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Real Weddings: Alison & Alex – Chapel Hill Carriage House, North Carolina

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TO VIEW GALLERY – SWIPE OR CLICK ON PHOTO
{Featured in Vol 18}
Photographer:  Red Stone Photography
Dress Store: Burlington Elegant Bridal // Caterer: Catering By Design  // Event Venue: Chapel Hill Carriage House // Band: Complete Music DJ & Video // Cake Designer: Confectionate Creations // Design and Decor: Linda McDonald  //
Italian Ice: SweetWater New York Ice Co.   // Submitted via Two Bright Lights


 

FROM THE COUPLE:

What inspired your wedding theme?
We both have a Celtic lineage and love nature—more specifically the woods—so a whimsical woodland themed wedding, with a twist of modernity mingled in, seemed to capture and reflect both of our tastes perfectly.

What inspired your wedding color palette?

Nature was our primary inspiration for everything. Vivid mossy greens and white seemed clean and natural. To add contrast and a touch of the modern, we added gray into the mix which made everything pop. Not to mention, it seemed to be the perfect blend of masculine and feminine colors.

What was special about where you got married?
I secured our venue in December of 2013, when the trees were barren and the grass was without color. Even then in the chill of winter, The Carriage House Farm & Garden was unmistakably the most beautiful and well-established property I’d seen locally, and yet, it’s a relatively new wedding venue. When the following June arrived, it was a paradise!

The Carriage House is owned and operated by Brenda and Mike Leeper, who also reside in a home on the property. They built the pavilion, cultivated and maintain the grounds, and restored the small historic home on the property – all  of which can be used by the weddings held there. They also has a team of outstanding individuals that assist in configuring, cleaning up, and breaking down your setup. In addition to charming baby mini-goats and alpacas living on the expansive landscape, they offer an elegant and useful repository of decorations and props left over from other weddings – all which can be used at no additional cost. She only asks that you donate an item to her collection from your own wedding if you do take advantage of the spoils from weddings past. The place and its operators made for a truly magical experience.

What do-it-yourself projects did you do?

All of the flowers were done by my aunts. Each moss ball, flower arrangement, topiary, shepherds hook, and bouquet was hand assembled by the dynamic trio which is comprised of my fabulous Aunt Linda and her two sisters Bonnie and Paulette. They even made my cake topper, the corsages accented by rifle shells (my husband competes with firearms), and the wristlets worn by our mothers. The flowers they used were either grown in my Aunt’s garden or purchased from the local grocery store. The moss used for the moss balls, as well as the Spanish variety incorporated into many of the arrangements, was all hand-harvested along riverbanks in Andrews, South Carolina. They did an amazing job to say the least! She is now seriously considering starting her own operation and if she does, she will call it Indigo Floral. I’ve already designed the logo if she decides to make it official!

In addition to the flowers, we did our own wedding favors and programs. I designed the layout of the programs while my mother came up with the brilliant idea of assembling them into fans – replete with a handle she spray painted gray and tied with green and white ribbons.

The favors were my idea. Rather than just giving our guests something green and alive—representative of our new love and growing families – I wanted to include something practical, too! I decided planting succulents in wine glasses was the way to go. We included gray and white pebbles to help them drain and to reinforce our wedding colors. To give them an extra flair, I designed, printed, and assembled ‘thank-you’ tags for each of the gifts and secured them around the stems of the wine glasses with green and white ribbons. Our programs, invitation suite and ‘thank-you’ tags were adorned with an illustration designed by my very talented friend and colleague, Caitlin, owner and founder of AmendmentPress.com.

Finally, a dear friend and colleague of my husband, Mike, built our cupcake stand out of lumber he cut, finished, and assembled himself. It was the perfect touch to our woodlands theme!

ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE:

Whether you plan your wedding in a month or a year, you will spend the entire duration obsessing over every detail. The less time you give yourself, the less time you will spend worrying about the ‘big day.’ Even without commissioning a florist, wedding planner, coordinator, assistant, or print shop, we managed to plan what to me was the perfect wedding. I will say to book your venue first, but if you are short on time or cash, trust in your own creativity and the love, dedication, and determination that only family and friends can offer. You won’t be disappointed in the results! Also, at some point in the evening, try hard because it isn’t easy – to escape the crowds and wander off together to a place that allows you to see your reception in action. You never get to appreciate the entirety of your guests, decorations, music, and magic that collectively are Your wedding unless you are able to step away and watch it happen. You’ll appreciate taking the time to do it, if you’re able to.

 

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