This wedding is really special to me because Claire is someone who I’ve gotten to document over many years. We met through my sister in law and lucky for me, the Murphy’s have been family friends that have adopted me in. Their daughters Katie and Claire were great friends with my husband and his sister, and pretty much the rest is history.
Claire approached me about photographing her Wilmington ,NC fall wedding, and I was nothing but excited, and over joyed to get the chance to document something so special, to my dear friend.
Their wedding day was the day before Halloween, which provided a beautiful landscape of fall colors that surrounded not only our location but the wedding details themselves.
Claire, and her bridesmaids got ready at the Hilton Riverside, in downtown Wilmington, NC. The girls had gotten their hair and makeup done prior to arriving at the Hilton, and were just missing the small touches to complete their transformations for the big day.
Her details were beautiful, from her beautiful white gown that was encrusted in beautiful lace to the beautiful Antonio Melani white ballet shoes. What really cute detail was the fact that Claire’s rings came with a small bean that read, I LOVE YOU… I mean, come on! How adorable, right?
Claire was helped by her beautiful bridesmaids who ranged from longtime friends, to her own sister (I said, her sister, soulmate) Katie. Their friendship surpasses sisterhood. Katie and Aimee (long time childhood friend) were gentle and careful as they helped her into her gown. Katie made sure every bead, and seam was perfect for her little sister to walk down the aisle to.
They giggled, and played around in the room till it was time to head over to our ceremony site. The girls had one last chance to touch up, and than they were off to 128 South their ceremony site.
There was hanging lights, globes, a beautiful staircase that was aligned with fall flowers. Some of the stairs even s had ome acorn squash that added that little extra touch.
128 south is a charming location in downtown Wilmington, NC. I had always wanted to shoot here and I was so grateful for such a beautiful space to photograph. They had stained glass, hardwood floors, and even a cute fireplace at the loft area above the main seating area. If you weren’t into sitting at a table the whole tine, you even had a space you can just lounge and chat at.
The place settings were beautiful. The hemp color was complimented with a burgundy red napkin. The bride and groom had cute little almond eggs that also were placed on the tables for their guest. Each table had a set of flowers that ranged from hydrangeas, and lilies.
Claire and her family awaited upstairs, while the guest gathered at the ceremony site. Katie signed the wedding license, and it all started to unfold.
Claire’s dad walked her down the aisle. They shared a small moment, and headed towards the staircase and made their way to the top of the balcony where her groom stood.
Mike was patiently waiting for his bride at the altar. The music started, and all that was heard was awe’s by the friends and family that gathered to see this beautiful union. It was a beautiful fall day, the air was crisp and the sun warmed the balconies wooden panels. The guest had a front row view of not only a beautiful riverside sunset, but the view of two lives joining into one…
Claire, was beaming with excitement, as her and her father walked down the aisle.
Her father not only gave her away to Mike, but he also accepted Mike as their new son.They held hands through the ceremony, and starred into each others eyes.
The ceremony was beautiful. They exchanged their rings, recited their vows, and sealed the union with a beautiful kiss. I don’t think there is any type of words that can describe the happiness that both Claire and Mike exuded. It was awesome!
Claire is a bowl of laughter, giggles, sarcastic sunshine, and sillyness all into one. She is kind, sweet, generous, and probably the most funniest woman I have ever been lucky to meet, and her personality definitely came through our stolen moments 🙂
After the ceremony and some quick family portraits, I stole our bride and groom to a special location nearby. It was filled with lavish oranges, and green’s.. It was a beautiful spot, for a beautiful couple. They laughed, and giggled along the way, making my job, oh so much easier. We dashed through the street as we played with the light that was left of the day.
(*Thank you to the fabulous bridal party for allowing me to make you run to our locations, you were awesome =) )
Mike was handsome in his tux, and was the perfect groom for his beautiful bride. They walked backed to 128 South where they were reunited with their family and guest, and they followed their introductions with their first dance.
Mike was all gleams with his beautiful bride by his side, as they coasted through their reception. The guest enjoyed a beautiful dinner and were lucky to witness some really awesome toast made by family and close friends.
(My favorite toast of the night was by Katie, being close to my own sisters, it was hard not to tear up, as I witnessed how beautiful and close their relationship was).
There cake was a frosting based cake, with beautiful red, purple, and green carnations. The cake also had some of the table side flowers that were used as their toppers.
The bride and groom, could not wait to dig into this beautiful masterpiece! 🙂
After the toast, they cut their cake, mingled a few and headed out to the balcony for some evening fun.
Claire showed off her beautiful second dress, a white version of her bridesmaid’s dresses, which fitted like a glove. She definitely had the Marylin Monroe thing going on!
Now the night, was officially theirs.. They served cake outside, and the families danced, and danced, and danced some more.
The bride danced with her dad, the groom with his mom, they danced for the first time as husband and wife, and their parent’s joined in on the fun.. What was awesome about this special day was that Claire and Mike shared their wedding day, with her mom and dad! Claire’s wedding was also her parent’s anniversary, and they were able to share the dance floor as well too!
They even got a beautiful send off with sparkles that illuminated the night.
Location: Wilmington, NC
Photographer: Paula Stauffer
Venue & Catering : 128 South Front Street
Bride Prep Spot: Hilton Riverside
***Claire and Mike, I wish you all the happiness in your forever marriage. I know that you two are genuinely in it for the long haul. I love how you make each other laugh, even without words. I love your care free, and light-hearted approach to love and life itself. You two, are sweet, caring, funny, extraordinary funny might I say, and I can’t imagine the beautiful life that will and is being created already for you. Congrats again, and thank you for letting me in on a such a special day in your story book.