Cupid at The Cavalier Hotel
Call it a publicity stunt, but it sure is a sweet one and right at Valentine’s Day, too.
Seventy-five couples, who either were married or honeymooned at the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, have been selected to renew their vows in a private ceremony at the property on Feb. 14, before it reopens to the public on March 7.
The event is part of the pre-opening festivities to celebrate the more than $80 million renovation of the historic Cavalier. Other special events include public tours that will begin on Feb. 16 and run through March 2. The tours will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. on March 2.
Gov. Ralph Northam has been lined up to officiate the renewal ceremony, and the couples have been invited to stay at the hotel free of cost.
The Cavalier originally opened in 1927. Some of the romantic stories behind the couples include multiple generations marrying on the property, engagements on The Cavalier’s iconic hill, meeting at the hotel and former employees meeting at work and falling in love.
Among the selected participants, the oldest couple to renew their vows honeymooned at The Cavalier in 1940. The youngest couple wed on October 2014. Two couples share an anniversary, and their weddings were the last events hosted at The Cavalier before the restoration began three years ago.
While many of the participating couples returning in February are longtime locals or summer residents of Virginia Beach, others have not been back to the area since their special day. According to the Cavalier’s public relations team, former military couples who were stationed briefly near Virginia Beach and residents from cities in Virginia and other states such as Connecticut, Arizona and Tennessee will journey back to The Cavalier for the reopening to reaffirm their vows.
As the first official guests of the newly renovated hotel, the 75 couples will receive:
· Complimentary hotel accommodations
· Complimentary lunch served in the Chrystal Ballroom
· A hosted vow renewal ceremony
· A hosted cocktail reception with live entertainment in the Raleigh Room
· Dinner for two in Becca, the hotel’s restaurant
· Big band dance party in the ballroom
· Complimentary photographs
· Complimentary copy of The Cavalier Love Stories, a hardbound compendium of the selected couples’ love stories
The Cavalier will reopen as a Gold Key | PHR property. Its CEO, Bruce L. Thompson, is the developer behind the restoration, which he is doing as a public/private project with the city of Virginia Beach. The opening date for the property has been pushed back several times due to complications from structural defects that came up during construction.