Carla & Chris’s Matthew’s House Wedding Cary, NC

Carla and Chris met with me in January of this year. Carla found me through mutual friends named Jean & Buckley. And if you follow my blog, you probably remember that I coordinated Jean & Buckley’s February 2015 wedding at The Stockroom 230.  Carla and I became immediate friends and went to work on planning her wedding right away. We met every few months or so to discuss details and vendor recommendations, and she even attended my Bridal Pamper Party in July! After much anticipation and even more planning the big day finally arrived. I couldn’t be more excited to share the details and images from it with you today.

Venue

The Matthew’s House

The Matthew's House in Cary, NC

The Matthew’s House in Cary, NC

Carla and Chris’s ceremony took place under the great oak trees towering over the beautiful brick enclosed gardens of The Matthew’s House in Cary, NC. It was a sunny day without a cloud in the sky, but being September, 24th in the Carolinas, it was still a hot, humid day. The aisle was lined with shepherd hooks I rented to the couple, which were then decorated with mini white lanterns that had been even more decorated by the florist. Jo Lynn of Victorian Seasons provided the florals for this wedding, and they were all gorgeous.

Beautiful Bouquet from Victorian Seasons

Beautiful Bouquet from Victorian Seasons

 

The cocktail hour took place all over the outside grounds of The Matthew’s House, and included personal touches from the couple everywhere. Chris and Carla provided their guests with a photo booth that stayed in the courtyard for the whole night, corn-hole boards to play some games, and delicious combination of displayed and passed apps from Rocky Top Hospitality.

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Ceremony in the Matthew’s House Garden

 

Vendors

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Jewel, Founder of Canvas the Makeup Studio

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Randy Taylor Officiating The Ceremony

In addition to Rocky Top who catered the event, and Victorian Seasons who provided the gorgeous florals for the wedding, there were a few other fabulous vendors that should be mentioned. Ceremony music was provided by live musicians, David Wilson and Palma Rajki. All these beautiful images you see in this post were taken by Niki of Three Seventeen Photography. Niki was great to work with and meet with Carla and I during the planning process to help ensure we put together a timeline that also worked for her. Through the years of event planning, I’ve learned that working together with vendors in advance of an event makes for the best kind collaboration. Being one half of a husband and wife Photography team myself though, does make me a bit biased toward the photographer.  Regardless, I really enjoyed working with Niki and would definitely recommend her over and over again. The bride’s lush and lovely hair was styled by Kelly of Twisted River Hair Studio, and her beautifully airbrushed face was done up by Jewel of Canvas The Makeup Studio. The tear jerking and eloquently read ceremony was given by Randy of Randy Taylor Weddings. This wedding allowed me to work with so many of my favorite local vendors, and that includes Randy! Last but certainly not least, the entertainment for the evening was provided by the one and only JD of Anything Music DJs. I love working with JD because he knows how to keep a party going!

A Few of My Favorites

After the wedding, Niki was able to provide me with the images from Carla and Chris’s wedding almost immediately. I had so many favorites I couldn’t keep it to a reasonable number of photos. Really, I loved ALL the photos. But since I couldn’t share them all, here are just a few of my favorites from that day in a gallery for your viewing pleasure.

Ring Bear

I almost forgot to mention! My favorite of all the adorable details in Carla and Chris’s wedding was that they had their fur baby aka their dog, Manny, escorted down the aisle with the flower girl. Using Manny was in their plans from the beginning. The first night we met they said Manny the dog would be their “Ring Bear” which they got the idea from popular TV show How I Met Your Mother.

Happy Ending

Carla and Chris enjoyed a wonderful week long honeymoon in Rome and came back with fun stories of all the places they visited. I am also happy to say that Carla and I have become close friends throughout the process of planning her wedding and we’ll be seeing each other for many more years and events to come. Maybe some day I will help her family plan and coordinate a baby shower!

