Here Comes the Bride

25/10/12 8:13 PM

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Back in September we received a request from a bride who was looking to do her bridal pictures at Belle Grove Plantation. When we received the request, my first thoughts was “Oh no. I don’t even have the landscape started or furniture in the house.” But upon reading further into the request we realized that is was no ordinary request. The bride’s family has a connection to Belle Grove that goes back to the 1850s.

When Carolinus Turner owned Belle Grove Plantation, he would have had both slaves and field hands to help him work the 700 acres. One of those field hands was a man named Samuel Andrew McGinniss. Samuel was the oldest son of Frederick and Mary Ann McGinniss. He was born on February 22, 1844 and had 12 brothers and sisters. When Samuel worked for Carolinus, he would have been in his teen years. Samuel even had a younger brother, Carolinus Edgar McGinniss who was born in 1860. Could this brother have been named after Carolinus Turner?

Samuel would enlist as a Private in Company E of the 55th Infantry Regiment of Virginia in Westmoreland County on March 7, 1862. He was 18 years old. He was promoted to Full Sergeant in September 1864. The “Westmoreland Greys” originally known as the “Westmoreland Blues” mustered at Tappahannock on July 24, 1861 with 85 officers and men under the command of Captain J. Bailey Jett. Samuel left the service on May 1, 1865.

Samuel and Mary McGinniss

Samuel married Mary Elizabeth Grigsby, daughter of James Samuel Grigsby and Elizabeth Rollins Grigsby on June 30, 1881. He was 37 years old and she was 32 years old. Samuel and Mary had two known children, Richard Irving McGinniss, 1885 and Andrew Hampton McGinniss, 1889.

Samuel McGinniss Tombstone

Samuel passed away on May 12, 1912 at the age of 68. Mary would pass away 15 years later in 1927. Their youngest son, Andrew passed away in 1980 at the age of 91 years.

Now if you have been following along for awhile with our blog, you may remember us talking about an antique stop called “McGinniss Barn”. This is one of the relatives of Samuel McGinniss too! What a small world it is here!

Well, after learning that Belle Grove Plantation and the family of the bride-to-be had a connection, how could we say no? Shortly after their request, we invited her and her fiancé to the plantation to view the grounds to see if they wanted to do the shoot there. When they arrived, we also met her grandmother. It was so wonderful to walk them around the house and grounds. Grandma just had a ball seeing the place. Then a week later she, her mother and father spent the day with the photographer shooting her bridal pictures.

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, Jennifer and Nick exchanged wedding vows. Today we had a chance to see the photographs from that bridal shoot. This is the first bridal shoot for Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast. What a wonderful story to go along with the first shoot! We would like to wish the happy couple a wonderful and blessed life together! Jennifer and Nick have also told us that Belle Grove Plantation will be their yearly anniversary get away! We couldn’t ask for anything more perfect!

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Jennifer Bowden
Patti Monk
Living Story Photography

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 37 Comments »

37 Comments on “Here Comes the Bride”

  1. HilaryFran Says:

    What a lovely story.

  2. Thank you! It was a great start on one part of our plantation!

  3. What a beautiful bride and an equally beautiful setting! Love the picture of the bride with Belle Grove in the background.

  4. Thank you! She was a very sweet lady and we were honored that she picked our plantation for such a special day.

  5. Beautiful Bride and wonderful pictures!

  6. Thank you!

  7. Beautiful! How wonderful to have a setting like yours for a bride! Thank you for sharing, lovely pictures : )

  8. Thank you! It was such a honor to have her with us on her special picture day.

  9. Norma Venning Says:

    What beautiful pictures! The plantation looks wonderful!

  10. Thank you! We felt very honored to be apart of it!

  11. Beautiful! We have eco-friendly and custom (green) wedding favors if you’re ever interested for weddings at your gorgeous plantation.

  12. Thank you! We aren’t there yet, but email us so we can save your info! (

  13. Angeline M Says:

    Such a lovely post. What a memorable setting for these photos for all the family of the bride and groom.

  14. It was such a great point in time and great story that goes with it. Thank you!

  15. terry1954 Says:

    what a wonderful story and beautiful photos!!

  16. Thank you! We thought so too!

  17. Ankit Says:

    beautiful… that’s the only word which comes to mind
    the story, the pictures, the bride and the plantation
    just beautiful

  18. Thank you! It was a wonderful story.

  19. A fairy tale!

  20. It really was! And what a great story we have to add to the history of this plantation!

  21. She looks so beautiful, and your plantation makes such a wonderful backdrop for the photos 🙂

  22. She is such a sweet person. We were honored to be her backdrop!

  23. gorgeous wedding photos!

  24. I would say thank you, but I didn’t have anything to do with them 😉 but she was beautiful and the photographer did an outstanding job!

  25. Jane Sadek Says:


  26. Yes she was!

  27. Elen Grey Says:

    What a great story. You’re already making your own history. Beautiful bride.

  28. Thank you! It is such a great story to add to the plantation. I am just honored to be a part of it!

  29. Dianna Says:

    Beautiful photos. I can relate to how much this means to the bride with her connection to the property. (After all, I was married in historic Bacon’s Castle!)

  30. I thought about you when I wrote this!

  31. Dianna Says:

    I thought you might have!

  32. Lovely Story, lovely pictures!

  33. Thank you! It was such an honor to be a part of it!

  34. Ray's Mom Says:

    Love Richmond.

  35. Us too!

  36. K McGinniss Says:

    Thank you for posting and isn’t my cousin a beautiful bride! I didn’t know my great-grandfather, Samuel “Andrew” McGinniss, was a field hand at Belle Grove in his early teens but I do know that after Carolinus Turner died him and his family ( wife: Elizabeth “Bette” Dianne and eldest son Richard “Irvin” McGinniss) leased Belle Grove and lived in one wing of the house. He leased and then subleased the farm to others in the late 1880s and early 90s. Bette and Andrew’s second son, Andrew Hampton “Ham” McGinniss was likely born at Belle Grove. Andrew and his brother John Seddon McGinniss had lived at another Turner farm, Walshingham, in the late 1870s and early 80s.

    Thank you again and I hope to come tour the home one day.


  37. Wow Keith! Thank you so much! You have just filled in some of the missing history for us!