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Tag: Brides and Bouquets

Y’all, you’re not always going to agree with your beau when it comes to wedding planning (or in your marriage!)….and that’s okay! Communication and compromise are incredible tools to combat these little tangles. For today’s darling couple, choosing a venue might not have been a disagreement, but it did take a bit of time for Evan to fully understand Hannah’s venue preference. Hannah had always dreamed of getting married in the historic chapel on her boarding school campus, and while Evan may not have shared her vision at the beginning, it only took one visit to Saint Mary’s before he was on board, telling Hannah “I totally get how special this chapel is to you now, and I’m excited to share a memory with you here.” And share they did! These two lived out one of my very favorite pieces of wedding day advice: stick together! Hannah and Evan vowed their lives to each other on their wedding day, but also promised not leave one another’s sides the whole day after the ceremony, helping them to experience their special day together and share the same memories. BDK and I also used this simple technique, and I cannot support it more!

Thank you to Almond Leaf Studios for being on hand to capture this beautiful day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I’m a decisive girl, but would much rather have five things to pick from than twenty. I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, my sister, and my maternal grandmother in Charlotte, where I grew up and these ladies live. We went to a great boutique downtown called Hayden Olivia and I ended up finding my dress that day! I walked in and told the Hayden Olivia girls that I was not a fan of lace…and then, lo and behold, I walked out with a full lace dress. The way that I knew I had “the dress” was that when I put it on, I felt completely confident and like myself.

I went to an all-girls high school in Raleigh, North Carolina for boarding school and have always dreamed of getting married in the historic chapel on campus. My sweet groom was so patient through the whole planning process, and when I described how special Saint Mary’s is to me, he was on board with being married there. When Evan finally visited the chapel on one of our planning trips to Raleigh, he hugged me and whispered “I totally get how special this chapel is to you now, and I’m excited to share a memory with you here.” Saint Mary’s agreed to let us have our reception on campus too, since the girls were out for summer break. It ended up being perfect and so convenient for us, our bridal party, and our guests!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Unbeknownst to us, our officiant asked our parents and grandparents to write a short piece of marriage advice for us, which she read during her homily. It was so special and completely a surprise!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? It’s hard to pinpoint what was specifically “Southern” about our wedding because Southern is just who we are, but there are a few things that stand out. We served ham biscuit and chicken and waffles passed hors d’oeuvres with mojitos and sangria during cocktail hour. Our cocktail hour entertainment was a bluegrass trio, which is pretty darn Southern. We served Jack Daniels and craft beers from Tennessee and North Carolina, each of our home states, during the evening. The grandmothers and mothers wore corsages. Our reception entertainment was a movin’ and shakin’ soul band out of Atlanta called Evolution Party Band.

Evan and I vowed not to leave one another’s sides the whole day after the ceremony, and that was the best decision we made that day. It meant that all of the memories that we made on our wedding day were made together and in the same moment. A wise man gave me the advice that when it’s all said and done, this day is about your newly declared obligations to your spouse and your spouse’s to you. Greet your guests, have fun with them, but don’t forget to make all of the memories together with your new spouse. That’s the most important person on your wedding day and for the rest of your life.

We wanted our whole day to be reflective of us, so I chose wedding flowers that felt very natural and organic. We used lots of greens, whites, and some blush colors in loose arrangements. Gregg of Brides & Bouquets even incorporated some fresh herbs and blueberries into the arrangements, which was way cool!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I think the most important thing to think about is that you’re not planning a wedding–you’re planning a marriage. The dress and frills are great and all, but at the end of the wedding day, you should really be thinking about the fact that you entered the ceremony as individuals and left the ceremony a new family. That happens in a mere matter of minutes and that’s pretty darn amazing. It’s really important not to lose sight of that. Also, if you have room in your budget, hire a wedding planner! Even if just for the day, it’s nice to have someone be “in charge” so you, your mama, and your bridal party can just enjoy the wedding.

Evan gave me my (now our) dog, Honeybee, in college. My parents weren’t totally on board with me having a dog in college, but my dad is a beekeeper and I decided that naming the dog “Bee” would surely win my parents over. Cha-ching, it worked! The honeybee kind of became a theme at our wedding, thanks to our dog being named Bee, the outdoorsy feel of the wedding, and my dad’s honey from his latest harvest being our favors. We decided that having a cake that looked like a beehive would be a neat way to tie everything together. It looked amazing and tasted even better! We had one tier of lemon, one tier of almond, and one tier of confetti cake. We cut into the confetti cake tier–so fun!

