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Going with the “Flo” during Hurricane Florence

Lauren + Michael |

Burgundy, ivory and gold hurricane wedding with elegant and traditional flair at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina

Five years ago, Lauren started out as an intern working under Michael for about a week. Shortly after her internship, she was hired as a full time employee and got to spend time actually getting to know Michael, instead of reporting to him. Just before she left the company to start elsewhere, her and Michael went on their first official date and never looked back.

One of Lauren’s favorite places is the beach, so Michael knew when the time came to propose that it would happen at the beach. When the couple took a family vacation with his family to Ocean Isle over the summer, he knew it would be the perfect time. Toward the end of the trip, the two took an evening sunset stroll along the pier. On the way back toward the house, Michael stopped and got down on one knee and the wedding planning began. 

A year later, the couple had planned the perfect wedding for September – or so they thought. Mother Nature had other plans but that didn’t stop Lauren and Michael from carrying on and “going with the Flo.” Hurricane Florence was set to make landfall in Charlotte on their wedding day, so after some rearranging and venue switching, the couple was ready to exchange their I dos. 

“Our big day was a whirlwind! We got married during Hurricane Florence and last minute we had to switch venues,” told the bride. “It ended up being a perfect day despite the weather and I think turned out even better than if our original plan had went through.”

The day began, as it was always planned to, just with a bit more cloudy and rainy than they had hoped for. After spending the morning getting primped and pampered, it came time for Lauren to get dressed. With the help of her mom and maid of honor, Lauren slipped into the most gorgeous of gorgeous ball gown wedding dress. The dress had an illusion top and back with button detailing, flower and tulle detailing all topped off with a bejeweled belt at the waist. 

“I walked in having zero clue of what I wanted,” said Lauren. “I told them some of the styles that I liked and what I saw myself in and almost three hours later, I walked out with my dress!”

The bride finished off the look with a necklace made out of diamond earrings that her mom was gifted from her dad on their wedding day, as well as a pair of diamond earrings her mom lent her on the spot when she realized she forgot some!

After a sentimental first look with her dad, Lauren and her ‘maids headed off to the church for the ceremony. The church that the ceremony took place in was very special because it was the same church that Michael and his family had been going to since he was little. 

Once all the guests took their seats, Michael appeared looking very dapper in his custom made burgundy and black suit. The details of the black satin lapel and button, in addition to the monogrammed shirt sleeve, completed the whole look. 

Michael stood at the end of the aisle awaiting the moment Lauren would appear. But first, the groomsmen in classic black suits and the bridesmaids in mismatching long burgundy dresses took their places. Then, the moment came. Lauren entered through the church doors, arm in arm with her dad. She carried a cascading bouquet full of blush, ivory and burgundy florals with accenting greenery. 

Lauren said, “The most anticipated moment of the day was seeing Michael as I was walking down the aisle knowing we were going to be together for the rest of our lives.”

From the exchanging of the rings, to the moments of worship and the sealing of the deal with a kiss, the whole meaningful ceremony was perfectly captured by Sunshower Photography

After the ceremony, everyone headed over to the beautiful Ballantyne Hotel that provided the perfect indoor backdrop for a romantic rainy wedding. Guests started in the lobby area where they relaxed on couches and chairs with cocktails. The emerald carpeting and sofas, and burgundy linens on the cocktail tables gave the room an elegant, grand feeling.

The grand feeling didn’t end there. Inside the reception space, there were floor to ceiling windows draped with emerald curtains. The guest tables all lined the wooden dance floor and were set with ivory linens and gold banquet chairs. On each table there was a lantern centerpiece surrounded by a wreath of ivory and burgundy florals and accenting greenery, as well as gold votive candles. There was a head table set for the couple and their bridal party. The long rectangular table was set with a eucalyptus greenery runner, lots of differed sized gold mercury candle holders and votives and topped off with the bridesmaid’s bouquets that were full of blush and ivory roses and hydrangeas. 

When guests entered the space, they were wowed. Before they took their seats, they signed the wooden slab guest book made from a tree that had fallen down in the couple’s backyard a few months before the wedding and honored those who had passed and couldn’t be at the wedding at the memorial table. 

After everyone had taken their seats, the couple made their grand entrance, they shared their first dance as husband and wife and then sat down to enjoy their first meal together. 

Once dinner ended, the party got started and never stopped. If someone wasn’t out on the dance floor, it was because they were at the “zippy booth” where, instead of print outs at a traditional photo booth, you could text yourself the picture and make a GIF out of it! 

That wasn’t the only non-traditional thing the couple had at their wedding, they also didn’t have a traditional wedding cake.

“Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we used Nothing Bundt Cakes,” said the bride. “We love them in general and thought we would get a cake that looks super cute and actually tastes great!”

And they were right, it did look super cute. It was one white bundt cake on top of one chocolate bundt cake, both with dripped white icing and a cluster of burgundy and ivory flowers in the center ring. But that’s not all, the entire “cake table” was covered with 10 pounds worth of assorted cookies, macaroons and biscotti the bride had shipped down from her favorite bakery from her hometown near Boston, Massachusetts. A cookie table? We can get down with that!

While it wasn’t the day Lauren and Michael planned for, it was still the day they dreamed of and they ended it surrounded by all their friends and family with an indoor bubble send off!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Looking for that perfect photographer to capture your wedding day? Check out Sunshower Photography here!


Creative Team

The Ballantyne

Sunshower Photography

Pink Petunia Designs

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Brielle Lane

Carolina DJ Professionals

Best Impressions

Adrian D. Howe Beauty Sophisticate Makeup Artistry
Erika Rowell

Rentals & Decor
Party Reflections

New York Bride & Groom
Men's Wearhouse
Stella York

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