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Meet Ashton and Rachel!

I don’t normally wait this long for a blog post to be shared for a wedding but you see right after their honeymoon Rachel was off to boot camp for the United States Coast Guard to serve our country and I didn’t want this to be public until they could enjoy them together in a private moment after she arrived home from her graduation.  Well today is the DAY!  Welcome Home Rachel!

 Here is your story Rachel and Ashton!

This was the BEST DAY of their lives! Thus far!  <3

It was only a week before the wedding when I met Rachel for the first time and I actually met Ashton the night before the wedding.  You see Rachel was finishing up her college career at Liberty University and was hours away and Ashton serves in our Military so he was at his new duty station in Florida so Rachels mom Paula did most of the planning, finding venders and such for their wedding, and gathering all the details…. you name it she pulled it together.   She did a great job too!  She is quite the organizer!

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I usually show up at the rehearsal if I can for a few minutes just to see how the day is going to flow and meet all of the family and important people in my couples lives. Since I had not met Rachel or Ashton until days before the wedding I stayed a few extra minutes and took a few portraits with them since we didn’t get to do an engagement session.  The storm that was coming was a WHOPPER and we had to make it quick, but we managed to get a few before the bottom fell out!   We not only captured the intense lightning in the back ground but the rainbow that followed the storm.

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Rachel and Ashton it was my pleasure to be with you to capture your day!  It was a beautiful day.

Wedding days go by so fast and  before you know it they are over and you are off into a new life and journey…so I hope this serves as a reminder of just how awesome a day it was!

Relive your day!

When we enter the room where the bride and her girls are getting ready it’s always a happy loud and fun room.

Filled with laughter, makeup, curling irons, steamers, pretty dresses and pretty girls!

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While the girls get all pretty we set off to photograph all of the details.

I loved photographing your dress it was a perfect fit for you!  And you looked amazing in it!

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Rachels Rings are heirlooms from Ashtons family. As were the pearls she wore.

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Once the girls are ready to get dressed it’s always fun to take them out for a few fun photos before they get in their wedding attire.

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And the mom’s got in on the fun with their own robes! LOL.

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This is was a beautiful moment….all of the women who mean the most to Rachel and know her inside and out saying a prayer over her and her impending marriage.

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Rachel held it together until her Maid of Honor, Kathleen started praying…and if I am honest…I cried to because her words are so eloquent for her best friend.

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This moment….is always surreal for the bride putting on her dress the one she’s dreamed about since she was a little girl.  The dress she picked after trying on many.

Rachel it was so beautiful on you!

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Your flowers were simply beautiful!

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This image speaks volumes.  A bible that is well worn like this has been put to good use!

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Ashton, you were so handsome!

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Waiting for his Rachel.

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We ventured over to this beautiful bridge on the Regent University Campus for their first look and it could not have been more perfect.  Ashton was nervous and Rachel was ready to see her groom!

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This moment….always lingers….and it’s a beautiful moment and that is what this time is for…to melt into each others arms take in all that is about to happen with the one you love the most!

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Yes he cried…and hugged her again…and it was perfect!

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This group of guys!  Handsome!

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How beautiful is this group of ladies.

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Rachel went back and put on her her momma’s veil after the first look to wear down the isle.

She didn’t want Ashton to see her again until she walked down the isle in her mothers veil so they took a moment to pray around the door before the ceremony!

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Show time.

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He closed his eye…waiting to open them as his bride came through the doorway. His dad’s face is precious!

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The swan was right on point! She showed up during the prayer!!!

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When two families become one!

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Siblings LOL!

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The sun was so pretty and glowy!  This time of the day is so perfect for photos.  I am so glad we were able to make it to the fountain for portraits.

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Ashton! That face…LOL.

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Paula and her minions had the ballroom looking so pretty!  The table centerpieces were simple yet pretty with the submerged fairy lights and hydrangeas on a beautiful wooden base made by Chris Meyer and James Williams

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Mr. and Mrs. Carrow!

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Toasts are so fun…you learn so much more about the couple through the stories of their parents and friends.  🙂

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These moments…mean so much.

Although her daddy was set to have much needed knee replacement surgery just days after the wedding he was still able to dance with his daughter.

I love these moments.

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On the other hand…nothing was wrong with Ashton’s momma’s knees!  LOL she tore up the floor! 🙂  It was so fun!

