Two cuties, meet at college, fall in love, and end up traveling the world, but not before they say “I do” in one elegant Southern celebration crafted by The Graceful Host. Lauren Friday and Shamus Coneys Films captured every Irish-inspired detail and bright color of this summer wedding – and all the sweet kisses in between. More in our Vault right here!
From The Graceful Host… Megan and Tom met while at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A mutual friend pointed Megan out in a dining hall during their sophomore year asking Tom, “Do you know Megan Gassaway? She’s Catholic and an Irish dancer. You would like her.” But Megan notes that it took awhile for Tom to finally make a move. As their mutual friend list grew, they started bumping into each other more. Eventually the two left to spend semesters abroad – Megan in Spain and Tom in Paris. But they were reunited at a New Year’s party that winter where they chatted about their experiences abroad. Still no moves were made as Tom left for the remainder of junior year to do research in Nicaragua. Once school started again in the fall, Megan and Tom were reunited at a back-to-school party where Tom approached Megan with a glass of wine in his hand and said, “Megan, come outside and chat with me!” Megan said she was intrigued and followed. “On the front porch, Tom and I drank our wine, shared our love of books (both of us were English Majors), and compared notes on our Irish ancestry,” said Megan. A few days later, Megan was riding her bike through campus. Tom, also on a bike, called out to Megan from afar. The two bike-chatted, which Megan notes is very difficult, especially since she’s a bit clumsy, as they rode to class. Both had plans to drive to Atlanta with friends for the first football game of the season to cheer on the Tar Heels. On the drive to Atlanta, Megan’s friends asked her about Tom, but she continued to deny feelings for him. Meanwhile, Tom was declaring his intentions to ask Megan out on his own separate drive to Atlanta. On the day of the big game, they attended the same tailgate. And once Megan and Tom started chatting, they didn’t stop – even once the game started. Megan says, ” I impressed him with my football knowledge, and later that weekend he asked me on a date.”
Megan knew she wanted to get married back in Charlotte, and reserved the Cathedral of St. Patrick in beautiful Dilworth. It was important to incorporate their love of family, Irish heritage and religion into the wedding day. Megan and Tom had so many special touches. Megan’s garter was her grandmother’s and the diamond in Megan’s engagement ring once belonged to Tom’s great grandmother, and the Irish Book of Celtic Verse – a book from Tom to Megan. The paper goods featured a shamrock and a map of Ireland as a way to honor their Irish heritage, love of travel and it served as a bit of foreshadowing – following the wedding both Megan and Tom had plans to move to Cork, Ireland where Tom will begin his residency and Megan start graduate school.
With a love of color, we focused on a vibrant jewel-toned palette. Megan was inspired by garden weddings but wanted to elevate the style so that it would fit into the formal ballroom of Charlotte Country Club. Throughout the design we included details that would tell their story and their love of travel and books. The guest book was a map that guest could sign with well-wishes and it was an easy way for Megan and Tom to take with them a small memory of loved ones from their wedding day when they made their big move to Ireland. We incorporated books within the centerpieces for these two English majors. The bar room was a tribute to the happy couples’ Alma Mater, UNC Chapel Hill. We filled the room with Tar Heel memorabilia and pictures from their time as college students. Even Megan and Tom’s favorite beer from the ever popular staple Top Of The Hill was on tap for guests to enjoy. The rustic bourbon bar, while not necessarily Irish, was a fun nod to Megan’s Southern roots – and Tom’s love of bourbon!
The entire wedding day was full of love and laughter. Their beautiful story was told just as Megan and Tom had always envisioned. They danced the night away with friends and family to the band The Business, and made a getaway in an old fashioned car after a streamer exit.
Photography: Lauren Friday Photography | Cinematography: Shamus Coneys Film | Event Planning + Design: The Graceful Host | Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company | Stationery: Elisabeth-Rose | Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick's Cathedral | Reception Venue: Charlotte Country Club | Makeup: Makeup By Jenny Le | Hair: Sara Egri | Band: EastCoast Entertainment | Bridal Boutique: Bellissima Of Salisbury | Catering + Cake: Charlotte Country Club