This was our first time shooting at Highgrove Estate and y’all, I love it. Sara & Stephen picked a beautiful venue for their November wedding. It had been forever since we had this wonderful couple in front of cameras for their engagement session last spring, and it was great to see them so happy and loved on their wedding day. These two are incredibly kind and genuine and I’m happy we got to spend the day with them. Sara even had gifts for us at the rehearsal dinner! You’ll definitely be seeing a cameo from my “Editing Day” wine glasses in instagram stories before too long.
More of their story interspersed with the images below, but I always like to give shoutouts to my vendor friends first:
Venue & Catering: Highgrove Estate
Hair: Melinda Iannone
Makeup: Diana Psallidas, Beach Beauty
Transportation: White Horse
Florist: Flowers on Broad Street
Officiant: Katherine Edwards
DJ: Steven Mayes, Bunn DJ Company
And Kivus & Camera (thaaaat’s us!) with the images:
Sara, the moms, the bridesmaids, and even a flower girl got hair and makeup done at Sara & Stephen’s new house in North Raleigh. And that meant I got to meet a couple of Sara’s pets. Win for me!!!
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat – it made him my new assistant!
When it was time to head to Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina, everyone piled into a White Horse shuttle and we arrived to this beautiful sight. The day was gorgeous, if a little cold, but Highgrove’s fireplaces kept the chill mostly at bay.
One of my favorite parts of prep was Sara scolding her bridesmaids and making them turn around if they started to cry. NO TEARS YET!
The guys arrived a little later all dressed and more or less ready to go, so there might have been some pacing in the down time. But also jokes and beer (with purple and gold koozies for ECU).
Sara & Stephen did not want to see one another before the ceremony, but they did opt for a first touch and a letter exchange. But someone forgot her letter. (Spoiler alert: Stephen married her anyway.) I hope y’all remembered to read them to each other when you got home though!
Sara did have a first look with her dad. The staircase at Highgrove was made for this kind of moment. The way the light came in through the front windows, the look on her dad’s face, her mom crying. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
And then it was time to line up for the ceremony. Stephen’s brothers were his co-best men and their daughters were hands down the best flower girls I have ever seen.
I’m totally serious about best flower girls here. Look at this technique! What a perfect path for the bride to walk down.
Okay they were really cute, but the woman of the moment is Sara, and Stephen had nothing but smiles for her.
The girls were in awe too.
Katherine, one of my favorite vendor friends, presided over the short and sweet ceremony in the courtyard overlooking the fall colors.
Hey, you did it!!! My favorite sort of faces are the oh my gosh we’re married faces 😀
A good pause for some fall foliage backed group photos. How great are those bridesmaids dresses? I love the different shades of pink/purple, and the way they sort of ombre into the guys’ dark red ties.
And of course we had to make portraits of the newlyweds. Veil love!!!
Inside the reception hall, the chandeliers and fairy lights in the ceiling kept everything feeling nice and warm. The fireplace behind the sweetheart table helped too.
Sara entered the party with a belt change and a flower crown! I love finding subtle ways to change up the look from ceremony to reception.
This setting is sheer perfection. I love the ceiling.
Sara’s sister and Stephen’s brothers gave toasts, and all three were fantastic. Alexia had the whole crowd laughing and Sara indignant when she told a story about Stephen coming to her to say he was going to propose. Alexia’s response had been “are you sure you want to?” Stephen’s brothers were not any easier on him. Sara’s faces tell us all we need to know about the hilarious stories they told about Stephen, the coolest Stackhouse brother.
Table 2 was a raucous crowd of some of Stephen’s friends and they got fired up during the toasts. Luckily for them, the cake cutting was right next to their table. I don’t know what was happening behind me to make Sara make that face though.
Parent dances included plenty of smiles.
And then the dance floor was open for business.
The shortest girl caught the bouquet. She’s only 10 though, so I told her to stay single a little while longer.
This picture on the right? The gentleman in the plaid coat and the tiny dancer were in a full on dance battle for most of the night. A lot of skill demonstrated by both. I don’t think I have the qualifications to declare a victor.
Everyone tried to hold onto the heat from the dance floor as they made their way outside to send the newlyweds off with sparklers. A kiss will cap off the day perfectly!