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
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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On an ideal day, they would be traveling. Maybe to New York City or Morocco or Thailand? Lauren + Dylan love to explore new places, especially if the food is excellent.

When they envisioned their wedding day, they wanted it to be reflective of the life that they enjoy living. Their closest family and friends were invited to celebrate with them at the Merrimon-Wynne House, a historic home in Raleigh. After their vows were exchanged, Lauren and Dylan happily skipped down the aisle, while their guests formed a chorus and sang a familiar Beatles tune.

Their guests were treated to the best international cuisine and were serenaded by an incredible local band. Everyone sat under hundreds of candles and beautiful centerpieces, a vision that was inspired by their favorite hotel in NYC.

The band played on last song as the evening dress to an end. Everyone paraded out of the reception with joy, but no one smiled as big as the newlyweds.

The team for this wedding was out of this world. First and foremost, I have to give major credit to Lucy, who helped me out. A few of her images are included in this set. This was also picked up on BRIDES this week!

The other phenomenal vendors:

Venue:  Merrimon-Wynne House
Catering: Snap Pea Catering
Dress:  Hayley Paige
Florals:  Meristem Floral
Band:  Sam Hill Entertainment
Planning: Gather Together Events
Hair and Makeup:  Ceremony Salon


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When we looked at the forecast for this evening, we were all a little apprehensive. Alex travelled from West Virginia to have her bridal portraits taken in Asheville, so we had to make a call on the weather by the afternoon. Of course, as the hours loomed closer to our session, the thunderstorms rolled in. We arrived at Black Balsam with the rain lightly falling and thunder booming in the distance. Alex (and her mom + friend) were such troopers. Did I mention it was freezing too? We hiked up in the rain, and she totally rocked it. For only five minutes, the sun peeked over the clouds and gave us the most insane sunset. Alex teared up and said that her aunt had passed away recently, and she felt as though she was making her presence known in the light.

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