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A little behind the scenes gossip; we actually looked long and hard for a dress similar to Whitney’s Vera Wang showstopper for a V9 editorial shoot, and never thought of the amazing idea she had to customize it by wrapping a simple tulle veil. It was the perfect addition to the strapless design. While I could talk plenty about her gown, there is much more sweetness about Whitney and Cory’s wedding day that you’re not going to want to miss. Like the amazing florals from Philosophy Flowers. Whitney loves to garden and had quite a vision that she hoped Kelly could bring to life. Not only did she make her vision come to life, but she even surprised Whitney with little details like unripened blueberries hidden in my bouquet and our table arrangements. A fun nod to Whitney’s love for the color navy. Of course, a girl after our own hearts, Whitney’s favorite detail wasn’t detail exactly; it was simply having all their friends and family together to celebrate their wedding and marriage together.

Big hugs to our darling Blue Ribbon Vendor Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography for sending us this lovely day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Corey: Although we worked at the same company at the time, we didn’t know each other, and thanks to the company Christmas party in downtown Raleigh, we had the chance to meet. Whitney was holding a UNC cup and I was wearing a Santa hat. I had to politely let Whitney know I disagreed with her choice in drinkware (go Wolfpack), and Whitney wanted a Santa hat to match her green dress. From there, we struck up a conversation and ended up dancing the night away. It took about a month before our first date and on our date, we found out that our dads used to fly together for the same commercial airline and we just clicked. Six and a half years later, we haven’t looked back!
Tell us all about the proposal! Corey: So the main goal of the proposal was to make sure Whitney was surprised. I came up with an elaborate plan to have my older sister and her fiancé call and cancel their ‘plans’ of joining us for dinner last minute. I made sure Whitney was in the room when my sister called to cancel and put on a performance pretending to be upset. Since we were pretty much dressed already, I convinced Whitney we still needed to go to dinner. After dinner, I told Whitney I wanted to get a picture in front of the restaurant and since we parked out back, it was a little strange to walk out front. So we took a picture, continued walking around the restaurant, and unbeknownst to Whitney, waiting for us was a horse-drawn carriage. I urged Whitney to pet Marty the pony, but Whitney didn’t think he and his carriage were for us. I asked the carriage driver for a ride and he said “sure, hop on in!” I couldn’t contain my excitement and almost immediately asked Whitney to marry me. She said yes! I had her mom, her best friend, my mom, and my sister waiting for us at the State Capitol building as we made a loop around downtown. I then had a bunch of our friends meet us back at our townhouse to celebrate… it was an amazing night that we will never forget!
When did y’all get married? June 4, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Whitney: Finding my dress was definitely an experience, in the best possible way! I knew I only wanted my mom and my maid and matron of honor to help me decide as I am notorious for being the worst decision-maker. I figured the less people and less opinions, the easier it would be. We ventured out to our three appointments at various bridal boutiques in Raleigh, only to be disappointed with the first two appointments. When we started heading towards Alexia’s, I was incredibly anxious, thinking that we weren’t going to find my dress that day even though I knew I had plenty of time to find the one! I was bound and determined to find a classic dress and to steer clear of the strapless ball gown style. Well, lo and behold, I ended up with the strapless ball gown. After arriving to Alexia’s and chatting with the girls and telling them what I was looking for, they brought out three dresses for me to start with. The first dress blew me away even before I put it on. I saw the dress and started getting excited as it was poofy and draped in tulle with an amazing unstructured skirt! I was completely shocked that as soon as I put the dress on, my entire demeanor changed and excitement and emotions flooded my face! However, I knew something was missing. I asked if they could bring me a plain tulle veil and had them tie it around my arms! This completely made the dress for me and I knew this was the one! The girls at Alexia’s worked with me on creating this custom wrap for my dress and it was exactly what I saw myself in on the day I would marry Corey! My mom and maid of honor even lit up and they knew the second they saw my face that this was the one!