Katie + Pace’s classic Carolina Inn wedding in Chapel Hill

Katie and Pace

Where do I even begin with this wedding?! Katie and Pace were married on a beautiful summer day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina surrounded by their family and friends, and it was perfection. Truly, this wedding holds the most special place in my heart for a myriad of reasons, and I think I’ll always look back on Katie and Pace’s wedding as one of the wedding days that had this certain magic about it. It was stunning and incredible in every way, from the weather to the flowers to the venues and settings to the food and dance party. But even more than all of those things, it was a day absolutely overflowing with love. There was so much genuine, heartfelt emotion, so many happy tears and huge smiles and bouts of laughter, so much love between and amongst both families and all of their friends, and an air of joyful celebration and excitement for Katie and Pace as they became husband and wife. Christ’s presence was felt so deeply and tangibly as Katie and Pace committed their lives to each other, as He was glorified in every detail and every moment, as their amazing family and friends celebrated their love and new marriage wholly, and everything as Katie and Pace always dreamt it would be. And now they’re MARRIED!

It’s hard to put into words just how special Katie, Pace, and their families are and how utterly thrilled I am for them to be married. It was such an honor and deep joy to be a part of the wedding planning process and their wedding day, as well as to be entrusted to bring their dream wedding day to life (alongside so many utterly talented wedding industry friends!). I have absolutely, positively loved getting to know Katie and Pace as a couple more and more throughout the wedding planning process over the last year, as well as their truly exceptional families. I was lucky enough to already know and love them and the Lowe family, as I planned Katie’s older sister Alex’s wedding the year prior! So you can only imagine how much of a dream it was when their incredible mom Suzie called me a month before Katie and Pace were engaged to let me know about their upcoming secret proposal and to make sure I was available! Their year-long engagement was filled with so much happiness and ease, and Katie, Pace, and Suzie made planning and designing their wedding so easy and so, so fun! Hop over to Katie’s bride spotlight to learn more about Katie and Pace, as well as their love story.

Katie and Pace are such fun, thoughtful, loving, and generous people, and they bring out the very best in one another. I love getting to witness a love like theirs, and it brings me the deepest joy seeing their wedding day unfold and their marriage begin. Their July wedding in Chapel Hill at University United Methodist Church and the Carolina Inn was the most joyful, spectacular, meaningful, personal, and beautiful day for two people who were clearly made for one another. As you’re about to see from the stunning images below from the incomparable Anagram Photo, Katie and Pace’s wedding day was wildly special, meaningful, gorgeous, and oh so remarkable in every way, and it was the perfect way to celebrate their new marriage with their beloved family and friends.

I am so grateful to have worked alongside a true dream team of vendors over the last year to create and design a plethora of custom, bespoke details and surprise touches for their guests, and oh my goodness, it was epic! Everything unfolded exactly as planned and without a hitch, and you could just sense how special every moment of their wedding day was.

Some of my very favorite moments of the wedding day:

