Today’s bride and groom met while she was at UNC and he was at Duke, and Raleigh is also Meghan’s hometown, so it was the perfect place to tie the knot. After looking at several differently venues, they chose the North Carolina Museum of Art, and it made for a wonderfully modern and elegant backdrop for their wedding day.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Yes! My something old, pieces of lace from an heirloom wedding dress, came from my husband’s family and was incorporated into our ring box. My dress was my something new, I borrowed my veil from one of my bridesmaids, and as a University of North Carolina Tar Heel, my something blue was a blue Carolina blue Tar Heel sewn into my wedding gown.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I love to take on home DIY décor projects, but I knew there would be enough to do for the wedding without tackling additional projects. So, I resisted the urge to DIY our wedding, except for the escort card display that I made with my mom.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Prioritize those things that will have the biggest impact and mean the most to you and your fiancé. For us, that was the venue and flowers (Meghan), and food and drink (Tyler).
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Hire a wedding planner, or at least a day-of coordinator. Stephanie Cisko of Viva L’Event helped by providing guidance on the décor and recommending reliable and affordable vendors. As the day approached, she took on the task of finalizing the details, timeline, and logistics. We could not have done it without her! Because of her, we were able to fully enjoy the day without worrying about timing, deliveries, and things like tips. She ensured everything moved smoothly, and if anything went wrong (which I don’t think it did!), we (and our guests) were totally unaware. I also recommend asking your friends for vendor recommendations and referrals. Referrals by friends combined with Stephanie’s recommendations allowed us to create the best team of vendors in the area!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Enjoy the process. There are definitely aspects that won’t appeal to you, so delegate those or rely on your vendors as much as possible so that you can focus on the things that do interest you or matter to you.
“Selecting a venue was the most difficult decision we made. Although we knew we wanted to get married in Raleigh – where I grew up and where we met – we weren’t sure where. After touring multiple spaces, ranging from revitalized warehouses to old churches, we decided on the North Carolina Museum of Art. It offered me the blank slate I was looking for while keeping all day-of events in a single location that had a purpose beyond our wedding.”
Your ceremony in three words. Simple, traditional, non-religious.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We are not a particularly religious couple, so we found ourselves searching for an officiant online. While we did not want a religious ceremony, we wanted it to be memorable and personal while adhering to the traditional order of events and vows. So, I reached out to recently married friends and asked for recommendations. After meeting with Rev. Ingrid Segula, I knew she would lead us in the perfect ceremony and we decided to let her take the lead drafting the ceremony.
What was your ceremony music? We incorporated traditional ceremony music, relying heavily on our musicians (a string trio) in selecting those songs. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and we walked back down the aisle together to Hornpipe in D from “Water Music” by Handel.
What were your ceremony readings? We elected not to have any ceremony readings in order to keep the ceremony brief.
What were your vows like? We exchanged traditional vows. Our officiant provided numerous sample vows, but nothing captured our feelings, relationship, and promises for the future better than the traditional vows. We found meaning in the history of the vows that have been shared by so many couples before us.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? My husband insisted that our ring bearer actually carry the ring down the aisle – he’d mentioned this to me previously, but I didn’t take him seriously. Well, at our rehearsal, he let our officiant and wedding planner know, and everyone, including the wedding party and immediate family, quickly nixed the idea. We were getting married in front of a reflecting pond and everyone feared our eighteen-month-old ring bearer would toss the ring box in the water! He actually did a perfect job at the rehearsal; at the wedding, however, he decided to run around in circles playing chase with his sister, our flower girl. It certainly provided our guests with some comic relief, and Tyler was convinced I was upset until he caught a glimpse of me laughing as I was waiting to walk down the aisle. When we think about this moment, we realize how important it is not to take things too seriously. Had our ring bearer walked down the aisle as planned, things would have gone absolutely according to plan. But, life and our marriage are and will be made up of memories and times that don’t go just as planned. Those are the best moments.
“We wanted our reception to feel like a dinner party for our guests, full of good food, drinks, and entertainment. The museum offered guests the chance to view art exhibits and displays during cocktail hour. We also prioritized selecting a DJ that would guarantee guests spent plenty of time on the dance floor (and he did!). In addition, we had a photo booth that turned out to be a bigger hit than we ever imagined. We had an absolute blast at our reception! We danced the night away with each other, friends, and family. The night flew by and when we exited we were exhausted but elated.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The venue itself inspired most of the décor. Although the museum does not house modern art, it is a modern building with contemporary accents complete with white walls and blonde hardwood floors. I wanted the wedding décor to fit the venue while simultaneously adding warmth, sophistication, and elegance to the space to keep the wedding timeless.
Did you have a signature cocktail? No. I’m a white wine drinker so we offered Chardonnay as part of our wine selection along with Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, my husband’s beer of choice.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We were so honored to have friends and family travel from across the country to join us in our celebration. Our friends and family made our wedding weekend special, fun, and unforgettable. We are so thankful for them, and as we exited the glass, outdoor vestibule in a sea of bubbles, we were completely elated. In fact, we had such a good time, we continued the party with friends and family at a local bar for an impromptu after party. I even kept my wedding gown on!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Almond Bliss Wedding Cake, Kransekake cookies (a Norwegian dessert to incorporate an Evans family tradition), and Banana Pudding (a favorite dessert on the Bride’s side).
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? I was very nervous about our first dance for a couple of reasons, but it is probably my favorite moment of the reception. Our first dance was to “Strange Currencies” by R.E.M. It can’t be found on any list of recommended first dance songs – we may be the first and last couple to ever select it for our first dance. My husband was determined not to have a typical song, and he stumbled on it one weekend. As soon as we heard it, we knew it would work. Initially, we wanted to edit the very beginning, but eventually decided not to. Given this less than traditional pick, I was worried about how it would go over with our friends and family. I was also nervous about our dancing skills. We’d planned on taking lessons, but that just never happened. So, on the night of our wedding we found ourselves dancing together (for what was probably our first real dance together in our 8 years together) to a song no one probably recognized. But, in that moment, I didn’t notice those around us or wonder what they were thinking. We danced to what is now “our song” without a single misstep. I couldn’t stop smiling and he couldn’t stop twirling me!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Honestly, I don’t think so!