Carolyn + Pete | Romona Keveza Wedding from Sarah Street Photography

Carolyn is such a pretty bride and there is something so endearing about how she went about her dress search.  Hoping not to look too stylish but feel fashionable, be bold but no ‘too much’…wanting something edgy and romantic.  I hear you Carolyn, it’s such a process! But what a sense of accomplishment when it all comes into focus and there in view is a figure flattering Romona Keveza mermaid gown in shades of ivory, beautiful sweetheart neckline with a lace bodice. Well done Carolyn, you nailed it!

Carolyn + Pete | September 21, 2013 | Norfolk, Virginia | Dress Listing: Romona Keveza, L315

The Ceremony
Our ceremony was held at First Lutheran Church. Pete and I were fairly recent members (we joined the congregation officially in November of 2012).   We have since moved away and we really miss both the Pastor that married us, as well as so many other people who so warmly welcomed us there.  I have a strong tradition of Lutheranism in my family because my Grandfathers on both sides are retired (ELCA) Lutheran Pastors.  It is not only absolutely beautiful (as evidenced by Sarah’s gorgeous photographs!) but it was a natural pick as the ceremony location for us.  And luckily it also happened to be just a stone’s throw away from the place where Pete and I met!  Consequently it was very convenient to do some pictures in front of the quirky little video store “Naro Expanded Cinema” immediately following the ceremony.

The Reception
We chose a very vibrant, colorful reception venue with some cultural intrigue and history.  It was a gift from the Governor of Taiwan in 1983 during a good will trade mission to the City of Norfolk.  Oddly enough it used to be a molasses storage tank that Taiwanese Engineers transformed into the beautiful structure it is today. The Pagoda Tea House and Oriental Garden in Downtown Norfolk is situated right on the pier overlooking the Elizabeth River.  Pete and I used to run by the location while jogging through Waterside and Town Point Park along the Elizabeth River Trail.  We always thought it would be a fun, spacious, and picturesque spot for the reception. We loved the stunning and meticulously landscaped Oriental Garden complete with a little Koi pond! Which inspired us to choose a design with Koi fish for our save-the-date announcements–we later found out later that Koi Fish symbolize perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose.  Thankfully we found that to be fitting as a representation of marriage!  Another reason we selected the Pagoda…to be totally honest…was the fact that it was ornate enough that we felt we could save some money and effort in using relatively simple centerpieces and reception decor.  

Carolyn’s Dress Search
Admittedly I am by nature very indecisive… Sometimes I feel like I to want to have an impossible combination of almost irreconcilable features brought together in a way that “works”. I went in to my dress search with my usual scatterbrained approach… I knew that I wanted something edgy but also romantic.   Striking and fashionable, yet not so bold that it felt like “too much” or that I was going out of my way to look stylish (I wanted to still look “me”).  I was drawn to a Mermaid shape.  I feel like my dress accomplished the very precise balance of style combinations that I was looking for.  

How Carolyn Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Comfortable, Confident, Unique.  

Why Carolyn Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
Many of my married family members and friends shared with me that their Wedding dresses are just taking up space and still boxed up in an attic somewhere.  I would love to have a daughter one day but there are just so many variables that are out of my control.  I hate seeing valuable things go to waste. We hired an awesome photographer who got great pictures of the dress.   We even did a “post nuptial” photo session here in our new area.  Charlottesville VA is a beautiful backdrop and that was certainly an incentive for the “after” pictures–but for me it was also a way to “say goodbye” before putting it up for sale.  I have no need to keep it in my possession.  I would love for someone else to have the opportunity to wear it.

Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza, L315 | Photography:  Sarah Street Photography | Ceremony Venue: First Lutheran Church of Norfolk | Reception Venue: Pagoda Tea House and Oriental Garden | Floral Design:  Norfolk Wholesale Floral | Cake: Hashi Food Truck

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