Jennifer + Will: Top of the World

A girl walks into a bar… and meets the man of her dreams. If you’re waiting for the punchline: they get hitched!

Jennifer and Will after the ceremony

Jennifer and Will were introduced by a mutual friend at Top of the Hill, just down the street from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where they both attended college. Jennifer was out with some friends, including a classmate, Renatta, who went to high school with Will. When Will randomly showed up with his own friends, Renatta made the introduction and the two hit it off. After only one and a half dates (read: one “mini” frozen-yogurt date and one official dinner-and-a-movie date), they knew they had something special.

The Tarheel lovebirds dated for about three years before getting engaged during a romantic October vacation in Asheville, North Carolina. Exploring downtown, tasting wines and dining on scrumptious meals all took a backseat to the moment Will proposed atop a waterfall in the middle of a nature hike. Talk about picturesque!

When it came to planning the wedding (slated for the following October,) Jennifer wasn’t keen on the typical autumn palette. She decided a classic black and white wedding — simple and elegant — would suit them well. From adorable black bridesmaid dresses from White House | Black Market to the black and white checkered floor of the reception ballroom, the scheme worked perfectly.

Jennifer Invitation and Ribbon Program from The Green Kangaroo

Jennifer sought out her college friend, our own ‘Roo Kimberly, for wedding invitation advice. Kimberly presented her with several classic-looking options. Taking advantage of the nearly limitless customizations available, she opted to have her wedding invitations printed digitally as well as purchase and assemble her own ribbon. Later, Jennifer ordered a coordinating program for the ceremony.

On October 21, Jennifer met Will at the altar of Holy Infant Catholic Church in Durham… albeit thirty minutes late because the limo driver got lost! Luckily, that was the only slight flaw in their perfect day.

After a fun photo session at their alma mater, the newlyweds made their way to the reception at the gorgeous Carolina Inn. White flower arrangements (by Lyn at Fresh Affairs), candles and linens adorned the tables. And they did pull in some fall foliage after all with a guest-book-of-sorts: a tree painting accompanied by ink pads for guests to add thumbprint “leaves” along with their signatures.

Selecting the food for their celebration was one of their favorite parts of the planning process, and they couldn’t have been happier with their choices: a shrimp and grits station, a macaroni-and-cheese station, pork medallions, antipasti, seafood (and more!) For dessert, they decided to get creative with a Venetian table provided by the Carolina Inn and a gelato cart from Sugarland.

Gelato bar dessert

Although everything was carefully planned, not everyone was privy to every plan… Jennifer surprised the guests by pulling out some ruby red shoes to wearing during her father-daughter dance to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from her favorite childhood movie The Wizard of Oz. Later on, Will and his groomsmen serenaded the bride with “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” and Will’s Boy Scout buddies attached a homemade ball-and-chain to Will’s ankle as they sang! You could definitely say it was a spectacular evening!

Party time!

Randy Bennett of Joe Bunn DJ Company kept the party going for nearly three hours, but at last, the festivities had to come to an end. The newlyweds exited through a tunnel of guests with blazing sparklers. Even though Jennifer suffered a few burn holes in her dress, she asserted, “it was so worth it!”

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A special thanks to Jennifer and Will’s photographer, Craig Carpenter, for providing such lovely images from the occasion! Widely regarded as one of the the most sought-after wedding photographers in North Carolina, Craig Carpenter of Luster Studios captures award-winning images through creative ideas and authentic photojournalism. His unique style and thoughtful personality help him document planned and spontaneous moments that evokes viewers to care about the people that are in them. Please visit the wedding image galleries and read some wonderful reviews by those that have already shared the experience.

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