Coffee with Caitlin: Norfolk Botanical Garden Weddings

Choosing wedding vendors who fit the style and budget of your wedding day can be difficult, but getting to know the people behind the business often makes that decision much easier. In this series, Coffee with Caitlin, I want to introduce some of my favorite wedding vendor friends… or friendors as we call them.

Today’s interview is with Kristina, one of the wonderful ladies behind Norfolk Botanical Garden Weddings. The Norfolk Botanical Garden is one of my favorite venues in all of Hampton Roads and I am so honored to be on their preferred vendor list. From a boho bride in the butterfly garden to a formal wedding in Renaissance Court, the garden has something for everyone. I am so excited for two of my beautiful couples to get married there later this year!

What’s in your coffee cup/mug this morning?
- Ginger Tea or a Chai Latte if it is wedding season!

What does a normal day-in-the-life look like for you?
- I like to start my day off with Spin class to get me pumped for the day! My normal office routine consist of answering venue inquiries, touring newly engaged couples around the gardens in our speedy golf cart, meeting with vendors, and finding inspiration for our next wedding stylized project!

What is one thing you wish brides knew about choosing a venue?
- A venue does NOT take up half your budget. We have brides come in who have allotted half their budget to the venue and don’t consider that catering can be close or equal to the same expense! We do our best to educate them before they leave about the dynamic of specialized wedding vendors and how they can effectively allocate their budget.

If you could give brides one piece of advice about another wedding vendor, what would it be?
- Don’t settle. The wedding industry is huge and there are so many amazing vendors who range in style, price, and personality. Find someone who you are excited to work with, because on the wedding day, the professionals around you make all the difference!

If you could give brides one piece of advice about their first year of marriage, what would it be?
- Communicate & Adapt. Two simple words but in hard times, can be very frustrating. Communication isn’t solely expressing your feelings, it also means listening and being able to admit your wrong. The wedding was the easy part, now stay true to those vows and be willing to adapt to make your marriage work!

What was a favorite detail you saw at a wedding this year?
- Colored smoke grenades!

What is your favorite part of the wedding day?
- The vows. We see more and more couples writing their own vows. There is something truly inspiring and incredible about two people promising all of their love and the rest of their life to another person. It is hands down, my favorite part of any wedding because in that moment you are in the presence of true love.

Describe your ideal wedding at the garden:
- I’d love to see a Bohemian Luxe wedding in our Tree Garden! A simple, free spirited ceremony in front of our massive Weeping Willow. Cocktail hour by the gazebo over-looking Lake Whitehurst with lanterns lighting the way. A clear tent in the Wildflower meadow for reception to literally dine and dance underneath the stars!
This sounds amazing! I'm obsessed with clear tents!

What’s your current favorite color palette?
- Anything with metals! Rose gold hints, vintage brass gold hues… metals are a neutral in my book. They can go with anything!

What are three words that describe your ideal couple?
- Romantic, enthusiastic, and flexible.. ok the last one is a bit selfish on my part, but hey! A girl can dream right?

Do you ever dream about weddings?
- All the time

What is something you’d love to see become a wedding trend?
- Cigar rollers & Casino tables. Women always enjoy weddings, but when the couple takes the time to entertain the men it is always a party!

What is something NBG is known for that sets you apart from others?
- Our wedding team. We are truly invested in your day, not as a business, but as people. We love our brides and have great relationships with them, so we are happy to take extra time and go the extra mile to accommodate their wants and needs. We have so many brides who call us up after their wedding is over because we built lasting relationships. It is more than just a wedding to us, it is the biggest day of their lives and we are grateful to be part of it!

Find Norfolk Botanical Gardens on social media:
Facebook and Instagram (@weddingsatnbg)

Meet more of my favorite vendors:
Chelsea, Tidewater and Tulle
Missy, Antonia Christianson Events
Evelyn, Letterlyn Studio
Caitlyn, Blue Steel Lighting Design
Kristina, Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Dhalia Edwards, Makeup Artist
Adrienne, Heart's Content Events and Design
Becky, Roost Flowers