After a lovely break in August (let’s face it, getting married in August is great, but wow it’s hot), I climbed back onto the wedding train (hahaha) with Mandy & Cary’s wedding at the Hayes Barton Church and reception at the Stockroom in downtown Raleigh. Mandy & Cary probably look somewhat familiar if you follow my blog – I posted their Raleigh engagement pictures a few months ago – as you can probably tell, we had a great time!
Having never photographed at either Hayes Barton Baptist Church or the Stockroom before, I started my day a little early to setup lights and survey the church before the festivities got underway. Mandy was getting ready at the Marriott City Center in downtown Raleigh, so it was a quick trip from their to both the Church and wedding reception. There are so many different aspects of the wedding that I love but, honestly, being around while the bride is getting ready is definitely at the top. It’s a great “quiet” time (well, most of the time it’s quiet) where I get to chat with the bride, her friends and family. It really helps set the tone of the rest of the day and, as was the case for Mandy, just lends to the building excitement for the big day!
We headed over to the ceremony location where Mandy was getting dressed and I must say, it was a really great location! I literally got to pick where the Mandy got dressed (of course I picked the prettiest room) with the best light. Mandy & Cary decided to see each other before the ceremony and, yet another first for me, was having the bride give “bunny ears” to the groom before he turned around, LOL. We got all the formal groups shot before the ceremony and, after we wrapped up, we all got a chance to kick back for a minute before the ceremony. Hayes Barton church, having grown up in Raleigh, holds a special place in my heart as they’ve been broadcasting church services from there for quite some time. Not to mention that many, many highly visible figures and politicians attend or hold services here. So to shoot Mandy & Cary’s wedding was definitely a very cool treat for me.
After the ceremony, we headed down to the Stockroom in downtown where a live band, a huge assortment of delicious pies and cakes from Katrina at Sugarland were waiting for us. While I will not incriminate myself, I can truthfully say WOW, the blackberry pie was amazing. 🙂 Surrounded by their close friends and family, Mandy and Cary came into the Stockroom (which has antique plank wood floors and exposed brick walls) and got right into their first dance. After they and their parents danced, a great menu was presented (and subsequently decimated – it was that good) and a few emotional and funny toasts were shared, it was game on! The band got the party started and the singer was in the middle of the dance floor keeping the party going. Seriously, it was one of the most lively dance floors I have seen this year.
As we decided to head into the reception immediately following the wedding, we waited to do our couples portraits at night in and around downtown. Unfortunately, the humidity was so overbearing that within 20 seconds of walking outside, my lenses completely fogged. 20 minutes later, they were still fogged so we stayed inside. Call it divine intervention or just inspiration, but I think we made the right choice. 🙂 I hope you agree!
Mandy & Cary – thank you both for your overwhelming graciousness, hospitality and, well, just being so much fun to work with! Here is a short sampling of their photos!