My heart always feels a little fuller whenever I get my hands on a classic Southern wedding. But this, my darlings, is classic with a twist. A DIY twist that personalizes this Charlotte affair from the inside out. It’s everything I adore about handcrafted weddings wrapped up in one seamless day. See it all from inContrast Images’ captures right here.
From the Bride…We aren’t sure if we truly believe in “love at first sight,” but Jon says he had the closest thing to it, at least, when we met! We met in college, at a dinner party he and a group of his NC State friends hosted for a group of Carolina girls. Despite the huge rivalry between us, my friends and I were really excited about a group of guy friends, a rare find at Carolina. I noticed Jon seemed to be following me around that night, but I didn’t read into it. He had other plans, though, which I became aware of only a few days later when he began intentionally pursuing me. I was resistant at first, not sure how someone who barely knew me could be so sure he wanted to date me. A year-and-a-half later, a few months before our wedding, Jon’s mom told me that she and his dad had prayed since Jon was little that he would very clearly recognize the girl he was supposed to marry when he met her – and then I understood how he had been so sure!
We chose Alexander Homestead for our reception venue because it was a unique combination of settings I envisioned for our event – a charming historical home with a beautiful outdoor area and a barn fit for a formal, sit-down dinner. I considered several other places first, but the formal venues were too formal for my DIY ideas, yet I also wanted a full-course, sit-down dinner. We knew about Alexander Homestead because our family friend Steve Onxley, of Onxley Architecture, designed its dairy barn. I immediately loved it more than other barns I had seen because it had a fresh, dressed-up atmosphere inside. There were twinkle lights hanging from the rafters, light wood-planked walls and doors, and an adorable brick-floor atrium on the other side. One of the things we loved most was that we could slide the barn doors open when it cooled off at night to open the party up to the outdoors and give us a pretty view of the backyard. The sprawling lawn was a beautiful area for the guests to mingle during the cocktail area while we took pictures with the bridal party in front of the house. And the space in the barn was large enough to seat all of our guests together, rather than splitting them up into separate rooms, something we were trying hard not to do.
We were married in a nearby church that allowed us to bring in our own pastor, the pastor of Jon’s church during college, who also did our pre-marital counseling. My younger sister sang one of my favorite songs, “Thy Mercy, My God” by Caedmon’s Call, with one of Jon’s friends playing guitar and one of my bridesmaids playing violin. That was one of the most meaningful moments of the day for me. The flowers were my favorite detail of among the décor. I went with a pale pink, peach and ivory color palette, dainty accents, and soft edges in full, tight bouquets. My florist selected ivory garden roses that looked so similar to blooming peonies, which weren’t available the week of my wedding. White ranunculus and succulents were two of my other must-haves. Peachy pink garden roses filled out the arrangement, dusty miller leaves created a softening effect, and seeded eucalyptus added touches of greenery. Queen Anne’s lace, silver brunia berries and white freesia were the accents that tied it all together. My bridesmaids’ bouquets included the same accents, but in place of the peony-look-a-likes and succulents were white dahlias and ivory spray roses. My two sisters were my matron and maid of honor, and their bouquets stood out with vibrant peach dahlias. Rather than blooms on the guys, we did cotton boutonnieres accented with brunia berries.
What we wanted most for our guests was simply a beautiful evening where they could relax and be served dinner, and then dance the night away! We hand-selected all the songs from the cocktail hour through the last dance to make sure all the music was a reflection of us and what our guests would enjoy. My heart was so full at the end of the night, as so many people told us over and over how fun it had been and how perfectly everything turned out!
Photography: inContrast Images | Ceremony Location: Amity Presbyterian Church | Reception Location: Alexander Homestead | Floral Design: Bouquet Floral Design | DJ: Agape DJ | Cateting: Smart Choice Catering | Linens: Party Reflections | Cake: Cakes by Mary Ann | Cinematography: Peyton Lea Productions | Hair + Makeup: Jennifer Ericksen | Wedding Dress: Lula Kate via J. Major’s Bridal Boutique | Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung via J. Major’s Bridal Boutique