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Kurt from Astro DJ’s kept the floor full and even showed some how to do the cupid shuffle.

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How low can you go? Rachel answered that question!  Ya’ll that takes stellar abs and apparently Rachel has them!

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The cake topper was soooo cute!  Since they are both sharp shooters.

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We snuck away for a quick night photo and guess who showed up again??  The swan.

I saw the ripples on her dress from the water being stirred and when I took the shot the swan was sitting right there! So so perfect!

I love when couples make time for these night photos it really does pay off!

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Back inside for the bouquet toss and some final dancing and last song…before sending them off into their future.

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Surrounded by friends and family in a circle of love they danced to their last song of the night.

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Rachel and Aston!  Your day was perfect!  Surrounded by family and friends who love you very much!

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Here are some of frienders who who made this day so wonderful for Rachel and Ashton!

Venue: Founders Inn and Spa

Brides Dress – Stella New YorkMaya Couture

Grooms and Groomen attire – Mens Warehouse

Bridesmaids dresses – All The Rage

Flowers – Wholesale Flower Market Inc – Chesapeake

Hair and Makeup – Lolly from Mirrors Salon and Boutique

Table design – Paula Williams (brides mom)

Minions – Brooke Hunt and Tabitha Hinnenkamp

Pastor – Dr. Timothy Lambert

Mistress of Ceremonies – Rodica Lambert

Wedding Cake – Founders Inn and Spa

DJ – Kurt from Astro DJ’s

And last but certainly NEVER least…my awesome sidekick Heather Hartsell for her assistance and second shooting!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to capture your day!  I wish you much love and happiness on your new journey as husband and wife!


New Logo without sand dollar

Anchored in Love


Meet Brittany and Michael

Brittany is an ER nurse and Michael is one of the owners of several Chico’s Pizza restaurants in the Hampton Roads Area.  I met them over a year ago when Michael messaged me about his and Brittany’s wedding.  Little did I know how small my world was going to get when it came to them.  Michael and I had many mutual friends (and clients)  and when I met them at one of his restaurants after many several emails with Brittany trying to nail down a date because of their busy schedules, it was like we had been friends for years!  I knew within seconds that not only were they gonna become my clients, but friends.  They are the sweetest, funniest, hardest-working people….and they have a bulldog!  Kindred hearts right??

Fast forward past their engagement session (which you can see a few of their photos here) to one scary Sunday afternoon….when I rushed my husband to the hospital because we thought he was having a heart attack…I was busy on my phone calling my daughter when Brittany walked in and asked my husband his name and when he told her his last name was Gillikin, she spun around and saw me…and said OH MY GOSH, and hugged my neck….you can’t imagine the relief I had in my spirit in that second, knowing she was one of my husbands nurses.  And our world got smaller…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Michael and Brittany, I am so honored to have been your wedding photographer, and I am even more honored to call you friends.  You have a WONDERFUL circle of friends and an even more wonderful family.  I really enjoyed getting to know them all!  You both certainly made my job very easy because you guys were gorgeous! Your genuine hearts shine through your smiles!

Here is your story told with my camera and with my heart!

©MelodyGillikinPhotography Contact me at 757-620-7952 to hire me for your wedding


Hampton Roads has some of the prettiest historical places and this is one of them. The Hermitage Gardens and Museum.  So beautiful, elegant and full of historical grace located in the heart of Norfolk, Va.

The museum often has different exhibits on display and we were lucky enough to have “The Burning Man” exhibit as part of the unique decor surrounding their wedding day.

The girls got ready at Brittany’s parent’s stately home, as I opened the front door I could hear the laughter and chatter that usually happens where all the girls are gathered and I knew it was going to be a fabulous day!  And when I saw her dress….and it was blush/ivory lace I seriously got all giddy inside!

Rose gold sparkly Kate Spade tennis shoes ya’ll,  I want them just to wear 🙂

And then I met her Nanny….such a sweet sweet lady…and she was Brittany’s Flower girl.  I melted.  You see Nanny had suffered a stroke awhile back and Brittany being the nurse and sweet granddaughter she is she nursed her back to health to the point that she could drive again.. I heard phrases like “she gave me my life back”  what a sweet bond these two have.

Besties and Bridesmaids and beautiful moms make for happy smiles.

I love this time….dress time, it’s always such a surreal moment for brides.  Brittany, your dress from Studio I Do was simply amazing and it was STUNNING on you.

