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Erin and Neal
Erin Walsch and Neal Noland met as business majors at Roanoke College in Virginia. Their paths may have crossed a time or two as freshmen, but the two didn’t officially meet until the end of their senior year. They credit one course in particular for getting them together—it would turn out studying gave them ample time to get to know one another.
Six years later, on a very sunny June 1, 2013, Erin and Neal celebrated their love with a classic city wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina, full of black and white details that fit their minimalist tastes to a tee.
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The couple chose St. Peter's Catholic Church for their ceremony spot, where Neal attends church each Sunday. The reception was held at The Mint Museum Uptown, another spot Erin and Neal frequent for the art galleries on weekends. "We knew the top floor and connecting terrace would be the perfect spot for our wedding and that guests would love the beautiful view of the city!" said Erin.
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Bridal Party Beauties
The bride wore an Amsale gown that she purchased at Nitsa's bridal salon. Her bridesmaids donned black floor-length gowns by JLM Couture, and all the ladies carried a mix of white and cream blooms wrapped in a satin ribbon, including ranunculus, hydrangea, freesia, and garden roses.
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Along with tossing petals, flower girl Meadow had the very important job of handing Neal a "love note" from the bride once she got to the end of the aisle. She wore a ribbon tulle dress from Janie and Jack with a matching headband and a bracelet and necklace from Etsy. "She loved her dress and pleaded to be able to wear 'high heels' with it," said Erin. Her older brother Aiden looked handsome in a pint-size suit from Jos. A. Bank.
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The duo contemplated doing an actual first look before the ceremony, but decided they didn’t want to ruin that magical moment when they first saw each other. The compromise was a blind note exchange where they spoke without spoiling the fun. "Neal came and met me at the rectory before the ceremony began for our letter exchange, and kept his eyes closed walking so there would be no peeking," said Erin. "The notes were a great way for us to relieve some excited nerves by actually talking to each other and holding hands right before the ceremony began."
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"Neal whispered our vows so quietly that only I could hear them!" said Erin. But it turned out his quiet tone was intentional, only wanting his bride-to-be to hear the special words.
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Working with small, medium, and large tables of all different shapes, florist Todd Crawford of The Blossom Shop decided that a variety of centerpieces would make the biggest impact. With the bride set on all-white flowers and linens, the small details like the mix of arrangement sizes and textured linens helped bring everything together.
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Tall cylinders with long-stemmed white blooms contrasted the lush bundles of hydrangeas on nearby tables.
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Vessels with floating candles were scattered among the floral arrangements and adorned with black-and-white striped ribbon. “The ribbon was actually such an important detail that tied the whole look and feel of the wedding together for me,” said Erin. She used it as an inspiration piece when planning each detail of the big day, including the stationery, welcome bags, reception decor, wedding party gifts, and favor boxes.
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Seats of Honor
Two DIY projects became one for the newlywed’s reception chairs: The day's signature ribbon personalized bride and groom signs and a hand-painted ampersand hung between their seats.
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For their first spin on the dance floor as husband and wife, Erin and Neal swayed to "One of Those Nights" by Tim McGraw. "We thought the title and the overall sentiment of the song was just perfect for that night, ‘this night being one of those nights you always remember,'" said the bride.
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Dance with Dad
Erin danced with her dad to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. "My grandmother loved Frank Sinatra so we also played his music during the cocktail hour in remembrance of her," said Erin. "It was important that we danced to a song by Frank."
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The striped wedding cake was decorated with a black-and-white bow that matched the one on the back of Erin’s dress. While working with Amy from Wow Factor Cakes, the ladies had to be extra sneaky when talking about 'the bow' to not give away what the bride’s dress looked like to Neal.
Inside the confection were layers of chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and white cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate mousse.
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Love is Sweet
Both guilty of having a major sweet tooth, the duo chose a mix of black and white candy for their dessert table, which was labeled appropriately with a sign that read, "Love is sweet, please take a treat." Aside from classic candies like M&Ms and chocolate-covered raisins, there were also old-fashioned candy sticks, dark chocolate nonpareils, and chocolate-toffee almonds. "Apparently the guests love sweets as well," said Erin. "The buffet was empty before the end of the night."
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After Erin decided on her wedding palette, a friend sent her the link to a set of black-and-white favors featured by Martha Stewart Weddings. "I knew they would go perfectly with the decor of the wedding so I had to recreate them," she said, filling her boxes with cookies.
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Photographer: Allison Kuhn Photography
Wedding planner: Sara Hall of Hall and Webb Event Design
Catering: Holly McLelland of Delectables by Holly
Florist: Todd Crawford from The Blossom Shop
Officiant: Father Patrick Earl, St. Peter's Catholic Church
Calligrapher: Amy McKinney from Sealed Design Studio
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Band/dj/entertainment: DJ Chuck from East Coast Entertainment
Hair: Mandi English from M.E. Boutique
Makeup: Adrian D. Howe
Lighting: Sterling Events Group
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