Wedding Part One

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Here we are mid-way through October and I'm finally getting around to sharing photos from our wedding! We truly had the best day ever and are still surprised that, given the obstacles, we were able to full everything off for our original date, August 29.


With less than a month until our big day, we changed the reception venue, reworked all of our contracts, switched our rentals to accommodate a new aesthetic, and of course, tried to stay healthy and sane throughout the process. We had originally invited over 200 guests for our Nuptial Mass ceremony and hotel ballroom reception at the Renaissance Raleigh. We ended up with about 65 guests at the church and a few more guests than that for our dinner reception at Mia Francesca, a local restaurant.


I'll try later to do a post about the precautions we took to keep our event safe, but in short, we were significantly less than 50% capacity at both venues. For dinner, guests took their temperatures and participated in a COVID questionnaire before beginning the evening. All food was served directly to tables, 6 feet apart, masks encouraged when not seated, and each guest chose a wristband indicating the level of social interaction they were comfortable with. While we did have some big changes to our original plan, we are ultimately happy that we were able to celebrate this important day in our lives safely.


Without further ado!


Convenience was a top priority for me and The Renaissance provided that plus more. We chose their Hospitality Suite and two adjoining rooms for the girls to get ready in and the guys had a separate King Suite that the hotel provides complimentary to couples getting married.
Andrew and I talk all the time about how shocked we are that more people don't get married there.
I gave both of my parents a silver, double photo frame. On the left side I put a childhood photo of me playing dress up as a bride and on the right, my bridal portrait. The watercolor dogwood wrapping paper perfectly fit our theme. My mom's pop of green dress also perfectly coordinated!
My photographer, Becca Rizzo, and I styled these details during my bridal portrait session. Capturing these details was very important to me and I highly recommend doing this for brides looking to save this stress on wedding day.
We had two makeup artists cancel within the two weeks leading up to our day. Rather than try someone new without a trial, I chose to do my own. I never felt more confident knowing that I looked like myself on such an important day.
The photo on the left is one of my very favorites from our day. My mother, grandmother, and aunt plus Andrew's mother all together in this moment is something I'll cherish forever.
My first look with my Dad was in the hotel lobby on their grand staircase and the first look with my girls took place at the hotel's indoor terrace - the original location of our cocktail hour before we moved reception venues.
Our gifts to each other were our wedding day scents. Andrew wore Bleu de Chanel and I wore Jo Malone's English Pear & Freesia.
We had six bridesmaids and six groomsmen. Not only did we want to keep the wedding party smaller (compared to most in the south) but our church also posed a restriction allowing no more than six on either side. It was perfect!
We got married at Sacred Heart Church in Raleigh, NC. Throughout the year leading up to the wedding I converted to Catholicism through our church in DC, St. Patrick's. Raleigh recently built a new Cathedral for the diocese and prior to that, Sacred Heart was recognized as the smallest Catholic cathedral in the continental United States. I loved the 100-year-plus history and coziness of the church and couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else. 
From left: Margaux, Whitley, Hannah, (me), Miller, Lauren, Ashlee
The flowers of my bouquet were picked very intentionally. The inspiration for the size/style came from Meghan Markle - I love how small and meaningful hers was and felt drawn to that simplicity as opposed to something large and overgrown. The primary flowers were white astilbe, white astrantia, and pops of artificial dogwood - the state flower of North Carolina. Around the base I had a white silk ribbon, my sorority pin, and an emerald crystal rosary from the Vatican that was given as a gift to me ahead of my confirmation into the church.
Andrew's one request of my attire from the beginning of our engagement: a full coverage veil. His mom and I are still trying to figure out what movie he saw as a kid to inspire such a request. 
We chose carry my wedding day scent into the church as well. Two travel candles and the room spray helped us give the entire sanctuary English Pear & Freesia vibes. I still have the candles and room spray at home and love getting to use them!
A vintage print of my favorite hymn from our Nuptial Mass (left) and my sweet father.
Andrew and I aren't really crying people. In fact, I don't think either of us shed a tear the entire day BUT we were both pretty giddy in this moment. 
No I did not coordinate for our kneelers to match the green theme, but I felt like a real Catholic gal over my excitement that they did. Our celebrant, Father Scott, was Andrew's assistant principal from highschool which really helped bring some laughter to our ceremony! We also chose to present a bouquet of flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary - a Catholic tradition. Our string trio played Ave Maria.
Married!
Andrew and I both attended ECU for undergrad and grad school - plus, me being from Greenville and it being where we met, the university is a special place for us. This photo is one of our favorites from the day! It was also a bonus to finally see the few tarheels and wolfpack in attendance in some purple and gold.
At this point in the day we had experienced the summer NC heat and a downpour summer shower - my hair and bouquet were totally over it and I was getting close! I'm so glad our photographer encouraged us to stick it out so we could snap these shots of just the two of us.
Both of our families. We really lucked out with this crowd!
Here's my watercolor portrait of our church that was used on our save the dates and then given as favors to guests as one of our watercolor print options - more on that later when I share our reception!

VENDORS
*from the morning-of through the ceremony*
Getting Ready Location // The Renaissance Raleigh
Hair Stylist // Brooke Newton Hair
Bridesmaids' Pajamas // Tana Clothing Shop (via Etsy)
Bridesmaids' Earrings // Clay Dogwood Studs (via Etsy)
Dogwood Wrapping Paper // The Illustrated Life (via Etsy)
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands // Reliable Jewelry
Bride Earrings // Rait London
Groom Cologne // Bleu de Chanel
Bride & Church Perfume // Jo Malone, English Pear & Freesia
Wedding Party Transportation // Lifestyle Limousine
Family Transportation // North Hills Transportation
Ceremony Location // Sacred Heart Church
Celebrant // Father Scott McCue
Stationery // DIY, read more here
Monogram // Shuler Studio
Hymn Print // Vintage Showcase (via Etsy)
Sandalwood Hand Fans // The Knot
Bridal Veil // Lamnhi Bridals (via Etsy)
Bridal Shoes // Manolo Blahnik
Mother of the Bride Dress // Jay Godfrey
Groom & Groomsmen Tuxedos // Men's Wearhouse
ECU Theme Sendoff Items // ECU University Book Exchange

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