Classic vintage cars at weddings

ABPhoto_CTKingPreview-110

There’s just something so romantic and sophisticated about vintage classic cars at weddings, don’t you think? I adore the timeless, romantic, elevated touch that they bring to a wedding day, and a classic car is the perfect backdrop for portraits, dreamy moments, and an intimate drive with your beloved. 

ABPhoto_CTKingPreview-109

I love incorporating a classic car into the wedding design and logistics for my couples, particularly during the daytime. It’s magical to leave your sparkler exit and reception getaway in a vintage car, for sure, but I think it’s even more romantic to incorporate one earlier in the wedding day. You can’t beat those daylight, sunlight-filled portraits, too! Several of my brides take a quiet ride with her dad to the church before the ceremony, which is so touching and special. And, of course, you can’t forget the ceremony exit and the drive from the church to the reception venue! These are some of the most vivid, intimate, pinch-me moments of a wedding day, mere moments after your marriage begins. I know so many couples who reflect that these private, sweet moments alone, relishing in your new marriage and the celebratory fun that’s to come, are the highlights of their wedding day!

TurnerWedding_AnagramPhoto-487

TurnerWedding_AnagramPhoto-485

Not only do classic cars providing the setting for such surreal, special moments alone together, but they sure make for some stunning portraits. For almost a decade now, some of my very favorite photographs from a wedding day are candid shots of giddy, in love couples getting in or out of classic cars or stolen, sweet moments through the windows of a car. There’s just something magical about these moments, and the portraits speak for themselves. Swoon!Foote-Hudson-Kerns-AnagramPhoto-525

Foote-Hudson-Kerns-AnagramPhoto-527

top two photos by Adelyn Boling Photography & bottom four photos by Anagram Photo with planning and design for all by Stephanie Shaul Events

Bride Spotlight: Caroline K

Ally&Bobby_CarolineAndersEngagement31

Happy, happy (first!) wedding week, Caroline and Anders!!! I am so excited that Caroline and Anders are getting married this week – and I know they are, too! Caroline and Anders are just one of those dream couples to work with in every way, and I have absolutely loved getting to know them (and Caroline’s mom!) throughout the wedding planning process.

With the utmost concern for all of their loved ones traveling, they made the hard decision to postpone their large wedding celebration til next summer. On their original wedding date, this week, Caroline and Anders decided to get married and not wait to make it official any longer! I LOVE this for them!! They will celebrate on their original wedding date with a ceremony and dinner surrounded by their immediate families and very closest friends. It’s going to be the most special, meaningful, intimate, and celebratory day as Caroline and Anders 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 an elegant outdoor garden party, juicy, lush flowers, a long table with their immediate families and best friends, romantic candlelight and market lights overhead, an exceptionally delicious and innovative menu, a petite wedding cake, 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 Caroline and Anders officially are married!

And next summer, they’ll do it all over again with all of their beloved wedding guests with the same vendors and all of the details and design we originally planned! Their graciousness, flexibility, understanding, and strength during this hard, unprecedented time is truly admirable, and I couldn’t ask for a sweeter, more trusting couple (or parents)! It’s hard to put into words just how special Caroline, Anders, and their families are and how utterly thrilled I am for them to be married this weekend… and to bring their dream wedding day to life not once, but twice!

I have absolutely loved getting to know Caroline and Anders as a couple more and more throughout the wedding planning process over the last year. They are such thoughtful, generous, genuine, trusting, and loving people, and they clearly bring out the very best in one another and are the perfect balance for each other. As much as we all wish a pandemic hadn’t changed their wedding plans, I actually think it’s almost the best of both worlds for them: having such an intimate, private, milestone moment like a wedding ceremony can be a little overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for some, so having just two dozen of their very closest people to witness it may help put them at ease a bit more!

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 Caroline and Anders are married! It’s such a joyful occasion to celebrate with their beloved family and friends and to kick off married life for Caroline and Anders in such a lovely, romantic, memorable, and meaningful way.

