Bride Spotlight: Caroline

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

Ali and Logan’s Merrimon Wynne Wedding

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Ali and Logan are married!! I am so excited to share this remarkable, joyful wedding day with you, especially since their dream wedding day manged to unfold mere days before the entire country shut down from the pandemic. I am so, so thankful that we barely batted an eye during their wedding day and that it unfolded exactly as planned for Ali and Logan – and their families and friends! These two were married on a sunny, late winter day in downtown Raleigh, surrounded by eighty or so of their closest family and friends. It was perfection, and it was a privilege to witness so much love and happiness interwoven into every moment of their wedding day!

Ali and Logan’s wedding day was stunning and incredible in every way, from the weather to the bold, lush flowers to the historic, grand venue and design to the food and dance party. But even more than all of those things, 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 Ali and Logan as they became husband and wife. And now they’re MARRIED! It was such a fun fusion wedding that perfectly melded Ali and Logan’s family histories and traditions together: Miami touches meets the North Carolina South! Ali’s family is from Miami (with Cuban roots), whereas Logan’s family is from North Carolina. The menu was planned to perfectly fuse these together: pulled pork BBQ empanadas, a grapefruit paloma signature cocktail, dulce de leche wedding cake, a dual entree with influences from both cultures, lots of fun dancing (the Conga definitely broke out!), and so many more personalized touches to truly reflect them as a couple.

It’s hard to put into words just how special Ali, Logan, and their families are and how utterly thrilled I am for them to be married. It was such an honor and 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 Ali and Logan as a couple more and more throughout the wedding planning process over the last year, from wedding planning meetings to wedding dress shopping and alterations to tastings to design meetings and so much more. Ali is an extraordinary designer and calligrapher herself, and she lovingly created and designed every single element of their save the dates, invitation suite, day-of paper details (menus, place cards, and more), and signage. I am blown away by her sheer talent, and it’s incredibly special and meaningful to have made everything for her own wedding!  Hop over to Ali’s bride spotlight to learn more about Ali and Logan, as well as their love story.

Ali and Logan are such fun, vivacious, 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 March wedding day at the beautiful Merrimon Wynne House in downtown Raleigh 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 Jordan Maunder, Ali and Logan’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.

Ali and Logan, 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!

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It was an epic, incredibly fun, and stunningly beautiful celebration for Ali and Logan amazing people as they because husband and wife in downtown Raleigh back in early March! I can’t rave enough about Ali, Logan, 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 Martinezes, 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 Jordan Maunder

Wedding planning, design, and styling Stephanie Shaul Events

Venue Merrimon Wynne

Florals Bowerbird Flowers

Catering Beau Catering

Rentals CE Rental

Rentals Greenhouse Picker Sisters

DJ Bunn DJ Co.

Cake The Cupcake Shoppe

Officiant Heidi Gessner

Invitations, calligraphy, all day-of details AM Paperie, the talented bride herself!

some more highlights from their wedding can be found here, and all images here are by the incredible Jordan Maunder Photography!

Bride Spotlight: Ali

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Happy, happy wedding week to Ali and Logan!!! I can’t believe their wedding week is here! We’ve been anticipating this one for well over a year, and the big day is so close now. From the moment Ali and Logan inquired with me, I was instantly excited to work with them, and the last year has been nothing but fun as we’ve planned and designed the wedding of their dreams at the Merrimon Wynne! I truly believe weddings should be a sincere reflection of each couple and that you should have a wedding that is reflective of the two of you, your interests, your style, and what you love most. Ali and Logan’s wedding will be the most fun, meaningful, romantic mix of who they are — so you can bet that the details and the entire day are going to be utterly phenomenal, so meaningful to these two, and such a sweet celebration of their love with their nearest and dearest family and friends.

It has been so fun to get to know Ali and Logan over the past year, to learn more about these two, and to witness their love for one another. You can bet that so many of their favorite things to do together will also be a part of their wedding! As much as I want to divulge all of the bespoke details and design right now, I’m going to try to wait til after their wedding so that their guests can fully enjoy everything. With a stunning palette of navy, dusty blues, mauve, burgundy, gold, romantic candlelight, and organic greenery, it’s going to be so beautiful in every way. Ali is also an incredibly talented invitation and stationery designer, and she created each and every paper detail of their wedding, including their invitation suite. It’s all utterly marvelous, and we’re all so excited to see these pieces come to life in mere days! Ali and Logan are also celebrating their wedding with many family and friends from Miami, where the bride is from, and we’ve meticulously planned their wedding to reflect who they are and where they come from. I’m pumped about the Southern meets Miami details we’re designed – from the menu to the cocktails to the dance party and more!

