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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 !

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It wasn’t until this summer while foraging around at our team retreat that I learned I might be a “flower person” after all. With that in mind, I couldn’t stop staring at Ruthie and Tyler’s stunning blooms by Gypsy Floral! These botanic beauties brought fabulous pops of color to their wedding day and provided a sweet way to remember Ruthie’s grandfather, “Poppy”–she carried poppy pods in her bouquet as a tribute to him. I also can’t help but chuckle that Tyler and his groomsmen walked into the ceremony to “Another One Bites the Dust!” BDK would have thought that was funnier than an electric switch in a candle factory!

Thanks to Sara & Rocky for sharing R and T’s big day with us!

We were lucky to work with the incredibly talented Sunni and Emily from Gypsy Floral. From the moment I first talked with them on the phone, I trusted them with the vision I had for our wedding. Flowers were very important to me, as my grandfather, “Poppy,” opened arboretums and gardens all over the country. I wanted lots of colors and the feel of the Hill Country. Sunni and Emily delivered with beautifully saturated blooms and exquisite arrangements. In my bouquet, I carried poppy pods in remembrance of my grandfather.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Tyler and I decided to do a first look, and we are so happy we did! Not only did it give us a chance to see each other before the ceremony, which helped calm my nerves, it also gave us the opportunity to get our amazing photos taken so that we could be fully present to enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with our closest friends and family. It was such a special moment when I first saw Tyler–it was the perfect culmination of our journey together and the start of our adventure as a married couple.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Tyler is a HUGE music fan and we both love it, so we were very intentional about the songs we picked for our wedding. Our grandparents and parents walked in to “Stand By Me,” which was a nod to how important and instrumental they are in lives and how thankful we are for them. Tyler and his groomsmen walked into the ceremony to “Another One Bites the Dust,” which was such a perfect fit for Tyler’s sense of humor, and made the whole audience laugh. My bridesmaids walked in to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and my dad walked me down the aisle to Canon in D by Pachelbel. I can remember my mom playing both on the piano when I was a child.

Tyler and I designed our entire wedding ceremony with the help of our amazing officiants, who are longtime family friends and trusted advisors. We decided to handpick our vows instead of writing our own. Our favorite part was “I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I will make my home in your heart.”

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was the beautiful gray wrap that I wore throughout the evening, my something blue was the lining of my Toms, my something old was my grandmother’s pearls that all her grandchildren have worn on their wedding day and my something new was the earrings my parents picked out for me.

The details were one of my favorite parts of the wedding to plan. For our ceremony, we hung lanterns on the oak trees and brought our own altar table. Today, those items are in our house and are a sweet reminder of our wedding. We had lawn games and a mariachi band during our cocktail hour, and we also brought in a vintage Airstream trailer that was renovated into a photo booth. Tyler loves shoes, so he designed his and his groomsmen’s shoes.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had lots of out-of-town guests, so we wanted them to really get a feel for the city of Austin and Texas in general. Salt Lick catered our reception so that everyone got a chance to have the best BBQ in the state. Tyler loves bourbon, so it was featured in our signature cocktails.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cakes were made by the amazing folks at Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. It is a small local bakery and we love that it’s so Austin. We had trouble picking just two cakes, so we finally decided on four! My bridal cake was blueberry lemonade with buttercream frosting. Tyler’s groom’s cake was called the James Brown, and was a Valrhona chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream. We also had a cake called the Frida, which a sweet and spicy cinnamon Valrhona chocolate cake topped with coffee liqueur buttercream frosting and cinnamon sugar. Our last cake was a pumpkin spice and apple naked cake with cinnamon frosting.

