Megan, a Senior Client Partner for Politics and Advocacy advertising at Twitter in Washington D.C. and Richard, a civil litigation attorney in D.C. , decided to have their wedding underneath the oaks at Richard’s aunt and uncle’s home, Twin Oaks (the renowned restauranteurs, Regina and Doug Charboneau of Biscuits and Blues, King’s Tavern) in Natchez, Mississippi.
It was a magical day with true southern taste. I cannot wait to share these stunning images of not only Megan and Richard’s special day, but the culture, the art of nostalgia, and a few stops along our way. Natchez is truly a beautiful city with so many stories. I hope we captured it well.
Thank you, Megan and Richard, and your families for sharing such excellent hospitality! We enjoyed every minute of this trip! – Ann-Marie
“The venue made our wedding incredibly special to us because we were married at Twin Oaks, the home of Richard’s aunt and uncle, Regina and Doug Charboneau. Regina is an incredible chef and restauranteur, and she generously offered to host our wedding, which has become a tradition among Richard’s family. We were married in the front yard under the live oaks, and the reception was throughout the home and in the backyard. It felt very meaningful to begin our lives together as husband and wife in the home where we have celebrated Thanksgivings and cousins’ weddings and have made so many special memories at family gatherings. Since very few of my guests had ever been to Mississippi, and they had all traveled a long way to come to our wedding, it meant so much to welcome them not just into a ‘venue,’ but into a family home. It was such a lovely way to say to my side of the guest list – we are all one family now.” – Megan
“We met the old fashioned way – through friends at a birthday party at Pearl Dive in Washington, DC. We became friends over the course of the next year, and we’d often find ourselves at the same parties and events, like a picnic under the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin or a bocce tournament at the Netherlands Carillon. At the same birthday party at Pearl Dive, one year later, I reminded Richard that it was our one-year friendiversary.” – Megan
“At that point, I told myself it was time to ask her on a date, and by Valentine’s Day a few weeks later, we were officially companions.” – Richard
“Megan always puts a lot of effort into making the important moments in my life special. When I was deciding how I would propose, I knew I wanted to make our proposal both memorable and meaningful. Megan and I visited New Orleans together several times over the years, and Megan fell in love with its charm and spirit, so I booked us a pre-Christmas trip to the Crescent City. On our first afternoon there, we dressed up for a fancy dinner and decided to take a pre-dinner walk around the Peristyle in City Park, where a local photographer secretly waited. Once there, and after a few tourists cleared, I told Megan how much she means to me and how much I love her. Then I dropped to one knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes, and the photographer revealed herself. We took a few photographs in front of the iconic City Park lions and shared some celebratory beignets and cafe au lait at Morning Call before dinner at Brennan’s and calling our family and friends over Sazeracs at the Carousel Bar.” – Richard
“I did not grow up dreaming about my wedding, but I have always loved hosting dinner parties, so I thoroughly enjoyed the party planning aspects of the wedding planning process – designing the florals, selecting the linens, and creating the menus. My core vision for our wedding did have a few key elements – outdoors at a beautiful estate, twinkle lights, and the men in tuxedos! More importantly, I knew how I wanted people to feel at our wedding – that they were warmly welcomed into a home that was filled with family memories and an event that was imbued with personal touches.” – Megan
“I have always loved the color blush – in fact, I painted my house a color called Blushing! So the color palette of blush, white, and gold came quite naturally to me, and luckily, Richard went along with it (for both the wedding and the house!). I also love stripes, so we incorporated the motif of a blush color block stripe against a white background into a lot of elements, from the invitation suite to the throw pillows on the outdoor furniture to our bar, which we had custom made for our wedding. We were inspired by a pink and white striped bar at the Greenbrier, where we love to go for long weekends. I wanted the backdrop of our ceremony to be the stunning old live oak trees and wanted simple, understated decor so as not to compete with the drama of the oaks. We strung a few candlelight chandeliers in the trees, draped boxwood garlands along the back of the chairs, and featured two arrangements of white hydrangeas where we exchanged vows. For the reception, I selected blush linens and gold Chiavari chairs. For the centerpieces, we featured blush and white florals in silver champagne buckets and smaller arrangements in julep cups on the tables, and we strung bistro lights outdoors to create a romantic, festive atmosphere.” – Megan
