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Highgrove Estate Fuquay-Varina wedding | Michelle + Joe

As a wedding photographer, it’s so important to me that my couples and I connect on a personal level. We have to be around each other – closely – the entire day. There has to be a mutual “liking” of one another…And sometimes you just know. Like I know I’m going to simply adore a couple when their inquiry reads something like this: “We love your work and once we saw that you’re a Wolfpack girl, we stopped looking. We knew you are the one!” And adore them I do!

But not just because of the whole NC State thing (that just puts them over the top!). I adore them because of the way they are so smitten with each other. And because of the way they look at each other. And because of the importance they place on the things that really matter – like family. And friends. And the marriage. And because, well sometimes, you just know.

Michelle and Joe had a whopping three months engagement (yup – she totally pulled off this amazing wedding in three short months). Because she knew.

She knew that all the time in the world wouldn’t make her Highgrove Estate wedding any more amazing than it already was going to be. She knew that all she really wanted was to be surrounded by their family (and Joe has a BIG!! family) and friends in a celebration of their love. And she knew that Joe is her soul mate and that she was destined to be his wife. And she knew that waiting any longer was just wasting precious time that they could be spending together, creating a wonderful life together. She just knew.

Michelle and Joe, YOU. ROCK. MY. WORLD! Really, you do! You are proof that I truly do have the best couples in the world. Thank you to both of you – and to your precious families – for welcoming me into your lives and allowing me to document all the smiles, the laughs and the happy tears on your wedding day. I hope you will cherish these first (of many, I’m sure) photos of your new family and wish you a long LONG happy life together. Much love! OXOX ~Renee

Wedding vendors:

Ceremony/Reception: Highgrove Estate
Wedding Coordinator: Angela Wright of Highgrove
Flowers: Flowers on Broad Street
Officiant: Joseph Anfuso, Sr., father of the groom
Ceremony/Reception Music: Island Sound

Invitations & Stationery: Paper Cafe
Wedding Cake: Sweet Memories Bakery
Salon: Cameo Salon & Spa

Highgrove Estate provided the perfect setting for Michelle and Joe’s vintage glam wedding and reception!

What’s not to love about a red door? Especially when it serves as a backdrop for a moss-and-rose-covered heart! Love! Committing your life to the person of your dreams on a gorgeous sunny day overlooking a pond? Ummm…yes, please!
It was expected to be a bit windy and brisk during the ceremony, so Michelle and Joe provided each guest with a blanket to keep them warm. Such a thoughtful touch!
Their paper suite set the tone and added the perfect amount of “glam” to the day! 
A gorgeous gown for a gorgeous bride… This was Michelle’s baby bonnet that her Mom has saved all these years to convert into a handkerchief to be used on her wedding day. Such a sweet sentiment! Getting the bride into her gown is always such a special time for mother and daughter. Michelle’s mom Peg got a little choked up while helping her put on her gown.  The bridal suite at Highgrove offers a birds-eye view of the ceremony site and the guests. Michelle couldn’t help taking a quick peek! We had just a few minutes alone before she met her dad to walk down the aisle. We took advantage of that time together to take a few portraits. Michelle, you are just all kinds of gorgeousness!

You are stunning, Michelle. Seriously! S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G!
Meanwhile….in the groom’s suite… The bride’s nephew was the sign bearer….if you think he’s adorable here…just wait…. until you see him carrying his sign to lead the bride down the aisle. Cutest. kid. ever!  I love this shot of Joe waiting for his bride… anticipation …gives way to the biggest smile when he finally sees her! If it looks like the officiant is unusually happy to see a bride walk down the aisle, it’s because he’s Joe’s dad. And is thrilled to gain a new daughter! Michelle’s parents didn’t lose a daughter…they gained a son whom they adore! Such a heartfelt moment between the two most important men in Michelle’s life… I. heart. Highgrove! Warm and happy family and friends… The look on the sign bearer’s face as he watches the proceedings is priceless….a mixture of awe and approval! Joe’s nephews captured it all… The happy couple…ready to celebrate with their family and friends.
Love. Love. LOVE! Cutting up with the bridal party with chocolate lips and mustaches from the candy bar… Too cute! Portraits of the happy couple… These make me wish every venue had a swing!

Work it Michelle! Rawr! I loved Michelle’s simple grey and cream color scheme for the day…so elegant…
Beautiful florals designed by Flowers on Broad Street
… This Sweet Memories Bakery  cake was as yummy as it was pretty!  Michelle and Joe opted for a candy bar as favors for their guests – it was a big hit with young and old alike! These white marshmallow candies held the rings perfectly and made for a fun ring shot… Welcome to the new Mr. and Mrs…. A beautiful first dance…
Michelle’s dad welcomed guests and offered a blessing before the meal… Michelle and Joe provided “accessories” at the children’s table to keep them entertained…. Michelle and Joe danced the parent dances together …  and then invited the other parents to join in as well…. A heartfelt – and funny – toast from Joe’s best friend/best man… After cutting the cake…it was time to for everyone – groom included – to shake their groove thing… I love when couple’s incorporate an “anniversary” dance into their celebration… In a fun tribute to Joe’s Italian heritage, guests circled the happy couple as the DJ played That’s Amore…and each time those famous words were sung, the entire group rushed in to hug them. 
Now THAT’S amore!

It appears someone wanted that garter so badly he had to cheat….with one of the groom’s nephews, no less… The bouquet and garter toss led to some interesting “after catch” antics… Now there’s a look! Priceless!
A big kiss before the big send-off…

Many thanks to Brooke Wolfe for assisting me with this wedding! You are awesome!



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