Caroline and Anders, 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 Caroline’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 Caroline 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! Also, are they not the most attractive couple just bursting with joy?! Their love simply radiates in their engagement session by the incomparable Ally and Bobby Photography — swoon!

1.Tell us about you and your fiancé, Anders, and more about your love story.

Anders and I met playing on an intramural floor hockey team our freshmen year of college. We remained friends for the rest of the semester and began dating our sophomore year. After graduating, I moved to Raleigh for a job and Anders couldn’t stay away so he moved up soon after. We have now lived in Raleigh for 4 years and have loved making it our home together!

Ally&Bobby_CarolineAndersEngagement14

2. How have your wedding plans changed due to the pandemic and what did you and Anders decide to do? How has it been for you?

Due to the pandemic, Anders and I had to move our larger wedding celebration to next summer. We decided to keep our original wedding date and have an intimate ceremony and dinner at our venue. We knew we still wanted to get married this fall, so we worked closely with Stephanie to come up with a plan that would allow us to still have the celebration we wanted while following the current restrictions. It was tough at first making the call to postpone our big celebration, but Stephanie made our lives so easy and stress-free with getting everything moved and making sure all of our vendors were on board for our new date. Anders and I cannot wait to still get married on our original date in a few short days!

3. What are you most excited about your wedding day in September? Do you have a moment that you’re most anticipating?

I’m most excited about getting to celebrate with some of our closest friends and family. We haven’t seen some of them since before the pandemic began, so being able to spend this big day with them is extremely special. The moment I’m most anticipating is walking down the aisle. Anders and I had originally planned on doing a first look so that we could have a private moment together before the ceremony. With a smaller ceremony, we are more comfortable having that moment when I walk down the aisle. The nice thing about two weddings is that we still get to do our first look next summer – best of both worlds!

4. What are you most excited about next summer?

I’m most looking forward to doing it all over again and continuing to celebrate our love with everyone we had hoped to do so with originally. It’s nice that we get to have an intimate day first and have a big party later with less stress since we will already be married. Also, I can’t wait to finally see everything come together with our original design!

Ally&Bobby_CarolineAndersEngagement20

5. What was your biggest inspiration for your intimate ceremony and dinner design?

Our venue and bright summery colors. I knew I wanted to do something different than our big celebration so that we would have two very distinct memories to look back on. Since we are doing everything outside, I wanted the day to have a garden party feel and I can’t wait to see the Merrimon Wynne lawn come alive with our bright color palette.

6. What advice do you have for 2020 brides and for planning a wedding during a pandemic?

Hire a planner – specifically Stephanie if you can (everyone should do that regardless of a pandemic!). I think it’s super important that brides currently planning should be flexible.  It might seem overwhelming at the time and what you imagined isn’t going to happen, but really your vendors and planner still are working hard to make your day perfect. At the end of the day, the important part is that you still are going to get married!

Ally&Bobby_CarolineAndersEngagement33

7. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Anders love to do together?
Anders and I were both collegiate athletes, so we are extremely passionate about sports. We love to stay active and exercise together, but also by ourselves. I play in an adult field hockey league in the Triangle and am a fitness instructor for a dance class. Anders is an avid fisher and when he’s not exercising he’s watching football. We also love to cook together and have been able to try new recipes every week with all of our time at home.

8. What has been the biggest surprise in the wedding planning process?

All of the details that go into the planning process. There are so many decisions that have to be made in terms of vendors and design. Stephanie has made the process so much less stressful than I anticipated by narrowing down choices and giving us options that fit our style and vision for our wedding.

9. What is your favorite part of your intimate wedding design?

The color palette is definitely my favorite part! We decided to go with bright and juicy pinks and oranges, which is way different than our plans for next summer. I love the bright pops of color for a smaller scale wedding and can’t wait to see our vision come to life!

