Elegant Merrimon-Wynne House Wedding
How did you and your fiance meet and begin dating? Parker and I both attended East Carolina University, were members of Greek Life, and majored in Construction Management all around the same time we never formally met. Our relationship is one that proves the corny love sayings are true such as “timing is everything.” We were destined to meet years later. Our love story began back in the Winter of 2013, on an enchanting Friday evening at a Carolina Hurricanes game. At the time I was a cheerleader for the NHL Team, the Carolina Hurricanes. I will never forget that night when our eyes locked for the first time. It was magical and something neither one of us could explain. I was working the game and he was a spectator in my section. He was with a group of friends I recognized who also attended East Carolina University. As soon as he found his seat, he looked up and our eyes met. Throughout the game we kept making eye contact and flirted from afar. He even had his friends do a chant saying, “Let’s go Storm Squad!” After the game ended, we could not stop thinking about each other. Strangely enough, we BOTH contacted mutual friends of ours to set us up! Our first date was not too long after that night with a large group date and it has been history ever since. How did you and your fiance? get engaged?Marriage is something we discussed early on in our relationship. We knew that we were soulmates, and marriage was in the not-so-distant future. With that being said, he had to work really hard to surprise me for the proposal. Our happy-place to get away for the weekends is Emerald Isle, North Carolina, where his family owns a vacation home. We frequently visited Emerald Isle during the off-season weekends to have a cozy, laid back weekend with just the two of us. Our weekend routine at the beach consisted of grilling nice steaks, eating lunch at Big Oak, and going fishing. While I knew a proposal was not too far off, I had no clue that it would be one of these weekends. When packing I asked him if we were going out anywhere and he said no. He even asked me to go to Whole Foods to get the steaks! He never lets me pick out steaks as he thinks of himself as the grill master and I thought there’s no way he is going to propose this weekend. As we were getting ready that morning to head to the beach to go fishing, Parker was rushing me to get ready even more than he normally does on a regular day. He told me I looked fine over and over to get me to hurry up. I still had no clue because if you know Parker, nothing gets him more excited than hunting or fishing. While he set up his fishing spot, I took my dog on a walk on the beach. I must have taken too long because he was calling me and texting me to head back in his direction. When I got back we were approached by a woman who claimed she was with the Chamber of Commerce of Emerald Isle and asked to take a few pictures and told us just to interact. It was in the middle of one of our pictures when I turned to face Parker, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him on March 21st, 2015. He had actually hired the photographer to catch the entire proposal. Still in shock, we posed for a few pictures and called our families. To my surprise, both of our families’ start walking out over the dunes with champagne in hand. We took family pictures on the beach, and the photographer captured the entire moment perfectly. The photographer also arranged spectacular a sunset photoshoot on the beach for us. The photographer was so wonderful, we hired her for our wedding. She has been with us throughout the entire process from the very start!Where do you and your husband now live? What are your professions?Samantha and Parker reside in the North Hills area of Raleigh, North Carolina. The couple’s passions lie within the construction industry as Samantha works with Caterpillar Equipment sales, and Parker is currently a Project Manager for a local General Contractor.
