There is no better way to ring in a new year than surrounded by the ones you love. Brad & Chelsea did that at the Merrimon-Wynne house in Raleigh on Monday (/Tuesday once the ball dropped). John & I had a blast celebrating with them and some of our favorite vendors, including a new-to-us band that is now on our favorites list! The party was amazing and if that’s what sets the tone for 2019, then I can assure you it will be a great year.
Here is the amazing team that we said goodbye to 2018 with:
Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House
Planner & Florals: Kickstand Events
Hair & Makeup: Parlor Dry Bar
Ceremony Music: Adam Tierney & Dave Binanay
Catering: Beau Catering
Dessert: Slice Pie Company
Transportation: The Great Raleigh Trolley
Photos: Kivus & Camera, obviously
and that epic band I mentioned: Night Years
Let’s see how we said hello to 2019, starting with the house on a warm, but not so sunny winter day. Inside, the ladies were getting ready and I got my first look at Chelsea’s awesome pink shoes. Aren’t those the best?
Brad arrived a little later with their son Ned in tow. Little Ned got passed around to loved ones while Brad put on his tux (and helped Chelsea’s dad with his bowtie).
And then it was time to unveil the tiniest tuxedo ever. How great does Ned look?!?! Mom fixing his bowtie and everything. The coldest hearts would melt.
Not to be outdone by her son, Chelsea had an amazing dress and looked positively gorgeous. Once she was buttoned up, there was some time to chill out and relax. Relaxed getting ready time is pretty much standard for Kivus & Camera couples (you can’t spend energy on stressing out before the wedding if you want to party all night, and Kivus & Camera couples like to party all night), but Ned and Chelsea taking a break on the couch in the Merrimon-Wynne bridal room really takes calm to the next level.
But then Brad was ready and it was time for the first look.
And some family portraits outside:
As we worked through some group photos, the daylight disappeared, and the sky turned a lovely winter blue so we had to grab some more dramatic shots before everyone hid away to await the ceremony.
At 6:30 (five and a half hours to go until 2019) the ceremony started.
Everyone headed back into the main house for cocktail hour, which included oysters and other delicious appetizers. One of my favorite parts of the decor was a box for collecting Notes for Ned. Brad & Chelsea had their guests write little letters to Ned as a guest book. LOVE.
Fun fact: Chelsea & I were in law school together, and quite a few of our classmates were in attendance. I love how weddings can become mini-reunions. (Also, you can tell John took that group shot because he’s so much taller than I am).
Meanwhile, Sally and the Kickstand team had flipped the Carriage House from ceremony space to a dinner site for about 160 people, and Night Years was warming up to keep the party going through midnight.
That party started with Chelsea & Brad’s first dance and a welcome from the father of the bride.
Earlier, I mentioned the energy it takes to party all night. You need fuel for that kind of energy, and Beau is the man to provide that fuel. He delivered the newlyweds’ plates to them himself. Delicious food and service with a smile? Hire him!!
After dinner, we had a couple more toasts. I always love toasts from siblings. They’ve known you the longest and usually have insightful observations.
But wait, there’s more food!! Slice Pie is, for lack of a better word, everything. Chelsea & Brad cut that Double Chocolate Chess Pie instead of a cake, but there were half a dozen different pie varieties for their loved ones.
After parent dances, Night Years got everyone on the dance floor, and then the band played hard for two and a half hours straight. Damn.
I’m so glad I was at this party. Everyone was having a blast sending off 2018.
About 11:30, the party hats and noise makers came out.
The band counted down the last seconds of 2018 and our newlyweds started off 2019 with a kiss and champagne.
All the bubbly!
Even New Years’ Eve weddings have to end at some point, so 20 minutes into the new year, Chelsea & Brad’s guests sent them off with sparklers out front of Merrimon-Wynne.
Happy New Year y’all!! I can’t think of a better way to cap off Kivus & Camera’s 2018.