When we first spied this wedding, our first thoughts were … “They’re so pretty … oh so pretty!” All the pretty maids gathering before the momentous occasion of their best friend’s wedding ~ the makeup, the jewelry, the pretty dresses …

… and the bride … oh-so-gorgeous!

images courtesy of DeShelia Spann Photography

Philippe & Emily currently live in San Francisco. He was born and raised there, and she grew up in Indiana. When they chose North Carolina as their wedding destination, a lot of people were asking why. “I grew up going on family vacations to North Carolina to visit my grandparents. I’ve always loved it there, so it made perfect sense to have our wedding there after we decided San Fran was too expensive and Indiana didn’t seem unique enough for the kind of day we wanted to create. The realization that we had guests and family coming from all over the country was the design inspiration for our special day.”

As a graphic designer, Emily has spent the last 7 years designing invitations for other brides. She wanted her invitations to be simple, clean, & fun but also convey a touch of elegance. The charm of the invitations came from the combination of printing techniques that were used. The words in script were printed in metallic foil – silver, gold, and rose gold – while all other words were letterpressed into the different fine colored papers from Crane’s Palette Collection.

The wedding ceremony was held at St. Andrew’s-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmintgon, NC. The reception took place at the Dudley Mansion, located on the Cape Fear River and only a few blocks from the church. Besides being a historical gem, the Dudley has recently been completely refurbished and redecorated. It is a feast for the eyes and could easily serve as the setting for the O’Hara mansion in Gone with the Wind. Guests were able to experience that Southern sophistication while inside the mansion. Philippe & Emily created a fun, relaxed, family-style barbeque atmosphere in the backyard where family and friends relaxed and celebrated.

The reception decor was simply fabulous, designed with beautifully lit tents and cozy furniture. The floor plan showcased the left side for cocktail hour, lawn games, and umbrella tables, the back left for dancing and lounge areas, and the front and back right side for the dinner tent, bar, and additional lounge seating. {See more images in the Style Me Pretty Gallery!} Seafoam bottles were filled with the couple’s signature cocktail and displayed with the straws on a table so that guests could grab one when they first arrived. Edison lights hung over the dance floor and throughout the tent. As a graphic designer, Emily loves all things paper, so she picked out some of her favorite wallpaper patterns and incorporated them into coasters, photo backdrops, favors, & lampshades. Table centerpieces incorporated antique turquoise bottles and candles.

Food stations were set up around the yard: Antipasto Station with cured meats, olives, cheeses, breads, dips, and fruit ~ A deconstructed salad bar where people can create a salad with fresh toppings ~ A starch station with chipotle sweet potato fries, breadsticks, garlic & bacon mashed potatoes, and hush puppies. The chef manned a large outdoor grill where he prepared Grouper, Shrimp and Grits as well as other southern fares for guests. A dessert table showcased the families favorite cakes and pieces as well as the couple wedding cake, a San Francisco Giant’s inspired cake.

The night ended with Emily and Philippe headed off to sparklers and a Rolls Royce. As guests left the venue they were greeted with Light Night Snack filled with two old school Coke bottles, a beef sandwich and potato fries. It was a celebration filled with great family and friends, good food and great decor.

Photography: DeShelia Spann Photography/ Flowers: Jennifer Rose-Sandy, Salt Harbor Designs/ Event Planning and Design: Salt Harbor Designs/ Cater: Marcus, Culinary Creations/ Ceremony Location: St. Andrews Covenant, Wilmington, NC/ Reception Location: The Governor Dudley Mansion, Wilmington, NC/ Invitations: Emily Larson Designs/ Reception music: Brian Hood, Active DJ / Lighting & Power: High Performance, Steve Peterson/ Shoes: Rachel Roy/ Dress: Carolina Herrera Fall 2007 Collection / Bridesmaid’s Dresses: J Crew / Bridesmaid’s Belt: Emily’s mother.

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