Alexandra + Chris’ Duke Chapel + Cotton Room Wedding

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Oh happy day!! Alexandra and Chris were married in August in Durham at the Duke Chapel and The Cotton Room! This wedding was utterly spectacular in every way, and I was absolutely blessed to be a part of Alexandra and Chris’ wedding over the past year. 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 Alexandra and her amazing mom, Janet, it was an instant connection and wedding planning was just SO darn fun with them. Alexandra and Chris 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! Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know these two, and Alexandra and Chris are kind, warm, hilarious, passionate, wise, inspiring, loving, generous, and so intentional and thoughtful. Their love is inspiring, and they are so deeply in love! Their new marriage was celebrated so well by their amazing family and friends on their wedding day, and we packed in so many personalized, meaningful, and beautiful surprises and touches.

Alexandra and Chris’ wedding gallery from the amazing Kelsey Nelson Photography has arrived in my inbox, and I’m ecstatic to be sharing their magical, meaningful wedding day with you! Every single image is breathtaking and perfectly captures how joyful, stunning, magical, and love-filled their entire wedding day was. I am absolutely loving re-living their wedding day again (and trying not to cry too much or favorite every photo…)! Y’all, it was just the best, and their wedding day will forever live in my heart and in my memories. Some of my favorite moments of the day include: a sweet, calm, fun wedding morning with Alexandra and her bridesmaids while we styled details, the cutest flower girls and ring bearers, the evident love and closeness of Alexandra and her amazing parents, the magnificence of their Duke Chapel ceremony, sending Alexandra down the spectacular aisle with her daddy, the ecstatic beams as they were pronounced husband and wife and recessed down the aisle, wedding party photos with the trolley, their reception reveal, many joyous hugs with Janet and Alexandra, the sweetest first dances, and so much more! These two (and their families and friends) are one-of-a-kind, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it all and to have witnessed such a dreamy, joyous wedding day for one incredible couple!

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As you can see, Alexandra and Chris’ entire wedding day overflowed with so much pure joy, love, and magical moments and details. Alexandra and Chris’ wedding was an epic, incredibly fun, and stunningly beautiful celebration for these two amazing people as they because husband and wife on such a pretty August day! Their Duke Chapel ceremony was so meaningful and touching, the weather was perfectly beautiful, the white trolley was such a photogenic hit, dance floor was packed all night long, the donuts were such a delicious addition (Alexandra is from Winston-Salem, the birthplace of Krispy Kreme), their family and friends were the sweetest, 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 Alexandra, Chris, 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 Sheehans, 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!

I can’t thank our wedding dream team enough for the ways in which they brought Alexandra and Chris’ wedding to life so perfectly; I’m grateful to have worked with so many people whom I adore and love working alongside:

Photography: Kelsey Nelson Photography

Planning, design, and styling: Stephanie Shaul Events

Ceremony venue: Duke Chapel

Reception venue + catering: The Cotton Room

Florist: Bowerbird Flowers

Rentals: CE Rental and Petal & Oak

DJ: Mark from Bunn DJ Co.

Cake: Edible Art

Seating chart + bar menu: Mason-Dixon Designs

Invitations + calligraphy: Reaves Engraving and Calligraphy by Carole

Hair and makeup: Tease and Blush

Videography: Steve Creel Video

Trolley: Great Raleigh Trolley

Late night snack: Krispy Kreme

Wedding gown: Nitsa’s

Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie

all images by the wildly talented Kelsey Nelson Photography

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