And when one of your bridesmaids works as a consultant at the bridal shop you got your dress from, it’s placed right, every single time! 🙂  Leslie, on the job!

We had to take 5 minutes to capture all that gorgeousness at her parents home before heading to see Michael for their first look.

Such a classic beauty!

Meet Chauncey! Look at that bully face! <3  He was an honorary best man…but he slept on the job.

The real reaction to a sip of moonshine LOL. Looks like water, smells like apples…nope that’s moonshine.

The boys.

This girl on the left, Brittany P.  she is part of the amazing crew form Chic Unique Vintage Rentals and Events that helped Brittany S.  pull off an amazing day, with impeccable timelines and perfectly styled details.

I am sure Brittany S. was smiling because she knew she was in good hands. She was the most relaxed bride ever.

I love these moments when daddies see their little girls all grown up.

Then off to see her groom in a private first look in the coolest location.  A Stick house. 🙂

That moment when all is right with the world and the perfect light shines down on you as proof.

Man, I love first looks!

Then it was off to meet their possie….and all through the gardens, you could hear.. One yell “Marco”….and someone else “Polo” as they got closer to the location where we were to meet. She was letting them know “we were on the way”.  How cute.

When Brittany saw her bridal bouquet for the first time….she was all smiles!  It was everything she imagined and more.  And it was a jaw dropper for sure!  As were all the bouquets and flowers!

And then it happened…Leslie got a little freaked out at Brittany’s idea to jump off the wall since she had not walked down the aisle yet and fearing a fall and envisioning grass stains on that beautiful dress but it was too late, they jumped LOL.  I have to admit..I was a little worried too…I have had guys jump but never a bride, but I guess girls just wanna have fun too.

Off to get these two married.

Do you see what I see in the leaves and branches of that old oak tree….it added it’s own special touch to their day.

The light was just right to pick up a heart.

Brittany your expression is PRICELESS!

These parents should be very proud!  They both got lucky in their new children!  Rich marriage heritage right here!

It’s rare, a couple gets to enjoy any part of their cocktail hour, and we even ran 45 minutes late, because of a broken down limo that had the grooms family on it…and we STILL got finished with family photos in enough time for them to not only enjoy cocktail hour but sunset photos!

The clear tent top, the beautiful rose gold, and mint green, the rustic charm details all made this reception hall beautiful!

And a doughnut bar…A DOUGHNUT BAR!  Just look at those names, and try not to let your mouth start watering! I dare you.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson.

When you recommend a DJ to your bride and you tell her you need to book him ASAP because he gets booked far in advance and she listens…you get Roger. You know it’s gonna not only be a party but a show!  I love watching him in his element.  He kept the dance floor rockin all night long.

This had to be one of the FUNNIEST garter extractions this year!  This groomsman shaved his LEGS  put on Brittany’s shoes and a petticoat!!! to help pull this off and I don’t know who’s expression was better the groomsmen when Michael kissed the inside of his leg and growled…or Michaels when they pulled the blindfold off and realized what had just happened or the guests laughing but we were allllll dying!

Love…it’s what this day was filled with and what the night air whispered.  It was in the air.

We stole away for a couple more photos before their grand exit

Part of the burning man exibit was lit so we took full advantage of it.

And they lived Happily Ever After….and partied the night away at Chico’s with close family and friends.

Brittany and Micheal

It was an honor to be apart of your day, to be there to capture every moment.  Thank you for asking me to be your photographer, thank you for trusting me with your most precious memories.  May God richly bless you and Michael with many years together!


Here are the professionals who made this day so beautiful and amazing!


Wedding Venue: Hermitage Museum

Dress: Studio I Do ~ All the Rage  Designer: Allure

Photography: Melody Gillikin Photography, Heather Hartsell and Assistant Lisa Powell

Planner/rentals: Chic Unique Vintage Rentals – Sharon Royster. Lead Planner Brittany Peedle

Flowers: Kelly Gish Floral Designs

Makeup: The Makeup School by Sarah Rillon

Hair: Enchanted Styles: Jenny Darden

Catering: Montero’s

Doughnut Bar: Amazing Glazed

Cake: Brides Aunt

Event Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals

Entertainment: Astro Entertainment: to provide DJ, LIGHTING, AND PHOTOBOOTH. DJ Roger Cruz

Videography: Troy Gleason

Officiate: Roy “Cotton” Markert

Transportation: Coastal Limousines













Being a Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer is always awesome because it can take me from the Oceanfront to the Country in less than a 10-mile radius!  We really do have the best of both worlds here.

