Shane + Scott | Sep 6, 2019
Weather-proof, penthouse wedding with rustic elements and navy hues at the University Club in Durham, North Carolina
Living in the Carolinas, you become quite familiar with the unpredictability of the weather - especially in the summer months. For Shane and Scott, who were planning a weekend of festivities at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, they experienced this firsthand. The grooms were preparing for a weekend-long celebration with friends and family traveling from all over, but Hurricane Dorian had a different plan.
“With mandatory evacuations and closed beaches,” said the photographer, “they were forced to take a step back and create a Plan B within 48 hours.”
The duo jumped into problem-solving mode, and were able to connect with a new venue, where the penthouse floor offered breathtaking panoramic views of the city. They added a rustic flair with frothy cotton stem arrangements, wooden elements, burlap accents and navy hues.
“Thankfully, these changes didn’t deter any of the out of town guests,” said the photographer. “They came ready to celebrate these guys and their new journey together.”
In touch with their original coastal vibe, Shane and Scott wore matching charcoal gray linen pants, beige vests, and open-collared dress shirts - one sky blue windowpane print, and one crisp white. They rolled their sleeves and paired the ensembles with sporty slide sandals, branded with their respective alma maters!
“They wanted to keep things casual and easy going,” said the photographer.
Before the ceremony, the photographer captured intimate shots of the couple on a quaint side street, surrounded by red brick building walls with patio lights strung overhead. They also snuck a kiss inside an industrial-chic lounge area, perched on a vintage, latte brown velvet sofa.
On the penthouse floor, the space boasted gleaming chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows with sparkling views. There was a sand-colored, beachy linen draped over one of the windowsills for the arbor - keeping it simple so the view could do the rest.
“The decor perfectly complemented the richness and beauty of the room with its panoramic views,” said the photographer.
Shane and Scott exchanged vows they wrote themselves, overlooking the beautiful city of Durham while all of their loved ones smiled ear-to-ear at the couple’s unconditional love. Their close friend, Stacy, officiated the ceremony and they were joined on either side by their best men and good friends, Ken and Ken.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” said the photographer.
While the grooms and their families stepped outside for pictures, the guests enjoyed cocktail hour. They sipped on a wide selection of beer from local breweries, and snacked on decadent light bites in the venue’s spectacular bar and lounge.
“Champagne popsicles, perfect for the original beach wedding, rounded out the cocktail hour!” said the photographer.
For the reception party, everyone moved into the main dining room, where the round tables were set with deep navy linens, dark wooden chiavari chairs and ivory napkins. In the center of each tablescape, there was a rustic collection of old whisky bottles, vintage wooden cigar boxes, candle votives, burlap, eucalyptus and natural cotton stems.
“Each bottle was wrapped with twine,” said the photographer, “marked with their custom monogram wax seal and included the state where the guests were from.”
Guests also received beach-themed gift baskets, complete with snacks, sunscreen, a hangover kit and a custom-made magnet from the couple’s engagement session at Topsail beach. The couple also had a table with a donation jar for the Bahamas’ Animal Rescue organization, in honor of their own three dogs and representative of their giving nature.
They incorporated personal touches throughout all of the details, including an interactive polaroid guest book and a table displaying framed photographs of their loved ones watching from above. They especially expressed their personalities on the dance floor!
“The dance floor was hopping throughout the evening and especially fun was a choreographed dance from Shane and his mom,” said the photographer. “So great!”
There were multiple, delicious wedding cakes, all decorated with ribbed buttercream frosting and eucalyptus. Each cake was made by a dear friend of Scott’s, and was hand-delivered by his family who drove down from Maryland. Scott even managed to surprise Shane with an awesome R2D2 cake!
“It tasted as good as it looked!” said the photographer.
A major highlight of the evening came after dinner, dancing and the cake-cutting, when each guest was invited to the “Pittsburgh Cookie Table” - a tradition in Scott’s family. It showcased an abundance of homemade cookies made by different family members, and guests got to fill Chinese takeout boxes, adorned with their custom monogram, with cookies for a very unique takeaway gift.
“In spite of Hurricane Dorian, the couple’s Plan B turned out just great!” said the photographer. “The couple was married, the guests had a blast and no one would have ever guessed that this was a last minute scramble.”
Congratulations, Shane and Scott!
Looking for an amazing photographer to capture your wedding day? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!
Libby McGowan Photography
Rentals & Decor