Tell us a little about your wedding planning experience – How did you choose your venue/theme/vendors?As soon you get engaged, it becomes very overwhelming to begin the wedding planning process. In my mind I already had an idea how I wanted my wedding to be. I wanted a venue that can facilitate the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. A one-stop shop, if you will. The venue needed to have an outdoor ceremony option. I started the process by researching venues in the Raleigh area. I ran into a friend at the grocery store a week after we had gotten engaged. She recently started working for the Merrimon-Wynne and asked if I had considered that as a venue. After I saw the house, and finding out that I could be one of the first brides to use the new carriage house facility, I was in love! I was on a wait-list for my original wedding date, as Merrimon-Wynne books over a year out, but I was lucky enough to score the May wedding date! After setting the date and venue, everything fell into place. The vendor search began as I sought out a day-of-coordinator. I planned the wedding myself, but needed someone to organize and orchestrate the event. My mother and I attended a wedding show at the NC State Fair grounds that April to meet prospective coordinators. The first coordinator I met at the show I immediately clicked with was, Erin, at Chestnut and Vine Weddings. I looked to Lula Kate as the designer for my bridesmaid’s dresses as her frocks are well-known as a classic southern style. The colors and fabrics available worked well with my theme. The style I selected for my bridesmaids was the “Zoe” made in Poly Shantung fabric, short-tulip style skirt, in the color ”sky”. “Sky” was a soft, pastel blue that worked well with my pastel palette theme. The ladies at Bella Bridesmaids in Cary were super helpful in helping me choose the styles, fabrics, color, and ordering process! I have to give my husband credit to finding our fabulous wedding photographer and making that step easy in the process! He hired Ellen Leroy Photography to capture our engagement. Our families were so pleased with how wonderful she was to work with and the quality of the pictures we had to book her! She traveled to Southport for our engagement photo session, Raleigh for my bridal portrait session, and back to Raleigh for the wedding. She was very always very responsive and creative.What were your wedding colors and did you have a theme? How did you make this event personal?A Southern Spring Pastel Party became my theme/inspiration throughout the wedding planning process when we set the date for May 2016. My mind was already filled with images of lush spring blooms consisting of peonies, hydrangeas, and roses amongst the classic beauty of the Merrimon-Wynne House. Parker and I are both born and raised in Eastern North Carolina. We had the same vision of how we wanted our wedding to reflect our upbringing and personalities. I did not choose set colors, but wanted a full palette of pastels accented by gold. My bridesmaids were adorned in a pastel, powder blue ruffled collar dress made of the classic shantung fabric with tulip skirt by Lula Kate of Charleston, SC. His groomsmen sported the ever-dapper, classically- Southern white dinner jacket tuxedos. When selecting the table linens, I chose different textures and colors for different areas of the property. A light celery green linen was draped over the cocktail tables in the house, a blush shantung for the cocktail tables on the side porch of the house and carriage house, and a champagne satin topped paisley lace runner for the reception tables. Parker is an avid outdoorsman and would spend every day hunting and fishing if he was able. Antlers and hunting became the accent theme and special detail to our wedding to incorporate his passions. Antlers were featured on our powder blue cocktail napkins printed in gold foil with antlers surrounding our names, painted gold antlers on the cake table, and our coozies. Parker’s crafty, dexterous sister built a set of corn hole boards from scratch for a lawn game during the cocktail hour. She stained the wood a dark mahogany and hand painted deer head with the letter “H”. My personal favorite touch to this theme were the iced sugar cookies that surrounded our cake. The cookies were in the shapes of antlers with white icing and German Shorthaired Pointers with powder blue icing. Parker and I have a German Shorthaired Pointer, Duke, who we love dearly and anyone who knows us knows about Duke. To continue with this theme, Parker wore antique Pewter German Shorthaired Pointer cufflinks with his white dinner jacket tuxedo. The bowtie worn by only Parker, the groom, was black and white made of Guinea feathers by Brackish Bowties of Charleston, South Carolina.What made our wedding special to Parker and myself, was the fact the officiant for our ceremony was my Grandfather. Currently, he serving as a magistrate and has married numerous members of our family. Since I was a teenager I had always planned on my grandfather being the one to marry me when the time came, but over the course of the years his heart health had declined. A quadruple bypass, several heart attacks, stints, and a few hospital stays he made it to my big day! We were able to integrate Parker’s side of the family in our ceremony by having his grandfather perform the reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Photographer: Ellen LeRoy Photography//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Mens Warehouse //Band:Al Williams Band//Dress Designer:Astrid and Mercedes//Apparel:Brackish Bowties //Event Planner: Chestnut & Vine Day-of Wedding Coordination//Cake Designer:Joy Bauer//Heirlooms and extras:Kate Spade//Bridesmaid Dresses: Lula Kate Bridal//Floral Designer:Meristem Floral //Shoes: Mischka Badgley//Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar//Equipment Rentals: Party Reflections Inc//Favors and Gifts: Sip Sip Hooray//Event Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House//Dress Store: Traditions by anna//Invitation Designer:Wedding Paper Divas//Makeup Artist:Wink Hair & Makeup //