A Gloucester Wedding With Southern Sophistication

Photography by Jessica Ryan Photography

Who: Kelly Purcell, patient care advocate at NowCare Urgent Care, and Stephen Best, inspector for the City of Chesapeake.

When: June 3, 2017.

Where: The Inn at Warner Hall, Gloucester.

Guest List: 175 guests traveled from Chesapeake and Gloucester.

Where They Met: Stephen and Kelly met online. They first spent time together in the Outer Banks in July of 2014, and the rest is history.

Engagement: It was Thanksgiving weekend, and Kelly and Stephen were traveling back up to Harrisonburg, where they were living at the time. On the way back, the couple stopped at Keswick Vineyard. After a romantic day of wine tasting, Stephen knelt down next to the outdoor fireplace and popped the question. “It was raining, so it might not have seemed perfect to everyone else, but it was perfect to me,” Kelly remembers.

Wedding Wishes: “Our wedding was absolutely perfect and everything I dreamed of,” Kelly says. Being surrounded by family and friends at the venue she fell in love with at first sight, marrying the man of her dreams, was all she ever wanted.

What’s Next: The Bests have been renovating a house since October last year and are so happy to have established a beautiful place to start their life together.



Bride: Gown and veil—Ava Clara Bridal.

Groom: Suit—Jos. A. Bank.

The Inn: Both lovers of history, Stephen and Kelly instantly fell in love with The Inn at Warner Hall, which is George Washington’s great-great-grandparents’ home. Wedding guests were able to explore the historic inn during cocktail hour. The wedding party also had the privilege of staying there during the wedding weekend.

Popcorn Favors: “We wanted something different that people would actually snack on at the end of the night,” Kelly says. They ordered the handmade gourmet popcorn from Northern Neck Popcorn Bag in Kilmarnock.

Here In Spirit: “My dad passed away about 10 years ago, and I wanted him to be part of the wedding,” Kelly says. The photo was a gift from Kelly’s cousin.

Invitations: Kelly picked the gorgeous floral invitations out at boutique paper store Papeterie in Kilmarnock.

Outdoor Wedding: “We’ve both always wanted an outdoor wedding. Being history lovers and Southerners, it felt like it was in our roots to get married here,” Kelly says.

Wreath: The monogram was a wedding shower gift, which the florist turned into a gorgeous wreath for the front door of the inn.



Something Borrowed: The pendant bearing her late grandmother’s initials was placed on Kelly’s bouquet as her “something borrowed.”

Elegant Cake: The couple chose a two-tiered cake accompanied by cupcakes from Cakes to Remember. The cake was a layer of key lime and a layer of coconut flavor.

Getting Ready In Style: Kelly ordered the getting ready robes for her bridesmaids from Etsy. “I never really thought about there being a theme for the day, but everything ended up being these beautiful florals and coordinating really well,” Kelly says.

Soft Florals: Kelly has always known what her wedding colors would be. When it came time to plan, she shared her vision with Williamsburg Floral. They have done many weddings at the venue, so Kelly trusted they would come up with a beautiful plan that reflected her vision for her day.

Reception: The venue provided all the necessities for the reception, including tables, chairs and table covers. “They did a beautiful job and made the day that much easier,” Kelly says.

Surprise Veil: Kelly brought Stephen wedding dress shopping with her to get his opinion on styles. Stephen expressed that he loved the idea of a cathedral veil, but Kelly had a hard time finding one and told him she wouldn’t be wearing one. “It was fun to surprise him with it at the wedding,” Kelly says.

Big Wedding Party: Kelly’s bridesmaids were a mix of friends and family she’s known forever. “I knew I wanted a lot of friends by my side,” Kelly says. The groomsmen included Stephen’s brother and his close friends from high school and college.


Hair: Rachel Brooks, Bubbles Salons

Makeup: Jennifer Bishop, Merle Norman Cosmetics

Caterer: A Sharper Palate

Cake and Cupcakes: Cakes to Remember

Florist: Williamsburg Floral

Music: Gwin Entertainment

Chelsea Sherman
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