So the day finally came, where it was time for me to walk down the aisle. Brandon and I chose something very different from what I would say is traditional. We had the ceremony and reception outdoors, at the Pavilions at the Angus Barn, in Raleigh, NC. The Pavilions are made from reclaimed wood, stone, and all kinds of other materials from around the city of Raleigh. When historic builders were torn down or remodeled, The Angus Barn took the time to save things to make this spectacular venue. Its gorgeous, and very easy to work with. The areas for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to get ready were perfect.
The place where the girls got ready was a dream. The chandeliers, and the accessories, my photographer Ashley Stephenson, who took all the gorgeous shots was in love with the room. And didn't Tre Bella of Durham do a beautiful job with hearty vintage flowers!
I wore shoes that matched the girls dresses. I couldn't find the exact color, or anything that I was in love with, so I ended up dying shoes that were comfy from David's Bridal, of all places but the best deal by far. I then added two broach embellishments with thread myself to add some bling to those shoes.
I wasn't scared to do a few things that most brides may not do. I got up on this stump table, with the girls help, and Ashley just ate that up. Sometimes its fun, and honestly, your dress won't get as dirty as most girls think. Plus at that point, you are so excited, you are about to marry the man of your dreams, and everyone will think you are beautiful regardless of if there is a little dirt on your dress. Outdoor weddings tend to have that happen to the dresses anyway.
So glad the photographers got the shot of Brandon's expression. But as I walked from the Pavilion to the ceremony site, to At Last by Etta James instead of the typical music you hear, the clouds rolled in, and the wind started blowing. All the flowers in the arbor started falling on Brandon and I, and the rain came slow, and then I watched it come across the lake. That was when I called a cut to the minister and we all grabbed umbrellas to run back to cover. It was interesting and not planned, but it made for some beautiful photos of the sky, and of course a memorable ceremony that us and our guests, will never forget.
My beautiful bridesmaids, all had dresses that they helped design, from Bella Bridesmaid in Raleigh. This way they can wear them again. The dresses were dupioni raw silk, and were lovely. They were all different. The suits were purchased from Belk, when they went on sale at the end of last summer. Their shirts were from Macy's, cufflink shirts since all the guys received cufflinks from their schools. The ties came from the Tie Bar, which were paisley my favorite pattern.
I thought candles and lights were the only thing I needed for decor and really it was. The place screamed barn, and it didn't need much more. Our cake was chocolate fondant, Sweet Memories baked both this and the groomsmen cake. The flavor were chocolate truffle, lemon raspberry, and carrot cake! We also had chocolate chess pies, banana pudding and watermelon. Our food was fabulous, a classy Eastern North Carolina meal, with barbecue, fried chicken, potatoes, beans, and tons of other things. The Angus Barn is nationally known for their food, steak and atmosphere.We danced to Hold Me Thrill Me by Mel Carter, oldie but goodie. It was the dance we danced to when we got engaged. It was destined to be the one we would dance to as husband and wife. Choose a song that means something to you, it doesn't matter what it is, its your day, make it amazing for you!
We had favors that were little chairs, that little interior designer in me, with pink and orange M & M's. Everyone loves them! The bridal portrait was a little different, I had mine of course, but I choose a few, and then some of Brandon and I to blow up, so I could display them in our home after, which we have done. And we had two old windows, which I added photos to, of us through the years. It was really a hit!
The gifts were in the large bathtub that was on site, and the cards were in a lantern set on a whiskey barrel.
The guests danced and danced. We had the chairs and tables surrounding the dance floor, since that was one of the more important things to us, fun and dancing. It went on into the night, thanks to Joe Bunn DJ in Raleigh. They did an amazing job, and everyone commented and complimented us. And guests stayed till the end, ALOT did! I wanted sparklers to end the evening, which we did. It was cute, and perfect. Plus it was dark back there, with little lighting in the parking lot, so it was perfect. We left in a limo, nothing special, but it was great. We had the limo till 3:00 and we left at 11:00 so we came back and picked up the bridal party and friends and all went out on the town. Why not, your married, celebrate! Thats what our wedding was, a huge celebration, not fancy, not stuffy just beautiful and so us.
After the wedding we left the next day for Jamaica on a Sandals all inclusive resort vacation, called Royal Caribbean Sandals. It was breathtaking. I highly recommend to anyone thinking about a honeymoon, all inclusive is the way to go. There will be times that you want to travel and site see but this isn't that time. You need time to relax from the stress of wedding planning, and all the events. It was wonderful and very relaxing. Enjoy!