And a wedding on the Pungo Prairie is especially fun because it’s my old stomping grounds!

Oh and July weddings are some of my favorite weddings…why you ask?  Because I love summer, and July is also my birthday month 🙂

The month is full of celebrations from the 4th of July, summer vacations and my birthday 🙂

So July is good.

The story of Kristen and John.

Kristen and John have been together for a long time and finally decided to make what they already knew official…

That they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together! To love each other until the day after forever.

So they gathered with their family and friends for a simple country celebration!

It was so easygoing and relaxed with cornhole, good fried chicken. and sweet tea.

Kristen, you are so beautiful and your smile and laugh is completely charming and contagious!

I wish you and John all the good that life has to offer and then some!

Here are my fav’s of your wedding day to tell your story!


A dragonfly came up and landed on Kristen’s boot as I was photographing them….they signify change and change was about to happen!

I just love the moments when a girl slips on her dress for real, it’s so surreal and fun knowing that this the real moment…the one you have been waiting for.

© Melody Gillikin Photography, Contact for more info for your wedding

The boys were down the road, not far getting ready for the big day.

The little one running across the stage…lol…love it…it’s real life!

This is some elated parents right there!

That split second before a kiss…that’s where the real passion is.

The New Mr. and Mrs. Walsh

The soft golden glow of the sunset on the prairie that day was simply beautiful.

It’s obvious…that only the girls knew how to dance, I don’t think I saw one guy dancing.

The rest of the night was filled with laughter, fun and CAKE and all the traditional wedding fun!

Off into the night.


Congratulations Kristen and John!

Thank you for allowing me to capture your day, and I wish you many many many happy years together!



Venue: Pungo / Creeds Ruritan Club

Brides Dress: Designed by Allure

Brides Maids Dresses: Davids Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Paula Stone Stylist and Makeup Artist

Catering: Fraziers What’s Cooking

Cake: Family Friend,  Mona Kennedy (whom I went to High School with…small world!)

DJ: Cory Chapman ~ Astro Entertainment 

Rings: Dimond Direct











Cathy + BobJack = Second Chance for Love

I believe in second chances and

Love is…..taking that second chance and finding happiness the second time around.

Cathy and BobJack met on a blind date arranged by one of her best friends and now bridesmaid Darian.

I was concentrating on capturing their photos at church reception and trying to listen to the speeches all at the same time as they were happening, but it went something like this:

They met on a blind date

Their second date was at her house babysitting her crying twin granddaughters and they rocked them to sleep together.

The third date was dinner and a movie and she fell asleep LOL.

I think he decided somewhere between rocking babies and falling asleep on him that she was a keeper 🙂 A real family gal.

It took him over a year to introduce her to his kids because he wanted to be sure before he brought someone else into their lives….that’s a wonderful caring dad!

I love hearing about second chances at finding love and I am very honored to have been apart of your day, to photograph this beautifully blessed union of two souls who finally found each

other in the midst of a bagillion people…

I believe that our God is the God of second chances, especially when it comes to giving and receiving love.

Cathy and BobJack here is your day.  May God truly bless you both and your families as you become one.



Their day was simple yet beautiful!  Surrounded by the people who love them the most. Their Children, their parents, their best friends. What could be better?

 Cathy’s Something new, was her dress of course and it was beautiful on her

Something old was her boots

Cathy has twin boys who both serve on the police force in two different cities, She wore blue in honor of them as her something blue.

And who doesn’t love a cute puppy with a bride 🙂

And what could be any more precious than your daugher helping you get in your wedding dress!

Her something borrowed was a dollar from her girlfriend…LOL who promptly asked for it back at the end of the day since it was just borrowed. 🙂

Cathy’s grand babies kept saying….you look like a princess and her new daughter hugged her in silence with the sweetest smile ever.

Cathy your kids are both handsome and beautiful!

This photo right here…when I took it was just to document the room as it was and then….when I really looked at it I got goosebumps because there is so much more to this photo in the shadows.  I know it’s just shadows from the flowers and my flash, but I do believe it’s also confirmation that God (in his own quirky way) was with them. On the right it appears to be a figure carrying a cross, on the left the shadow looks like a warrior walking.  In the silence of this quiet place before two souls became one, God showed up! Even in the shadows.

