Katherine + Brendan | Feb 4, 2017
Winter greens and whites with shades of navy and gray warm up this classic and rustic winter wedding at a private residence in Raleigh, North Carolina
Katherine and Brendan met as coaches for a volleyball team. Over the course of the team’s season their relationship deepened, and after the season ended, they began dating. Within a few months it was game, set, match—they knew they’d each found “the one.”
Ten months later, Katherine went on a long trip and had a date scheduled with Brendan when she returned. Coincidentally, it was National Best Friend’s Day, and Brendan had a game plan.
The couple picked a February date for their wedding, since winter was their favorite season.They chose winter greens and whites accented with navy and gray to set a cooler tone and added rustic and winter-themed décor.
“The vision for the wedding was to capture winter without making it look like Christmas. Red was strictly forbidden!” Katherine said. “With winter in mind we had deep, dark hunter greens and pure white peppered about the tables and tent.The theme of the wedding was meant to be rustic but inviting, different but classic.”
True to the season, it was a chilly start to the big day, and Katherine snuggled with her cat and dog before getting dressed. It wasn’t hard for her to warm up to her wedding gown—it was the style she’d always wanted.
“I always knew I wanted a sweetheart neckline strapless gown that was A-line with a bow and tulle. The tulle turned out to be organza instead, and the bodice was covered in the most delicate, beautiful French lace,” said the bride. “The color of the dress caught my eye first, as it stood out from the rest by being blush. The thick ribbon around my waist set apart the lace from the organza and was a perfect finishing touch.”
Katherine accessorized with textured metallic stilettos and chose a similarly lustrous eyeshadow to accent her makeup look. Her loose updo was held in place with a crystal and pearl beaded comb.
Meanwhile, guests were filing into the small cathedral in the heart of downtown Raleigh. It’s stained glass windows and gold, ornate pendant chandeliers were enough to make the space wow on its own. The two classic white and greenery filled altar arrangements were just an added bonus.
Before heading to the church, Katherine and Brendan each took a moment to themselves to read the vows they wrote to each other.
“Vows are selected for you in a Catholic mass,so we decided to write each other vows to share before the ceremony,” said the bride.“We each had a special, private moment before heading to the church where we read each other’s promises straight from our own hearts.”
Brendan in his navy Hugo Boss suit with a black bow tie and his groomsmen in gray suits and navy ties all headed to the church to take their places at the front of the altar. They were followed by Katherine’s bridesmaids who wore floor-length navy gowns and carried bouquets with white hydrangeas and blush roses.
After everyone was standing in their spots, Katherine made her way down the aisle. Her bouquet included blue thistle and lots of blush roses to coordinate with her bridesmaids and her dress, and had white ranunculus, lamb’s ear and eucalyptus to fill it out. That walk down the aisle was the most anticipated moment of the day.
“What I anticipated most was looking my soon-to-be husband in the eyes as I walked down the aisle to him, knowing that this was the first day of the rest of our lives,” Katherine said.
The ceremony included personal ties and touches. Their priest had baptized Katherine as a child, and the couple selected some of their favorite scriptures for the readings. Afterward, the wedding party headed outside for some pictures while guests headed over to the groom’s family’s house for the reception.
Guests arrived at the tented reception, which showcased the winter-inspired theme, as well as handmade details. The table for cards and gifts included a pewter serving tray with a hand-lettered chalkboard, and a wooden card box with spruce and pinecone etchings that Brendan’s father made. Another framed chalkboard directed guests to the guest book, where they could underline and sign their favorite Bible verses for the couple to read later.
The décor inside the main tent was rustic yet warm and filled with classic touches. White drapery and chandeliers hung over the space, which was arranged with long wooden tables draped with white table runners. Every table was lush with dark winter greens, all mixed with white candles and tea lights. Some candles stood alone in hurricane vases, while others were set on top of wooden slabs, and the tea lights rested in snow-dusted bird’s nests.
Each placesetting had an escort card nestled into a pinecone, and the tables were named for evergreens to guide seating arrangements. The wedding party sat at the head table dressed in extra strands of eucalyptus and bud vases with thistle and roses, and behind them was a wood-paneled backdrop decorated with spruce and eucalyptus wreaths and the couple’s monogram, all hung with white ribbon.
The wedding cake was on display in the middle of the room on a table draped in a navy linen. Each of the cake’s three tiers was wrapped in greeneryand thistle, and the handmade caketopper was adorable. It wasa pineconebride with her veil and diamond, and her pinecone groom in his bow tie and top hat.On each side of the cake were two single-tiered cakes, as if the three tiers weren’t enough!
Thecouple offered extra spaces for guests to relax, including a lounge area with vintage white wooden chairs, brown plush pillows and white throw blankets. They also set up a hot chocolate station stocked with Bailey’s Original Irish Cream, peppermint, marshmallows, chocolate shavings, gray and white M&Ms, and cinnamon stirring sticks. And hot chocolate wasn’t the only way guests could keep warm.
“We were hoping for snow on our wedding day; instead, we just got the coldest day of the year,” Katherine said. “Good thing we had white blanket wedding favors that said, ‘To have and to hold in case you get cold!’”
In the end, the couple twirled their way into forever out on the dance floor, all night long.
Congratulations to Katherine and Brendan!
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