A Fine Romance

Brit Gordon and Paul Trible travel to the foothills of the Italian Alps for a dream wedding come true.

How Brit Gordon and Paul Trible’s story began is still up for debate. And that’s OK with them.

Brit will tell you that she first fell for Paul at a party hosted by him and his business partner, Paul Watson, at their then newly minted shirt-making company, Ledbury, in 2010 in Richmond. “I liked that he made me laugh,” she recalls.

Paul will tell you that their story really started about a year later in his company’s Shockoe Bottom store when, from his back-office, he saw Brit, an occupational therapist, come into the store. He says he actually “knocked over a customer service person” in his eagerness to reach her.

The Chesterfield County native had just returned from New York to live in Richmond and was doing some shopping for her brother-in-law’s birthday. “Well, really it was all done just to meet up with Paul again,” admits Brit.

The two began dating, and several years later Paul cooked up a plan for an elaborate surprise engagement trip to Italy. “I go there often for business,” he explains. “And about three months into dating, Brit and I went together, and it was

pretty impactful.”

So before leaving for a business trip to Italy last February, Paul wrote a series of clues for a scavenger hunt around Richmond that would culminate with airline tickets to join him there. He had planned a romantic proposal on one knee in the middle of a street in the medieval town of Bergamo, located north of Milan in the shadow of the spectacular Italian Alps. “Not long after we had come back from our first trip to Italy, Brit told me about a dream she had that I would propose to her in a street in Italy. So my last clue was all about fulfilling that dream,” says Paul.

With the help of Watson, Paul planted clues in spots around Richmond that had shared meaning to the couple. But one of Richmond’s worst snowstorms coincided with the scavenger hunt, making it a lot more challenging than Paul had envisioned. “While my friend was driving her around Richmond in the snow, I was watching the weather radar and calling the airline,” says Paul. Six cancelled flights, two trips to the airport and a sleepless night later, Brit says, “all of my dreams came true” when Paul got down on one knee and presented her with a three-stone diamond ring.

Although Brit had hoped to hold the wedding at her family’s horse farm in Chesterfield, water damage sustained during last year’s polar vortex made that impossible. It seemed that the next natural place for the wedding was Italy. “We had such a deep connection to Italy,” says Brit. They incorporated elements of their Virginia roots in the wedding ceremony, including a blending of the soil collected and carried from Brit’s family’s farm and Paul’s family’s farm in Kilmarnock, to Italy. It was at the latter that the couple had enjoyed an expansive engagement party last June given by Paul’s parents, Rosemary and Paul Trible Jr., former state senator and president of Christopher Newport University. Set under a tent on the lawn that stretches from the Tribles’ home to the water’s edge, guests were treated to a Northern Neck feast of crabs, shrimp and other delicacies, all finished with an ice cream bar—Paul’s favorite, says Brit.

Sixty wedding guests spent three days in August enjoying Bergamo, concluding with a romantic event that combined old Italy with a stateside flair. Neutral palettes set the stage for floral displays of orchids, peonies, hydrangea, white lysianthus and dusty miller at the Villa Subaglio in nearby Merate, Italy. A string trio provided the musical backdrop for the wedding, and a jazz band played during the dinner reception.

Brit says she and Paul agree that losing power just after the first dance was a highlight of their day. “They brought out candelabras to illuminate the villa,” says Paul. “It was magical.”


Venue: Villa Subaglio, Merate, Italy. Photographer: Kate Magee Photography, Richmond. Groom’s suit: custom-made by Ledbury, Richmond.

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