Kristen McGaughey  & David Fitzpatrick

Sept. 28, 2019 • Burner Barn, Luray

It was mostly by chance that Kristen McGaughey and David Fitzpatrick stumbled upon Luray Caverns as their wedding venue. 

“After a family vacation in the Outer Banks, we were driving back to New York [where the couple lives] and we decided to stop and have our own little adventure, just the two of us,” David says. “When we got to the Cathedral room with its Grand Stalacpipe Organ built into the cavern … a glow of excitement came across Kristen’s face. They only allow four or five weddings a year, but we were in love with the magnificence of the caverns, so she made it happen.” 

Their wedding was held Sept. 28, 2019—but their love story begins a few years earlier. “David was the handsome Irish bartender at my friends’ favorite neighborhood bar,” Kristen says. “He asked me out a few times, but I was dating someone else at first. Thankfully he was persistent, and the next time he asked I was single. We went on our first date a week later.”

The reception was held nearby at the Burner Barn. Drawing inspiration from the backdrop of their ceremony site, Kristen and David chose a color scheme of blue and gold, and accented the venue with gold terrariums and candleholders. Blue agate slices transcribed with guests’ names served as place cards, and the wedding cupcakes were decorated to resemble blue geodes with sugar crystals. 

“The same qualities that make a space unconventional may make it a challenge! Be ready to ask the tough questions. … Do your research and find a team of vendors you can trust to carry out your wedding dreams!”

—Kristie McCallum, Kristie Lea Photography

The bride wore an ivory satin Allure dress and a lace fingertip veil, and was flanked by bridesmaids wearing steel blue dresses from Vera Wang’s WHITE line. “When David had his first look at me,” Kristen says, “I’ve never seen him look so happy, and I’ve never felt so lucky.”

The couple’s rings were especially meaningful. Kristen’s wedding band previously belonged to her mother—gold with four pave diamonds and the perfect complement to her antique 1890s engagement ring—and David wears a traditional silver Claddagh ring, symbolizing friendship, loyalty, and love.


Photographer: : Kristie Lea Photography, Blacksburg Floral Design: Vivian Flower Shop, Luray Gown: RK Bridal, New York City Hair & Makeup: The Studio Salon, Harrisonburg Caterer: Hank’s Grille & Catering, McGaheysville Music, Ceremony: Got Strings! Trio, Harrisonburg Music, Reception: DJ Fit, Nathan May, Harrisonburg 

This article originally appeared in the February 2021 issue.

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