Joe & Ashley - June 19th

First of all, this was my first ever Friday wedding and, let me tell you, I loved it.  If I could plan every wedding for a Friday, I totally would!  Since I work a full-time job in addition to JDE, my weekends tend to book up super quickly.  And having a Friday wedding gives me two whole days to recover from what my friends and I call the "wedding hangover".  And this wedding definitely left me with a wedding the best way possible.

Joe & Ashley were such a laid-back couple, the kind of couple that was obviously there for the right reasons.  The thing they cared most about was that they would be married by the end of the night...everything else was just extra fluff.  I love those kinds of couples!  They also had the very best wedding party ever.  Seriously, the bridesmaids and groomsmen were so so nice and they seemed to have the most fun of any wedding party I've ever worked with.  You could tell each of them was so happy to stand by the newlyweds on their big day.  They were more than just friends….they supported Joe & Ashley’s relationship.  And I just love when that's so apparent.

And Joe & Ashley's families were so sweet and fun to work with!  I'm actually coordinating Ashley's sister's wedding next month and I'm just so honored and excited to work with the London family again!

Ok on to the wedding!  This couple chose some pretty incredible vendors to work together and bring to life the vision they had for their wedding.  Here are some of my favorite images from Daniel Pullen Photography showcasing all the prettiness!

Photography: Daniel Pullen Photography  //  Venue: Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club //  Bridal Gown: Pure English - House of Maya   //  Linens: Distinctive Event Rentals  //  Florals: C&J Floral Design  //  Beauty: Salon Oh  // DJ & Photo Booth: Astro DJ

Annie & Joey

Annie & Joey got married on August 31st.  They were my THIRD wedding of the year at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club!  It was such a great time.  The wedding was beautiful, despite the ridiculous heat of the day.  The vendors were so awesome!  The food was impeccable.  And did I mention how happy Annie & Joey looked the whole time?!  I'm so happy for the two of them.  Here's a few pictures from Ross Costanza Photography.

Congratulations Annie & Joey!  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your day!

Venue: Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club // Photographer: Ross Costanza Photography  // DJ: Barry McKay  //  Florist: Wayne Jones  //  Baker: Custom Cake Shoppe

JDE Brides: Katelyn

If you haven't checked out Katelyn & David's wedding.....well, you're missing out.  Their wedding was definitely one of my very favorites that I had the opportunity to coordinate this year.  Katelyn & I go way back and I was so excited that I got to be a part of her big day!  She's one of the nicest and funniest people I know.  Read on to learn a bit more about her and hear the advice she has for future brides.

Who are you and who is your husband?  Katelyn & David

How did the two of you meet?  This is always a difficult question for me to answer....David and I technically met in fourth grade and I have the yearbook to prove I was in love with him {or at least thought he was a hottie} since day one.  And yes, that documentation was shown to all our friends and family in the middle of our wedding ceremony.  We re-met on February 13, 2008.  It was our junior year at Virginia Tech and I literally showed up at his house.  It was the night before my 21st birthday, and my sorority was having a Valentine's Date party.  I went date-less since I wanted to focus on being 21 and not worry about taking care of a date.  All of David's roommates were going, so they offered to host a pre-game at their house.  I had no clue that the house we were going to was David's before I got there, but we spotted each other across the dirty frat-house basement {romantic, I know} and wound up chatting most of the night away.  The next day, I got a phone call asking me to his fraternity's date party that weekend {I'll save that story for another time...} and we have been together ever since!

How did he pop the question?  On June 8, 2013, David convinced me that he had a work event at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club that afternoon.  It was a mostly-cloudy day with some scattered thunderstorms, but he suggested we have a picnic lunch before heading over.  Since David typically hates picnics, I immediately took him up on his offer.  He took me to his special spot on the dunes of 80th street where the sun popped out and he popped the question.  David thought ahead and had a photographer there to capture every moment.  No more than 2 minutes after the photographer left, the skies opened and the rain came down.  David convinced me that the "work event" that afternoon was still happening {I blame it on the post-engagement high....I mean, who would actually do that!?}.  He took me over to the Cavalier.  We headed over to a yacht docked at the club and when I opened the door, both of our families and best friends were there to help us celebrate our engagement day!  By this time, there was not a cloud in the sky, so we cruised around the bay for the afternoon, enjoying champagne, cupcakes, and each others company.  It was the most perfect day!

What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding?  Full of love and fun!

What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning?  Favorite: Our food tasting.  Least favorite: Everything else.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?  The Ritz-Carlton Club in St. Thomas....a very generous wedding gift!