Ali and Logan, your wedding week is officially here, and I hope you feel nothing but an abundance of love, peace, and joy as you two are married and are celebrated with such deep joy and excitement! I know these two are so, so very excited to tie the knot and celebrate with their family and friends in Raleigh! It’s hard to put into words just how special Ali, Logan, 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 with so many exceptional vendors! Truly, we’re working with such a dream team for Ali and Logan’s wedding day, and I cannot wait.


1. Tell us a little bit about you and your fiance, Logan.
Logan and I crossed paths on Tinder in 2016 while I was in town for a couple days looking for apartments in Raleigh for my move from Miami the following month. We clicked pretty instantly. Chatting every day leading up to my move, we developed a ton of inside jokes and learned we had a lot in common. We made plans to grab drinks the first Friday after my move, and we both definitely felt a bit of anxiety going into it, hoping we would have as much chemistry in person as we did over text. Spoiler alert: It was like we had known each other for years.
Logan and I have a lot in common, like our love of travel and sports of all kinds. We’re both very serious about our careers, both studied journalism but have moved away from it now, and we’re very close to our families. Our personalities, on the other hand, are pretty opposite. I am loud and outgoing, creative, a tinge cheeky, and a bit of a dreamer. Logan is quieter and more reserved, very witty, analytical, and an all around kind soul. We balance each other out and keep each other’s personalities in check.

2. What are you most excited for about your wedding day? Do you have a moment of your wedding day that you’re most anticipating?
I’m most excited to have all of our friends and family in one place – the city where we fell in love! I can’t wait for all of my friends to meet Logan’s friends and to dance the night away with all our favorite people.
The moment I am most anticipating is of course seeing Logan for the first time that day as I walk down the aisle to him. I can’t wait to see him looking incredibly dapper in his tuxedo, and I’m so excited for him to finally see me in my dress. That moment will really make everything so real for me.

3. What was your biggest inspiration for your wedding design?
We drew a lot of inspiration from the winter season and the rich colors of the Pacific Northwest where we got engaged. There are lots of dark jewel tones, gold, and pops of blush and slate blue featured in our design. We wanted to create something very elegant and romantic but also modern.

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4. Are you doing a first look or saving it for walking down the aisle?
Saving it for down the aisle! This was a no brainer for us. Logan is sticking to the old adage that it’s bad luck to see each other before the ceremony, and I just really love the romanticism of waiting to see each other for the first time that day until I’m walking down the aisle to him.

5. Describe your style in one word.
Chic!

6. What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind?
Relaxing and unwinding for us is cooking a delicious dinner to enjoy together over a glass of wine, followed by couch snuggles with our favorite monstrously large blanket and a good tv show or some good music. It’s how we like to end most of our days.

7. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Logan love to do together?
Logan and I are very passionate about traveling and experiencing new places together. It’s something we both loved and did before we met each other and certainly something that is a priority in our relationship. We’ve been to about six countries together so far, with three more lined up for our honeymoon, and explored countless US cities together. We love experiencing different cultures and especially different food!
When we’re not traveling, we love to explore Raleigh, watch lots of sports (especially UNC basketball and Florida football!), try new restaurants in town or recipes at home, and of course, spend time with family and friends.

8. What has been the biggest surprise in the wedding planning process?
The biggest surprise for us was all of the details that go into planning the ceremony. We had always envisioned a Catholic ceremony, which has a pretty rigid structure, and when that didn’t pan out because of our dates, we found ourselves having to make every decision for our ceremony. In some ways, it was really fun to make it truly special to us and our relationship, but it was a lot of decisions!

9. What is your favorite part of your wedding design?
Everything?! I am selfishly very excited to see all of the printed materials and signs on display since I did those myself and it was a major labor of love. I’m also incredibly excited about the reception design, from the plates and velvet linens we chose to the tapered candles and romantic loveseat for our sweetheart table. Inside the Merrimon Wynne house, I’m really excited for the fireplace mantels, which will each have a collection of special photos – one with photos from our childhood, one with photos with our grandparents, and one with our engagement photos. Seriously, I’m excited for every detail!

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10. What is your favorite thing about Logan?  
My favorite thing about Logan is his sense of humor. It’s not a loud, in-your-face sense of humor, but rather a more subtle wit and silliness that I love. He’ll do anything to make me laugh, and we’re able to turn even the most boring of situations into a good time together.

 

Stay tuned this weekend for sneak peeks from Ali and Logan’s romantic wedding, and you can see plenty of behind the scenes on my Instagram as we celebrate the marriage of these two! Love you two so very much!!!

gorgeous engagement session by Jordan Maunder Photography