Romantic Botanical Garden Wedding


September 14, 2021

On a quiet summer evening, there was a Romantic Botanical Garden Wedding being held in Norfolk, Virginia. Two ‘elementary hopefuls’ were about to say I Do after knowing each other for most of their lives. At the alter, stood AJ and next to him, his best man and some of his favorite bros. On the other side, stood the bridal party. In tears, they watched Imani, our bride, walk through the garden while locked arms with her dad. The trees are green and birds are chirping. The sun, setting at the beginning of golden hour, still shines romantic light on the wedding ceremony spot. All is still and all are smiling because these two finally tied the knot!

Botanical Garden Wedding
photo collage of wedding dress in rose garden
Botanical Garden Wedding

Imani and AJ had reached out to me March of 2020, and even when Covid was hitting hard, we still had high hopes that their big day was going to happen in September of 2020. With uncertainty later on down the road, it was decided that they would change their wedding date to 2021. I am now based out of California, however, I told them I would fly back in a heart beat to photograph their wedding. True-fully, I am just excited that this was able to take place because they deserved this wedding!

the bride on her wedding day
Botanical Garden Wedding
the groom on his wedding day

The Wedding Day

I have photographed at the gardens in total four times, and this was the first wedding at the Renaissance Garden. For those who were not there, picture it as a park that is based out of Europe. There are stone walls and statues, trees that are bright green and in full bloom. A long fountain stood in front of an old gate, with dragons all along the side spitting out water. Imani and AJ stood at the alter, and under them was old red and gray cobblestone. The skies were simply blue with isolated clouds, making a perfect reflection. It was truly magical!

Botanical Garden Wedding
bride and groom reading letters before wedding
wedding details with pink perfume
Botanical Garden Wedding
wedding details with silver shoes

Everyone attending either had a few hours to drive or fly, or were just a few minutes away. Each person that I got to meet on this wedding day were kind, fun to chat with, and were ready to finally see these two get married!

the wedding party
groomsman running after a beer

Imani and AJ, thank you both so much for trusting me to photograph your special wedding day. It was worth flying all the way back to Virginia to photograph your wedding and I am so excited to be sharing some of my favorites with you all today!

Botanical Garden Wedding

Botanical Garden Wedding
bride walking down the wedding aisle
Botanical Garden Wedding
Botanical Garden Wedding
Botanical Garden Wedding
Botanical Garden Wedding
Botanical Garden Wedding
photo collage of the bride and groom photos in rose garden
Botanical Garden Wedding
Botanical Garden Wedding
photo collage of the bride and groom
reception photos of first dance

The Vendors

When couples take my referral to heart, and hire a wedding vendor I love, it just brings me joy. I got to work with some of my favorite Virginia based vendors and because we are such a good team, it made for an incredible day! You know I have to give a shoutout to the team. We came together and made this day magical for Imani and AJ!

Photographer: Dana Arnold Photography

Second Photographer: Sarah Eleanor Photography

Planners: Ashley and Adrian Events

Video: Brandon Mitchell Films

Venue/Catering: Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Dress: Studio I do Bridals

Hair/Makeup: Darling and Dapper Studio

Florals: Something Borrowed Blooms

Entertainment: Astro Entertainment

Officiant: 757 officiant

  1. Cindy Baughan says:

    This is beautiful!!! I am so happy I was able to share these photos with my mother.

    • darnold says:

      Thank you! I am so happy you love the blog, the images, and got to share this with someone special! Imani and AJ are amazing!

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