When Natalie first contacted me about her wedding, I knew immediately that it would be one that would stand out as a beautiful day. She told me the church…St. Leo The Great Catholic Church, here in Winston-Salem…one of the loveliest churches in the area. Then she told me where the reception would be held…Graylyn International Conference Center…the castle-like home of Bowman Gray, Sr. and the most sought-after wedding venue in town. Lastly, Natalie mentioned this little nugget…it would be a Great Gatsby-Themed wedding. I could hardly contain myself and was beyond thrilled when she asked me document her wedding to Michael.
Natalie and Michael first met when she took summer classes at Wake Forest University, where Michael was in undergraduate school. The story was that he was helping her study. I think he had more than studying on his mind. And who could blame him! Natalie is a classic beauty and I’m sure he was happy to help her study! Michael is a native of Great Britain, but has lived in the states since he was a young boy. However, he still retains that sweet British charm! Natalie, I’m sure picked up on that from the beginning!
I was delighted to have Melinda Benedict alongside me on this day to second shoot and capture all of the love and beauty that surrounded them on their wedding day.
I started the day with Natalie and her family in their home. When I pulled up, her dress was already hanging in their front window…perfectly in place! The Maggie Sottero design, called Jade, was simple, yet elegant and divinely suited for her tiny figure.
Sherwood Florist provided the bouquets of calla lilies. Classic and timeless!
Natalie’s hair and makeup was done to a perfect T by Up-dos from Kernersville. They could have not done a more amazing job recreating the 1920’s look Natalie was going for. I’m pretty sure every woman in the church wanted her hair!
Michael’s mother passed away a few years ago, and this sapphire and diamond tennis bracelet that belonged to her was a gift from Michael to Natalie.
Natalie was surrounded by her three sisters and her friend, Heidi. It was so much fun to be with these girls who had spent so many years together.
Natalie’s niece, Eve, was the adorable flower girl. She is obviously the apple of everyone’s eye…especially her grandmother’s!
Hello! Natalie, you looked nothing short of stunning on this day!
Michael sent one of his groomsmen, Will, over with a gift for Natalie. Michael had put hours of planning into creating a scrapbook of memories from the years he had spent with Natalie. I think he has known for a LONG time that she was the girl for him and he wanted to hold on to all of those wonderful memories they had created over the years!
Natalie also was touched by a beautiful gold angel pendant that Michael’s mother had asked to be given to Natalie on her wedding day.
And as if the day wasn’t shaping up to be amazing already, the girls were whisked away to the church by a horse-drawn carriage. Yep, pretty much it was a Cinderella-kind-of-day!
Perhaps one of my most favorite bridal shots below of Natalie.
Over at Graylyn, the guys were relaxing and trying to keep Michael calm under pressure! Of course, they did a great job and Melinda was there to capture every moment.
Natalie had taken time to write a hand-written note to Michael expressing her feelings for him. I always love when couples do special things like this on their wedding day!
Michael’s gifts to his groomsmen were monogrammed cufflinks and black watches. Very sharp!
The church was brimming with excitement as the ladies arrived in grand style.
Love this shot below. The sweet smiles and excitement on their faces say it all as they get their first look at Natalie. Proud to say that my daughter, Lydia, was also shooting with me on this day and this was one of her shots!
Greeting Michael & Natalie when they left the church was a vintage Excalibur car just like was used in the Great Gatsby film. Spectacular!
Graylyn has never looked lovelier! What a perfect setting for the theme of this day!
Regi Jones of Regi’s Originals created, not only a beautiful cake, but an incredibly tasty one too! I consider it a VERY important part of my job to have a quick bite of the wedding cake. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! In all seriousness, I am always asked for recommendations for virtually any type of vendor for weddings, and I like to be able to speak honestly about my experiences. I’m partial to some good ‘ole buttercream frosting. Not a big fan of fondant or the new, lighter “whipping cream” type of frosting. Regi’s cake did not disappoint! It was super moist and delicious!
Groovetown, out of Raleigh, was the band for the evening, and kept the party entertaining and the dance floor filled. They had a great selection of music and lots of fun! I always love a live band to keep things moving at a reception!
Ahhh…a sweet stolen moment caught through the glass doors as Michael & Natalie enjoyed their evening together.
Thank you Michael & Natalie for asking me to be part of your day! What a joy it was to work with both of you and see all of the hard work you put into this day come together. It was certainly a fairy-tale day! I wish you much happiness throughout your lives and can’t wait to watch your lives continue to be blessed!