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hi, I'm EMILY

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hi, I'm EMILY

A Fairytale CNU Wedding in Newport News, VA

The bride and groom share a hug beneath a portico on the campus at Christopher Newport University. The groom gently kisses the top of the bride's head.

Victoria and Jacob had a fairytale CNU wedding at their alma mater in Newport News, VA. Surrounded by family and friends, the couple exchanged vows on a lovely October day at the Pope Chapel, on the very same campus where the pair met more than four years prior.

A Fairytale Meeting at CNU

Victoria and Jacob both participated in a cappella groups at CNU. They were aware of one another, but didn’t formally meet until they randomly sat next to each other in an early morning statistics class. They started chatting after class and agreed to become study buddies for their statistics final. Flash forward to post-finals: the sweltering summer of 2017. Victoria and Jacob met up a few times to get to know each other better. On July 31, 2017, the pair made it official and became a couple.

“We fell for each other hard and fast, but we both knew it was meant to be,” says the couple on their wedding website.

A black and white photo of the bride's dress hanging in a window.

Keeping the Fairytale Alive

You can tell how much Victoria and Nick love each other. When asked, Victoria sites her favorite quality about Jacob this way: “He has this natural way of putting kindness above everything else.”

“Her determination is amazing,” says Jacob of Victoria when asked the same question.

When asked about their favorite date, Jacob says, “Definitely watching Disney movies at Disney World after going to the Disney parks.” It’s no wonder then that the couple chose to infuse Disney elements into their fairytale CNU wedding in Newport News, VA.

“We have grown so much both as individuals and as partners to each other over the years and have learned a great deal about love and commitment. Through it all, we have remained kind, respectful, loving, appreciative, and committed to one another in every way possible. A love like ours is hard to come by, but we are grateful every day to have found each other. We are looking forward to a beautiful future together, and a lifetime filled with happiness and kindness.”

The bride and her bridesmaids, all in varying paid shirts and black leggings, smile at each other while getting ready.
The groom and his groomsmen stand together arms crossed in front of a brick building

Tale as Old as Time: Planning a Fairytale CNU Wedding

When planning their dream wedding, the venue – CNU- was easy to narrow down.

“We chose our [ceremony and reception] venue because of the sentimental value it had for us. It’s where we met, where we grew together, where we talked about getting engaged… and we thought, ‘why not add one more thing?'”

The bride's mother buttons her dress as the bride gazes over her shoulder.

A Wedding Dress Fit for a Disney Princess

Victoria’s CNU wedding day look can only be described as classic royalty. She selected a long sleeved off-the-shoulder Oleg Cassini gown covered with lace in a leafy/floral pattern. Paired with a lace-embellished, cathedral-length veil, Victoria truly embodied the image of Disney Princess as she walked down the aisle to Haley Reinhard’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

A black and white photo of the back of the bride's dress and veil as she stands in front of a floor to ceiling window.

A Fairytale Venue for a Fairytale CNU Wedding

To top it all off, the The David Student Union Ballroom (the location of Victoria and Jacob’s cocktail hour and reception for their CNU wedding) gives off major fairytale vibes. I couldn’t help harkening back to my childhood obsession Disney princess movies- specifically Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast.

The groom and his groomsmen all adjust their cufflinks.
The groom, in a blue suit, smiles as he stares out of a window.

Incorporating Fairtyale-Themed Details

The couple settled on a classic, neutral color palette of sage green, white, and gold. Simple decorations, including long strands of dusty green eucalyptus and white roses adorned the reception venue, casting a relaxing minty aroma throughout the space.

A close up shot of the bride's bouquet - white roses with a variety of soft green eucalyptus.

Rather than table numbers, the couple chose to place DIY Disney illustrations on gold frames. How precious is that detail?

A gold framed glass table name with a DIY drawing of Beauty & the Beast sit in front of a reception centerpiece.

The cake topper? Micky Mouse and Mini Mouse holding hands in their wedding garb. Absolute perfection, and a beautiful throwback to one of the couple’s fun trips to Disney World.

Simple one tiered ruffled wedding cake on silver cake stand, adorned with eucalyptus greenery and Mickey and Minnie Mouse cake topper.

Finally, the couple had their first dance to an instrumental version of “Tale as old as time” from Victoria’s favorite Disney movie – Beauty and the Beast. (Interested in more Disney themed wedding? Check out these non-cheesy Disney themed wedding ideas over at the knot!)

