Kelly and Mat frequented the same downtown Raleigh dive bar called The Jackpot which is where they met the day before Mat’s birthday on February 14th, 2010. Even though Kelly was out celebrating the “single life” with her girlfriends the day before Valentine’s Day, cupid must have had his arrow aimed because Mat caught her attention with a silly dance that ended up breaking the ice for them to hang out with their friends hours after the bar closed that night. From then on, Kelly and Mat were inseparable.
Before a their first big trip together to Key West, Mat encouraged Kelly to finish packing so he could treat her to a sushi dinner in Raleigh the night before their trip. When they entered the restaurant, the hostess guided them into a private dining area where all their closest friends and family were waiting. Mat got down on one knee and said, “Before we go, I wanted to ask you in front of all of our family and friends, will you marry me?” They enjoyed an amazing celebratory dinner with everyone and then set out on their travel adventure the next morning!
Kelly fell in love with The Highgrove Estate the second she stepped onto the property. Even just from the photos she looked at online, Kelly was drawn to the classic Southern feel of the house with a beautiful pergola for the ceremony and space for an amazing reception. After checking out the property with her mother during one of the Highgrove’s monthly open houses, Kelly had the “feeling” it was the place. Knowing that spring weekends would book up fast, Kelly jumped at the opportunity to book her May wedding that very day! With only six months to prepare, she really appreciated the ease of planning at Highgrove.
Highgrove also offers a very creative variety of food stations like milk and cookie shooters, a chicken n’ waffles bar, and a “Krispy Kreme Flambé Station” where their chef (complete with cowboy hat and Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire” theme song) comes out to crisp up some Krispy Kreme donuts with open flame and top it off with homemade maple ice cream. The normal topping for this is pink Himalayan sea salt but Mat requested chopped bacon crumbles…and all the guests were raving about it. Highgrove also allowed them to personalize their beer selection for the guests and specifically brought in a Keg of Wide Open Red so they could share this local gem with guests.
The wedding had a soft coral pink, grey, and gold theme to it, lending itself to the overall vintage romantic vibe and “sparkle” of the Gatsby era and a roaring ’20s affair. Kelly wanted nothing to match, but somehow have everything come together as one. She began collecting a hodgepodge of glassware for decorations and scooped up items she came across like pink and gold scarfs, metal lanterns and even a glass skull “vase” used as the floral centerpiece on their head table. All her bridesmaids wore a different color and style of dress, which not only created a pretty motif, but also allowed each girl to shine in her own unique way.
The couple loved having the opportunity to make their ceremony and celebration uniquely their own. The Highgrove made it easy for them to express their love for southern charm and allowed them to put their own special twist on the “norm,” like giving guests temporary tattoos in homage to Mat’s own body art.
Lyn Graves of Fresh Affairs created a look that was beyond the bride’s “wildest dreams.” He impressively fulfilled the vision for a soft, romantic coral pink paradise and Kelly was so overwhelmed she ran downstairs while getting ready to hug his partner and thank them for doing such a great job. During her consultation with Lyn, Kelly passed along her grandmother’s gold and peach cameo necklace that she had filled with a picture of her grandmother and father whom had both passed when Kelly was younger. Lyn bound this necklace into the lace on the bouquet so she was able to carry them with her down the aisle. “It was incredibly special to have them spiritually there with me that day, but also in a symbolically physical way as well,” she shares.
Photographer, Cara Galati of f8 Photo Studios blended right in with the fun and spirited crowd! She helped them all have fun through the photography process and kept up with quick quips Mat threw her way. Cara and her assistants helped the ladies relax through the posed shots and snuck in fun candids too.
Not only did everything come together perfectly for this gorgeous spring wedding, but all the details really let the bride and groom’s personality shine!
VENUE & CATERER Highgrove Estate | WEDDING COORDINATOR Angela of The Highgrove Estate | PHOTOGRAPHER f8 Photo Studios | REHEARSAL DINNER Aviator SmokeHouse | MINISTER Adam Roy (friend) | GOWN Allure Bridal from Carolina Bridal World | BRIDESMAIDS Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids and Ann Taylor Bridal, J. Crew Bridal and David’s Bridal | MOB DRESS David’s Bridal | BRIDESMAID GIFTS Hand crafted, personalized jewelry boxes from Etsy and jewelry | MEN’S FORMALWEAR VIP Formal Wear Raleigh | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Personalized wall mounted beer bottle openers with mason jar cap catchers | HAIR Michelle Scaraglino, Bettie Hair & Keely Finn, Lakshmi Hair Parlour | MAKE UP Elaine Harrison Makeup Artistry | BRIDAL JEWELRY Family heirlooms and gifts | ENGAGEMENT RING Diamonds Direct | FLORIST Fresh Affairs | CAKE Sweet Memories Bakery | STATIONER Minted.com | CEREMONY MUSIC Blair Cook & Mike Shelby (friends) | RECEPTION MUSIC Jason Huggins of Stylus S.E. | PARTY RENTALS CE Rentals and Highgrove| LIGHTING Highgrove and Stylus S.E. | GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS Hampton Inn & Suites Holly Springs and Residence Inn Raleigh Crabtree Valley | FAVORS Canvas bags and temporary tattoos