The best part of this wedding was the bride groom just being very authentic. The dress was freaking gorgeous, hair and makeup was all perfect for the bride. I loved it all. That's some superficial shit to start off with, but for real, you're gonna be like "damn, that's one beautiful ass bride!". I just love her smile in every photo, and her new husband's loving glances. You can REALLY tell these two are in love as hell, and it's awesome.
This is what I saw when I first walked into the Birkby House (my kind of people):
Then the ceremony was quick and lovely. They had their friend officiate. One thing I love about friends being the officiant is that they usually take it VERY seriously. They put a lot of effort in making sure they get timing and organization correct, and they also (obviously) have the personal connection that a paid vendor can mimic, but doesn't authentically have. The only problem about getting married in Virginia is there is still this draconian law that if you are to officially marry a couple, you can't just be ordained online from the Church of Life of whatever it is, you have to have a congregation. So it can suck. But if you pick a venue or vendor who is a certified celebrant, you can get around it.
I'm going to write this for every wedding that I blog with a friend officiant. It's a few tips I can give that maybe other sites cannot. They are as follows:
TIPS FOR FRIEND WEDDING OFFICIANTS
Remember to ask everyone to be seated before starting the ceremony. Whether you ask them to or not, EVERYONE WILL STAND when the Bride/s walk down the aisle. And if you just jump in the guests will look around like "uhhh... can we sit?"
DO NOT MENTION EXES. This is self-explanatory.
If you do want to be in the "first kiss" photo, take a biiiig step to the side to get out of the shot, otherwise your face will be right behind theirs forever!!!
Then like any other great wedding... The end of the day and the reception were the bomb. Awesome finger-foods during cocktail hour, a little red wine spill, a wild and fun DJ that used CDs (yeah. Compact-freaking-discs), delicious cake, PIZZA at 10pm, a fun mistakenly blurry portrait, dancing, dessert, everything you need, and lots and lots of happy tears <3