Posts in Weddings
Sarah with The Matthews House | A look into how photographers can help other business owners

Sarah with the Matthews House

A look into a Cary, NC wedding venue and how photography plays a part in their venue

Photo by 627 Photography

N : How long have you been with The Matthews House? Tell me about the history of The Matthews House, how it started in the wedding industry, why did it become a venue?

S : We have owned the property for 2 years since this past December. Our family bought it as a joint venture. It was originally a private home, then it was a dress shop, then it was a florist, then a wedding venue. It is kind of funny that it all comes full circle to the wedding industry. We moved back to the area about 5 years ago and wanted to branch out into the market. My husband, Vincent, does the day to day work at The Matthews House and also does the graphics. I have an event planning background and assist with the events and weddings that take place here.

N : What are some key things about The Matthews House that separates it from the other wedding venues?

S : We have some prime things that separate our venue from the others. For starters, its in downtown Cary. Once youre at The Matthews House you actually feel a bit secluded via the gardens and the brick--it’s almost like a little oasis. We have great parking. We also provide easy options for guests. We have some vendors they could happily choose from, or we can give them the option to customize--it is completely up to the couple.

N : Do you work off a preferred vendor list? If so, why? If not, are there any vendors that are absolutely necessary from a venues standpoint--like catering, etc.?

S : The only preferred vendor we use is Southern Harvest as they are the ones that work out of the kitchen. However, you do not have to use them at all if you do not prefer. The only thing we require of guests to use them for would be for the bar service--which is great because they have all of the necessary permits to serve, etc. We include a day-of coordinator, Jeanette or Heather, but again, if you’d prefer to bring an outside vendor you are more than welcome to. For catering we do ask to approve of them in advance.

N : How often do you receive images from photographers who have photographed weddings at The Matthews House? Which images stand out more from a venues perspective? Which ones are you more likely to share or showcase on your website?

S : We only receive images from weddings about a third of the time. We mostly receive them because we have sent a follow up asking for images. We are always looking for photos that are unique; we want to see great emotion. Detail shots are always a great bonus, but we are more so interested in the full room shot so that our couples could see what they could do to the space. We have a clean slate ballroom, so the sky is the limit when it comes to making the space unique. We would love images that help give our clients ideas on how to make it their own.

N : What are some things that you wish more photographers did on a wedding day shooting wise?

S : I dont really have a suggestion on what to do on wedding day, per se. However, if there was a way to make the sharing of images easier, we would much prefer that. We are more likely to share if there was an easy an approachable way to do so. We would love to spread the word, but in order for us to do that we would need images of events and weddings from the photographer.

N : If you've never worked with a photographer before--do you suggest having them reach out to you? Do you ever suggest them to come by to take a look at the property? What makes for a good vendor relationship?

S : For starters, we are always available to reach out to. If someone has never shot here before, we would be more than happy to show them around the venue. This would help build a great vendor relationship, but also, ensure for a smooth day. It is our top priority to make sure our clients are taken care of, so if this means to have their photographer come by to take a look at lighting, etc., we would definitely accommodate that.

N : What is something that you wish more brides knew before booking certain vendors for their big day?

S : Typically the first thing a couple needs to book is the venue. I would then suggest to sit down and try to figure out the biggest priorities of the day. Is it the best food? Is it the best dance floor? Is it the best wedding photography? Whatever the case is, start looking at those vendors first. These will typically be a good portion of your budget, so I would do those closer to the beginning stages of booking your vendors.

N: Any advice for vendors who are looking to go into the wedding industry?

S : I think one of the best things you can do is network. You learn so much about everyones perspective come the wedding day. Always be open to communication. Communication is key to a solid wedding day.

Iron Horse Wedding in Cedar Grove | Erika & Peter's Food Truck Wedding

I am officially starting this blog post out throwing it out there that Iron Horse Events wedding venue in Cedar Grove, NC is gorgeous! The layout was just the best! For starters, Erika and Peter had the main house to themselves. Erika and her bridesmaids got dressed upstairs, while Peter and his groomsmen got dressed downstairs.

The energy of the day felt contagious, and the decor of the house meshed so well. I think my favorite part of the day was when Peter and his daughter, Dara, had their first look with one another. It was short and sweet, but the emotions were so joyous. Right after, Erika had a first look with her dad, followed by “two first looks” with her soon to be husband, Peter. Not following? It’s okay, you’ll see why when you take a look at the images.

Right before their official ceremony, Erika & Peter invited their closest friends and family inside the house to witness them signing their handmade ketubah. Their ketubah was just beautiful—and it was made by one of the groomsmen/Peter’s brother. Lots of fun elements went in to it, and I loved looking at the creativity that was placed in it.

