Photography by Skylar Wyatt Photography
Who: Lindsey Sisson, fourth grade language arts teacher at Rosemont Forest Elementary, and Ryan Simmons, U.S. Coast Guard
When: Sept. 29, 2018
Where: Flyway Lodge, Knotts Island, N.C.
Guest List: Roughly 145 guests attended the wedding. Among local friends and family were guests from California, Florida and Maine.
Where They Met: Just three short days after returning to Virginia Beach from a five-year stint in Miami, Ryan was introduced to Lindsey through a mutual friend, Rose. The two mingled over beach volleyball and reunited the next day at an end-of-the-year teacher party at Lindsey’s parents’ house. “I’m pretty sure we’ve hung out every day since,” says Lindsey.
The Engagement: On New Year’s Eve, remnants of snow lingered on the sand near the Cape Charles pier. After daring Ryan to brave the cold with her, Lindsey snapped photos from the pier and turned around to find Ryan down on one knee. Lindsey’s brother photographed the proposal, and the couple later celebrated with friends and family in downtown Cape Charles.
Wedding Wishes: "We just wanted the most relaxed vibe so people didn’t feel like there was a certain time to eat or a certain time to dance. We just wanted it to be very laid back, which is kind of how Ryan and I are. We’re just people who like to have a fun time with good food and good drinks,” says Lindsey. The couple forwent the traditional sit down dinner and seating chart to make their reception as easygoing as possible. “Another big thing on our wishlist was having our dance floor out underneath the stars,” she adds. “We had Edison light bulbs strung above the dance floor and a live band. We love music, so we wanted to make sure we had a band and not a DJ.”
What’s Next: With only a few months of marriage under their belts, Lindsey and Ryan are already looking forward to their first big move. “Ryan is up for transfer in July. We don’t know our fate yet, but there are quite a few places on the books where we could end up,” explains Lindsey. “It’s a little nerve wracking, but I think it will be good for our marriage to start off somewhere new.”
Bride: Dress – Studio I Do Bridals
Groom: Suit – The Black Tux
Cufflinks: Rather than having her first look with Ryan, Lindsey opted for a first look with her father, Jimmy. She presented him with custom-made cufflinks found on Etsy. “My dad and I are very much the same person, and I feel like he still sees me as the young girl in the picture,” Lindsey says with a laugh.
Fur Baby: When all eyes weren’t on the bride and groom, they were on Harley, the couple’s 75-pound boxer. Lindsey says Harley underwent eye surgery just one week before the wedding but was eager to swap her pet cone for a party hat.
Sparkling Surprise: Lindsey’s bridesmaid Gina flew all the way from San Diego for the September wedding and surprised the couple with hand-painted champagne flutes. “From the stripes and medals on Ryan’s dress blues to the beaded detail matched with sparkle paint, everything was done to a T,” says Lindsey. “The bottom of the glasses also say Mr. Simmons and Mrs. Simmons with our wedding date.”
Drool Towels: Harley is notorious for drool, so Lindsey and Ryan discovered these hand-drawn towels as a cute and easy fix for keeping guests clean and slobber-free.
Rustic Entrance: Connecting the countryside lodge to the seaside ceremony were two whitewashed doors accompanied by a pair of rustic lanterns.
Dream Lodge: “We’re both from Virginia Beach, so we knew we wanted our wedding to be local, but we wanted a more relaxed atmosphere than an event space. We also knew we wanted to be outdoors, so we just fell in love with the rustic look of the barn and nearby water,” says Lindsey. She admits to having seen Flyway Lodge on Skylar Wyatt Photography’s website prior to her engagement and instantly deemed the Knotts Island spot as her dream venue.
Tasteful Desserts: The September wedding fell on Ryan’s 33rd birthday, lending the evening to a celebration of love and life. Shortcake Sweets prepared a plethora of dessert to complement the greenery-draped wedding cake including miniature cupcakes, macaroons and bite-sized brownies.
Friends & Family: Ryan’s sister stood proudly as Lindsey’s matron of honor. Joining him as his best man was his Coast Guard brother, Eric. “Eric’s home was hit pretty hard during the hurricanes in North Carolina, but despite the damage and flooding, Eric pulled out all the stops to be with us on [our wedding day]. That was really special,” says Lindsey.
Coordinator: Sunkissed Events
Florist: Fluttering Flowers
Catering: Black Pelican
Band: Mike Proffitt Band
Videography: The Abbouds
Cake/Desserts: Shortcake Sweets, The Chilly Mermaid
Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals