Virginia is for Lovers

Melina Ann Vissat and Brian Christopher Hannon were married on October 11, 2008 in Haymarket, Virginia. They both live and work in the Washington D.C. area. Brian is a financial analyst with a government contractor, and Melina is a marketing writer with a strategic management consulting firm. They met on Match.com, "which proves that normal people use internet dating!"

Location Melina and Brian were married at The Regency at Dominion Valley country club. "We chose the place because it had a beautiful outdoor patio. We considered doing the wedding in downtown DC, but we couldn't find a place that had a sufficient outdoor area and a rain contingency plan. The Regency had both - a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the golf course with fountains and a stone bridge, as well as enough room inside in case poor weather drove us indoors."

The Decision to Go Green Melina has always been an eco-advocate, so going green was an easy choice. "I am involved in my company's sustainability service offering, and in my free time I am a freelance writer who writes for publications in the natural sector, such as the Nutrition Business Journal. We decided to go as green as possible with the wedding, since weddings are typically such wasteful affairs. We just felt guilty!"

Flowers and DIY Embellishments Melina made almost everything for the wedding herself. When it came to the flowers, she "made the men's boutonnieres out of small wooden flowers, fake berries, curly willow, ribbon and feathers. They were more like small pieces of art than traditional boutonnieres!" For the ceremony they used "fake flowers in mason jars for the aisle decor and covered an arch with vines and curly willow that our florist pulled from the woods near her farm."

Her bridesmaids carried red, orange and peach roses and mums accented with berries.

Although they used real flowers for the centerpieces they were rentals! Their florist, Barbara Von Elm from Growing Wild Floral Design in Delaplane VA, does everything she can to keep costs down. To start, "she doesn't have a physical shop, which keeps her overhead down, and she does a lot of rentals because they are less expensive." Barbara created this centerpiece with roses, tiger lilies, mums, dahlias, curly willow, and ferns. "It was a lovely, relaxed mess of flowers! After the wedding, the centerpieces were whisked away and reused by the florist for other displays."

Reusing and Recycling For gifts and non-floral decor items, Melina also reused and recycled. "I made the bridesmaids' jewelry out of materials that I already had on-hand, such as fake pearls, wire and ribbon. I made pillar candles for the tables, by covering empty metal soup cans with wrapping paper and placing pillar candles on top. I also reused foamcore board from presentation boards I had made for work to build a cupcake tower to house our wedding cupcakes."

Melina even made the cake toppers - "a mini-Melina and a mini-Brian" out of Sculpy Clay.

Giving Something Back Each guest's plate had two pieces of Endangered Species Chocolate. The company donates 10% of its net profits to sales to "help support species, habitat, and humanity."

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