Ally&Bobby_CarolineAndersEngagement31

10. What is your favorite thing about Anders?

It’s hard to choose just one thing! I love how caring Anders is towards everyone in his life. He’s a great listener, loyal friend, and always encouraging me to be the best version of myself. I’m so lucky I get to call him my husband in a few days!

Ally&Bobby_CarolineAndersEngagement12

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 Caroline and Anders as we celebrate this joyous, gorgeous day!

all photos by the fabulous Ally and Bobby 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, spreading out all ceremony and dinner seating and seating families/households together, posting signage, providing additional hand sanitizer and masks, having a seated cocktail hour with no passed or stationed appetizers, 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.

Our Home Tour 2020

IMG-8076

Welcome to our home, friends, and come on in! While I’m welcoming you virtually to a peek into our house, let’s pretend I’m greeting you at the front door with a big smile, hug, and glass of lemonade (or rosé, depending on the time of day!).

This house of ours has truly felt like home since the minute we first stepped foot in it. Not only do we adore our home (the layout, open floor plan, the outdoor space and lake, the huge windows, the garage, the laundry room; all of it!) but we also adore that it’s a home made for hosting: for welcoming our neighbors, family, and friends into our home and into our lives. We’ve made so, so, so many happy memories here already, and we can’t wait for countless more!

Whenever we had dinner parties or game nights or cookouts or hosted family and friends (before the pandemic!), those times were a reflection of what we imagined for our home. I can only hope that anyone who visits us feels incredibly welcomed, loved, and cared for every minute of their stay. We want our home to be a haven and a happy place: where you can come to feel safe, loved, welcomed, invited, and comfortable. We have long wanted our home to be filled with warmth and generosity, and the foundation of our home is built on welcoming and loving others.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

In May 2018, I was awake early and looking online through new homes on the market in Raleigh. Only one popped up in our price range, and the second I saw it, I fell in love with the house! I texted our amazing realtors at Lovette Properties (where Rob is a real estate broker now!) to set up a showing immediately — I was so giddy and excited for Rob to wake up so that he could see this dream home! We saw the house in person that afternoon, fell head over heels for it the moment we pulled up, walked in and felt so at home already, and knew immediately how much we wanted this house and could envision our little family making this our home! So much sunlight, the perfect size (3 bedrooms and 1700 square feet), two story living room with an abundance of windows, an open floor plan, a beautiful deck, right on a lake (whaaat?!), and somehow well under our price range!

We put in a competitive offer right away, wrote the most compelling offer letter we could, and waited anxiously to see if we just might get this house! (We’d already put in four other offers on houses and lost them all because the Raleigh market was nuts!) And lo and behold, the day the house went on the market — it was OURS! Our realtors called with the news, and I was sobbing and squealing uncontrollably — what a surreal, unbelievable, incredible moment that I’ll never forget. We’re exceedingly grateful that we get to live in this home and share it with so many!

Of course, I have loved interior design my entire life and have long dreamt of having our own house, so designing it and making our home aesthetically pleasing is something that brings me great joy! Rob is the sweetest, most easy going husband in the world and is truly happy to let me decorate our house however I want to. I try to make design decisions and purchases with us in mind and to find the right balance between my feminine style and his preferences. Rob really isn’t too opinionated at all when it comes to home decor and is glad to let me have fun with it, which I really appreciate!

Most of the homes I’ve ever grown up in have a front porch, and this was near the top of my wish list for our house. Our fronch porch – and getting to hang bunting on it for the Fourth of July and festively decorate it for Christmas – is the sweetest welcome to our home. When you open the front door, you can see straight through the house to the lake! I think this view took my breath away when we first toured our house, and I love the bright and open layout.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This home guestbook is so special already, and I can only imagine the legacy and memories it will contain years and years from now! Friends and family sign our guestbook and leave little notes and memories every time they visit, and having this is the happiest record of time spent with loved ones. Our home’s core is to love and welcome others wholly, to practice genuine hospitality, and to be a warm, inviting, grace-filled, and loving home… and this book is the perfect item on our little welcome table by the front door! We also have our Bible guest book from our wedding, a glass box filled with my dried wedding bouquet, some favorite books and pictures of our family, and other special mementos in the entryway.

