Fall Southern Wedding at a Pinehurst Private Estate
August 16, 2017
Mid Atlantic
ClassicChurchEstate
When it came to planning their special day, this couple had three key must-haves. "First, that the wedding takes place somewhere that had personal meaning. Second, that we create a unique experience from our imagination as opposed to a template. Third, that our family and friends feel cared for the entire time," the bride said. With Erin McLean Events by their side, they accomplished exactly that with a private estate celebration in Pinehurst featuring Jenny Moloney behind the camera. Dive right in to watch this thoughtfully designed fête unfold!
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From the bride.. For many brides and grooms, your wedding may be the first big thing that you create together. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to craft an experience that represents your collective personalities and values and celebrates your love.

That's the perspective Ben and I had when planning our big day. It was a true partnership and we started with a blank slate. From the beginning, we defined a few key things that were important to us. First, that the wedding takes place somewhere that had personal meaning. Second, that we create a unique experience from our imagination as opposed to a template. Third, that our family and friends feel cared for the entire time - we wanted the space we created to feel like a big hug!

With these factors in mind, we decided to have the wedding at a family home in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It's a special place that we started vacationing to early in our relationship and that we share with our families. Additionally, it offered a completely raw space that got our imaginations working!

We had the ceremony in the Village Chapel and the cocktail hour and reception at the family house - cocktail hour was a mix of indoors and outdoors and the reception was in a candlelit tent with soft, draping fabric. Our overall design approach was along the lines of 'casual and warm, elegance.' For all New Yorkers, think about the tavern at Gramercy Tavern and you'll get the idea.

We strove to create a balance between formal and informal and did so through decisions like having a combination of round, table-clothed tables and long, farm tables with exposed wood. We also communicated the dress as black tie optional which may have appeared interesting to guests given the house is on a farm property!

Our favorite personal touches include: we wrote our own vows (do it! it's an amazing process to write and deliver and we had them written in hand calligraphy and framed, afterwards); I turned my mom's wedding dress into a top that I wore to the rehearsal dinner and also wore her veil for the ceremony; and we did a dessert bar with mudslides and s'mores (two of our favorite items).

Just a few pieces of advice for all brides and grooms: First, pay attention to the details as you're planning and then forget about them the week-of. They really don't matter when it comes to the big day.

Second, don't discount how amazing it is to be bringing the most important people in your lives together. Connect with them, yourself, and connect them to one another. With our wedding being a destination, we planned events starting on Thursday, and by the reception came along on Saturday people were new friends and that made for a true party.

Third, plan out a few times throughout the evening to pause and soak it all in. For example, we built it into the ceremony, after I walked up to the altar, to turn around to face our guests and see all of them at once. We also took about 10 minutes to ourselves, after our ceremony exit, before we did photos, and we escaped for a bit after dinner and speeches to enjoy our first mudslide together. It's true that everything moves quickly but by having these moments to observe, reflect and appreciate it all, you'll come away feeling like you were present every step of the way.