Alexia + Corey’s Merrimon Wynne Wedding

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Goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with this incredible wedding! Alexia and Corey were married this past June at the beautiful Merrimon Wynne House in downtown Raleigh, and I couldn’t be happier for these newlyweds as they married and celebrated with their loved ones! Alexia and Corey radiated joy their entire wedding day, and each and every detail was so thoughtfully chosen and gorgeous. It was the most special, remarkable day with a team of truly phenomenal vendors who brought it all to life so exquisitely! Alexia and Corey’s love is contagious and inspiring, and they didn’t stop beaming the entire day. It was such a fun celebration for these two as they tied the knot!

Alexia and I worked closely together for more than a year to bring their wedding design to life, and it was such a fun process as their wedding planner. We actually got engaged just days apart (in October 2016!) and both had our weddings at the Merrimon Wynne! Corey and Rob are also both from Buffalo, and it was so special getting to know Alexia and Corey as we planned and designed every single detail of their dream day. Alexia is also incredibly stylish, has worked in the wedding industry herself, and has the best eye for design!

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Styling a couples’ invitation suites is just too fun — and you can’t help but make some magic with a bespoke invitation design from Gatherie Creative in the faintest dusty blue with a blush envelope, lush florals from Wylde Flowers, my favorite velvet ring box from The Mrs. Box, vintage stamps + a wax seal, and with Ally and Bobby Photography behind the lens! Visually telling this bride + groom’s love story through their wedding design — and seeing all of these elements come together so cohesively, beautifully, and meaningfully — is the heartbeat behind my work.

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Alexia’s sheer joy on their wedding day was simply contagious, and I love how Ally and Bobby candidly captured her giddiness and excitement here! There’s nothing better than having a front row seat to such beautiful love stories and witnessing such joyful starts to marriages, and it’s an honor I don’t take for granted! There was so much beautiful, candid emotion throughout Corey and Alexia’s wedding day, and it was so touching and heartfelt in every way.

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I simply adore the way these two look at each other. And you’d never guess, but there was a torrential downpour and severe thunderstorm mere minutes after Alexia and Corey’s dreamy first look and romantic portrait session. We were so lucky to capture so many sweet, intimate moments in the sunshine before their ceremony, and then a double rainbow broke out during the reception!a&balexiacoreywedding142a&balexiacoreywedding139a&balexiacoreywedding34a&balexiacoreywedding28a&balexiacoreywedding48a&balexiacoreywedding25

The prettiest bride and bridesmaids in the most gorgeous palette with those lush, stunning bouquets and trailing ribbons! Through the sunshine, humidity, torrential downpour, and even a double rainbow over the venue, it was truly the most beautiful, heartfelt, fun, and celebratory day!a&balexiacoreywedding6a&balexiacoreywedding62a&balexiacoreywedding71a&balexiacoreywedding76

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Their faces say it all — this ceremony was so heartfelt, memorable, beautiful, and overflowing in love in every way! Corey’s reaction when he saw his stunning bride Alexia walk down the aisle was priceless (I love it when grooms cry!), and the greenery growing out of the wall was sheer, organic perfection; exactly how we envisioned it!a&balexiacoreywedding86a&balexiacoreywedding105a&balexiacoreywedding123

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Now this is how you make a statement at your wedding! Wylde Flowers created the most breathtaking display of flowers that looked as if they were literally growing out of the Merrimon Wynne House staircase, and it’s far and away one of the most stunning, impactful, and memorable details we’ve ever designed. I barely had words for it as the incredible Wylde Flowers team brought this staircase to life with abundant flowers and greenery. Alexia had her first look with her daddy right here, and it was also the first thing guests saw as they entered cocktail hour — and it was truly so special and gorgeous as a backdrop for so many meaningful moments!

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This is, quite possibly, one of my favorite unique floral elements we’ve ever incorporated into a wedding design! Wylde Flowers brought these stunning cloche arrangements, dreamt up by the bride herself, to life so exquisitely, and these delicate floral arrangements enclosed in glass cloches were just divine! We used them as centerpieces on some of their rounds, and this one adorned their escort display. Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous?!

