I always enjoy initial consultations with potential clients, because I love meeting new people, hearing their love stories, and chatting about all things wedding related; but during my consult with Taylor & Chris, I immediately knew I’d found my kind of people. Working with them was going to be FUN, even if it was only for coordination. The first hint that we would be a good fit was that I was wearing a burgundy skirt, which Taylor mentioned she loved since it matched one of her wedding colors. But the real kicker was when they told me they wanted to have a custom cake topper that looked like their cats wearing a wedding top hat and veil. I told them how much I loved that idea since my own cat, Dobby, is totally my fur baby – which was followed by a small gasp as Taylor proudly showed off the Harry Potter bracelet she was wearing.
Aside from just being a cat-loving, Harry Potter-loving couple with great taste, they were also incredibly fun and communicative with me through the planning process as we pulled together their logistics and then revised everything as we developed the game plan for a very rainy Friday afternoon wedding. Despite the rain, this couple was determined to have an absolute blast, and in that, they succeeded!
Taylor & Chris were married at the Rand-Bryan House on October 26, 2018, surrounded by 100 guests, many of whom had flown in from Germany that week. Chris’s family is from Germany, and while many of those guests spoke English, the couple was sure to include those who only spoke Germany. Cute signs were placed around the venue in both languages, the programs had a German section, and the bar sign listed “Wein” and “Bier,” including White Street Kolsch as an option.
Before the wedding day, Taylor & Chris had decided against doing a first look. However, Taylor texted Chris 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony to let him know she was nervous and had decided she wanted to do a first look – little did Chris know, the last minute first look was actually planned ahead of time, and the photographers were already prepared. Upon seeing the text, the photographer brought the groom outside to await his bride, and after a minute, when he turned around to see her, he was met by his brother Greg wearing a sheer white dress over his groomsmen attire. The two made a hilarious grand entrance into the ceremony space before Greg ran off to get rid of the dress.
While the couple had planned to be married on the lawn at the venue, the rain shifted plans so that a room flip was in order. Chairs were placed stadium style in the dining hall of the Rand-Bryan facing a wall of windows, with a lovely door backdrop that the couple brought in. With grandparents, parents, and bridal party, the couple made their ways down the aisle to guitar music played by Taylor’s cousin, Peyton. Taylor’s Aunt Gail then officiated the ceremony.
Once they were wed, the couple and their bridal party tucked away for a moment while guests were ushered onto the porch of the venue to enjoy drinks and and a cheese and fruit display. Back inside, the family formals were completed in front of the ceremony space, and then the couple and their bridal party went outside to face the weather and get the rest of the photos. With everyone out of the dining room, the flip was completed. Table centerpieces were comprised of tree slices, painted wine and beer bottles filled with flowers, and little white pumpkins boasting the table numbers. Fall leaves were used as place cards for each setting to complete the fall table decor.
With the start of the reception, the bridal party and couple made their grand entrance to Chris Brown’s “Forever” as a nod to the couple’s love of “The Office,” which was a surprise for the couple that the Maids of Honor had me set up with the DJ. Once all had taken their seats, guests were treated to City BBQ, and then it was time for toasts. The two Maids of Honor – sisters of the bride – shared the stage for a a comic toast that included stealing the mic back and forth in an effort to prove who was the “favorite sister.” The two Best Men followed with heartfelt speeches about how great the couple is.
After the planned toasts, the father of the groom took the mic to thank everyone for joining and to bless the couple. One more surprise toast came up before the end of the reception – one of Chris’ relatives, an older man who spoke only German, wanted the mic. In checking with the couple that an unexpected toast was alright, Taylor happily took the mic and introduced the gentleman to the rest of the guests, using a bit of the German she’d learned as she handed off the mic for the final toast, which few guests understood but all enjoyed.
With toasts complete, the cake was cut (which was, indeed, topped with the cutest little hand-painted cake topper modeled after their cats). Then it was time for the first dance, and the couple guided their guests outside to the tent on the front lawn, which housed the DJ and dance floor. Guests danced, mingled around the venue and on the porch and enjoyed the rest of the rainy evening in leisure. With a small break for bouquet and garter toss, the couple had an absolute blast dancing, drinking and laughing with their friends and family.
Venue: Rand-Bryan House
Wedding Coordinator: Beauty & the Budget Events
Officiant: Gail Gray
Caterer: City BBQ
Florist: Garner Florist
Rentals: Grand Rental Station
Ceremony Musician: Peyton Gray
Photographer: Lyons Wood Photography
Videographer: Brock Roberts Media
Bartender: Celebration Sidekicks
Hair: Pure Salon in Garner – Tonya Locklear
“Stephanie was a lifesaver for our October wedding! We hired her for day of coordination, but truly she served as a month of coordinator. We already knew she’d be a valued asset in our planning process ever since our initial meeting, and we are so thankful we had her in our corner. Our outdoor wedding quickly was put on the line as the forecast predicted an unseasonably cold and wet day – and it was – but Stephanie put our plans in place, was incredibly cool and collected, and helped to orchestrate a day we could be proud of, despite the weather. Her attention to detail, ability to create, organization and her cool temperament make her a rockstar. She coordinated all vendors, provided us with timelines and helpful worksheets, offered advice, was super thorough with logistics planning, helped set up and even bussed the tables! I could go on and on about how much she helped make our day special. We had full trust in Stephanie, and she did not disappoint. Thank you so much for everything, Stephanie!” – Taylor & Chris