Craig and Brandon’s Riverside Reception

April 24, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Wedding Stories

First comes beer and wings, then comes marriage.

Brandon and Craig met on August 3, 2011 at Poppa’s Pub in Norfolk. Brandon says, “Our eyes met, and even though we were in a traditionally straight bar, we just knew.”

Their relationship grew rapidly from that moment on. They soon moved in together, and in February 2017 (after more beer), they proposed to each other.

“At that point, we had been together almost six years,” said Brandon. “After that amount of time, we knew we would be together whether we got married or not. And since we could get married, we decided to do it.”

They were legally joined at the City of Norfolk’s Clerk of Court office on the anniversary of their initial meeting. But that wasn’t the end of their celebration. They immediately set about planning a second ceremony and reception for October 2017.

Brandon took the lead in planning with the help of several friends who had experience in the wedding industry. They also found several vendors at the Hampton Roads Gay Wedding Showcase. They decided to have their party outdoors under a tent at their best friend’s riverfront home in Suffolk. The wedding day started off with beer and champagne all around as the party got ready. After the guests had arrived, the couple made their way down the aisle.

“As the ceremony started, I wasn’t nervous,” said Brandon.“Then as we said our vows to each other, aisle, a well of emotions and tears completely surprised me.”

Gay performer Cliff Baxter sang “My Valentine” to close the ceremony, and the dancing began. The rest of the evening was filled with laughter and fun, ending with a dazzling fireworks display over the river.

WEDDING OFFICIANT: Bob Cushman (Brandon’s uncle) | PHOTOGRAPHER: Reba Art and Photography | VIDEOGRAPHER: Dreamclip Films | VENUE: Riverside home of a family friend | TENT & RENTALS: Acclaimed Events | CATERING: Wayne Womack Catering | CAKE DESIGNER: Jaime’s Bakeshop | FLORAL DESIGNER: Brandon Sholar | DISC JOCKEY: DJ Ashley Rainey | LIVE MUSIC: Cliff Baxter | CRAFT BEER: St. George Brewing Company | BARTENDERS: Maggie Wise, Larry Frame | PHOTOBOOTH: All Star Photo Booth | MONOGRAMMED PAPER: Tag Ink