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This head table design is everything we could have dreamt of + so much more! Alexia and Corey said their vows in this same spot, and we were able to repurpose the organic greenery trailing along the wall as a backdrop for both their ceremony and reception head table. And with those lush, colorful florals, bronze chairs, tapered candles, and all the other details… perfection! We had so much fun bringing this bespoke, organic, romantic design to life.a&balexiacoreywedding185a&balexiacoreywedding184a&balexiacoreywedding181a&balexiacoreywedding179a&balexiacoreywedding176a&balexiacoreywedding173a&balexiacoreywedding164

Layering looks for this beautiful head table design: fresh wood farm tables, marble chargers, linen napkins, pottery plates, an heirloom caprese salad, goodness groups glassware, custom place cards and wooden place card holders, colorful and tall taper candles, and the most lush, shows topping centerpieces. This look from Alexia + Corey’s wedding reception was so fresh, romantic, and memorable, and we painstakingly curated each and very detail with some incredible vendors to bring this vision to life! Alexia and her dad worked together to create and make the custom place cards, wood place card holders, and even the mrable and copper taper candle holders — wow.a&balexiacoreywedding163a&balexiacoreywedding161a&balexiacoreywedding160a&balexiacoreywedding154a&balexiacoreywedding153a&balexiacoreywedding57

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How delectable does this semi-naked fresh strawberry cake from The Cupcake Shoppe look, adorned with lush blooms (that peony!) + macarons?! Alexia and Corey had a cutting cake for tradition’s sake at their wedding over the weekend, and then we had an ice cream truck (their longtime fave!) for all of their guests for this summertime wedding. They were the perfect sweet treats, for sure, and I adore when couples choose details (and vendors!) that are the perfect reflection of who they are as a couple.

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Two Roosters ice cream (and their adorable ice cream truck!) was the absolute best way to treat Alexia and Corey’s wedding guests at the end of their hot summertime soirée at the Merrimon Wynne! The hand-dipped cones were such a delicious hit, and we’re all huge fans of this favorite local ice cream shop!

Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Crossman!! Wishing you two a lifetime of happiness, love, and laughter together — you two are so very loved!

Endless thanks to a complete dream team of vendors (many of whom we used at our own wedding!) who were utterly phenomenal! I say it all the time, but it definitely takes a village to bring a wedding day to life with such beauty, ease, and seamlessness, and I am grateful for mine!

Photographer: Ally and Bobby Photography
Planning, design, and styling: Stephanie Shaul Events
Venue: Merrimon Wynne
Caterer: Beau Catering
Rentals: Cottage Luxe + CE Rental
Florals: Wylde Flowers
DJ: Bunn DJ Co.
Ceremony music: Arioso Strings
Invitation suite: Gatherie Creative
Dessert: Two Roosters
Cake: The Cupcake Shoppe
Hair + makeup: Wink Hair and Makeup
Officiant: Randy Taylor Weddings
Transportation: Raleigh Trolley
Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo
Bride’s dress: Lovely Bride
Day of paper details: Alexia, the bride

Brewery Bhavana | Raleigh Restaurant

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Brewery Bhavana has been all the rage in downtown Raleigh over the last several months, and for such good reason! Not only is it a brewery, flower shop, book store, and dim sum restaurant in one, but it’s also received critical acclaim and awards since it opened. Bon Appetit named Brewery Bhavana in its top ten new restaurants in the country (!!), and it’s been lauded near and far by everyone who’s visited. It’s so many of my very favorite things in one place… beautiful and inspiring story and space, flowers galore, bookshelves lining the wall, delicious dim sum and traditional Chinese food, and unique, locally brewed beers. Yes, please!

Rob and I made reservations for a fun date night downtown, and Brewery Bhavana was an even better all-around experience than we expected! I’d stopped by a time or two before, but it was our first time eating at the restaurant. We scoured the book shelves, I marveled over the beautiful, locally-grown flowers, and we sat down to an incredible meal. We started off with beers from their expansive, impressive, unique beer list, with Rob ordering the Piglette (a Belgian table beer with brett and sour cultures), and I had the Bask (a sunshine and grapefruit brunch ale). We both loved our beers, and they were excellent selections! We started off with the duck egg rolls with hoisin sauce, along with the char siu bao – Cantonese barbeque pork buns. So delicious! There were so many items on the dim sum menu that sounded so good, and our picks were amazing. We split the General Tso chicken for dinner, which was tossed in a tangy hibiscus sauce. Though you can get General Tsos from any Chinese carryout, this was far and away the best we’ve ever had – and we keep talking about how insanely delicious and fresh it was. Peeking around at all of the others tables was fun, too, as every single dish looked so amazing! The service, decor, and atmposhere were impeccable, too, and we were awed by our visit.

Raleigh friends (and anyone visiting town!), be sure to make yourself a reservation and head downtown to Brewery Bhavana for a date night or an evening with friends! Go a little early to grab a beer at their impressive bar, pop into the bookstore and flower shop, and prepare to eat one fantastic meal! We had such a wonderful evening downtown, and I’m already eagerly anticipating our next visit.