Now, it can get mighty hot during a North Carolina summer, as any Tar Heel can tell you. When those summer days got blistering, gorgeous little Stephanie and striking young Matthew sweltered right along with their chattering friends. They had no idea that their innocent friendship, born on sticky bus seats, would result in their summer wedding, where they rode in an elegant, horse-drawn carriage.
The years passed, and affection blossomed into love.
As adults, the couple soon embarked on their careers. Matt became an Audio Engineer with db Sound of Charlotte. Stephanie is now an Sales Account Executive with The Charlotte Observer.
Matt knew in his heart that Stephanie was his soul-mate. He planned a romantic proposal in the mountains.
Unfortunately, their busy schedules got in the way.
“When our plans were cancelled, Matt decided to make a delicious candlelit dinner on a Wednesday evening,” she said. “After we finished eating dinner, Matt got down on one knee and told me how happy he was and how much he was in love with me and asked me to marry him!’
For something different the two chose to have their wedding at the historic Lake Lure Inn. Can you say “Dirty Dancing”?
After a breath-taking bridal portrait session at Chimney Rock, N.C., the couple’s wedding day arrived almost before they could believe it.
Thanks to plenty of planning, their sunny, summer wedding came off without a hitch. Family and friends celebrated Matt and Stephanie’s wedding weekend in beautiful, scenic Lake Lure, N.C.
“The location itself was unique and amazing,” Stephanie said. “We were surrounded by mountains on a beautiful lake, in a historic Inn, where several parts of the movie “Dirty Dancing” were filmed. The ceremony itself was held inside the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa.”
To coordinate the event, Stephanie worked with their very talented wedding designer, Eleanor Campbell of Events For You, based in Asheville, N.C.
Wedding favors were small gift baskets stuffed full of yummy treats. Guests spending the night at the Inn received Welcome Bags with information about the area, snacks and beverages.
To unify all the elements of the wedding weekend, Stephanie chose a delicate wedding palette of pinks, white, ivory and birch.
The couple chose to make their wedding weekend a chance for their families and friends to relax, as well as enjoy their wedding. They even had Stephanies Aunt whom noone had seen in over 30 years come to participate.
“Instead of a single wedding day, we had the entire weekend with our friends and family,” Stephanie said. “The Rehearsal Dinner was held under a pavilion on the beach at the lake, and we had an awesome bonfire, complete with a ‘Smores Buffet!
The wedding itself was a lakeside fantasy.
“I arrived in a horse and carriage drawn by two beautiful white horses, I and got to have my dad ride with me and walk me down the aisle,” Stephanie said. “After his battle with cancer and a severe surgery only a month-and-a-half before my wedding, it was truly heart-warming to get to have him by my side. He was there to give me away to the absolutely most perfect man I could have ever wished for.”
They even had Memphis (their Bojack pup) act as “ring bearer” during the wedding!
The couple danced their first dance as man and wife to “Come Away with Me,” by Norah Jones.
Her favorite moments: “Besides absolutely EVERYTHING, I would say walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams, but I’m going to have to go with the horse and carriage ride!” Stephanie said. “Both to and from the ceremony location at the gazebo by the lake. The ride to the ceremony with my dad was truly meaningful. He got to wear his grandfather’s ring for the first time in his life on my wedding day. He showed me the ring and it meant so much to him, as he had no idea this ring still existed, let alone any item from his family history until just the day before when his aunt delivered it. We also had a wonderful talk about Matt and their relationship and just so much amazing conversation.
“The ride to the reception from the ceremony with Matt was equally as amazing. We had so much fun riding back and waving to all the onlookers congratulating and waving to us. We had wonderful conversation and so much fun together, and it gave us time to be with each other before the craziness of the evening and after the craziness of the day.”
For a honeymoon? “We went to Puerto Morelos, Mexico, for six nights and seven days. It was absolutely amazing!”
Photography for wedding: Chuck Eaton and Jeni Buchanan for Chuck Eaton Photographers
Photography for portraits: Chuck Eaton of Chuck Eaton Photographers
Portrait Location: Chimney Rock Village, Chimney Rock, NC
Clergy: Rev. Tom Johanson, Heartlight Weddings
Ceremony location: Morse Park Meadows & Gazebo, Lake Lure, NC
Caterers: Food – Lake Lure Inn & Spa – Lake Lure, NC
Cake/Cupcakes- Hey Hey Cupcake! – Black Mountain, NC
Reception location: The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa
Rehearsal dinner: Lake Lure Beach Pavilion
Wedding night hotel/inn: The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, Lake Lure, NC
Bachelor party location/activity: Limousine ride uptown, Men’s Club, All American Pub
Bachelorette party location/activity: Uptown Charlotte, NC – Hilton Garden Inn & Suites, Fahrenheit Rooftop Restaurant, Bubble nightclub
Transportation provider: Horse & Carriage
Travel agent: Sandy Martin
Wedding planner, consultant, or designer: Eleanor Campbell with “Events For You,” in Asheville, N.C.
Bridal shows attended: Bridal Fair, Charlotte, N.C., January 2014 at the Charlotte Convention Center
Chuck Eaton is an experienced luxury wedding photojournalist based out of Charlotte, NC and shooting throughout the world. We love what we do and the clients who let us do it. We provide exclusive fine art portraiture and documentary wedding photography while having fun doing it!