Sometimes a wedding can be slightly bittersweet for me. I know that sounds a bit odd but it was certainly the case for Chris & CJ’s Grand Marquise Ballroom wedding reception. I’ve been working with them both for almost a year now and between talking with Chris outside of his wedding (he is a wedding photographer), their engagement session, their destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico and now, their wedding reception, it feels like the end of an era now that their wedding festivities are over.
In case you are a bit confused, here’s the explanation. Chris & CJ decided to have their wedding in Cancun Mexico but have a reception locally so all of their family and friends could help them celebrate. The Grand Marquise Ballroom, in Garner, is a gorgeous location which, before this wedding, I had not previously been in. The room and foyer are all what you would expect to see in a high end ballroom with balconies, built in accent lighting (which changes colors), marble, mahogany, statues and, well, just an “air” about it.
As their friends and family weren’t present for the wedding, they decided to have an abbreviated ceremony at the reception before they started the party with their friends and family. One of the really unique aspects of this wedding reception, given my unique nature of knowing Chris & CJ very well and having been a witness at their wedding ceremony, was they asked that I give a toast. I was, well, quite honored and, of course, I did it. I can honestly say that was a highlight of my career as a wedding photographer. After the toast and cake cutting (yes, my assistant did photograph me giving the toast), Ryan from Spin got the party going and before we knew it, the night was over (always the sign of a good party) and it was time to leave.
Now, you KNOW since Chris is a photographer we had to do some cool stuff. We decided to get away from the Grand Marquise Ballroom and head into downtown Raleigh to get some urban portraits at night. One of the surprises from the wedding was Chris renting Christine’s favorite car, a Dodge Charger, for them to leave the wedding reception from. So, of course, we had to get that car into the act.
I want to thank Chris & CJ, from the bottom of my heart, for a wonderful experience with them through the past year. I could not imagine your wedding being any more special, to me at least, then it was. As always, here are a few choice photos from Chris & CJ’s wedding!