More than the design (of course I have a color palette – my favorite palette – and a design plan!), we want our home to be inviting, stylish, warm, and Southern. We want it to be a place of gathering and community, for sure, and a place that feels refined and elegant yet cozy and relaxing — and fun!

All I ever wanted in a home was a table big enough to hold lots of friends around it, and I rejected several houses because they had no dining room. We were thrilled to see the dining room in this house, and I instantly knew we could fit so many friends and family members around a table here. We commissioned the builder from Cottage Luxe to create a custom dining room table for us that could easily hold ten, and it turned out better than I could have imagined. Gathering around the table with loved ones and sharing a meal and great conversation together is simply the best. We’ve had probably 75+ dinner parties (some with four people, some with twenty!) at this table since we moved in a little over two years ago, and there is little more special to me than gathering here. From double dates to ourWhen we host Friendsgiving for our community group, we put another 8 foot table adjacent to this one so that we can fit 20 around it, though we do spill completely into the entryway!

The very first thing I bought for our house once we went under contract was this amazing light fixture for our dining room. It was $100 (including delivery!) from World Market, and it just made this room come to life. I also painted our dining room a light dusty blue one day while Rob was at work and surprised him with it when he got home! This is the only room we’ve painted, and I love the peaceful palette in here. I also purchased art from Emily Jeffords for both our dining room wall and our living room wall, and her colorful landscapes are simply stunning.

Cocktails, anyone?! This white IKEA piece is the perfect shelving unit and bar cart for us, and I’ve bene using it for this purpose for five years now. I love, love, love collecting vintage glassware, have two sets of my grandmothers’ antique china, keep adding to my candle collection, and adore mixing cocktails together. I also keep all of my linens, napkins, table cloths, place cards, and table top decor items in the wooden hutch in the corner, as hosting is a favorite activity of mine!

These tall two-story windows and high ceilings in our living room are what sold this house to me the moment it hit the market (and it was ours within 24 hours!). There’s little I love more than all of the abundant, happy sunlight constantly streaming into this space, and this vantage point from the top of our stairs is a favorite. I’m pretty sure I pause daily coming down the stairs and thank God for our home, His provision, and the people who fill it. Welcoming others into our home and our lives is a symbolic act of love, and making this space a place of welcome, rest, and joy is pivotal to us.

How many pineapples can you spot on our home tour, by the way?!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This sunny corner of our sectional is my favorite morning perch! Every weekday morning, it’s where I come (usually before Rob is even awake) to watch the sun rise over the lake, drink iced coffee, and curl up for quiet time: reading my Bible and devotional/study, writing in my gratitude journal, and in prayer. It’s truly the best and most purposeful way to start my day the right way — and with my heart and head centered on what’s most important. I love this sunny, calming little corner of the sectional so much!

We lovingly call this gallery wall above our couch “the wedding shrine” – ha! We have so many sentimental, sweet details and images from our wedding day framed here, from  our favorite portraits and memories to the garter my grandmother crocheted for me to wear to our wedding invitation to calligraphy of our first dance song. It’s such a special reminder of the happiest day!

Our living room – and really our entire downstairs – is very open, which we love. The kitchen and living room are spacious and bright, and the flow perfectly together. Since (pre-covid, of course) we host a lot, it was incredibly important that we have a great, open layout with ample room to gather. And someday I’ll finally invest in my dream bar stools to pop in right there at the kitchen bar!

Our house plants have been thriving since we get so much sunlight! I’m a huge fan of having real plants around our house, from our fiddle leaf fig to an incredibly long pothos on our mantel. We have six or seven live plants and intermix those with a few fake plants!

One of those random design details I always wanted in a home was a white mantel, and I’m so glad that our house included one! I adore changing out the decor on our mantel for the changing seasons, and this large vintage gold mirror (that I found for $40 the week I moved to Raleigh!) is the perfect anchoring piece for such a tall space to fill.

