• Jennifer M. Outlaw

Mary & Marek :: Married! :: JC Raulston Arboretum Wedding Photos

JC Raulston Arboretum Wedding Photography by Raleigh Wedding Photographer AO&JO Photography & Videography


Because Mary & Marek had been together for so long before they got married being high school sweethearts and all they were both completely surprised with how emotional they were on their wedding day. When I asked them to describe how they felt that day they said "It was a day filled with love, laughter, and a lot of happy tears! We never thought in a million years that we would be so emotional since we had been together for so long and it just reaffirmed our love." I am so thankful that we were able to be a part of their day. I know I say it all the time, but we have the BEST JOB EVER!


Congratulations Mary & Marek! Thank you for allowing AO&JO Photography & Videography to be a part of your special day!


I hope you enjoy these JC Raulston Arboretum Wedding Photos! Do you know Mary and Marek? Show them some love by commenting below!


Keep reading to hear more about their wedding day from Mary & Marek themselves.

What was most important to you when planning your wedding?

To not lose sight of what really mattered; love. We wanted it to be intimate, meaningful, and focused on family. We tried to not get too tied up in the small details and skipped some of the typical wedding traditions because all that really mattered to us was getting married.

What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme/style?

We wanted a classic, timeless wedding. We tried to avoid trends and didn’t really choose a specific theme or color palette besides white and neutral colors. We wanted something that would still be beautiful and romantic years from now.


Why did you choose your wedding venue?

We had been to our ceremony venue a few years prior on a random outing. It felt like a hidden gem inside the city. The whole place is beautiful, unique, and peaceful. We loved how you can walk around and feel like you’re in different worlds based on which garden you’re in. We chose our reception venue mainly based on word of mouth. Everyone said the food and service was top notch, which it was. We also liked the fact that it was in an old historic house with a lot of history and stories. It was a different and unique location compared to a “typical” wedding venue.

Describe the ceremony, what made it unique/special

The ceremony was held in The White Garden of the JC Raulston Arboretum and it was perfect in that it was a simple garden surrounded by shaded trees, greenery, and white flowers. We were able to really customize our ceremony readings too which we liked because it made it more about us rather than just a cookie cutter ceremony. The fact that we both cried basically the whole ceremony made it special because it showed how much we truly love each other.

Describe the flowers used for floral arrangements

We kept with our “classic theme” and chose white flowers accented with greenery like eucalyptus. The bouquet and boutonnière were similar with mainly white flowers, greenery, and also embellished with earthy tones and elements.

Describe the reception, what made it unique/special

The reception was held in a private room in the historic Second Empire restaurant. It was a really relaxed dinner and we were able to spend time with all of our guests in an intimate setting. If we had a larger wedding we would have felt rushed to say hello to everyone and probably would have run out of time so it was more memorable the way we did it. We did a few toasts, cut the cake, ate, drank, and played games. Overall, it was the perfect type of celebration for our long awaited nuptials.

What was the inspiration of your wedding cake?

Simplicity. We wanted the actual cake to have white frosting and clean horizontal lines with minimal decorations. We used flowers to make the cake really pop.

Describe the favors for guests

Each guest received a hand-decorated, heart-shaped shortbread cookie decorated with white icing and writing that said “Marek & Mary 10-10-19.” We wanted to give everyone something they would enjoy and not something that would just end up in the back of a closet. Who doesn’t love a good cookie!

Favorite Menu Item

All of the food really was delicious, but if we had to choose one thing our favorite would be the cake!

What is your favorite memory from your wedding?

Besides finally marrying each other, our favorite memory is the fact that we had our closest loved ones all in one place at the same time. We all live in different parts of the country so besides holidays and vacations we rarely get to see each other throughout the year.

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

Stop stressing the small stuff. At the end of the day, those place settings don’t really matter and all flowers are beautiful so just pick some. Just focus on marrying the person of your dreams and everything else will fall into place. Also, do what you want. It’s your day and just because something is tradition doesn’t mean you have to do it. We skipped a bouquet toss, garter toss, and even dancing at our wedding. Those elements just weren’t us so we didn’t include them. Everyone still had a great time!




The Creative Team

Ceremony Venue: JC RAULSTON ARBORETUM // Reception Venue: SECOND EMPIRE RESTAURANT & TAVERN // Photographer: AO&JO PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY // Floral Designer: THE ENGLISH GARDEN FLORIST OF RALEIGH // Make-up Artist: WINK HAIR & MAKE-UP // Ceremony Music: AARON PRILLAMAN // Officiant: REV. KAYE LILY


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


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AO&JO Photography & Videography is a husband and wife photo and video team serving Raleigh, Charlotte, North Carolina and beyond. We specialize in timeless, elegant, and romantic weddings while celebrating all couples in love.


If you would like to learn how you can have AO&JO Photography & Videography,photograph your wedding, we encourage you to send us a message today. If you're not sure about all of your wedding plans, it's never too early to check the date. We love to meet a couple in love who is excited about and cares deeply about having a gorgeous wedding photos.

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