Katelyn & Curtis celebrated their nuptials on a beautiful summer day with a sophisticated ranch wedding in Virginia Beach.
Katelyn, an elementary school teacher, joined a dating app when she moved from Richmond to Virginia Beach. She made a digital connection with Curtis, who works in medical sales, and fell head over heels after meeting him in person for the first time. From that point on, the couple was rarely apart. Curtis fell head over heels for Katelyn’s humor and kindness. “She always knows how to put a smile on my face.” Meanwhile, Katelyn loves that Curtis accepts her completely for who she is. “I’m on the funnier, weirder side and he doesn’t care! I love that he makes me feel loved; he’s just an incredibly sweet man.”
After a year of dating, Curtis popped the question. “He had this whole plan of going on his boat and proposing at this beach spot we always go to but it started storming an hour beforehand,” says Katelyn. “He had to come up with a back up plan, so that’s when we decided to go hang at his sisters right on the bay. The rain stopped so we all went for a little walk with our dog. That’s when he asked me to marry him.”
When you think about ranch weddings, the first word that usually comes to mind is “rustic.” And while rustic weddings certainly hold a special place in the wedding world, Katleyn & Curtis, along with their amazing planning team at Jamie Leigh Events (see this blog post for info about the benefits of booking a wedding planner), took their ranch wedding to another level entirely by infusing sophisticated details against the bucolic backdrop of The Venue at Denali Ranch.
When most people think about Virginia Beach, they envision an urban seaside town, a miles long boardwalk crawling between the vast, green ocean and brightly colored shops. What they don’t picture? A charming, modern barn charmingly tucked in the center of a 62 acre horse farm. And yet, that’s exactly what The Venue at Denali Ranch offers its clientele.
En route to the exquisitely modern barn at The Venue at Denali Jean Ranch, I was in awe of the breathtaking landscape – lush green lawns peppered with soothing water features and surrounded by a copse of ancient trees – truly the perfect setting for a sophisticated ranch wedding.
The neutral backdrop of The Venue at Denali Jean Ranch easily lends itself to a variety of color palettes, but Katelyn and Curtis’s soft, summery palette of romantic blush, creamy ivory, and lush green swathed the entire event in romantic ambiance.
The natural backdrop of the venue was enhanced by enchanting blooms, designed and arranged by Virginia Beach native, Mariah Breitenberg of Gather Floral Design. Katelyn’s bouquet, a breathtaking arrangement composed of soft ivory roses, delicately ruffled Italian cloony ranunculus, aromatic gillyflower, and a variety of textured sage eucalyptus greenery, added just the right touch of charm when paired with the opulent sparkles of Katelyn’s dress and shoes.
The wedding arbor was adorned with lush, natural-looking greenery accentuated with white blooms and draped with a white fabric for an added sophisticated touch. The whole effect was one of natural elegance that complimented the surrounding landscape.
The exhilaration hung in the air as Curtis and Katelyn waited for their big moment together, best friends by their sides.
Katelyn’s Dress – a stunning piece from Studio I Do Bridals – incorporated a soft tulle, a-line skirt with sparkly embellished lace bodice, plunging neckline, and sheer illusion lace back.
Katelyn’s beautiful bridesmaids each donned a floor-length blush chiffon dress in their choice of neckline.
Though first looks have grown extremely popular in the last decade, Katelyn and Curtis chose the more traditional option – seeing each other for the first time as Katelyn walked down the aisle. But that didn’t mean the couple avoided each other before the wedding. With the help of their planning team, the two were able to hold hands and chat for a bit before saying “I do.”
Whenever my clients choose to forego a first look, I encourage them to do what Katelyn did – share a first look moment with a treasured family member. Her father teared up when he saw Katelyn in her dress. Truly a moment for father and daughter to treasure for a lifetime.
The couple said “I do” on the sweeping lawn between the on-site barn and pond. The lush greenery and romantic white draping on the wedding arbor swayed in a soft summer breeze while the sounds of the trickling pond fountain serenaded the guests before the wedding music began to play.
Curtis’s smile as he saw Katelyn for the first time truly says everything you need to know about his love for her. This is by far one of my favorite moments of each wedding I have the privilege of photographing.
After exchanging rings, Katelyn and Curtis sealed their wedding vows with a kiss.
During cocktail hour, Katelyn and Curtis snuck away for portraits during golden hour.
I encourage all of my wedding clients to work golden hour portraits (portraits taken just before sunset) into their timeline. Not only does the day’s last rays of sunshine cast a warm golden glow perfect for photos, but you’ll get to sneak away to share a quiet moment together before dancing the night away with your wedding guests.
For more info about why you should include golden hour wedding portraits in your wedding day timeline, visit this article by Martha Stewart Weddings.
An elegant plated dinner inside of the on site barn at The Venue at Denali Jean Ranch immediately followed cocktail hour. Guests were greeted with farmhouse tables dripping with hundreds of candles, lush greenery garlands, and simple hydrangea centerpieces.
A simple ruffled cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes allowed the couple to partake in the traditional cake cutting, while guests enjoyed a variety of delectable desserts by Plaza Bakery.
After Katelyn and Curtis shared their first dance as husband and wife, guests took to the floor to dance the night away!
Katelyn and Curtis sealed the wedding day with a kiss as they made their grand exit.
For more rustic barn and ranch wedding inspiration, head over to this blog – Georgia & Philip | Barns of Kanak Wedding.
Venue | Denali Jean Ranch
Planner | Jamie Leigh Events
Dress Shop | Studio I Do
Florals | Gather Floral Design
Bridal Shoes | Kate Spade
Hair | Flawless On Site
Makeup | Blush Tones
DJ | Astro Entertainment
Videographer | Dogwood Visual
Desserts | Plaza Bakery
Cake | Nothing Bundt Cakes
Catering | East Beach Catering
For information about capturing timeless, treasured moments on your wedding day, contact Emily Bartell Photography today.