Vendor Guide

Vendor Guide
Vendor Guide

Local Wedding Happs, February Edition

Happs: n. a quirky term for "happenings" or could be a silly shortening of "happy."
(We'll let you take your pick.)

We're in the end of the peak engagement season, and 2014 is looking pretty awesome! We have the latest in some local wedding news to bring you up to speed about some local pros doing some pretty neat things. :)

Styled Reception Tables to Inspire Brides
Organized by Waterford Event Rentals, Crystal Clear Vision is a unique event where engaged couples will be able to view reception tables fully set by some of the best local designers and coordinators in Hampton Roads on March 15th at the Double Tree of Virginia Beach. Tickets are $5, so head over to their Facebook page to get more info!

Paper Flower Sip 'n' Share by Event Professionals at Wayside Village Shoppes
On March 6th, Vendor Fam Antonia Christianson Events and friend Isha Foss Events are hosting a paper flower workshop open to all ladies, gents, pros, and whoever loves all things weddings in Virginia Beach! This one is free, but be sure to RSVP on their Event page.

Same Sex Marriage Ban Declared Unconstitutional
On Friday, February 14, 2014, Federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. However, this ruling will not immediately make marriage licenses available to same-sex couples in Virginia. Vendor Fam Cherry Blossom Weddings wrote a great informative resource for LGBT couples looking to get married in Hampton Roads this week though!

The Bridal Dish Williamsburg and The Inspired Bride Connect
It's a coming together for the new Bridal Dish Williamsburg and The Inspired Bride this Spring. Much like Maya Couture and the original Bridal Dish in Norfolk, this Peninsula location recently announced the neighborly partnership once new add-on renovations are complete in April. (And with the renovations, the ladies at The Inspired Bride be able to showcase menswear and other bridal-related gowns! It's a win-win for local and out-of-town couples and families!)

New Storefront for Wedding Florist and Vintage Furniture Rentals
Tidewater and Tulle's Vendor Fam, Becky of Roost Flowers, and Mary of Bluebird's Garage set up shop with stylish doors wide open for the Virginia Beach Oceanfront community. With their grand opening on February 20th, this fresh and modern white storefront is lovely in all ways. Definitely be sure to stop by when down on Mediterranean Ave.!

A Look at Hampton Roads History, Couples-Style
And for funsies, around Valentine's, the Daily Press wrote up a fun little look into local history and some famous couples. We're not America's First Region for nothing without some key figures like Pocahontas! Definitely worth a read for a little nod to love in the past.

Know something else that's going on in the Hampton Roads wedding industry for next month's LWH edition? Please send an email to Disclaimer: Announcements and news will be posted at the discretion of the editor and its overall benefit to the wedding community as a whole. All news is welcome, but priority is given to Tidewater and Tulle Vendor Fam members. For sponsored posts and paid event announcements, please email for advertising rates.

Newport News Engagement Session Ideas

With the peak of proposal season just ending at Valentine's Day, we are starting up a great new inspirational series for engagement sessions. Over the next few months, we are traveling around Hampton Roads and showcasing what the area has to offer beyond the typical! Get your "think outside the box" caps on, and hop on to our Engagement Session Ideas train! (I think I'm done with the trip references. Maybe. Just read below!)

Aromas Coffee

Not to be confused with its Williamsburg counterpart, right in City Center, there is a great little local coffee shop called Aromas for that relaxed and java-lovin' couple. Just give the shop a heads-up if this is your scene, and they can advise on when their less busy hours are! Or for you ice cream lovers out there, MaggieMoo's is right around the corner for a sweet treat!

Lee Hall Mansion

Built in the 1850's, Lee Hall Mansion is one of the last remaining antebellum homes on the Virginia Peninsula. It's a beautiful property run by Newport News Parks and Rec and can even be rented out for weddings, but we love it as a great spot with tons of scenery for engagement sessions. There is a small admission fee, so be sure to call ahead to double check their photography guidelines as they can change at any time.

Mariners' Museum

Whether you are right at the museum or surrounding it, the Mariners' Museum provides a little bit of architecture and a little bit of nature. There is an admission fee to go inside, and you will want to check for current photography guidelines before going over there, but the outside and surrounding areas are open to the public! (Noland Trail is practically in its backyard, too, so you can double duty your locations!)

Newport News/Williamsburg Airport

Okay, so the airport isn't the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to engagements. Most of us get visions of TSA and quart-sized bags when we think of a suitcase. But if you're a traveler or have had a long distance relationship, then the Newport News/Williamsburg Airport might hold some special meaning! Even though it's a generally low key, low traffic place, you'll still want to check in with them to make sure everything's good to go when photographing there. Can't envision what it could look like? You'll want to head over to our friend Borrowed and Bleu's blog to see this High Flying Airport Engagement at the Newport News/Williamsburg Airport!

