Vendor Guide

Vendor Guide
Vendor Guide

Crab Feast Rehearsal Dinner Inspiration

Maryland transplants to Hampton Roads, Rachel and Mark of Tiltawhirl Imagery were feeling a bit nostalgic for the summer crab feasts they remembered from home. Both being hugely nautical areas, it's almost to be expected!

But when it came down to local crab offerings for the shoot and for couples wanting to do the same, the ever environmentally-conscious Rachel was candid: "The past winter wiped out 28 percent of the Chesapeake Bay's male blue crab population, so we felt a more sustainable dinner option would be the Dungeness crab, found on the west coast. Pike Place Fish Market (yep, that one) in Seattle, Washington, saved the day by having access to this certified sustainable crab option."

Thanks to the creativity of Wedding Co. of Williamsburg, a formal table setting was paired with the informal feast setting to provide the perfect blend of regality and relaxed enjoyment. Cary Hill Plantation 1741 provided the perfect backdrop for what started as a simple inspired story that came to life with the eclectic flower arrangements by Aleen Floral Design, the equally artistic cake confection by Cindy's Cakery, the lovely makeup by Dhalia Edwards, the quintessential crab-y stationery designed by The Girl Tyler, and rentals from Two Rivers Country Club and Williamsburg Event Rentals.

With the paper-lined table and cold longnecks gathering condensation, you can almost smell the seafood and Old Bay from this inspiration rehearsal dinner crab feast just in time for Labor Day!

Tiltawhirl Imagery and Dhalia Edwards are local wedding champs
in the Tidewater and Tulle Vendor Fam.

Photography: Tiltawhirl Imagery // Venue: Cary Hill 1741 // Event Coordination: Wedding Co. of Williamsburg // Florals: Aleen Floral Design // Cake: Cindy's Cakery // Makeup: Dhalia Edwards // Stationery: The Girl Tyler // Chairs: Two Rivers Country Club // Table Settings and Linens: Williamsburg Event Rentals // Shoot Assistant: Lori Shelton // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Tea for Two on the Beach Engagement Session

Kasey and Dominic are not from Virginia; they grew up respectively in Indiana and Ohio and both transplated to the Hampton Roads area for their careers. Dominic serves in the U.S. Navy and is currently stationed at Little Creek, and Kasey originally came here for an internship with a local museum, Hampton Roads Naval Museum. And as fate would have it, their paths crossed, and they fell in love.

Since they're having a vintage-themed wedding, they wanted to bring a few wedding details into their beach engagement session with Diana Gordon Photography. And thus the sweetest tea for two there ever was happened!

Photography: Diana Gordon Photography // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Dealing with Sensitive Wedding Issues, Part Two

Last month, we introduced Part One of our Dealing with Sensitive Wedding Issues and tackled issues of adults-only weddings, financial responsibilities, and more. So in our Part Two, we are sharing our etiquette tips for when it comes to some wedding day-of and post-wedding sensitive issues. With the help of the queen bee of etiquette, Emily Post, and other web resources, we are sharing some tried-and-true wedding go-to advice!

How to honor different religious or cultural family traditions…

Diversity is beautiful! And even more beautiful when worlds collide to create something new and special. With couples coming from even more diverse backgrounds and stories, wedding ceremonies and receptions take on some unique forms. It's important to communicate to your family and loved ones what you feel is important to your special day. To help bridge the connection, ask them what they would consider are important and how to create a hybrid celebration that honors, but also celebrates you two and your new marriage together. While it can be a sensitive ground to walk on, communicating with everyone involved will be key to a happy day.

Emily Post shares some great ideas for multicultural wedding traditions that you can piecemeal into a personal event. Take a few from each of your families to create a truly beautiful celebration.

How to communicate your last name preferences…

It's the modern day, and you and your to-be have decided not to alter any names. While you're completely happy with your decision, it may confuse family members and friends. Changing or not changing your last name is a very personal decision, and it only involves the two people involved. But because weddings always involve families in one way or another, it will be up to you to set the tone and communicate your wishes. It will be expected people will ask (sometimes respectfully, sometimes not). And for this, simple is best!

"I've decided to keep my maiden name."

And when not asked, in emails and greeting cards, communicate what you expect. By addressing your cards and letters a certain way, it will speak volumes.

Mr. Ryan Porter and Mrs. Janine Reed
123 Perdue Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Try to be understanding if you receive something not addressed properly at first; while it can be a little annoying, it does take some time to relearn a personal and social standard.

How to navigate your reception bars and alcoholism…

For couples who have loved ones who struggle with severe alcoholism, it can be a very difficult topic to navigate when it comes to their wedding reception and its libations. If having an open bar or a cash bar is important to you, then you have a decision to make. It's all about respecting your wedding day, but also trying to uphold dignity for all people involved. One thing to keep in mind that emotions are, of course, always high when it comes to weddings, and nothing will ever be perfect, but you have some respectful options that will calm your nerves and keep guests happy in celebration.

