Wedding – Venue

April 29, 2010 at 12:35 am 7 comments

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.

Virginia Living Museum - Volunteer with Turtle Virginia Living Museum - Two Bald Eagles
Virginia Living Museum - Pelicans Fish Virginia Living Museum - Pathway and Gazebo

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!

Ceremony Site
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.

Wedding Weekend - Venue - Ceremony Site (by Deanna Felton)
Ceremony Setup (By Deanna Felton)

Wedding Weekend - Venue - Wood Duck (By Tony Airaghi)
Duck Loiters After Ceremony (By Tony Airaghi)

Wedding Weekend - Ceremony - Heron Cameo (by Deanna Felton)
“Our” Heron From a Distance (By Deanna Felton)

Reception Site
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.

Wedding Weekend - Reception - Dinner Tables (By Tony Airaghi)
Museum Provided Tables and Chairs (by Tony Airaghi)

The ticket sales area became an instant bar with aquarium backdrop.

Wedding Weekend - Reception - Bar (by Tony Airaghi)
Bar (Photo by Tony Airaghi)

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.

Wedding Weekend - Venue - Habitarium (by Deanna Felton)
Habitarium (by Deanna Felton)

Wedding Weekend - Venue - Britt was Spotted (By Becky and Vic)
Britt Gets Spotted (Photo by Becky and Vic)

Wedding Weekend - Venue - Sea Turtle (by Deanna Felton)
Sea Turtle (By Deanna Felton)

Wedding Weekend - Venue - Shark! (by Deanna Felton)
Sharks! (By Deanna Felton)

Kirsten Turtle (Photo by Jason Akira Somma)
Kirsten Poses in Turtle Shell (Photo by Jason Akira Somma)

The Owl
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.

The Owl That Attended Our Reception (Photo by Nicole Z)

And one of my favorite shots of the whole event:

Wedding Weekend - Reception - Kids Look at Owl (By Deanna Felton)
Neighborhood Kids Visit the Owl (Photo by Deanna Felton)

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).

Apparently there is one downside to having such a kick-ass venue. My brother-in-law and sister forgot to eat their cake and their chocolate Pi favors!

“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
(757) 595-1900

Entry filed under: rvw10, Wedding.

Dog Food Thief Forgiven! Poison Ivy Has SEX?!?!

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michelle  |  April 29, 2010 at 8:19 am

    The venue was so interesting and unique, Vicky! It was so much fun and educational, too. I got to pet the one-eyed owl and took lots of pictures which my kids enjoyed looking at. You had a very memorable wedding, mostly because it was such a great reflection of the personalities and interests of you and Ryan.

  • 2. Clint  |  April 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I want my pi! 🙂

  • 3. tgaw  |  April 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

    @Michelle – Thanks and thanks again for your flurry of travel to get there!

    @Clint – That actually can be arranged. We have extra melting chocolate and we still have the Pi Ice Cube trays. Actually– we have two Pi ice cube trays. Would you like a tray so you are empowered to make them yourself?

  • 4. Carolyn  |  April 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I had even snagged an extra pi chocolate from an empty table so I could have a purple one… But because Jacky brought me my purse, I didn’t go back to my table when we were leaving and didn’t even think about it… d’oh!

    I also missed out on getting a program. But I saw it at Greg & Nicole’s last week.

  • 5. geekhiker  |  May 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Seriously, if I ever get married (just as soon as I can afford that mail-order bride), I’m totally hiring you to plan my wedding!

  • 6. tgaw  |  May 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    @geekhiker – Haha– you might have to clear with your bride. Some of our decisions were far from traditional. 🙂

  • 7. Clint  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

    @Vicky: Yes I would! hehehe


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Flickr Photos

3D Printed Products


%d bloggers like this: