It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Lauren and Ben’s fall wedding filled with family traditions at Raleigh Country Club!
Lauren and Ben lived just a few miles apart in Raleigh, played tennis on the same courts, and knew the same families and friends, but it was not until over twenty years later that they actually met. Their lives were just waiting for the time when missed moments could turn into beautiful memories.
On a Tuesday after work, they meet downtown to enjoy a romantic walk and grab a bite to eat. Crossing the street near Campbell University, they headed over to the front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral. As they did, they noticed tea lights in the shape of a giant heart and rose petals scattered around the steps leading inside. Ben prompted Lauren to imagine how romantic it must have been for the couple who set up this special moment earlier in the day. As they admired the gesture, Ben grabbed Lauren’s hand and said, “I have an idea! Let’s pretend this is our proposal!” She told him what song she would want playing and he played it on his phone. He picked her up and placed her in the middle of the heart and started to say how much he loved her, then he said, “If this were our proposal, I would say, I am not pretending and I would like to ask (as he got down on one knee)…will you marry me?” Lauren was weak in the knees when she said “YES!” and Ben pushed a button in his pocket to have the bells of the cathedral start ringing as both of their families came pouring out from inside the church!
Choosing a wedding venue was an easy choice for Lauren, who is an employee with McConnell Golf, which owns 10 private clubs in the Carolinas. Raleigh Country Club and Wakefield Plantation are two of the company’s venues. Being a wedding and events coordinator, Lauren is familiar with a number of great venues in the area but she knew she wanted to keep it local and couldn’t think of a better spot to get hitched!
“We have developed a lot of great relationships and contacts over the years with vendors so it felt like a ‘family’ affair as we worked with those that were the nearest and dearest to us during our planning,” Lauren says. She advises brides to “take your time and review all of the vendors, and make sure that you feel, first and foremost, comfortable with them personally as you will be working with them for several months as the wedding day takes shape.”
The wedding colors for Lauren and Ben were light pink, ivory, and gold. They had hints of silver and pale green as well. They wanted to have a modern yet vintage theme with a garden twist, keeping things simple, yet elegant.
Both families are Irish, so they incorporated a bagpiper at the reception and had the bride’s family’s Irish tea, Barry’s Tea, on the beverage station. Ben and Lauren were raised Catholic, so they had a beautiful mass with all the traditional elements, yet the bride’s mother and her family is Jewish, so at the reception, they kicked off the dancing with the hora (sung live by the band!) and explained the tradition of the ‘breaking of the glass’. They also had a Scottish blessing shared over them.
They surprised guests with a capella singers at the ceremony singing in unison with their sister-in-law during the service and serenading them as they exited the church with “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles. And at the reception, as the mother/son dance came to an end, the band turned on “Everybody Dance Now” and the bride, along with her twin sister/maid of honor and her mother came out to a choreographed dance – the crowd went wild!
The intimate interior of Raleigh Country Club, with its sweeping golf course views, was the perfect setting for an early fall wedding reception. Elements of natural wood, mahogany, brass and stone complimented the club’s neutral color.
The upscale barbecue hors d’oeurves station from Wakefield Plantation was a hit and everything was made for small bites and treats but also added up to a wonderful, well-rounded feast! With a rainy forecast they were able to make all the necessary arrangements to turn what was going to be a candlelight outdoor dinner to an even more romantic indoor celebration!
The well-manicured course and surrounding landscape was an ideal backdrop. Even though heavy rain followed throughout the day, a small break in the clouds allowed the bridal party enough time to dash onto the golf course with umbrellas for some photos captured by Jaclyn Morgan Photography. When the rain returned, they joined the guests on the large covered patio for cocktails with a view.
CEREMONY VENUE Sacred Heart Cathedral | RECEPTION & CATERING Raleigh Country Club | MINISTER Father Danial Oschwald | REHEARSAL DINNER Wakefield Plantation | BRIDAL GOWN New York Dress | SHOES FOREVER 21 | BRIDESMAIDS JEWELRY Anthropology | BRIDESMAID DRESSES Weddington Way | GROOMSMEN GIFTS REI tumbler, carabineer clips and tie | HAIR Von Kekel Salon Aveda Salon and Spa, North Hills | PHOTOGRAPHER Jaclyn Morgan Photography | FLORIST Tre Bella Florist | CAKE Whole Foods | CEREMONY MUSIC Cindy Fitzgerald (piano), Ladies in Red (a capella group), Laura Barry, and Mark Pichowicz (organist) | RECEPTION MUSIC Ascension Band and Bagpipper | ACCOMMODATIONS Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel and Hyatt House North Hills | FAVORS Dessert boxes at Dessert station (including Krispy Kreme donut holes and in-house pastry chef creations) | TRANSPORTATION White Horse Transportation