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southern bridal luncheon | raleigh, nc wedding photographer

A couple of weeks ago, I had the distinct honour of photographing the bridal luncheon of my dear friend Dana at the Carolina Country Club. I am thrilled to be able to share these images with you – and to relive such a glorious day. I knew I would have fun photographing it, but I had no idea how I would be repeatedly touched and moved to tears over the course of the event. Dana’s mother’s best friend, Becky, hosted the beautiful luncheon, which at times, felt like a scene from a movie. It was fantastically and traditionally Southern…..and the focus, while always on Dana, also centered around the importance of friendship and the all the women – past, present and future – in her life.

Becky doesn’t do anything without going all out — which is evident in these gorgeous details. These little dresses, made out of intricate handkerchiefs, hung on a wire tree near the entrance to the room. Could they possibly BE any cuter??

Dana and her bridesmaids each received a personalized flute from which to drink their mimosas. What a lovely touch!
These gorgeous pink tulips served as centerpieces on each table – and on the cake. The dining room….what would an event for Dana be without pink? Lots and LOTS of pink! Dana and her mother shared a quiet moment and a laugh outside the club…love these two images!

Tears were plentiful that day — this is Dana and Vikki’s reaction upon entering the dining room.

The beautiful bride with her mother and Becky, the hostess…
A tender moment between mother and daughter – one of my favorite images. Can you feel the love? (it almost makes me want to break out in song!) Three generations of beautiful women….Mimi, Dana’s grandmother; Vikki, Dana’s mother; and the bride herself. All I can say is YOU GO MIMI! At 86 (I KNOW!!), you are still SMOKIN’!  Dana anxiously awaiting the arrival of friends and family…. BESTIES: Melanie and Cate…. Thanking God for friendship and the bond Dana shares with all the women in her life — and asking for a long life with Tim filled with love, joy and happiness….

The head table: the bride, her mother, the bridal party and the hostess… Becky spoke briefly about the important role each woman in the room played in Dana’s life: those from the past — relatives and others in the “village” who raised Dana along with some friends she’s had since middle school; those from the present: friends from recent events in her life; and those representing the future: the new family she’s gaining – a beautiful mother-in-law, a lovely stepmother-in-law, new cousins and even a new sister.  The Southern tradition of the bridesmaid’s charm pull from the cake….each one pulled a ribbon holding a different charm – each holding significance to Dana and her friends — a football (Dana’s a big Pirate fan), a Bible verse, a high heel and…a tube of lipstick (how appropriate for Dana to receive given she owns her own makeup line).  Dana was clearly touched by the poem Becky wrote and read about the girls and the meaning of each charm. Dana presented her bridesmaids with their gifts while the cake was being cut and served….and judging by their expressions, they were a big hit! Dana could have waxed poetic about the girls and the luncheon and her wedding…but she opted instead for one of the simplest, most genuine and heartfelt speeches I’ve ever heard at an event like this …. she simply said, amid tears, “Thank you. Just…THANK YOU!” And she meant it. The cake was as yummy as it looked… Tim’s mother Debbie – I love how you can see her love in how she looks at Dana in this image.  Dana with her bridesmaids…

Vikki and Miss Debbie sending Dana off with a kiss…

To see more, view the slideshow. I hope you enjoy it!

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