Saying Goodbye to CGP

Caitlin Gerres Photography has been a wild and crazy adventure that I never expected. Just a few months after we got married, I started learning about photography and researching what it would take to run my own business. Four years later, Ryan agreed to become my 2nd and I started training him. And although we loved working together on wedding days and we knew many couples who turned their photography business into something they both did full time, we never felt like that was the right choice for us. Ryan loves the business world and trading his job in business intelligence for bookkeeping, marketing, and web maintenance wouldn't have made him happy. So we kept my business small. And we knew at some point, we would reach the end of this season.

When we got pregnant with Darcy, I stopped making a 5-year business plan. I had no idea what having a newborn would be like. I didn't know if Darcy would be an easy baby or a difficult baby. I didn't know how I would handle work and mom life together. So we started taking things one year at a time in our business.

God told us at the beginning of this year that our time with CGP was over. I was surprised. And to be honest, I was not happy about it at the beginning. We had JUST gotten back from Disney. I wasn't pregnant. There was no reason NOT to have another great wedding season. Maybe wedding photography with two kids and all the extra stuff Ryan has going on and our increased service at church would be too much, but we had time to make that decision. We didn't book that far in advance. 2019 could be a great final season for us before we added another child to our family.

But God was still saying no. I wanted one more wedding season. I wanted to celebrate our 'last wedding'. I wanted to go out with a bang.

God gently said, “You're already done. You've had your last wedding. And you loved and served that sweet couple without any of the attention being on yourself. And now I'm calling you to other things.”

A few weeks after making our official decision and sharing the news with our close friends and family, we found out we were pregnant. And then I got horrible nausea that lasted for 3 weeks. (And minor nausea that's still lingering and annoying me every day.) It has been such a GIFT to have a very short weekly to do list right now. Instead of working during Darcy’s naps, I’ve been resting and watching The Great British Baking Show, because feeding him lunch and getting him in his crib wipes me out.

So here’s our official announcement. We are stepping away from our photography business. We've loved it. We're going to miss it. We love all of our couples and the amazing vendors we’ve been able to work with. And now it’s time to set CGP aside so I can focus my time on caring for our growing family.

Our Favorite Virginia Beach Wedding Venues

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There are some pretty amazing wedding venues in Norfolk, but Virginia Beach might just take the cake for most wedding venues in Hampton Roads, because there are SO MANY hotels in Town Center and the Oceanfront. For today, I’m just going to focus on venues spaces, although I will let one hotel sneak in, because Founder’s Inn is such a great spot!

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The Water Table - Virginia Beach

The Water Table is right on the marina of Rudee Inlet, making it the perfect spot for a nautical wedding! The venue has a beautiful fireplace and space for 200 people with an option for an outdoor cocktail hour space. This is the perfect venue for nautical weddings, modern weddings, and small indoor weddings. View our Water Table wedding day.

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The Attic at Watermans - Virginia Beach

If you're looking for a place to get married at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, this is it! With a ceremony out on the beach and a reception in Waterman's private upstairs space with a wall of windows facing the ocean, the Attic is sure to wow your guests! And the food is top notch! This is the perfect wedding venue in Virginia Beach for small beach weddings. View our most recent Attic at Watermans Wedding.

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The Founder's Inn - Virginia Beach

The Founder's Inn is a very popular wedding venue in Hampton Roads. And their outdoor ceremony space is truly special, facing the water and surrounded by the beautiful Colonial English gardens. Ceremonies can also be held indoors at the atrium (which is also a great spot for cocktail hour) or at Regent University's Divinity Chapel. Whether you're looking for a ballroom wedding or a garden wedding, the traditional look of Founder's Inn is a beautiful choice. And it's a beautiful hotel for your guests to enjoy as well! View our most recent Founder's Inn wedding.

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The Lesner Inn - Virginia Beach

The Lesner Inn is the perfect spot for small nautical weddings in Hampton Roads. The venue sits right on the coastal waterway of Virginia Beach, giving guests a beautiful view. Their downstairs deck gives the idea of being outdoors while being completely protected from the elements. And upstairs, they have a lovely ballroom and covered deck that gives couples a variety of ceremony and reception options. View an upstairs wedding reception and a downstairs wedding reception.

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First Landing State Park - Virginia Beach

First Landing State Park is a popular Virginia Beach location for beach ceremonies and outdoor wedding receptions. After a casual ceremony on the sand or in the ampitheater, guests can gather around the stone gazebo on the courtyard lawn for a reception. View our most recent First Landing State Park wedding.

