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st. david’s/north hills club wedding: erin-elizabeth + matt – part I

It was the day Erin-Elizabeth had dreamed about forever. One that she and Matt had been planning for months. They were surrounded by all the people who love them. Their dearest family members and their closest friends. But one important person was missing—her  father was not there to walk her down the aisle. EE wanted a wedding with all the normal traditions in place, including having her father give her away. This was not meant to be however, for her father died when she was just four. His body was gone, but thanks to dear friend Aimee, his memory was alive and well on this day. Knowing how much she wished her father could walk her down the aisle, Aimee attached a photo of young EE and her father to the lace wrapped stems of her bridal flowers.

EE’s walk down the aisle on the arm of Aimee’s husband Rick was truly one she will never forget, thanks to the most special remembrance of her father. I can’t help but think he was watching from above, proud that his little girl was now marrying a man who loves her just as much as he did.

Matt didn’t need words to tell the world how he feels about EE. The look on his face when she appeared at the top of that massive staircase and ascended it toward him said it all. He watched her walk that long aisle through tear-filled eyes, thinking she was the most beautiful woman in the world. And EE looked at him with such love and adoration – and anticipation to start their life together. It was as if all time and movement stopped and they were the only two people there.

I absolutely loved their minister and wish all of them would take the time to get to know their wedding couples and to incorporate personal stories and tidbits about them into the wedding message. And to really help them remember the day for what it is. Pastor Franklin has seen couples can get caught up in hoopla of the day, and his goal was for EE and Matt was for them to take a step back from the wedding and see the really important things.

So he turned EE and Matt around to face their friends and family. To face the most important people in their lives as they committed themselves to one another. To look in the eyes of those who were supporting them on their wedding day. And to have the opportunity to not be swept away in it all and to be very present in the moment. To remember the day as the beginning of their marriage, not just their wedding.

EE and Matt, I hope you will always see each other with the same loving eyes that you had today and that you will grow to love each other more with each passing day! Thank you for allowing me to share your day through my eyes. I’m honored.  Renee

And many, many thanks to my dear friend Tanya Odom from Winston-Salem for photographing this wedding with me.

Ceremony: St. David’s School Chapel

Wedding coordinator: Aimee Kelso

Flowers: Aimee Kelso/Beverly Crane

Hair and Makeup: Samuel Cole Salon

With a noon ceremony, we started the morning pretty early with the kind gals over at Samuel Cole Salon. They treated EE, her mom and her bridal party like queens that morning. I love to see a happy bride as she’s about to leave the salon. Definitely makes for a great start to the day! Time to head over to St. David’s School and Chapel where the ceremony was to be held.
If you think the outside of this chapel is pretty, just WAIT until you see the inside of it. It’s gorgeous. And apparently one of  Raleigh’s best-kept secrets.

While the girls moved their things into the dressing room and began putting on their makeup, Tanya and I took a few minutes to grab some detail shots of the dress, rings and flowers.

Her flowers were gorgeous and really popped with her gray and white color scheme. 
This is the memento Aimee surprised EE with — lace from her gown wrapped around the stems with a photo of EE and her dad attached. I’m positive EE will always remember this.

As a musician myself, I’m always curious what selections brides or other musicians make. As I was leaving the sanctuary with EE’s flowers, I happened to look over and saw this. I’m not sure if there could have been a more appropriate piece of music on the organ at that time.  

That Aimee thought of everything — including yellow and grey tissues for the bridal party.  Getting beautiful with the girls….

Putting on the gown is always such a special time between mother and daughter…

Such a beautiful bride… And don’t forget the garter – oooh la la! (though with Matt in grad school at State, it is definitely the wrong color!) 🙂 Finishing touches… Aimee gave EE her flowers and this was the exact moment she realized what was on them. She was so surprised and moved to tears by this sweet gesture. And so were we. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the entire room.

EE and her younger sister share a good cry… EE’s mother AND soon-to-be mother in law try to help her regain her composure.

Always count on good friends for touch-ups…

While I was capturing all the emotional highs and lows with the girls, Tanya was photographing the guys as they were getting ready.

Cool lego cufflinks for all the guys…

Isn’t the groom supposed to be a little nervous on his wedding day? Matt seems calm, cool and collected as he dresses….

Getting help with the cufflinks from one of the groomsmen…

And a great shot of the tie and the cufflinks!

How stinkin’ cute is EE’s little nephew? I am just dying over those freckles!

Pinning the boutiniere – the final touch!

Tanya grabbed this shot of the chapel before the ceremony. Is this place gorgeous or what?

I love this image of Matt waiting and watching EE. I love when groom’s aren’t afraid to show their emotions when they see their brides… EE’s mom had a similar reaction to her entrance… Here comes the bride — Tanya’s view… and my view… I love the look on EE’s face as she sneaks a peek at her sisters. Pastor Franklin was talking about the early stages of EE and Matt’s relationship…and Matt’s reaction to how much EE talked. And talked. And talked. They were all laughing because it’s so true.
The moment when the pastor had them turn around and drink in the moment. One of their favorite memories of the entire day.
I love this shot Tanya snagged of one of the guests taking a photo of the happy couple… Time for the vows — and promising forever to each other… Tears of joy …
Making it official with the rings… I would love to know just what is going through EE’s mind at this very moment. I love this! The look of happiness and relief… More tears of joy from EE’s neice and nephew.
LoveloveLOVE this photo of EE and her nephew. He’s gonna be a heartbreaker!
As soon as the ceremony was over and EE and Matt walked out of the chapel, the bottom dropped out of the sky. We waited it out for a bit and fortunately the sun came out for about 15 minutes — just long enough for us to take some quick wedding day portraits.  Love this! Matt, your eyes are mesmerizing! EE is a traditionally southern bride and the gorgeous windows inside the chapel made for the perfect setting for her.
The guys looking dapper for Tanya… And the girls showing a little ‘tude…. I love a sassy bride! The gorgeous wrap-around porch of the school office was the perfect southern setting for their portraits.

I love the sheer look of contentment on these two at this moment. 
One of my favorites!
I love when my couple’s get goofy. Always makes for a great moment.
Maybe my most favorite. EE is looking fierce in this image!

Stay tuned for the next blog post featuring fun images from the reception! And if you missed their engagement blog post, you can see it here.

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