Tara and Aaron are… wait, wait. Before I get started, you should know that mentally you should be pronouncing Tara like “Lara”… and in case you’re not sure whether to pronounce “Lara” like “LAR-a” or like “LURE-a”, it’s “LAR-a.” Like Lara Croft, only it’s Tara Croft. Okay. Now that we have that out of the way.

Tara and Aaron are the best. I will miss my e-mail correspondence with them terribly… as Tara’s pretty sarcastic but also really loves cats. So essentially she embodies everything I love. They mailed us their wedding invitations and I was honored to discover that Tara used some of her very last cat stamps on us. When I Facebook messaged them to ask whether or not the wing sauce that they made for their wedding favors (!!) was gluten-free, Aaron responded with, “Tara is writing an in depth response. So I’m just going to send a cat on a scooter”… followed by a moving emoticon of a giant cartoon cat riding a scooter. Tara responded the next minute with a fat cat typing on a keyboard. They taught me how to do this, and now all of my Facebook messages with everyone from here on out will contain giant cartoon cats. You can thank me later. As Tara said, “This changes everything.”

Besides cats, they also like helicopters. Aaron is a helicopter pilot! We have never met a helicopter pilot before… and we imagined they’d be something like Frank Lapidus from Lost with a bunch of bandaged cuts on the face and a really intense gray goatee, but it turns out that they’re just normal people. However, they do like remote control helicopters too, just like the rest of us! Tara and Aaron opted for a remote control helicopter ring bearer who flew down the aisle to Flight of the Valkyries and was, hands down, the best ring bearer we have ever seen. There were also a lot of Marines at the wedding, which made it slightly rowdy and incredibly amusing. Every wedding we have where Marines are present always turns into a bit of a karaoke reception, and this was no exception.

I asked one of them why weddings with Marines are always so funny/crazy/wild and he responded with, “There are two things that Marines do well. One – shoot the bad guys. Two – weddings. And three – look good in a uniform. I guess three things.”

P.S. This was our first “un-plugged wedding” and I can say, with resounding enthusiasm, that it was AWESOME.

P.P.S. Also best bouquet toss we’ve seen.

Date: October 26, 2013

Ceremony and Reception Venue: All Saints Chapel // Raleigh, NC

First Dance Song: “Hey Pretty Girl” – Kip Moore

Tara’s Occupation: Magazine Editor

Aaron’s Occupation: Marine Corps Helicopter Pilot

How You Met: We knew of each other through NC State and the Hash House Harriers running club, but we met at Raleigh Times on New Year’s Eve.

Interesting Bride Fact: Tara is a weightlifter, beer brewer, and cat lover. Tara also has an inexplicable urge to sort things that manifests itself as a stamp collection.

Interesting Groom Fact: Aaron is a metal drummer, runner, and helicopter pilot.

Honeymoon Destination: England/Scotland… in a year or two, when we figure out when the military will let us do it.

Vendor Credits: Officiant – William | DJ – Anything Music by James Whitt | Florist – Marsha Snyder with MEWS Designs | Cake – Blue Moon Bakery | Caterer – Visions | Hair/Makeup – Primp Salonbar | Videographer – Apryl Roland (cousin) | Coordinator – Samantha Stover (friend)

What makes me so happy with this wedding is how happy Becky looks. Not that she’s not happy or anything like that, but that I remember when we first met Becky and Jake and we basically discussed how bad she hated having her picture taken. According to them, she’d freeze up. The whole deer-in-headlights deal. And I’ve loved seeing how, over time, Becky has been able to completely ignore me. I can see where that wouldn’t be a normal person’s goal… to get someone to ignore you… but it’s awesome when you go from an initial meeting of, “Becky really hates having her picture taken” to Becky running around the city smiling and laughing and not worrying about me jumping out at her from the bushes.

