It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Sherri and Rich’s sweet intimate fall wedding on Bald Head Island, NC, captured by one of the South’s top wedding photographers, Rachel Red Photography.
It was love at first sight for Sherri, who noticed Rich in an elevator where he worked and she went to grad school. Over the next few months, she hoped to see him in the elevator again, but never did. Luckily, a mix of fate and online dating would bring them together again!
They were both on the online dating site OKCupid without having much luck. One day, Rich sent Sherri a message and they decided to go on a date after exchanging emails and talking on the phone for a couple of weeks. Sherri didn’t realize that it was the dreamy guy from the elevator until they met in person. It seems they were meant to be!
Their engagement story wasn’t exactly what they had in mind, but just as their chance encounter, it seemed to work out as it was meant to. Sherri and Rich first started talking about getting married a couple of years before: their original plan was to finish renovating the fixer-upper they had just bought in Pittsburgh, PA, get engaged, then married a year or so later, with kids not entering the picture for a few years. However, they were only halfway through renovations when they were pleasantly surprised by the news of Sherri’s pregnancy! After the news sunk in, they agreed they wanted to get married before their daughter was born and went full speed ahead on the wedding planning process. A tailoring company in Pittsburgh was the genius behind custom finishing Sherri’s gown to her exact specifications, including converting it from a standard A-line silhouette to a perfectly fitting maternity gown.
About a month and a half before the wedding, Rich and Sherri were relaxing together one beautiful autumn evening and he surprised her with a perfect diamond ring. Even though they did things “out of order,” and the engagement wasn’t the event they originally envisioned, it was still incredibly special.
Bald Head Island was the perfect location for their wedding because they had already made so many special memories after vacationing there every summer with Rich’s sisters and their families. They always dreamed of having a beach wedding.
The wedding was small and intimate, with family and longtime friends – almost all of the guests were a part of the actual wedding in some way, including Rich’s aunts and cousins baking dozens of cookies to be served at the wedding reception (a Pittsburgh tradition). The shells in their DIY centerpieces were all found on the island in the week leading up to the wedding. The corsages and boutonnieres were handmade by Rich’s talented cousins. They also created welcome bags guests that contained items like homemade jam and chapstick, personalized koozies, and snacks for the weekend.
Sherri and Rich got married on Thanksgiving weekend so that guests could arrive a few days early to join for a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. “Since everyone made a mini-vacation of the wedding, we were able to spend quality time with each of the guests rather than spend the evening rushing around trying to say a quick hello to everyone at the reception,” says Sherri.
The wedding ceremony was timed perfectly so that post-ceremony photos coincided with the hour before sunset, and this element of planning paid off, because Rachel’s photographs below are exquisite!VENUE Bald Head Island Club | PHOTOGRAPHER Rachel Red Photography | CATERING Bald Head Island Catering | MINISTER Eric Long (brother of the bride) | MUSICIANS Eric Thompson at Atlantic Premier | ALTERATIONS Distilo Tailoring in Pittsburgh, PA | HAIR & MAKEUP Island Retreat Spa and Salon | CAKE Cakes by The Norwoods in Southport, NC