Welcome to the Katherine Blair Journal! We're Katherine and Mark, husband and wife wedding photography team, and we strive to your story in an artful and evocative way. Our blog is here to help you find the perfect wedding venue, help with wedding planning, and get to know us better. Grab a glass of your favorite, sit down, and enjoy!


welcome to our

home on the web

Wedding Venues
Virginia Beach Wedding Venues, Wedding Venues

Norfolk Botanical Gardens Wedding

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is an absolutely stunning location with a variety of backdrops for your wedding. If Mark and I were getting married again, I would definitely be looking into hosting everything there. Can you imagine a sprawling lawn soiree, with gorgeous greenery and flowers? Think Bridgerton, where you might go to take a promenade, or attend one of Queen Charlotte’s extravagant parties. Not to sound like Stefon, but they have everything. Your options are almost endless with what you can do for your wedding. Lastly, it’s not just a gorgeous venue and garden. NBGs mission of caring for the environment and educating others to do the same really resonates with me, and I hope you too. I think the sky is truly the limit if you want a Norfolk Botanical Gardens wedding, but I will let the experts do the talking.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Giada Peters, the weddings and events coordinator at NBG. She was a pleasure to chat with and more than happy to provide an in-depth look at what it would be like to host your wedding there. If you or someone you know is looking book your big day at NBG, please enjoy this post and interview and make sure you read to the end for a little surprise!

If you could only tell couples ONE thing about what it would be like to have Norfolk Botanical Gardens Wedding what would it be?

After ceremony and family photos have been completed, we invite the newlyweds onto the Weddings Golf Cart to take the couple around to their other collection spaces for Private Newlywed Photo time. This is one of our most favorite parts of the wedding day and always takes place during the sunset golden hour which allows for gorgeous photos in a variety of settings all over the garden and gives the couple an intimate moment together away from their guests to bask in the first few moments of being newlyweds!


Do couples using your venue have exclusive use? If not, how do you handle that?

Our weddings are broken down into a Wedding Collection Brochure. In this brochure, we have five different collections that are divided by their guest count capacity and whether or not you would like to have just ceremony here, or ceremony and reception. Within those collections are specific outdoor and indoor spaces that would be privately reserved for you for the entirety of your rental time. We also have venue coordinators on-site designated to watch over each wedding to make sure the event goes smoothly the entire evening.

Are couples able to host an entire weekend of festivities at your venue (ex. Welcome Party, Rehearsal, Wedding, Day-After Brunch…)?
Couples would be allowed to host an entire weekend of festivities here but each event would be considered a separate rental from the wedding day. So, if you were interested in hosting a Day-After-Brunch, this would be an entirely separate rental from the wedding venue rental and must be taken care of by one of our exclusive caterers as well.


Is there a noise policy/reception cut off time?
We allot 30 minutes for ceremony, one hour for cocktail hour, and four hours for reception. The ceremony time is set to be two hours before the sunset, so your ceremony time will depend on the month you are getting married. Once your four-hour reception has ended, the guests must vacate the space so your vendors can begin their breakdown. If you would like to add an extra hour or two to your reception you may do so for an extra fee.

Do you have spaces for getting ready?

In our two largest wedding collections, the Renaissance Rose or the American Azalea collections, there are two get ready spaces included. The Renaissance Rose Collection has our exclusive bridal suite and a room for the groom.The American Azalea Collection has two large rooms, the bride and groom may choose whichever room they prefer.These rooms can be accessed throughout the entire evening until the end of reception, and have served multiple purposes such as baby-sitting rooms, prep rooms for live bands, whatever you need them to be.

Can couples/guests stay overnight, or do you have affiliations with somewhere they can?

We do not have anywhere on property where guests could stay overnight. We also do not have any official affiliations with any hotels around the area, but we are near several lovely hotels such as the Norfolk Waterside Marriott or The Main.

Do couples have to use in-house catering, or can their bring their own? If they bring their own, is a kitchen available?

We work with an exclusive list of full-service caterers that do amazing work all around the Hampton Roads area. It is a list of seven different catering companies that have made it through our extensive approval process and are in line with our eco-friendly sustainability policy. Clients must work with one of these catering companies in order to have their wedding here.


If the couple has an outdoor ceremony, do you have contingency plans for bad weather?

All of our ceremony locations are outside in our beautiful blossoming garden, so we have several levels of rain plans depending on the collection that the couple has reserved, the level of rain, and the wishes of the couple. We have clear umbrellas for everyone if it is sprinkling, outside covered locations like gazebos if it is truly raining, and a worst-case scenario fully indoor option as well so we can be prepared for any kind of weather. The rain plan is decided by the couple and must be decided two hours before the ceremony time at the latest.

What is the guest capacity?

The guest capacity depends solely on the collection that is reserved. We have ceremony-only elopement packages that can host under ten people all the way to full ceremony and reception collections hosting 200 people!

Do you have staff for set-up and breakdown, and/or security staff included?

The Garden will be responsible for providing and setting up the ceremony chairs. It is the caterer who is responsible for fully setting up and fully breaking down cocktail hour and reception. We will provide all of the tables and chairs needed for cocktail hour and reception, cocktail tables, round tables, banquet tables, a sweetheart table, cake table etc. but it is the caterer who will set everything up and break everything down at the end of the night. We do not have any security guards at the Garden, but there will be a venue coordinator assigned to the wedding for the entire rental time who will be the very last person to leave,ensuring all vendors have broken down and vacated the premises properly.

Are there restrictions for outdoor decor/exit props?

Since the primary mission of the Garden is to educate and care for the well-being of the environment and our plants, we are not able to allow any balloons, glitter, confetti, rice, birdseed, or fire/sparklers outside. Any petals thrown must be 100% real petals to prevent them from being blown into our lake or flower beds and any drapery you would like to have installed on any gazebos must be attached non-permanently (no nailing, gluing, stapling, etc.).

Thank you Giada for taking the time to provide all of that information! If anyone is interested in receiving a Norfolk Botanical Gardens Wedding brochure, please call or email  their office at weddings@nbgs.org or give them a call at (757) 441-5830 ext. 320! They have tour times almost every single day of the week to tour the collections so just let them know if they can help with creating the wedding of your dreams! The garden’s website can be viewed here.

If you made it this far, I would also like to offer you a special something. If you are planning your wedding at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and are looking for a photographer to capture your wedding day and all of the emotions that accompany it, we would love to be there for you. Mention this blog post when you inquire and you will receive a free engagement session with your booking!





Thank you for checking out our featured post! Again, since you made it this far, we’d love to remind you of our special offering. If you are planning your wedding at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and are looking for a photographer to capture your wedding day and all of the emotions that accompany it, we would love to be there for you. Mention this blog post when you inquire and you will receive a free engagement session with your booking!

If you’re looking for more information on wedding venues in Virginia Beach, see a list of our favorites, found here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *