Casual Charm in the Virginia Woods: Summer Wedding by Stephen DeVries

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It’s not quite a barefoot wedding — but the groom is in sandals in this Virginia Beach, Virginia affair, as pictured by Stephen DeVries. The bride wears simple strapless lace and satin, a graceful drape from her shoulders, and the groom dons white shirt and khakis; no ties or fancy dress shoes for him and his party. The bride indulges in silver shoes, while her maids wear elegant sandals and pale silvery blue and white sundresses. The setting is a farm with lavish space for long tables dressed in white and graced with china of various kinds and colors; there’s no worry about obsessive matching here, either. Rustic wooden chairs are set up for the guests, with garlands of greenery embellishing the “aisles,” and a white-painted birdhouse is set up as both décor and card holder.

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Tiny flower girls in white lead the procession to a beautiful spot beneath spreading trees, while loaves of bread and glasses of wine await, to be shared by the guests during the ceremony. The wedding is full of subtle humor — note the expressions on the participants’ faces! — and there’s no shyness on the guests’ part about snapping pictures of the couple as they come down the aisle. It’s a comfortable stroll from the ceremony site to the reception, with the newly married pair leading the way. Guests enjoy food and drink at the long banquet tables as the newlyweds circulate among them; then it’s time for dancing and sharing cake. Finally, as dusk falls over the woods, the guests light sparklers and send the happy couple on their way, through the gates of the estate into their future.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).