Newport News City Center

For a more architectural feel, Newport News City Center has the charm of a date night lifestyle engagement session. Wandering around, hand in hand, surrounded by a beautiful large fountain and lots of little shops and other nooks and crannies, it's a wonderful place to explore together with your photographer.

Noland Trail

Surrounded by water and land, Noland Trail is one of the best spots for engagements year-round. There are tons of walking trails, bridges, massively colorful trees, benches, and the famed Lion's Bridge. There is no admission fee or a department to contact. Just park in the lot and head off on your adventure! If you're a nature lover, this is definitely your spot in Newport News!

Do you have a favorite spot you like to go to in Newport News for photos? Share below or on Facebook!

Aromas Coffee: Luke and Ashley Photography // Lee Hall Mansion: Diana Gordon Photography // Mariners Museum: Beth Hamilton Photography // Newport News City Center: Schu's Shoots Photography // Noland Trail: Bit of Ivory Photography

Historical Williamsburg Engagement Session by Bit of Ivory Photography

With a vintage map-inspired wedding on the horizon, Alicia and Josh's engagement session had to have some nod to history! And when history rings, it tends to be Colonial Williamsburg calling! Their engagement session with me (Bit of Ivory Photography) was not only rooted in history, but also rooted in a love that all other pet moms and dads know well.

When you have a furbaby, that furbaby is very much a part of your family and your life's adventure. So for Alicia and Josh, with no question, this pup Kaylee just had to take part! Regardless that incorporating a well-loved animal is hugely trendy right now in the wedding world, it's just another special, personal touch to any wedding day or session. And heck, it's just plain adorable and heart-squeezing!

Photography: Bit of Ivory Photography

Tuesday Tidbits | Planning a Same Sex Wedding in Hampton Roads

With social change sweeping the country, the wedding industry's dynamic is also changing. Tidewater and Tulle is not here to get political, but to be informative and sensitive to all engaged couples as we grow to become one of Hampton Roads' valuable wedding resources-- no matter gender or orientation.

So today, I have Tidewater and Tulle Vendor Fam, Crystal Beng of Cherry Blossom Weddings, chiming in to help the local LGBT community. She is feisty for weddings and specializes in same sex weddings, locally and beyond, and clearly the best expert to help answer the big questions when it comes to getting married here in Hampton Roads.

This post has been updated quite a few times in 2014 due to the changing of laws, so many extra thanks to Crystal for keeping us up-to-date! ♥

Take it away, wedding ninja!

[This resource is current as of November 20, 2014.]

Once upon a time, it wasn't legal for gay couples to get their marriage license, but now they go to the courthouse just like their straight counterparts! A valid form of ID from each person and a check gets the license, and a certified copy can be sent for an additional fee. Though both parties will need to be present, you don't need to worry about having any witnesses or dealing with any waiting periods - huge perks of getting your license in Virginia! To find your specific county/city in Hampton Roads and any city-specific guidelines, you'll want to check out Virginia's Circuit Courts website.

How do I find LGBT-friendly vendors?
Hire Cherry Blossom Weddings (ha!)...

While most vendors don't think twice about the sexual orientation of their clients, there may be some who just won't be a good fit working for you. It's really hard for me not to get on my soapbox here, but the short answer is to ask for referrals. If you're planning your own wedding, you'll have to "come out" a few times to your venue, photographer, videographer, and DJ. These particular people are going to be in your face (literally), and it's best if you get along with them on a deeper level. After you get past those main vendors, everyone else will need to know your wedding date, venue, guest count, et cetera.

Why should I hire a planner? Will it make the whole process easier?
As with any couple - gay or straight - a wedding planner is going to take loads of stress off your shoulders. We reduce the number of emails you have to answer, field the phone calls, and come prepared with tips and tricks to make the process as a whole much easier.

If I'm working with a gay couple, I would say the biggest way I make their lives easier is by pre-screening each vendor. Our clients don't have to "come out" to each vendor, deal with any awkward facial expressions, or have to answer any personal questions - they simply arrive to the meeting knowing we've already taken care of it for them.

How do I find non-traditional wedding attire?
If someone is looking for something a little more fashion-forward like a bridal suit, Alfred Angelo offers some interesting options and the lovelies at Ava Clara Couture Bridal in Virginia Beach have a designer in Boston they often work with for custom pieces. 14 Stories, an amazing business in NYC and Boston, recently launched a line of suit separates designed specifically for lesbian, queer, and trans weddings.

