The last Saturday of 2018 was a great one! Samantha & Kellan were married at Duke Chapel, and then partied all night at the Cotton Room with their friends and family. I was worried we’d have to deal with freezing temperatures while waiting in the arcades at Duke Chapel, but the weather was so kind to these two and their guests, some of whom had travelled from as far as Brazil and South Africa. You know you’re loved when people fly halfway across the world to spend a weekend with you!
The awesome team:
Getting ready & Reception Venue: The Cotton Room Durham
Ceremony Venue: Duke Chapel
Officiant: Brad Heckathorne
Florals: TreBella Florist
Band: Emerald Empire Band
Catering: The Cotton Room
Cake: Mad Hatter Bakeshop
Hair & Makeup: Sarai Galvan, friend of the bride
Bride’s dress: Luv Bridal, Denver
Invitations: Pretty Little Paper Company
Transportation: Carolina Livery
And of course, John & I
Don’t you love the ring box? So pretty!! And Samantha’s friend Sarai did such a great job with her hair and makeup. Samantha had an incredible group of women getting ready with her in the Cotton Room’s Lucky Strike Suite.
The bride was all smiles during prep, but the flower girl, while smiley most of the morning, was not thrilled about the whole hairspray thing.
Over in the Bull Durham Suite, Kellan was watching basketball and doing his own prep, including writing out his vows.
About 90 minutes before the ceremony it was time to head over to Duke Chapel for the finishing touches. Samantha put her dress on in the bridal suite at the Chapel and had a first look with her dad, who luckily had a handkerchief handy.
Just look at this emotion!! That is one proud dad. <3
Samantha & her friends made their way toward the front of the Chapel, where Samantha and Kellan had a first touch and a minute to chat before the ceremony.
And then it was time to get married!
I bleed Carolina Blue, but even I can acknowledge that Duke Chapel is insanely gorgeous. What a beautiful place to be married. And Samantha’s smile as she walked down the aisle was even more gorgeous. How is that even possible?!
A Catholic ceremony typically includes sitting and/or kneeling, so Catholic ladies, keep that in mind when you try on dresses 😉
Also, Samantha & Kellan wrote personal vows and both of them had me tearing up behind my viewfinder. This love is the real deal.
Seal those vows with a kiss and cheers from the guests.
Samantha and Kellan didn’t have a wedding party standing up with them, but Samantha still wanted to include her closest friends with readings and speeches. I love the way their mismatched dresses came together cohesively. And then they all checked out Kellan’s new bling after the ceremony.
Aaand the Duke Chapel tower shot! That thing is tall y’all. It’s hard to get it all in one frame. But we did it! And Samantha & Kellan look awesome!!
After portraits at the Chapel, we headed back to The Cotton Room. Before going upstairs though, we got a few more portraits of the newlyweds, and they had a chance to practice their first dance next door at Beltline Station.
Inside the Cotton Room, the decor was candlelit and green and white and beautiful. I especially love all the pine cones TreBella incorporated, from the centerpieces to the guys’ boutonnieres.
Toasts were mostly laughter, maybe a couple happy tears, and those were followed by Samantha & Kellan’s first dance and their parent dances. There are tons of good dancers in this crowd by the way. Since I can’t find a beat to save my life, I was definitely impressed.
Then it was time for dessert. (It should always be time for dessert.)
This next face!
After cake, Emerald Empire Band got the party going and everyone danced up a storm.
Kellan and some of his friends took a break downstairs for cigars…
…but the dance floor never stopped. The bride definitely didn’t!!
Time flies when you’re having fun, and before we knew it, the last dance was upon us. Samantha got the whole crowd into it.
Cap the official festivities with an exit amongst sparklers, but most of the crowd was headed to Shooters.
Congrats y’all!!! And Happy New Year’s Eve!