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Real wedding: Charlotte + Stan’s coastal celebration

Thursday, October 8

One of the greatest gifts for a wedding planner is to help a dear friend plan her wedding. For Charlotte and Stan we not only assisted with the wedding plans but also got to be the wedding florist, which was a beautiful challenge.

Charlotte and I have been friends since college and she is like a sister to me. We’ve been through a lot together and she is the truest of friends. To say I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for her wedding day would be an understatement. There is no one in the world I wanted to find love, and someone to spend her life with, more than Charlotte. And there was no doubt that when she was ready to tie the knot I would be right by her side helping with the planning.

Charlotte and Stan chose the small town of Oriental North Carolina, specifically The Stallings House, a large historic home which was built in the late 1800’s as the spot for the celebration. The house sits right on the water where the Neuse River meets the Pamlico Sound.

We arrived in North Carolina and were met with clouds, a lot of rain, a bit of flooding and did not see the sun for four days straight. This did not deter the couple or the wedding guests from having the time of their lives! In fact, the weather seemed to make the entire weekend feel more intimate, as if we were all sharing in something greater. Everyone gathered at the house, came and went, feasted, listened to and played music and hunkered down while the rain fell outside.

Many times brides describe to us the feeling they want their wedding to have…one of shared experiences, friends spending time together, warmth and intimacy. It’s a feeling that can’t necessarily be created, it has to be manifested organically with the group you’ve assembled. And that’s just what happened with Charlotte and Stan’s wedding. We arrived Thursday night and everyone was huddled inside, hanging around the large kitchen table, sharing stories, laughing and drinking. And of course Charlotte’s brother-in-law Duane (of Jesus Lizard and Tomahawk fame) got out his guitar and started playing for us.

A highlight for the weekend was designing, ordering and assembling the flowers for the weekend. Charlotte’s vision was for a very simple, romantic yet wildflowery feel with centerpieces in collected, antique medicine jars lining the tables. I spent the day assembling flowers – there’s something that is so calming and fulfilling for me about working with flowers and creating beautiful arrangements.   Designing her bouquet and the personal flowers was so incredibly satisfying and I will say I’m quite proud of her bridal bouquet….I think she loved it as much as I did. The rehearsal dinner kicked off Friday evening with a traditional Low Country Boil – shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage poured out onto a long newspaper covered table.

The wedding day was a continuation of the festivities that had been going for several days. As the rain was still falling, Charlotte and Stan had their first look underneath a covered patio and Erin was able to get the family and wedding party photographs on the large wrap-around porch that was protected. Guests dressed up and didn’t let a little rain  My other highlight of the weekend was when we decided at the very last moment to move the ceremony outside in what was one of the only breaks in the rain all weekend. After a brief shuffle of chairs we were able to hold the ceremony outdoors as Charlotte and Stan envisioned. Charlotte’s good friend Bruce officiated the wedding and made it very personal and emotional – the fact that he was able to hold it together and keep his eyes dry was a miracle. The wedding was such a lovely celebration of two wonderful people coming together. Despite the rain (or because of it) the wedding was just perfect. And as Bruce put it, he doesn’t necessarily believe in destiny or fate, but there is no doubt that Charlotte and Stan were meant to be! Congratulations Charlotte and Stan! We love you so much! xx

Feature photo by ELC Photgraphy (we can’t wait for the rest of the professional photos from Erin, until then please enjoy these teasers we snapped with our IPhones)!

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