It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today’s Real NC Wedding feature is especially close to my heart, because it’s my own! My husband, Austen, and I tied the knot at Fearrington Village in May. Enjoy this snippet of our love story and big day details, and a special thanks to Nancy Ray of Nancy Ray Photography for these beautiful photos, which capture our wedding day so perfectly!
Austen and I met during a summer class at the University of North Carolina when we were randomly paired up for a partner project. We’d definitely noticed each other in class, but hadn’t talked much. Little did I know that he’d called his mom earlier in the summer to tell her about a “pretty girl who wears sweatpants to class.”
A few weeks after the fall semester started, Austen got in touch with me to tease me about my favorite football team — I’m a Green Bay Packers fan, and he pulls for their conference rival, the Minnesota Vikings. After some banter back and forth, he finally asked me for my number. We went grocery shopping in his old red Jeep Wrangler on our first “date” and I was hooked!
After almost two years of dating, I had the feeling a proposal was on the horizon, but I wasn’t exactly sure when or how it was going to happen. Then, one cold January evening, Austen and I were watching a movie in his room. He kept joking that he had the ring already, but I didn’t believe him. I knew he’d want to follow tradition and ask my parents before proposing, and with his crazy work schedule, I didn’t think he’d had the time! Of course, I was wrong, and that same night, he got down on one knee beside his bed and asked me to marry him. The diamond in my engagement ring has been in my family for generations — it was the stone in my grandmother’s engagement ring, and she was married to her husband for over 50 years, so it made the moment even more special. The proposal was just so true to us — I was in my pajamas, with my hair piled in a bun on top of my head, on a quiet night at home. We both cried, and started calling our friends and family to share the news!
I had known that I wanted a sweet, Southern wedding at Fearrington Village for quite some time, so that was the first thing we officially booked. My soon-to-be Maid of Honor is completely obsessed with blogs, and she recommended Nancy Ray Photography to Austen and me. Nancy and her husband, Will, also got married at Fearrington, and as soon as we met with her and saw some of her beautiful work, we knew she was the perfect fit for us.
I came onboard with SB&G that June, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! I was immediately immersed in all things weddings, and was so inspired by the magazine and all of the wonderful local vendors…it made the rest of the planning process a total breeze, especially after we hired Erin McLean of Erin McLean Events as our coordinator! (Seriously, y’all, invest in a wedding planner — it is so, so very worth it!)
We chose a blush, peach and gold color palette for our wedding, because we wanted something soft, romantic and quintessentially Southern…the boys even wore blue seersucker suits and linen bow ties! Erin did an absolutely fantastic job transforming our vision into reality, and when I saw how the ceremony and reception spaces were decorated, I couldn’t hold back my tears.
Austen and I decided a first look would be a great way to ditch the pre-ceremony jitters and get the “ugly cries” out of the way. I honestly would recommend doing a first look to every couple — not only was it the perfect way to calm our nerves so we could really soak in the details of our day, it was also one of the only moments all day where it was just the two of us. And I’m so happy we decided to do a first look, because they’re some of the only photos we have outdoors from our wedding day, thanks to the crazy rainy weather!
We knew from the get-go that we wanted to write our own vows, and since Austen’s grandfather married us, we were able to completely customize our entire ceremony. We kept our vows secret from each other until the big day, and standing in front of all of our family members and friends, saying the words we’d written to each other was one of my absolute favorite moments of the entire day.
Despite the rain (it poured from the moment the ceremony started ’til the grand exit at the end of the night!), our wedding went off without a hitch, thanks to our wonderful vendors. Everyone really went above and beyond to make sure that everything went smoothly, and if something went wrong that day, I certainly never heard about it! Liquid Pleasure and SPIN kept our guests on the dance floor the entire night, and I truly think everyone had a wonderful time, which was very important to Austen and me!
Wedding Consultant: Erin McLean of Erin McLean Events
Bridal Luncheon: Weathervane at Southern Season
Rehearsal Dinner: Carolina Brewery
Ceremony & Reception: Fearrington Village
Minister: Buddy Blanford, groom’s grandfather
Caterer: Fearrington Village
Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography
Bridal Gown: Kleinfeld Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay
Men’s Formalwear: Joseph A. Banks
Florist: Fearrington Village
Cake: Fearrington Village
Groom’s Cake: Simply Cakes
Invitations: The Green Kangaroo
Calligrapher: Calligraphy by Carrie
Hair & Makeup: MakeUpForYourDay
Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings
Reception Musicians: Liquid Pleasure and SPIN
Linens & China: CE Rental
Transportation: Carolina Livery
Wedding Favors: Shutterbooth photo strips and pie pops from Raleigh Cake Pops
Guest Accommodations: Aloft and The Franklin Hotel