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Charlotte Wedding from inContrast Images

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.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Barn

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

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Charlotte Wedding from Kristin Vining Photography

Piece together the perfect moments of this Ritz Carlton wedding, and you’ll find a day that will stand the test of time — a classic romance and thoughtfully designed celebration. Planned in the hands of Weddings and the City, it’s the kind of affair that glamorizes the black-and-white basics and oozes with elegance from head to toe. Kristin Vining captured every last bit, and there’s much more to love right here.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
Hotel

From the Bride…It is so hard to choose just one “best thing” about our wedding day, so I won’t!  A few specific events or aspects of our wedding stands out to Drew and me.  Our favorite moment of the wedding was oddly enough the 15 minutes we had to ourselves in between the ceremony and cocktail hour.  Our fabulous coordinator at The Ritz-Carlton, Rebecca Cochran, stole us from the madness of transporting our guests from the church to the cocktail hour and brought us to a private room in the hotel where she had hors d’oeuvres waiting for us.  We were able to breathe, have a little bite to eat, and really take a step back to absorb what had just happened.  We both cherish this moment because it allowed us the private time together to relish in the fact that we were married before embarking on the rest of the evening.

One of my favorite parts about our wedding day was having all of our loved ones and friends from over the years in one place.  It was so cool to be able to look around and be surrounded by people from all different stages of your life at one time.  It was an overwhelming feeling of love and support that just made the day so amazing and fun!  

Finally, I cannot conclude without talking about our band.  My father, who grew up with and has an education in music, researched for months before finding our perfect band.  While he is very open-minded, he has extremely high standards when it comes to music, so I felt totally comfortable leaving this job to him.  And thank goodness I did, because he sure did deliver!  Simply Irresistible came from Atlanta, GA and literally brought the house down.  They were flawless and never let the energy lag.  From the moment they started playing until their set was complete (they took no breaks!), our whole wedding was up dancing and having a great time.  To this day, our friends still talk about how awesome Simply Irresistible was, so it makes us feel good to know that everyone had a great time.

Photography: Kristin Vining Photography | Ceremony Location: First Presbyterian Church Charlotte, NC | Reception Location + Catering: The Ritz-Carlton | Event Planning: Weddings and the City | Floral Design: The Place for Flowers | Rentals: Party Reflections | Transportation: Sunway Charters & Tours | Hair + Makeup: Jami Svay | Invitations + Stationery: Salutations Fine Stationery & Gifts | Music: Simply Irresistible, East Coast Entertainment | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Veil: Family Heirloom | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale | Tuxedos: New York Bride and Groom

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Charlotte Wedding from Nathan Abplanalp Photography

A black and white wedding at the Ritz is like the mother of all timeless affairs. It’s just about as good as it gets. And whether you’re a bride-to-be or way past your days of “I do,” this modern ballroom beauty will stop you dead in your tracks, guaranteed. You must spend time in the gorgeous full gallery where every photo from Nathan Abplanalp somehow seems prettier the last, followed by a viewing of Life Stage Films’ video that’s equally as elegant.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Modern

From Nathan Abplanalp Photography…This is a wedding I had been looking forward to for a long time. Scott and Tania are such a modern and classy couple with impeccable taste in venue and style as shows through with their wedding being held at the Urban Garden in Uptown Charlotte, NC. The soft light and modern lines of the venue gave the added kiss of elegance to put this wedding over the top, especially with the pink and silver accents. 

Wedding Photography: Nathan Abplanalp Photography  | Wedding Venue + Cake: The Urban Garden at The Ritz-Carlton | Floral Design: Flowers by Lingky | Wedding Planning + Rentals: Hall & Webb Event Design | Paparazzi Stand: JMS Entertainment | Wedding Cinematography: Life Stage Films | Officiant: Patrick Maloy | DJ: Split Second Sound | Hair + Makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne | Wedding Dress: New York Bride & Groom | Suits: Mens Warehouse

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Charlotte New Years Eve Wedding from Kristin Vining Photography

