Our Wrightsville Manor Wedding | September 13th, 2019

Weddings

I’ve said a million times and I will say it again. Our wedding day was MORE than a dream come true. I have been so excited to finally piece together the photos to re-cap the day through each of these images. When Cameron (our incredible photographer) sent us our full gallery, I laughed and cried looking back at so many special moments. There were some that immediately took me back to that moment in time and made me emotional, and others helped us notice things we might not have even seen the night of because we all know how much of a whirlwind it can be! One part of my “workflow” that I enjoy most (contrary to most photographers) is blogging! So, I have been DYING to finally have the opportunity to blog our own wedding day…the final part of this series aside from the honeymoon blog soon to come. I’ve shared about the engagement session, the bachelorette party, the process of my bridesmaids gifts, and now…the day we said “I do!” I hope you all enjoy looking through the images and captions and can share our joy in re-living this day.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this day possible, especially our parents. We’ve never felt so loved by our families and friends and are still trying to find the words to sum up how grateful we are. And thank you so much to everyone who reached out with well wishes and kind words in the days leading up to and after our wedding day. Even though I’ve only interacted with some of you through social media, it still meant the world and made my heart so happy!

 

The Vendor Dream Team

Photographer: Cameron Faye Photography
Venue: Wrightsville Manor
Coordinator: Bubbly Events – Katie Lange
Florals: Fiore Fine Flowers
Gown: Coastal Knot
Suits: Joseph A. Bank
Ties: DAZI USA
Wedding Bands: Perry’s Emporium
Invitations: Minted
Makeup: Amy Kennison
Hair: Lorin Van Zandt
Rentals: Party Suppliers + Rentals
Specialty Rentals: Relic Vintage Rentals
Wedding Band: Restless Carolina
Dessert: Sweetwater Ices
Videographer: The Steadfast Light
Calligraphy/Signs: Handwritings by Hannah
Favors: Savory Spice Shop Raleigh

One of the things I loved most about our wedding was getting to spend the entire day with all of my best girls. Sometimes the bridal suite can be a chaotic space, but it actually felt so relaxed all morning. We all had the best time chatting, getting glammed up, drinking mimosas, and eating a delicious charcuterie board by The Gouda Gals. Amy, Lorin, & Lauren (the makeup + hair team) did such a great job of making us all feel at ease while also making us feel so beautiful!

I was completely blown away by how stunning my bridal and bridesmaids bouquets were! I had given the ladies at Fiore an idea of shape and color, but I had no idea what the final product would end up looking like. And let’s just say I’m still not over it! I actually have my bouquet hanging to dry at the moment so I can put it in a glass shadowbox and cherish it forever.

I loved having this quiet moment alone with my mom before the ceremony. It was just me and her in the bridal suite as she got me into my gown, and it was so special to have that time even though it was short. She was also the only one who was with me when I picked out this Allure gown at Coastal Knot which also made this moment pretty cool!

My grandmother (who we lovingly refer to as “Moppy”) gave me this gold bracelet a couple years ago for my birthday. It used to be hers and she passed it along to me, so I used it as my “something old.” Even cooler? The piece of lace that it was wrapped in was MADE by her mother, my great grandmother. Even though I never met her I thought it was really neat to have that little piece of our generational history as a part of the details.

Before the bridal suite got crazy again, I took a few moments alone to read the letter Jordan had written me. Future brides and grooms: I HIGHLY recommend doing this! Wedding days can be hectic and it was SO nice to have this quiet time to read words written by my future husband before we walked down the aisle. Obviously Jordan’s letter made me ugly cry as pictured here…but it made me love him even more as if that were even possible. He even surprised me with a rose gold bracelet to match my wedding band that was engraved with our wedding date and a lyric from the song we would have our first dance to.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE SO MUCH!! All of these women mean the WORLD to me and I cannot even describe the love they poured into me on this day. Their reaction to seeing me for the first time says it all. Each of them have walked with me through the many different seasons of life– from family, to elementary school, to college, to adult life– and having them all there alongside me was just the best thing ever. It was a total love fest all day (and yes, there were many tears).

Then it was time for my dad to see me for the first time. I was fully prepared to ugly cry again at this moment, but we were able to hold each other together. There were most certainly a few tears, but I think we were able to keep ourselves from losing it. I am so grateful to my dad being my biggest cheerleader always, and for making my wedding dreams come true.

The guys got ready at the yoga studio I work at (E.Motion) since it was within walking distance of the venue. Jordan was working on finalizing his vows and transferring them to paper. Our ring bearer (my 4 year old nephew Jaxon) looked so freaking cute in his little suspenders and bowtie!

