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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 ­čÖé )

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. ┬áSince 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. ┬áNow 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 ­čÖé

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. ┬áThey made the entire┬á“I Do Crew” ┬álook 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┬á (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┬ádiamond 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. ┬áSo 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.┬á

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! ­čśë 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! ┬áNo 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. ┬áA 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 ┬ę 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 ­čÖé

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! ┬á­čÖé 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┬áamazing staff and they care for even the smallest guests! Those chicken and waffles were to die for!

Here they all come ya’ll! ┬áLet 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!