So what happens after you spend the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend with a wild and crazy crowd for a wedding in Asheville, NC? You do it again and see if Cary, NC can do it even better – if that’s even possible. And when you realize that it is possible, it becomes one of the greatest back to back Memorial Day wedding weekends ever. And that’s what happened when I spent Sunday with Maddy, Josh, an incredible bridal party and their closest friends and family.
So here’s a tip – when you start the morning with the bridesmaids and they’re quiet, or the groomsmen are quietly spending time trying to land an RC Blackhawk on a rafter in the house- don’t mistake it for an indication of a quiet group. Instead take it as the rehearsal party was intense enough that they’re just in recovery mode.
And it didn’t take long to get out of recovery. Maddy told me her friends were very fun, but somehow I didn’t expect to end up in the the master bath before the ceremony with Maddy & the bridesmaids getting their inner Tyra on with cigars, Dom P. and beer foreshadowing the revelry that would go on that night. Was I was witnessing Maddy leading perhaps the greatest group of bridesmaids ever assembled?
But before we go there, we have to see how much obvious love there is between Maddy and Josh, as they saw each other before the ceremony – poolside under the pergola. Lyn Graves and his team from Fresh Affairs had spent the past year working with Maddy’s mom Pete to design the most amazing display of floral awesomeness – and it framed the first look perfectly.
After some photos in the yard we were treated to a heartfelt but hilarious ceremony conducted by a recent officiant “graduate” of the online University of Phoenix (go fighting Phoenix), aka Maddy’s brother Nathan. Can I say again this new trend of having family conduct your ceremony is awesome. Almost all the wedding so far this year have been like this. But none have matched the entertaining value Nathan provided.
I should take this time to give special thanks to Chris Wheaton of the awesome Heartstone Films who, along with his wife Toni, filmed the wedding. Before the ceremony started he magically showed up with a bottled water and said “you look like you could use this”. BAM! I was dying. I REALLY needed it and appreciated it (and totally unexpected!). A true pro, Chris shows that by concern and thinking of others, Maddy & Josh got 100% performance from me for photos. It’s all about the couple, and working with professionals and friends.
As I mentioned in the last blog there are so many connections from Saturdays wedding to today’s wedding – a friend or relative married both couples, they both included Jewish traditions, and also the West Point connection. Josh and many of the groomsmen and guests are West Point grads. And yesterday’s brother of the bride, Shor, just accepted a position to teach math and physics at West Point.
Speaking of West Point, what could be more fitting that to spend Memorial Day with the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving the United States. You can see and feel the pride and honor. And when we got to Prestonwood for the reception, it really came together. Josh and Maddy had set up a single table for the Fallen Soldier. The chair is propped up against the table, the glass is upside down, and a single rose sits in front of a folded framed American flag. No doubt everyone saw it and was moved while they took the time to consider and remember what the weekend was all about.
Prestonwood itself was set up gorgeously and was the perfect backdrop for the first dance, parent dances and toasts. And the uplighting gave the perfect flare for DJ Joe Bunn to throw down the tracks which lit this reception up. With everyone in sunglasses, and the bridal party in special American Flag sunglasses, the dance floor was packed all night, and the bridal party was the center of the action. Watch for the bridesmaid wedges in the air and groomsmen shoes head high in the air (I’m still not sure exactly what is happening or how, but it’s awesome). And perhaps the final and most awesome connection between the two Memorial Day weekend weddings – the brothers leading a sing off. In yesterday’s wedding, you’ll recall there was a mind blowing karaoke of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody started by the groom and finished by the bride’s brother. I didn’t think I would see something like that again. But tonight, Nathan, Maddy’s brother, got a mic from Joe Bunn and led the party into an amazing sing off of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. It was intense. It was amazing. It simply couldn’t be any better. Even the send off was awesome, with ever appropriate American Flags being waved as Maddy & Josh left the reception.
Cheers to Erin McLean and her team who coordinated and planned this wedding over the past year. They did an amazing job and planned for every detail and worked hard to make the wedding run so smoothly and flawlessly. Thanks to Traci who joined me to help take photos and most of all, cheers to Maddy & Josh, as we check out their Memorial Day wedding on this July 4 weekend.
Awesome vendors who made this wedding happen:
- Reception Venue, Catering & Cake: Prestonwood Country Club
- Wedding Planner & Coordinator: Erin McLean Events
- Videography: Hearstone Films
- Hair & Makeup: Makeup For Your Day
- Flowers: Fresh Affairs
- DJ: Joe Bunn
Wedding Photography at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, NC