Meredith and Anthony

Raleigh, North Carolina

 

 

Photography | f8 Photo Studios | @f8photostudios

Ceremony Location | Sacred Heart Cathedral | @holynamenc

Reception Venue | The Merrimon-Wynne House | @merrimonwynne

Event Designer | Viva L’Event | @vivalevent

Caterer | Rocky Top Hospitality | @rocky_top_caters

Cake Designer | Ashley Cakes | @ashleycakesnc

 

Anthony and Meredith’s wedding took place during hurricane Florence… we braved the wind and rain and had fun with their portraits.

 

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day?

Theme: Black and white elegance | Color palette: Black, white, gold and blush | Our inspiration for our wedding came from the Merrimon-Wynne house itself. Walking around the venue, we loved the white rooms with the gold accents. Plus, the chandeliers just gave it a classic and elegant look. From there, we tried to think of a way to incorporate the black attire into the theme without making it seem too dark. We decided to use a thin black and white stripe as a decor theme throughout. We used the stripe in the sashes around our cocktail tables and in the ribbon tied around our menus at the reception. We also used little touches of black throughout the house to tie it all together without making it feel too dark.

 

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

If you’ve ever seen the Merrimon-Wynne House on a non-wedding day, you know that it is a stunning venue without any extra decor. We knew, from the day we booked, that we didn’t want to overdo it so that it didn’t take away from the venue (plus, it wouldn’t be very cost effective for our budget). We kept the decor simple, but elegant. We used lots of greenery on the staircase and mantles with gold accents throughout to decorate the space without distracting too much from the original beauty and charm. Most of the decor came from Ikea and Amazon – so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to make a space look great!

What were the florals like in your wedding?

My whole floral ideas stemmed from one flower – an anemone. The light petals with the dark center tied everything in my decor vision together. The dark centers would pick up the touches of black in the decor and the bridal party’s attire but still could incorporate the white and blush. From there, we kept the rest of the flowers white and blush with lots of greenery to keep the bouquet bright and with the rest of the color palette. The bridesmaids’ bouquets also doubled as centerpieces at the reception.

 

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

The list of things we didn’t personalize is probably shorter, than what we did personalize. From napkins to donut to-go bags to seating charts, you name it! We recently went to a wedding and on the way home, my husband said that couple didn’t seem to have as many personal touches as we did and he thanked me for thinking of all that “little stuff”. That’s probably the best compliment I received on the whole day. I truly loved making the day feel like our own. Small personal touches don’t have to cost a fortune either. I used lots of Etsy templates and shops to customize everything.

 

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

I’ve known for a very long time that I am not the princess ballgown kind of girl. As my mother-in-law says, I dress very “plain”. While that sounds like an insult, it’s not and she’s not wrong. I knew when looking for a dress, I didn’t want anything flashy or over the top because that’s just not me. I only tried on seven wedding dresses and by the fifth dress, I knew I had found “the one”. As the bridal shop assistant was helping me out of the dress, I started to tear up because I already knew it would be “my dress” but had to try on the remaining dresses to appease my mom. My favorite thing about the dress – besides the absolutely to-die-for deep back – was the satin material with a hint of lace at the top. It’s so common in the South for brides to wear strapless, full-lace dresses and I loved that my dress wasn’t that. The shape made me feel so feminine and sexy, but elegant at the same time. For my husband, we originally considered a standard black tux, but felt that was a bit over the top, based on our venues and having a 2:00 wedding time. Instead, we opted for the 3-piece black suit for a polished and classic look. The groomsmen wore the exact same suit, but without the vest to make the groom stand out.

 

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

My husband and I met at work 5 years ago. It took me about 2 years to finally muscle up the courage to tell him I had a HUGE crush on him – thank goodness, he had one on me too! What started out as a hypothetical relationship over text messages, soon turned into a first date. I remember calling my mom after our first date to tell her I was going to marry him. A little over a year later, he proposed! I was completely caught off guard when he proposed at home one night after dinner on a random Sunday evening. (We were planning a trip to San Diego the following month and I thought for sure that’s where he would propose) We still joke to this day that I have no idea what he said when he asked because the second he got down on one knee, the happy tears were flowing and I was too caught up in the moment to listen!

 

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

Definitely the first look! I was so anxious that morning but the second I saw my groom, it all went away. Plus, I knew when I gave him the locket to pin in his jacket during our first look, it would be a really emotional moment for both of us. The locket had two photos of him and his dad inside. His dad had passed away 11 years ago from cancer, so I wanted him to have something close to his heart to remind him that he was still there with us, even if it wasn’t physically. It was so incredibly special and the photos of those moment truly capture the purest emotions. A close second would be our last song of the night – Don’t Stop Believing. Our wedding reception guests ended up making this big circle around the two of us, while we all belted out the lyrics to my husband’s favorite song. It was the PERFECT way to end the day!

 

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

If you can make it work within your budget, hire a photographer with two shooters and a wedding planner. We are so glad we had a second shooter to capture all the angles and side moments throughout the day. Some of our favorite pictures came from the different angles a second shooter was able to get. Our wedding planner was wonderful throughout the whole process, but the week before the wedding she was a LIFE SAVER. About a week before the wedding, Hurricane Florence started approaching the NC coast and it sent everyone in a panic. Our wedding planner was on top of it immediately, contacting all of our vendors, preparing contingency plans, etc. Even when our caterer cancelled on us 3 days before the wedding, she had a new caterer lined up for us within an hour. We couldn’t have imagined having to handle all that ourselves. Lastly, just have fun with it. Something is going to go wrong and that is okay. I repeat, THAT IS OKAY! At the end of the day, your guests probably won’t even know. Just enjoy the moments and the celebration of your love and new life together.