Helping a friend with a few pre-wedding tasks paid off big for Rebecca Orazi. In October of 2011, Rebecca offered to assist with a DIY project for a friend's wedding. While the women were working, Chris Hardy, another one of the couple's friends, stopped by to see how the project was going, he and Rebecca both felt an instant connection. Three years later, the pair set plans in motion for their own big day when Chris dropped to one knee at Rebecca's family home in Highlands, North Carolina.
Since the couple responsible for introducing the future Mr. and Mrs. had their wedding at Rebecca's family home, it only made sense that this twosome choose the venue, too. "We didn't want to shop around for a place to get married," the bride says. "We wanted to have our ceremony in a personal space that we both loved. I wanted it to be lovely and artful, and to have the feel of an intimate and relaxed family dinner." And when you're tying the knot at home, it's easy to get just that!
With help from wedding planner Ashley Baber Weddings, florist Amy Osaba Design, and Rebecca's mom, this pair fulfilled their vision of a relaxed, elegant affair on September 26, 2015. Read on to see the photos Haley Sheffield captured of their cozy and colorful fall day.
When it came time to design her invitation suite, Rebecca turned to the friend whose wedding she helped out with all those years before: Abany Bauer of Brown Linen Design. The bride's pal helped the couple created an elegant invite with dainty calligraphy and a monogram they could carry over to the rest of their day.
To welcome their friends and family to Highlands, the bride and groom gifted each guest with a basket stocked with goodies, including sparkling water, snacks, and a guide book.
Rebecca chose a stunning v-neck beaded wedding dress by Jenny Packham. When the weather turned wet on the big day, the bride's dad suggested she swap her Cole Hann pointed heels for her Tretorn rain boots. "At first I thought he was joking, but then I was like, 'Hey, that's actually a really fantastic idea!'" the bride says.
The rain boots tied in with the comfortable vibe of the day, and Rebecca took the opportunity to glam it up with her other finishing touches, like an embellished hair piece, an off-white veil, and her mother's diamond earrings. The bride wanted to honor both of her late grandmothers, so she pinned a brooch that belonged to one onto her bouquet and kept warm in the other's mink stole. "I wanted to wear something of both of theirs," she says.
This groom kept it simple with a dark blue suit from OWNONLY but made sure to have some fun with his socks. Groomsmen wore deep gray suits and joined in the fun with different patterned socks.
Rebecca's bridesmaids wore gold tulle dresses by Jenny Yoo. "I wanted their dresses to be elegant but also fun, and what is more fun than gold tulle? I wanted one!" the bride says.
As a fun gift for her bridesmaids and for the groom's best man, Rebecca hand-sewed award ribbons with a word that best described each person. "I also wrote them each letters about why I thought they exemplified that quality," she says.
With the lush landscape of the home as their ceremony backdrop, Rebecca and Chris were able to keep the rest of their décor minimal. The couple's 120 guests were seated in chairs on the manicured lawn and faced a wooden archway that was decorated in pink roses and plenty of trailing greenery. To mark their aisle, the couple hung swags of flowers from the end chairs.
Anticipating that it would be an emotional day for many of their friends and family, the bride and groom displayed a variety of different vintage handkerchiefs from an iron gate near the ceremony space, with a sign reading "For Happy Tears."
A string quartet played as Rebecca, accompanied by her father, made her way down the aisle. She and Chris exchanged traditional vows, but personalized their ceremony with a special poem that was printed inside their programs for guests to read on their own.
Metallic reception added a dash of glamour to the reception space. Long chestnut tables were decorated with small glowing candles, lush flower arrangements displayed in the bride's mother's antique lusterware pitchers, and a mix of gold and white place settings. With Amy Osaba on hand to design the centerpieces, it's no surprise that the blooms packed a serious punch: Mixes of dahlias, ranunculus, roses, lisianthus, berries, and greenery in a variety of unexpected hues stood out against the neutral color palette.
The bride and her sister created the sequin-covered table numbers and then attached them to birch wood platforms.
The newlyweds served a family-style dinner with farm-fresh roasted corn and squash, salmon, and flank steak.
The couple chose flavors they love for their wedding cake: Alternating layers of chocolate and pumpkin chocolate chip flavored cake were frosted in vanilla icing and dusted with gold glitter. The groom had his own traditional white wedding cake, which was adorably decorated with fondant Minion characters dressed as superheroes.
"I am so glad I took the advice almost everyone told me before the day: Take time out to just appreciate and experience it," Rebecca says. "I would tell future bride's to take a moment to relax, breathe, and take it all in."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private residence
Wedding Planner: Ashley Baber Weddings
Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Groom's Attire: OWNONLY
Wedding Bands: Rebecca Overmann
Flowers & Rentals: Amy Osaba Events
Invitations & Paper Products: Brown Linen Design
Catering: New Mountain Events
Cake: City Bakery
Photographer: Haley Sheffield
Want more inspiration just like this? Then check the North Carolina wedding in the video below.