Cassidy & Mike | We Are The Mitchells | Inn at Warner Hall, Gloucester, VA

On the morning of Cassidy and Mike's wedding, I watched the sunrise. It was the perfect beginning to a perfect day! Brunch was on the menu and coffee flowed like nectar! (Paradise!!)

These two captured my heart the moment we first talked. They are kind, giving, patient, and all these things were evident seeing them interact with their guests. Cassidy incorporated so many personal touches and she was the BEST at communicating everything to me. When a bride gives me a detailed list of decor items, it does my planner heart good and certainly makes the day go more smoothly.

Between working with The Mitchells, That Booth Guy, and DJ Rodney Charles, I'd have to say it was one of the easiest wedding days of the year. I could not be more thankful for the day, knowing the happy couple, and seeing so many genuine people coming together to make it all happen.

Enjoy these lovely images from We Are The Mitchells! Full vendor list below.

Photography & Videography: We Are The Mitchells
Coordination & Floral Design: Sterling Dawn Events
Donuts: Sugar Shack
Caterer: A Sharper Palate Catering & Events
DJ: Rodney Charles, AstroDJ
Venue: Inn at Warner Hall
Photo Booth: That Booth Guy

Advice for those who are grieving

I don't have all the answers and will never pretend that I do. In just 3 short months of life without my daughter, I have learned about grief and have tried to implement healthy grieving habits of my own. There is one point of advice I can give to those of you who are still in the fresh aftermath of your loss. 

Get off social media.

When June died, I took 4 weeks off from social media. I posted an update/thank you photo in the middle of it all, but I did not browse. I did not watch Instagram stories, I did not scroll my endless Facebook newsfeed.

It was the best thing for me.

Even if we don't intend to look in on our friends with envy, there is a fine line that is so easy to cross. Imagine losing your child and all you see on social media are crawling babies, baby announcements, people complaining about pregnancy, people complaining about their kids. Or maybe your loss was a broken marriage or ended engagement and all you saw were people posting happy holiday family photos. It probably wouldn't help you out in the long run to see those things when your own wound was so fresh. 

The thing you have to remember is it is no one's fault when they post something about their life online. I cannot control others, what they post or when they post. It's not my job to rain on their happy times or scold them for publicizing their not-so-good ones. What I can control happen to be things like opening an app or scrolling down and down and down.

So, practically speaking, delete the apps from your phone. Take the time you would spend each morning, noon, or night and think about your lost loved one or trying to get through the hurt. Read books. Look at pictures of happy times. Cry. Exercise. Trust me, social media will be there when you return. Your real life friends will still find ways to reach out to you. And really, are all the cat videos, Tasty tutorials, and Buzzfeed articles worth it? (Maybe the cat vids.)

This is just my opinion and what worked for me in my specific situation. But it did a world of good in my life during those immediate days and weeks after my sweet girl went to heaven.

Photo: Echard Wheeler

Photo: Echard Wheeler

Jamie & Bert | Caitlin Gerres Photography | Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA

On a very hot day in July, Jamie and Bert were married in the Butterfly Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden. Their engagement was short, the two knowing Jamie was being transferred out of the area for work, but she had every detail perfectly planned with time to spare. Palette of Petals crafted the biggest, most colorful, and lush bouquet! It's definitely a top 5 on my Favorite Bouquet list!

I grew up with Bert's sister, Lauren, however, that is not how Jamie and I came to know each other. She reached out to me by way of the NBG Preferred Vendors List and we made the connection during our first conversation. It was such a joy to see Bert's family again and see him so happy with Jamie.

Enjoy these beautiful photos from Caitlin Gerres Photography. Full vendor list below.

Coordination: Sterling Dawn Events
Venue: Norfolk Botanical Garden
Bridal Gown: David's Bridal 
Beauty: Beauty by Sharra 
Catering: Creative Catering Virginia 
Cake: Gourmet Bake Shoppe 
Florals: Palette of Petals 
Groom's Attire: Jim's Formal Wear 
Officiant: Danny McLamb
Lighting & Linens: Classy Covers 
Music: Brandon Bower Band 
Photography: Caitlin Gerres Photography 
Stationary: David's Bridal

Cassi & Mike | Wild and Wonderful Photography | Big Spring Farm, Lexington, VA

The fluffiest dress, a DREAM venue, perfect summer sunlight, and the happiest couple sums up Cassi and Mike's wedding day at Big Spring Farm. Hailing from West Virginia, the two met in a college class and the rest is history, as they say. Cassi was the most gracious bride, thanking her vendors repeatedly throughout the day. The way Mike looked at her as she walked down the aisle to him - ah! Pure bliss! 

Doing a wedding at Big Spring Farm is a rite of passage for any wedding professional in the state of Virginia. Since the beginning of my business in 2014, I have wanted to work there. It was the BEST day and completely lived up to the hype. Add in a beautiful couple, talented team of vendors, and fantastic weather, the day can't be beat.

Enjoy these wonderful photos from Megan of Wild and Wonderful Photography. Full vendor list below.

Photography: Wild and Wonderful Photography
Coordination: Sterling Dawn Events
Floral Design: Courtney Inghram Floral Design
Cake: Sweet Treats Bakery
Caterer: Southern Inn Catering
DJ: Bela Sono
Venue: Big Spring Farm

Jiney & Stephen | Caitlin Gerres Photography | Historic Post Office, Hampton, VA

Jiney and Stephen were a dream come true! They were so sweet, organized, creative, and cared SO MUCH about their guests. Their magical wedding day took place at The Historic Post Office in Hampton, VA. I was thrilled to work at this new venue, but even more thrilled to work with a couple who would move mountains to make sure their guests had a good time. Not to mention, they love Harry Potter just as much as I do! 

I wouldn't call this a strictly Harry Potter wedding, but small nods to the famous series were just enough to make me smile throughout the day. Jiney is Korean, so she also included a few important details as a way to honor her culture. After the ceremony, she changed from her lacy Allure gown to a stunning, traditional Korean hanbok. Some other highlights include a nitro ice cream bar, with frozen butterbeer (!!), a smoke exit, and the most beautiful twinkle lights. 

This was such an enjoyable day for all and I won't soon forget it! Thank you, Caitlin Gerres Photography for capturing the day! Full vendor list below.

Coordination & Floral Design: Sterling Dawn
Venue: The Historic Post Office
Bridal Gown: Allure from Studio I Do Bridals 
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka 
Cake: Candie’s Treats Bakery 
Ice Cream: Sub Zero Ice Cream 
Catering: Montero’s Restaurant 
DJ: Surf and Sound Events 
Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom 
Hair: Beauty by Sharra 
Makeup: Dhalia Edwards 
Officiant: Pastor Baek
Lighting: Stage Right Lighting 
Rentals: Waterford Event Rentals 
Vintage Rentals: Mad Hatter Vintage 
Photo Booth: Snapqube 
Stationary: Minted