Victoria and Ben are the bee’s knees, especially considering they got married on a July day with zero rain in the forecast, and then it POURED for the one hour that we were supposed to take pictures (no rain at all besides that single hour). Not even the kind-of-raining rain, but like, unshootable-levels of rain. Thankfully The Cookery has a badass bridal suite now that we were able to hunker down in for their newlywed shots! No complaints from Victoria or Ben, who had liquor nearby but, most importantly, each other. ;) Victoria reminds me of a brunette version of Taylor Swift, but she also gets told that she looks like a young Neve Campbell and that’s also very true. I think Geoff and I thought of at least three other attractive women she looks like during the evening, so I’d say she has a lot of good celebrity comparisons. She is adorable and spunky and also an upcoming author which I am SO excited about! She has a young adult book coming up next year which is going to kick all the ass and take all the names. And right beside this incredibly intelligent and creative woman is her equally intelligent and creative partner Ben, who’s a doctor who enjoys music and literature alongside Victoria (particularly Russian literature? but also they love Harry Potter? so I think they enjoy a wide variety of genres).

For their wedding, they were surrounded by their lovely family and friends (one of whom was a bridesmaid who I had as another bridesmaid before, and who we also run into at every Star Wars movie premiere). The best part about the bridesmaids is that their skirts contained a lot of tulle, and they enjoyed putting said tulle over their faces to pretend they were ghosts. They were my favorites. They’d also do this on command, as well as fluff out their tulle to protect Victoria anytime you said, “BRIDESMAIDS, ACTIVATE!” I feel like I need each and every one of these ladies in my life to protect me with their tulle anytime I run into someone I don’t want to see, or when someone strikes up a conversation with me in line at the Post Office. Besides having great bridesmaids (and groomsmen!), Victoria and Ben’s wedding had absolutely gorgeous details – from their Harry Potter themed wedding table numbers to their plastic dinosaurs and vintage purses. It was perfectly them, and very cozy. They decided to have their ceremony inside since it was so hot, and with everything indoors in The Cookery’s warm and dark interior, it did remind us a bit of what Harry Potter wedding venues must be like.

Date: July 29, 2018
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Cookery // Durham, NC
First Dance Song: “Love” – Lana Del Rey
Ben’s Occupation: Internal Medicine Physician
Victoria’s Occupation: Experimental Psychologist and professional novelist
How You Met: OKCupid, over Rachmaninoff! irl? A coffee shop in Iowa City.
Interesting Fact: The first book we read together (for Valentine’s Day!) was the Kruetzer Sonata by Tolstoy, which is about a man who kills his wife because he’s jealous about her relationship with her music teacher.
Honeymoon: Banff National Park in Canada
Officiant: Dr. Garry Crites
DJ: Jess Dilday (DJ PlayPlay)
Florist: Michelle Duncan (Embellished Blooms)
Cake: Cailey (Sugarland Chapel Hill)
Caterer: Jacob Boehm (Snap Pea Catering)
Hair: Gina (Bella Capelli Salon)
Makeup: Sharon Davis Makeup
Coordinator: Sabrina Seymore Events

This is, proudly, the second bridesmaid of our beloved past client Carly that we’ve had the pleasure of photographing! Carly seems to permeate most things we do, and we’re totally okay with that because we love her. Carly’s mom even was accidentally present at a consult we had with Tory and her mom! So everything’s like a small little circle of Carly and we love it. We’re so glad that we were introduced to Tory, who is a kind, hilarious, creative soul who loves lemurs. Her sister-in-law Sara works at the Duke Lemur Center, and they just started recently doing weddings there, so it was a perfect fit! You guys, we learned a lot about lemurs. They live in Madagascar and are the only primates there. There are so many species of lemurs that they’ve all developed distinct traits – from the color of their coat and eyes, to different things they eat, to different ways of behaving in order to all survive together. Plus, did you know John Cleese likes lemurs? He’s a frequent visitor to the Duke Lemur Center (because why not?). Tory and I have a mutual love for Monty Python so this was an extra exciting bonus for her venue choice.