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we decided to do a first look and are so happy we made the decision to do so. After months of anxious planning and looking forward to the day, we knew we couldn’t wait any longer to see one another, plus it helped calm our nerves! Both of us wanted a special moment for ourselves prior to the ceremony; along with deciding to have most of our pictures with the wedding party and family done prior to the ceremony, we wanted a private moment with one another.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Once we started with the planning phase, we knew we wanted to get married close to home! While we initially started thinking that we would get married in Raleigh, as this was the place where we’ve both called home for the last ten years and we would be starting our lives together here too, we also knew we’d love to get married in another place we both love: Blowing Rock, NC! We both love the area and the quaintness of the town and after narrowing down a few locations, we fell in love with the outdoor area at the Inn at Crestwood, nestled between Blowing Rock and Boone. The trees lining the lawn and the brick paver terrace were exactly what we envisioned. Of course, the rain had other plans on our wedding day. Meris and her team were able to have everything moved indoors and in the midst of a few rain showers, our guests were still able to get outdoors and enjoy the view we fell in love with! We also were very grateful that the rain held off just long enough for us to have our first look on the lawn!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Whitney: Corey and I are pretty traditional and loved the idea of reciting traditional vows during our wedding. We knew we wanted the preacher to read a few of our favorite verses (Romans 12:9-13 and Ruth 1:16), which we believe embody what we view in marriage and faith.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had such a difficult time narrowing down our wedding song! We have three songs that we have always cherished and fit our love to a point. After much debate and thinking about the style of our band, we decided on “I Found You” by the Alabama Shakes. This song has always had a special place in our hearts and it was so wonderful to hear as we twirled on the dance floor, not following any particular steps and dancing to our own tune! It recently played on a random shuffle we were listening to on a trip and we got the same butterflies we had on our wedding day, just listening to that song!
Describe your wedding flowers. Whitney: Two of the main aesthetic aspects of our wedding which we knew were incredibly important to us were the flowers and the photography. I am a true lover of all flowers and gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. Corey knew I had a vision when it came to our floral design and was very supportive of letting me take the reins on working with Kelly on our design. I knew the minute I found Kelly that it was a perfect fit. After hearing my long and exhausting plan, Kelly immediately knew what I wanted, sketched out everything, and made my vision come to fruition! She even mentioned sneaking in some amazing little design surprises and it was perfect! To our surprise, we had unripened blueberries hidden in my bouquet and our table arrangements. What a fun detail! I was blown away; who would think of this sweet little touch and design detail? Kelly was so patient with me and always listened to my thoughts and ideas, and seeing her bring her team together to have our floral ideas come to life was truly amazing.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Whitney: After a little debate, Corey and I decided on a dessert bar as I am not a big cake person. We knew we still wanted at least a small couple’s cake to cut and have the memory of cutting the cake at our wedding so once we sat down with Beth at Ugga Mugga Bakery, we came up with a great plan to have a couple’s cake to cut along with a dessert bar for all of our friends and family. Corey’s favorite cake flavor is funfetti, and Beth jumped at the idea of making us a custom and simple funfetti cake! After talking with Kelly, our floral designer, we knew we wanted a simple floral element as part of our cake and everything turned out exactly how we wanted! It was perfect and a big hit with all of our guests.