Top 10 Favorite Wedding Moments of 2017 | Sterling Dawn Events

What. A. Year. 2017, you were an unkind beast to me in so many ways. And yet, with all the difficult things that happened in my life, my couples were a beacon on some of my darkest days. I will never forget these guys and gals - NEVER! It is because of them that I was able to get back to work and feel even a little bit like myself again after losing our June.

If you've been around for any length of time, you know I put a lot of value in meaningful elements to any wedding day. These Top 10 Favorites are the heart and soul of my 2017 wedding season. To all my couples, thank you for letting me join you on this journey!

 Meghan and Zach were supposed to get married outside, but Mother Nature had other plans. Without hesitation, they let me move their ceremony inside Baker Hall at Norfolk Botanical Garden. It was the most intimate and coziest space you could ever want. Despite the last minute change and the weather, nothing stopped them from living in the moment of their new beginning together.  Photo: Valerie Demo

Meghan and Zach were supposed to get married outside, but Mother Nature had other plans. Without hesitation, they let me move their ceremony inside Baker Hall at Norfolk Botanical Garden. It was the most intimate and coziest space you could ever want. Despite the last minute change and the weather, nothing stopped them from living in the moment of their new beginning together.

Photo: Valerie Demo

 Okay, Christos!!! Best first glance I've ever seen. This sweet, sweet groom did not see his bride until the ceremony. It was a touching moment and I am SO THANKFUL it was captured on camera!  Photo: Associate Ashley, Sharon Elizabeth Photography

Okay, Christos!!! Best first glance I've ever seen. This sweet, sweet groom did not see his bride until the ceremony. It was a touching moment and I am SO THANKFUL it was captured on camera!

Photo: Associate Ashley, Sharon Elizabeth Photography

 Cassi and Mike decided to incorporate a branding during their wedding reception. Their first act as husband and wife was to permanently mark their last initial into a piece of wood that now belongs in their home. It might go down as the coolest reception moment ever!   Photo: Wild and Wonderful Photography

Cassi and Mike decided to incorporate a branding during their wedding reception. Their first act as husband and wife was to permanently mark their last initial into a piece of wood that now belongs in their home. It might go down as the coolest reception moment ever! 

Photo: Wild and Wonderful Photography

 Jamie and Bert shared their first dance under twinkle lights and lanterns. Despite looming rain, Jamie insisted on keeping her reception outside, as planned. Best decision ever! This moment was perfection!  Photo: Caitlin Gerres Photography

Jamie and Bert shared their first dance under twinkle lights and lanterns. Despite looming rain, Jamie insisted on keeping her reception outside, as planned. Best decision ever! This moment was perfection!

Photo: Caitlin Gerres Photography

 Jiney and Stephen brought in SubZero Nitro Ice Cream to do a smoke exit! On the steps of The Historic Post Office in Hampton, they made Sterling Dawn Events history!   Photo: Caitlin Gerres Photography

Jiney and Stephen brought in SubZero Nitro Ice Cream to do a smoke exit! On the steps of The Historic Post Office in Hampton, they made Sterling Dawn Events history! 

Photo: Caitlin Gerres Photography

 This is Tracey right after seeing her sister in all her bridal glory. I've known Tracey since she was in elementary school. Knowing how close she and her sister are made this moment even more special.  Photo: Vinluan Photography

This is Tracey right after seeing her sister in all her bridal glory. I've known Tracey since she was in elementary school. Knowing how close she and her sister are made this moment even more special.

Photo: Vinluan Photography

 Brittany and Alan got their plane shot! Both are trained pilots and chose their wedding venue to pay homage to their love of flying. This Silver P51 was the star of the show during their ceremony.  Photo: Vinluan Photography

Brittany and Alan got their plane shot! Both are trained pilots and chose their wedding venue to pay homage to their love of flying. This Silver P51 was the star of the show during their ceremony.

Photo: Vinluan Photography

 Casey and Christos, I apologize for not sharing a "serious" picture of the two of you, but this is my favorite! I love how well he took care of her on their wedding day. They are the cutest!  Photo: Associate Ashley, Sharon Elizabeth Photography

Casey and Christos, I apologize for not sharing a "serious" picture of the two of you, but this is my favorite! I love how well he took care of her on their wedding day. They are the cutest!

Photo: Associate Ashley, Sharon Elizabeth Photography

 Puppies at weddings. DUH! Cassidy and Mike brought their pup, Colin Farrell, to their celebration. He pretty much stole the show anytime he was able to come out and play.  Photo: We Are The Mitchells

Puppies at weddings. DUH! Cassidy and Mike brought their pup, Colin Farrell, to their celebration. He pretty much stole the show anytime he was able to come out and play.

Photo: We Are The Mitchells

 Ending the year with a CHRISTMASTIME wedding is something I've always dreamed would happen for my little business. Then, Jessica had to top everything and wear a Pnina Tornai gown! Seriously, SO BEAUTIFUL!!  Photo: Luke and Ashley Photography

Ending the year with a CHRISTMASTIME wedding is something I've always dreamed would happen for my little business. Then, Jessica had to top everything and wear a Pnina Tornai gown! Seriously, SO BEAUTIFUL!!

Photo: Luke and Ashley Photography

Honestly, it was so difficult to narrow down to a list of 10. Still, thank you to every bride and groom who made this year one to remember! Love to you all!

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
 

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