It may rhyme with another holiday but Ballantyne Hotel & Spa was made for a New Year’s Eve wedding. Or at least, this NYE wedding. The soft grays and sparkly silvers, the campy-chic hats and tiaras, the lush florals and the faux NYE ball… made for this fabulous venue. And of course, add Steve Michael of Kristin Vining Photography into the equation, and it’s all over. Over in a wave of total fab. There is no countdown to the gallery… it’s right here, right now.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Styles
Modern

From the bride … Jeremy and I were next door neighbors in Charlotte, NC for over a year before we met, in May 2008. We would always offer a quick smile and wave, but never progressed to a full conversation. However, one spring day in 2008, my mother was visiting and walking my dog when Jeremy decided to introduce himself and boldly suggest that she set us up on a date. Surprisingly, she obliged, he and I finally met, and we have been together ever since. Life has taken us from Charlotte to Chicago for Jeremy to attend graduate school and now to life in the Big Apple, New York City.

While we were living in Chicago, I came on a snowy February Friday in 2012 after a long weeks work to Friday, find a stack of packages on the counter. This wasn’t uncharacteristic, considering my eBay business and love of online shopping. I ignored the packages, but after some prodding from Jeremy, I began to go through the boxes. The first one held my engagement ring, and Jeremy got down on one knee in our living room and proposed, to which I repeatedly screamed yes in response. I was so happy with the proposal – nice and quiet in our own home, just like I’d wished for.

We knew almost right away that we’d get married in North Carolina – my parents live there, it’s where we met, and the winter weather was much kinder than Chicago. I began planning right away, flying to Charlotte to meet my mother to begin searching for venues. We visited a wide range of venues all over North Carolina, from farms to hotels to high rise buildings, but we both knew when we arrived at The Ballantyne that it was the place! I’d always wanted an October wedding but didn’t think I would have enough time to plan, so we settled on New Year’s Eve – a decision that I’m so glad that we made. The planning process was stressful at times, but always lots of fun, and I got to rely heavily on my future mother in law and bridesmaids for their input and suggestions. We were so lucky to ring in the New Year surrounded by our closest friends and family!

Photography: Steve Michael & an assiciate for Kristin Vining Photography | Cinematography: Isabel’s Corner | Flowers: New Creations Flower Company | Day of Wedding Coordination: The Graceful Host | Cake: Cake Lady Jill | Music: Split Second Sound | Venue: Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge | Invitations: Kate’s Paperie, NYC | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Dress: San Patrick | Hair & Makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Charlotte Wedding from Caroline Ghetes Photography

Elegance and ease are two of my favorite buzz words when it comes to beautiful weddings. And it’s that sense of fabulous styling without any of the fuss that inspired this country club affair from Caroline Ghetes. It’s a timeless wedding with pretty tucked around every corner (plus one crazy awesome dance party!) and you can catch even more right here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Country Club

From the Bride…After 8 years of dating this wedding was destined to happen. Obviously we are not ones to rush things so we set the date almost a year and a half after we got engaged in January 2011. I had always envisioned being married in May and being a planner by nature the time was well worth it.

The Amsale dress I chose was the perfect representation of my personal style. I gave it a bit of flair with a beautiful crystal beaded appliqué that I had sewn onto a silk ribbon and fastened into a belt. The color palette of nudes, peaches and corals were perfect for the absolutely beautiful day we were blessed with. Our florist used my favorite big bloom flowers, peonies and garden roses to create the bouquets and centerpieces and brilliant coral ranunculus for the boutonnieres. Getting ready with my bridal party at my family’s home which was so comfortable and sentimental, being surrounded by so many memories. Going the non-traditional route we chose to take pictures with the entire wedding party before the ceremony which meant Cameron and I would see each other beforehand. This allowed for more personal moments and extra reception time after the ceremony. I couldn’t have imagined it any other way. I probably stated that I wanted simple elegance a million times and that is exactly what was achieved. Nothing was over the top or seemed stuffy. It was so true of who Cameron and I are. Never ones to be too serious this wedding had to be light hearted and full of dancing. We wanted our guests to feel completely comfortable and let loose. My mom had spent months collecting different votives to make sure the room was lit with an abundance of candle light to create the ultimate romantic feeling.

