Recently married couple Justin and Samantha Whitney tell a fabulous story while giving the full scoop on what it’s like to get married on the Virginia Tech campus, in the Blacksburg area. If you’re considering hosting or attending any weddings at Virginia Tech, you don’t want to miss this tale of torrential rain, a surprise visit from the Hokie Bird, and top-notch wedding coordinators.
Weddings at Virginia Tech
Meet the Couple: Justin & Samantha Whitney
How did you meet?
We met while working at Turner Place, a dining hall on Virginia Tech’s campus. Justin was the grill cook in 1872 Fire Grill and I was always assigned to be his cashier. Justin still works there, actually, but in a different role.
When did you know that he was “the one”?
I knew that Justin was the one when he met my extended family. Both sides of my family are very close and it can be intimidating to come in as an outsider but he never missed a beat and fit right in, even halfway across the world in the Philippines!
Who did most of the wedding planning?
Is this a real question!? Haha, it was mostly all me. Justin drew a graphic for one version of our save the date, tasted cakes, and asked if he could wear purple… that was about it. Ha!
How long have you been married?
6 months! We had a micro wedding on October 10, 2020, with just our parents and bridal party (less than 20 people total) in attendance. Our other guests were able to virtually attend the ceremony via Facebook Live.
The Whitney Wedding at Virginia Tech
Every wedding has a story of a crazy uncle who broke his arm breakdancing at the reception or a flower girl that refused to walk down the aisle. What is your favorite unplanned wedding day story?
THE RAIN – there was a torrential downpour all day but it made for some magical photos. I think everyone was expecting me to be upset but it was truly the happiest day of my life. We even ditched the umbrella for some of the photos and you can see the pure joy on our faces in those photos!
What part of your wedding or reception did you enjoy the most?
The Hokie Bird was a surprise guest during the reception. It was so fun to see my parents and friends jump to “Enter Sandman” with the Hokie Bird for the first time. They were all a little confused about what was happening at first but everyone enjoyed partaking in one of the most hallowed Virginia Tech traditions!
Give us one piece of advice that you wish you would have known or understood about your wedding day.
Your wedding is for YOU, the couple getting married. Don’t make decisions just for your guests or parents; make sure that the things you want are there/happen because it’s ultimately YOUR day.
Do you have any other advice for new brides?
Enjoy the season of engagement with your fiancé!!! It’s such a special and exciting time – celebrate and soak it all in before the planning craziness begins!
The Inn at Virginia Tech – The Perfect Hokie Wedding Location
Why did you choose The Inn?
We chose The Inn for our reception because we were looking for a beautiful location that was close to campus with amazing food and service. Our priority was making sure that our guests didn’t have to worry about transportation and The Inn was perfect because all they had to do was walk upstairs to their rooms instead of trying to find an Uber or drive.
If you had to describe the venue in one word, what would that word be?
One-stop-shop! We didn’t have our ceremony at The Inn but it wasn’t because of the lack of accommodations. The Inn can host all of your wedding events – rehearsal dinner, getting ready rooms, ceremony, reception, farewell brunch, etc. – the possibilities are endless. I *could* be biased because I’m an IVT staff member but I think it shows how much I believe in this property by having my wedding here! The Inn will deliver outstanding service no matter what event you choose to host here.
Tell us about your experience with the staff.
Bianca is one of the most knowledgeable and well-connected wedding coordinators with years of experience. She makes sure that every single bride is taken care of and that their day is perfect. You won’t be able to find that kind of service anywhere else!
Describe your wedding day – we want to hear all about it!
It was a perfect day, despite all of the rain! My bridesmaids, mom, and I got our hair and makeup done at a local salon while the guys got extra beauty sleep. Our photography team arrived shortly after to capture the “getting ready” photos of the girls in our bridal suite and the guys in their ready room. Justin and I had our private, first look in the Holtzman Alumni Center, which is connected to The Inn. Then, we braved the storm with our bridal party to get some group shots on campus. After getting soaked in the rain (but still having fun!), we made our way to Virginia Tech’s War Memorial Chapel for the ceremony.
The ceremony was short but sweet and virtually streamed for the other 150 guests that were unable to attend. After the ceremony, Justin and I took more photos on campus while our parents and bridal party enjoyed cocktail hour back at The Inn. Our favorite IVT staple was served, The Inn’s Famous Crab Dip, along with our signature drinks, The Gordita (Jack & Pepsi) and The Tyrion (Crown Royal & Ginger Ale), which were named after our two pups.
Our bridal party had their time to shine during their hilarious introductions and we followed with our first dance to Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.” After that, my mom welcomed everyone and gave the blessing before dinner. Then, it was time to eat! The food was incredible but I think the mashed potato bar was everyone’s favorite! After dinner, everyone enjoyed drinks and some dancing. The party really got started when the DJ played “Enter Sandman” by Metallica – the Hokie anthem – AND The Hokie Bird came through the ballroom doors jumping (if you know, you know).
Once the reception ended, the bridal party came back to the bridal suite for late-night snacks. All of our rooms were next to each other so it was kind of like having an adult sleepover! It was such a special weekend with the people closest to us that we will cherish forever.
If you had it to do over again, would you choose The Inn again?
If we had to do it over again, we would absolutely choose The Inn as our venue! The memories that were made over that weekend wouldn’t have existed if our guests stayed elsewhere or we chose another venue. The Inn’s venue options, quality of food, level of service, attention to detail, and overall value are unmatched in the New River Valley area.
If you are planning a wedding in the Blacksburg, VA area, we at The Inn at Virginia Tech would “love” to talk with you about how we can make your special day truly spectacular.
Want more? Download The Inn’s Wedding Trends You’ll Fall In Love With Guide Here >>