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  • Jennifer M. Outlaw

Ericka + Justin :: Married! :: The Oaks at Salem Wedding Photography

The Oaks at Salem Wedding Photography by Raleigh Wedding Photographer AO&JO Photography & Videography

Ericka and Justin were married the first weekend in September at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, NC. The Oaks at Salem is a gorgeous that is a photographers dream, not only because of the beautiful grounds that have ample spots for portraits, or the brick wall with a perfect wooden door made just for ceremonies across the pond, but mostly because of the GORGEOUS light that comes into the house. Ericka's inspiration for her fall wedding came from a photo she saw on pinterest of bridesmaids wearing navy dresses with fall bouquets. The navy gown that her bridesmaids wore were the perfect backdrop for the fall-inspired bouquets. Being blessed to take pictures at a gorgeous venue with beautiful fall details wasn't the best part of the day; Ericka, Justin and their family and friends were just so much fun to be around. We had a blast dancing the night away under the tent all ending with the perfect sparkler exit with a cool car for the bride and groom to leave in. Ericka and Justin have been dating for a while...almost ten years. They were actually married 10 days before their 10year anniversary so they used the hashtag cute is that?! Keep reading to learn a hear a little bit more about Ericka and Justin's big day from the couple themselves and of course to see their stunning images.


Raleigh Wedding Photography by Raleigh Wedding Photographer AO&JO Photography & Videography

What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme/style?

Well, I knew I wanted to do the wedding in the fall, since our anniversary was in the fall. Then I found a picture on pintrest of a bridesmaid with a navy blue dress and fall colored flowers. I used that picture as a focal point, which later developed into something else. Fall and sunsets are symbolic of change, whether from season to season or day to night. So, I tried stick to that concept throughout the rest of the wedding planning. The closing of one chapter of our lives to the beginning of another chapter.

First Dance Song

Ed Shearin "Thinking out Loud"

Favorite Menu Item

The slow braised beef short ribs.

What was most important to you when planning your wedding?

The most important aspect of planning this wedding was to make sure we and our guests were going to have fun at the wedding.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding?

From Ericka: My favorite memory was from the cake cutting. Justin had warned me that he was going to put a lot of cake in my face several times during the planning process. Not only did I smash the cake in his face first but I got more on him than he did on me.

From Justin: My favorite memory is when I had to turn around to wait for Ericka to get to the aisle. The groomsmen kept whispering in my ear that Ericka was trying to run away.

Why did you choose your wedding venue?

I choose the wedding venue because it is simply beautiful and had a lot to offer.

Describe the ceremony, what made it unique/special

For us, what made the ceremony special was having our friend from paintball, Duane, officiate the wedding. He has known Justin and I since we first started dating and has been a huge supporter and role model for us.

Describe the reception, what made it unique/special

The reception was special for us because of three reasons. The first was the memory table, showing pictures of our grandparents and a good family friend, Barb, who couldn't be with us on the big day. The second was the way we did the candle lighting. We thought it was more symbolic to show the two families lighting the individual candles prior to lighting the unity candle. Lastly, we were very proud of the favors we made. A lot of guests told us how unique the idea was and how it was "very us".

Describe the favors for guests

Justin and I made wine and bottled and labeled them ourselves. The names were, "Summer Lovin'" which was a lemon lime flavor, "Love Potion #lime" which was a strawberry and lime flavor, and "Deffenberry", which was a triple berry mixture. The wine was still young so we put on the label "Don't pour a cup until one year is up" to remind the guest to let the wine age and give them something to remember the wedding when we celebrate our one year anniversary.

How will you describe the feeling you had on your wedding day to your children one day?

Justin: "The best wedding I have ever been to."

Ericka: It was perfect, even with the minor ups and downs throughout the day. It came out way better than I could have imagined and I had a great time during the entire event with our closest friends and family.

Now that your wedding is done, tell us something that all those Brides-to-be out there should know.

Brides should know that there is only one thing that matters at the end of the day, you get to marry your best friend. Small things will pop up during the day, it is pretty much a guarantee. Just keep calm, focus on the bigger picture, and enjoy the day. Also, surround yourself with the best support system. Even if something goes wrong, if you have the right people by your side it makes all the little issues more manageable and less stressful overall.

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