Rainy, Summer Beach Wedding Ceremony and Modern, Fun Downtown Reception | Topsail Island, NC & Raleigh, NC | Jean and Suzy
I first met Jean and Suzy at their home here in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their wedding planner, Gretchen of Redbird Events, had paired us up as Jean and Suzy had specified that they wanted someone who was creative, and my name floated to the top of the hat. I arrived at their home a little before the planner, and was greeted by their dog Ripley (who I hit it off with right away, because dogs and I are like peanut butter and jelly) before sitting down to talk with Jean and Suzy. Almost right out of the gate, they pointed to a picture of Ripley on the wall that was their favorite. It was very heavy in the shadows and really only gave you just enough clues as to what the photo was of, and they talked about how much they love that photo and I knew instantly that we could create something beautiful for them.
One thing I learned about Jean and Suzy during our first meeting was how passionate they are not just about the ocean, but about exploring it as scuba divers and that they had spent some time traveling and adventuring into the ocean. So it wasn't a big shock when they shared with me that they would be having their ceremony in Topsail Island, just on the coast of North Carolina and just north of Wilmington, and then they wouldn't be having their more traditional reception until a month later in downtown Raleigh at Solas Restaurant.
Their wedding ceremony at Topsail Island was absolutely beautiful even though we had an overcast and slightly rainy day. They kept their ceremony out on the beach, at the waters edge, and kept their guest count small. It was simple and it was amazing, and to get to watch the intimate interactions between their family and friends was just awesome! As soon as they exchanged their vows and sealed it with a kiss, the music started, everyone started dancing and I believe there were a few bubble guns as well to add to the fun.
As I mentioned, the ocean is a very integral part to who Suzy and Jean are not just as individuals but as a couple as well. I knew that we needed to find a unique way to incorporate that aspect of their lives into an epic wedding day portrait. And so as the storm was coming in and the waves were getting bigger, we walked along the edge of the water, up the massive tidal sand bags, until we found a perfect expansive view of the ocean and we made a photos that they now love that feel before they see and that is everything.
The night ended with an amazing dinner, great conversation, and some silly singing and dancing. It was a honor to be included in all of this from the start to the finish, and to see Jean and Suzy in their element with close friends and relatives was humbling. I talk about it a lot, but being welcomed into that inner circle of people's lives is beyond words for me, to feel included even for just a short while speaks volumes to me and makes me want to work so much harder for my couples.
A month later, they invited more family, more friends and colleagues to enjoy another night of celebration in downtown Raleigh, at Sola Restaurant. They had an amazing elaborately decorated cake, some great food and DJ Ryan The DJ killed it on the turntables all night long. I couldn't be more thankful to Jena and Suzy for trusting in my work and to allow me to play a small role in their rainy, summer beach wedding ceremony and modern, fun downtown reception celebration. And without further ado, come check it out for yourself!