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Marriage Matters: 27th Anniversary Session + Advice For all Newlyweds!

When you celebrate 27 years together, you know what it takes to make a marriage work. And according to this beautiful bride, it’s a lot of love and determination… among sooo many other components.  Her sage advice is most definitely worth a read, whether you are tying the knot in the near future or just want to remind yourself why Marriage Matters oh-so-much.  Scroll below for her words of wisdom, then soak in her beautiful anniversary session captured by Wynona Benson in THE VAULT.

From the Bride… The last time my husband and I had our pictures taken, just the two of us with no distractions, was before we were husband and wife. This year, we accepted an invitation to do an anniversary session, little knowing what a choice experience it would be. Our photographer set the stage for surprise, intimacy, and warm expressions of feelings. By the end of our session, both my husband and I felt energized, vibrant and so in love. I will recommend an anniversary photo session to anyone. The photos will capture the love you feel on that day, lighting each day thereafter with a happy memory and the anticipation of many more happy days to come.

A wedding day is just the beginning of a challenging, but most rewarding journey, not a destination. In order to build a fulfilling marriage each partner needs to develop important qualities: commitment and trust, patience and perseverance, unconditional love and forgiveness, ingenuity and determination, selflessness and sacrifice, kindness and friendship, faith and hope. These qualities are not miraculously endowed as part of the marriage ceremony. With some effort they are woven into the very fibers of the couple’s relationship over time and through countless shared experiences. As a couple proactively creates happy memories (such as date nights, acts or kindness, traditions – daily and seasonal), they add to and reinforce the fabric of their commitment and love. When day-to-day life, mistakes, detours, tragedies, and such occur (as they do and will), it will serve each partner well to always, always keep in mind why he or she chose to marry, to remember the joy and excitement of falling in love, and to swallow the pride of what is wanted in a moment for what is wanted in the long run.

For newlyweds, learn what true, unconditional love really is and know that this is the fuel that keeps a marriage burning bright. Unconditional love grows as each partner chooses to “see” the other as he or she truly is and can become, beyond weaknesses and mistakes. “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) We all, every one of us, makes mistakes. Rather than seeking to change your partner to fit your mold, change yourself first. Be sincere, humble, and yet confident in this process. Don’t hold on to guilt from the past (near or far). Guilt and baggage will not serve you well. Let it all go. Forgive yourself and your spouse. Begin the journey of each day right where you are and end each day with a loving embrace.

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Photography: Wynona Benson | Floral Design: Mount Tabor Park | Venue: North Topsail Beach NC

Take a Trip Around the World with This Travel-Inspired Wedding

This North Carolina wedding from Leigh Pearce Weddings is every Francophile’s dream. The Bride walked down the aisle on her father’s arm to “La Vie en Rose.” The flower girl carried an American flag while her ring bearer counterpart wore a beret and carried a French one. The pastor said the vows in English and the Bride and Groom repeated them in French. Does it get any more romantic than that? See all the pretty from Boonetown Story in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…I met my husband while teaching English in France after college. Since then we’ve traveled all over the world; so from the beginning of wedding planning, we knew we wanted the overarching theme to be travel inspired. Leigh Pearce did such a great job creating this for us, without the theme being overwhelming or tacky. The small details made everything so perfect. Our seating chart was a world map, our cocktail napkins read “love knows no borders,” and our guests waved miniature French and American flags for our exit — just to name a few.

I knew from the moment I saw the Belmont Estate that I wanted to be married there. It’s a classic, Southern house set back on a large piece of property in rural North Carolina, and was such a beautiful backdrop to our wedding day. I wanted a fall-like color scheme, but wanted to avoid yellows and orange, so we went with a palette of bordeaux with gold, cream, and blush accents. My bridesmaids were beautiful in their bordeaux dresses!

For the ceremony, the flower girl walked down the aisle with an American flag, while the ring bearer (wearing a beret!), carried a French flag. I walked down the aisle with my dad to a string duet playing my favorite French song “La Vie en Rose.” The pastor said our vows in English, and we repeated in French, so that the Americans and the French in attendance could both understand. My sister-in-law and my husband’s sister did a reading together — alternating in English and French.

Our beautiful day wouldn’t have been possible without our wedding planner, Leigh Pearce, or without my sweet sweet parents. We’re forever grateful.

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Photography: Boonetown Story | Floral Design: The Farmer's Wife | Wedding Dress: Jason Alexander Bridal | Cake: Delicious Bakery | Invitations: Minted | Bridesmaids' Dresses: The Ultimate Bride | Catering: Belmont Estate | Hair + Makeup: Carla White | DJ: Alex Hurst | Venue: Belmont Estate | Event Planning + Event Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Rentals: Partymakers

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It’s All About the Dress, But This Groom Brought His Style A-Game

I love a pretty wedding dress, and this Bride’s lace gown definitely qualifies as pretty. But her handsome Groom ensured he was equally stylish with his unique bow tie made of feathers. And that’s just the start of this stylish day. From the custom family crest featuring the couple’s dogs to the bouquets full of dahlias, garden roses and pieris, this southern affair is as stylish and elegant as they come. See every pretty detail from Allison Kuhn Photography in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From Allison Kuhn Photography… Leah Jane & Dustin were married September 19, 2015 at The Duke Mansion. Their elegant southern affair planned and designed by Katrina Hutchins of Come Together Events. Their wedding incorporated soft tones mixed with some bold colors to create a fresh color palette unique to Leah Jane and Dustin. The stationery included a custom family crest and includes images of Leah-Jane and Dustin’s dogs. The stationery suite designed by Elisabeth Rose was thoughtfully created to include elements of Leah Jane and Dustin’s life. The bouquets were filled with color florals and long, flowy silk ribbons. The bow ties that Dustin and his groomsmen wore are made of feathers. Leah Jane made and jarred her guests wedding favors of different jams which included the recipe and crest on a paper tag. The cake by The Wow Factor Cakes also included the crest and the details of their invitation suite.

Leah Jane and Dustin live in Charlotte, NC , but met in Raleigh. Dustin proposed in Charleston South Carolina while on vacation for the Fourth of July. He hired a horse carriage for a historic tour and they walked around the Waterfront Park, Dustin suggested they take a photo in front of a large pineapple fountain. He asked somebody to take the photo, but he wrote on the screen of his phone asking the man to record the proposal.

Dustin is also a former active-duty Marine.

Together this couple is kind, patient and leave headed and will have a beautiful life together.

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Photography: Allison Kuhn Photography | Event Planning: Katrina Hutchins | Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Stationery: Elisabeth-Rose | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Venue: Duke Mansion | Draping: Couture Draping | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Party Reflections | Ribbon: Adorn Company

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