What do I need to keep in mind when wedding planning?
Not to get too emotional here, but don't let anyone downplay your wedding. Yes, we all know it's not legally recognized (yet) in the state of Virginia. Don't get wrapped up in the technicalities, ignore anyone who isn't super excited for you, and let your planner take care of the vendors. After all, the hard part is done - you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Are there any special tidbits about having a gay wedding in our area?
Planning any sort of wedding is an emotional roller coaster for most people. You're trying to please 40-400 of your closest friends and family, it's a huge investment, and you have to worry about a million little details in between. If you're specifically planning a gay wedding, the emotions are just the same but you have the added scrutiny of the general public. Though we've never had to fend off any protesters, it's not uncommon to have gawkers. I like to think people don't mean to be rude, but instead they're just curious. It's nothing that a little extra planning can't prevent, but definitely something to be mindful of.

Are there any resources that might make finding LGBT-friendly vendors easier?
Because Hampton Roads is still growing to become more LGBT-friendly as a whole, there aren't too many local organizations where you can just do a quick search for wedding vendors without doing your own personal inquiries. But there are two main online resources that might help you get started if you don't have a wedding planner: (which is affiliated with WeddingWire) and You can always check Hampton Roads Business OutReach and any partnerships with Hampton Roads Pride.

- Crystal

Cherry Blossom Weddings is a tried-and-true, client-approved member of the Tidewater and Tulle Vendor Fam. You can find out more about Crystal and her team on Facebook and Instagram!

All photos by Amanda Dorian Photography.

Sweet Rustic Yorktown Freight Shed Wedding by Jami Thompson Photography

Rain will never dampen the spirits of a wedding day, especially when you have two joyful people joining together in matrimony. And nothing quite like the bride trying to put her groom's ring on the wrong hand like Brittney did during the ceremony. Smiling at his wife-to-be and a smirk to their guests, Dustin waved his left hand as everyone erupted into laughter.

"I wanted the day to feel special and a bonding experience rather than a jumbled hectic race to the altar. It worked wonderfully-- everyone was calm and laughing. And it felt like one huge loving family event!" Brittney said.

Orchestrated by Southern Brides on a Budget and photographed by Jami Thompson Photography, the Yorktown Freight Shed shared rustic details, happy tears, and endless chuckles all throughout the ceremony and reception.

Photography: Jami Thompson Photography // Reception Venue: The Freight Shed // Event Planning/Rentals/Lighting/Decor: Southern Brides on a Budget // Cake: Bella Cakes // Florals: DIY by Friend // Catering: Smokin Joe's Barbeque // Hair and Makeup: DIY by Bride and Friend // Music: Good Shot Judy // DJ: Brett Cahoon // Bridal Attire: David's Bridal // Groomswear: Men's Wearhouse // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Friday Recap | Twitterific

After having to be rescheduled from some slick snow last month, we finally had our first Quick Bytes this past Wednesday in Virginia Beach! It was all about Twitter, and it was so exciting to see light bulbs go off and really get our thinking about how Twitter can help transform a tiny bit of social media networking and a local support system.

[photo: @TidewaterTulle]

We discussed "No-Bake (aka Easy) Tweet Management," "Who the Heck is even on Twitter? (Not Just Celebrities!)," "To Tweet or Not to Tweet (aka Twitter Etiquette)," and a slew of other Twitter tangents about abbreviations, retweeting, lists, and the sort.

Wanted to come to Twitterific but couldn't? Head over to these amazing local pros' Twitter pages as they're ready to be burning up #hrva (and pictured above!)! You will also pick up some good Twitter etiquette from watching their feeds! ;)

Antonia Christianson Events // Emily Weddings // Kimberlin Gray Photography // Leigh Skaggs Photography // Makeup by Kim Porter // Salon Noa // The Girl Tyler // Tidewater and Tulle

As requested by this Twitterific crew, we're switching topics to Google+ next month... so here's your Save the Date! Next week, keep an eye out on our Facebook page for the "Google+ Not Minus" Event to pop up because spots will be limited to just 10 people to keep it focused on quality and one-on-one.

Looking for more information about what Quick Bytes is? Head over to our original Quick Bytes post.

My Grandmother's Portrait: A Look Behind Maya Couture on Main

Sometimes our greatest inspirations come from unexpected places, but I'll let this story from Misty Prewitt of Maya Couture share her perspective on the beautifully unforeseen. :)


I wish I could tell you when I started to like beautiful things. I'd like to say that every girl dreams of her perfect wedding, of the moment when her veil is placed just perfectly before her grand entrance, or of finding an immensely beautiful bridal gown to wear to walk down the aisle to her handsome groom. I was not that girl. I was the definition of tomboy-- it's rare that you saw me without jeans and t-shirt on (you might catch me in a sweater), and I was never interested in my hair or my makeup. I was extraordinarily nerdy. I taught myself to speed-read so that I never had to stop learning about the world outside my bedroom walls (far be it from me to actually go experience them!). I watched every episode of every show ever (I can't say that addiction has faded). And at age seven, I dreamed of being immensely successful and independent.