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was probably not a detail; it was simply having all of our friends, family, and those who support us in one room there cheering us on and celebrating our wedding and marriage together. While we knew we wanted to keep the wedding small, we wanted to make sure we had a chance to speak to everyone there, and we did! Sharing one of our favorite places and having those we love in one place, all together for the same purpose, was something we will always cherish.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Whitney: Yes! Navy is my absolute favorite color and when I found my sparkly navy shoes, I was smitten! They were my something blue. My dress was new and my mom let me borrow one of her bracelets which I have loved since I was a little girl. It was so special that she let me borrow it for the big day. My something old comes from a sweet story from our earlier years when Corey and I were dating. My birthday is right before our anniversary and leading up to my first birthday with Corey, he and some of my friends had planned for us to go out of town to celebrate. Upon arriving at our destination, Corey snuck away, unbeknownst to me, to pick up my birthday present. Later on, Corey surprised me with a pair of pearl earrings from Tiffany’s. Earlier in the year, I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding and had lost one of the pearl earrings gifted to me by my parents when I was younger. He remembered this little detail months later and definitely surprised me with a new pair! I wear them almost every day and thought they would be such a wonderful addition to wear at our wedding.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Whitney: Corey and I both grew up in the South and are definitely both Southern at heart! We wanted somewhere that reminded us of home, had a classy Southern mountain vibe, with great views. Crestwood checked all of those boxes. Also, while we stuck with simple wedding traditions, we knew we wanted to make our wedding black tie. The one Southern tradition we forgot about (and wished we hadn’t) was burying a bottle of bourbon at the location prior to the wedding!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? During our engagement, we both had many things occurring (buying a house, a new job, traveling, etc.) and at times, the stress got to us both. While Corey is definitely the more laid-back one of the two of us, we both knew we had to focus on our wedding and what lies ahead. Never going to bed angry is such a cliche, but it is very true for us and has been a grateful reminder during our years together and looking forward. We will keep this in our minds no matter if it’s life’s little stresses, planning a family, or focusing on little bumps in the road that come our way. Focusing on each other, our faith, and home will be a key aspect in our lives together.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Honestly, how can we pick? Callie, Meris, and Kelly were the ultimate team and they were able to capture every detail we had planned for. From Callie and her team working all day on capturing the details and making us feel at ease to Meris and her team focusing on making sure everyone was happy and timelines were being met was an incredible feeling to have. The details alone were a lot to keep up with and seeing everyone come together truly put smiles on our faces. Kelly captured our dream floral design and everything was perfect! The white and cream floral pallet was everything we wanted for our timeless floral design. These ladies are amazing and we cannot thank them enough for being the amazing artists and professionals that they are. There are not enough words to do them justice!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? As I was sneaking up behind Corey for our first look, my heart was racing with excitement! That feeling, the sweet kisses we stole during that moment, and the look on Corey’s face will stay with me always. I knew everything we planned for together was finally happening and to begin our marriage together was perfect! Corey: The moment I turned around and saw Whitney during our first look was incredible; I will never forget that moment and could not wait to marry her!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We would definitely suggest not stressing, if that is even possible! At the end of the day, if something goes wrong, it does not matter as long as you are happy, married, and having an amazing time! We had to keep telling ourselves that during the entire process and it helped immensely!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Since the last year has been quite busy and hectic with many travels, buying our first house together, and planning the wedding, we are looking forward to relaxing and adding four furry paws to our family! We cannot wait to add a puppy to the mix and to welcome him or her to our home.

