April 20, 2017

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run!

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

I’m still in disbelief the Second Annual Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run is over!! The past six months I must have poured at LEAST 250+ hours to make this event happen. I can admit … even some sleepless nights — But trusting God was key since this is all to serve Him and His mission to dismiss evil/negativity in this world! April 1st was a positive, uplifting, light-hearted event!!! Let me tell you, though, there’s SO much coordination involved! I feel like it’s like planning a wedding, but for a much shorter day. Just imagine that. 🙂 After the event was over, I didn’t even know what to do with myself! Haha!

Again, we are SO humbled by your efforts! We were able to raise/donate $2,000 to Higgins Hope!!! We had about 50 participants, 20 different vendors and 20 volunteers! Bridget, the founder of Higgins Hope, is blown away and so grateful for you all! We know that is going to help their mission to end the human trafficking in the DC metro area! But let’s not stop here with our efforts. I wrote a blog post a few months ago about how YOU can help!!! Check it out HERE! 🙂

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

This year absolutely blew my mind! I’m BEYOND grateful and thankful for every person who signed up, volunteered and of course, those who donated their time, materials, money and energy! For you all who trusted this vision, with a heart to help the community, this wasn’t possible without YOU!! Gosh, I can go on and on and on who to thank! Between the vendors, volunteers, donators, and photographers … There are so many to thank!

Here is a line up of our incredible vendor team!!

Wedding Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography
Venue: Marriott Ranch
Caterer: Marriott Ranch
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Boudoir Photographer: Authentic Portrait
Videographer: The Herrintons
Photo Booth: NuGen PhotoBooth
Invitation Designer: Third Clover – Classic Design for Bold Celebrations
Bridal Boutique: Atelier Wedding
Rentals: Sammy’s Rental Inc. + Bride and Joy
Wedding Planning Services and Rentals: Main Street Weddings & Events
Hair and Makeup Artist: Best Face Forward- Skin, Makeup & Hair Artists
Ordained Minister: No Ordinary Ordained
DJ: Perpetual Sound LLC
Florist: Sophie & Co.
Baker: Gâteau
Personal Trainer: TRAIN 4 LIFE with Jenny DeMarco
Calligrapher: Elisabeth Jordan Hand Lettering and Designs
Travel Agent: Better Half Travel & Tours

Other important people to thank … Marriott Ranch!!! I’m so grateful for them seeing the potential in this event two years ago and for making this vision come to life! They have exceeded any expectation I had!!! I love their venue and team! Thank you, Sammys Rentals, for supplying tables along the 5k course! The set up looked great because of you!!! THANK YOU, Kara from Best Face Forward, for your constant encouragement meetings talking/brainstorming ideas for this 2017 event!!! You kept me going, even during times I had doubt! I so appreciate YOU!!! Also, a HUGE thank you to The Herrintons for filming the event!!! I cannot WAIT to see the results and will share that with you all later!! <3 And I’m so sorry if I’m forgetting anyone else!!! You know I love and appreciate YOU!!!

Enjoy looking through these photos!!!

Love these views!!! And, yep … There were definitely roaming (friendly) cows along the 5k course! Hopefully, the girls didn’t step in any of the cow pies!! Lol! (PC: Lieb Photographic)

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Time to Pump Up

Photographed by Stephanie Messick Photography + donated services by the talented DJ Craig Wood, Perpetual Sound LLC + donated time by Caitlin, Ethan and my mom!! <3

Girls lined up to wait for the horn to blow while jamming to DJ Craig Wood’s music! Since the Second Annual Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run happened on April Fools Day, we couldn’t let them miss out on a prank! Although, I guess the sparklers pranked us later. 😉 Anyways, the girls were relaxing when we unexpectedly blew the horn and girls scrambled to start. Then we yelled, APRIL FOOLS!!! Haha! Then we were really able to get the girls prepped to go! I love one suggestion for next year’s event — Group photo and possibly group stretching before the run begins! Love those ideas!!

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Slim Down for the Gown

Photographed by Katie Nesbitt Photography + donated services by the motivating Jenny from Train 4 Life + donated time by Amanda Messick!

Girls had a series of obstacles to get through while being drilled by a personal trainer! From jumping jax (coordinated with the wedding date) to potato sack race to egg on the spoon to army crawling to bunny hops and tire run, this course kept the girls entertained!! Next year, I’ll plan to make directional signs for each of these activities, especially if the participant numbers continue to grow! 🙂

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Here is a photo of Jenny and her adorable daughter, Ryla! Apparently, she was even helping out around the obstacles! Haha!

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

He Put a Ring on It

Photographed by Lieb Photographic + donated time by Keli Shields

Girls made it through the obstacle course and had time to recover with this fun station, picking up a ring pop!

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Bouquet Toss Practice

Photographed by Jackie Lamouroux, Focus In Photography + donated flowers by the super talented Sophie & Co. + donated time by Charity Campbell!

Almost at the halfway point!! Girls ran up to this fun station and grabbed a bouquet to toss to their friends! Looks like they had fun!! 🙂 Haha!

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Let Them Eat Cake

Photographed by Avery Elizabeth Photography + donated cake bite by the best, Gateau + donated time by Siera Johnson, Rachel Whitfield and Sam Downs!

Halfway!!! Time to celebrate with YUMMY cake bites!! Lora from Gateau supplied three different types of flavors for the girls to test. Of course, after they finished the run, they raved about the cake bites! Haha! They deserved it!!

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Don’t Forget Your Bouquet

Photographed by Jackie Lamouroux, Focus In Photography + donated flowers by the super talented Sophie & Co. + donated time by Rowan, Jessica, Kyle, Cathy Loch and Robert!

Isn’t Rowan just the sweetest?!?! *Heart melt!* The girls met up with this darling “Flower Girl” where she handed them flowers. 🙂 So precious!! Just look at that smile!!

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Let Love Sparkle

Photographed by Jennifer’s Photography + donated sparklers by Stephanie Messick + donated time by Haley Gotcher!

This was kind of a prank on us the day of the event — But everyone improvised and had fun with it! That morning was SO windy, so naturally, these sparklers didn’t want to light until later when the wind died down a little bit. 🙂 Next year, I’ll still provide sparklers but have an alternative option if it doesn’t work!! April 1st this year was just a little too windy!

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

I definitely believe these girls took advantage of these sparklers and made them their Harry Potter wands! LOL! Olivia, am I right?

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Time to Toast

Photographed by Stephanie Messick Photography + donated services by DJ Craig Wood, Perpetual Sound LLC and Marriott Ranch!

I love how enthusiastic the girls were when they saw the finish line! Definitely a mark in victory after a successful morning!! 🙂

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During this time, the vendor show was open for the girls to enjoy along with complimentary champagne, a SCRUMPTIOUS breakfast donated by Marriott Ranch and raffle gifts!

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The girls were able to hang out and enjoy the morning around the venue — I might need to pass the role to someone else to take photos next year because I was all over the place that morning and failed to take more photos during the show! The morning flew by faster than I could believe!

2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run2017 Virginia Run | Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run

Thank you all for helping us form community, and fight to end sex trafficking with Higgins Hope!!! What a successful and FUN morning!!!! <3 <3 <3

  1. Cyndi Messick says:

    All I can say about the day is <3 !!! Great work, congrats to all!!!

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