1. You can politely not invite that person.
2. You can serve alcohol from the bar and request that the bartender discreetly enforce a limit in serving her/him.
3. You respectfully and subtly assign a trustworthy friend (bonus if they're a medical professional) to her/him all night to make sure that she/he doesn't get too inebriated and under the agreement that if she/he does, your friend will safely escort your loved one back to her/his room.

Again, the key is respect and dignity. No option is an easy one to choose, but truly knowing your family and friend dynamics and type of wedding will help your decision.

You can also help set the reception tone by limiting how many alcoholic drinks are available, requesting limited bar hours, offering a lot of non-salty late night snacks and water, and organizing various reception entertainment (such as photo booths, live performances, and games).

Another great addition to your reception bar is coming up with creative non-alcoholic drinks! You'll win major points for thinking out of the box and still have something Instagrammable. For my winter wedding, we had a hot cider station! Find out some great basic non-alcoholic ideas on Emily Post.

How to express your unplugged wishes…

Oh, technology. We love it, we hate it. More and more couples are requesting an "unplugged wedding" which means no cell phones, no cameras, no electronics; they want their guests to be in the moment and fully present during their ceremonies. So what are some tactful ways to convey your wishes?

Consider creating a large sign at the door (like this hand-inked one on Etsy) or putting a note in your wedding program. From Offbeat Bride, this example of some creative and polite wording is great:

We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we've got photography covered!), and put your cell phone on mute (we promise they'll call back!).

Remember at the end of the day, people still will be people. Do the best to your ability and act in kindness. Keep your priorities at the top and keep smiling at the thought of seeing you two at the altar. And food always brings people together. :)

Want to see our responses to other sensitive wedding issues?

All photos from Jen + Ashley. To see the entire feature and full vendor credits, head over to our very first launch feature.

Modern Tropical Virginia Beach Wedding

When the in-house designer at Maya Couture gets married, you know her bridal gown is going to be nothing short of amazing! With a college degree in fashion, Anzen actually sketched and designed her own wedding gown and had Cheryl, the bridal boutique's seamstress, bring it to life through fabric, stitches, and heart. (A fun little tidbit is that this bride never even tried on a designer gown until she decided she also wanted a reception dress, and Maggie Sottero fit the bill with her understandably high standards!)

To tie in their Hawaiian engagement (and future honeymoon) memories, Anzen and Jay dreamed of a tropical-inspired wedding day celebrated with their closest loved ones, and it was wonderfully captured by DCPG Photography and coordinated by CMT Event Planning.

Out of the whole day though, this couple's favorite memory was Father Tim's homily as it was so personal and told of their story together. And you can't have a much more beautiful memory than that.

Photography: DCPG Photography // Preparations Venue: The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center // Ceremony Venue: Holy Spirit Catholic Church // Reception Venue: Signature at West Neck // Event Coordination: CMT Event Planning // DJ: Astro Entertainment // Makeup: Sarah Rillon MUA // Bridal Gowns and Bridal Party Attire: Custom Gowns from Maya Couture and Maggie Sottero // Menswear: Jim's Formalwear from Maya Couture // Florals: Char's Floral Designs // Cake: Gourmet Bake Shoppe

Retro Back to School Elopement Inspiration

Grab your letterman's jacket, put a nickel in that jukebox, and get ready for the sweetest back-to-school elopement ever!

Dreamed up by vendor fam Antonia Christianson Events, this stylized elopement wedding inspiration is totally hip with gorgeous floral styling by Isha Foss Events, a chalkboard-lovin' cake by Cake Delights, fun retro makeup by Dhalia Edwards and hair by Elle Madison Salon, and a beautiful tea-length bridal dress from Ava Clara Bridal... all captured by Christina Lee Photography!

Antonia loved the idea of a back-to-school shoot but did not necessarily want a school classroom, so each wedding pro incorporated the traditional use of vibrant reds and apples to fit the school theme and took it back to the 1950's. And since all great shoots have a storyline, this adorable couple's is rooted in a love story between a cool cat wrestling coach and a sweet elementary school teacher and their elopement with their own furry friend in her own set of pearls!

From the desk, books, the "cootie catcher" proposal, the vintage library card drawers, the newly Mrs. embroidered red cardigan, to the lyrics of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," this shoot is super swell!

Antonia Christianson Events and Dhalia Edwards are local wedding champs
in the Tidewater and Tulle Vendor Fam.

Photography: Christina Lee Photography // Event Coordination and Styling: Antonia Christianson Events // Floral Design and Concept Styling: Isha Foss Events // Makeup: Dhalia Edwards // Hair: Elissa Johnson at Elle Madison Salon // Cake and Mini Cupcakes: Cake Delights // Stationery: RSVP Stationery // Plaid Bowtie: Bows 'N Ties // Bridal Gown: Ava Clara Bridal // Chairs: Vintage I Do // Models: Samantha & Nick

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