I cannot even tell you how in love I was with how the bridesmaids dress came out! I LOVE the way it looks when bridesmaids wear different colors and textures, especially in photos. Plus, I wanted all of my girls to feel beautiful and wear whatever they wanted to. So I gave them a palate (it was actually a Sherwin Williams paint palate) and told them to pick any color on it. And that they could pick any dress they wanted as long as it was long and flowy. It just so happened that 5 of them chose beaded dresses and 5 of them chose a plain fabric, so it worked out perfectly! I had a vision of what this would look like in my head but seeing it in real life was EVEN BETTER! All the heart eyes for my BEAUTIFUL ladies.

Some of my favorite details included my groom’s tie and boutonnière. I loved the beachy palm leaf tie that he wore and gifted to his groomsmen. Jordan ordered the ties from DAZI and he also gave his guys an embroidered tie clip with our date on it. So cute!

HE’S JUST SO HANDSOME. That is all.

Aaaaand here comes the ugly cry again. My mom asked my dearest friends and bridesmaids Kathryn and Macy to lead us in prayer over me and Jordan right before the ceremony. Everyone who felt inclined to say some words went around the room and spoke life over us. I can’t even describe how powerful this was and how deeply we felt the Lord’s light in the room. This will be a moment of our wedding day I’ll never ever forget, and I love that we have these images to look back on.

The weather was overcast for our entire ceremony before the heavens opened just after we finished up our bridal party photos. We are SO thankful that the rain held off JUST long enough for us to get married and get everyone underneath the tent for cocktail hour!

Shoutout to the best wedding planner in the world – Katie Lange – for literally having my back all day! She was such an amazing support system throughout the day, she made everything look beautiful, and she kept everything running smoothly. I will ALWAYS recommend her to my brides!!!

Jordan and I chose not to do a first look. We wanted the anticipation and buildup of not seeing each other until the ceremony. And while it probably would’ve helped from a photography standpoint (we would have had more time and light for images before it got rainy), it was worth it. That moment of finally seeing him was my favorite of the day. I cried my way down the aisle looking right at the man God chose to be my husband. I literally couldn’t see or hear anything else. I couldn’t wait to be by his side and marry him!

This is my favorite photo from the ceremony. If you look closely, you can see the tear running down my cheek. And I just love the way my sweet dad is looking at Jordan. I’m crying as I write this caption……

It was so surreal to have Pastor Randy Paige as our wedding officiant. I grew up going to church with him, and he was the one who baptized me, confirmed me, and married both of my brothers. Jordan and I really enjoyed getting to spend time with him leading up to the wedding and the weekend of it as well.He and his family have played such a big role in mine and my families lives, and we were so grateful to have him here from New York to marry us.

We asked our dear friend, Justin Risedorf, to share some words at our ceremony as well. Justin has been such a blessing to us since moving to Wilmington, and we loved the words of encouragement he used when giving the message on marriage.

Another surreal moment was this one. Randy asked everyone to raise their hand to join in praying over Jordan and I after we said our vows. Looking around at all of our favorite people there supporting us was pretty wild and it still gives me chills to see the photos.

UGHHH I am wrecked over this image. I didn’t even know it was taken, so when I saw it for the first time I just lost it. This boy made me an aunt, and he loves me and Jordan with his whole heart. Having him as a part of our wedding was such a dream. We all loved breaking it down on the dance floor with him later on, too!

We had an AMAZING family style dinner by Pine Valley Market– Caribbean jerk chicken, braised short beef, grilled sweet potatoes and vegetables, and the BEST mac & cheese I’ve ever had in my life. Handwritings By Hannah also did this menu board for us which looked amazing nestled beside the bar!

Our seating chart doubled as our wedding favors! Since my parents own Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh, we used jars of sea salt as an escort card! We even re-titled the salt “Dehydrated Ocean” to add to our coastal theme. The tops lids had a label with each person’s name and table number. I love the play on words we used for the sign that Handwritings by Hannah also did such an amazing job on!!!

FUN FACT: Jordan and I met on Tinder! When you “match” with someone on Tinder, it says “It’s a Match!” and shows the two of your pictures together. I thought this was a cute way to pay homage to the dating app at our wedding. 🙂

Handwritings by Hannah also did this sign for us for the mantel. While I love this quote in general, it was actually a lyric from the song that the bridal party walked down the aisle to. It’s called “I Get To Love You” by Ruelle and it is amazingly beautiful.

As a wedding photographer, I see a lot of very similar table scapes. They are all beautiful! But I knew I wanted something very different and beachy without being too tacky. So we landed on using these driftwood pieces as our centerpieces. My mom ordered the air plants off of a wholesale website. We rented the gorgeous gold candle holders from Relic Vintgage Rentals. And lastly, and perhaps my favorite detail, was the oyster shells. Jordan and I moved to Wilmington last June, so each time we went to the beach together we would bring home a handful of “wedding oyster shells.” They were the perfect finishing touch!

