Elizabeth and Andrew met in 2015 at a Panthers-Cardinals playoff game. Both found themselves veritable strangers in a large group of casual acquaintances, and since there was really no one else to talk to, they started talking to one another. Among other things, they discovered a mutual preference for college football over the pro game, so we can just chalk it up to serendipity that these two found a pleasant distraction to fill the time. They talked all the way through the game and into dinner. At the end of the night, they exchanged numbers, each thinking the other lived in Charlotte, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Elizabeth lived in Raleigh, and Andrew was in Atlanta. Still, the six-hour gap couldn’t keep them apart.
Because of the long-distance factor of their relationship, their first official date actually took place in Asheville. They met up for dinner at a French restaurant and spent the next three hours chatting. Then and long afterward, Elizabeth found herself falling hard for Andrew. She especially loved the conversations they would have, long talks spanning topic from sports to ethics to history to the news. When they spoke, there was always laughter, and she always felt that Andrew was genuinely hearing everything she said. Andrew was falling hard, too. He remembers how thankful he was that Elizabeth just allowed him to be fully who he was. She never looked to change anything about him, but just accepted him.
Andrew proposed during a weekend trip to Asheville. They were staying at an AirBnB and had reservations at Curate, their favorite restaurant in town. Elizabeth was getting ready for dinner and Andrew was waiting. When Elizabeth came out, she suddenly decided she wanted to wear a different dress, and when she once again emerged from the room, saying, “Okay, NOW I’m ready!” Andrew replied, “No, you’re not. You’re missing something.” Thinking that she must have lost an earring, Elizabeth turned to look in the mirror, exclaiming, “No, I’m not! What am I missing?” Andrew replied, “Something pretty important. You should turn around.” When she did, he was on his knee, the ring in his hand.
From there, the planning got underway, though at least one of the choices was pretty clear cut. Elizabeth’s mother and father had been married years before at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, and she knew that was where she wanted to have the ceremony. For the reception, they chose Charlotte Country Club, one of my favorite venues in town.
Typically, brides will get dressed downstairs in the women’s locker room, but Elizabeth made the choice to slip into her gown instead in the Georgian Room. I can’t believe that I’ve never had a bride make that choice, considering the drama of the space. It was so elegant. Once she was dressed, Elizabeth’s dad entered the room for a charming first look at Elizabeth in front of the huge bay window. It was such a tender moment.
For Elizabeth’s first look with Andrew, we chose to head out back, where the sun shed a lovely light. Friends and family stood on the sweeping stairwell as the soon-to-be newlyweds shared a brief moment together. The cheering and clapping were infectious.
After a lovely ceremony at Christ Church, the party returned to Charlotte Country Club, where The Band Punch lit things up. I’ve heard about this band for years, and they most certainly lived up to their rep. The first dance was to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Andrew, not a dancer by nature, just can’t resist moving when Whitney Houston comes on. The dance lessons they had taken to prepare paid off, too. They looked like they were having the best time.
At the end of the night, as the guests filed out to prepare for the pom-pom send-off, the band played one last song: Etta James’ At Last. This was where the enormity of the night finally caught up with Elizabeth and she cried for the very first time as a married woman. It was so incredibly sweet, and I loved that the newlyweds had a private moment to close out such a perfect night.
I couldn’t be more thankful to have had this night to spend with Elizabeth and Andrew. I’m so happy for them, and I can’t wait to see where life takes them next.
Cheers to the incredible vendor team that made it all come together!
Wedding Coordinator: Lisa Smith
Ceremony Location: Christ Episcopal Church
Videographer: Stuck In Love Films
Floral Design: The Bloom Room
Paper Goods: Bonnie Clark Calligraphy
Reception Location: Charlotte Country Club
Cake: Charlotte Country Club
Reception Coordinator: Madeline Buchta
Band: The Band Punch
Hair & Makeup: Who’s The Fairest
Dress: Pronovias from Tre Bella Bridal
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Brideside
Tuxes: The Black Tux
Thank you to Christina Elmore of The Shutter Owl for her beautiful image contributions.