Metropolitan Ballroom Wedding|Charlotte, NC|Erika+Thomas

When I had the opportunity to leave at 7am to second shoot a wedding in Charlotte and not return until midnight, why did I say yes? There’s no way of knowing, but Erika and Thomas are a beautiful couple, and I’m honored to have been a part of their big day! They met at a wedding a few years ago, which made for a cool full-circle dynamic. Obviously most people get married at a wedding, but it had kind of an extra special significance this time.

Everyone got ready at the ceremony site, Calvary United Methodist Church in Charlotte. Erika’s friend Danae did an incredible job on the makeup. Erika glowed so much that it took everyone in the room’s breath away!

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Erika and Thomas wrote letters to each other to read just before the wedding… more on that soon!

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Erika’s dress and the bridesmaid dresses were from David’s Bridal; Thomas and his groomsmen wore suits made by a friend whose startup supports a charitable cause. No one seemed to know the name of it, but be on the lookout because I have a feeling it’s going to really take off! What a great way to use your wedding budget for good!

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Thomas and Erika had a first look in the church with their wedding party watching from the sidelines so that they could do all of their photos before the wedding! We moved to nearby Latta Park for the portraits.

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It was a HOT day, so the main photographer Eli asked me to cover the bridesmaids to cut down on their time outside. They were so cute, even with the occasional drop of sweat! The bouquets of white hydrangeas and baby’s breath for the bridesmaids and peach roses and blue hydrangeas for the bride were perfect, and they each had a monogram necklace and bracelet {which I’m pretty sure Erika made for them}.

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Thomas’s shoe broke really horribly almost as soon as he put it on. Fortunately a groomsman traded with him for the ceremony and reception, but the broken shoe brought up a funny story: at the wedding where Thomas and Erika met, Thomas ripped his pants! Wardrobe malfunctions seem to be good luck for this guy!

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After the portraits it was time for the reading of the letters! Erika cried reading Thomas’s and just kept saying, “he’s so much better at this than I am.” She said he forgot about it and wrote his on notebook paper and that it was incredible anyway. Erika’s mom gave her a very old handkerchief for her “something old,” which was a sweet moment as well.

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Thomas loved Erika’s letter just as much as she loved his. I love this tradition!

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The ceremony began with peach rose petals scattered down the aisle, a silly ring bearer, and an escort by Erika’s father, who is from Thailand.

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This wedding glorified the Lord in every possible way, and Erika and Thomas even had a private prayer together at the end. {Also, can you believe how perfectly the bridesmaid dresses match the church?!}

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We couldn’t miss a few shots with these stained glass windows before heading off to the reception at the Metropolitan Ballroom.

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Guests were greeted with an adorable drawing of Erika and Thomas that *almost* captures the magnitude of their height difference and blueberry dipped pretzel favors. Also on display were cute chalkboards, canvases for guests to sign, a date idea jar {pictured below} and escort cards.

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The table decor was absolutely precious! Erika spent so much time painting these boxes with the wood grain look that they showed up in her wedding nightmares! I love the little bottles and colored doilies, too! And so many twinkly lights!

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I’m kind of obsessed with this cake table; bear with me as I share 7 photos of it. So clean and elegant! {I believe the cake is from Publix, which makes it even more impressive!}

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After a meal of barbecue and the cake cutting, dances! Mr. and Mrs. Thurman’s first dance was “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and Thomas and his mom had a fun choreographed dance to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Erika’s dad got more emotional than she’s ever seen him in the father-daughter dance “L-O-V-E”–he’s missing her so much as she’s moved away from home!

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As the sun went down, the dance floor opened up, and the shoes were kicked off. The DJ did a fantastic job and the dancing was as enthusiastic as I’ve ever seen! It helped that the room was a ballroom! Don’t miss that signature cocktail in hand–“Carolina Mist.”

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The newlyweds exited through a tunnel of streamers, in their wedding colors of course, to find their car had been decorated with paint, cups, and a pregnant Barbie. What a fairytale.

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Congratulations, Erika and Thomas! Your wedding was beautiful, and you were so kind and generous even to me, the second shooter, and I appreciate it so much! I’m happy for you and wish you the very best!