Don’t miss their wedding film by Heart Stone Films below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Evan and I met during our freshman year of college at the University of Tennessee. Mutual friends organized a backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains and invited both of us along. After a weekend of camping, hiking, no showering, and sleeping on the ground, Evan still wanted to take me on a date! We returned from our backpacking trip on Sunday and Evan took me on our first date on Monday evening. Seven years together passed before our wedding day! To this day, being outside together is still our favorite pastime.
Tell us all about the proposal! After college, Evan and I both decided to pursue our dreams together, but apart. He worked on a boat in the Bahamas and I worked in an art gallery in London. To make things even more convenient, we were accepted to graduate schools in different states. When he started dental school in Memphis Tennessee, I started graduate school for art education in the mountains of North Carolina…a fun eight-hour drive apart! Evan asked my dad (and siblings) for their blessing over Christmas break of 2013, knowing that being all the way in Memphis meant that he might not see my family again for a long time! Nine months later (the secret nearly killed my sister), Evan flew out to Western North Carolina to visit me for a weekend in October 2014. We decided to go for a hike with my dog to enjoy the perfect fall weather and take in the changing leaves. We got to our summit spot on the hike and sat for a little picnic. After we ate lunch, Evan popped the question. I did not see it coming and was totally surprised! The best things about the proposal were that it was reminiscent of the way that we met, and we got to enjoy the moment all to ourselves for a few hours as we hiked back down the mountain!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015, nine months after the proposal
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 200
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first looks. We decided to keep it traditional, and the tears in our eyes when we saw each other made the wait totally worth it.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a guitarist and a violinist as our ceremony musicians. They played “What a Wonderful World” during the seating of the mothers and grandmothers, “Here Comes the Sun” during the bridesmaid processional, “Water is Wide” when my dad and I walked down the aisle, and “Oh Happy Day” when we left the chapel. We had a bluegrass trio to entertain during the cocktail hour and an larger band during our reception.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Sure did. I borrowed my mom’s veil, had my new monogram stitched into my dress in blue thread (and my bridesmaids wore blue!), the diamond in my ring was Evan’s grandmother’s, and my dress was new. I also wore a handmade lace garter that has been worn by women on my mother’s side of the family for several generations. We even remembered to rub a sixpence in my shoe before the ceremony, another family tradition, for good luck!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We will be in Memphis until Evan finishes up dental school, so I’ll be painting and teaching, and then who knows. To infinity and beyond!

Photographer: Almond Leaf Studios | Videographer: Heart Stone Films | Planner: Orangerie Events | Ceremony Venue: The Chapel at Saint Mary’s School | Reception Venue: Saint Mary’s School | Florist: Brides & Bouquets | Wedding Cake: Sugar Euphoria | Dessert Baker: Sweet Water Ices | Caterer: Belle’s Catering | Rentals: Party Reflections and Paisley and Jade | Lighting: Get Lit | Band: Evolution Party Band of East Coast Entertainment | Special Details: One and Only Paper | Paper Products: Little House Shoppe | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Bridal Salon: Hayden Olivia | Hair Stylist: Studio Etica | Makeup Artist: Makeup for Your Day | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank | On-site Painting: Ben Keys of Wed on Canvas

Heart Stone Films, Orangerie Events, and Sugar Euphoria are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Paisley & Jade reply

    We absolutely love this wedding! The Orangerie styling of our chalkboard bar is gorgeous and our London Doors as a popcorn bar?! Just awesome. Thanks so much for featuring Hannah and Evan’s beautiful day!

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Emily and I, along with our lovely spring interns, had the pleasure of visiting The Merrimon-Wynne House a few weeks ago, and we have been raving about it ever since! Words like “photographer’s dream” and “perfectly Southern” have floated around our office while describing it to the other ladies, so you can imagine our delight when Sarah and Cam’s beautiful wedding came our way. Sure enough, every nook and cranny of this historic Raleigh home was a perfect fit for these high school sweethearts’ summer celebration. Sarah worked with Orangerie Events (one of our Blue Ribbon Vendors!) to bring her sweet, elegant wedding vision to life, and from the family photo display in adorable mint frames (such a fun place to bring in a pop of color!), to the Cheerwine bottles guests grabbed for the road, the love and graciousness these newlyweds exuded is inspiring!

Thank you so much to another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Robyn Van Dyke, for sharing Sarah and Cam’s special day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed, I wore my cousin’s veil. For something blue, I wore turquoise wedges (super comfortable, I danced in them all night long!). For something old, my mom pinned her gold cross charm to the inside of my dress, and for something new, I wore diamond and green quartz earrings that Cam had bought for me as a wedding gift.

We decided to stick with tradition and not do a first look. This was one decision Cam felt strongly about–he loved the idea of seeing me for the first time when I was walking down the aisle. Although we did not see each other before the ceremony, we shared a sweet moment of prayer that I will never forget. I loved being able to hold Cam’s hands and give God praise and glory for preparing the way for us to be united as husband and wife!