Our home was built in 1994, and right before the previous owners listed their house, they did a lot of updates. We are so, so thankful that we didn’t have to do anything cosmetic or make any big repairs or updates when we moved in, as everything was basically brand new (new hardwoods, newly painted white kitchen and bathroom cabinets, new appliances, new granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, new carpet, etc). We are not handy, nor did we want to spent a lot of time or money renovating, so we were especially glad that a home in our price range was already updated and ready to move in! I thought I wanted to change the green marble that surrounds the fireplace, but I’ve grown to love and embrace it (and barely notice it!). There are some minor cosmetic things we’d change if we win the lottery (ha!), but we’re both so glad that there’s nothing we need to change now. Someday I’d debate painting our house white or doing a more neutral/clean granite in the kitchen and bathrooms, but those are all distant thoughts for now. I do, however, want to wallpaper our powder room very soon! Who knows how to wallpaper?!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

We spend so much time out on our little oasis of a deck! From reading or just chatting on the loveseat to swinging on the porch swing to eating meals at the dinner table to grilling out to blowing up the kiddie pool to just enjoying an evening under the market lights, we use our deck almost every single day. It’s so private with a huge wall of flowering dogwoods on one side of the deck and the most serene lake view in our backyard.

Every single day, I’m wildly grateful that we get to live here — it’s a dream come true to make this house our home and to thoroughly enjoy our beautiful deck, the peaceful lake, and these blooming dogwoods. Setting the table for a dinner date on our deck really makes me happy — and makes dinner at home feel just a bit more special. Dinners out here just taste better!

This view truly never gets old. We love our little lake so much!

My office fills one of our bedrooms, and I situated my desk to look directly over our lake! I definitely have the very best view while I work, and I love seeing the weather change, watch the lake, and enjoying the wildlife in our backyard and in the trees. We have cardinals, hummingbirds, a crane or heron, lots of ducks (and baby ducks), plenty of geese (and goslings), turtles, squirrels, and so much more. Not only is my view pretty great, but I’m so glad to have a whole room to spread out and a closet to fill with all of my wedding planning and work items.

I love how calming, peaceful, and happy our master bedroom is, especially with its vaulted ceiling, big windows, large walk-in closet, spacious bathroom with a tub and a shower, and hardwood floors.

Something I feel strongly about is not waiting til everything is perfect to invite others into your home or even into your life. Perfection is unattainable, and fear of being imperfect or messy or unfinished can be crippling + hold us back from life-giving relationships. Our home is a place where I desperately want others to feel welcomed, loved, and relaxed — I never want it to feel pretentious or too perfect. Giving myself grace is so important, as is knowing that no one cares how “perfect” anything looks. It’s so, so, so much more about sharing our lives and our hearts with one another than striving for looks or perfection!

Two favorite parts of our house are my bookshelves (clearly overflowing!) and our board game closet (a whole closet for board games… and my candle collection!). I read a ton of books and have collected books my entire life. A bright spot during quarantine has been loaning out dozens and dozens of my books to local friends to do a front porch pickup! Rob and I also love to play board games and host game nights with our friends, and we also registered for many games when we got married. Having them all easily accessible and fairly organized has been so wonderful, and we love making use of all of these fun games. His dad built us the shelves in this closet on their last visit to North Carolina, and that update has been instrumental.

We’ve definitely made this house our home, hosted countless dinner parties and game nights, had tons of cookouts, enjoyed our peaceful lake view every single day, planted flowers in the yard, had lots of overnight visitors stay with us (including three for several months!), and felt wildly grateful for it all countless times each day — and with this wonderful husband by my side through it all! I can’t wait to see what the next years bring for us in our home – and here’s hoping we can have friends and family over again soon!!


You can also see how I decorate our home for Christmas here, as well as how I decorated for Thanksgiving here! I also share lots of home updates at #ShaulChateau and have shared lots of tips for hosting dinner parties, if you’d like to check those out.