The Southern Weddings office is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we’re pretty darn lucky to be here–there are countless kind, creative wedding industry folks in this area. In fact, today’s Southern Newlywed couple, Rachel and Seth Linder of Blue Barn Photography, live just a few miles away from me! Rachel and I have become great friends ever since she shot our behind the scenes photos of V9’s Chapel Charm, so I can heartily attest to the fact that she and Seth are as sweet (and stylish!) as they seem. They’ve poured lots of love into their Raleigh home, and turned it into a beautiful, cozy space to spend quality time together, raise their cutie pie son, Ezra, and host their many friends and family members. I’m so thrilled to have them on Southern Newlywed today–enjoy!
The couple: Rachel (26) and Seth (28) Linder
Years married: Six on May 21st
Children’s names and ages: Ezra Grey Linder, 1 year
Where they live: Raleigh, NC
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I grew up in North Raleigh behind a cow farm where some of my fondest memories are of feeding the herds and romping through the open fields. I love to keep my hands creating, so when I’m not photographing love stories or running my business, Blue Barn Photography, I love to spend my free time oil painting and brush lettering, or tending to the backyard garden beds. Seth grew up on 75 acres of fields and forests in Wake Forest–where we spent most of our time dating and later tied the knot. Seth has been a co-owner in Capstone Landscapes since 2007, and spends his work day running a maintenance crew to beautify lawns in the Raleigh area. We met when we were 9 and 11 at church, and started dating when we were 16 and 18. Altogether, we have been together 10 years–we dated for four years, and married each other at 20 and 22! We love slow mornings dreaming over cups of coffee, spending time in God’s word, cooking dinner together, dancing in the kitchen, playing with our son Ezra, and traveling whenever we get the chance! In recent years, we’ve also become passionate about fitness and love our time at the gym together.
Tell us a little bit about where you live. We own a sweet little three-bedroom on the edge of NE Raleigh. I was immediately sold on the marble fireplace and the open space above the garage, which we turned into my home office. We love updating it slowly and I am always dreaming up the next project. We love the community here and the routines we’ve settled into. With both of our businesses and many of our family rooted here as well, it’s a good bet we will stay in the area for a while.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Moving in together was a bit of a jumble. We both lived with our parents up until our wedding to save money, so we had very little furniture, and much less style at the time. At first, I was all about white furniture, and Seth was all about dark woods. We’ve actually lived in five different places since first getting married, and each move, we seem to refine and blend our style a little more. It takes time to find things that we both love. We’ve found things that worked at one dwelling, but not the next, and have sold those to invest in different pieces. Between my love for whites and Seth’s love for woods, we’ve met in the middle, and most of our furniture has a lighter driftwood stain that we’re both happy with. We both love calm, soothing colors in our home, so most of our rooms have notes of blues, greens, and grays.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our entire downstairs feels like one big room and it’s my favorite because we’ve made the most memories here–between coffee chats on the couch, seeing Ezra explore every nook as we play with him or cook dinner, and hosting an array of gatherings and celebrations with our friends, it’s the heart of our home.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We’ve enjoyed splurges on original art, linens, and light fixtures. We try to save and find deals on more transitional items like seasonal decor, dishes, and wine glasses (which we always break)! My favorite sources for home things include Anthropologie, Target, IKEA, Home Goods, West Elm, World Market, and Goodwill! We also have enjoyed building a few custom items together, like the open shelves in our kitchen.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We use our pots and pans and cutlery several times a day, so that’s definitely the winner!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? As we’ve figured out our style over the years, we’ve replaced many of the original dishes and linens we registered for with more neutral pieces. I also love that you can register for a honeymoon fund now–that would have been fun to include at the time!
Who cooks dinner? Seth cooks dinner 75 percent of the time, I do 15 percent, and we eat out the other 10 percent.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? Tacos will forever have our heart, so we do some kind of taco variation whenever we’re stumped.
What is your favorite part of being married? Rachel: Having a husband who sees every part of me (the good, the bad, the ugly), and loves and supports me through it all. Seth: Having a wife who is always there for me.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Before we got married, many people cautioned us “Marriage is HARD,” but no one really explained what that actually meant. We found out that marriage can honestly be full of disappointments. You see movies, read books, see lives from the outside, and have certain expectations that you have to correct and address. The most surprising thing about marriage has been turning the disappointments into a stronger bond and connection with one another, and forming an unconditional love that goes much deeper than we could have ever achieved in a dating relationship. We’ve learned through challenging (and sometimes painful) communication that continuing to communicate no matter what either one of us are feeling is the most important thing, and also the best thing!
How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? We live off of one income and try to save the rest for long-term goals. All of our bank accounts are shared and we like the openness and accountability that comes with that. We set budgets, and then come back to refine them every few months to see where our leaks are. It’s a continual process and takes a good amount of communication.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities (work, personal time, extended family, etc.)? Rachel: Create clear, healthy boundaries that allow you to be fully present wherever you are. Seth: Don’t be selfish; always be ready and willing to put forth effort when you come home.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Right after we said “I do,” we exited the ceremony to stand under a giant Pin Oak tree. All of our guests faded away and it was just the two of us for a few moments under the golden sun. We felt so close holding one another, knowing we had just committed our lives to one another and made a covenant before God.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? (Pictures, mementos, etc.) You know the saying about the cobbler’s children never having any shoes? That totally applies here–you’d think as wedding photographers that we’d have lots of our own wedding photos in our home, but in reality, we have very few mementos from our actual wedding day hung in our home right now. However, we definitely have plans for a gallery wall in our living room including wedding photos, along with pictures from all ten years together!
Do you have children? What are your hopes and plans for the future in this area? We have one son, Ezra. He’s just over a year old and brings us so much joy!
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Our favorite recent date happens after Ezra goes to bed–we finish dinner together and then sip wine on the back porch.
What most makes your house feel like home? Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros said it best when they sang “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It doesn’t matter where we live as long as we take time there to invest in each other’s lives.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Rachel: Keeping the house in order (making the bed, doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom) is a small way I like to show Seth that I care for him and love him. Seth: I like to give Rachel lots of hugs to show her I love her.
This year, our family is most excited about… our summer trip to explore the California coast, from San Diego to San Francisco.
Thanks so much for sharing your hearts and home with us, Rachel and Seth! Follow along with them here:
Photography: Tatum Thomas of Blue Barn Photography