Reston Town Center was the site of a fantasy wedding for Philip Laster and Mindi Walker May 29, as local businesses contributed to helping the couple start off on the right foot. As the winners of a contest held around Valentines Day, Laster and Walker got a chance to enjoy the best of what Reston Town Center could offer.
The couple began the day with a horse-drawn carriage to the pavilion at Reston Town Center, a gown from Bridal Silhouette, a cake from Edibles Incredible and more. Victoria Wagner, of A Splash of Elegance, came up with the idea of providing one couple with a dream wedding.
"We came up with the idea to pull together a lot of vendors to provide a lucky couple with a wedding, and we drew the winner Feb. 13," Wagner said. "It was a phenomenal experience to have everyone pull together as a team with the common goal of giving these two an amazing wedding."
Patricia Collet of Flowers By Patricia, said she enjoyed getting to know the couple while designing their floral arrangement.
"I had a lot of fun working with them. Mindi is the sweetest thing in the world," Collet said. "She wanted to carry red roses, and we used white flowers for the wedding itself. We really wanted to give it a garden feel."
The wedding had a few extra guests, as many onlookers who were out conducting their usual Saturday business took a few minutes to enjoy the ceremony.
"I just happened to be walking by on my way to the Apple Store, and figured I’d stop and check out the wedding. I had no idea how this all came to be, but when I learned about their story and the contest they won, I was very moved," said Cristee Menges of Reston. "I’m sort of honored I was able to share in this moment for them, and they make a beautiful couple."
The ceremony was brief, with the couple exchanging vows before enjoying a carriage ride around the town center before stopping at Il Fornaio for their reception.
Walker, 30, is a Senate staffer and Laster, 23, is a Marine, currently stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. They met at Walker’s birthday party last year. Though the couple enjoyed a fantasy wedding, their honeymoon will be cut a little short, as Laster is due to deploy to Afghanistan within a few weeks.