Mandy and Sean had been waiting what seemed like an eternity for their wedding day to come. The two of them met during their undergraduate time at Appalachian State University and have been dating for more than 4 years. Sean is currently working on his PhD in Physics at USC in Columbia South Carolina and Mandy just finished her Masters of Education Administration at Columbia College. To say that the last few years have been a little stressful would be an understatement. Thankfully, in the weeks leading up to the wedding, Mandy graduated with honors and finally was able to focus on the wedding that her mom had helped her plan. What would we do without moms??

As Boone and and the entire NC Blue Ridge Mountain area was near and dear to their hearts, they chose the beautiful Crestwood Resort and Spa to be the site of their wedding day. Nestled in the hardwood forest in Boone, it is a gorgeous setting for a wedding. And though the skies threatened rain all day, not a drop fell. Just what we all had hoped for!

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Mandy’s flowers were designed by Park Place Florist in Boone. They were a beautiful mix of ivory roses and blue and aqua orchids. Exquisite and so different. A perfect way to carry her silver, purple and aqua Lovebird theme through the day.
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Wedding coordination was by CeCe Hampton Events. CeCe saw to it that everything was in place and perfectly set for the day. She was also the picture of calm…what you want in your planner!
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The story surrounding Mandy’s dress is a tale quite unto itself. Mandy had seen this dress in a magazine but was unable to find it anywhere to try on. She tried on lots and lots of other gowns, but it was apparent that this gown was the one she had her heart set on. After much detective work by her mom, they were able to find out that the Maggie Sottero gown was no longer in their line and had been discontinued. However, there was ONE in her size in the United States…in Sacramento, California.  Mandy lives in South Carolina and her mom lives in North Carolina…this was not a small issue. Normally this would appear to be where the road ends. BUT not if your husband is an airline pilot and has some fabulous flight privileges for his family. So on a whim, Mandy and her mom hopped a flight to California early one morning in search of the perfect dress. Her mom says that the first clue that this was a trip of a lifetime was when they immediately were upgraded to first class! All plans of sleeping on the plane were suddenly dashed and they became giddy with excitement.

Upon landing, they headed to an elegant bridal boutique called Cocco’s Couture in Woodland, California. Upon entering, Mandy and the sales associate disappeared into the fitting room. When she emerged, it was plain to see that she had indeed found HER gown. Her mother was in tears when she saw how perfect and beautiful she looked. There was no question, the trip had been worth the effort! And as if it couldn’t get any better, after trying on veils and finally deciding on one, the boutique’s owner gifted the veil to them! What a wonderful surprise.  You can read more about Mandy and her mom’s adventure here. But be prepared and have tissues handy. It’s a beautiful story about so much more than a wedding dress.
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Mandy’s something borrowed was a diamond tennis bracelet borrowed from her grandmother.
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I love the story behind Mandy’s ring. Mandy’s brother, Ryan, was tragically killed in an automobile accident more than 10 years ago. Mandy was a young teenager at the time. Since his death, she has worn his birthstone, the amethyst, on a ring on her finger to keep him close to her. Sean thoughtfully incorporated amethysts into Mandy’s ring in honor of Ryan. What a lovely and thoughtful gesture.
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Mandy’s friend, Charlotte, was on hand to assist with her hair and makeup.
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My friend, Wendy Weeks, kindly joined me on the road trip to Boone as my second shooter. Her task…to photograph the guys as they got ready and get additional angles during specific parts of the day. We always have a good time working together and I appreciate her willingness to help when she is available. When Wendy arrived in the boy’s suite, she was surprised to find them in a wicked game of Go Fish! Yep, you read that right!
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Enough with the card games boys, it’s time to get this show moving along!
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Back at the girls room, everyone was oohing and aahing over Mandy’s luscious curls!
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Now that’s a handsome group of fellas!
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Sweet sweet moments when daddy sees his girl in her gown for the first time.
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Mandy and Sean decided that they wanted a first look before the ceremony started. This quiet time can be a wonderful opportunity to get rid of the jitters that accompany the wedding day and have some personal time before the ceremony.
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Inside, the guests were assembling and it was almost time for the ceremony to begin.
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I think the shot below sums it all up for Mandy! After so much on her plate before the wedding, it was hard to hide her relief!
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A “must-have” on Mandy’s photo list was a shot with their Maltipoo, Yuki! How adorable is he??
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I love a couple with the wedding giggles!
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After much ado, it was time to get the party started.
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Love that Mandy sang along with their first dance song to him as they danced. She has a lovely voice and it was a special moment.
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Stickboy Bread Company in Boone did a beautiful job on the cake topped with two adorable lovebirds on top. Quite delicious too!
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Following the cake cutting, Mandy’s grandmother took a moment to give a toast and hand down a family gift to the newlyweds…a set of pewter candlesticks and bowl that she and her husband had in their family for many years.
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Now, those aren’t just happy wedding faces…those are happy Gamecock fans cheering on their team as they went on to beat Georgia. A bonus on your wedding day if you’re a Gamecock fan!
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First dances with Mandy’s father and Sean’s mother ensued. Mandy and her dad danced to Steven Curtis Chapman’s Cinderella. What a sweet tearjerker!
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Bouquet and garter time!
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Now boys…don’t everyone rush over to get that garter at once! Let’s just say that girls and guys differ when it comes to this tradition!
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One of the special touches of the evening was the launching of three lanterns in memory of Mandy’s bother, Ryan, and Sean’s two sets of grandparents.
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What reception would be complete without air guitar solos???
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A sparkler exit capped off the evening and was a perfect final touch to send them on their way to married bliss.
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Mandy and Sean, it was a long time in the planning, but in the end, it was a lovely day full of much love and joy. I wish you both much happiness always and I am so grateful that you asked me to be part of your day. Much love…Tanya