As I look back on our weddings last year, I'm remembering Aycee & Crystal's beautiful day fondly. Their late summer wedding was held at a charming little chapel, which was built in 1920 and has been turned into a wedding and event venue. The chapel is nestled on a beautiful piece of land and is located on the outskirts of Tarboro, NC in the countryside. In addition to the chapel, there's also a main house and a sweet little cottage onsite. There are many places throughout for photo ops, including a nature trail which leads through a pine forest, a large field, many mature hardwood trees, sculptures hidden in many nooks & crannies, and even a labyrinth in the garden. It's such an magical place!
Terry and I arrived early afternoon to start capturing the couple's day. I joined Crystal in the cottage where she was getting ready with the bridesmaids and her daughter, Emma. Terry joined Aycee in the main house where he was getting ready. Terry captured one of my favorites of the day - Aycee with daughter, Emma and the family's two dogs, Rico and Brooklyn. The dogs also served as ring bearers during the ceremony.
Crystal looked absolutely stunning in her unique, one-of-a-kind ivory and pink floral printed strapless wedding dress. Her gorgeous cathedral train veil was her "something borrowed" from her mother. And another "something borrowed" was a gorgeous Italian gold necklace. All of the women in Aycee's family wear this necklace the day of their weddings. It's been a family tradition for many years. Crystal's bridesmaids each wore a different dress in jewel tones. Emma, who was the flower girl, wore a pink and floral dress & the junior bridesmaids were in matching purple floral dresses.
Aycee wore grey slacks and vest, a matching grey flat cap, and turquoise dress shirt. He and his grooms-women all wore black denim Converse Chuck Taylor's. Their turquoise shoelaces all matched Aycee's dress shirt. They were such a fun group, making it that much more enjoyable to us as photographers. As an added bonus, Aycee's mother and dad Anita & Billy are friends of ours whom we've gone camping with several times, both at the lake and music festivals.
Before the ceremony, Aycee and Crystal chose to do a first look, which many couples are doing these days. It helped ease any nerves they both had beforehand and gave them a bit of time to be alone. They also took the time to have some photos done before the ceremony of the two of them together and a handful of wedding party and family photos too.
The ceremony took place inside the chapel, with a reception immediately following in the garden. Crystal outdid herself with all of the pretty details. She made all of the bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces and many of the other details to make their day special. They were going for a garden-party feel for the day and I sure think they pulled it off. The sweetest was to include Emma, their daughter, in many aspects of the day. Emma did a reading during the ceremony and at the reception, a special dance with her mother, then her dad, and then both of them. Such a bittersweet moment.
As for the food, it was on point. With Aycee's mother's side of the family being from Italy, bruschetta an antipasto was served as one of the appetizers. And I absolutely loved their idea of a taco bar for the main course, which was catered by a friend and her staff. It was amazing! Wedding cake and key lime cupcakes were served along with Luigi's Italian Ices for dessert. If you've never had one of these, you are missing out. Those cupcakes were delicious too!
After a wonderful meal was served and the cake was cut, dancing on the lawn continued. And as the reception came to a close, Aycee and Crystal took the mic thanking everyone for being there for them. And then they surprised everyone by singing to one another. Both of them have incredible voices. Aycee and his dad are both talented musicians and play multiple instruments as well.
It was such a wonderful day and it was so nice to be included in the festivities and and to be treated like family. Terry & I really enjoyed ourselves and are hopeful to go camping at the lake with Billy and Anita this summer. We haven't seen them since the wedding, so we have a lot of catching up to do. And as a sidetone, I'm hopeful Billy will bring his guitar and harmonica too!
Although it has been almost 8 months since Aycee and Crystal's summertime wedding, Terry & I are sending out another big congratulations to them! And to sweet Emma too! It will always be a day to remember.