On the morning of the wedding, I hadn’t yet met Adam, and I asked Tory what he was like. She said, “Oh, he’s so friendly. He will make friends with anyone!” and I totally agree. Adam is an absolutely delightful human being. He’s incredibly friendly with a big smile and a great laugh, and everyone had really great, endearing stories to tell about both him and Tory all day. Tory’s brother officiated the wedding, adding several adorable stories of his own (including a lot about Tory’s love for all things chart, graph, and data-related, so when later in the night I found a huge graph detailing her father’s sense of humor I was not surprised to learn she had made it). The reception was held in Tory’s parents’ house, which is an incredible midcentury modern work of art… complete with a lemur Christmas tree. Everything was personalized and perfect.

We did discover on the day of the wedding that Adam is mildly (like 5%) afraid of lemurs. None of us knew this (including Adam) until we directly approached said lemurs. And I have to say, while they’re incredibly adorable, I think something about their intense beady eyed stare and quick movements does make them a tad intimidating (the lemurs, not Tory and Adam). We were lucky enough to have access to part of the center where the lemurs roam free in the forest, and were immediately approached by a lemur named Nacho and his friend. I don’t remember the friend’s name because Nacho just really stuck with me because I really like nachos. Tory’s excitement is evidenced in her face in these pictures, while Adam stands a bit behind her, usually gripping her shoulders, like he might use her as a shield if a lemur got too close. I don’t blame him, as I used a telephoto to photograph them… just in case.

Date: July 14, 2018
Ceremony Venue: Duke Lemur Center // Durham, NC
Reception Venue: Private Residence // Durham, NC
First Dance Song: “Painting by Chagal” – Weepies cover performed by Tory’s Aunt Victoria Clark, cousin Thomas Luke Guest, and accompanied by cousin Kyle Anderson
How You Met: As reluctant attendees of a fundraiser in Boston
Honeymoon: Cycling through Ireland and Scotland
Officiant: Banks Clark (Tory’s brother)
DJ: DJ Jay Mik
Florist: Tory!
Cake: Monuts
Caterer: Durham Catering
Hair/Makeup: Tiffany at Arrow Salon
Coordinator: Nancy Kelly
Ceremony Treat: Locopops

Mary Beth and Brandon came to us via beloved clients Megan and Carly, so we already knew that we’d like them. Then we liked them more when we found out that they like Twin Peaks, and also cats. Then we liked them even MORE when their first dance was to the Twin Peaks song “Dance of the Dream Man” by Angelo Badalamenti – bonus points for them being totally illuminated by red lights via the Black Lodge, err, I mean, their DJ. Then we liked them EVEN MORE when we got to hang out with them all day at their wedding. They are two of the most thoughtful, kind, gentle people who I want to hug all the time. They had flower crowns and flower necklaces (!) and flower bracelets (!). They planted little popsicle sticks in flower pots for a seating chart. They walked down the aisle together, and planted a tree in a pot for their ceremony, with each of their parents watering it. They treated everyone with kindness and were two of the most gracious wedding hosts. All the vendors were able to sit at a table with the guests and eat (!!) and we were treated so very well. They’re just good people.

The day contained added bonus points for using taking pictures in a neighborhood that contained a friendly neighborhood cat who then, once befriended, we literally could not get rid of. He’s in like, every picture after that unless we cropped him out. He insisted on posing with them and stopped just shy of giving us suggestions and directions and taking over the entire wedding by himself. I know they say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, or pennies in your shoe and stuff, but I’m fairly certain that a cat who’s knowledgeable about photography and inserts himself into every posed picture has to mean SOMETHING, right? I’m guessing it’ll mean like 25 years of the BEST LUCK EVER and then after that just regular good luck. And I hope so, because Mary Beth and Brandon deserve it. So happy to have come across them and to photograph this beautiful wedding at The Cookery’s new space!

Date: June 23, 2018
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Cookery // Durham, NC
First Dance Song: “Dance of the Dream Man” – Angelo Badalamenti
Brandon’s Occupation: Energy Specialist (Mechanical Engineer)
Mary Beth’s Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
How You Met: In farm school in Pittsboro, NC in 2008
Interesting Fact: We have crossed paths in many different avenues of life, even prior to officially meeting. Brandon still owes Mary Beth $3 which he borrowed from her at the thrift store in 2008.
Honeymoon: France (Paris, Provence)
Officiant: Michelle Johnson, LCSW
DJ: PlayPlay
Florist: Bluebird Meadows
Cake: Kelley G Cupcakes
Caterer: Snap Pea Catering
Hair/Makeup: Natasha Abe
Coordinator: Events by Emily