Bride Spotlight: Sheila


Happy, happy wedding week to Sheila and Mike!!! I have to say, I have been anticipating the wedding of Sheila and Mike for over 1.5 years now, and I can’t believe their wedding week is actually here!! From the moment Sheila inquired with me, I was instantly excited to work with them, and the last year and a half have been nothing but fun as we’ve planned and designed the wedding of their dreams! 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. Sheila and Mike’s wedding will be the most fun, meaningful mix of a Catholic ceremony and a Persian ceremony (sofreh aghd) with a traditional (fun!) American wedding reception — 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 Sheila and Mike 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 dusty blues, burgundy, gold, and organic greenery, it’s going to be so beautiful in every way.

Sheila and Mike, 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 Sheila, Mike, 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!


  1.   Tell us a little bit about you and your fiancé, Mike.

Mike and I met through mutual friends the summer before our senior year at NC State! There was a lot up in the air, so I wasn’t necessarily looking for a relationship at the time. After a few months of cat and mouse, we finally went on our first date on December 3, 2013 to an empanada place in downtown Raleigh where Mike suggested we try a tequila flight. This was the first time I had ever pretended to like tequila (haha!). From then on, we were inseparable! Our friends began seeing us as one entity and now almost six years later, we’re finally getting married! YAY!


  1. 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 am beyond excited to see everyone, family and friends, from all walks of our life there in one room celebrating us, how special is that! I also think walking into the church to meet Mike at the end of the aisle will be my most favorite and surreal moment of the whole day. Fingers crossed I don’t ugly cry haha! Oh, and when they finally announce us as husband and wife!


  1. What was your biggest inspiration for your wedding design?

Having the ceremony at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Cathedral really set the tone for the rest of the design for our wedding. The Catholic Cathedral is so beautiful and grand that we wanted to carry that over into our venue, hence why we choose The State Club (and it doesn’t hurt that it is on NC State’s campus). We wanted something that was very “us” but for the center of celebrations to be around our love and the ceremony. We picked colors that would be complimentary for that time of year but were still soft and not over powering. I cannot wait to see our whole vision come to life!


  1. Are you doing a first look or saving it for walking down the aisle?

Mike and I are not doing a first look. We have always wanted to save the first look for the first moment when those church doors open! And a 2pm ceremony doesn’t allow for much time to include a first look.


  1. Describe your style in one word.



  1. What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind?

Honestly, my favorite way to relax is ordering hibachi and camping out in my comfiest pair of PJs on the couch. I can be very social but am moreso such a homebody! Spending time with Mike watching our favorite show (currently watching Stranger Things) or a movie would be my ideal way to unwind!


  1. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Mike love to do together?

TRAVEL! I love seeing the world and experiencing new foods and cultures! We haven’t been able to travel as much as we would like since Mike has been busy getting his PhD but now that he is finished, we plan on traveling the world! First stop will be our honeymoon to Peru!! Oh, and also anything NC State related, football, basketball, you name it!


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

Omgsh all the details and decision making, I feel like it never ends! I tend to consider myself pretty detail-oriented but hate making decisions and always second guess everything. The amount of decisions we have had to make over the past two years of our engagement has been overwhelming so we are very excited our day is, finally, almost here!


  1. What is your favorite part of your wedding design?

All of it! Everything single part of our wedding design is going to be so beautiful and I cannot wait to see how Stephanie transforms our vision on October 26th!


  1. What is your favorite thing about Mike?

Mike is the kindest human being on this earth. He seeks out being kind in almost every situation he is in. He is also the funniest person I know and knows exactly what to say/do to get me laughing until my belly hurts! I cannot wait for a lifetime of belly laughs with him!


Stay tuned this weekend for sneak peeks from Sheila and Mike’s epic wedding, and you can see plenty of behind the scenes on my Instagram as we celebrate the marriage of these two!

gorgeous engagement session by Chelsea Allegra

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