, unsalted, redskin and a variety of flavors, from chocolate-covered to Cajun.
2. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery beer
3. Virginia wine
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