Captured by A.J. Dunlap Photography at The Merrimon-Wynne House in Raleigh, North Carolina, today’s wedding is a perfect study in fresh, vibrant wedding decor. High school sweethearts Alex and Francisco fused their unique family traditions to create a vibrant wedding day. The bride included the Jewish ceremony tradition of smashing the glass while hand-painted tiles as table numbers reflected the grooms Hispanic culture.
How did you meet? Francisco and I met in high school. We sat next to each other in an engineering elective. I used to ask him to share his pop tarts with me because I’d always forget to eat breakfast. I didn’t even like the flavor he would bring (cinnamon brown sugar, no thanks) but used it as an excuse to talk to him. In typical high school boy fashion, he would refuse to share his food but since we’ve been together, he always saves me the last bite of everything.
What is your proposal story? Fran proposed at our home, which at the time was an apartment in Connecticut. It was around my birthday so I didn’t think much of it when he presented me with a gift….even though it was a small box and obviously ring-sized in retrospect. I did think it was a little weird that he asked me to stand up to open my gift. I was totally clueless and didn’t catch on until I opened the box and looked at Fran, realizing he was down on one knee. It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made, to agree to share the rest of my life with my favorite person.
We are pretty private and no-fuss people, so our proposal story reflects that. You always see big, public proposals in the movies but looking back I’m so happy we were alone to share this special moment in a place where we were building our lives together.Tell us a little a bit about your wedding: Fran and I love the outdoors so we wanted to bring that fresh, garden-party vibe to our day. A spring wedding was a must for us. We wanted to incorporate a lot of vibrant greens and cooler gray/blue tones which was the inspiration for the bridesmaid dress color. I was blown away with how well Julie from Bushel & Peck was able to interpret our vision and bring it to life with the most amazing ceremony backdrop and the bouquet of my dreams.
We also wanted to incorporate little bits of ourselves and family culture. Fran’s dad is from Colombia and Fran spent part of his childhood there before moving back to NC. Hand-painted Spanish-style tiles were the inspiration for our table numbers and our cake topper was a set of ceramic love-birds from an artist in Colombia that we bought during our last trip there. My siblings also did a reading of a Hebrew prayer that has special meaning to us during the ceremony.What were your favorite parts of the day? I am so glad that our photographer, AJ gave us the option of doing a first look. I was excited to see Fran and when the moment finally came, I was so overwhelmed with relief, love, and happiness that we were finally getting married after 10 years together that I cried big time. I’m talking fiancé-wiping-snot-off-my-nose big (that’s true love, right?). Tears quickly turned into huge grins but it was special to have that moment together and have time to regain composure before we were in front of all of our family and friends. Most of your big day you spend surrounded by people and to have this moment with just the two of us was something I’ll never forget.
My dad is not normally a very sentimental guy but during our reception, he pulled out a set of “coupons” that I had made when I must have been around 7 years old for things like “good for one chore without complaining” or “redeem for 10 minutes of snuggles”. The fact that he still had them after all this time and decided to bring them out on that day meant so much. That day he redeemed the imaginary “good for one daddy-daughter dance”!
Photographer: A.J. Dunlap Photography | Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House | Planner: Courtney from C&D Events | Florist: Bushel and Peck Designs | Wedding Stationery: Dana of C&D Events | Bride’s Shoes: Keds | Caterer: Donovan’s Dish | Cake: Cupcake Shoppe Raleigh | Hair: Wedding Hair by Liz | Makeup: Michelle Clark | Officiant: Personal Weddings of NC | Rentals: CE Rentals | Bridal Gown Shop: Tre Bella | Bridesmaids Gown Shop: Brideside | Groom’s Suit: Hart Shaffner Marx | Musicians: Integrity Strings | DJ: Across the Pond
*This post contains affiliate links.