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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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As soon as Caitlin and Davis’ wedding photos arrived in Lisa‘s inbox, she knew I would fall head over heels. A classic Southern church wedding filled with monograms and magnolias? You can bet your bottom dollar she was right! Magnolias are my very favorite flower–I not only love how gorgeous they are, but also how they seem to honor the South with every bloom. For Caitlin and Davis, the use of magnolia leaves and flowers throughout their wedding weekend had an even deeper meaning that makes my heart so happy: it was their way of honoring Davis’ parents. On Davis’ parents wedding day, Davis’ father and groomsmen had cut down and arranged magnolia leaves and blooms found on a neighbor’s tree to create the decor, so decades later, it was only fitting that Caitlin and Davis included magnolias in their day, too. What an incredibly sweet family tradition in the making!

Thank you so much to Landon Jacob for sharing this beautiful day with us!

On the day Davis and I got engaged, my mother had a “wedding survival kit” prepared for the two of us, complete with various wedding magazines to browse. Too excited to sleep after our family dinner, I snuck into my television room and spent hours looking at the various dresses, hairstyles, bouquets, and wedding colors. I fell in love with a classic, silk dress, complete with an Audrey Hepburn-esque bow on the front, but it ended up not being quite right for me. Back to square one, we went ahead and made a few calls to bridal boutiques in Raleigh. We squeezed in an appointment at one boutique upon the recommendation of a friend, and I described what I was looking for: an a-line dress, free of tulle and beading, with perhaps a bit of lace–very classic and sophisticated lines. After trying on a few dresses, I noticed a dress on the racks that called out to me. It had tulle, beading, a full princess-like skirt–all the things I had said I didn’t want–but I just loved it! I tried it on, and knew instantly that it was the dress for me. It fit me like a glove from the first fitting to the wedding day, proving how perfect it truly was.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. When we first began to think about our wedding, I placed a lot of emphasis on Davis seeing me for the first time as I walked down the aisle. The more we got into the planning process, the more we realized how equally important time with our family and friends was to us, and how much we wanted to soak in as many moments with them as possible on our wedding day. Doing a first look allowed us to keep that special moment between the two of us, but also allowed us to spend more time with family and friends at the reception. It was the best of both worlds!

We chose three readings: Proverbs 3:1-6, Corinthians 13:1-13, and Colossians 3:12-17. The first is one of our parents’ favorite Bible passages. The second, though used often, is one of my favorite passages, and the third passage was one we found while looking for readings–it really spoke to how we want to live our lives together in marriage. As much as I loved each of our readings for various reasons, I also loved the Bible passage we used at the end of our program, as I thought it was a wonderful final thought to impart to our guests: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else” (Thessalonians 3:12). Furthermore, it really speaks to our love not only for each other, but for our family and friends who were celebrating with us.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? St. Paul’s was my personal church after I converted to Episcopalian about two years prior to our wedding. We held our reception at Old Town Club, which is the club I grew up going to in town. It was extra special because I was the swim coach there for many years, and worked alongside Jeana McLean, the special events coordinator at OTC, for various swim team events. It was such fun for me to move from planning a hot dog dinner for the swim team to planning my wedding with her!

My mom and I ADORE flowers, and have admired Reggie’s work for years. We were so excited to find out he was available to help us on our special day. He came and met with us for hours, fine-tuning the look we were going for, and learning all of our favorites. Magnolias, peonies, roses, tulips, hydrangeas, and ranunculus are all favorite blooms, and we knew we wanted to do some type of hanging greenery element to create a one-of-a-kind look in our tent for dinner. We also wanted a clean and classic look with all whites and greens to create an elegant setting for our cocktail hour, dinner and reception.

One of the best parts of wedding planning was the food, wine, and cake tasting! We decided on a play off of the clean and classic look of the flowers and event as a whole, creating a plain white cake with pearled edges, an oversized bow (I have loved bows since I was little), and a gold-edged magnolia blossom. Our flavors were vanilla with strawberry, almond with raspberry, and chocolate with cookies and cream filling. A fun fact about the cake was that it was “fake cake” in the tent! Getting married in June and having a seated dinner in a tent, we were concerned about the hot temperatures and the cake falling. Chloe and Becca helped us develop the genius idea to have one slice of real cake to cut, marked off by ribbon on the cake’s platform, and the rest be a fondant, styrofoam creation. This way, our cake in the tent would look amazing, while our cake coming out of the kitchen would be fresh and delicious.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take time to soak in the small moments. I still vividly remember gripping my dad’s arm before walking down the aisle; we remember standing in the club’s office, hearing everyone buzzing outside before the confetti throw; and we remember the looks on my grandmothers’ and mother’s faces as they danced on stage with my bridesmaids and me. Pictures can say a thousand words, but we love having our personal memories too.

