Hampton Roads

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!

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!

Stephanie & Jonathan - A Military Wedding at Fort Monroe

Stephanie & Jonathan - A Military Wedding at Fort Monroe

Jonathan and Stephanie stood in the entryway of the Commanding General's Residence, surrounded by their guests. One hand holding his glass, the other wrapped around his new wife, Jonathan addressed the crowd. He thanked them for traveling so very far to witness their marriage and beyond that, thanked them for their shaping influence in his and Stephanie's lives. They had encouraged him. Challenged him intellectually. Supported his hopes and dreams for the future. Showed him by example the kind of man he should be. They made him the man Stephanie would one day fall in love with. And others, in turn, had done the same thing for her.

Jonathan acknowledged that he and Stephanie would not be celebrating their marriage that day if it was not for each of the people standing in the room with them.

Because that's the kind of people that Jonathan and Stephanie are. When the spotlight shines on them, they push it out to others. And when their loved ones travel hundreds and thousands of miles to celebrate their special day, they focus instead on hosting those people thoughtfully and generously.

A Crystal Clear Vision Event - 2018

A Crystal Clear Vision Event - 2018

A Crystal Clear Vision is so much more than a bridal show. It's an amazing tabletop design competition where wedding planners, venues, florists, and caterers compete for the best table design. During the show, engaged couples are inspired by new ideas that they can incorporate into their wedding days, and it's a great way to find vendors, because you can see firsthand what they're capable of. This was my fourth year as one of the event photographers and my second year as lead photographer. What an awesome bonus to all the participating vendors that they receive professional detail shots of their gorgeous tables!

A Crystal Clear Vision is hosted each year by the wonderful ladies at Waterford Event Rentals. They team up with Antonia Christianson Events and Blue Steel Lighting, and let me tell you, these guys know how to put on a show!

This year the event was held at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth, which is one of my favorite venues in Hampton Roads and such a great place for a unique bridal show like this.

The Engagement Session: My Favorite Locations in Hampton Roads

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Being engaged is so wonderful, isn't it? You're starting your lives together and there are so many exciting wedding details to plan. And you get to kick it all off with a beautiful portrait session! Maybe this is the first time you and your new fiance have ever had professional photos done, so there are a lot of decisions to make. Today I wanted to make one of those decisions a little easier, by sharing some of my favorite engagement session locations in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is a dream engagement session location and well-worth the drive for me! Yes, there may be tourists wandering around the William and Mary Campus and historic colonial buildings, but it is so easy to crop them out of photos! And my favorite spot is a dreamy hedge just off of the main path. View more here: Colonial Williamsburg Engagement Photos.

First Landing State Park

Choosing First Landing State Park for your engagement session gives you access to two different locations: walking trails with Spanish moss and the beach. While the beach access can be busy during the summer, the small parking fee does keep the numbers down enough to make it a great engagement session location. And the side entrance in the fall has some of the most colorful leaves I've seen in Virginia Beach! (Permit now required) View more here: First Landing State Park Engagement Session.

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Francis Land House

The Francis Land House in Virginia Beach is a beautiful historic home with big trees, a cute little garden, and a walking trail through the woods. After business hours, when the house is no longer open for tours, we usually have the lovely grounds to ourselves, making it the perfect spot for a quiet and romantic engagement session! View our most recent engagement session at the Francis Land House.

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Norfolk Botanical Garden

The Norfolk Botanical Garden has just about everything you could ever ask for in a Hampton Roads photo session location: Italian columns, a gorgeous stone bridge, stone fountain surrounded by flowers, a row of beautiful pink crepe myrtle trees, a greenhouse filled with tropical plants and orchids, and acres of colorful gardens. An engagement session is included for all of Norfolk Botanical Garden's couples and other couples can purchase a session there as schedule allows. The wedding team at the garden is fantastic, and they make sure each portrait session at Norfolk Botanical Garden is given ample time and space for beautiful photographs. No matter the time of year, the garden has something beautiful to offer. View two Norfolk Botanical Garden engagement sessions: Spring Engagement Session and Summer Engagement Session.

Pleasure House Point

Pleasure House Point is a beautiful location for sunset engagement sessions in Virginia Beach. Sandy trails through the woods, shorelines with tall grass, and the Brock Environmental Center deck make this one of my favorite Virginia Beach photo session locations. View our most recent engagement session at Pleasure House Point.

