Virginia Beach Couple Gets Married at the Oceanfront During Hurricane
Photography by Melissa Bliss Photography
Who: Tina McCarville, physical therapist and Orthopedic Certified Specialist at Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists, and Chris Hill, chef, author and adjunct professor at Culinary Institute of Virginia
When: Sept. 15, 2018
Where: Ceremony at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Virginia Beach followed by reception at the Hyatt House Hotel, Virginia Beach
Guest List: Nearly 100 of Chris and Tina’s closest friends and family braved hurricane winds to celebrate their marriage.
Where They Met: A night out for Tina brought the couple together seven years ago. Chris happened to be working at his cousin’s restaurant, Baxter’s, when Tina arrived with a group of friends for a celebratory outing. The two have been inseparable ever since.
The Engagement: Just north of his hometown of Atlanta, Chris swept Tina away for a long birthday weekend in Charleston, S.C. “We had a suite at the Andrew Pinckney Inn in downtown Charleston—our suite had a deck overlooking the city, and while Tina was getting ready for dinner, [I] set up candles and champagne out on the deck. [I] invited her out for a glass before dinner and the rest, as they say, is history,” remembers Chris.
Wedding Wishes: The Hill wedding was truly one of a kind as the arrival of Hurricane Florence forced Chris and Tina to change both their reception and rehearsal dinner venues just days before the set date. “As the day approached with the impending weather, I think the hopes for our day changed, as it seemed that the number one goal was damage control,” says the couple. “We knew things wouldn’t be going according to plan, so [we wanted] to minimize the stress on us and the people around us to create a memorable experience.”
What’s Next: Chris and Tina look forward to romantic vacations before beginning their journey to start a family.
COFFEE CONCESSIONS: Chris and Tina are huge coffee fans, so they thanked their guests with “Grounds for Celebration,” tea bags filled with coffee grounds and chocolate-covered coffee beans.
TASTY TIERS: Despite a few adjustments, this Sugar Plum Bakery cake arrived beautifully brushed in gold and crowned with delicate flowers.
FIRST DANCE: Chris and Tina share their first dance as newlyweds to Skylar Grey’s rendition of “Stand By Me.” Though the dance was initially planned for their reception at Shifting Sands, the Officer’s Club on Dam Neck, the Hyatt House made an extraordinary fit. “The Hyatt House saved the day,” they say. “Every aspect of the reception came together in a matter of days, their staff worked tirelessly to make Sept. 15 an unforgettable day, and for that we are incredibly grateful.”
TO THE RESCUE: A spontaneous storming of the beach prompts a cheery run-in with the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Team. The cruiser also stands to symbolize the dozens of local restaurateurs, hospitality members and friends that lent a helping hand during the couple’s last-minute changes.
SOMETHING NEW: Beneath her flowing Allure Bridals gown, Tina stuns in a pair of shining Christian Louboutins.
BEACH BABES: Tina and her band of bridesmaids from high school, college, work and family escape to dip their toes in the sand. “The entire week had been defined by rolling with what felt right, and the beach looked perfect and unspoiled,” says Tina. “It made for a fun, memorable part of the day.”
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN: Inspired by the girls’ impromptu beach walk, Chris and a group of groomsmen and guests take on the boardwalk.
POP THE CORK: “For our guest book, instead of having a traditional one, we had a big bowl of wine corks with fine point Sharpies next to them. Signing our guest book meant writing your name and a little note on a cork and placing it into the shadowbox, which was customized for us,” says the couple. The idea stemmed from the couple’s tradition of keeping wine corks from special events.
GROOM’S GIFT: In addition to his decorated culinary experience, Chris is an avid writer. Tina surprised him with a custom designed artisan’s moleskin engraved with a popular quote from Chris’ works. “[I] wanted to find a journal that he could cherish and that was personal,” says Tina.
Church: Star of the Sea Catholic Church
Hair & Makeup: Jenna Kathleen Miller
Groom’s Attire: Jos A. Bank
Florist: Gather Floral, Mariah Breitenberg
Cake: Sugar Plum Bakery
DJ/Entertainment: Mario Espinosa
Second Photographer: Rita Hsu, Perspective Photography