Our band, The Maxx, was so amazing. They literally kept everyone dancing the entire night, including Cameron and myself. Towards the end of the evening after executing all of my signature dance moves in my wedding dress, I changed into a more dancing appropriate Thread Social number. To keep with the light heartedness of the evening a totally random selection of hats were passed out at the end of the night. The room was filled with people tearing up the dance floor in sombreros, sparkly top hats, cowboy hats, straw bamboo hats and berets, which was absolutely hilarious.

Walking out to our get-a-way car at the end of the night under a shower of lavender was the last sweet touch to an amazing night. Now almost a year later we still have people tell us that they had such a great time at our wedding, which truly makes us so happy to know that they enjoyed themselves as much as we did.

Wedding Photography: Caroline Ghetes Photography | Reception Venue: Carmel Country Club | Floral Design: The Place for Flowers | Band: The Maxx  | Wedding Dress: Amsale via Nitsa’s | Hair + Makeup: Colour By Candace  | Shoes: Badgely Mischka | Transportation: Sunway Charters | Tuxedo +  Mens Attire: Jos. A. Bank

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Charlotte Wedding from The Schultzes + Carolina Event Design

This is what I call a stunning wedding. Complete with homemade doughnuts. It’s the kind of soiree wedding blogger dreams are made of… a beautiful couple, so sweetly in love. A stunning design, modern and chic, yet somehow warm and classic (courtesy of the lovely Carolina Event Design). And photographs so beautiful, I could kiss The Schultzes right on their talented cheeks for sending them our way. Click here to see every last one.

From Carolina Event DesignCourtney and Rich met in 2008 in Atlanta through a family friend, Robert, of Courtney’s who attended college with Rich. At the time Rich was working in Charlotte and Courtney was in her senior year of college in Atlanta. Little did they know but Courtney’s mom and Robert’s mom were hoping they would hit it off. Going their separate ways after the party but still running into one another off and on over the next few months they each developed a secret crush for the other. Texts led to phone calls which led to their first date soon after Courtney’s graduation when Rich drove down to Atlanta just for dinner. They dated long distance for a year after and took turns driving and flying between the two cities. Finally in the summer of 2010 Courtney moved to Charlotte and have not missed the 3 and a half hour drive.

Christmas has always been Courtney’s favorite holiday and Rich wanted the first one they shared together in their new apartment a memorable one. After moving in together a week earlier the apartment was pretty empty and sparse and decided to get a Christmas tree. Debating whether or not to go cut down a tree themselves (Courtney was against this option) they decided to go across town to a cute family owned farm to purchase their tree. With the tree in tow, Rich asked where Courtney wanted to eat dinner. Tired and hungry she replied that she wanted Outback take-out and he reluctantly agreed. Once they were home with the tree and take-out Rich asked Courtney if she could return a watch to a co-worker/friend who also lives in the building. She went on the condition that he will put their dinner on plates and set the table. After chatting with her friend for a while she returned to their apartment to find the tree set up, and no dinner on the table. Aggravated, she walked to the other room to find Rich on one knee with flowers everywhere! Being completely thrown off by the entire night she was beyond shocked. She of course said yes and have enjoyed the tradition of getting their Christmas tree (and Outback take-out) every year since.

Photographer: The Schultzes / Wedding Planning & Design: Carolina Event Design / Wedding Gown: Kandace by Christo’s / Jewelry for Bride and Bridesmaids: Kathleen Murphy / Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera Wang White / Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Jean Yves / Shoes: Rolando, Christian Louboutin / Hair & Make-up: Who’s the Fairest / Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton / Ceremony & Reception Venue: Mint Museum Uptown / Florist: The Place for Flowers / String Quartet: Carolina Chamber Players / Reception Music (DJ): Split Second Sound / Invitations, Programs: The Summerhouse / Wedding Cake & Mini Desserts: Cake Lady Jill / Linen: Party Tables / Lounge Furniture: AFR / Chairs & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Charlotte / Lighting: Carolina Event Design / Videography: David Whitlow Photography / Rings: Diamonds Direct / Guestbook Puzzle: Memory Lane Puzzles

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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