India and Ben each found their way to Furman University in the fall of 2014 to begin their college experience. The two lived in the same dormitory and met through a mutual friend towards the end of their first semester and remained friends for a year before dating. They dated all throughout college and after graduation, Ben started a job in North Carolina and India started graduate school in South Carolina, so the two became pros at long distance. After dating for four years, Ben proposed to India on their trip to Europe and the wedding planning began shortly after they returned home.

India and Ben had a general idea of what they wanted their wedding to be like, so they began planning their dream wedding in the fall. The couple wanted an outdoor wedding near Richmond, Virginia where family and friends could gather to celebrate their marriage. They found the wedding venue Seven Springs and immediately fell in love with the intimate outdoor venue. The wedding date was set for May 30, 2020 as it was right after India graduated with her master’s degree and was perfect timing for a summer wedding in Virginia. India and Ben worked with their wedding planners to set up vendors of all kinds and invite 200 close friends and relatives to their wedding. By December, the majority of the planning was complete and everything had seamlessly come together.

Indias Dress Group

…That is until March when the whole world began to shut down due to the fast spread of COVID-19. In the spring, India and Ben had convinced themselves that everything would settle by the end of May, but as COVID-19 infections rates continued to increase at an alarming rate, the couple had to consider a backup plan. At that time it was nearly impossible to know what the right thing to do was. There was so much uncertainty about the state of the world, that it was hard to make any plans. The couple had to make a decision – they could go full steam ahead with the 200 guests, limit the size of the wedding to immediate family, or post-pone the wedding altogether. It was a really hard decision for the couple, but in mid-April the governor of Virginia announced a restriction on gatherings of more than 10 people until June 10. That was a tough day for India and Ben, but it ultimately made the decision for them.

India and Ben had become attached to the wedding date of May 30, 2020 and did not want to post-pone their wedding. Instead, they opted for the let’s do something small now and celebrate big later option. They downsized their wedding and limited it to just their immediate family and a few friends and chose to push the big celebration to next year, May 30, 2021 on their one year anniversary.

Portfolio Indias Dress

The couple re-planned their wedding ceremony and reception and made it much more intimate and personal. They picked elements of their larger planned wedding and brought those into the smaller, backyard wedding. For India and Ben, the florals and colors were important, so flowers filled the venue. Something special about downsizing their wedding was they were able to incorporate their families more into the day. India’s mother and sister took over as wedding planners and helped the couple make the day exactly what they wanted. India’s step-mother created custom flower girl dresses out of her mother and mother-in-law’s wedding dresses for their 5 nieces. Ben’s mother made the wedding cake, which was absolutely delicious, and Ben’s father officiated the ceremony. And the best part was that their sweet puppy, Finn, was able to join in on the festivities, which was not part of the original plan! Family and friends stepped up to the plate and helped decorate the backyard venue, created signage, did hair and makeup, and made a reception playlists that tied the whole night together.  Their wedding was nothing like they had planned, but looking back they could not have imagined it any other way. Now they are married and can celebrate with all of their family and friends on their one year anniversary. It really was the best of both worlds for India and Ben.


Photography: J&D Photo LLC

Dress: Lana Addison Bridal

Alterations: Inspired by the Dress

Florals: Olivera Floral Design

Catering: Carl Silverspoon

Rentals: Paisley & Jade and Classic Party Rentals

Custom flower girl dresses: Inspired by the Dress

Save the Date + Invitations: Minted and Paper on the Avenue

Music: Spotify playlist

Hair + makeup: family

Dessert: family