Purple Garden-Inspired Hermitage Wedding by Deanna Casey Photography

Having grown up in Virginia Beach, Ariel and Chris knew that having a Hampton Roads wedding was always on the table, especially since most of her family members still live here.

"It was always important to me that the venue reflect all that this area had to offer so that our large number of out-of-town guests would get a feel for how special Southeastern Virginia really could be. I wanted something with a bit of vintage feel to it and a lot of character. The Hermitage had the perfect blend of Hampton Roads. It had a vintage elegance that was steeped in history, surrounded by lush gardens and to top it all off was on the water!" Ariel explained. (P.S. And we couldn't have agreed with her more, but then again, we are a little biased!)

Expertly captured by Deanna Casey Photography and coordinated by Sunkissed Events and Designs, Ariel recalls her favorite wedding day memory of that first dance with her new husband. During the dance, they opted to have their guests surround the dance floor so that they were in the background of their pictures during this special moment as Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" played. "I love looking at the photos from that moment because I always notice a new person in the background and get to see their reaction and feelings in that moment," she said.

And one powerful tidbit of advice was that a dress shop owner told Ariel to really think about was what story you want your wedding to tell. When you have a clear idea on what tone you want the event to convey-- whether it's elegant, formal, whimsical, or relaxed-- figuring out the little details become easier.

Photography: Deanna Casey Photography // Event Coordination: Sunkissed Events & Design // Venue: The Hermitage Museum and Gardens // Catering: Chef by Design // Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting // Florals: Leslie Hartig Floral Design // Entertainment: Astro Entertainment // Ceremony Musician: Mike Proffitt // Cupcakes: Twisted Sisters // Makeup: Dhalia Edwards // Hair: Adrienne Coventry // Transportation: Venture Tours // Stationery: The Girl Tyler // Rentals & Linens: Distinctive Event Rentals // Bridal Gown: Claire Pettibone via Betsy Robinson Bridal Collection // Menswear: Men's Wearhouse // Cornhole Boards: Josh Carpenter