Tradition is a large part of any wedding. But for Elizabeth McCoy and Will McKinney, tradition and sentimentality wove a beautiful thread through their wedding and reception. Elizabeth and Will met in medical school when alphabetically assigned to the same gross anatomy lab group. Shortly thereafter, they began dating and ultimately got engaged.
The couple was married at the newly restored Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, where Elizabeth has been a member her entire life, having been baptized and confirmed at the historic church. The wedding was filled with sentiment. The flower girl wore the same dress Elizabeth had worn in a wedding 17 years earlier. The acolytes in the wedding were the sons and nephew from that same couple married 17 years ago. Elizabeth also wore a veil that her mother and two aunts had worn in their weddings more than 30 years before. And as a proud Duke graduate, Elizabeth was sure to don blue heels with her wedding dress.
The atmosphere of the wedding was lighthearted and cheerful, filled with bright springtime colors. The bridesmaids’ dresses were ice blue, picked to match the blue in the flower girls’ dresses. All white flowers were used at the church – roses, hydrangeas and peonies – in order to not detract from the church’s beauty.
At the reception, held at Forest Lake Club, event designer Cricket Newman used flower boxes filled with yellow lilies, blue and white hydrangeas, Coral Charm peonies and pink peach tulips. She also hung lanterns from the ceiling, which elegantly floated over the black and white dance floor – a must-have for the bride. “One of the first things I knew I wanted was a black and white dance floor, because dancing is the best part of a wedding!” says Elizabeth. “Will and I took dance lessons before our wedding, and it was by far one of the most fun and out-of-character things we have ever done together. We had the best time dancing with our family and friends.”
And entertainment was certainly not lacking at the festivities. As guests entered Forest Lake, they were greeted by the sounds of The Blue Iguanas, the same bluegrass band that played at the wedding of the bride’s parents, Judy and George McCoy, 32 years before. And during the reception, Second Nature, from Judy’s hometown of Camden, regaled the guests with beach music melodies.
The cake and cake table also were filled with stories. Atop the wedding cake was the bride’s sterling silver baby cup, which held lily of the valley. The cake stand was surrounded by lace from the bride’s grandmother’s wedding dress. Additionally, the bride’s bouquet and the guest tables were decorated with flowers from the McCoys’ garden. And while these sweet touches held many wonderful memories, the bride and groom were sure to celebrate their future as residents of Virginia by serving wine from White Hall Vineyard outside of Charlottesville.
To bring that fateful meeting in gross anatomy class full circle, the bride and groom’s guest book was Netter Atlas of Human Anatomy, the textbook from their class together. “We certainly had some hilarious entries from our friends,” Elizabeth says. “We graduated from medical school the week after our wedding, and it was one of the last times that all of our friends could celebrate together before moving all over the country for our residencies.”
For this couple, there are sure to be many new traditions added to their textbook to be shared for years to come.