Don’t miss Caitlin and Davis’ wedding film by our Blue Ribbon Vendor Inkspot Crow below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I moved home to Winston-Salem, where Davis was in law school at Wake Forest University. I needed a roommate and, through friends, was set up to room with a childhood friend of Davis’, Ellery. Through Ellery and her boyfriend (now husband), Wes, Davis and I got to know each other. The greatest part about the start of our relationship was that we were friends first, and then began dating about seven months later.
Tell us all about the proposal! Once Davis graduated from law school, we dated long distance for about two years, as he got a job at a law firm in Raleigh. We often alternated travel between our two cities on the weekend, and we had already planned to spend the long Easter weekend together in Winston. I’m a teacher and often get to school early in the morning, but knew Davis was traveling to town, so I decided to take my time picking up the house and doing laundry before getting to school. Finally, I arrived, turned on the lights, set my coat down, and went to pull up my morning message on my white board. To my surprise, there was already a note written that read, “Will You Marry Me?” I stood at the board, pondering this message, wonder what student was playing a trick on me. I turned to head into the hall to find my trickster, when I heard a voice from the reading loft call out my name. Davis came down, flowers and ring in hand, got down on his knee, and asked me to marry him right there in my classroom. It was a special moment between just the two of us, but that special moment was made even sweeter when parents, colleagues, friends, and students celebrated with us in my classroom that day. The icing on the cake of our engagement day was Davis arranging a private dinner for both of our families at one of my favorite Winston restaurants. He spoke with the chef to create a personalized menu, ensured our siblings and grandparents could travel in from various parts of the country, and even had my favorite flowers arranged in the middle of the table. It truly was a perfect day!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 340
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not. We thought we would be too nervous to remember them! :)
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We loved it while we were dating and it seemed fitting for our first dance as husband and wife. An additional special moment involving music was when our horns section of the band came down into the tent as a second line, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” to get people out of their seats and up to the dance floor. This second line moment was a surprise for Emily, Davis’ sister, who lives in New Orleans and loves the tradition of a second line. Tears welled up in her eyes as she mouthed her thanks to us, and joined the crowd processing upstairs. It was so fun for us to create special moments for not only ourselves, but also for our family members on our wedding day.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were SO many elements of our day that we loved! However, probably most special was our use of magnolia leaves and blooms throughout our weekend. They were included in everything from our invitation suite and flowers to our embroidered cocktail napkins and cake decorations. Davis’ parents planned and executed all aspects of their own wedding, down to gathering and arranging flowers themselves. Days before their wedding, Davis’ father and groomsmen packed into a pick up truck and headed to a nearby neighbor’s farm, where they cut down and arranged many of the magnolia leaves and blooms found on the large trees in the yard. These were the only flowers for their special day, so we loved the idea of highlighting the magnolia in our design for our wedding day, too.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning our wedding, we took part in premarital counseling. While we feel like we communicate well and have discussed many important elements of our future–such as finances and a future family–it was nice to have a third party bring up new ideas for us to consider. I also kept a journal for Davis for the entire year leading up to our wedding day, sharing quotes, Bible passages, funny stories, and things I was looking forward to as a married couple. This was a part of his wedding gift, and I gave it to him days before our wedding so he could read it and share in the excitement I felt before our special day. Davis still claims this as one of his most cherished possessions.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have jumped into marriage head first! We are currently building a house and love going through the process. We have always heard about the stress it can bring, but we have truly enjoy making decisions and selections together. Beyond that, we look forward to continuing to travel and, someday down the road, having a family. We grew up with such wonderful examples of marriage and parenting in our own families, and can’t wait to hopefully set the same example for our children in the future.

Photographer: Landon Jacob Photography | Videographer: Inkspot Crow Films | Planner: Rebecca Rose Events | Ceremony Venue: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Old Town Club | Florist: Reggie’s Flower Shoppe | Cake Baker: Cakes by Chloe | Lighting, Tenting, Chairs, China, Glassware, and Flatware: Party Reflections | Band: Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters | Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music: Jazz Trio by Allegro Music | Paper Products: Rebecca Rose Creative | Bride’s Gown: “Amour” by Kenneth Pool | Bride’s Veil: Alexia’s Bridal | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Makeup for Your Day | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style #740 in Navy by Bill Levkoff | Bridal Salon: J Major’s Bridal Boutique | Menswear: Jean Yves | Linens: La Tavola and Nuage Designs | Envelope Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones

Rebecca Rose Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah Chancey reply

    Everything Landon does is absolute gold, and this wedding is no exception. I love the clean lines and elegant floral installations. The navy bridesmaid gowns also pair well with this elegant affair!

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