  • Katie and her bridesmaids and their moms getting ready together at the Carolina Inn! Katie had a lot of bridesmaids and honorary bridesmaids, so it was a full house in the suite, and there was such a happy buzz of laughter and excitement – and a few happy tears! Pace’s wedding gift to Katie was incredibly special and thoughtful (and such a surprise), and I also loved watching Pace open his adorable gift from Katie: wedding socks with pictures of her face all over them! I also loved a quiet moment in the bridal suite bathroom with the Lowe ladies putting on their final touches with them. Suzie, Alex, Katie, and Maggie are so special to me, and being there for those moments was so sweet. Through the laughter and happy tears, it was the sweetest, most joyful wedding morning.
  • The ceremony, for sure. I cry at every wedding, and theirs was certainly no exception! You can just feel their slightly nervous but utterly excited energy, the calm, quiet moments right before lining up, the love of their wonderful wedding party and families. Being able to see Katie and her dad alone together before the ceremony was incredibly special and sentimental, as they are so, so close and Katie had dreamt of that moment her whole life. Happy tears just thinking about it again! And when the organ burst forth with its joyful song and the double doors opened at the back of the church… magic. Pace’s reaction when he saw Katie was what, I think, she had always dreamt of and prayed for. From the grand organ music to their dear friends playing acoustic worship music… to the special elements throughout their ceremony… to having her childhood pastor help marry them… to the beautiful (Carolina blue!), magnificent church… to their readings… to their vows, it was incredibly reverant, incredibly moving, and so very special in every way as their became husband and wife!
  • Katie always describes their wedding as “dusty blue and carbs” whenever anyone would ask about it as we were planning, and I love, love, love that description!! (Also a clear indication that working with Katie and her mom was meant to be — my kind of ladies!) It’s so true: we carried the dusty blue theme throughout the entire wedding design, from their bespoke invitation suite to all of their day-of paper details to their wedding welcome gifts to the wedding party attire to the linens at the Carolina Inn… and everything in between! Elegant dusty blue is a nod to their beloved Chapel Hill and Tar Heels (both are graduates and have families with a deep, deep love of both UNC and Chapel Hill), and it looked stunning at every turn. Their entire wedding reception menu was scrumptious and had plenty of delicious Southern carbs, which Katie and Pace particularly adore (and I think every guest did, too!). And to top off the reception, we had a surprise late night snack: my team picked up 300 Bojangles biscuits, both cajun filet and boberry biscuits, and the staff brought the Bojangles biscuits into the dance floor ballroom on silver platters as the groom announced into the microphone, “It’s BO time!” — yes! It was such a fun (and delicious!) moment in the midst of the most epic dance floor, and I think the guests loved their late night snack more than usual!
  • One of my personal favorite moments of a wedding day is always the reception reveal, and I was looking forward to this one in particular! Katie, her mom Suzie, and I poured so, so, so much thought, meaning, and intention into countless details and looked forward to their wedding — and reception design — so very much. Getting to see all of those ideas, dreams, and plans come to life, and for your own wedding (or your daughter’s wedding!), is a true dream come true. I was able to do a reception reveal with both Suzie (and the other three parents!) and then with Katie and Pace, and I can’t even put into words how magical those moments were and how much giddiness there was!! The ballroom where dinner was held was pure perfection and is, quite honestly, the reception design I’m most proud of. I also adore these families so, so very much, so it was a highlight of my career. It’s also so fun to see their reactions in person and watch them take it in… and knowing it’s for their wedding!! These are moments that I certainly won’t forget, and I cannot thank my team and the other vendor teams enough for pouring their hearts and souls into the setup and logistics, too. Such a pinch me moment, for both Katie and Pace, their parents, and even myself!
  • The flowers! Oh my. The flowers! Petal and Oak did a magnificent job bringing these designs to life in the most incredible of ways. There were an abundance of flowers on every surface, and it was just beautiful. The tall, lush, towering flowers at the head tables (we had three head tables for 55 people!) were everything and more, and they literally took my breath away once they were installed! It was such a dramatic, elegant, stunning focal point and really set the tone for their wedding. I loved that there were so many guests that we used two ballrooms throughout the evening. The dinner for 300 guests in one ballroom was filled with gorgeous dusty blue linens, so many personalized details, lush and beautiful floral arrangements, the most delicious wedding cake that matched the wedding design perfectly, romantic candlelight, an utterly amazing dinner (lots of Southern favorites!), and so many joyful moments.
  • I could share a million more memories and details with you, but this is getting long enough already, and hopefully the following pictures (and their wedding film at the bottom, too!) are the perfect representation of all of the pure love and joy that flowed throughout the most beautiful, special wedding day. I say it all the time, but it still stands so true: as stunning as Katie and Pace’s wedding day was, it was just the start of what matters the most — a joy-filled and loving marriage to one another. That is the good stuff, and I am so happy that day one of their marriage was such a beautiful representation of their love!