Photographer: Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography | Planner: Meris Gantt of The Whole Shebang | Venue: The Inn at Crestwood | Florist: Philosophy Flowers | Dessert Baker: Ugga Mugga Bakery | Band: Phase Band | Paper Products: Julie Patoolie’s | Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang | Bridal Salon: Alexia’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Julianna Knox | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Place Card Calligraphy: Leen Jean Studios

Nancy Ray Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Whitney and Corey Crestwood Inn Film Wedding | Nancy Ray Photography reply

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Y’all, as I was reading through Abigail and Ben’s interview, I kept nodding my head and thinking “Yes! That’s it right there!” Everything about their wedding day was filled with intention and joy, from their venue choice (inspired by Abigail’s upbringing on a plantation surrounded by oak trees) to their advice for couples currently planning a wedding. They not only prepared for their wedding day, but prepared their hearts well for their marriage–Abigail said, “We wanted to be intentional with every detail, giving it great meaning to who we are together, but also who we are in Jesus.” From the looks of it, I’m sure guests would agree that they did an brilliant job!

Gracious, we’re thankful Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography was on hand to capture their sweet day!

Believe it or not, my dress was the first dress I ever tried on. I wasn’t certain what style I wanted, but I knew I wanted my dress to be timeless and elegant. I met my mom and grandmother in Raleigh to begin our search. At our first appointment, at Lana Addison Bridal in Cary, I showed the consultant a few different pictures of what I thought I may like. She brought me four different dresses. I tried the first dress on and could not stop smiling and twirling around. I looked at my mom and grandmother and said, “I think this is it.” They encouraged me to try the others on just to be sure. I tried them all, but didn’t feel like they were me. I tried on the first dress again and still loved it, but I began to second guess myself and ended up going to our second appointment. I tried on three other beautiful dresses there and got a bit overwhelmed. We decided to call it a day, and as soon as we walked out of the store, I looked at my mom and said, “We have to go back to Lana Addison, it has my dress.” I fell in love with it all over again–from the high neck line, to the combination of the soft lace and tulle, to the beaded waistline, it was perfect. I made the decision that I was only going to let my mom and grandmother see my dress. It made finding my dress and sharing that experience with two of the most special women in my life even sweeter, and I didn’t want to be swayed by the opinions of others. I wanted the first time my family, closest friends, and guests would see my dress to be when I was walking down the aisle to my groom.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Ben and I decided not to do a first look. We both wanted the first time we saw each other to be when I was walking down the aisle to marry him. We did, however, find a time before the ceremony to grab hands and pray with one another.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had one of our closest friends read 1 John 4:18-19. We chose this verse because it centered the entire day around Christ and we believe that without Christ loving us first, we would not be able to love one another. Another verse that is very important to us, Philippians 1:9-10, was on our dinner cards. We asked that our guest pray this verse over us and with us as we entered into marriage together.

We both liked the traditional vows, but also wanted to make them more personal and meaningful to us. We promised the same things to each other: “In the presence of God and according to his will I, Ben, take you, Abigail, to be my wife. I promise to love you, I promise to serve you, I promise to cherish you, as a testament to Jesus and his death on the cross, I give you my love.” We also wanted to affirm together the vows of having a Christian home. We were given this idea by our pastor and we loved it. “Depending upon God for strength and wisdom, do you both solemnly pledge yourselves to the establishment of a Christian home? Will you together, constantly seek God’s will and honor Christ in your marriage?”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I knew I wanted to be married in my hometown, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and I knew I wanted it outside. I grew up on a plantation that is surrounded by the most beautiful oak trees and I always envisioned them in my wedding someday. When I told Darlene (a dear friend and my wedding planner) what I had envisioned for my day, she said she knew just the place, and told me about the Rose Hill Mansion. I looked it up and fell in love immediately. It had the oak trees with the beautiful hanging moss, enough space to create what we wanted from scratch, and we could have the reception there. I knew it was where I wanted to marry Ben and I booked it without even having seen it myself in person.

Our venue has a rich Southern history. It is an old cotton plantation and the mansion on the property has many antique artifacts to peruse inside. You can actually tour the mansion with the onsite staff and learn a lot about the history of the property and the people that lived there. It is an incredibly unique spot.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Flowers and decorations for sure! Jana Qualey and Bridget Short, who are dear friends to me, have their own side business called Little Vase Events, and let me tell you, they are the best of the best! We repurposed bridesmaids flowers and went out and collected all the oyster shells that we used on the tables. Our gold and white stripped napkins were made by Bridget and Jana themselves!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep things in perspective. Your wedding is one day, your marriage is for the rest of your life. When you get overwhelmed, step away and do something fun. Don’t lose your joy in what is such a sweet time of your life, or your sight on what is most important. I started journaling during our engagement, writing down my thoughts and feelings, memories, and all the reasons I love Ben and wanted to marry him. I gave it to him the week of our wedding and I love looking back at it and reliving those days and seeing him read those pages for the first time.

