Celebrate From Sea to Sky

Interrupt tradition with the unexpected


Everybody knows the schedule of events for a wedding. You show up to the ceremony, move on to cocktail hour, then there’s dinner and a dance floor. It’s classic. It’s fun. It works. 

But it doesn’t always have to follow the traditional flow. 

Whether you decide to surprise guests with an out-of-the-box reception or try an unusual spin on the standard cocktails-dinner-dancing itinerary, these are unexpected ways to celebrate your matrimony in an unforgettable way.

Come Fly With Us: Take guests on a joyride in the sky. For a celebration that will become a core memory, hire a hot air balloon company to float brave guests away, high above the colors and textures of the landscape. Balloons Over Virginia, based out of Ashland, brings the wonder of their vibrant hot air balloons to wedding receptions, giving your loved ones an opportunity to experience the free-spirited joy of flying high above the ground. BalloonsOverVirginia.com

Reverse the Order: Arney Walker, wedding planner and founder of Arney Walker Studio, suggests reversing the order of the traditional run-of-show. Let guests loosen up with cocktail hour first, then the ceremony, followed by the reception. “I have a couple that wants something less traditional, and the thought of a processional down an aisle wasn’t something they were interested in,” she says. “So we came up with greeting guests at cocktail hour, then leading them to a casual ceremony with no processional, followed by a tented reception.”

Turn it Into a Show: Dancers, aerialists, and even mermaids can make a splash at your reception, surprising guests just when they think they’re about to dance to another rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The excitement and dash of eccentricity just may crack a smile—and maybe a shimmy — from even the most stuffy of guests. Have a talented better half? Get them on stage and let them in on the show. At one wedding, a creative couple booked a trio similar to The Three Tenors, and, in Love Actually-style, incognito and with perfect timing, they belted out the recessional music from three different locations at the ceremony. The guests—and the couple—were over the moon.

Try a Tasting Menu: Rather than go from cocktails to dinner to dancing, treat your guests to a gourmet experience. Book your wedding at a venue that offers a tasting menu and take your guests through several courses of carefully selected dishes, tying each to your favorite flavors or sentimental bites. Ready for a splurge? Go with the iconic Inn at Little Washington for a three-star Michelin wedding experience for an intimate group. TheInnAtLittleWashington.com

Sail Away: Rather than saying “I do” looking out at the water, bring your entire wedding party on the water. Book a yacht that specializes in events and weddings, like the City Cruises yacht in Norfolk, and host your ceremony and reception aboard. Imagine cruising into the rest of your life at golden hour with all of your family and friends gathered together on deck. CityExperiences.com

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Events

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum