Living out near Pungo, I drive past Culpepper Barn almost every day. And for the past ten years, I’ve been admiring its design and contemplating how best to utilize the space for an engagement session or other project. As you can imagine, I was beyond thrilled to receive an email from bride, Erin, informing me she’d secured the special spot for her very own rustic chic barn wedding.
I’d photographed Erin’s brother’s wedding at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club a few years prior, so I knew exactly what kind of incredible celebration to expect. But lest I get confused, Erin was firm and succinct about managing my expectations: > This will not be a traditional wedding. There will be no wedding party. Dad will walk me down the aisle. Dad will marry us. And then we will party… with food trucks and the Back Bay Brewing Beer Truck. 🙂 Anybody who knows Erin — which is pretty much everyone, as she’s been voted Most Popular Gal in Hampton Roads for a dozen years straight — knows she is as relentless about tackling her projects as her brothers and pop were during their PA & Cox High School football careers. (Go Falcons!) Because of that, I knew this would be an evening to remember. The cherry on top was that Erin & Wayne enlisted the help of my favorite friends from Emily Weddings to coordinate the day.
The only thing that could’ve stopped this freight train of fun was the terribly hot or rainy weather that Virginia Beach is known for this time of year. But Erin and Wayne won the ultimate weather lottery and were treated to 75-degree sunny skies.
We began the day with a first look to allow Erin and Wayne to be present and greet their family and friends. The couple then decided to shun the rules of traditional wedding scheduling by treating their guests to a pre-ceremony cocktail hour. With mason jars and wine glasses topped off, the guests formed a makeshift aisle to begin the ceremony. Escorted down the aisle by her father, Erin surprised everyone with her change into a wedding gown. The couple exchanged vows as the bride’s father officiated the ceremony. And with their first kiss, Erin and Wayne transitioned the evening into reception mode.
Erin and Wayne captained a fleet of food trucks (and a beer truck!) to keep their guests fat and happy. Malbon’s Flying Pig offered BBQ and other goodies, The Lucky Peach served Fried Green Tomatoes and local crab cake sandwiches, Bodacious Pizza served up several types of pies, and Back Bay Brewing Co poured everything from their Summer Shandy to their 9.0% 3 the Hardway Tripel Double IPA (eesh!). As the evening wore on, Chocopita was also on-hand to dish out dessert crepes while Steve from Astro kept the music going late. The evening concluded with a sparkler sendoff and more hijinks on the bus back down to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Officiant: The Honorable Buster O’Brien · Wedding Planning: Emily Weddings · Photography: Justin Hankins Photography · Catering: Lucky Peach, The Flying Pig, Bodacious Artisan Pizza, Chocopita, Back Bay Brewing Co · Ceremony & Reception Venue: Culpepper Barn · Floral Design: Flowers at Hilltop · Entertainment: Astro · Wedding Cake: Sugar Plum Bakery · Hair & Makeup: Gary Allen · Rentals: Big Top Entertainment · Colors: White, Sea Mist and Burlap