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Charlotte Backyard Garden Wedding, Clair & Randy

Clair, the founder and owner of her own law firm, and Randy, who is in both wealth management and real estate, met while Clair’s son was touring Arizona State University in Phoenix.  Randy had lived in Arizona for 25 years, and his sister, who lived in Charlotte, arranged for Randy and Clair to share a meal during the campus visit. 

Not long after their first meeting in Arizona, Randy invited Clair to the Charlotte wedding of a fraternity brother’s daughter.  They had an excellent time that evening, especially on the dance floor. I was told during the engagement session that one of the items Clair and Randy acquired from a gift basket at that wedding will feature in their own reception.  The item in question?  A pair of gold Elvis glasses, attached sideburns and all.  At the wedding, effectively Clair and Randy’s first date, Clair wasn’t entirely sure Randy was the fella for her until he donned that pair of Elvis glasses and hit the dance floor, fully unleashing his incredible personality.  There’s a photo of the moment on the family wall that they both cherish. 

Randy proposed during a surprise overnight trip to Blowing Rock.  It was just before Christmas, and he said he wanted to get her out of town before the approaching and sure-to-be hectic family visit, meal prep, and general insanity of the holidays.  They shopped, snuggled, and enjoyed some wine in their room at Chetola, and then had a romantic fireside meal at The Best Cellar at Ragged Garden Inn.  As they were finishing dessert, the restaurant emptied, the waiter disappeared, and Randy was suddenly telling Clair that he spoke to her parents the week before. He said they’d discussed how beautiful, bright and beloved she was but that something was missing. Gently rubbing her left ring finger…. he fell to one knee and opened a ring box that held a beautiful 5 diamond band.  He put the ring on her finger, and by the time they got back to their room, she finally remembered to answer his question.

Planning for the wedding was much simpler once a simple initial choice, to hold both the wedding and the reception at Clair and Randy’s place, was made.  Her folks are no longer ambulatory, so hosting the wedding somewhere with an easily accessible entrance was a must, and their house fit the bill.  Even the rehearsal dinner was at home.  The menu: brick oven pizzas from the outdoor oven. So cozy.

Clair and Randy had recently finished a complete remodel of their place, inside and out.  Everything was flawless, and then the weather decided to toss a wrench into the works.  Upon seeing the forecast, the couple launched into action.  Tents that covered the entire back yard area were erected.  It was truly the most impressive tent complex I’ve ever seen, and I’m not exaggerating.  There were umbrellas provided for everyone present, heaters and faux furs to keep the guests warm, and plenty of light for photos.  I was so knocked out by every little detail.  Such a treat to photograph the incredible work of Nectar, one of my favorite floral designers to recommend.  There was hardly a surface without some kind of superb floral adornment–each one a unique stunner.

The ceremony itself took place in a separate tent in the front yard, and there was a ceremony twist that I absolutely adored.  Before the bride and groom processed in, the guests were treated to a little concert.  After a few songs, Randy and Clair entered, took their seats in the front row beside her parents and children, and enjoyed more spectacular music before their nuptials.  It was all so relaxed and delightful.  At the end of the concert, Clair and Randy exchanged vows and were led out by the same bagpiper who ushered them in.

East Coast Entertainment’s Mr. Potato Head Band utterly killed it. The dance floor didn’t cool off until the band’s final song. Guests wore the same Elvis glasses Randy had donned when tearing up the dance floor the night of their first date. It was an absolute hoot.

This wedding was exceptionally unique.  I relished all the personal touches Clair and Randy incorporated into their special day, especially that the celebration was held in their home. A lifetime of wonderful memories were crafted that night. I’m so happy for these two splendid people, and couldn’t be more thrilled to have played a small role in their big day.

Paper goods: The Blue Elephant Design Company and The Buttercup Floral Design: Nectar Cake: Celestial Cakery Hair: Betty Lou Skinner Makeup: Renee Goodwin Catering: Fran’s Filling Station Lighting: Eye Dialogue Videographer: Hart to Heart Band: Mr. Potato Head Transportation: Rose Tents: Party Time Rentals Drums/Vocals: Greg Lilley Violin: Peter deVries Vocals: Susan Roberts Knowlson Piano: Sean Higgins Guitar: Andre Ferriri Vocals: Ian Campbell Bass: Anna Stadlman Bagpipes: Christian Markle

Thank you to Alisha Rudd Photography for her lovely images! XO!

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