A quick prayer before beginning their journey.

I love when brides walk down the isle and connect with people they love by seeing them be present and not behind a cell phone!

Their parents were the SWEETEST!

Pam (the friend Cathy is smiling at in frame left) was not sure she was going to be able to make it because of a family issue and traffic coming from NOVA.

You can see the joy when Cathy sees her!

Yea…this totally happened! LOL.

The speeches from coworkers and long time friends and family were perfect.  Sharing, tears, laughter and genuine love for them both.

They got their money back LOL.

This was THE SWEETEST!  His dad had this attached to the back of his scooter as he tooled around the fellowship hall. <3 <3 <3

We took a few minutes to rest and put on boots before heading to a secret location for their portraits.

A special moment with her new daughter. Priceless.

 I followed Cathy and BobJack to a private location on a friends property where he proposed to Cathy. That’s where they wanted their portraits and it was PERFECT! When we arrived the couple who owns the land had left them a sweet gift just perfect for photos!

They didn’t dance in the church so we took a moment to just let them dance. No music, just the sound of two souls in deeply in love.

“Can I have this dance with you for the rest of my life”

I LOVE Mimosa Trees!  And we found one still in bloom on the trail back!

No matter the road, no matter how hard, just take my hand and together we can conquer it all with love.

Mr. and Mrs. BobJack Harrel est. June 24th, 2017

Special Thanks to the following for helping make their day possible

Darian-for arranging the first blind date!

Davids Bridal – For Cathy’s beautiful dress

Cindy Lynch and Barbara Dobbins for the delicious cake.

Sharon Mercer, Floral Occasions-for the GORGEOUS flowers

Cute personalized Cake Topper – Ebay



  • Annette Peoples - August 19, 2017 - 12:15 PM

    It was a beautiful wedding and I wish them a lifetime of love and happiness. And, I am so glad that these pictures have been posted to Facebook. They are wonderful.ReplyCancel

KATIE + ANTHONY – Obici House Wedding

June 17th 2017


I always attend the rehearsal if I can just to see how the ceremony will flow and take a look around the venue, although I have photographed weddings here before there is always something new to explore, see, find.

It was a beautiful fun rehearsal and love was in the air! (See what I did there 🙂 )

The threat of bad weather did not stop Katie and Anthony from enjoying every single second of their time to gather with family and friends before the wedding! And when Katie and I were walking around the venue we both looked up at the same time to see the beautiful way the clouds formed a heart…So glad I always have my camera with me at rehearsal!

Because come on now…..It’s not every day the heavens proclaims and declares that love is in the air! So we knew it was going to be an amazing wedding day.


Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography


When I started out to the Obici House, I got a call from my second photographer Heather, she was in a MONSOON of rain coming from Richmond and it would have been really going in the opposite direction of where she needed to end up for the wedding in case traffic came to a halt because of it. So we did a little switch-a-roo from our normal routine where she meets up with the guys hang’n out and getting ready and I go to where the bride is.  Since Anthony and his guys had a cool barber truck called 4th Generation Luxury Mobile Barber Shop coming to their hotel, and it was on my way I stopped to grab a few of the groom getting all cleaned up for the wedding…and the rain CAME down in buckets just as I was arriving…but we managed to get a few detail shots with out getting totally soaked!

When I finally arrived at the Obici House, to meet Heather the rain had slowed down some…and I walked into the bridal suite and Katie was napping! SOUND asleep with the CUTEST puppy Wiz, chilling with her.  Now that’s one relaxed bride..not only did she not care that it was raining, she was taking in a nap while it was raining!

Suffolk Wedding Photographer ~ Melody Gillikin Photography

Wiz saw to it to wake her up to let her know I was there and it was time to start getting ready 🙂

Everyone was so relaxed.

There has NEVER been a sweeter ring boxer…ever! Oh what a wonderful Wiz he was…

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

This team right here, Paula and Jess.  They made the entire “I Do Crew”  look drop dead gorgeous! Right on down to the little flower girls.

When you look this good…of course, you do selfies! It’s almost required.

As awesome as this was…it was not quite as easy as it looked…poor Wiz was scared to death with the ring AND camera in his face, but he’s a good good boy.

And that is some serious bling!

