Sarah + Jay’s Merrimon Wynne Wedding

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Sarah and Jay… where do I even begin?! They are celebrating their FIRST anniversary this weekend, so I figured it was more than time to share their wedding day with you!! I’ve tried to start writing their wedding blog post so many times, but I keep getting stumped at where to start in describing these two and their epic wedding day and all of the incredibly special memories I have! I am truly, truly blessed to work with couples whom I come to know, love, and adore, and Sarah and Jay are one of a kind, and they have become dear friends of mine. Their love for one another is SO real and so inspiring. They are somehow the most down to earth people but also two people who are filled with so much talent, wisdom, and all-around awesomeness. They are so inspiring both as individuals and also as a couple, and I have learned so much from them: they are such generous spirits, they have such a zest for life, they love their people so deeply, they are so thoughtful and kind, and I could go on and on.  Suffice it to say, their wedding day went above and beyond all of my wildest expectations, and getting to plan and design their wedding was such a deep honor and privilege for me. I still vividly remember so many details and so much joy and love from their wedding a year ago, and I mostly know that it overflowed with sheer excitement, anticipation, happiness, love, and fun!!

When Sarah reached out to me right after they were engaged, we clicked immediately. She made the entire process so much fun and so easy (seriously!!), and I’ll never forget almost daily emails from her expressing her gratitude for me. When you work alongside someone for over a year, this means the world. I absolutely loved getting to know Sarah, Jay, and their families so well throughout their engagement, and everything came together so seamlessly and so beautifully. It didn’t hurt that I got to work alongside a true dream team of vendors (so many vendor friends who go above and beyond in countless ways!) to bring their vision and big day to life! With a soft, organic, and romantic palette of dusty French blue, creams, soft grey, and neutrals with lots of pops of navy, fun textures, and greenery, it was such a dreamy, stunning wedding.

It’s hard to believe this joyous wedding day was already one year ago! What a privilege it is to walk alongside my couples throughout the engagement and on their wedding day. Getting to witness their palpable joy, excitement, and love so closely is far and away one of the happiest parts of my work, and I adore getting to know my couples so well, to plan and design meaningful, personalized details for their wedding, and to celebrate with them as they are married. And Sarah and Jay are the real deal: there were so many intimate, genuine moments throughout their wedding day that brought tears to my eyes and the biggest smile to my face!

From Sarah’s bridesmaid reveal and her first look with her dad… to their first look (we were all crying happy tears watching them!)… to the groomsmen digging up their buried bourbon… to having her cousin officiate their heartfelt, personalized ceremony… to their amazing and fun wedding party… to the toasts that showcased how special Sarah and Jay are… to the absolutely packed dance floor and killer dance moves… to witnessing SNOW in North Carolina on March 24th… it was most definitely an incredible day filled with so much pure joy and unending love!

Even the pouring rain couldn’t dampen the pure elation from these two on their wedding day (and adding on a clear top tent helped a ton, of course)! That, my friends, is the heartbeat behind the work that I do: to celebrate the joyous start of strong marriages in the company of treasured family and friends! This day was pure magic; that’s for sure.

Happy, happy first anniversary to Sarah and Jay — and wishing you two a million more years of love, laughter, and joy! I am so, so thankful that you chose me to plan and design your wedding, and in the process, to get to know you both so well, to be constantly inspired by you, to have amazingly fun wine and cheese nights with y’all, and to get to witness your love on your wedding day… and now in your marriage. Cheers to y’all — I love you guys!

A million thanks to such a stellar team of vendors — y’all are absolutely amazing!!

Photography Anagram Photo

Videography Twenty One Films

Planning, design, and styling Stephanie Shaul Events

Venue Merrimon Wynne

Floral Wylde Flowers

Catering Beau Catering

Band The Shakedown

Cake The Cupcake Shoppe

Rentals Cottage Luxe

Rentals CE Rental

Tent Party Reflections

Hair and makeup The Makeup Culture

Bridal gown Tre Bella Bridal

Bridesmaid gowns Jenny Yoo

Invitations + paper goods Haylily Designs

Trolley Great Raleigh Trolley

Rickshaw Raleigh Rickshaw

endless thanks to Anagram Photo for all of these stunning images!

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