Becky and Jake are those really cool clients that you hope to get but that secretly make you nervous at the same time because they’re really cool and you sometimes feel like maybe your level of cool won’t live up to their standards of cool, you know? I also remember at the first meeting that Jake told me that he didn’t “just want wedding pictures, we want art.” And I thought OKAY WE CAN DO THIS DEEEEEEP BREATTHSSS. And I hope we did. I think we did. To me, the pictures reflect how the two of them are perfectly suited to each other’s quirkiness… and how they not only make a gorgeous couple, but how they’re just so ridiculously right for each other. They’re the type where, if you were friends with Jake, you’d be more than happy to now welcome Becky along to every previously-Jake-only activities and vice versa. They’re kind of infectiously awesome like that. And we like them a whole bunch. I hope these pictures are as cool to you guys as they seem to us. This wedding was rad… and our second time shooting this year and ever at CAM Raleigh where I think I might just set up a tent in the back and live if that’s okay with the staff. Thanks in advance!

So normally I don’t interrupt posts like this, but I thought this was so cool that I had to point it out because it’s tiny so it’s easily missed. But that bird below that flew over the ceremony that Geoff so awesomely caught just happened to be their wedding colors. WEIRD. Thanks, bird!

First Dance: “Take Care” – Beach House

Bride’s Occupation: Lab Manager at NCSU and also part-time doctoral graduate student in Microbiology at NCSU

Groom’s Occupation: Senior Software Architect at IBM

How You Met: The internets! Online dating site called OKCupid.com – we owe them our firstborn :)

Interesting Bride Fact: Is ALWAYS 5 minutes early to everything…

Interesting Groom Fact: Is ALWAYS 5 minutes early to everything… and purposely arrived 5 minutes LATE to their first date – on a Monday, at a restaurant that, as it turns out, is closed on Mondays – leaving Becky wondering if she had been stood up.

Honeymoon Destination: Dominican Republic

Date: April 28, 2012

Ceremony and Reception Venue: CAM Raleigh // Raleigh, NC

Wedding Planner: Grace Leisure Events

Officiant: Jonathan Prinz

DJ: Frank Meldau of Joe Bunn DJ Company

Florist: John Griffin with Themeworks

Cake: Once in a Blue Moon Bakery

Caterer: Posh Nosh

Hair: Dana Hunter at Alter Ego Salon

Makeup: Belle Trachtenberg at Alter Ego Salon

Wendy and Nelson were married at All Saints Chapel the day before Easter, their rings carried in tiny metal eggs. :) And with Wendy’s son Ashton calling Nelson “Dad” for quite some time now already, the day was a long time coming for all of them. It was beautiful to see them all finally unite as a family, very much in love and supportive of each other.

Laura, the matron of honor, gave a speech about how she knew Nelson was the one for Wendy… and while I’m terrible at remembering speeches and quotes, I’ll paraphrase: Nelson loves cars. A lot. He has a 1968 Camaro and brought it over for Wendy to see when they first started dating. Now, it’s pretty well known in their family circle that Nelson really doesn’t let anyone go near his cars (or especially in them), and he rarely lets it out of the garage because it’s kept in pristine condition. But not only did he bring it over for Wendy – he let Ashton climb in the car. :) Now, for those who know Nelson, this was a really big move on his part, and the start of a wonderful commitment to both Wendy and Ashton.

They all threw a killer wedding at All Saints complete with adorable Easter Egg ornaments as favors and the most. popular. candy. bar. ever. At the very end of the post you’ll see what happens when a bunch of children literally wipe the entire candy bar clean in approximately 20 minutes, and the aftermath that ensued after the sugar kicked in about 30 minutes later…

First Dance: “Broken Road” – Rascal Flats

Bride’s Occupation: Head Hunter

Groom’s Occupation: Electrical Design Engineer

How You Met: Introduced

Interesting Bride Fact: “Always seems to have everything under control and well organized, but is actually a total mess… :)”

Interesting Groom Fact: “Is a total germaphobe and control freak!”

Honeymoon Destination: Miami and then onto the Bahamas in June

Date: April 7, 2012

Ceremony and Reception Venue: All Saints Chapel // Raleigh, NC

Officiant: Rev. Robin Renteria

Wedding Coordinator: Sally Oakley – Personalized Wedding Planning

DJ: Black Belt Limousines and Sedans

Florist: Dogwood Tree

Cake: Edible Art

Catering: Unforgettable Food Affairs

Hair: Charisma Salon // Joni

Ceremony Coordinator: Martha Gribble