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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morningwild-the-ridge-asheville-wedding-photos-01No wedding day is exactly as a couple expects. I don’t think Stacey and Brian planned to stand in an ant hill during their first look, nor for Brian to wear a swollen eye because of an infection. They most certainly did not expect to get married in the middle of a thunderstorm. Stacey’s mother always said to “claim your bliss,” and they truly did. Nothing could get in the way of their happiness. In fact, I think the hail storm made for an even better story.

Stacey walked up to Brian on a pasture overlooking the mountains. He teared up as soon as he witnessed his bride. They exchanged vows privately, wanting to share such intimate promises alone.

Guests arrived early, chairs were set in a labyrinth, and umbrellas were stocked…just in case. The radar appeared clear, so no one thought otherwise. As the bridal party processed, a dark cloud loomed over the mountains. The slow and steady rain started to fall, and the storm rushed in. Like it was orchestrated, umbrellas popped up in unison as hail welted the shelters.

In the midst of a thunderstorm, Stacey and Brian were absolutely present. They drank in the reality and (literally) soaked up the moment. Guests huddled under umbrellas but still laughed and cried as beautiful letters and prose was read. Serendipitously, most of the readings included some allusion to rain, including the apache blessing that starts: “Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other.” Those words had never felt more appropriate.

Stacey’s mother’s absence was sincerely felt by everyone in attendance. In fact, many guests believed she brought the thunderstorm to the ceremony so that her presence would be visible.

As fast as the rains came, they disappeared right before the conclusion of the ceremony. Even though everyone was drenched, no one seemed to notice. The celebration continued as the guests travelled from the country to the city to their favorite brewery. Stacey and her dad shared a dance with light-up sneakers, which kicked off a dance party that no one wanted to end. They sprinted through sparklers and watched the last one fade. They waved the fire in the humid spring air, signaling the end to a memorable evening.

The team:

Photography:  MorningWild Photography
Second shooter:  Bailey Batten
Venue:  The Ridge + Highland Brewing
Planning:  Carolina Love Events
Hair + Makeup:  Lola Salon and Gallery
Catering:  Black Eyed Susan
Cakes:  Short Street Cakes
Florist:  Blue Ridge Blooms
Band:  Diverse Groove

 

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I’m excited to introduce Brittany on the blog today! If you’re one of my fall couples, you’ll probably see her around quite a bit! This girl is insanely talented, and I can’t wait to see how she grows over the next few months. Here is more about her:

I’m mama to a darling two-year-old girl named Amelia June, wife to a Naval Aviator, and a photographer. Growing up in a military family and having a military spouse has led to a fairly nomadic life. Moving so frequently has been a great gift to me. It has given me the chance to meet a diverse group of people from all over the country. It has fueled my love of travel and desire to learn about other cultures. It has also given me the need to document important moments in my ever-changing life through photography. That is why I’m so passionate about wedding photography. It’s such a monumental moment in someone’s life, a point in time which all other life events are centered around. To whiteness two people of different backgrounds and experiences embark on a new adventure together is such a powerful and wonderful thing. I look forward to learning how I can better serve my couples through this internship with Megan.

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The sun was shining with puffy clouds dotting the sky. Yellow flowers peeked out of the earth to welcome the sight. It was a perfect spring day for Brittany + Louie to marry at The Ridge.

I don’t like to play favorites, but Brittany and Louie are two of mine. They exude love in a tangible way through the subtleties in which they look and connect with each other. There was a nervous energy in the house as everyone prepared for the ceremony. However, Brittany and Louie quelled the excitement with a peacefulness that can only be expelled when you know you are about to marry your person.

A friend serenaded the crowd, and the bridal party processed. Their eyes met, and Louie’s glistened. Vows were exchanged. Tears were shed. Laughter erupted as they were pronounced.

After taking in the views, the clouds, the flowers, the drinks, the snacks, everyone made their way from the country to the city. The music swelled with 90s hits (even some Linkin Park), which kept the dance floor crowded. As the last sparkers fizzled, Brittany + Louie drove off in a vintage car, kissing and waving to their loved ones.

The team:

Photography:  MorningWild Photography
Second shooter:  Bailey Batten
Venue:  The Ridge + The Venue
Dress:  BHLDN
Flowers:  For The Love of Flowers
Hair and Makeup:  Lola Salon
DJ:  Sound Extreme

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