Don’t miss Abigail and Ben’s wedding film by Heart Stone Films below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ben would joke and say it was somewhat of an arranged marriage. Our brothers and Ben’s younger sister, who is also my best friend, had been trying to get the two of us together for years. Although I knew Ben’s whole family, it wasn’t until our sophomore year of college that we met for the first time at a mutual friend’s wedding. We crossed paths again a year later at Ben’s older brother Will’s wedding. This was the night Ben asked me to dance. I tease him now because he never called me after that night! Last year, I got a call from my friend to come visit with her in Greenville for a long weekend. I was living on Hilton Head Island at the time and I jumped at the chance to go and see her. I was unaware that only a few weeks before, Ben had moved to Greenville. I spent the whole weekend with them, and finally, Ben asked me out. When I had to head back home, Ben asked if he could still pursue me. I said yes, and we continued to talk and get to know each other. Soon after, I got a job in Greenville and made the move. Ben and I continued to grow closer to each other and the Lord, and now the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! My family has a house in the outer banks of North Carolina that has been in our family since before I was born, and it is one of my favorite places. My family typically goes there over the 4th of July, so this time was no different, except Ben would be there. Every morning I woke up while we were there, I had a letter slipped under my door. I didn’t think much of this, only because of how thoughtful Ben always is. On July 4th, Ben asked if I would take a walk out to the dock with him. We sat down at the end and talked for awhile. When we got up, Ben grabbed both my hands with the biggest smile. I knew what was happening and said to him, “Is this really it?!” After saying many sweet words, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. And I said YES! As soon as he was up and we were hugging, my brother ran down the dock with his phone (he was FaceTiming with Ben’s brother and his wife) to celebrate with us. My sister-in-law was snapping pictures and the rest of my family, who had been watching from the house, came out to hug us. Ben planned breakfast for dinner that night, my favorite. We made our way back to Greenville the next day and Ben told me there was one more surprise. When we got back home, we went to his brother’s house, where all our closest friends and family were waiting to celebrate with us!
When did y’all get married? November 14, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Ben and I decided soon into our engagement that we wanted to prepare more for our marriage than our wedding. The most important thing for us while planning our wedding was to create a beautiful and meaningful event that glorified the Lord and reflected who we are. We wanted to be intentional with every detail, giving it great meaning to who we are together, but also who we are in Jesus.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My day would not have been the same without Callie Davis with Nancy Ray Photography. I can not sing their praises enough. Having Callie and Olivia there to capture our day honestly added even more joy to an incredibly joyful day. They took the time through the whole process to pour into me and make sure that everything was perfect and ready to go for my wedding day. I gained two sweet friendships.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Well, we’re getting a puppy in two months and can’t wait to have a furry friend in our family. We look forward to lots of adventures, learning new things about each other, and just getting to do life with each other. Ultimately, having children and raising them together excites us the most about our future. We aren’t ready yet, but our biggest dreams usually involve a house full of children.

Photographer: Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography | Videographer: Heart Stone Films | Planner: Darlene Cranston | Venue: Rose Hill Mansion | Florist: Little Vase Events | Cake Baker: Ronnie’s Bakery & Cakes by Lou | Caterer: Downtown Catering Company | Rentals and Lighting: Amazing Event Rentals | DJ: Will Krause | Paper Products: Swoozies | Bride’s Gown: Theia | Bride’s Accessories: The Poinsett Bride | Hair Stylist: Amber White at Kaleidoscope Salon | Makeup Artist: Bride’s Side Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Sam Edelman | Menswear: Jos A. Bank

Nancy Ray Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar kelly reply

    Oh I just love the Nancy Ray team’s work! Such a beautiful wedding with the hanging moss, that gown, and the meaning behind it all.

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    […] and Ben’s Rose Hill Plantation Wedding is featured on Southern Weddings Magazine! Yay!!! Alex was the lead filmmaker and editor for this gorgeous wedding and we are so excited for […]

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    […] and Ben’s Rose Hill Mansion Wedding Featured on Southern Weddings Photographer: Callie […]

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Robin certainly didn’t expect to meet her future husband while on a girls day out with friends, but sure enough, that’s the day Jon came into her life…and a few short months later, she was on a plane across the pond to spend four months in England, so the two could date in the same city! They were engaged in London, and set out to plan their wedding in Robin’s hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. While such long distance planning required a little bit of creativity and a lot of faith, with the help of our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Rebecca Rose Events, Robin and Jon’s wedding became the perfect way to introduce their international guests to the South, as well as a deeply meaningful time for them to become husband and wife!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography for sharing this lovely day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In May 2014, Jon came to Georgia to visit a friend. Left on his own one day, walking around the small town, he meandered into a coffee shop. I was sitting among a group of friends when Jon approached us because he recognized a woman at my table. It turns out they had met two years earlier, albeit for five minutes, in a cafe halfway around the world in Kigali, Kenya. He started chatting with our table and found he had many mutual friends with our group. I hadn’t even looked up from my laptop at this point–truthfully, I couldn’t have been less interested in his British accent. When my friend invited him to go kayaking with us the next day, I was actually a little peeved that he would be interrupting our girls day out! The next day, it rained, so instead of kayaking, we went back to the coffee shop, where Jon and I chatted for almost two hours, and my friend wandered off, leaving us to ourselves. When we finally made it kayaking, my friend bailed, so Jon and I spent four hours out on a still lake, just the two of us, floating and chatting. We bumped into each other a few more times that week, and when he left Georgia, we kept in touch, chatting almost daily. Within a couple of weeks, I knew he was the one for me. Two months later, I flew to the U.K. to visit him for a week. After a few days, he asked me to extend my stay for four weeks. Within the month, we planned to spend Christmas together, and I planned to move to England in January for four months so that we could date in the same city.

