Hooray! Happy, happy (first!) wedding week to Dani and Bradley!! I am ecstatic that Dani and Bradley are getting married this week and that their families will be there to celebrate them as they are wed at The Merrimon Wynne House!
With the utmost concern for all of their loved ones traveling, especially since Dani and Bradley also live out of state, they made the hard decision to postpone their large wedding celebration til almost exactly one year later. On their original wedding date this week, Dani and Bradley will be married and not wait to make it official any longer! They will celebrate on their original wedding date with a ceremony and dinner surrounded by their immediate families. It’s going to be the most special, meaningful, intimate, and celebratory day as Dani and Bradley are wed and celebrated by their nearest and dearest.
I don’t want to give away too much, but this weekend’s intimate celebration includes their ceremony followed by dinner on the lawn… think a gorgeous autumnal color palette, lush flowers from one of my favorite florists, a long dinner table with their immediate families, romantic candlelight and market lights overhead, velvet linens, bespoke paper goods and details, an exceptionally delicious and innovative (surprise!) menu, a beautiful wedding cake, personal cheese and charcuterie boards, and the most intimate, personalized, sweet ceremony. Though it’s not what any of us ever imagined when we started planning a year ago, it’s going to be an incredibly joyful, meaningful, and truly memorable first wedding day for them as Dani and Bradley officially are married!
I have absolutely loved getting to know Dani and Bradley more and more throughout the wedding planning process over the last year. They are such vivacious, thoughtful, generous, genuine, fun, and loving people, and they clearly bring out the very best in one another and are the perfect balance for each other. Their families are incredibly sweet and wonderful, too! At the end of the day, even with some changes and updates (and plenty of safety precautions, of course!), it’s going to be the sweetest, most extraordinary, most beautiful day as Dani and Bradley are married! It’s such a joyful occasion to celebrate with their beloved family and to kick off married life for Dani and Bradley in such a lovely, romantic, memorable, and meaningful way.
Dani and Bradley, your wedding week is finally here, and I hope you feel nothing but an abundance of love, excitement, and joy as you two are married and are celebrated with such profound joy and excitement!! You were clearly made for one another, and your love is so inspiring.
I’m so excited to share Dani’s bride spotlight with you today, where you can learn more about the two of them, their love story, and what they’re most excited about on their wedding day, covid-edition! I asked Dani to focus more on this intimate celebration and what it’s like pivoting wedding plans during 2020… and next year, we’ll share plenty more about their bigger celebration! I also love that they chose to start their engagement session at their wedding venue (especially since it’s so picturesque). Their love simply radiates in their engagement session by the amazing Jordan Maunder Photography!!
1.Tell us about you and your fiancé, Bradley, and more about your love story.
Bradley moved to Raleigh when he was young, so his family calls the Raleigh area home. I am originally from Colorado and that’s where all of my family still resides. We live in New York City and have been there for the last 7 years.
We met our junior year at Vanderbilt, while I was the manager of the women’s basketball team and he was a practice player. One day after practice, some of us were watching a game together and we realized that we had a few mutual friends in common and from there our friendship grew.
Despite a few date parties and hangouts throughout the next year and a half, it wasn’t until after our senior year that we started dating. Though we knew that we were going to be in separate cities (New York for Bradley and D.C. for me), we couldn’t stop texting each and decided to give long distance dating a shot just to see how things went – and the rest is history.
2. How have your wedding plans changed due to the pandemic and what did you and Bradley decide to do? How has it been for you?
Like many other couples, we have decided to postpone our larger celebration to next year and still have an intimate ceremony this year. Bradley and I have been together for over 7 years and we are ready to begin this next chapter of life as husband and wife, so it was really important to us to still have the wedding ceremony this year.
At first, it was a really daunting decision to postpone because we weren’t sure of what a ceremony would still look like this year or how a celebration would feel next year. As we got a few months away from our original date it became obvious we needed to postpone in order to keep our loved ones safe. Once we made the decision it was like a weight was lifted off of our shoulders. There weren’t many dates left for next year, but October 31st was open which will be one day after our ceremony this year, so we thought it was meant to be. Plus, we get to have 2 completely different, yet entirely special days to celebrate our union – how cool is that?!
Rolling with all of the changes has not been easy, but Bradley and I said that we can’t control the circumstances but we can control our attitudes, so we have tried to keep a positive outlook on it all.
3. What are you most excited about your wedding day in October? Do you have a moment that you’re most anticipating?
We are so excited about our ceremony and intimate dinner this year!! Bradley and I are not doing a first look, so I am probably most anxious for the moment when we see each other as I walk down the aisle.
We are big foodies so I am also PUMPED about our dinner menu. We also wanted to have some fun and have some little surprises for our guests that we are really looking forward to sharing with them.
4. What are you most excited about next fall?
I am looking forward to (hopefully!!) being able to celebrate with all of my friends and family. It has been hard not getting to see so many of our friends and family this year and miss out on special moments, so I am very much looking forward to getting everyone I love in one place. Plus, my sister will not be able to attend my ceremony this year as she is pregnant and will be too far into her third trimester to travel, so we are lucky that she will get to come next year and stand by my side.
5. What was your biggest inspiration for your intimate ceremony and dinner design?
Though they will be different events, we still wanted there to be cohesion between the ceremony this year and the celebration next year so a lot of the little design elements are the same. We really took inspiration from what we thought a cozy, family dinner should be. So think of candles, flowers, soft textures, and all of our favorite foods!
6. What advice do you have for 2020 brides and for planning a wedding during a pandemic?
I would encourage brides to be flexible and to keep the focus on the one thing that really matters – your union and marriage to your partner. That’s what the celebration is about after all!
7. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Bradley love to do together?
Bradley and I are big foodies and we love cooking and making cocktails for each other and our friends. I would definitely say we are known for our hosting abilities! We also love to explore new places and to compete in any type of game or sport.
8. What has been the biggest surprise in the wedding planning process?
The biggest surprise in the wedding planning process has been not knowing all of the little details and items that go into making a wedding come together. It’s been tremendously helpful having Stephanie on our team and have her help in navigating through this process.
9. What is your favorite part of your intimate wedding design?
The dinner table design is probably my favorite part of the wedding design for this year. It brings together all of the elements we are having at the wedding – from the linens, to the flowers, to the food, to our closest friends and family. Having a special place for everyone to gather and share a meal will be really meaningful to Bradley and me.
10. What is your favorite thing about Bradley?
All of him! Bradley is just the best. He is the most caring and loving individual I have ever met and I am so lucky to marry him.
Stayed tuned this weekend for lots of sneak peeks of their wedding on my Instagram! I already can’t wait to see it all come to life for Dani and Bradley as we celebrate this joyous, gorgeous day!
all photos by the fabulous Jordan Maunder Photography
As a note, this wedding is taking place in accordance with all current state and local government mandates and ordinates, CDC recommendations, and is well under the capacities for weddings in North Carolina. We are all taking countless health and safety precautions for both guests and vendors, staying well under the current maximum capacity for venues in NC, adhering to all required and recommended safety measures, including but not limited to: moving all of the wedding outdoors, practicing social distancing, requiring guests to wear masks when not seated, eliminating all dancing (minus their first dance!), spreading out all ceremony and dinner seating and seating families/households together, posting signage, providing additional hand sanitizer and masks, and so much more! I just had to add in this little caveat that this wedding very much legal and allowed in North Carolina and at their venue – and that the health and safety of their families, friends, and vendors are incredibly important concerns to all of us.