The bridesmaids cover their mouths and smile at the bride her during their first look at her in her dress.
The bride and bridal party stand in front a grand stone staircase at Christopher Newport Hall. Their backs turned to the camera with bouquets held behind them.

A New Fairytale: Embracing Tradition, Embracing Modernity

Victoria and Jacob’s CNU wedding was a perfect example of the way today’s couples can embrace both tradition and modernity in their weddings.

The bride gazes down at her eucalyptus bouquet with white roses.

These days, couples jump at the opportunity to have a first look with their significant others… a quiet moment for just the two of them before exchanging vows. While first looks are the perfect opportunity to capture a few portraits of the soon-to-be Mister and Missus, at EmmiClaire Photography, we fully support making your day everything YOU hope for rather than doing what’s trending and hip. Victoria and Jacob embraced the tradition of seeing each other for the first time during their ceremony. “It was the most special moment for us – getting to see each other for the first time all dressed up as I was walking down the aisle,” says Victoria.

Black and white bridal portrait; the bride has her back turned to the camera, veil flowing behind her beneath arched portico on CNU campus.

Still, that didn’t mean we had to forego a “first look” altogether. Instead of a first look with Jacob, Victoria chose to do a first look with her bridal party!

The bride's mother leans in to give her a kiss halfway down the aisle at Pope Chapel.
The groom cries at the first sight of his bride walking towards him during their wedding ceremony at Pope Chapel in Newport News, Va.

Rather than having her parents give her away, Victoria chose to have them walk her halfway down the aisle. She took her final steps down the aisle towards Jacob solo. “To us, that represented the supportive role our parents will play in our marriage.”

The bride reaches up to wipe away a tear on her groom's face during the wedding ceremony at Pope Chapel.
The bridesmaids tear up during the recitation of vows during the wedding ceremony.

“We did embrace tradition for the cake cutting, parent dances and first dance,” says Victoria.

The bride and groom kiss for the first time as husband and wife at the end of their ceremony.
A black and white photo of the bride and groom kiss on their way out of their ceremony at Pope Chapel in Newport News, VA.

An Interview with the Couple

Q: What’s one word you’d use to describe your wedding day?
A: Magical.

The wedding party stands in front of the church with hands raised while the newlyweds walk through them, smiling.
The wedding party stands in front of the church with arms and bouquets raised above their heads in celebration of the newlyweds, who are kissing.

Q: Do you have any advice for couples planning their big day?
A: Everything will fall into place. And [most importantly] at the end of the day, you will be married! 

The bride, groom, and wedding party pose for a photo in front of Christopher Newport Hall.
The newlyweds kiss while the wedding party stands celebrating on both sides of them with arms raised.
The wedding party walks towards the camera, laughing, in front of Christopher Newport Hall.

Q: Is there anything else about your day that you want to tell me? Something special that stood out?
A: The whole day down to every single detail was more than we could have imagined!

The bride and groom kiss on campus at CNU.

Q: Tell me about life post-wedding? What is your best advice for newlyweds AFTER the wedding?
A: Take as much time for yourselves as you need, regardless of if you go on a honey moon right after the wedding or not. Enjoy time together now that all the planning is over with. 

The bride and groom share a kiss in front of a fountain in a heavily windowed/columned courtyard at CNU.
The bride and groom walk hand in hand in a commend courtyard at CNU with a fountain behind them.

Q: When you look back at your day, what are the moments that truly stand out in your memory?
A: Our very special ceremony, joking with each other during photos, and seeing our families cry tears of pure joy knowing their support of our marriage goes beyond anything we could have imagined. 

The bride gazes lovingly at her new husband, her hand softly caressing his cheek.

Wedding Vendors for a Fairytale CNU Wedding

Venue: The Gregory P. Kilch Alumni House
Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair: Anywhere Beauty by Shae
Florist: Jeff’s Flowers
Caterer: CNU Catering
Cake: Hannah Hobson
DJ: DJ El Pirata
Invitations: Vista Print
Photography: EmmiClaire Photography

The bride and groom are forehead to forehead with their eyes closed under the bride's veil.

Looking for your dream wedding photographer?

Are you ready to book a wedding photographer to document your fairytale wedding? Contact EmmiClaire Photography today!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Rose make their grand entrance into their reception space!
The bride and groom share a kiss during their first dance.

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