During our reception, one of Tyler and I’s favorite songs came on. Not many people know it, so we were the only ones on the dance floor, singing and dancing with each other. In that moment, it felt like there was no one else there. We love that we can sing at the top of our lungs together, dance, and jump around like idiots, and have the best time!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Since we lived just down the street from each other my sophomore year of college, we used to see each other at the bus stop, at nearby restaurants, or walking to campus, but it wasn’t until the summer that we were officially introduced. I ran into an old friend from Norway at my apartment complex and was invited to a party later that evening. I rustled up some friends to go with me, and later that night, I saw Tyler from across the room–he had a white Longhorns hat on! Tyler introduced himself, and after running into each other a couple of times more on campus, he got my number and asked me out on a date.
Tell us all about the proposal! On July 12, Tyler told me we had reservations to get drinks at the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff–it’s the most Austin-esque place in Dallas. We had both stayed there one summer when we were working in Dallas and Fort Worth, and while in the pool, we had found a fish pool toy that I still carry in my car to this day. We arrived early for our reservation, so Tyler suggested that we go check out the pool and maybe dip our feet in. As we got closer to the pool, I started noticing the flowers, the set-up, and that fish pool toy we had found, and I suddenly dropped my purse on the grass. Tyler got on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised, I couldn’t really talk, so Tyler told me I couldn’t have the ring unless I said yes! I finally said “Of course!” After many hugs and kisses (and photos!), we finally made their way to the bar to grab that drink reservation! As we walked into the bar, my mouth dropped open as I saw my baby sister, Amy, luckily in town from China, along with some of our favorite friends and family waiting to celebrate. It was the perfect start to a weekend full of fun!
When did y’all get married? November 1, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Both Tyler and I changed jobs within months of our wedding, and trying to balance our careers while planning an out-of-town wedding was definitely an experiment in juggling priorities. Luckily, we were recommended a fantastic wedding planner, Meaghan with Sweet Pea Events, who was able to step in and orchestrate the plans we had made up to that point, help us think through anything we missed, and make sure the day went smoothly.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be thankful. It’s not often that you have almost all of the people you love in the same place to celebrate your journey with your favorite person. So stop, breathe, take it all in, and be thankful for all the love you’re surrounded by.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Tyler and I are both excited about finding a house with a porch, fireplace, and yard (for our two huge puppies!). We are looking forward to traveling both in the US and around the world. We can’t wait for more adventures outside and more great music shows!

Photographer: Sara and Rocky Photography / Planner: Meaghan Cody of Sweet Pea Events / Venue: The Vineyards at Chappell Lodge / Florist: Gypsy Floral / Wedding Cakes: Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop / Caterer: Salt Lick BBQ / Rentals: Marquee Event Group / Band: The Nightowls / Calligraphy: Natalie Grace Calligraphy Co. / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Bride’s Veil: “Kate” Veil by Nina / Hair and Makeup: Lola Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Wild Beet by J. Crew / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Photo Booth: Airstream Photo Booth / Mariachi Band: Mariachi Jalisco / Ceremony Musicians: Terra Vista Strings

marissa Written with love by Marissa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    STOP IT! This wedding is beautiful. The colors of the bridesmaid dresses and the flower arrangements, swoon! Love everything little thing about this, beautiful!

  2. avatar Ruthie + Tyler | sara & rocky reply

    […] Ruthie and Tyler are precious, and they are SO FUN. I don’t know another couple that laughs as much or cares so deeply about others as they do. Their wedding in Austin was incredible – the weather was unbelievable, the team of vendors was absolutely perfect, and their friends and family were CRAZY ridiculous. HUGE thank you today to Southern Weddings for the feature, we are always so grateful to those ladies! This team included: Sweet Pea Events, Gypsy Floral, Natalie Grace Calligraphy, The Vineyards at Chappell Lodge, Sugar Mama’s Bake Shop, and many more. Check out their Southern Weddings feature here.  […]

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So pretty! Love the flowers and her dress!

  4. avatar Tyler reply

    One of our favorite parts was the wedding rap our friend Marcus Perkins wrote and performed for us: http://youtu.be/s2P_bvcYW_o

  5. avatar Bonnie & Lauren reply

    Those reds! Beautiful celebration and beautiful photos.

  6. avatar Classic Wedding Invitations reply

    Love the colour in this!

  7. avatar Rahul Jindal reply

    Well, these are really very beautiful wedding pictures, showing the real love and traditions.

  8. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The oak trees make for a beautiful wedding location! Love the bright groomsmen socks and the thoughtful family details like the poppy and grandmother’s pearls.

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