Fun North Carolina Wedding: Brooke + Ryan

Such a fun creative wedding today! Brooke + Ryan live in New York and got married at the Harbourside Pavilion, Bald Head Island, North Carolina. I think their personalities totally come through in these gorgeous photos by Jagger Photography. Oh, and wait until you see Brooke’s totally fun dress and unicorn heels! I know a lot of you just look at the photos, but Brooke sent over so many good details, advice and more – I totally encourage you all to read what she wrote. I know I really enjoyed reading it. And so, here we go – Thanks Brooke  and best wishes to you + Ryan!

Ryan’s dad and stepmom have a house on Bald Head Island and we’ve been going there for years. It’s totally gorgeous – no cars, everyone gets around on bikes or golf carts, and it’s got this whole Dawson’s Creek vibe that’s so peaceful and romantic. There are no hotels, so all of our friends + family rented houses for the week and it was just like summer camp!

North Carolina Wedding

bride and groom in woods

unicorn wedding shoes jeffrey campbell

My party in the front, business in the back dress? :) Legends by Romona Keveza. It didn’t even cross my mind that duh, I was being married by the water, and yes, it would be windy. Luckily my something blue was a pair of blue bloomers underneath. Shoes were by Jeffrey Campbell. Our photographers thought they looked like unicorns, but they reminded me of seashells! Katie Joiner, a stylist from Atlanta and one of my best friends did my hair and makeup. She knew I wanted to look like myself, just “amped” up a bit, and she did an amazing job. My hairpiece was from Lovely Bridal Shop, NYC.

short long wedding dress

Ryan’s suit is by J. Crew

groom with plaid shirt

north carolina wedding

wedding couple by a lighthouse

I remember a calm and quiet that happened right before I walked down the aisle. It had rained earlier in the day, but as I linked my arm through my dad’s to begin the walk toward Ryan, this stillness came over the entire place. I had never felt SO present and in the moment. (It helped that my friend Katie whispered loudly “IN THE MOMENT!” as I was walking down the aisle!) It sounds so cliche, but it was like everything we had worked so hard for was being rewarded then and there, we were laying everything out, all of our hopes and dreams in front of all of our friends and family, and everything at that moment felt more right than anything I had ever felt before. I thought I was going to explode I was so happy.

ceremony with macrame backdrop

macrame ceremony backdrop

Bald Head Island, NC

photobooth backdrop

chalkboard wedding sign

chalkboard wedding sign

Records hung behind the DJ table.

records on the wall behind dj

I had been reading a lot of Tom Robbins leading up to the wedding, and I love some of his ideas about love, so we incorporated them into the ceremony and reception. Salt Harbor Designs had one of my favorite quotes blown up and printed and it’s now hanging in our apartment:

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”

wedding logo on bags

Early on our friend Wade Thompson designed the R&B logo for us. We incorporated it into EVERYTHING – I admit, we might have gone a little overboard, but I liked the way it tied everything together. We used it on the guests’ gift bags and on the programs…and our friend Leslie screened it onto fabric to make golf cart flags and props for the photo booth. One of my best friends Leslie Siu designed and built the photo booth backdrop, and my other best friends Jada, Kay and Kasey helped her screenprint and sew all of the R&B pillows and golf cart flags that we put in every rental house.

wedding heart pillows

wedding typewriter

wedding table book

wedding first dance

Ryan is a musician (DJ, producer, touring partner and collaborator), as are most of our family and friends, so we really wanted our love of music to shine through. At the rehearsal dinner we set up a full stage of instruments on the porch of Ryan’s parents house, and various family members played throughout the night, culminating in a raucous porch dance party that went into the wee hours.

Our friends The Selmanaires played amazing covers by The Stones, Rod Stewart, Hall & Oates and more and our friend DJ Chris Devoe threw down a bunch of dirty South hip-hop. The sound was provided by Tommy Robbins of Shoresound Productions.

wedding dance party

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? Oh man, how do I choose?! So many amazing moments! My sister Katy’s (matron of honor) brave and hilarious rap, seeing my grandmother leave the reception with a glowstick on her head, a cousins v. friends dance-off, trying to put Ryan’s ring on the wrong hand during the ceremony, Ryan’s brother Seth marrying us with the sweetest and most moving ceremony ever written, our cousin Michael’s Elvis moves on the dance floor, all of our friends and family reconnecting or meeting for the first time…I could go on and on. The entire day – WEEK – was just such a magical lovefest.

Any advice for those planning now? Plan, plan, and plan some more, but when the day comes, just let go. I read some great advice early on during the wedding planning process that I tried to keep in mind for the big day: “Your guests will never remember if the caterer messed up and served spinach over broccoli, but they’ll remember that you spent an hour in the bathroom crying about it.” I wish I could give that person credit, because that advice just stuck with me. If someone says something that’s a little weird to you on your wedding day, just LET IT GO. Also, make sure you take 5 minutes with your husband/wife to just walk around the venue, look at everything and take it all in. This is what you worked so hard for! And finally, people go WILD when you play “Empire State of Mind” no matter where you are, so make sure your DJ plays that song and get some amazing “dance face” photos. Oh, and be careful of PWD and PHD (post-wedding depression, post-honeymoon depression)! Go back and look at your photos a lot, and try to plan another party as soon as possible to alleviate this.

Photography: Jagger Photography did a fantastic job capturing the day! We are in LOVE with these photos. I am also reselling me dress if anyone is interested. You can email me at brookerasheed{at}gmail[dot]com.

Event + Floral Design: Salt Harbor Designs.  I cannot say enough about Jennifer and her crew. They were so easy and fun to work with! I thought it would be hard to plan a wedding in NC from Brooklyn, NY but no way – I sent Jen my inspiration for flowers and decor, then trusted her completely and knew she and her team would pull it off. They spent hours on the macramé altar based on a photo that I saw online, and we LOVED it!

Catering: Bald Head Island. We wanted a “southern style” 4 hour cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and food stations that remained open for the duration. For HDs we served grape leaves as a tribute to Ryan’s Lebanese side of the family, antipasto skewers and crab cakes. The main course was fish tacos, watermelon mint + feta salad, cous cous, steamed shrimp, green beans, cornbread and more. Sliders with bleu cheese and caramelized onions, tomato soup shots with baby grilled cheese and french fries in paper cones were served at the end of the night. Instead of a specialty cocktail we served boozy snocones, inspired by our stay at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, one of the stops on our California road trip honeymoon. We’re not huge cake fans, so we opted for a dessert table instead: mini-apple pies, mini peach cobblers and key lime pies, along with a Make Your Own North Carolina Moon Pie bar.

Cinematography: We had two cinematographers! One of our best friends, filmmaker Spenser Simrill, Jr. was lurking around with his camera the entire week (see if you can spy him w/ the ‘stache in the ceremony shots), and our multi-talented cousin Richard Rasheed also took on videographer duties.

Thanks again Brooke + Ryan for sharing your day with us! You can see even more from this wedding on Jagger Photography’s Blog. Jagger Photography is located in Bellingham, Washington and available to travel worldwide.