Hilton Oceanfront Wedding | Brianna + Brad | Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer

A Hilton Oceanfront Wedding never disappoint! and  Brad + Brianna’s wedding was proof!

I have never been to Texas, but after this wedding, I know exactly what a Texas wedding feels like! BIG, FUN and full of laughter and a ton of LOVE.

I first met Brad and Brianna back in 2016 along with her beautiful momma Colleen at a Starbucks in Chesapeake.  I was referred by Allie, Brianna’s cousin and a past bride.

It felt like we had known each other for years and we were INSTANT friends!  Brad was quiet and just nodded a lot while the girls talked all about wedding things and an engagement session!

Brad and Brianna met at Sandbridge beach so of course, that is where we did their engagement photos!  You can see them if you click HERE.


Fast forward to September 23, 2017, when two lives and two families became one!

 It was a day to remember for sure!  From warm Indian Summer warm weather to an awesome vintage car for photos.   A bridal party that was as fun as they get!  Tears of joy, tears from laughter and the BIGGEST dance floor filled to capacity most of the night with so much dancing and LARGE Texas size family photos!  What a fun wedding for sure!

Brad and Brianna congratulations to you both, now let’s relive your day!


I think if you have ever been to Virginia Beach you know right where this wedding took place!  Because King Neptune marks the spot! A Hilton Oceanfront wedding in Virginia Beach.

Hanging with the girls’ pre ceremony is always a ton of fun, hearing all the laughter and taking photos of all the pretty and fun details!

Meanwhile, Brad had a wonderful surprise when his grandmother who had been hospitalized just a few days earlier from a stroke showed up.  She was determined to be there on his big day!

Brianna, your Alfred Angelo gown was beautiful!  Vintage lace is my fav!

I don’t exactly remember what was said, but I think it had to do with Brianna’s little sister and Maid of Honor’s bedazzling her shirt…with her name  🙂

You will never be too old for hugs and girl talk with your momma…and your little sister.

Guys getting ready is a little less detail filled but when you get to hang with your favorite people and uncles It doesn’t take long to realize just how lucky you are for these people in your life.

I love first looks with brides and grooms but…Ahh father and daughter first looks….get me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

This smile of anticipation could not be wiped from his face!

When Brianna’s dad reached out to me for information on who locally had vintage cars for rent because he wanted to surprise them for their portraits…I was alllll kind of giddy with excitement!  He could not have found a more perfect car!  Convertible and TEAL!  Complete with a driver!  So we took off to a remote part of the North End of Virginia Beach for portrait fun!

We found a cute catamaran and pretty dunes!  Who cares if it was 1pm in the afternoon and 85 degrees We made some beautiful portraits in the harshest sun…no problem!! 🙂

©Melody Gillikin Photography www.melodygillikinphotography.com

When you are at the beach, it’s kinda cool to get photobombed by some local surfers!

Back to get the I DO Crew in some photos!  Your bridal party was LOUD and FUN..just like I like them!

I don’t know whose idea this was, but I am certain we could be friends!  <3

I love memory tables at weddings, it’s a beautiful way to remember and include those who are watching from heaven!

Ceremony time!  With the view of the ocean and 300 plus chairs!

This photo right here…cracked me UP!  Then and now!  Your face is priceless Brad.

Apparently…lighting the candle was humorous!

When their eyes met. <3

The blessing of the rings, Father Parke told me that the family did not know this was going to happen but wanted to make sure I knew to be upfront to capture their expressions.  He was such a wonderful addition to their ceremony, so personable and told me to be wherever and do whatever I needed to be to get the photos they paid for!  He is the BEST, and he spoke to my wedding photographer heart when he told me that!  It’s so hard to be told, you can’t do this or you can’t do that… when your brides and grooms pay top dollar for their photos and then restrictions are put on you because of outdated rules.  It was such a blessing to be able to do my thing for them and not feel like I was breaking a cardinal rule!

I mean look at the reward of freedom!  The looks on their parent’s faces are priceless.

Mr. and Mrs. Duesberry!

And their FAB I DO Crew!

The cutest guest book idea!  They plan to hang this on their wall!

A few “Just Married” photos.

I don’t always put family photos in my blog stores…but this family was too sweet with to many sweet stores not to include a few. I don’t know who’s the luckiest in this photo. Brad for his new family or this sweet family gaining such a wonderful son.

But they have the sibling thing down already LOL.

And this photo right here, is priceless.  You see Brad’s mom suffers from severe Alzeheimers.  We were not sure she was going to be up to the stimulation of the day to be able to be there, but with the help of Brad’s sister and family.  She was there for the ceremony and we made sure to capture every photo we could of her!  She especially LIT up like a beautiful Christmas tree when she saw her grandchildren.  It’s the simple little things that make you smile.

So for Brad to have his mom and his grandmother there for one of the biggest days of his life, was a GIANT blessing!

Your ballroom was simply elegant, just like you!

Let the party begin!

Mr. and Mrs. McGuinnes you sure know how to throw a Texas Size Party!  It was simply BEAUTIFUL!

As I look at fathers dance with their daughters, I often look at their faces and wonder what are they thinking? About the day they were born? Their first steps? Their first date, or first broken heart?

Daddy’s and their little girls…the one who loved her first, the one who set every example of how a man should treat her.  Your role is so important and this dance is always one of my favorite moments especially when I see this emotion and love.

I LOVE when my couples make time in their evening for a few night or sunset portraits,  it’s something they will never ever regret doing.

And when the ocean mist creates sparkle behind them…it’s magic!

©Melody Gillikin Photography www.melodygillikinphotography.com

There was a band playing so we stopped for a little slow dance before going into PARTY!

And did they PARTY!  Wide open nonstop full on Party!

I told ya’ll BIG Texas Style family photos!

Let them eat cake and toast (or roast) the couple!

The toasts are when you really get to know your couples! LOL.

And this party would not be complete without their McGuinness family wedding tradition of dancing to New York New York.

Dance, Dance, and Dance some more.

The LARGEST group of single ladies this year!

After the tossing was done…we did our own little exit before calling it a night, and what a night it was!

Brad and Brianna, may your life together be filled with as much love and laughter and family as you had on your wedding day.

No one could ask for more to have a perfect life!


The fabulous vendors who made Brianna and Brad’s day FABULOUS!

Venue ~ Hilton Ocean Front, Virginia Beach

Photography ~ Melody Gillikin Photography

Event Coordinator ~ Antonia Christianson Events

Brides Dress ~ Alfred Angelo Bridal

Grooms Attire ~ Mens Warehouse ~ Black by Vera Wang

Hair and Makeup ~ MUA LLC.

Flowers ~ Fluttering Flowers

Cake ~ My Cake Delights

Catering ~ Hilton Ocean Front

DJ ~ Hey DJ Bobby

Photo Booth ~ Boardwalk Entertainment

Ballroom Lighting ~ Blue Steel Lighting

Sweetheart and Cake Table ~ Waterfield Event Rentals

Vintage 56 Chevrolet ~ Private Owner

Escort Cards ~ Paper Dolls Designs

Officiant ~ Father Jim Parke


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be apart of your day and tell your love story!  XOXO












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