Raven McCarthy & Norman Clark solidified their union amidst family and friends on September 9, 2023 at The Chrysler Museum of Art wedding in Norfolk, Virginia. Beautiful architecture and world-class art collections were the backdrop for the evening ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
About the Couple
Who knew that a chance meeting in the hallway at their place of employment seven years ago would bring them to this moment! Both Raven & Norman work in the healthcare field as Intensive Care Unit registered nurses. And although they worked on the same floor, working on different units kept them apart. It happened that one day Norman picked up a shift on Raven’s unit, expressed his interest to her, and was immediately friend zoned because Raven was involved with someone else.
Eventually raven ended that relationship, and she and Norman began dating. Norman surprised Raven with an oceanfront hotel proposal surrounded by her immediate family and close friends. What many do not know is that the couple started their wedding planning in November 2022, but they did not physically get engaged until March 2023 – just six months before they were already set to say “I Do.”
The planning process lasted just under one year. Raven and Norman met with us at a local bridal show, and we knew straight away that they were ready to throw the most glamorous and luxurious wedding of the year! They quickly dubbed it “The Royal Wedding.” They booked our full planning and design services. Once we found a venue large enough to accommodate their guests, we headed straight into the intricate design details.
The color palette was rich, romantic, and sophisticated. We opted for cabernet, blush pink, metallic gold, and ivory. The final design was a perfect mixture of the bride’s Pinterest inspiration, our detailed finishings, and the florist’s flawless floral execution.
On the morning of wedding day, the couple got ready, surrounded by their best people at Hilton Norfolk, The Main, in Norfolk, Virginia. Our bride looked radiant in an ivory Martina Liana gown and gold Christian Louboutin bridal flats. Bridesmaids dressed in cabernet chiffon dresses from Azazzie, while the groomsmen sported black suits and bow ties from Men’s Wearhouse. Our groom commanded the room in his Cabernet jacket and vest. Raven gifted Norman a photo album for a boudoir portrait session that was for his eyes only. He returned the gesture with a Yves St. Laurent Black Opium perfume gift set. In addition, Raven’s mother added a locket with 2 pictures; one of her late grand-parents and one of her late uncle, to her bouquet. This sentimental gift brought on the first tears of the day, but surely not the last. The amazing skyline view of downtown Norfolk served as the backdrop for their getting ready portraits.
Guests arrived at The Chrysler Museum of Art wedding just as the sun was setting on the horizon. Stage Right Lighting set the mood with over 20 up-lights that gently kissed the museum’s marble renaissance arches. The lighting truly transformed the space from a museum gallery to a royal court, complete with dance floor and aisle washes, pin spots, and follow spots. An audio guest book was set up in the foyer for guests to leave the newlyweds a message. Once they picked up the phone, they heard an outgoing greeting from Barack and Michelle Obama! The couple’s engagement photos were strategically placed throughout the entry way as guests filled the ceremony seats. Raven and Norman read their vows right beneath the main arch that was completely covered in blush pink and cabernet roses, scabiosa, hydrangeas, and snap dragons by Glamorous Events.
Cocktail hour took place in three of the museum’s galleries. Taste Catering & Events provided appetizers and cocktails while guests were serenaded by the sounds of Eric Taylor on violin. At the reception, there was no shortage of details to admire. Guests were seated at tables covered in cabernet velvet linens paired with satin blush pink napkins, gold starburst chargers, gold flatware, and blush pink vintage goblets from Waterford Event Rentals. Menu cards and table numbers mirrored the arch shapes in the museum. Glamorous Events dressed the tables in alternating, over the top floral centerpieces, bud vases, and gold candelabras. The bridal party sat at a king’s table draped in blush pink and gold etched velvet linen from Waterford Event Rentals. Glamorous Events elevated this table by creating a four foot high and 14 foot long floral bridge. Suspended from the bridge, almost in mid air, were tiny candle filled globes.
Our Favorite Details
Raven and Norman sat at the head of the reception like the King and Queen they were, admiring their “Royal Court.” The base of the couple’s sweetheart table was adorned with flowers. They sat together on a gold cage settee, provided by Kouture Kreations. Over their right shoulder stood a six-foot tall ice sculpture that Read “Love” and “The Clarks.” Directly behind them in front of their luxurious floral wall was their cake. Classic Confections by Julia expertly crafted a cake that was truly a work of art itself. Standing 5 tiers high, with a floating tier in the middle, the cake was covered with blush and cabernet marbling, a stone like stencil pattern, and a gold C for Clark.
Guests danced the night away to the sounds of DJ Juice, and ended the evening on the museum steps, overlooking the Hague Canal and Norfolk’s bright city lights. Raven and Norman enjoyed one final dance in private. Once they headed outside, their friends and family cheered them on as they exited the museum between a dazzling display of sparklers.
We loved planning, designing, and creating this Chrysler Museum of Art wedding that was timeless, while at the same time, modern. Raven and Norman look forward to honeymooning in Dubai in November. Their future plans include expanding their family and businesses while traveling and experiencing the world.
“Soni and her team were amazing to work with from start to finish. Throughout the entire planning process she was very organized, prompt with responses, thorough, and did whatever she could to make our wedding vision come to life. When the wedding day came, we were impressed with how smooth the day went and her efforts were even noticed by most of our guests and bridal party. My wedding day was perfect and I was stress free the entire time thanks to her. I would absolutely hire her and her team again and would recommend her to anyone. I cannot thank her enough.”