Kari + Joe’s Sandbridge beach wedding was a marriage of personal and traditional wedding details and a laid-back beach party atmosphere. They rented “Escape to Paradise” from Seibert Realty and this is one of the most beautifully decorated wedding and event homes I’ve seen in Sandbridge (it’s new construction, too).

I love the way Kari combined both the more formal elements and informal elements to create a gorgeous but ultimately comfortable and fun wedding event. Kari is from Virginia Beach and although both she and Joe live in New York City, they wanted to create a family affair closer to home. You won’t meet two brighter and down to earth individuals. Together they are an adorable couple. Unfortunately, as we all know, the Virginia Beach area (and the east coast in general!) has gotten more than our fair share of rain lately. And though they’d planned an ourdoor ceremony on the beach, Kari and Joe were great sports about bringing their wedding indoors due to the rain.

venue: Escape to Paradise, Sandbridge
officiant: Dr. Alex Berger
dj: Jerome from London!
cake: Custom Cake Shop
flowers: Posh Petals
hair/makeup: Papillon
photobooth: Valentine Photo Booth
shuttle to house: Sandbridge Beach Buggies

They had strings of lights across the back deck where the dancing portion of the reception took place – it really adds a lot to the reception photos, which you’ll see further down. A great, inexpensive way to decorate for any wedding.

Kari and Joe’s dog decided to escape the beach house during the rehearsal and they stayed up until all hours of the morning hunting the little guy down. They found him, a little wet, a little covered in sand spursĀ  but happy to be home. We found him sleeping in all kinds of spots during the wedding day – he had a long night!

This is Charlie, beloved dog of Kari’s mom and dad. Seriously couldn’t have a cuter face. (And that’s her cute sister holding him!)

Kari’s wedding purse – wow – love.

Love her sandals, too!

Kari and Joe did a “First Look” when the bride and groom take a few minutes to see one another before the ceremony. I love First Looks for a lot of reasons – and I love that a lot more bride and grooms are choosing to do them. We photographed their first look in the upstairs library area of the home and in front of a group of windows in a bedroom. Amazing how much natural light comes in even when it rains. Love that!

First Looks are such a powerful moment for the bride and groom. Tears and laughter and the groom gets to tell the bride right away how amazing she looks. I love how Joe is just in awe of Kari in her dress.

Kari’s dress is stunning. Love the way the back fans out.

They had a basket of sunglasses for all of the guests to wear. So what if the ceremony took place inside – we have some really fun shots of the guests wearing the glasses. It was a great add-on for a beach wedding even with rain.

Their custom fans also served as programs.

A favorite bouquet of mine all wedding season. Love the way it pops in front of the bridesmaids dresses.

Kari thew her hands up and clapped when they were pronounced man and wife!

Post-ceremony photo of Kari and Joe, her mom and dad and the wedding guests. I see Joe’s mom and dad just below them as well!

I learned that both Kari and Joe like to travel and have been all over the world already. They met a DJ that they adored while in London. So they invited him to DJ for their wedding. And he had everyone on their feet.

Guests lit sparklers for Kari and Joe’s first dance.

If you recognize a familiar face below on the left, it’s Kari’s mom, Virginia Beach City Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson – cutting a rug with her husband.

We slipped out and got a few misty shots on the beach around sunset.

Despite the rain, the sky lit up pink around their beach house as the sun went down. The last shot just felt like it summed up how happy they were to be together. Kari said several times that she wasn’t worried about the weather or anything else because she was so happy to just be marrying Joe. Can’t beat that sentiment. :)