“We knew with Regina in charge of the food, the meal would be delicious. We wanted the menu to be reflective of us as individuals and as a couple, so I created a North meets South menu. At one end of the table, we had more formal food that would be traditional at a Northern wedding – beef tenderloin with a bacon demiglace, asparagus with hollandaise, mashed potatoes with horseradish – and at the other end of the table, classic Southern comfort food – pulled pork on sweet potato biscuits, deviled eggs with shrimp, pimento cheese with baked saltines. And to represent our summers together on Nantucket, I created a Nantucket themed raw bar, complete with oysters, including Richard’s grandfather’s recipe for grilled peppered oysters, and mini lobster rolls. I styled the table with a blue and white striped tablecloth, a Nantucket bike basket filled with white hydrangeas, and a Nantucket town sign we picked up on our travels so that we could share a piece of the place we love so much with our guests. The music at our wedding was really important to me. I knew I wanted a string quartet for the ceremony, and I loved working with Nancy Bateman of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra to select the pieces for our ceremony. I processed down the aisle to the Shaker tune, Simple Gifts, a song I have always loved for its beautiful melody and the meaning of its lyrics. I felt it was a good sentiment to include in a wedding, where it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details, that it’s a gift is to be simple and free and in “the valley and love and delight.” For the reception, I knew I wanted a DJ because I wanted a playlist that spanned many decades and music styles. I crafted a playlist that had three musical themes: Motown hits, 80s pop, and modern hits with strong feminist undertones (Beyonce and Lizzo!). DJ Parish graciously accommodated my request.” – Megan
“We wanted to incorporate traditions in our wedding but also have it feel modern and reflective of ourselves and our values as a couple. Since we had our wedding at a historic home in Natchez, Mississippi, there was no denying this was going to be a Southern wedding, but since I, the bride, am from Pennsylvania, we wanted to make sure that my style was evident in every decision we made, too. We embraced the elements that define a southern wedding – we served mint juleps in silver cups and had a buffet dinner in the formal dining room – but we also included elements that were true to us, like our Nantucket-inspired raw bar and a signature cocktail from the bar where we met. I enjoyed introducing my Northern guests to Southern traditions like a groom’s cake. I told them that Steel Magnolias was required viewing before coming to the wedding! We served the wedding cake on Richard’s grandmother’s china as a way to honor her memory and have her presence felt that day.” – Megan
“Everyone told me that as the bride, it’s hard to get an opportunity to eat at the wedding, so we heeded that advice and had a plate of food made up for us to share after the ceremony and before we made our entrance at the reception. I was so keyed up after the ceremony and excited for the reception though that I really was not very hungry at all and only ate a few bites. The next day, after I had heard about how delicious the food was, I asked Regina if I could come by that evening just to taste some leftovers, and she graciously prepared a feast of nearly everything we served at the reception. That meal in the family room around the table with my new in-laws is one of my favorite memories from our wedding. I was so glad to be able to spend that time together after all the festivities, enjoying each other’s company and happily reveling in the glow of a great wedding.” – Megan
“In lieu of a traditional registry, we established a scholarship to offset the cost of tuition for a first-generation college student with financial need at the bride’s alma mater, the College of William and Mary. We feel very blessed and want for nothing. We are so grateful that our friends and families want to give us a gift to commemorate this celebration, and we are thrilled to use this opportunity to unite to create something bigger than ourselves that will have a lasting impact. We value education but recognize that it can come at a cost that can be prohibitive, and so we are humbled to use our wedding registry to create an opportunity for a very deserving student. Instead of gifts to us, we hope our guests will make a financial donation to the Megan Dorward & Richard Brahan Wedding Scholarship.” – Megan
“Capitol City Classic Limo out of Baton Rouge, LA really came through for me. I had a lot of trouble finding a getaway car for a Natchez wedding and had all but given up when I found them. They were super helpful and provided a lovely cream-colored 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible to whisk us away after the reception. The driver’s playlist was exclusively Elvis. John Grady Burns provided beautiful florals and had the outdoor bar custom made for the reception. We loved working with Molly Manning, our cake baker. She delivered two beautiful and delicious cakes for us and even recreated my favorite cake from a local DC restaurant for my groom’s cake.” – Richard
“Our wedding was truly a family affair. Not only did Richard’s aunt, Regina, host the wedding in her home, but his uncle, Peter, hosted our Sunday brunch at his restaurant, Biscuits & Blues, and Richard’s mom helped me plan the events from afar. Richard’s aunts and uncles put in countless hours of work to get everything ready and make it easy for my family to arrive from out of town and enjoy the weekend. We cannot thank them enough for their gracious -and Southern – hospitality!” – Megan
Lead Shooter: Ann-Marie Wyatt | Second Shooter: Mackenzie Rue | Dress: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung | Tux: J. Crew | Cakes: Molly Manning | Venue: Twin Oaks | Flowers: John Grady Burns | Invitations: Smitten on Paper | Rentals: BBJ Linens | String Quartet: Mississippi Symphony Orchestra | DJ: DJ Parish | Rehearsal Venue: Longwood | Caterer: Regina Charboneau | Hair: Molly Gee & Co. | Makeup: Molly Gee & Co. | Preparation Accommodations: Marcia’s Cottage | Late Night food: Malt Shop | Officiant: The Honorable George Ward