Stacey & RJ || A Sandbridge Beach Wedding in Virginia Beach, VA

A few weeks ago I got a call from Jeanne, the woman who runs the Virginia Beach Photo Fanatics Meetup group. Jeanne’s friends, RJ & Stacey, were getting married, and Jeanne was wondering if I’d be interested in photographing their wedding.

If you know me, you know the answer is, when it comes to love and babies – I’m always in!

But what made this inquiry even better was that it was actually the Maid of Honor, Katrina, who wanted to surprise the couple with professional photography as part of their wedding present.

How incredible is that?!??

Jeanne connected me with Katrina who filled me in on all of the details of Stacey and RJ’s, big day. The couple had planned a short ceremony at Sandbridge Beach in Virginia Beach attended by a small gathering of friends and family. Low key, yet imbued with meaning and love.

In other words, simply perfect.

While Katrina was thrilled to hire a photographer for the big day, she wanted to keep my arrival a surprise. Needless to say, the happy couple was more than a little shocked when I walked through the door!

Katrina and I arrived at Stacey and RJ’s home around 11 am with plenty of time to take in all the beautiful details and for Katrina to apply Stacey’s makeup and do her hair (and to give her daughter, Callie, some love as well :).)


Whose family DOESN’T drive them a little crazy?!


Callie helping Mama get ready!



How lovely she is!


After helping Momma get ready it was time to go show Daddy how beautiful she looked for their big day!


And when RJ and his son, AJ, were all ready we headed outside for a few father/son photos in their backyard.


RJ and Stacey got tattooed “rings”!


Before taking some *first look* photos…


And getting ready to head to the beach.

At Sandbridge, we met the officiant (who had THE coolest license plate) in the parking lot where Stacey and RJ were officially married with Katrina as their witness.


Our next stop was the beach itself for their ceremony…but not before Katrina brought out her final surprise for the day… coordinating with Stacey’s parents for their unexpected arrival from Florida!

Stacey’s parents drove literally all night (starting at 2 am) to arrive at the beach in time to watch their daughter marry RJ. The moment Stacey saw her parents was beyond beautiful. I’m not sure there was a dry eye on the beach <3


After taking in the initial shock and wave of emotions there were many, many hugs all around and a few family photos…


Before the ceremony began.


Katrina streamed the whole service live for those friends and family who couldn’t attend!


The ceremony was heartfelt and truly conveyed the love between the adoring bride and groom. Their children stood by their sides as they vowed to love and cherish one another.


After the ceremony, Stacey, RJ, and I spent a few short minutes on the beach to capture just a teensy bit of their love “on film”. Stacey was SUCH a trooper in her beautiful dress – she looked like a million bucks and never complained that it was only about 40 degrees outside!!


I had a great time taking some fun, adorable photos of the two of them. It was so easy to see their love for one another shine through in their body language and the way they interacted.


Jeanne and Katrina, thank you so much for contacting me and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a special occasion.

Stacey and RJ, thank you so much for not kicking me out of your house(!) when I first arrived on your wedding day and for being so willing to roll with the punches :). It was such a pleasure meeting you and an honor to be a part of your big day. I wish you many many many MANY years of wedded bliss <3.


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  • Jeanne catalanoDecember 30, 2016 - 11:10 pm

    This was beautiful. I am so happy you helped them out. When I recommended you I promised Katrina I had the perfect choice and to trust me. She did and you captured this family perfectly.ReplyCancel

    • Jessica CapozzolaDecember 31, 2016 - 6:32 am

      Thank you so much, Jeanne! I’m so happy that you connected us and glad I was able to be a part of Stacey and RJ’s momentous day!ReplyCancel

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Jess Capozzola is a Richmond-based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography. When she isn’t capturing the in-between moments she can be found snuggling with her husband, little man, and two kitties and avoiding dairy. Just kidding, she always avoids dairy; stupid lactose :-p


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My name is Jess. I’m a believer in true love, passionate living, and grand adventures. I'm a Richmond-based photographer who specializes in all things weddings and babies. Want to know more? Head on over to my About page or connect with me below!


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Jess Capozzola is a Richmond, Virginia based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography.