Duke Mansion Wedding and Reception Therese and Walker

In her own words… From the Bride:
Walker and I found ways to incorporate meaningful and personal touches throughout the entire wedding. For months, Walker and I hashed out the details, shopped, shopped, shopped, and met with our wedding coordinator, Jacquie Duggan of Stunning & Brilliant events.

Our Wedding Party: Our bridal party was a bit less traditional than you’d imagine. In addition to six lovely bridesmaids, I also had a bridesman! To unify the party, the girls wore black taffeta gowns while my bridesman wore a custom made bow tie of the exact same fabric as their gowns.

My nephew walked our dog, Beauregard “Beau” Brooks as our co-ring bearer. Beau is so special to us, because exactly a year prior to our wedding day we had adopted the geriatric chihuahua and cared for a host of his untreated medical issues. The sweet senior pup now serves as a therapy dog at several skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities in the area. He dons his doggy tux and diamante harness to attend the Humane Society’s Ties & Tails gala with us yearly. For the wedding, we made special arrangements with The Duke Mansion and with Stunning & Brilliant events for a personal “pet coordinator.” After the ceremony, he was chauffeured to Taylor of Woof-n-Relax, his sitter in Dilworth.

Finally, we had not one and not two – but three flower girls sashay down the aisle in the poofiest little ivory ball gowns with crowns of baby’s breath adorning their long curly locks!

The Ceremony:
Our string quartet played all modern melodies before, during, and after the ceremony. We sourced sheet music for current song such as Beyonce’s “Halo,” Sir Elton John’s “Your Song,” and “Marry Me” by Bruno Mars. Our recessional was my mom’s favorite song, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.

Walker and I read our own personal vows during our ceremony which brought us both to tears. We chose two poems, “Touched by an Angel,” by Dr. Maya Angelou and “Heart’s Haven” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, to be read aloud by our attendants. We also incorporated a rose ceremony that during which Walker brought a rose from the alter to give to my mother as a token of our love.

An excerpt from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was printed on the backs of our programs as the book, my favorite, played a significant role in Walker’s proposal. On the front of the program, a beautiful sketch of the Duke Mansion by Ruth Hand, our calligrapher, was depicted.

White painted wooden hand fans that mimicked the lattice work of the Duke Mansion were placed on every chair to aide guests in the hot August heat.

The Reception: Our memory table held gorgeous vintage photos of family members and their weddings as well as shadow boxes with photos, trinkets, small toys, and graduation regalia that Walker and I made with our mothers’ help. Adjacent to the memory table stood my bridal portrait as well as a fashion bridal sketch of me by my veil designer, Antonia of Veils by Antonia.

We love love loveeeeed having a parents’ dance to Alan Jackson’s “Remember When.” This special dance was dedicated just to them. It was so wonderful to celebrate and honor their marriages on our wedding day and to see just how in love they still are! Some of the sweetest photos, which we will treasure forever, were taken of our parents at that time.

Deciding on and designing the guests’ favors ended up being this incredible team effort between Walker and myself. With some careful consideration and calculations, Walker and I designed the candy buffet. We consorted with local candy shops, the folks at Trader Joe’s, and manufacturers like Jelly Belly and Lindt. In total, we purchased over 100 pounds of candy – including 800 Lindt Truffles and 250 sticks of rock candy! For months, we collected these giant fancy jars on frequent trips to HomeGoods. We even stayed up all night stuffing a few hundred gold, white, and blue organza bags with liners to make the treat sacks gummy bear friendly!

In addition to the candy, we hand-tied blue ribbons onto about 200 mini bottles of champagne to display with these edible gold glitter-dusted cake pops made by Ines of Sky’s the Limit Cakes. Ines even hand-tied shimmery gold and ivory bows onto each cake pop.

Incorporating my Sorority, Kappa Delta: When Walker and I got engaged in March, my Kappa Delta sisters held a candle passing ceremony – a tradition in Greek life and a rite of passage for brides – and were the very first to hear of Walker’s proposal. At our wedding, my sorority sisters all brought their Kappa Delta pins to pin on the ribbons of my bouquet as my “Something Old” for my walk down the aisle. Each of my sorority sisters received a white rose, the flower of Kappa Delta, to pin above her heart in honor of our sisterhood. My senior superlative award, “Most Likely to be Late to Her Own Wedding” was even displayed! At the end of the night, my sisters all gathered around me and sang a sweet lullaby, the Kappa Delta Song of Dreams, before breaking into a super peppy and loud chant! They even had secret practice meetings to make sure the moment was pitch perfect! Having 26 of my closest sisters (including a few of my relatives) make it to my wedding – some of whom traveled from far away states in which they attend graduate school – meant the absolute world to me.

Incorporating Walker’s Alma Mater and Medical School, UNC Chapel Hill: Carolina blue was found throughout the wedding to represent Walker. In addition to the white roses, light blue hydrangeas were used throughout the ceremony and reception’s floral design. As a nod to Carolina’s own designer, Alexander Julian, Walker’s Groom’s cake was argyle (the design was officially licensed by the university prior to being baked), and the men wore blue and black argyle socks. My garter was a custom UNC themed find from Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery. Finally, at the end of the night, guests bid us goodnight with Carolina blue and white rally pom poms – the exact same ones given out to fans at the collegiate games!

A Most Special Groom’s Gift, NFL Style: One of Walker’s groom’s gifts was a visit from the Carolina Panther’s very own Sir Purr! I contacted the Carolina Panthers and wrote a letter to them which detailed basically every reason I love Walker. Much to my surprise, I found out that Sir Purr would attend our wedding reception! He came bearing gifts – including an autographed photo of Luke Kuechly! Sir Purr danced to a few songs, did the “Cupid Shuffle” with guests, delighted the little ones, and even posed for photos.

Here is a sneak peek of Therese and Walker’s beautiful wedding at Duke Mansion Charlotte NC…

Ceremony Location The Duke Mansion
Officiant’s Name Jim Lytle
Reception Location The Duke Mansion
Planner Jacquie Duggan – Stunning & Brillant Events
Invitations/Stationery Red Stone Press
Catering The Duke Mansion
Cake Ines Aranguren of Sky’s the Limit Cakes
Flowers Flowers by Lingky
Hair/Makeup Erin Ashley, Sissy Duncan
DJ Carolina DJ Professionals
Photography Critsey Rowe

And her is a peek at their feature story in Carolina Bride!!

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