Amy & Chris are truly one of a kind, in all the best ways. Their intimate October 12, 2019 wedding was deeply personalized to reflect their relationship, and I was able to really get a glimpse into the amazing life they’re going to build together. Their 50 guests were family and the kind of friends that are more like sisters and brothers, and both families really celebrated the couple’s love. 

The ceremony took place on the rooftop of The Durham Hotel in downtown Durham, with beautiful views of the city and blue skies. Two large floral pieces framed the alter space, and at the back of the ceremony was a welcome table with programs, space for cards and gifts, and a basket of kazoos. With one bridesmaid and one groomsman, Amy & Chris took their place at the alter with the biggest smiles on their faces. They read each other their vows, enjoyed readings from the cousin of the bride and sister of the groom, and shared their hopes for their strong future with a hand-fasting ceremony. The hand-fasting ribbon itself was so special; it had a piece of the mother of the bride’s wedding veil sewn into it. The ceremony ended on a playful note, with the officiant using a line from the couple’s favorite video game, Portal – “This was a triumph. I’m making a note here – HUGE SUCCESS!” as guests blew on their kazoos.

Cocktail hour followed on the rooftop, with some entertainment I hadn’t seen before at a wedding. Amy & Chris hired a dance company to teach their guests some basic dance moves during cocktail hour, and everyone had a blast.

The reception started shortly after, in the hotel’s restaurant on the first floor. The couple made their entrance and went straight into their first dance to “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips. Toasts from the maid of honor, best man, and father of the bride followed, and then the father of the groom said a blessing over the food and the marriage before a family-style dinner was served. Tables were set with floral centerpieces, place settings provided by the venue, and key lime scented candle favors from a local shop.

As an added treat, Amy & Chris put different card games at each tables, based on who they thought would most enjoy each game. They themselves opted to play a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity over dinner, while other guests played poker, Yeti Eats Alien, and a variety of other games that Amy & Chris love. After dinner, Amy danced with her dad to “A String of Pearls” by Glenn Miller, and Chris danced with his mom to “My Girl” by The Temptations. An anniversary dance followed (forever my favorite), and afterward Amy slipped away for a quick outfit change.

As the evening continued, the dance floor stayed packed with guests practicing the moves they’d learned during cocktail hour, and a spontaneous conga line broke out. The only break in dancing was when the couple cut their cake, which featured a green claddagh design, a top tier designed to look like the Companion Cube from Portal, and two Portal robots as the cake toppers. Even with only 50 guests, their wedding was an absolute party, and hotel guests who walked by the lobby could be seen dancing by the elevators, wishing they were having as much fun as Amy & Chris.

The Vendors:

Venue: The Durham Hotel, Durham, NC

Wedding Coordinator: Beauty & the Budget Events

Photographer: Sean True Photography

Caterer: The Durham Hotel

Baker: Miel Bon Bons

Florist: Floral Dimensions

Officiant: Magical Weddings by Carly

DJ: McSound Productions

Entertainment: Arthur Murray Durham

Hair and Makeup: Bella Trio


“I just wanted to reach out to you again and say how grateful Chris and I were of you and your service this weekend.  Everyone thought you were such a pleasure to work with and appreciated you being there.  And I want you to know that every time I started feeling anxious, that it always went away the minute I saw you.  I know I probably wasn’t the most “chatty” (let’s say?) of brides and I wasn’t always sure of some things, but you did a perfect job organizing the day and making the timeline so seamless.  Because of you, everyone had so much FUN!  And those happy memories are truly a gift Chris and I will treasure for a lifetime.” – Amy & Chris, Coordination, email after wedding

“My husband and I are so grateful to Stephanie for her attention and work she provided for us from the moment we hired her until our wedding day. She is so fun, responsive, and flexible. She is very thorough and committed to understanding what the COUPLE wants for their wedding day and making it happen. On the day of our wedding, whenever my nerves would start to fray and I started to feel anxious, those feelings would go away the moment I saw Stephanie. She is a pleasure to work with and would recommend her without hesitation! Thank you, Stephanie!” – Amy & Chris, Coordination