Our Engagement Photos

September 23, 2012

Our engagement photos are more than I could ever possibly ask for. All photos taken by the talented and wonderful KT Merry.







Two weeks ago we were so grateful to be featured on the wedding blog, Once Wed! To see the post with the full gallery, click here. KT also featured us on her blog, here!
Now, as we get ready to move into our new home in 2.5 weeks, we just got to figure out which ones to print for hanging! I’m seriously having the hardest time on choosing which ones to order in larger sizes (8×10′s). Any opinions are welcomed!
xoxo, Nichole

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San Ysidro Ranch

August 20, 2012

Jason and I just got back from a 9 day trip to California. It was my first time out west, and was completely worth the wait. We flew into LAX and rented a car (Ford Flex woot woot!) and drove up the coast on Route 1. Over the course of our trip we visited Santa Barbara, Montecito, San Simeon, Monterey Bay, Carmel by-the-sea, Sonoma/Wine Country and San Francisco. By far my favorite place we visited was Montecito and the place we took our Engagement photos. Nestled in the hills, overlooking the ocean is the most gorgeous ranch you will ever visit – San Ysidro Ranch. It was here that John F. Kennedy and Jackie spent their Honeymoon, and where Vivien Leigh married Laurence Olivier. It was also here that Jason and I spent a few hours with our amazing photographer, KT Merry, walking barefoot and climbing ladders in lavender fields.
We spent the night in a beautiful little cottage, the Fig, and spent the next morning walking around the rest of the property. We fell in love with every bit of it. Although the rest of our vacation was amazing, San Ysidro really stole our hearts. We talked about it nonstop the rest of the trip, and hope to go back on our anniversary. Well, one of our anniversaries at some point. I’m happy that this beautiful place has such significance to us now.
Can’t wait for our photos, because as you can tell, we do not take good photos! That second picture is courtesy of SYR Properties, the rest are ours.
xo, Nichole

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A Spring Bride

July 2, 2012

This week one of my friends told me my life stresses her out. I’m in the middle of planning a wedding, just started a new position at work (and am more busy than ever), just put our 9 month old home onto the market, and may or may not be looking to start building another home. My life stresses me out too, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
June was the month we got a lot of wedding planning done. And while I don’t want to share too much on this post – in a nutshell we booked our fabulous wedding coordinator, Melissa at A Charleston Bride, booked my (and the ladies) hair and make-up, booked our HONEYMOON, and literally just booked our ceremony and reception music! Oh I almost forgot, we totally may have found some awesome bridesmaid dresses! I haven’t pulled the trigger on them yet, but all signs are pointing to yes.
This month I’m up in NYC for a week for work, and my lovely mommy is coming up to scour the city for the perfect wedding heels. I already have a particular pair in mind, so I may just get those regardless. You see, for those of you reading this that don’t know me, I wear a size 4 in heels. Yes, size 4. So far I found that only Nordstrom carries my size, so when I find shoes in my size, I buy them. I always said God made my feet small so I wouldn’t spend all my money on shoes. Because I would totally have like 500 pairs if I were a size 7.
Anyways, since I seem to only get around to blogging every month or so (I need to work on that), I wanted to share the inspiration pictures I just sent to both my California hair stylist {Mar from TEAM Hair and Makeup} for engagement pictures, and to my newly booked wedding makeup and hair stylist {Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty}. I get my extensions in less than one month, eeekkk!!! This pictures just scream Spring time. I must find some Cherry Blossoms or the like to get some pictures like this.
All photos by Tec Petaja

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KT Merry Photography

May 31, 2012

KT Merry1
Weddings can be overwhelming. Let me rephrase; weddings are overwhelming. It doesn’t matter the budget, the size, the style. At some point you are bound to feel defeated. And although we’re still a long way off, I hear that the day itself goes by in a blur. All of that work, time, money – for a day that may be over before you know it. That is why I need a way to remember it. To look back when I’m 80 and show my grandchildren, “this was the happiest day of my life!!” The way to remember it for us? Photography. Let me rephrase; absolutely breathtaking, amazingly awesome photography.
Needless to say, photography has been the most important aspect of our wedding planning. We booked our photographer last month after searching high and low (well before I was even engaged). We booked KT Merry Photography, a Miami and Southern California based photographer who specializes in destination weddings. Her wedding was shot by the magnificent Jose Villa, so I knew immediately that we have the same style and vision when it comes to how I want our day captured. Her style is right up my alley; with soft, romantic light and what I like to call “epic” imagery. Her work is simply amazing, and I cannot wait to meet her out in California this summer for our Engagement session!! Aren’t her photos gorgeous?
xoxo, Nichole

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The One

May 17, 2012

I found the one. The other one — the dress. It’s perfect. Two weeks ago I went back to the first boutique I visited with every intention of buying a certain dress. Well, part of a dress. Maybe I should start at the beginning…
My mom and two of my best friends went with me on my Birthday to try on dresses for the first time. We went to a swanky boutique in Raleigh that served us champagne at 10 am. I told my consultant I was looking for something that looked like spring, as if somehow that would narrow down the hundreds of dresses in the store! I tried on 7 dresses. I ended up wearing around what I thought was my perfect dress for at least half an hour. I had the feeling that I didn’t want to try on anymore. I was told that’s when you know that’s your dress. I said yes with hesitation. So as the consultant wrote up the quote for the different pieces (yes, it was a 2 piece dress), I thought to myself “there is no way I can buy my dress today!” That isn’t me. That is the complete opposite of me! I of all people would never commit to a wedding dress the first time I ever tried them on. And thankfully I didn’t. I said I would come back after thinking about it. At least I left knowing I was capable of saying yes to the dress.
Over the next month I visited another store with a different friend. And I found an awesome dress. The perfect dress….for winter time. Oh, how I almost switched my entire wedding plans just so I could have a fall/winter wedding and wear this dress! It had pockets. Enough said. I decided then and there that I would go with part of the first dress from the boutique. I would get the designer Monique Lhuillier skirt and would buy the corset top somewhere else. Brilliant. I could do this. When a little weekend trip to Charlotte with three of my bridesmaids came along, we jumped at the opportunity to look at bridesmaids dresses. After the first store proved to be a bust, we decided on a whim to drive to a place called New York Bride and Groom. We didn’t have much luck with bridesmaids dresses there, either. But at the back of the store was rows and ROWS of huge, frilly wedding gowns. And as my luck would have it, I found a gorgeous corset, with beautiful floral appliqué and beading. And the price made it so much sweeter. The girls all picked out dresses for me to try, but I only ended up trying on one. I cried. My friends were so happy for me. I had found the other part of my dress! I could go get the skirt, have this corset and come in on budget! Hooray!!! I said yes to the dress.
The next weekend me and my mom went back to the first boutique to buy the Monique Lhuillier skirt. We didn’t tell the consultant this, as I still wanted to try on a few more dresses as it would be the last time I would. I described a pretty Elizabeth Fillmore dress to my consultant and asked to try it on. They didn’t have it, but the owner overheard me asking and pulled out a dress from a different designer that was somewhat similar. Sure…ok. I’ll try it on.
I bought it. Two weeks later and I am still giddy.
In so many ways, I said yes to the dress FOUR times! I had that moment again and again and said yes to perfectly wonderful, beautiful dresses. But in the end I found the one I was meant for. I can’t wait to marry Jason in it.

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