Story by Liesel Schmidt + Photography by Ingrid Arellano Photography
It may have taken a little while for Teryn Murray and Kenneth Prol to realize that their work friendship might be more; but when the two architects recognized the fact that they had chemistry, they decided to see where it might lead. “We worked together for about three years before dating,” recalls Teryn. “It took hanging out multiple times during the Stanley cup playoffs for us to realize there was something more than a professional relationship we wanted to explore.”
After dating for a year, that exploration had led them both to the same conclusion: They wanted to be together forever. “We went away for the long 4th of July holiday weekend on a hiking and camping trip to Shenandoah; and on the last morning of the trip, he proposed to me at sunrise on an overlook,” Teryn says of that day in 2019.
Just one year later, the wedding plans that they had made were destroyed by the pandemic. Even so, they did what architects are so adept at doing and changed the plan so that they didn’t have to completely sacrifice their dream for the day. Successfully re-planned, the wedding commenced on September 12, 2020; and Teryn dressed in a stunning satin Monique Lhuillier A-line gown with a sheer V-neck top and sheer back adorned with lace appliques across the bodice and down the sides of the hips, completing her look with a Toni Federici cathedral veil with lace appliques along the edges. As 88 guests looked on, the couple exchanged vows in the courtyard of The Alexandrian—thankful that they had finally seen their plans realized. “We changed the venue from The Line Hotel in DC to The Alexandrian a month before the date, and we wrote the entire ceremony from scratch,” Teryn explains. “We included a rose ceremony for the parents and an Irish blessing at the end—I’m part Irish. The guests also appreciated all the safeguards we put in place, having both the wedding and reception outside, as well as the masks.”
After being pronounced, the newly married Prols joined their guests for a reception in the courtyard. “The wedding party entered the reception to ‘Thunderstruck’ by ACDC, and Ken and I entered to ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica (Go Hokies!),” says Teryn, who, like Ken, is a VT alumnus. “Our first dance was to ‘Speechless’ by Dan and Shay, and I sang to Ken through most of the dance.”
With all of its complications, the occasion was still completely a reflection of Teryn and Ken’s personalities. “Our colors were maroon—inspired by VT—and navy and ivory to fit our blueprint theme. Also, because it was a destination for most of our wedding guests, we blended Alexandria and architecture to inform all the details,” Teryn explains. “The hotel bags included items from Virginia and Alexandria, and we 3D printed our own ‘cootie keys’ for the bags so that people didn't have to touch things around the hotel. We also designed our own ‘stamp’ for the stationary, guest masks, and cocktail napkins. The tables were named after buildings in Alexandria, and we blueprinted the images of them for the escort wall and the table stands (the back included a brief description of the building and its historical significance for the guests). We also handed out color-coded wristbands for guests to help identify their comfort level.”
After dining on a choice of either bourbon-braised short rib or pan-seared rockfish, the guests watched as Teryn and Ken cut into a cake that was truly something to behold. Boasting three tiers with a floral spacer above the bottom tier, the middle tier was covered in smooth navy fondant while the other two were white—all of which were adorned with painted gold lines to tie the tiers together—and topped with a small floral arrangement. Naturally, the two flavors of the cake itself were delicious: Cherry Bomb, an almond cake with cherry compote and cream cheese frosting; and Coffee in the Morning, a chocolate cake with coffee buttercream, coffee caramel, and chocolate coffee bean.
After a honeymoon on the west coast to various national parks, the couple is back home, ready to plan whatever comes next.
Venue: The Alexandria • Gown: Monique Lhuillier, Nordstrom's Bridal Boutique • Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes • Flowers: Flor de Casa Designs • Rings: Mervis Diamonds Hair/Makeup: Asal Studios • Photographer: Ingrid Arellano Photography • Coordinator: Meghan Farrar, Farrever After Events • Rentals: Select Event Group • Tux: Black Tux Rentals DJ: Black Tie Entertainment