Vendor Spotlight – All Around Raleigh DJ

A few weeks ago, I let my intern write a vendor spotlight post about The Chocolate Boutique. I have been meaning to write more of these types of blog posts, so this week here’s one from me! I have been working in this industry long enough to have worked with some really excellent vendors. Here’s a post about one of the best DJ vendors in Raleigh, or at least he’s one of my favorites.

All Around Raleigh DJ; Eric Hodgedenallaroundraleighdj-logo

I met Eric, the owner of All Around Raleigh DJ, at the Market Hall Spring Showcase. I arrived fairly early, while it was still mostly just vendors and Market Hall employees in attendance. Being punctual, as I always am, benefited me yet again. This time I benefited because I was able to walk around and introduce myself to a few local vendors I have never met. (Another benefit to being early, I was able to get a glass of wine without waiting in line. )

Eric was one of the first vendors I met that night, and he left a great impression on me. We ended up meeting for coffee at a later date and time, where I learned a little more about him and why he got into the events industry.  I really enjoyed his take on why he decided to be a DJ and I hope you do too!

Background Information

Joe Payne Photography

Joe Payne Photography

Eric stumbled on his love of being a DJ like many others do. He went to school and got a degree in Engineering and made the realization that his heart was somewhere else. During the same year Eric enrolled at NC State, he also formed his company All Around Raleigh DJ. When I asked him about his first event as a DJ, he said “I had a typical 19 year old guy’s stereo with huge ridiculous speakers“. This made me really chuckle because, we’ve all known people like that. The first event he worked was for a friend’s Mother. Her DJ had backed out last minute, leaving her with little time to find a replacement. Eric offered his services and quickly realized that he was pretty good and had a blast doing it. After that, Eric bought some professional DJ equipment and began working weddings and events as often as possible. He was eventually able to leave his full-time cubicle job to run All Around Raleigh DJ in 2011. Of course, he also told me it’s the most rewarding job he’s ever had.

 

Q&A

I asked Eric a few other questions and here are his responses:

What advice would you offer to couples looking for a DJ?:

“Whoever you hire must be someone you can trust – and someone you feel a connection with, they will be a guest at the wedding so they should fit what you have in mind.”  “You should also trust them to be organized and take care of things.”

How far out from the wedding should couples hire a DJ?:

In general terms somewhere between 4-8 months before the wedding. For popular months at least one year in advance. August tends to be more flexible. But, if you want a specific person, you should book at least one year prior.”

What is the coolest event you have ever worked?

“Very personalized events, people who incorporate their personalities into their events make them the most memorable. In particular one Wedding I worked at Shady Wagon Farm – barely had any dancing. This wedding’s bride was not able to stand for long periods of time, but she danced for at least one song. It was memorable because the people were really awesome.” There was a little less dancing then Eric was used to, but even still this wedding was not lacking in fun. There were a bunch of lawn games for the guests to enjoy, and Eric entertained the guests by playing the shoe game, and hosting table trivia for dinner. “The best part of the night was when the groom surprised his bride by singing to her during the reception while she sat on the dance floor.” 

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Caroline Lima Photography

Would you like to pass on your business to your children?

This question was clearly something Eric had not been asked before, but something I personally consider all the time. I of course want to pass on a legacy to my children, but I don’t know how frequently other people also have that desire and if so, how much thought they have really put into it. Eric’s response was “I only have a daughter and female DJs are definitely more rare, but if that was something she wanted to do then heck yes!”

Do you see yourself running the DJ business until you retire?

“Yes absolutely, in some form or fashion. I can’t see a reason to get stuck in a rut and stop, and there’s really nothing else I enjoy doing as much.”

I am very grateful Eric had time to grab coffee with me. I really enjoyed sharing fun industry stories, and getting to know him better. It’s not often that you get to hear about the vendor and their personal life.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Eric and hearing about how he formed his company!! If you are in need of a DJ for your next wedding or event, consider reaching out to him for a quote, you won’t be disappointed. And, if you need more evidence of that, check out his reviews on Wedding Wire.

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