Vendor Guide

Vendor Guide
Vendor Guide

Classic Portsmouth Wedding by Dragon Studio and DreamClip Films

Bo and Sydney were introduced to each other through mutual friends, but unfortunately, geographical distance kept them apart at first. However, as fate would have it, Sydney returned home to the Hampton Roads area within a few months, and she and Bo have been together ever since.

Growing up, the bride always dreamed that she would get married at St. Paul's Catholic Church, and since The Portsmouth Renaissance was so close to the church, and not to mention beautiful, they knew it was the perfect reception location.

The whole wedding day was full of emotion which was beautifully captured by Dragon Studio and DreamClip Films. Sydney and Bo made an extra point that they were so happy to have family and friends come from near and far to celebrate their special day. With all of the great vendors ("friendors" as Sydney likes to call them), their day turned out just as they dreamed.

And we loved (and chuckled about!) what advice Sydney had to share for other couples getting married:
Always remember that at the end of the Wedding Day, as long as you and your significant other are married, that's what matters. Make sure you do what you two love and what makes you happy! Also, the advice I really took to heart: if something isn't exactly right, don't sweat it. The only people who will notice are you and your Mom!

Photography: Dragon Studio // Videography: DreamClip Films // Ceremony Venue: St. Paul's Catholic Church // Reception Venue: The Portsmouth Renaissance // Wedding Coordination: Signature Weddings // Officiant: Reverend David Cupps // Ceremony Music: Nick Nespoli, W.B. Madrigals, and Jennifer Glymph // DJ: Astro Entertainment // Hair: Chelsea Jordan // Makeup: Makeup by Kim Porter // Bridal Gown: All the Rage // Florals: HollyDays // Cake: Shockley's Sweet Shoppe // Lighting: Stage Right Lighting // Event Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals // Stationery: RSVP Stationery // Photo Booth: Boardwalk Photo Booth Company

Fourth of July Fireworks Wedding Inspiration

Oh, Mount Trashy. You do fireworks so brilliantly every year, and while you may not be a real bluff, you're as close as we get to it around here.

For our beyond Hampton Roads readers, Mount Trashmore (yes, it's really called that) is actually a real landfill transformed into a beautiful park. Growing up, I remember many picnics and even braving the crazy 4th of July traffic just to see the fireworks there. This manmade mountain is funny enough the highest point in all of Virginia Beach, so you have quite the view if you get to the park early enough! (Another local insider secret: Though now that Town Center is built up, the top of its parking garages also offers a phenomenal view of Mount Trashy's fireworks!)

So for this month's local inspiration board, we are celebrating our Independence Day with some local fireworks, classic wedding details, and a whole lotta sparkle! Subtle red, off-white, and blue pops of color can give any wedding a touch of the patriotic without going overboard. And pair it with a sparkly metallic? You've got a winning combination for an elegant summer celebration!

Looking for more Hampton Roads wedding inspiration?
Take a peek through our other local-inspired boards.

Firework Cake: Julie Lim via Ruffled // Red, White, and Blue Bowtie: Melissa Schollaert via Wedding Sparrow // Sparkly Wedding Dress: Emily Steffen via Style Me Pretty // White Fireworks: Source Unknown // Firework Paddle Signs: Jade and Matthew via Martha Stewart Weddings

Old Dominion University Engagement Session by Dreamalittle Photography and Intellect Media

While taking business classes in 2009, T'Nora met Josh at Old Dominion University. And as their engagement film by Intellect Media beautifully tells, it was a wonderful "how we met" college sweethearts kind of story.

Captured by Dreama of Dreamalittle Photography, this stylish couple wanted to venture around the different areas of Norfolk as it was such an important place in their relationship. There's no doubt that T'Nora has found her to-be... the stolen looks, the hand tucking her hair, the arm around her waist. You can tell Josh is just as crazy for her as she for him. Their wedding later this year is sure to be a sweet one!

Photography: Dreamalittle Photography // Videography: Intellect Media // Venues: The Pagoda and Old Dominion University // Makeup: Nita J Makeup Artistry

How to Include Kitty in Your Wedding

It's no secret we're animal lovers, and our editor-in-chief a crazy cat lady. No secret at all. Chelsea's three furbabies have their own cat room and Facebook page and respective hashtags on Instagram for goodness sake. And if she would have been able to have cats around the time she got married, oh, you could bet that she would have tried to find some way to incorporate them into the big day.