I found the figurine of a boxer at an antique store ( a dangerous obsession of mine) right after Katie and Anthony’s engagement session  (which you should really go check out) and I knew I had to have it for the rings!

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

Katie’s dress from Maya Couture was a classic beauty and it was PERFECT for her! Her something old and blue was her grandmothers diamond and sapphire ring.

I LOVE a Peony…LOVE THEM! They are not only soft and beautiful but they smell amazing!

When my brides book me I give them an 80 page magazine to help guide them through a picture perfect wedding day, from the engagement session to the exit photos and it just blesses my heart so much to see a bride really use the book like Katie did…everything went as smooth as silk even though we could not control the weather! which is ok, because we can make amazing photos int he rain.  So when I saw she had it with all her details it seriously made me a little misty eyed and I had to include it with amazing flowers from Albemarle Floral. 

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

No words except AWWWWW could even describe this photo with Wiz. He loves his momma. He’s never far from her.

Boy Anthony you clean up well! 😉 So handsome!

The excitement in the bridal suite never gets old on a wedding day, everyone is so full of joy and the room is always filled with such laughter!  Especially when the bride starts getting in her dress for real! And the Obici House wedding bridal suite is soooo beautiful!

I think I already mentioned this…but man this dress fit like a glove and was PERFECT! Simple and elegant!

Moments before their first look, both a little nervous, both extremely happy to see each other before the ceremony!  No words can prepare me ever for the emotion of a bride seeing her groom and a groom seeing his bride for the first time without a 100 people staring at them.  A moment for them to just fall into each other’s arms and melt.

It’s no lie I LOVE when my couples choose a first look.

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

“This moment was more touching than I would have ever imagined” Anthony Gravina

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

Wiz was not gonna be left out <3

We had not one, not two but THREE first looks. Because there are three men in her life that mean more than anything to Katie.

The one who will now love her forever, the one who loved her first and the one who loves her like she was his own daughter! You are one lucky girl Katie!

By the time the third first look happened we were all a mess…This photo encompasses all of the feels!

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

Touch-ups after all those tears were necessary before heading out for wedding party photos.

This crew right here! was sooo fun! The way they all attended to Katie and Anthony’s every need on their wedding day was amazing!

Not to mention they are all so handsome and beautiful!

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

The Obic House as a back drop never disappoints!

 Obici House Wedding © Melody Gillikin Photography

The photo on the right….I asked all the girls to do their best impression of Katie. LOL.. They all pretty much nailed it! LOL.

It started to drizzle so we waited just a few for the current rain to pass before leaving for the ceremony down by the river… so we passed the time away by dancing 🙂

Since the ceremony was outside still we had a small window before the next line of rain hit us…but everyone was so confident that it was not gonna rain, not one umbrella came out and it did not rain!

Their officiant Andy Harrell is a long time friend of theirs and MINE…and I had no idea he was even an officiant! Small world!

Look at the smile on your momma’s face Anthony when she sees you!  🙂 And your dad!

When you have two father figures in your life, of course, they both walk with you down the isle! Look at all the smiles!

I had never seen a wine ceremony before, but it was the coolest!

The moment they have waited over a year for! That first kiss as Mr and Mrs.

And they couldn’t quit kissing!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Anthony and Katie Gravina.

While we were off taking a few “just married” portraits, the INCREDIBLE Chef by Design staff was taking care of the guests and let me tell you, they not only have amazing food they have an amazing staff and they care for even the smallest guests! Those chicken and waffles were to die for!

Here they all come ya’ll!  Let the party begin!

Katie and Anthony your entrance was PERFECT!

It all started out beautiful…then it got crazy for a second! So fun!

The man who loved her first.

I know this feeling…and it’s precious!

But this moment…wow! Katie and her mom have a very special TIGHT bond and I loved that she danced with her mom too! So SO sweet.

We spent a few minutes before the rain dictated we go inside again to take some portraits. The Obici house has such a beautiful landscape for photos!

Those clouds! <3

Let the evening begin!

Chef by Design, not only was your food amazing, but the presentation is wonderful!

The rain passed yet again JUST  in time for a very brief  Very GOLDEN sunset.

Jon Flex from Astro Entertainment kept the party going all night!

LOL..OMG..Anthony, you have some serious ninja dance skills!

The toasts are always fun because you just NEVER know what is gonna be said.

This cake was not only beautiful it was delicious! That cake topper though!