Katie and Pace, you’re married!! I hope you two feel nothing but an abundance of love and pure joy as you were married and celebrated with such profound happiness and excitement! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for welcoming me into your engagement and allowing me to be a part of your wedding planning process and wedding day. You two and your families make me fall in love with wedding planning all over again, and I am forever grateful for y’all, your families, and the happiest memories from your wedding. So, so much love to you two!

Katie and Pace

Katie and Pace

Katie and Pace

Katie and Pace

Katie and Pace

Katie and Pace

Katie and Pace

If you’d like to take a peek into Katie and Pace’s absolutely incredible and moving wedding day film from The Family Films, you can take a peek at it here! I still can’t watch it without crying happy tears!!

It was an epic, incredibly fun, and stunningly beautiful celebration for these two amazing people as they because husband and wife on such a pretty summer day in their beloved Chapel Hill! The dance floor was utterly packed all night long, the Bojangles biscuits were such a delicious and fun hit, all of Katie’s “dusty blue and carbs” Southern wedding dreams came true, the love and joy was so very palpable, and their sparkler exit was such a special end to their wedding day. I can’t rave enough about Katie, Pace, their families, and their friends — it was such a remarkable, amazing wedding, and I am eternally grateful to have been a part of it. This wedding, and these people, hold a very special place in my heart!

Cheers to the new Sagesters, and endless congrats, you two!! I adore you both — and wishing you a lifetime of joy and love as you begin your married life together!

It was such a joy working alongside some truly fantastic vendors, and we had an incredible dream team. There are so many people and teams who worked tirelessly to selflessly serve this couple on their wedding day, and I can’t thank them all enough!

Photography Anagram Photo

Videography The Family Films

Wedding planning, design, and styling Stephanie Shaul Events

Church University United Methodist Church

Reception venue + catering Carolina Inn

Florals Petal + Oak

Linens CE Rental

DJ Bunn DJ Co.

Cake Ashley Cakes

Hair + makeup Brittany Berrier Hair

Calligraphy on the seating chart + food menu Mason Dixon Designs

Invitations Minted and Haylily Designs

Wedding day paper details Haylily Designs

Dress Gilded Bridal with alterations by Marie Cordella

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

Alex + Graham’s Durham Wedding

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Oh happy day!! Alex and Graham were married this past June in downtown Durham at the First Presbyterian Church and The Cotton Room! This wedding was utterly spectacular in every way, and I was absolutely blessed to be a part of Alex and Graham’s wedding. I have countless happy memories throughout their engagement, leading up to the wedding day, and on the big day itself, and I could go on and on about how incredibly special these two, their families, and their friends are. The second I met with Alex and her amazing mom, Suzie, in person, it was an instant connection and just SO darn fun. I feel like the entire Lowe family is a kindred spirit, and I am so, so happy that we have another Lowe wedding in 2019 (more on that below!)!! Alex and Graham were clearly made for one another, and their love for each other zest for life, deep love for others, servant hearts, and generous spirits were evident time and time again. They love their family, friends, and community deeply, and their personalities and love story were brought to life so beautifully on their wedding day!

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Alex and all twelve of her wonderful bridesmaids spent the morning getting their hair and makeup done, and it was such a calm, fun morning filled with lots of laughter, excitement, and anticipation. You can tell just how adored both Alex and Graham are, and I’m always a huge fan of large wedding parties! Alex and her dad shared the sweetest first look, and there were lots of happy tears as the wedding day unfolded. Having their wedding parties (and best friends) pray over them mere moments before the ceremony was incredibly intimate and special, and these two place such an emphasis on their faith. The church began to fill up with almost 300 of their nearest and dearest, and it was such a smooth, sweet, and fun day with a whole lot of giddiness!

