Welcome to The Hampton Roads Wedding Guide Newsletter where you can plan the wedding of your dreams from start to finish. From inspiration to checklists and planning articles, to the best wedding professionals in Hampton Roads, it's all here!

December 2017 Newsletter
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Heather Hughes Photography
You're Engaged!

The holidays are a busy season for engagements! What's better than a little box of bling under the Christmas tree? Getting engaged is such an exciting moment that you want to remember forever and it's also the beginning of the planning process. Planning a wedding can be stressful, so take a few weeks or so to just enjoy being engaged! The planning will come, but for now, celebrate!

Developing a Timeline

HR Wedding Guide has a great timeline to help you organize your wedding tasks. When you're about 12 months out from your wedding you should focus on two important things:

Finding a Venue
A venue can set the stage for the entire wedding planning process. If you find a gorgeous ballroom, you might not plan a rustic themed wedding. If you find a beautiful, charming barn, your wedding might not be black tie! A venue will help you have a vision for the theme of the day and the direction you want to go in. 

The other reason it's important to find a venue first is that many venues book months or even a year in advance! If you've had your heart set on a specific date, you may need to look at multiple venues before you find the one that matches your vision and has your date free. You can't hire more vendors unless you have a date.

Hiring a Coordinator
A wedding coordinator can be a godsend! See the next section for all the amazing benefits of hiring a pro to handle the details. Also, it's important to hire a coordinator about a year in advance before they book up!
Keith Cephus Photography
The Benefit of a Wedding Coordinator

Wedding coordinators can be such a gift during the planning process! As a professional, they have an arsenal of tools in their belt to make a wedding go perfectly. 

*The best contacts
Wedding coordinators have been in the business for a while and know some amazing vendors! A great coordinator can connect you with the vendors they trust.

*Creating and following a schedule
A coordinator can put together the best timeline for all the wedding festivities and then make sure it all goes according to plan. The ceremony will start on time, the DJ will know when to play the song for the father/daughter dance, and all your guests will be in the right place for your exit!

*Putting out fires
There are bound to be small fires throughout the event. Maybe the florist is running late with the flower delivery or one of the groomsman can't find his tie. A coordinator will be there to solve those little hiccups so the bride and groom don't have to.

*Keeping up with all the people
Let's face it, a wedding involves a lot of different people and relies on them showing up where and when they're supposed to. From vendors to bridal party, the coordinator will have everyone in the right place at the right time!

Eleise Theuer Photography
Engagement Photos

Engagement photos are a great way to kick off the wedding planning season. It's a fun session where you can celebrate this new chapter in your life together. Here are some tips for a great engagement session:

*Coordinate Outfits
There's no need to match each other exactly, but try to coordinate your outfits so you look like you belong in the same photo. For example, if the bride to be is wearing a cocktail dress, the groom to be probably shouldn't be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Wear something that you will be comfortable in and will make you feel like YOU.

Depending on the time of the year, outdoor engagement sessions are always so beautiful. Try to pick a location that's different from your wedding day. If you're having a beach wedding, take your engagement photos downtown! There is no limit! You can do something fun like putt-putt or go to a beautiful park. Note that certain venues do charge a fee for using the facility for photos but this is usually something your photographer can find out. 

We love the idea of incorporating fun props into your session. Maybe its a bottle of champagne that you pop together or your pet! 
Featured Vendor
David Schwartz Photography

David Schwartz Photography
David Schwartz is an amazing photographer dedicated to providing his couples with timeless photos that they will look back on in years and still love just as much as the day they were taken. When you view his engagement gallery you see unique photo sessions that show the couples' personality. 

From chic and glamorous to rustic and outdoorsy, David Schwartz has done it all- and done it all WELL! He has a wonderful ability to really capture the essence of a couple and what matters to them. You can feel the love through each photo. Head over to his website where you can learn more and contact him about your engagement session!
Echard Wheeler Photography
Real Weddings
The amazing Carolyn Celeste Weddings coordinated this beautiful wedding, along with some other preferred vendors! To see the entire chic wedding, head over to the blog of Echard Wheeler Photography

Other Preferred Vendors:
Stage Right Lighting
Hilton Norfolk The Main
Chrysler Museum of Art
Boardwalk Photo Booth Company

Other Awesome Vendors:
Elizabeth Johns Bridal
Kim Wadsworth for Wadsworth Style/BridesMade
Roost Flowers
Cuisine & Company
Flour Child Bakery & Dessert CafĂ© 
Lovell Productions
Strolling Silver Strings
Distinctive Event Rentals
Kindly RSVP Designs
Royal Coach (Bob Hunter), Truffle Shuttle & Agape Travel and Tours

Grant & Deb Photography
Upcoming Events

The annual Virginia Wedding Week is next month! Get your tickets now for this fun event. 

Learn more by visiting  Virginia Wedding Week's  website.

When: January 5-9, 2018

Where:  Norfolk Waterside Marriott with a welcome cocktail party at Waterside

Ticket Info: There are several ticket options! Head over to the Virginia Wedding Week's ticket page to see all of the choices. 

So many of our preferred vendors are already signed up for a booth! 
Are you a vendor that is not yet signed up? Head over to their website and register to join in on this incredible wedding event!

Other January Events Include:
 Uniquely Yours Bridal Showcase: Join us for this fun event at Norfolk Scope Arena & Exhibition Hall on January 14th from 11-4. Tickets are $10.

Peninsula Winter Bridal Expo: The next Showbride bridal event is here! Come out to the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina on January 21st from 2-4. Tickets are $10

A Bridal Affair: Grand Affairs Catering is hosting their bridal show on January 21st from 2-5. Tickets are $5. 
Check Out Our Latest Issue!

The latest issue of Hampton Roads Wedding Guide is available in  over 50 locations throughout  Hampton Roads as well as digitally on our website. For a complete list of where you can find a copy check out our website! 

In our latest issue you can learn more about all of the incredible vendors we have featured, from venues to photographers to delicious catering options. Plus, you can learn some great tips for your big day!

"Promise me
You'll always be
Happy by my side
I promise to
Sing to you
When all the music dies
- Train