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The Signature West Neck - Virginia Beach

The Signature West Neck is one of my favorite Hampton Roads wedding venues! This golf club has an outdoor ceremony location perfectly positioned for the setting sun. It's gorgeous! They can hold smaller receptions in their inside dining space, while larger receptions take place on their tented deck. View one of our Signature West Neck weddings.

And I can’t share my favorite Virginia Beach venues without including my favorite Chesapeake wedding venue:

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Noah's Event Venue - Chesapeake

Noah's Event Venue in Chesapeake is such a great wedding space, because it's a clean slate! The venue has two beautiful rooms connected by a lobby, the perfect space for cocktail hour. One room opens onto the courtyard for ceremonies, so it's the perfect venue for your entire wedding day! There's a field across the street for portraits and the venue has a wide variety of lighting and draping packages to make the space even more beautiful. View our wedding at Noah's Event Venue



Are you newly engaged and looking for a wedding photographer in Hampton Roads? Whether you're planning a golf club wedding day at the Signature West Neck or a nautical affair at the Water Table, I'd love to hear from you! Shoot me an email to say hello and see if I'm available for your wedding day!

Monday Musings: Ryan's Quotes of the Week

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Ryan has been saying so many funny things lately. So today we're skipping the musings and going straight to everyone's favorite part. Here's what you've been missing from Ryan:

I want you to watch as all your dreams get poured away. (He said this to our cat, guys!)

Yeah, you've got a water cannon up your butt.

That bush is trying to be a mailbox.

Successful dmv trip... We left angry!

I was going to suggest that, but I didn't want to mansplain your problems.

It's like feeding a seagull tostitoes.

Our Favorite Norfolk Wedding Venues


Virginia has so many amazing wedding venues that it’s a little difficult to list them all out. Today we’re kicking off a three part series of our favorite wedding venues in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and the peninsula. And we’ll throw in the best of Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake along the way.

Here are our favorite wedding venues in Norfolk:

The Chrysler Museum of Art - Norfolk

The architecture of the Chrysler Museum of Art is stunning and it’s a venue that is sure to wow your guests. They have outdoor and indoor options for cocktail hour, and the stone staircase in Huber Court makes for a truly grand entrance! We absolutely love this venue! View more here: Chrysler Museum of Art Wedding.

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The Botanical Garden - Norfolk

With acres of beautiful landscaping and flowers, the Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous venue for an outdoor wedding! Each area of the gardens offers something different, and it's all beautiful! (See the different areas of the garden here.) After a garden ceremony, the reception can be held inside one of their three spaces or tented on the lawn. We love this venue so much, because so many of our CGP couples choose romantic outdoor weddings! We’ve done a ton of weddings here, but we’ll never get tired of this venue! View a Wildflower Meadow & Baker Hall Wedding, a Renaissance Court & Rose Garden Hall Wedding, and an outdoor Terrace Reception.

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The Virginia Zoo - Norfolk

The Norfolk Zoo is such a fun and unique place for a wedding! Larger events can be held under the event pavilion, while small weddings can take place in several areas around the zoo, including their rose garden. And the best part... your guests get to tour the zoo during cocktail hour! The Zoo is the perfect wedding venue for outdoor weddings with a tented or pavilion reception. View more here: Norfolk Zoo wedding.

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Half Moone - Norfolk

Half Moone is another of my favorite wedding venues in Hampton Roads! It's so beautiful! The beautiful circular ballroom features a large glass wall giving guests a beautiful ceremony backdrop and a front-row seat to the sunset. And this venue couldn't be at a more convenient location, right in the heart of downtown Norfolk. With Nauticus and Town Point Park next door and the Pagoda and gardens just a few blocks away, there are plenty of gorgeous backdrops for portraits. View our Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center wedding.

And I can’t share my favorite venues without including my favorite Portsmouth wedding venue or my favorite Suffolk wedding venue, so here are two more:

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The Historic Obici House - Suffolk

The Obici House is such a cute wedding venue in Suffolk. It's located on a golf course, with a beautiful ceremony spot overlooking the water and plenty of space for a large reception tent. The inside of the house is simple and beautiful, offering a lovely backdrop for smaller weddings. View more here: Romantic Jewel Toned Wedding Inspiration at the Obici House.

