Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. Looking back on my life, there are countless memories of incredible moments that will last forever, but I can’t help but feel that like I’ve blinked and time suddenly started fleeting. It’s hard to believe that three months ago, we were with our closest friends and family celebrating what would be the most special day of our lives… so far, anyway. What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.
True love is beautiful, radiant and pure. When you find it, hold on tight my fiends. Tuck your ego away. Make sacrifices and compromises, and treat them better than you treat yourself. I’m so grateful God gave me Justin, for he has shown what it means to love. He’s my whole heart, my world.
As most of you know, Justin and I shared a few images on Style Me Pretty’s blog; however, below is the article they featured detailing our wedding…
“When, after five years of dating, it came time to plan their wedding, there was no question that it would be a black-tie affair, and have the feel of another time. In fact, Taylor-Rae and Justin had just the place in mind: a historical mansion in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The property had the exuded the European charm they had in mind.
On July 4, 2016, the couple exchanged self-penned vows under an arbor adorned with topiaries, trailing ivy, camellia foliage, white hydrangeas and soft blush peonies. Set under a large oak tree, a string quartet filled the gardens with melodic, traditional tunes. The processional was, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, the bride entered to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” and the newlyweds recessed to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You.” They shared their first dance to “First Dance” by Corey Smith. Following the ceremony, guests gathered in the grand foyer where they enjoyed good conversation over specialty cocktails and butler passed hors d’oeuvres. With a nod to the Italian theme, the couple chose Peach Bellinis as the signature beverage that evening, along with an open bar serving an assort of wine, beer and liquors. Upon arrival, out of town guests were greeted by a wooden box filled with cheese and crackers, decadent chocolates, champagne, almonds and a pocket size cigar tin. A “wedding-recovery kit” containing mints, mouthwash, aspirin, and an Emergen-C pack were discretely hidden in a “happily ever after” satchel too.
Taylor-Rae showered her bridesmaids with hand-crafted robes from Piyama, an Australian boutique, and beautiful monogrammed pendant and pearl earrings to wear down the aisle. Her own getting ready robe matched her attendants’ but was all-white with delicate lace details befitting of a bride. Following cocktail hour, guests found their seats with the help of a hand-calligraphed lucite seating chart that was suspended in one of two archways that bookended the canopied courtyard where dinner was served.
At the plated dinner, each place was set with white Anthropologie china, gold flatware, and a calligraphed menu with the couple’s crest at the top. Centerpieces consisted of an array aged whitewashed terra-cotta vases in a range of sizes, filled with white and soft blush flowers including gardenias and sarah bernhardt peonies, Juliet garden roses, sweet peas, and hydrangeas. The arrangements were full of green ivy and camellia foliage for texture.
The three-course dinner began with “Watermelon Wedge and Arugula Salad”, followed by either Grilled Airline Chicken or Cold Water Salmon, Shiitake and Mushroom Risotto, and a dessert of delicious wedding cake & limoncello imported from Italy. The three-tiered almond cake was covered first in cream cheese frosting and then fondant, and topped ivy and minimal floral details based on the European elegant theme. Following dinner, and the cake cutting, guests gathered in the grand ballroom for bridal party introductions and an evening of dancing to the national live band, Sol Fusion.”
VENUE: The Duke Mansion
PHOTOGRAPHY: Kristin Byrum Photography
CINEMATOGRAPHY: CPD Films
FOOD & BEVERAGE: The Duke Mansion
FLOWERS: Lily Greenthumbs
CAKE: WOW Factor Cakes
CEREMONIAL MUSIC: Carolina Royal Strings
COCKTAIL, DINNER, & RECEPTION MUSIC: Sol Fusion
FURNITURE: Old South Vintage Rentals
TENT, LIGHTING, DRAPPING: Party Reflections
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Brideside
JUSTINS TUXEDO, BOW TIE, & SHIRT: Armoni
JUSTINS SHOES: Salvatore Ferragamo