Who were your vendors?
Coordinator - Just Dandy Events
Photography - Sami Proctor Photography & Design
Second Shooter - Elizabeth Henson Photos
Ceremony - Trinity Church
Recepption - Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club
Dress - Ava Clara
Cake - Plaza Bakery
DJ - Barry McKay
Linens - Waterford Event Rentals
Flowers - Bouquets were from Norfolk Wholesale Floral, Centerpieces were DIY from Sams Club
Invitations - LesliesCardArt from Etsy
Programs - PaigesPaper on Etsy

If you could do one thing different, what would it be?  Absolutely nothing, it was perfect!

Any advice for future brides?  Don't over-think things!  I was so easy going about the whole planning process because I didn't want to spend an insane amount of money {that's impossible by the way}.  I picked my vendors, told them what I wanted, and let it go.  I kept the decorations simple since I was DIYing it.  On the day of the wedding, I was actually blown away by how incredible everything looked and I think a lot of that had to do with not being so focused on every detail being extravagant and perfect.

JDE Brides: Nicole

I was referred to Nicole by a mutual friend back in 2013.  The first time I talked with her, I knew we'd get along great.  She was sweet and funny and easy-going....all while being THE most organized person I've ever met.  I love organization.  :)  I'm so happy I got to play a part in Steve & Nicole's big day.  It was a glorious, emotional, beautiful day.  Read on to get a glimpse of the day through Nicole's eyes and to see what advice she's passing along to future brides.

Who are you and who is your husband?  I am Nicole, my husband is Steve

How did you meet?  Steve and I officially met one evening in the Spring of 2010 at 501 City Grill. I was there for dinner with some girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays. A group of gentlemen walked in and out of them all, Steve caught my attention. We talked the night away and exchanged numbers, but nothing transpired immediately after. A few months later, I ran into him again but at another local establishment, Waterman’s. We’ve basically been inseparable since! Our rehearsal dinner was held in The Attic at Waterman’s and it was a neat way to share our story with family and friends that weekend.

How did he propose? Steve proposed in 2012. I call it the “year of the weddings” because between us both we attended a total of six weddings that year. Naturally, we began discussing our own future and wedding someday. On Friday, December 21st that year, we decided to exchange Christmas gifts early because as usual we were splitting our time between both families for the holiday. I opened a small wrapped box and found a card inside. It was a Hallmark singing card that played Hall & Oates, You Make My Dreams Come True (which on a side note, was the song we chose to dance to for our first dance at the wedding). He then asked me if I was ready for my real gift, went outside, and brought in...a beach cruiser bicycle!

The next morning, on December 22nd, we were getting ready to make a trip to the grocery store to prepare for holiday meals. I was literally still in my pajamas, when Steve walked up to me with another wrapped box and told me “you forgot a gift.” Puzzled, I sat on the couch and began opening the gift. Inside was another card, with a black and white image of a boy holding a bouquet of roses. Inside that card read one of the sweetest messages imagined, but more importantly asked one of the sweetest questions: Will you make another dream come true? After reading this, tears were streaming down my eyes of course, and that is when he knelt down and asked me to marry him!

Describe your wedding in 5 words:  Romantic, rustic, vintage, DIY (I count that as one word), and most importantly - FUN!

What was your favorite part of wedding planning? Together, one of our most favorite parts of wedding planning was the tasting and selecting the menu (because who doesn’t love being served a variety of delicious food to choose from?). But mainly, we got a chance to work together and we included food that represented each of us, from the petite Maryland style crab cakes, representing Steve’s family in Baltimore, to a mozzarella and tomato caprese, which incorporated my Italian heritage.

Some of my other favorites were dress shopping (of course!) and our engagement photo session. Our engagement session was definitely a blast. Our photographer is not only the best around but also super fun and it was great to get some practice in before our big day!

What was your least favorite part of wedding planning?  My least favorite part of wedding planning was trying to please everyone. It’s just flat out impossible. We stayed true to ourselves with our decisions and in the end everyone was extremely happy for us on our wedding day.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?  Antigua. We knew we wanted to stay at an all-inclusive resort because we wanted to fully relax after all of the work and effort that went into planning a wedding. We actually saw a commercial on TV for Sandals in Antigua, looked it up and fell in love with the resort and area. So, yes television advertising works haha!

Who were your vendors? 

Photographer: Andi Grant, Andi & Zoe Photography

Second Shooter: Brooke Tucker, Brooke Tucker Photography

Cocktail Hour Musician: Swell Luck

DJ: John “Rab” Rabulan

Vintage Rentals: Bluebird's Garage

Dress: Pure English
Invitations: Minted

Wedding Coordinator/Planner: YOU! :)

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?  Ask for help. I am terrible at asking for help and maybe it’s because I am an only child and have been pretty much independent for so long. It wasn’t until the Friday before, that I realized I signed myself up to do too much, but luckily I had incredible support that day. Steve, my mom, and Maid of Honor all came through and pitched in to help pull many of the last minute items together. I just wish I had asked sooner so that I wasn’t stressing out to get things done so close to the wedding day.