The night ended with the toss and good-bye’s to dear friends…a couple more photos and a sparker exit…thank goodness the rain stopped just in time!

The rain slacked off once again for us to be able to do a couple of night photos (with a little rain) and then send the happy couple off into their future with a sparkler exit.

Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography Obici House Wedding | Suffolk VA Wedding Photographer | Melody Gillikin Photography

If you look real close…their sparkler has a tiny heart at the center of the flame. <3


Katie and Anthony

I wish you nothing but all the best that life and love have to offer!

You are a perfect match, with a love that is an example of what love should be!

Thank you for allowing me to capture your love story, and be apart of your day! It was a true honor!

Here is the incredible list of people that made Katie and Anthony’s day perfect! XOXO


BEAUTIFUL Venue: Obici House, Suffolk VA

GORGEOUS Brides Dress- Maya Couture

Beautiful Bridesmaids Dresses- Davids Bridal

Simply gorgeous Flowers by – Albemarle Floral

Sharp Grooms and Groomsmen’s suits – JCrew

FABULOUS Hair and Makeup – Paula Stone and Jessica Barbini

Dapper Cut’s shaves and style for guys hair by – 4th Generation Luxury Mobile Barber Shop

INCREDIBLE Catering – Chef by Design

DELIGHTFUL Cake by – Proof is in the Mix by Jennifer Ruzicka

Amazing DJ – Astro Entertainment and Jon Flex

Transportation and Cadillac departure – Charles Barker Mercedes Benz of Virgina Beach and Paul Baxter.

Officiant – Andy Harrell

To my amazing side kick…and second photographer Heather! Thank you for always making my couples, your couples!



















Tiffany has been going to Hickory United Methodist Church in Chesapeake since she was a little girl she was baptized there by pastor Mercer, so it’s only fitting that one of the most important days of her life, her wedding day, was celebrated there!  She grew up in Hickory, went to Hickory High School and lived in the country out in Hickory. So her choices for her wedding day was exactly perfect for her and Andy.  Hickory United Methodist Church for their wedding and the reception at her parents house out in Hickory.  What a beautiful day!  It threatened rain all day but we managed to hold the rain at bay until just as the night was ending!

Tiffany and Andy Here is your day!


Hickory United Methodist Church, Chesapeake VA

When your baker comes to the house to put your cake together and decorate it, to say it was fresh is beyond correct.  This cake was not only beautiful it was delicious!

Tiffany, your hair and makeup was beautiful! Your team was phenomenal.

When I walked around the corner and saw this curio cabinet FULL vintage camera’s I knew the rings belonged in there for at least one shot.

Meanwhile the boys were elsewhere getting dressed!

Look at how your daddy looked at you! I am sure his heart was bursting with joy!

The sun was high in the sky, but it did not stop us we used it to our advantage and grabbed us some pretty sun flair!

Look at those smiles! Happy is written all over their faces.

Tiffany owns her own business called Wood and Wine Designs, you should check her out.  She made a lot of her details  for her tables! You should really check her out on FaceBook.

The New Mr. and Mrs. Goins!

I love first dances, it’s a time for the bride and groom to let the emotions of the day flow, hug on each other, smile and sway in each others arms to a song that sums up their love.

When you have two men you call dad, two men who have influenced your life it’s perfect to have two father daughter dances!

I loved the FUN yard games…that Tiffany had made by one of her friends!  Especially the one with their initials and date on them! And of course no yard games are complete without corn hole!

Tap It Local were the bartenders for the day!

I think your bridesmaid knew this was getting ready to happen 🙂

It was cloudy most of the rest of the day after the ceremony, but just when we needed it we had a small patch of sunset that showed up just in time for their sunset photos.

This bride LOVED to dance….she was on the dance floor most of the night!

Some of the dancing went on in the field! LOL.

We had just a few seconds before the rain started to move in for a couple of night shots and the sparker exit!

Best Virginia Photographer Melody Gillikin Photography

The sky was dark with thunder and lightening but the party continued under the tent.

The new thing now is no tosses at the end of the night but a last dance with all of your family and friends circled around you! I LOVE it!

The rain was coming down enough to put a damper on the sparkler exit but it was a cool smoke exit though!

Tiffany and Andy your day was perfect! The rain held off till the last minute and you were surrounded by all of your friends and family!  You could not ask for more!  I wish you both the most perfect lif