On February 25, 2012, Samantha Thrift and Steven Smith both found themselves at a Williamsburg, Virginia, bar and pizza joint with friends. "We ended up sitting three seats away from each other and he asked me what I was drinking," Samantha remembers. The pair chatted over drinks and slices and soon became an official couple. Two years later, on May 24, 2014, Steve proposed as he and Samantha were getting ready to go golfing. "He planned to pop the question on the golf course, but pulled a little box out of his golf bag at home," the bride remembers. "He asked me to spent the rest of my life with him. With one sneaker on and tears running down my face, I said yes!"
The pair spent exactly one year planning their May 24, 2015 wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina. "We wanted a unique venue in the city and we always thought it would be cool to have our wedding in a museum or art gallery," Samantha remembers. They chose Foundation for the Carolinas, a freshly renovated space with modern details, incredible views of the city, and a living wall. Keep reading to see all of Katelyn James Photography's photos of this couple's colorful celebration with modern touches.
On top of wanting to find a wedding dress she loved, Samantha wanted to be sure she chose a bridal look Steven would be crazy about too. "We watched 'Say Yes to the Dress' together a few times so I could get an idea of what he liked," she says. "Luckily, we liked the same style! I wanted to make sure he would be just as happy as I was." The winner? A strapless gown from San Patrick that the bride's cousin fell in love with on the mannequin as soon as they entered the store. "It was the first day the dress was actually in the store," Samantha says. "I instantly knew that this was the dress while I was in the dressing room."
She carried a colorful bouquet of pink and white blooms, including tulips, peonies, stock, astilbe, and dusty miller.
Her five bridesmaids wore pale mint gowns from Donna Morgan, which they paired with necklaces from Baublebar. They carried small bouquets of ranunculus, peonies, and dusty miller.
Steve and his groomsmen complemented the ladies in pale gray suits with mint ties.
The couple wanted to subtly theme their wedding around the Robert Browning quote, "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." Samantha and Steve decorated their aisle with the first half of the quote at the beginning, a series of photos of the pair growing up, and the second half of the quote hanging on the altar. The bride even walked down the aisle with Adam Sandler's rendition of "Grow Old With You" from The Wedding Singer.
In March 2015, Steven's mother unexpectedly passed away. "The hardest part of planning our wedding was figuring out how we could honor her," Samantha says. "We placed flowers on a seat reserved for her at the ceremony and took a moment of silence to remember her. We are confident she was with us that day."
The two exchanged vows they wrote beneath an altar they made together from two ladders that were spray painted gold. It was decorated with three clusters of bright flowers.
Samantha and Steven wanted a guest book that they could enjoy daily, so the two created a large sign they could hang in their home with cut outs of the three states that played important parts in their relationship — Virginia, where they met, Kentucky, where they got engaged, and North Carolina, where they got married.
The reception space, which has incredible floor-to-ceiling windows, was filled with found tables for the couple's 120 guests. Wine bottles painted with chalkboard paint served as table numbers and each table was decked out with a different type of centerpiece created by a different family member or friend of the bride and groom. Arrangements included floral mixes, like vases of tulip or a stack of books with a miniature globe.
The couple chose standard dinner fare for the main meal, but they made sure dessert was something entirely unpredictable. Instead of traditional wedding cake, guests were treated to a dessert table loaded up with treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes. Flavors included marble, white chocolate, chocolate, carrot cake, red velvet, and lemon.
The evening ended with a sparkler exit before the bride and groom took off in a bike-drawn carriage.
"Start planning as soon as possible and get it out of the way," Samantha advises. "You never know what obstacles will pop up when it gets to crunch time."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Foundation for the Carolinas || Day of Coordinator & Florist: Lily Bee's || Officiant: Rev. Diana Collins || Bride's Wedding Dress: San Patrick || Veil: JMajors || Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes || Hair: Dustin Reid Martin || Makeup: The LaLa Girl || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Dominion Jewelers || Invitations: Minted || Music: Split Second Sound || Catering: Queen City Catering || Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes || Rentals: Party Reflections, Inc. || Transportation: R & R Pedicab || Videographer: Victoria Shirley Productions || Photographer: Katelyn James Photography
Did you love this bright North Carolina wedding? Then you'll surely be inspired by another colorful bash in the video below!