Chandler and I were both born and raised in North Carolina, and we met each other while we were students at NC State. In our free time we love to cheer on the Wolfpack, play fetch with our yellow lab, Daisy, and hang out with friends at our favorite local restaurants & breweries.

Photography: Donnell Perry Photography

Wedding Planner: Bustled Events

Chandler proposed in Valle Crucis, NC. We had been discussing the idea of marriage for a while, but the exact time and place of the proposal came as a surprise because we had planned this trip for my birthday (or so I thought!) We love to travel, so going into the trip it seemed like a regular vacation to me. I had also recently started working in the office again, so I wasn’t able to pick up on any of the things he thought may have tipped me off. We had planned for a nice dinner, and Chandler realized over halfway through the drive to the mountains that he had forgotten to bring his suit. I later found out that this happened because he was so focused on remembering the ring. He thought for sure that would have tipped me off too, but I thought nothing of it. When we got to the AirBnb, we settled in and opened a bottle of wine on the patio. The patio overlooked a waterfall and had a fantastic view of the mountains and the sunset. While we were enjoying the view on the porch, Chandler popped the question! It was nice to have the weekend alone to enjoy our vacation and some time alone together before the craziness began. When we got back to Raleigh, Chandler had planned a party for our families and so the celebrations began!

I’ve always known that I wanted a Spring wedding, so with the timing of the proposal I had to jump on planning pretty quickly if I wanted the wedding to happen next year. We fell in love with our venue, The Upchurch, and booked it right away. From there, we booked all of the other major vendors and did our food tasting to finalize our menu. Most recently, we had our engagement session and sent out save the dates. It has been fun to hear from people who have received the save the dates and finally share some of that joy with all of our guests!

I am most looking forward to doing our first look and having some alone time before the wedding starts to see each other and get some of the initial emotions out of the way. But I am also excited to walk down the aisle and see Chandler’s reaction then! Chandler is most looking forward to being married and celebrating/kicking off the rest of our lives with friends and family.

I knew Chandler was in it for the long haul when I decided to spend a semester abroad after only a year of dating. Something like that can seem really daunting when you’re still young and in the early stages of a relationship, but he made the most of it and took his first overseas trip to visit me during spring break. Chandler has always been steadfast and patient, whether it be with big things like that or the little things over the years. We value our traditions but we love to create new experiences together as well. We’ve experienced a lot of firsts together – like buying our first home and getting our first dog – and have stood by each other during all of life’s valleys and peaks. We work for what’s best for us as a couple, but we also encourage one another daily as we strive for our individual goals.

We had a great time at our engagement session with Donnell and the photos turned out great! Going into it, I was a little nervous because I haven’t done photos like this before and it can feel a little awkward at first doing poses that you don’t typically do. We warmed up quickly and Donnell was very helpful with his pointers and making us laugh and feel more natural throughout the experience.

We really just wanted to make sure that the photos felt natural and were a good reflection of our personalities. We chose to do the photos at NCMA because not only does it have a lot of great settings, but our first home together was right down the road and we would occasionally walk the trail there. We also brought our pup, Daisy, along so she could be included in a few of the shots. The photos with Daisy were some of my favorites! We had a nice balance of both still and candid photos.

Since Allie knew an engagement was coming in the near future, I tried to come up with a plan that would still surprise her. I decided to book a trip for her “birthday” in the mountains. We looked at rentals together and I had to steer her away from some to ensure we picked one with a good view from the house. I wanted the engagement to be just us in private so we could enjoy the night together. Everything for the weekend was planned and I was so worried about forgetting to bring the ring, that I forgot to bring my suit that I planned to wear for our dinner reservations. We arrived at the rental house and my plan was to wait until the sunset and ask the question then. However, I made the decision to ask an hour before the sunset because I couldn’t wait any longer and was so excited to do it. It ended up working great because we got to celebrate the engagement while watching the sunset and enjoying the night together.

We met at NC State in the fall of 2015, and kept up through our mutual friends. We started dating later that year and this December will be our 7th anniversary.

Looking for a Raleigh wedding photographer for your grand ballroom wedding? Donnell Perry Photography would love to capture this milestone in your lives. Visit our website to view our recent wedding galleries, or to book a consultation.

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