Rebecca Rose Events designed our flowers to complement and enhance the overall aesthetic of our wedding day. Right from the start of the planning process, we decided on a wedding that would emphasize a family gathering in an intimate setting, and we selected a color palette of calming blue and olive tones with pops of burgundy and gold. These colors are all inspired by heirloom treasures. Our designer, Becca, created bouquets, centerpieces, and other elements that captured the essence of romance found in nature, with organic texture and plenty of movement. I love peonies, but since those are pretty hard to come by in the month of September, she used beautiful, lush garden roses instead to create a similar look. I also loved the olive branches, thistle, and other interesting textures used in the designs.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to write our own vows. There were two lines in my vows to Jon that I especially love and try to meditate on continuously: “I vow to create peace in our home by trusting God and trusting you as the leader of our family. I vow, regardless of circumstance, every decision I make will be to demonstrate my love and obedience first to the Father, and also to you.”
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? During the ceremony, we washed each other’s feet. Jesus did this with his disciples as a symbol of his devotion to humble himself as a leader and serve his followers. It was the only part of the ceremony when I cried. It was also memorable that Jon couldn’t quite figure out the straps on my shoes, so instead of putting them back on, we finished the ceremony with bare feet.

Since I lived in England during four months of our engagement, I had to do all my venue searching online. We knew we wanted to get married in my home state of North Carolina and that it would need to be close to an international airport. My mom lives in Charlotte and I grew up in Raleigh, so I scoured the Internet for venues in both cities. As a wedding photographer myself, I had seen enough weddings to know my priorities. In my mind, the perfect backdrop would be a classic, Southern home with lots of white and antique fixtures. When I found the Merrimon-Wynne, I thought it was too good to be true! I immediately sent one of my Raleigh-native bridesmaids to inspect the place and confirm that it was indeed as amazing as it looked on the website. Having our wedding in Raleigh meant that all our friends and Jon’s family could experience the Southern culture I was rooted in growing up. Fifty of our guests came in from out-of-state and of the twelve in our bridal party, only two people were from the South! Raleigh was the perfect city to show off our pride in BBQ and hospitality. The Merrimon-Wynne was the most stunning, accommodating, and centrally-located venue we could have asked for.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The vintage setting of the Merrimon-Wynne made for the most Southern atmosphere. Food is the best language of culture, and so we opted for a rehearsal dinner that showcased good North Carolina BBQ, and a wedding caterer who knew how to honor Southern cuisine with his menu. We served braised shrimp and lots of local veggies. We made it a weekend affair–one of my aunts even hosted a traditional Southern “morning after” brunch for the wedding party and family.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? I knew planning a wedding would overwhelm and overtake our engagement if it was left up to me. The best decision I made for our wedding was to hire Rebecca Rose Events to plan and design the day. They took away so much of the stress. Jon and I had so much more time to focus on planning and preparing for the most important thing: our marriage.