Downtown Norfolk

Downtown Norfolk has so much to offer for Hampton Roads photo sessions! We can walk from Town Point Park around Nauticus and over to the Pagoda garden, getting a combination of garden, waterfront, and architectural backgrounds. Or we can wander down Plume and Main streets looking for cool architecture. And believe it or not, you can get some incredible light shooting in a parking garage! And then, you can end the evening with a date night dinner at Waterside District or Granby Street Pizza! View our most recent downtown Norfolk engagement session.

Back Bay Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay Wildlife Refuge is located at the end of Sandbridge Beach. Wooden decks weave along the edge of the sound and through the marsh on one side of the road and, on the other side, a path cut through grassy dunes leads to an almost deserted beach. Having this beautiful space almost completely to ourselves is well worth the $5 entrance fee! View more here: Back Bay Engagement Session.

Ocean View Park & Beach

The Ocean View area of Norfolk has the best of both worlds: park areas with big shade trees and beautiful beaches perfect for photos just before sunset. It's the perfect way to get two completely different looks for your engagement photos without driving between two locations. View our most recent engagement session in Ocean View.

Great Neck Park

Great Neck Park might not look like anything special at first glance, but a trail at the back of the park leads to a deck overlooking the river. Lighting can be tricky on bright sunny days, so I can't wait to shoot there again on a cloudy day soon! And since the park is just a short drive from the beach, it's a great choice for couples wanting two session locations in Virginia Beach. View our most recent engagement session at Great Neck Park.

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Virginia Beach Courthouse

The Virginia Beach Courthouse might sound like an unusual spot for engagement photos, but they have a beautiful garden area! The traditional brick buildings and white stone steps also give a classic background for photos. View our most recent engagement session at the Virginia Beach Courthouse.

Wherever the Fall Color is Best

I always get really excited when couples tell me they want a fall engagement session, and the first thing I tell them is that we need to be flexible on the location. Prioritizing colorful leaves over location is the best way to get show-stopping fall engagement photos, because it is hard to guess when a particular set of trees is going to be really colorful. Some locations we might scout for fall color would be: Colonial Williamsburg, Oak Grove Lake Park in Chesapeake, and First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. But sometimes we just find a really gorgeous tree on the side of the road, and that works too! View more here: Fall Engagement Session in Colonial Williamsburg.


Other Favorites:

Regent University - Students and others with connections to the school can receive permission to use the beautiful campus grounds for portrait sessions. The traditional brick buildings are beautiful and the fountain is perfect for a romantic engagement session.

Redwing Park - If you want a cherry blossom engagement session, this is the place for you! (We have to time the session around the trees and we'll want to shoot from 7-9 am to avoid the evening crowds. It's a very popular photography spot while the trees are blooming!)

Adam Thoroughgood House - The property surround this tiny historic home is one of my favorite places to shoot. There's an incredible magnolia tree and a really pretty colonial garden. Unfortunately, it has been undergoing construction.


We can't really go wrong with our choice of location, because the focus will always be on you and the love that you share. While the location is definitely part of the images, it's just the background!


Want to read more tips for your engagement session?
Choosing a Location
My Favorite Hampton Roads Locations
What To Wear
What Not to Wear
Shopping for an Engagement Session Dress
What Happens if it Rains
The Purpose
Getting to Know Your Photographer
How I Chose My Outfits
10 Final Tips

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Emerald & Purple Vintage Styled Shoot

Emerald & Purple Vintage Styled Shoot

In December, Ryan and I wrapped up our season of shooting with a beautiful styled shoot at the Portsmouth Woman’s Club. The inspiration for this shoot came from the blanket my great grandmother crocheted for me when I was little. Emerald green with shades of purple. Spot on with my jewel-toned brand. It has a vintage, cozy feel, which inspired a loose, eucalyptus-filled bouquet and plates with lace-like scrollwork. We added a velvet table runner, fabulous Badgley Mischka shoes, and the most amazing purple chairs. We balanced the deep jewel tones with copper accents in the flatware, chairs, and jewelry. And then to make my detail-loving heart nearly explode, I styled the bridal details and hand-lettered stationary with a MRS box, a vintage perfume bottle, and letters from my Nana tied up with a purple silk ribbon.