Describe your wedding flowers. My amazing florist took all my scattered pins, emails, and text messages and made the bouquets works of art. He included things I had not thought of, and they turned out more beautifully than I had ever envisioned! I loved how the jasmine vines and eucalyptus gave it an effortless look. My favorite flowers from my bouquet were the coral garden roses–I still daydream about them!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The ceremony music is still one of my favorite memories about our wedding. Our church recorded the entire ceremony and I love going back and listening to the music from that special day. We chose several hymns to be played while guests and family were being seated, including “In Christ Alone,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “How Deep the Father’s Love,” and “Come Thou Fount.” I walked down the aisle to a popular wedding piece, Pachelbel’s Canon in D. There is something so special and beautiful to me about that song played on a piano and violin; I knew growing up that it would be the song that I would walk down the aisle to. We included “Rising Sun” by All Sons and Daughters during a moment of prayer, and our recessional song was “You are My Vision” by Rend Collective.

We chose to have our ceremony at our church, Church of the Apostles, because we did not want to worry about rain, wind, or heat disrupting our ceremony, the most significant part of the day! For our reception, the Merrimon-Wynne House was an absolute dream. We loved the outdoor garden feel of the tent and with the gorgeous interior of the home.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The Merrimon-Wynne House exuded Southern elegance. Our guests enjoyed Southern cuisine all night long, including biscuits, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, peach cobbler, and of course, banana pudding.

At first, we were just going to have mini treats for dessert, but my dad joked, “You can’t have a wedding without a wedding cake,” so a few weeks before the wedding, we chose a simple chocolate and vanilla cake with buttercream icing. We also had the most delicious mini desserts, including berry crisp, peach cobbler, s’more bites, and banana pudding.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We enjoyed reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller during premarital counseling. This passage is so beautiful and so true: “Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
We met when we were sophomores in high school and I had just transferred to Cam’s high school. The summer before our junior year of high school, Cam was dating one of my friends and I was dating one of Cam’s friends, but we both secretly had crushes on each other. Both of our relationships fizzled, and it wasn’t long before Cam asked me on a date. We were high school sweethearts and I could not imagine being apart. However, God had different plans. We broke up at the beginning of our freshman year of college, and although I was devastated and heartbroken, I knew it was what the Lord wanted for us. Fast forward two years, and God weaved our paths back together when Cam called and asked if he could treat me to ice cream. The rest is history and we were engaged two and a half years later!
Tell us all about the proposal! 
Cam surprised me with a scavenger hunt around Raleigh. The hunt ended with me being blindfolded and brought to N.C. State’s Court of Carolinas, where Cam read scripture, prayed over our relationship, and popped the question!
When did y’all get married? June 14, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We had to learn to make quick decisions and be confident in what we decided, since we only had six months to plan the wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Instead of ordering custom name cards, programs, and menus, we printed our own. Also, our florist decorated the tent chandeliers with magnolia leaves from my family’s front yard!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved all our vendors, but I am especially thankful for Priscilla of Orangerie Events–my family did not have to worry about a thing on the wedding day, thanks to her and her team! Also, Robyn Van Dyke captured our wedding day beautifully!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? By far, our most memorable moment was praying together for the first time as husband and wife. God’s presence was so tangible during those precious moments after our vows. I sobbed happy tears the whole time!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After we got married, we moved into our first place together! I am finishing up graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology and Cam is working full time in Raleigh. Our favorite part about marriage is knowing we have our best friend to come home to everyday!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke / Videographer: Oak City Studios / Planner: Priscilla Erwin of Orangerie Events / Ceremony Venue: Church of the Apostles / Reception Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Brides & Bouquets / Cake: Whole Foods / Catering and Desserts: Belle’s Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Linens: CE Rental / Band: Swingin’ Richards / Paper Products: Corie Designs / Bride’s Gown: “1317” by Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Hair Stylist: Heather Clark of Primp Salon / Makeup Artist: Benefit Cosmetics / Bride’s Shoes: Lucky Brand / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew in Dusty Shale / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Ties: Ralph Lauren / Robes: JCPenney / Custom Signs and Cake Backdrop: Jennifer Erwin / Ceremony Pianist: Brian Warring Music

Robyn Van Dyke and Orangerie Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] We are so honored to have Sarah & Cameron‘s gorgeous summer wedding featured on Southern Weddings today! It was an absolute dream shooting at the Merrimon-Wynne and working with Priscilla of […]

  2. avatar Michelle reply

    Amazing photos and a beautiful wedding !

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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