This was one wedding were had been looking forward to since we met Robert and Karissa at the Forever Bridal Southern Bridal Show & Expo back in August. After spending just a few minutes with them we knew that we wanted to capture their wedding and tell their story. I mean as a photographer after every meeting you have with a couple you hope they book, but with Robert & Karissa we were like they NEED to book with us. We could just see the love that they felt for each other, and then when they told us that they had not kissed yet and were saving their first kiss for their wedding day it sealed the deal, we were doing their wedding. Thankfully they called back and said they wanted to book with us so I didn’t have to beg, lol.
Their big day was at the Preston Woodall House in Benson, NC which is not too far from Raleigh, just 25 minutes. The Preston Woodall House is a historic 1910 Queen Ann full-service Bed & Breakfast, so not only can you get married here but you also have a beautiful room for the night right upstairs from your reception. Not only is there a room for you but the main house has five bedrooms and there are three on-site cottages that your bridal party, family and/or out-of-town guests can stay in. Not to mention the excellent service that the Preston Woodall House staff provides making sure that you have everything you need for your special weekend and your tummies are full and happy.
Everywhere you turn at the Preston Woodall House there is another beautiful backdrop for pictures, which as a photographer is a great problem to have…so many beautiful locations to pose the bride and groom in the house or outside on the beautiful grounds. The Cora Lily Ballroom, the beautiful wooden staircase that leads to the upstairs bedrooms, the grand piano, the beautiful front porch, the whole house is decorated with beautiful mirrors and wallpaper that is a photographers dream. Unfortunately because we had a bit of a freeze the week of this wedding the beautiful fountain outside was completely iced over.
Even though the weather was a bit chilly, Robert and Karissa still wanted to do their first look outside. We did this by one of the fountains with Karissa walking around the bend in the walkway to meet her groom. Robert said his favorite part of the day was hearing Karissa’s heels walking toward him as he stood and waited for her to grasp his hand from behind. Then it happened. As he turned around and saw his bride for the first time they had their first kiss. It was such a beautiful moment. I know that tradition says that a groom should see his bride coming down the aisle for the first time, but I think today’s couple are making their own new traditions. What a beautiful way to add to the excitement of the day then to steal away from all the chaos and have a special moment together before the ceremony and reception starts and you probably won’t have a chance to be just the two of you.
Because of the cold weather they chose to have the ceremony inside the Cora Lily Grand Ballroom. The large windows in the back of the ballroom were a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony. As the guest exited the ceremony the Preston Woodall House seamlessly changed over the Cora Lily Grand Ballroom to the reception. All of the guest thoroughly enjoyed themselves with all of the delicious food and the great music that kept the dance floor packed all night.