Then my grandmother passed away. It was strange, she was gone but she wasn't. A photo of her and my grandfather at their wedding still hung in our home, and it was like she was here. She got married in the 1960s, and her long-sleeved ball gown paired with her gorgeous mantilla veil and a delicate crown to top her beautiful curls was so classic. If her gown had been around today, I would have worn it to my own wedding. I knew one thing: I wanted to be like her-- kind, independent, giving, talented, creative, and simply beautiful. I carried the wallet-sized version of that photo in my wallet for years after she passed, until it finally disintegrated into nothing but the memory in the back of my mind.

I was the first of my friends to get married and the one who always said she'd never do it for fear of losing my independence. I had no idea that weddings were such a production. We were two students paying for our own wedding, and I looked to cut costs wherever I could. I entangled myself in each and every detail, from my handmade centerpieces to the obsession that became my wedding gown. The only image that stuck out to me was my grandmother's dress, but I truly and honestly couldn't find anything like it, so I chose for the next best thing: a simple, white ball gown and her charm bracelet to carry a piece of her with me. I went to five stores and easily tried on over 100 intricately-designed gowns. Maya Couture was one of those stores and the store where I found my wedding gown.

It's funny. If you had asked me 20 years ago what I'd be when I grow up, I can promise you my answer would not have been a bridal consultant or a bridal salon manager. That would've been at the bottom of my list. I'm just not your typical consultant. But that's why I love it-- it's exactly what you would NOT think I'd do if you met me. I'm tattooed (like, a lot) and I'm still not very girly. I'll tell you what though-- I'm extraordinarily passionate about making people happy and giving every bride that vision that I never had, but the dream that they deserve.

When we developed this shoot, we did it with the intent to announce my crowning achievement: the opening of our second location in Suffolk. The concept of the store was that we were taking something old (our limited edition merchandise) and breathing life into it to make it new again. I wanted Maya Couture to be obtainable to brides who couldn't necessarily afford the Maya Couture experience at our flagship store, and I was lucky enough to work for a boss who let me pitch a 17-page proposal and was receptive to the idea. For us, it's never been just about a sale. It's been about finding the perfect gown for every girl with almost any budget.

I poured myself into that shoot and called in every favor that I could, and the collaboration and support amongst people who were already my friends or became my friends as a result was just overwhelming. I wish I could say that I put as much thought into bringing that iconic portrait of my grandmother into the shoot. But the truth is, it just didn't feel right to celebrate that moment without having my grandmother there to encourage me in my endeavors, like she always has. I grabbed that photo off the wall the day before the shoot and vowed that there would be a picture with it so that I could share that special piece of me with the rest of the world.

- Misty of Maya Couture

You can get to know Misty and the other Maya Couture ladies at the new Suffolk location, Maya Couture on Main, or by visiting Facebook and Instagram.

Photography: Amanda Hedgepeth Photography // Hair Stylist: Behind the Veil Studio // Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design // Florist: Char's Floral Designs // Culinary Treats: Harper's Table // Makeup Artist: KristineMarie Makeup Artistry // Bridal Gown Store: Maya Couture // Vintage Furniture Rentals: Shelley's Shabby Shack // Bakery: Simply Susan's // Equipment Rentals: Somethin' Borrowed or New // Furniture Rentals: Table Seven // Stationery: The Girl Tyler // Event Venue: The Historic Obici House // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Modern Vintage Virginia Beach Wedding by Jen and Ashley and Jeremy Mitchell Cinema

With their unique color combination of sage and emerald greens paired with the warm colors of autumn, Jessica and Ryan's not-your-typical hotel wedding was everything and more when it came to being a memorable day for them and their loved ones.

"There are so many more venues than just the beach! I never thought of having my wedding reception in a hotel, but you really can 'transform' any space to reflect who you are as a couple! We were blessed to have our rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, and post-wedding breakfast all at The Westin, and it was so darn convenient for all of our out-of-town guests which made it so much more enjoyable for us!" Jessica raved.

Captured by Jen + Ashley and Jeremy Mitchell Cinema, fun fall touches like apple cinnamon-flavored water, popcorn and s'mores bars, and gilded gold chargers set the tone for an elegant, yet non-fussy entertaining evening. These two left no detail untouched when it came to making sure their loved ones had a fun-filled weekend of festivities!

Photography: Jen + Ashley Photography // Videography: Jeremy Mitchell Cinema // Ceremony Venue: Indian River Baptist Church // Reception Venue: Westin Virginia Beach // Bridal Salon: All the Rage // Menswear: Macy's // DJ and Photo Booth: Boardwalk Photo Booth Company // Florals: Daevid's Flowers // Cake: Jaime's Bakeshop // Makeup and Hair: JAK Salon // Calligraphy: Coastal Calligraphy // Stationery: PaperDolls Design // Custom Wire Cake Topper: Deliziare via Etsy // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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