We cat lovers know that cats are very much homebodies and don't always do well when taken away from their everyday environments... which is why you see more dogs decked out in lovely florals and fancy bowtie collars on wedding blogs all the time. It's only natural, but it's a bummer for those whose purrfect companions are VIPs in their lives.

But there is hope for us yet, friends! There are many beautiful ways to bring kitty into your special day. And if you happen to have a cat who is atypical, loves to go on outdoor adventures, and is in your wedding. You need to email us stat. We want to feature that wedding.

The Story Behind a Real Cat Lovers' Wedding

It all started with their at-home engagement session and then it trickled into their wedding invitations. Proud cat parents, Ashley and Ryan share their Virginia Beach story and how they incorporated their kitty into their big day:

Bella is my first child who just happens to have fur and four legs. She is a grey tabby rescue who stole my heart from the first time I saw her picture. Even today, Ryan jokes about how he knew she was ours by my expression when I found her. By the time we got married, she was three years old, and we'd been through hell and back together. Long story short, she ended up being a special needs cat. She has epilepsy and getting the diagnosis and then the correct dose of medicine was a challenge: mentally, physically, and emotionally. But there isn't anything we wouldn't do (if we have the means or a credit card) for our baby.

You often see wedding pictures with the couple's dog included in the wedding – ring bearer anyone? I wanted that, but with our cat – she would have been THE cutest flower girl EVER. Unfortunately, our venue was a restaurant so no pets were allowed understandably. Knowing that we couldn't physically bring her and have her be a part of our day, we decided to incorporate her in as many different ways as possible.

When all was said and done, her silhouette was on our invitations, her picture was in the center of my fascinator, Ryan carved and hand-printed linoleum prints to incorporate in our centerpieces, her pictures were in our picture display including our guest book (made from our engagement pictures), and we had our florist, Palette of Petals, add a silver cat charm to Ryan's boutonniere.

Ways to Include Kitty in Your Wedding

In addition to some of the ideas that Ashley and Ryan did with their wedding, there are many ways to bring your domestic kitten into the big day.

• In lieu of traditional wedding favors, donate to a cat rescue organization in your kitty's name. Organizations like the national ASPCA and the more local Peninsula Pet Pantry are always grateful for any donation they receive. Do good and feel good through your nuptials!

• Use cat cake toppers. From chic to modern to vintage, there are a slew of cat cake toppers all over the internet. My personal favorite is this modern black cat set on Etsy! Find the one that matches your wedding style and make that cake extra purrfect!

• Have your First Look at your home. When you see each other for the first time, why not have Kitty being held by one of you? Take it to the next adorable level? Bowtie collars or mini floral wreaths for the wedding cat!

• Stitch a secret kitty emblem underneath your suit/tie/wedding gown. This "hidden token" is a sweet way to memorialize a furbaby who is no longer with you, but you still wanted to incorporate in one of the most important days of your life.

• Print off kitty cut-outs for formal portraits. Have a bit of quirky style? Get professionally printed cardboard cut-outs of your felines and snag a portrait with them throughout the wedding day like this Hawaiian wedding couple did. And if you're having a photo booth, put them in the prop box for even more fun with your wedding guests! Because let's be real. If you're getting cardboard cutouts of your cats, then the world probably already knows the level of cat love you have.

• Have cat-themed sweets for dessert. Since donuts are the new cupcake, make your own cat donuts for a late night reception snack. You know your guests will Instagram the heck out of them! Hashtag best wedding ever.

Can't get enough of kitties? Head over to our "It's a Nice Day for a Cat Wedding" Pinterest board for more cat-themed wedding ideas or shop our Cat Lovers Must Haves!

All photos by Chelsea LaVere. You can see Ashley and Ryan's full wedding feature on Poptastic Bride.

Classic Nautical Wedding by The Girl Tyler

Maggie and Chris first met while studying at SUNY Maritime College and then both relocated to the Hampton Roads area for their careers. So between those geographical details, Chris' interest in wooden craft boats, and the couple's mutual love for the water, it was only destiny to have a classic nautical-inspired wedding day.

With silver boat propeller cufflinks for the groom and anchor necklaces for the bridesmaids, the scene was set for a beautiful wedding over looking the Nansemond River and Marina at Hilton Garden Inn Riverfront in Suffolk. While it was a little rainy (only perfect for a water-loving couple, right!), it was a day full of warmth and celebration beautifully captured by The Girl Tyler.

Photography: The Girl Tyler // Ceremony Venue: St. Mary's Catholic Church // Reception Venue: Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk // Florals: Norfolk Wholesale // Cake: Patti Cakes // DJ: DJ Silver // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Wedding Workspaces: Antonia Christianson Events

Last month, we introduced our newest series, Wedding Workspaces, and this month, we're sharing our second installment with another fab local wedding pro!

