Gray and pink Virginia Beach gay wedding at Lesner Inn
From the photographer, William Petruzzo:
We clicked with CJ and Drew almost immediately. Their lightheartedness, sense of humor and the charming way they lovingly tease each other cut right through. It’d be hard to not enjoy these two’s company.
CJ and Drew had both expressed a strong interest in capturing images right on the beach somewhere, but due to some construction near the Lesner Inn, we arranged to shoot at North Beach, which is public, though located within a residential neighborhood. In the shade just off the beach, CJ and Drew affixed each other’s boutonnieres. Then we walked out toward the sand. That’s when we hit a little bump in the road.
We found a mostly vacant spot we’d hoped to use, got everyone arranged and then noticed a group of children deliberately attempting to ruin our shots. Someone from the wedding party politely asked them to give us just a moment, which quickly turned into a tense situation as the children’s mother got angry, and the other two adults on the side began using aggressive and bigoted language loudly enough that it seemed deliberate.
The wedding party deserves a big medal for maintaining their composure while standing up for their friends, even as one of our PBR-drinking friends walked up posturing with his chest protruding comically. No one needs to get in a fight on their wedding day, so we cut our losses and averted a potentially violent situation by just walking away. Neither Felipe nor I photographed the encounter, concerned that doing so would escalate the situation.
After all that, luckily, right in the middle of the neighborhood was a beautiful little park with some unique tree formations. We were all a bit relieved to have some shade to work with for the formal photos. Having taken care of all the wedding formals, we headed back to the Lesner Inn for the main event. CJ and Drew spoke privately with their officiant, and nervously paced around the reception hall waiting for the big moment. Felipe and I spent some time coordinating our ceremony coverage with Dominic from DreamClip.
Two of my favorite images from this wedding are the pensive images of CJ and Drew with their respective mothers, just as they’re about to walk down the aisle. You can see Drew’s nerves in his eyebrows, and CJ is pursing his lips in an incredibly honest limbic response of excitement. CJ’s walk up the aisle with his mother was also significant. She has some mobility challenges and for her to walk up with CJ was an extremely meaningful moment. I also love how you can really see both CJ and Drew’s emotion as their delivering their vows. These two were made for each other.
The reception was a rager, and everyone was having an amazing time with Danny from Astro DJ spinning the tunes. CJ and Drew’s mother/son dances were also emotionally charged moments, as CJ’s mom danced, and Drew broke down in tears as his mother gave him an affectionate and familiar squeeze.
All in all, this was an incredible day, with incredible people and a degree of genuine emotion I rarely see. We absolutely loved being a part of this wedding, and count it an honor.
Photographer: Petruzzo Photography, LLC | William Petruzzo; second shooter: Felipe Sanchez
DJ: Astro DJ
Cinema and Video: DreamClip
Event Planner and Florist: Ginger & Blooms
Bakery: Incredible Edibles Bakery
Hair Stylist: Monarch Hair Co
Event Venue: The Lesner Inn