Tell us all about the proposal! For our first Christmas together, one of Jon’s gifts to me was an envelope that read, “Do not open until you get to England.” Mid-January, I would be traveling over to the U.K. to live near him. I’m not very patient with surprises, so I was desperate to know what was in the envelope. I waited the three weeks to open the envelope, and as soon as he picked me up from the airport, I ripped it open. Inside was ANOTHER envelope that read, “Don’t make plans for January 24.” This envelope also read, “Do not open until instructed.” I kept that date clear and waited patiently until I was allowed to open the envelope. A couple days before the date, he let me see what was inside: two tickets to see Les Miserables on West End–my favorite musical! That Saturday, we put on our fancy clothes and drove to London to see the show. It was, of course, incredible. After the show, he took me on a walk along the River Thames. It was getting close to midnight, and Westminster Bridge was still filled with tourists, but once we reached the London Eye, there was no one in sight. As we walked, talking and laughing, I heard the faint music of a busker standing nearby. Before I had a chance to look at the guy playing his guitar (who turned out to be Jon’s best mate), Jon turned me to look out at the river. By the time I recognized that he was playing our song, Jon was down on one knee. I was so frantic, repeating, “Is this happening? I can’t believe this is happening!” Neither Jon nor I quite remember what he actually said, but I said yes a thousand times! We danced and danced by the water under the stars. It was a full minute before I actually looked down at the ring. When I did, I couldn’t believe it. The ring he placed on my finger was the ring I’ve always imagined wearing–my grandpa gave it to my grandmother 68 years ago when he proposed. Later, I found out that my mom snuck the ring to Jon through my suitcase over Christmas!
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my dress two months after Jon proposed, while I was still living in England. I knew I wanted to go dress shopping with only one or two other people because I’m easily swayed by others’ opinions. Jon’s dear friend, Jane, who had by then become my dear friend and bridesmaid, went with me. After just one shop, I knew what I liked: sheath, lace, and a Queen Anne neckline. I looked online and narrowed down my choices to five gowns I knew I wanted to try on. I found a shop that carried all the gowns, and the first one I tried on ended up being the one! It was a surprisingly simple and relaxing process, and we got a day trip to the beautiful Windsor, England out of it.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose songs of worship to play throughout our wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Steady Heart” by Steffany Gretzinger, and the wedding party recessed to “Future/Past” by John Mark McMillan. Songs of worship to God are the most important and joyous songs we could include in the celebration of our wedding. We spent such a long time deciding which songs we wanted! The most significant part of the ceremony music was having some of my dear friends perform the songs live and lead us all in worship during the ceremony. For worship, we chose the songs “Never Run Dry” by Housefires, “Your Glory” by All Sons and Daughters, and the classic hymns, “Nothing but the Blood” and “In Christ Alone.” For our first dance, also played live, we chose a song by Brooke Fraser called “Sailboats.” Jon had this song on several mixes in his car when we traveled around England during the first month of our relationship. Every time it plays, I think of him driving while I sit peacefully looking at the beautiful mountains of England’s Lake District.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had our favorite scriptures written in calligraphy on banners and hung them as decorations throughout the house. We wanted decorations that we would use again after the day. They have become lovely keepsakes. I even used one as a table runner for our Thanksgiving dinner!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Some of the decisions Jon and I argued over seem so silly now. Compromise with each other and don’t stress over the details. You won’t remember them after the day is over! What you will remember is how you loved one another through the engagement process. Take time to focus on what you want your marriage to look like. Spend more time having conversations about your future life than your wedding day plans.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? In mid-July, we will be welcoming our first little one! We are both very excited to be parents and make more memories here in the U.K. while we have time close to Jon’s family.

Photographer: Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography | Videographer: Story Spark Films | Planner and Florist: Rebecca Rose Events | Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House | Cake Baker: Cakes by Chloe | Caterer: Beau Catering | Rentals and Lighting: Party Reflections | Bands: Glenn and Erin Deuel and The Derringers | DJ: Bunn DJ Company | Paper Products: Rebecca Rose Creative | Bride’s Gown: “Aveline” by WTOO | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: BHLDN and Crowning Glory Designs | Hair Stylist: Estee Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Nina | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Jos A. Bank | Envelope Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole | Scripture Banners: Sarah Cason Designs

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Robin and Jon Merrimon-Wynne Film Wedding | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] thanks to Southern Weddings for featuring this wedding on their blog today! Click here to see the full […]

  2. avatar The Merrimon Wynne House- Downtown Raleigh reply

    We absolutely loved having this wonderful couple at our venue– Best wishes to Robin and Jon!

  3. avatar 2016 Online Features Part 1 | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] and Jon’s Merrimon-Wynne Wedding Featured on Southern Weddings Photographer: Callie […]

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