Wedding – Venue
The neighborhood kids, obviously, have become quite important to Ryan and I. So when it came time to plan our wedding, we knew we wanted to keep the festivities somewhat local so it would be easy for them to attend. We looked at two venues within walking distance of our house. Both were quite lovely, but didn’t really have much personality. Nothing that really spoke out as us. Plus with both venues, we would have to fool with renting the likes of tables, tents and chairs.
For his science blog and his science-themed Flickr PhotoStream Ryan routinely documents museum exhibits. One such museum was Newport News’ Virginia Living Museum. Ryan spoke quite highly of it and lo and behold, their website had plenty of resources and information about Facility Rentals. One weekend in August, we made a trip up to scope it out together.
Snippets from our August Visit to the Virginia Living Museum
The museum was gorgeous — full of native flora and fauna. It was educational– interesting quotes, history, explanations and trivia were ample throughout. Within its walls, the curators managed to married together the wonder of science and beauty of nature.
It was perfect!
There are a number of rental areas to choose from– including a waterfall and planetarium. We chose to have our ceremony on the back deck facing the Coastal Plain Aviary. We ended up with perfect weather (sunny, 74 degrees…in March) and the perfect spot. The waterfowl were out and about and a heron even flew down and landed in the trees during the ceremony.
For the reception, we chose to have it in the main floor of the museum. We didn’t have to rent any furnishings! The Virginia Living Museum provided all the tables, the chairs, and even a dance floor.
The ticket sales area became an instant bar with aquarium backdrop.
With rental, the guests would have free reign over all the exhibits in the main floor. This included the touch tank, the human sized turtle shell, and the live three legged sea turtle. There was plenty to do and so much to see and get inspired by.
Kirsten Poses in Turtle Shell (Photo by Jason Akira Somma)
To top it all off, the museum arranged for a volunteer to bring out one of the rehabilitated animals for everyone to see, pet and learn about. That meant an adorable one-eyed screech owl attended the reception! I even got to pet it before it retired for the evening.
And one of my favorite shots of the whole event:
I can not speak highly enough of the museum event coordinator Jennifer Turlington and the museum volunteers. We had a great deal of chaos in the final moments leading up the ceremony. Both the rings AND my father were independently lost (my father would get misplaced a total of three times that evening-hehe). Armed with walkie talkies, the museum staff managed to locate them both and get them to their proper spots.
When we started to walk to the ceremony site, we discovered a walkway was gated and locked.
As we waited behind the scenes for someone to arrive with a key, Jennifer noted that I was the most laid back bride.
“At the end of the day, I’m still going to married to that wonderful man out there,” I pointed out.
But another contributing factor was definitely, definitely the museum staff. I had them around to fret and handle the crisis for me. So while they dealt with locating keys, my side of the bridal party got to enjoy fresh air and spy on bald eagles and wolves. Ryan’s side got to hang out with the otters and my father and I got to disagree on whether or not a tree was a red maple (Obviously I was right– I was the bride).
“Mistakes were made.” Clint explains on Flickr and then concludes, “Too many distractions in that museum!”
| Wedding Vendor – Venue
Virginia Living Museum
524 J Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23601