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Her morning was spent foraging botanical greenery in her neighbor’s yard for their reception space, followed by a hair and makeup appointment. Haley tied her dress herself, looking expectedly out the window as sweat lightly dripped down her face. Eric was to arrive any moment, and the summer heat wave had already made its way into the first week of June. He nonchalantly walked up the stairs to greet his bride, and she lovingly watched as he tried multiple times to tie his bowtie just right.

We wandered the property hearing thunder in the distance. The forecast called for rain, but the southern climate makes it impossible to predict scattered storms. Their families arrived and like an avalanche, the rain fell.

Their family crowded in the historic bungalow, watching the windows like a movie screen. Everyone whispered hopefully that it would pass before guest arrival. The owner hurriedly tried to dry the benches with a leaf blower with the precipitation still dripping off the leaves. As fast as it arrived, the rain halted as Haley walked down the aisle.

While they exchanged personal vows, the sun rays beamed through the forest. It was a sight that distracted the crowd, even the newlyweds. They kissed. Friends threw flowers. Everyone hugged.

Barefoot with flowers in hand, Haley took in the last bit of that magical light with her groom. They returned to the party to toast to forever. As the sky turned pink like cotton candy, the fireflies danced around the farm, waiting to be caught by the flower girls.

The team:

Photography:  MorningWild Photography
Second photographer:  Bailey Batten
Venue:  Rock Quarry Farm
Dress:  Grace Loves Lace
Coordination:  Carolyn Kineen
Catering:  Happy Cardinal Catering
Florist: Bowerbird Flowers
DJ:  DJRyan the DJ
Hair + Makeup:  Ashley Watts Beauty
Ring:  Anna Sheffield
Stationary:  Tankerville Press

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Lucy and I spent hours in the car on long drives during her internship, and our conversations would wander to many different topics. One was always about a possible upcoming engagement + wedding with her love, Patrick. Needless to say, when he finally popped the question, I was extremely excited for them! For their engagement photos, we spent our time in their beautiful historic home and walking down the street where they met in Raleigh. We also ventured to Lucy’s grandmother’s house in Smithfield to take in the sunset over the lake. We were caught up in the romance of the day, and when I finally looked at the clock, it was almost midnight! I couldn’t be happier for these two.

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As they thanked their guests for traveling from all over the world to attend their wedding, Mary wrapped up her toast by thanking the Syracuse University admissions staff. I’m sure when the admissions committee was deciding upon which applicants they would accept for the class of 2009, they had no idea that they would change the lives of these two people. That they would create a space for them meet their best friends. That their friends would introduce Mary and Rob. That they would attend parties and classes and graduation and then move to NYC, then to San Diego. A few years later they would get engaged and quit their jobs to travel the world for a year, only to return to the city they love.

Everyone woke up to an obscured skyline. The city lights that are usually visible from their Williamsburg apartment were completely ensconced in a heavy fog. The rain battered on the windows on and off and on and off all afternoon. Mary walked into their bedroom to meet her groom and show him her gorgeous wedding dress. They took in the enormity of the day for a moment, and then we ultimately decided to embrace the rain and take a few photos outside.

The bridal party shuttled in various ubers + taxis to The Foundry to join the rest of the guests for the ceremony. Vows were exchanged. Everyone cheered when they were pronounced, and they exited to the street to hug and celebrate with their friends.

The guests took in the gorgeous atrium. The walls covered in ivy and flowers made for a stunning backdrop, alongside some of the best cuisine. Their food choices were attributed to sentimental places in their relationship and family heritage:  sushi, beer flights from San Diego, an Italian spread, and more.

The dance floor was crowded with a exuberant energy even until the after party began. Balloons dropped from the ceiling and jello shots were passed to signal a continuation of the festivities.

The team:

Photography:  MorningWild Photography
Second photographer:  Bailey Batten
Venue: The Foundry
Planning + Design:  DM Events & Design, Inc.
Florist:  Ivie Joy Flowers
Dress:
Video:  Silver Lining Production
Catering:  Cobblestone Catering
DJ:  DJ Nick Dean
Lighting:  Oxygen Event Works
Stationer:  Color Me Carla
Hair + Makeup:  Facetime Beauty

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Wedding days bring up many emotions for all people involved. We think of those that couldn’t be there on the day, like Sam’s mother. We think of the past. We think of swing sets, skinned knees, dance recitals, and graduations. We think of the future. Milestones, vacations, babies, grandchildren, adventure. I don’t know what was swimming in Sarah + Sam’s heads on their wedding day, but I do know that they (along with everyone else) embraced the emotionality of the day.

They chose May 12th intentionally to avoid the southern summer heatwave. Of course, Charlotte hit record temperatures this year, but it didn’t affect the joy felt throughout the Duke Mansion. Sarah glanced at her dad, took a deep breath, and met her groom’s eyes down the aisle. With tears in his eyes, Sam took in his beautiful bride. Their personal vows had everyone a little misty-eyed, especially when Sam brought up the memory of his mother.

The humidity filled the atmosphere, and the sun beamed the most glorious orange hue as it slowly dipped below the treeline. Everyone took a collective breath as the heat dissipated.

The band serenaded the guests and kept the dance floor crowded. Their friends stole the mic to sing Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” which had everyone laughing. No one wanted the party to end, but eventually late night snacks were passed, sparkers lit, and the newlyweds departed for their honeymoon in Bali.

The team:

Photography:  MorningWild Photography
Second shooter:  Bailey Batten
Venue:  The Duke Mansion
Planning:  Mandi Boyle Events
Video:  Crown Alley Films
Cake:  Wow Factor Cakes
Dress:  Modern Trousseau
Band:  Java Band
Florist:  The Bloom Room
Hair and Makeup:  Lovely by Lindsey

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