Do you have any advice for future brides? 
Focus on the love you have for each other. That’s what this event is about after all! It’s easy to overlook this major part, with all of the many details that go into planning a wedding (and there are a lot!), but it is so important to keep in mind throughout the entire engagement/wedding planning process and especially important on the day of. That love will really shine (especially in your pictures) and outweigh anything throughout the day because let’s face it, you can expect that not everything will go exactly according to plan on the day of. But as long as you have each other, any little detail that is not perfect will seem perfect anyway.

Photos courtesy of Andi & Zoe Photography

Steve & Nicole

This wedding definitely goes down in my top five.  Steve & Nicole were such an incredibly fun couple to work with.  Nicole was easily one of the most organized brides I've ever met, which made my job of coordinating the wedding as simple as it could be.  Steve was so laid back the entire day.  They were just so happy to be marrying each other....everything else was just a bonus for them!

One of the highlights of the whole night for me was the dancing.  It's not often that you go to a wedding and see the dance floor taken over by the groom and all his groomsmen, instead of the bride and her maids!  It was so entertaining watching the guys show off their moves all night.

Another highlight of this wedding was that it gave me the opportunity to work with some amazing vendors that I hadn't had the pleasure of working with before.  I'll admit to being a little starstruck when I found out that Nicole had chosen Andi Grant of Andi & Zoe Photography to capture her day.  I've spoken to Andi & emailed with her probably a dozen times over the past few years, but never actually had the chance to meet her.  And now, here I was, working side by side with her.  It was AWESOME!  Be sure to check out her blog post for more incredible images from the day.  Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites!

Congratulations Steve & Nicole!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your day!

Ceremony Venue: Star of the Sea Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club
Photographer: Andi & Zoe Photographers
Second Shooter: Brooke Tucker Photography
Rentals: Bluebird's Garage
Cake: Jenn Cakes-A-Lot
DJ: John "Rab" Rabulan
Florist: Trellis & Bloom
Cocktail Hour Musician: Swell Luck
Invitations: Minted
Dress: Pure English

Also, a big huge thank you to my friend Abby for being my right hand for the day.  I love you to pieces!

David & Katelyn

It's always such a great feeling when a couple chooses me to coordinate their wedding day.  It's so special to know they're trusting me to make their big day everything they've dreamed of.  But when a couple you've known for When David & Katelyn chose me as their coordinator, I was beyond thrilled.

Katelyn was my very best friend through all of middle school.  I feel like friends from that time in our lives hold a really special place in our hearts.  David went to school with the two of us as well, and seeing them together now, so in love and perfect for each makes me incredibly happy for them both and their families.

Here are a few of the pictures taken by the incredibly talented Sami Proctor Photography & Design and her amazing second-shooter Elizabeth Henson Photos.  Be sure to check out Sami's blog to see even more of the shots!


Congratulations Katelyn & David!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your day!

Ceremony Venue: Trinity Church
Reception Venue: Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club
Photographer: Sami Proctor Photography & Design
Second Shooter: Elizabeth Henson Photos
Cake: Plaza Bakery
Linens: Waterford Event Rentals
DJ: Barry McKay
Florist: Norfolk Wholesale Floral
Beauty: Behind the Veil

Also, a big huge thank you to my friends Maggie & Sammie, who jumped in at the last minute to be my right hands for the day.  You girls rock and I adore you for all your hard work!

Outdoor Wedding Venues

Couples in the Hampton Roads area are so fortunate to have such a full plate of options when it comes to choosing their wedding venue.  Here's a little bit of information about a few outdoor venues in the area that I'm particularly fond of.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a Virginia Historic Landmark.  It's a non-profit showcasing some of the most historic gardens in the region.  The museum spans 155 acres including 40 themed gardens, 95 species of birds, and 30 kinds of butterflies.

Hermitage Museum & Gardens

Also located in Norfolk is the Hermitage Museum is twelve acres of formal gardens surrounded by natural woodlands and wetlands.  The focal point of the property would be the early 20th century historic house that now serves as a museum showcasing a world-wide art collection.

Founder's Inn

The Founder's Inn & Spa in Virginia Beach boasts southern elegance for outdoor weddings.  The Inn offered both lake and garden views for wedding ceremonies and some of the best catering in the area.

Planter's Club

The Planter's Club in Suffolk is located on the beautiful Nansemond River.  The acres of waterfront property offer plenty of views for an outdoor ceremony and a banquet space inside the main building for a reception accommodating up to 144 people.

Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club

The Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club offers waterfront and golf course spaces for wedding ceremonies and receptions.