I had “Sheila and Mike” written on my calendar for October 26, 2019 for around a year and a half. So it’s safe to say that I was incredibly excited when this wedding day finally arrived! Everything about it was incredible, and even though the forecast looked iffy all week, we ended up having the most amazing weather after all! In fact, it was pretty unseasonably warm for the end of October, but we were just glad that it stayed dry. These two tied the knot at the stunning Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh and followed with a reception at The State Club since they are both NC State Alumni. I loved all the personal touches and unique details Sheila + Mike incorporated into their wedding day. The time and love put into the day by both the couple and their family members were so evident throughout the course of the day!
Lucky for me, Sheila + Mike also chose the most amazing vendors for their big day! It is so amazing when everyone works together as a team to ultimately make for an amazing day for who we are there to celebrate– our couple! Everyone was so organized, kind, and helpful. From their planner/coordinator, Stephanie, to the DJ, to the videographer team…everything ran like a total dream! I am so thankful when that happens because even though every wedding day is amazing, it’s such a treat when you get that warm fuzzy feeling from the other vendors there. 🙂
Some of the highlights from the day were as follows:
Sheila’s stunning shoes (I got so many Instagram messages about these when I posted their sneak peeks, HAHA! These were Jeffrey Campbell for anyone curious.)
All the sweet moments in the bridal suite! Lots of happy tears all around from Sheila’s sister and mom getting her into her dress to the first look with her beautiful bridesmaids.
Mike seeing Sheila for the first time and holding back the cutest tears.
The bride and groom reading their own vows to each other during portraits. Since they got married in a Catholic church, written vows aren’t a part of the ceremony. So instead they decided to still write their own and declare them to each other later on in the day. And let me just tell you, they were amazing. These two have a way with words!!!
Sheila’s side of the family is Persian, so there were lots of Persian wedding traditions tied into the day. This included a Persian Ceremony at the start of the reception — known as the Sofreh Aghd. There was a table of the most beautiful displays I have ever seen (put together by the bride’s mom). There were pastries, eggs that symbolized fertility, “heavenly” fruits, coins representing prosperity, a “Mirror of Fate” and more. The tradition is that a silk sheet is held over the bride and groom while sugar is ground over their heads to shower them with sweetness. I have never witnessed anything quite like this before so it was such an honor to get to photograph it!
Also super fun to watch and photograph was another Persian tradition– the cake knife dance! The idea is that the couple will eventually receive a knife from the dancers so they may cut their wedding cake. But first, one dancer at a time (in this case, the bridesmaids) dances up to the couple asking for money. Once the dancer gets the money, she passes the knife to the next dancer. The last dancer finally gives the knife to the groom and they head over to cut their cake! This made for some adorable and hilarious shots…especially the ones with dollar bills flying around everywhere.
The DJ, Randy of Bunn DJ Company, did an outstanding job at the reception! It was such fun to hear a mix of your “typical” wedding music with Persian rhythms. Everyone had the absolute time of their lives and the dance floor was PACKED all night long.
Sheila and Mike headed to Peru for their honeymoon right after their wedding, and I cannot wait to hear all about it! These two are such amazing people and I am so excited to watch their love grow and see what their future holds. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of such a special day. This is one that I will talk about for years to come and I am so honored to have been able to capture it.
Photographer: Chelsea Allegra
Planning, design, styling: Stephanie Shaul
Ceremony Venue: Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral
Reception Venue + Catering: Park Alumni Center – The State Club
Florals: Daniel’s Florist
DJ: Bunn DJ Company (Randy)
Rentals: CE Rental
Stage: Party Reflections
Hair + Makeup: Wink
Wedding Gown: Coastal Knot (Hayley Paige)
Transportation: The Great Raleigh Trolley
Videography: Muddy Trails Film