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The Woman's Club - Portsmouth

I think the Portsmouth Women's Club might just be the prettiest wedding venue in all of Hampton Roads! The ballroom has a high vaulted ceiling, and there's a beautiful staircase and a balcony to photograph from! The venue also has a long covered porch in the front and a big deck out back. I love that there are options for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies and it's the perfect venue for a large wedding! View our Portsmouth Woman's Club wedding and a styled shoot at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth.


Are you newly engaged and looking for a wedding photographer for your Norfolk wedding? Whether you're planning a wedding at the Chrysler Museum or the Woman’s Club of Portsmouth, we'd love to hear from you! Shoot me an email to say hello and see if we’re available for your wedding day!

Season - My Word for 2018

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It’s 2019 and my word of the year is Pursue. And that scares me a bit, because my 2018 word of the year ended up meaning a lot more than I intended when the year started out with confetti poppers and fresh powersheets goals. Now that 2018 is in the past, I wanted to share all of that with you.

I chose the word 'Season’ for 2018 for a couple of reasons. I wanted to say yes to the things that were right for us right now and give myself permission to change as soon as something stopped working for us. I wanted to think short term and focus on one step at a time instead of putting pressure on myself to think long term. As a mom to a 1 year old, I’d figured out that Darcy’s schedule would change every 3-4 months and all of a sudden what had been working for us would stop working. We’d have to throw our entire routine out the window and piece by piece, create a new schedule that would work for us in this new season. Type A Caitlin likes a good routine, so I chose the word Season to encourage me to embrace these changes and be flexible until we found a new rhythm.

Those are the seasons that I expected for 2018. But we experienced some BIG unexpected seasons throughout the year.

Ryan’s job - Ryan moved to work for another business under the same company umbrella early in the year. Then in the summer, his roll changed again. And in December, he accepted a job with another company in the business intelligence field. None of these changes were expected, and each was an exciting new opportunity.

Our house - We always knew the little yellow house wasn’t our forever home, but we weren’t growing out of it yet. At first we just wanted to finish up our projects and figure out what we’d be looking for in our next house. Then we started looking at houses, and we were surprised that what we were looking for was actually in our price range. So we decided to put our little yellow house on the market. And it sold immediately. It was so clear that God wanted us to move. But as we shared last year, every step after that one was very unclear. The house BUYING process was really hard and filled with a lot of second-guessing and back tracking. God gave us winter before the spring in a very real way. There were so many moments that one of us wanted to walk away from the short sale. It often felt like the wrong decision, and we had no idea if we’d ever receive an answer. Finally unlocking the door to our new home was a moment of such relief and joy.

Throughout 2018, we were continually shifting from one season to another in our home, in our work, with Darcy, and with the actual seasons. We grew and adjusted, and at the end of the year, we were so grateful for each of those seasons and where they brought us. So when God put the word Pursue on my heart for this year, I really wanted to pick something else. Pursue sounds so active… so exhausting…. But I am also excited to see how much GROWTH will come from a word like Pursue. Let’s do this, 2019!

Top 18 in 2018

It’s a shiny new year, but before we shut the door on 2018, we have one more recap post. Each year we share favorite moments: our top 15 in 2015top 16 in 2016, top 17 in 2017, and now our top 18 in 2018. Here they are in roughly chronological order:

1. Booking our Disney trip - just a couple more weeks now!

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2. Darcy's dedication at church

3. Reading all the Harry Potter books back to back

4. Ryan started working in business intelligence

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5. Girls' weekend in Asheville

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6. Saying goodbye to our little yellow house - we loved it but we were excited to move on!

7. Walking through our short sale for the first time

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8. Living with my parents for 125 days - Darcy got to spend so much time with them!


9. Showing Darcy that playing in sand is fun - this one took some work!


10. SUP yoga - and holding crow pose on the paddleboard JUST long enough for a photo

11. Lots of fun new things for CGP: new venues, shooting a 2nd wedding for the same family, and two print features!

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12. Finally getting the keys to our new home

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13. Watching Darcy play with his dinosaur tail

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14. Darcy's birthday

15. Uncle Jon's visit

16. Lucas Family visit

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17. Meeting Darcy's cousin - I'm an aunt!

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18. Celebrating Christmas with Darcy - he actually understands it this year!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
2018 Best of Weddings
2018 Best of Engagements
2018 Best of Ring Shots
Behind the Scenes 2018