Adventure-Loving Couple’s Romantic Winery Wedding

Photography by Cynthia Tenney Photography


Who: Courtney Whitlow, media sales representative, and Douglas Bode, IT specialist.

When: Nov. 11, 2017.

Where: New Kent Winery, New Kent.

Guest List: 120 guests traveled from Northern Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, California and even Cambodia.

Where They Met: Long before Courtney and Douglas met, their friends wanted to introduce them. Douglas traveled often for work, so when he was finally in town, their friends set them up on a happy hour date. After that, Courtney was the one to make the first move and ask Douglas out again. They had their first official date over Thai food, and the rest is history.

Wedding Wishes: “We wanted all of our family and friends in one place, to have good food, music and a fun evening, and just to have everyone leave saying ‘I had a good time,’” says Courtney.

What’s Next: After the wedding, Courtney and Douglas spent a few days relaxing in French Polynesia, then traveled on to New Zealand for an adventurous honeymoon. Douglas even got a hand-tapped Maori Moko (tattoo), and Courtney got a Samoan tattoo, to commemorate their new life together. They are both now working in Washington, D.C. and plan to continue traveling together and start a family.

Bride: Dress and veil—Ava Clara, Virginia Beach. Shawl—Calvin Klein.

Groom: Tux—Ames Tuxedos, Hampton.

Monogrammed Maids: Courtney got the bridesmaids’ getting ready shirts from Old Navy, and a friend did the monogramming for her.

Borrowed and Blue: The handkerchief Courtney carried was her great grandmother’s.

Groom's Gift: As a groom’s gift, Courtney gave Douglas a drone for him to use on their honeymoon.

Just Us: All day, all Courtney wanted was to see her future husband, and when the moment came, Douglas had tears in his eyes. “I immediately started crying upon seeing him. It was a moment when it all seemed real and that all was just as it should be: perfect,” says Courtney.

Whimsical Setting: The couple shopped for venues all around Williamsburg. They settled on New Kent Winery for the natural and romantic ambience it offered. 

Wedding Party: The wedding party was made up of family members, as well as close friends from childhood and college—including the couple that first introduced Courtney and Doug.

Rustic Romance: Douglas and Courtney said their vows in the Barrel Room at the winery.

A Natural Feel: Lanterns and greenery created a romantic, natural setting for the reception.

Joyous Journeys: In honor of their love of traveling together, the reception included a cabinet displaying some of their adventures. Together the couple has traveled to Thailand, South Africa, Canada and Grenada, to name a few. 




Coordinator: Belles & Whistles, Richmond

Florals: Jeff’s Flowers Of Course, Newport News

Catering: Nixon’s Barbecue

Cake: CakeAlicious, Yorktown

Music: Colonial DJs, Yorktown

Hair and Makeup: Dolce Vita Salon, Yorktown

Rentals: Hampton Roads Event Rentals, Yorktown

Chelsea Sherman
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