John and Brianna’s Virginia Beach wedding at the Founders Inn and Spa was the first time I ever had the chance to meet them, and what I found out that day is that they are simply one of the most fun-loving, sweetest couples I’ve ever met! In the moments that they were alone, they were simply smitten with each other and truly excited to be married to one another. Their families adored them, their friends told great stories about how they’d met and how they complemented one another. Beyond the sweetest of stories and giddiest of moments, staying true to a Virginia Beach wedding (or any Virginia wedding in the springtime for that matter), it rained up until it was time for photos. And I’m so excited that we were able to spend some time in the gorgeous formal gardens of the Founders Inn and Spa that day, because there were some truly sweet moments.
John and Brianna met while they were stationed together on the ship USS Donald Cook. Homeported out of Rota, Spain this is where most of their relationship took place. Unlike some couples, they were able to share their experiences with one another and see the world together. They met in October of 2014, when John had roommates who were mutual friends of Brianna. They met in October when John came back from school in the States, and they started dating soon thereafter. John proposed, though, while on a trip to Dublin, Ireland in 2016.
They had decided to take a trip just for themselves, that didn’t include any friends, the ship, or the Navy in any way. John told Brianna that she could pick their destination, but that they would pick everything else together. On the last day of their trip, there were only a few hours left before boarding the plane to head back home. Earlier in the day, they had walked around a beautiful huge, park that they had been walking past every day. They decided to go eat at a restaurant that they had fallen in love with, one last time, and then head back to the park to finish looking around. After returning to the park, John asked if they could sit down on a bench that was far away from everyone else. While they were sitting and talking, Brianna says she could hear some rumbling in the bushes behind them. She kept asking what it was and they figured out that it had been homeless people trying to hide from getting kicked out at sunset, when the park closed, and it was close to that time. John pulled out this blue Tiffany box with its beautiful white ribbon tied around it. Brianna says she still didn’t know what it was! She watched him take the ribbon off the box and open it up. When she saw the black velvet box inside, she had pieced together what was about to happen but didn’t say anything. He opened the box and then without any other words he asked her to marry him. She said yes, of course, with the homeless onlookers in the bushes and all. Brianna says it was very much so John, having nothing extravagant or extra about it. Plain, simple, and to the point, but it was perfect and what she would expect from him.
And that simple, sweet love is exactly what I witnessed that day. And some surprises! Brianna’s brother Alan was able to make it in for her wedding – I love those military surprises! – and Bri’s grandma shared her birthday with their big day, so the entire reception sang for her. It was truly a special day for an amazing family! So, let’s get to the photos of their gorgeous Virginia Beach wedding nestled in the beautiful Founders Inn and Spa! Brianna and John, it was so amazing getting to know you two through your wedding day and all the love that your families and friends have for you! I wish you many MANY years of happiness and safe travels, and thank you both for your service. It means to world to me!
Venue // The Founders Inn & Spa
Officiant // Kiwi Bennett
Floral Designer // Bride’s Mother – Kris Riebe
Caterer // The Founders Inn & Spa
Cake Design // The Founders Inn & Spa
Makeup Artist // Amber Allen
Hair Stylist // Mariel Lozada of Salon Avanti
Wedding Gown Designer // Mikaella Bridal
Bridal Boutique // The White Magnolia
Bridesmaids’ Attire // David’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire // Jos. A. Bank
Groomsmen’s Attire // Jos. A. Bank