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The Couple

Maddie and Drew’s story starts in Florida at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Believe it or not, these two Virginia Beach natives met for the first time at a boat show states away. They spent the next chapter of their relationship in a long distance romance, finding weekends to travel together around the country, and ultimately deciding to reside in Virginia Beach the week before the pandemic shut down the United States. If we know anything, the pandemic was a test on all relationships. It brought these two closer together; they got engaged in February 2021 on a questionable weather day. In fact, the groom messaged local weather guy Jeremy Wheeler to make sure he was good to propose on the beach without the rain hindering the day!

The Planning Process

Maddie and Drew planned a wedding in seven months; a feat made possible by being open to dates and planning when the pandemic left some uncertainty. It paid off! Our journey with them started in April 2021 after they won the Amber Justine Events launch giveaway. Choosing one couple to win proved incredibly difficult, but Drew’s entry was, at its essence, a love letter for his fiancé, Maddie. It was heartfelt and genuine, including lines like this one: “With life getting busier again, Maddie has once again become such a hard worker and dedicated employee, friend, and now fiancé who never takes any time for herself.” By the time we started planning with them, they’d booked most of their major vendors, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Meridith Bright Photography, and the Sam Hill Entertainment band Another Level.

The Ceremony

Maddie and Drew got married in a full mass at Star of the Sea Catholic Church at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, which is conveniently right down the road from the MOCA. You could feel the excitement prior to the ceremony beginning. Drew saw Maddie for the first time that day as she walked down the aisle on a beautiful Saturday in September. At the completion of the mass, the couple was announced as newlyweds and whisked away with their wedding party in a limo to take photos on the beach. Due to the way the day was structured, they had ample time to take photos before joining in for all of cocktail hour at the MOCA’s Rodriguez Room, which features a stunning Chihuly chandelier.

The Reception

A lot of wedding venues require a licensed and insured day-of coordinator, at minimum, and the MOCA is no exception. While Maddie and Drew were at the beach taking photos, the Amber Justine Events team was setting out all of their stunning décor. The couple’s main color was a custom blue-green that they used to paint all of their metal signage and hand dye all of their table runners. The impact of the color was stunning within the MOCA’s main atrium; take a look at the photos below! We loved their classic look that was brightened with a beautiful pop of color.

One thing we love to offer to our couples is a sneak peek at their reception space prior to guests entering. This can be accomplished by working the timeline, but is best done if you have an extended amount of time between the ceremony and reception or if you do a first look before your ceremony. Maddie and Drew opted to peek at their reception and even snuck in a little slow dance on the floor before their guests entered the room! It was a sweet moment captured below in photographs.

From that point onward, we celebrated with toasts, a signature cocktail (anyone up for a dark ‘n’ stormy?), and a lively dancefloor. All in all, it was an incredible day that we’d all relive in a heartbeat.

Vendor Credits

We’d be remiss to not thank all of the vendors that helped to make this day happen. Check out the list below! For more photographs from Maddie and Drew’s MOCA wedding, see their gallery here.

Photographer: Meridith Bright Photography

Planner: Amber Justine Events

Venue: Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Florist: Petal and Vine

Catering: Creative Catering of Virginia

Entertainment: Another Level via Sam Hill Entertainment

Hair & Makeup: Darling and Dapper Studio

Cake: Sugar Plum Bakery

Wedding at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art