The ceremony took place on the grounds behind the house. It overlooked a pond, and right behind it was a cute little barn, and lovely tent that housed the guests for the reception. The grounds were beautiful, and it was the sweetest site to see sheep looking at the ceremony not too far away. Their ceremony housed Erika and Peter’s gorgeous chuppah, but the real beauty came from the ceremony itself. My favorite and most tearful part of the ceremony was when Erika knelt down to Dara and hugged her. That, to me, was the sweetest love.

The night capped off with a ton of dancing, an actual cheese cake (I am literally talking about a cake made out of cheese), and best movie innuendos, and a plethora of food trucks that hosted the reception. It was fun to see the guests flock to the lawn right outside of the tent to eat food, laugh, and to hug. The wedding was every bit of Erika and Peter, and I was just happy to have been part of such a great celebration.

Congratulations, Erika & Peter (and Dara).

Special thanks to all of the vendors!

Venue // Iron Horse Events
Flowers // Family
Cheese Cake // Durham Public School Cooking Class
Photobooth // Spark Booth
Food Trucks // Stuft, Bo’s Kitchen, & El Jefecito
DJ // Complete Music

Eastern, NC Wedding | Deana and Bobby's Wedding in Williamston, NC

“Nikki made me feel beautiful in all my photos on my special day and events around the day. When I received my photos It felt like I was reliving the day all over again. “ — Deana

I have to admit, Deana and Bobby’s wedding was one of those that I felt myself crying behind the camera. Long story short, I have known Deana since high school. She has been a dear friend, and I’ve enjoyed her happiness and general funniness for quite some time now. Bobby, her now husband, suits her so well with his natural humbleness and kindness. I am happy for the both of them, and so happy to have been able to photograph such a happy celebration between the two of them.

Deana and Bobby married in Williamston, NC. The ceremony and reception took place at the Bob Martin Ag Center—wait until you see the reception! With the help of their families, they completely transformed the space into something magical!

The entire day started with so many laughs. It felt so good to be in the presence of some of the most kindest of people. Deana and Bobby opted to have a first touch in the hotel right before their wedding. It was such a sweet moment to witness. If you are on the fence about doing a first look, a first touch may be the way to go. Instead of seeing each other before the wedding, you can choose to touch hands and even exchange cards during that time. I always feel like this helps with the wedding day jitters, and the emotions that come to surface are just so genuine. I am pro first touch/first look!

The ceremony was packed. I swear, I think every seat was taken. With so many friends and family there, you could feel the lovable energy in the room. Deana’s childhood Pastor married the two of them, which I thought was a nice touch. When the newlywed couple walked hand in hand down the aisle, that is when I felt the tears. It was something spectacular to see everything happen for my good friend. So happy for you, Deana!

Special thanks to all of the vendors who made this possible!

Venue // Bob Martin Agriculture Center
Hotel and Accommodations // Holiday Inn Express
Invitations // Downtown Diva Boutique
DJ // Kevin Howard
Gown Designer // Oleg Cassini
Bridesmaids Dresses // Davids Bridal
Catering // Heritage House
Getaway Car // Mr. Ed Lipscomb
Hair // Strands by Sam
Makeup // Dollface by Melissa
Cake // Precious Memories by Sue Foley

Smithfield, NC Wedding | Mandy & Zach

“Fancy This went above and beyond to capture the magic of our wedding day. So much that she even tried to make it to our original date during Hurricane Florence. I've never felt more beautiful when being photographed. Their professionalism along with their charismatic personalities made it easy to feel comfortable front of a camera, even those that do not like getting their picture taken. Thank you Nikki and Samantha for making my day magical.” — Mandy, the bride

I am so excited to share with you our very first wedding of the season! This one is a bit funny, well—kind of. Mandy and Zach were set to tie the knot last September, however, Hurricane Florence had a different plan. With delayed travel plans for their guests, and the threat of being rained out drastically on their wedding day—they decided to postpone their wedding until March. These two tied the knot on their first wedding day in front of a small crowd of family and friends, and held their big ceremony and reception in March.

The girls started out their day at the beautiful little cottage nestled right in front of the sweetest pond at the Pond at Lazy O Farm. They were pampered with hair and makeup by the girls at My Girlfriends Place which made every single lady look extra fabulous. This set the vibe for the entire day. It was a relaxed and sweet celebration from start to finish.

The ceremony took place up on the hill overlooking the pond in the background. Guests sat on the cutest little white benches that even held green blankets just in case they were cold or needed it for the slight chance of rain. Mandy and Zach said their vows in front of a wooden cross which made the ceremony extra special in my opinion.

The reception held the cutest little details, like cups with birds on them—Mandy and Zach are hunters by trade. Oh, and the best part was the pie bar. Lawd, that thing was a beauty! The venue held a beautiful reception hall with black and white checkered floors that hosted a wonderful night to dance the night on; special thanks to JT3 DJ Service for the jams. All in all, it was a fabulous way to celebrate these two.

Congratulations, Mandy and Zach! Much love to you both!