Through Wedding Workspaces, we are showcasing Hampton Roads-based wedding pros and where they create throughout the week when not on location for a wedding. Weddings never are one-day gigs; it typically takes months and days to be part of that special celebration... so we might as well feel cozy for the day in, day out tasks!

Today, we have wedding coordinator and vendor fam Antonia Christianson and her cozy modern wedding planning studio in Virginia Beach. Through grey, white, and yellow details, you'll feel right at home with Team ACE!

What was your inspiration for the space?

The inspiration for the space comes from our brand. Our office reflects the work we do over social media, our website, and the social events we plan. We want our clients to feel that our workspace and work ethic mirror the same image.

Give three adjectives to describe how you want your clients to feel coming into your workspace.

Inspiring, Relaxing, and Inviting!

What's your favorite part of the workspace?

We actually have two favorite places in the office! One of our favorite parts is the gallery wall of our clients. When you're in the office, you'll notice behind the photos there is a soft glimmer. This glimmer is a light sheen of paint to help make our client images really pop and stand out. We designed this purposefully and love it! Our clients are a major and very special part of our company and having their wedding day on our wall always brings back warm memories.

Our second favorite spot is the alcove window. The window lets in a lot of natural light and always makes us feel cheery in the office. The holidays inspire us to switch up the window d├ęcor often. Clients always comment on how gorgeous the window and window display look! We love hearing our clients say how swoonworthy our alcove window is and even passersby will pop in wondering what the window is all about.

Do you have any interesting locally based details in your workspace?

Yes! Our good friend Natasha Parker of Parker Furniture Revivals located also in Virginia Beach made our grey chairs with the lovely dotted chevron pattern. The decorations in the bookcases come from different weddings we have planned and coordinated and showcase a fun diversity from our clients. Many of the decorations in the bookcases, on the cake tables, and on our walls are also custom linens that our business partner, Helen Price, and our team have made together. When a client is looking for a certain design or fabric, we are always eager to help them create the perfect custom linens and fun accessories.

Have any personal stories of designing, building, or creating?

Antonia Christianson Events has been in the Wayside Village Shoppes since 2010 and recently moved to a new studio just a few doors down in 2013. This new studio was a custom built office from the ground up. We were able to choose every detail... where the walls were to be placed, how we wanted our front wall to look (it's full of windows!), even the shape of our foyer and window display space. We created this space to hopefully give an open and bubbly environment for our staff and clients. One of our favorite features that our landlord surprised us with was our gorgeous and STUNNING hardwood floors. The floors really accentuate our modern and at-home style. We love that our studio shows how much we can customize and personalize events for our brides and grooms!

You can get to know Antonia through her great Tuesday Tips on Facebook and fun event shares on Instagram.

Photography: Caitlin Gerres Photography

Williamsburg Picnic Anniversary by Bit of Ivory Photography

It's no surprise we love anniversary sessions here at Tidewater and Tulle. The wedding day isn't just a one day shindig! And today, we have a few familiar faces in this anniversary session... it's our vendor fam's own Caitlin of Caitlin Gerres Photography and her hubs, Ryan captured by Bit of Ivory Photography!

Married on July 11, 2011, Caitlin and Ryan had a difficult time trying to think about what "theme" they wanted for their anniversary as she wanted it to be something really meaningful, something that really described them and their journey as a couple.

When we first got married, we didn't have a lot of extra money for date nights, so we had to get a little creative to plan special outings together to get that date night feeling. What's more special than a picnic? There was a little park in our neighborhood, so we would pile up my bike basket with a blanket and our dinner and ride over to the park. And we would sit on our blanket by the lake and watch the ducks and geese while we ate. And somehow, even the simplest meal became more special. Our anniversary session with Chelsea was special, because she captured our love story, the way my husband makes me laugh and the way he makes me feel inside. She understood us as individuals and as a couple and she brought that out throughout the session.

Caitlin said the best marriage advice she has would be to always talk about everything.

Don't keep things bottled up inside. If something bothers you or you're upset about something, explain why. The only way two people can have a close relationship, no matter how similar or different they are, is if they explain their feelings.

While no relationship is ever perfect, communication is always the key. No matter if you've been married 3 or 30 years.

Photography: Bit of Ivory Photography // Venue: Freedom Park // Makeup: DShane Designs // Sweets: DIY by Caitlin Gerres

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