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I don’t think these huge smiles left their faces the entire day, and Alex and Graham’s gratitude, love, and sheer excitement was so palpable. They were simply so excited to be married to each other, celebrate their love with family and friends, and dance the night away, making their wedding day such an remarkable, happy, beautiful, and fun celebration. They also exited their ceremony at the church and drove off in this classic white Rolls Royce, which was just icing on the cake (and a total surprise!)!turnerwedding_anagramphoto-487turnerwedding_anagramphoto-501turnerwedding_anagramphoto-494

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The beautiful, beautiful Lowe ladies — they are all so amazing!turnerwedding_anagramphoto-163turnerwedding_anagramphoto-165turnerwedding_anagramphoto-178turnerwedding_anagramphoto-125

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What a privilege it is to know these two beautiful, kind, hilarious sisters, Alex and Katie, — and now to plan both of their weddings! I have absolutely adored getting to know this incredible family as we planned Alex’s wedding this summer (seriously, ask my husband how many times I raved about their entire family!), and now Katie and Pace are engaged! With their summer wedding on the horizon, I truly couldn’t be more ecstatic to spend another year with the Lowe family… and to bring Katie and Pace’s dream wedding day to fruition! What a deep, deep honor it is to be a part of this exciting season of life for such inspiring couples and their families.turnerwedding_anagramphoto-516turnerwedding_anagramphoto-673turnerwedding_anagramphoto-675

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This head table design makes me so giddy, and it really sets the stage for the reception design. We really set the head table design apart from the rest of Alex and Graham’s guest tables by accentuating it with this dazzling gold sequin linen, topping it with two massive Edison bulb chandeliers, and adorning the tables with lush florals + greenery. It was one of the first focal points when you walked into The Corront Room — and it was simply spectacular for such a special, special wedding!turnerwedding_anagramphoto-687turnerwedding_anagramphoto-656turnerwedding_anagramphoto-664turnerwedding_anagramphoto-666turnerwedding_anagramphoto-668turnerwedding_anagramphoto-685turnerwedding_anagramphoto-683turnerwedding_anagramphoto-690turnerwedding_anagramphoto-646turnerwedding_anagramphoto-653turnerwedding_anagramphoto-645turnerwedding_anagramphoto-639

One of my biggest goals for every wedding is to make it very “them” — in this case, for the wedding to embody Alex and Graham and who they are. And we heard that compliment time + time again during (and after) their wedding — this wedding was so personalized, meaningful, and unique in countless ways! Alex and Graham are avid readers (my kind of people!), and they collected 300 books — their very favorite titles — to share with their guests and give as favors. It was such a hit! We adorned two of these gorgeous gold bookcases with an array of beloved books, custom bookmarks, and flowers to greet their guests, and their family and friends were able to select a beloved book of their choice to take home as a memento of the wedding. Alex and Graham were geniuses to think of this creative idea for their guests — it was unbelievably special and so unique!turnerwedding_anagramphoto-641turnerwedding_anagramphoto-642

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Hooray!! It was an epic, incredibly fun, and stunningly beautiful celebration for these two amazing people as they because husband and wife on such a pretty day! The dance floor was utterly packed all night long, the donuts were such a delicious hit, we had zero books leftover from their wildly unique and meaningful book favor display, the love and joy was so very palpable, and their sparkler exit was such a special end to their wedding day. I can’t rave enough about Alex, Graham, their families, and their friends — it was such a remarkable, amazing wedding, and I am eternally grateful to have been a small part of it. This wedding, and these people, hold a very special place in my heart!

Cheers to the new Turners, and endless congrats, you two!! I adore you both — and wishing you a lifetime of joy and love as you begin your married life together!

It was such a joy working alongside some truly fantastic vendors, and we had an incredible dream team. There are so many people and teams who worked tirelessly to selflessly serve this couple on their wedding day, and I can’t thank them all enough!

Photography Anagram Photo

Videography Laura Duncan

Coordination + styling Stephanie Shaul Events

Church First Presbyterian Church Durham

Venue + catering The Cotton Room

Florals + specialty rentals Petal + Oak

Linens CE Rental

DJ Bunn DJ Co.

Cake Matta Durham

Donuts Monuts Donuts

Hair + makeup Brittany from Garnish

Calligraphy bar menu Mason Dixon Designs

Invitations + seating chart Indigo Envelope

Dress Gilded Bridal with alterations by Marie Cordella