If you know us, you know we are obsessed with our rescue pup Wrigley. She is a very happy and excited girl, so we knew having her at the wedding would be overwhelming. So we figured the closest thing to having her at the wedding would be featuring her on the bar sign, and displaying her portrait just in front of the reception. Shoutout to Designs by Dillon for making the beautiful flower collar to take Wrigley’s portraits in!

We had an heirloom album made of our engagement photos to double as a guest book for the reception! This is something I offer to my brides and grooms either as a part of their package or an a la carte item. So if you are thinking of doing something fun for your wedding day, this is a great excuse to print more of your engagement photos and have some words of love surrounding them!

I think this reception entrance by my bestie Kara and Jordan’s brother Michael was the winner. Hands down.

Our first dance was to the song called Diamond by The Movement. Our “thing” has always been reggae music because we bonded on our love for it in the early days of dating. It might have been an unconventional wedding first dance song, but it was perfect for us. The lyrics are everything and they even went with our ocean theme.

My dad and I danced to Walk With You by Edwin McCain. We both agreed it was the ONE because not only does it talk about giving away a daughter on her wedding day, but it even referenced “horse show days.” I grew up riding and competing in horse shows and my dad was always there to cheer me on! It’s funny how one lyric made the song so perfect.

Jordan and his mom danced to You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins. It was such a sweet moment and also how beautiful is my mother in law?

My dad crushed his welcome speech, and had all the jokes including referencing his “notes” which was clearly a roll of receipt paper. All night everyone was raving about this one.

 

Jordan’s best man, Hunter, was his roommate when we first met. It was so sweet to hear words from him about the beginning of our relationship to where it has grown to now.

My Maid of Honor (my cousin Genna) gave a perfect toast. It made me cry when she told me she’s never seen me this happy. And I loved how she referenced me complaining about how I hadn’t heard from Jordan when I went to visit her in Seattle when we were a couple weeks into dating. She went on to say how she thinks Jordan must’ve tracked the plane because I remember texting her as soon as I landed because that’s when I ended up finally hearing from him. She always remembers so many little details and I love her for that!

Lastly my Matron of Honor, Becky, was up for her speech. She and I have been best friends since the beginning of high school and if you know her, you know that her signature party trick is her Shakira impression. It’s a skill of hers we discovered together and she knows it will always make me cry laughing. Well, LITTLE DID I KNOW, she had e-mailed our band and asked them to learn how to play Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira so that she could re-write the lyrics and sing it for her speech. She belted it out and had the whole place clapping along and cheering her on. I honestly didn’t even know what to do with myself…cry or laugh…because I couldn’t believe she not only pulled this off but that she would be willing to do that for me. All the bridesmaids got up there with her as her backup dancers which was EVERYTHING. I felt like I was in a movie of my own life and I think you can tell by my face in these pictures how overwhelmed I was. She ended it with some amazingly sweet words and then everyone got straight into more dancing!

The day after our wedding (September 14th) was my nephew Jake’s 8th birthday. We wanted to do something special for him, so we had a cookie cake brought out and the band was kind enough to sing and play him happy birthday! He was a little embarrassed at first but then ended up loving it and thanking me later. It was such a sweet moment!

Instead of cake we opted for New York Style Italian Ices by Sweetwater Ices! Their stuff is seriously delicious and had everyone raving. It was nice to have something refreshing and light on a hot day so that no one would feel weighed down and they could spend more time on the dance floor. And that they did!!

Our band, Restless Carolina, was the HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT! They were incredible with every single song and I don’t think there was ever a time period where there weren’t people dancing. People were dancing BEFORE dinner and even at their tables in the back of the room. Every one of our guests could not stop talking about how much they loved the band and we couldn’t agree more. I would honestly look for any reason to be able to hire them again for a party because they were just that good!!!

It’s safe to say we never left the dance floor all night. Some of my favorite memories were just absolutely losing our minds at the songs the band was playing. At one point I was dancing so hard that I broke the bustle of my dress. Our planner, Katie, safety pinned it back together though so I was good to go the rest of the night. We truly didn’t want it to end.

And there it was. Our dream come true. I am so grateful to have these incredible images to forever cherish and live this day over and over through. Here’s to forever as hubby and wife!

 

 

 

 

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Find me on instagram @chelseaallegra

photographer serving the carolinas
 | based in wilmington, nc |

Among my other titles are:  fitness instructor, podcast co-host, latte lover, and rescue mom. I love connecting with people and getting to know my clients beyond our time together, and consider it an honor to capture some of the most exciting moments of their lives from behind the lens. Your joy brings me joy and I am so excited to MEET YOU!

Hi There, I'm Chelsea!