We loved photographing this beautiful, vibrant Merrimon Wynne House wedding, one of downtown Raleigh’s luxury wedding venues last year! Tara and Griffin’s wedding day was nothing short of spectacular from start to finish – we’ve included some of our favorite Merrimon-Wynne House wedding photos in today’s blog post below. From the very start of our time together, I knew that Tara and Griffin’s wedding celebrations, planned by the incredible wedding planner team at C and D Events, was bound to be a perfect reflection of them as a couple: lively, unique, no detail left out, and wholly focused on sharing their marriages’s joy with their closest friends & loved ones present.
A Chance Meet-Cute
Tara and Griffin’s love story is like one out of an old Hollywood movie – a chance encounter ‘meet-cute’ in an ice cream parlor on Virginia Tech’s campus that quickly turned into an hours-long discussion of sharing their passions and life’s stories, and even discovering that they were in the same Computer Science program at school. Tara and Griffin are the kind of people that immediately make others feel like family when you meet them. To know them is to share in the joy they constantly emanate for the relationship they have and the life they’ve created together. During their wedding weekend, laugher was in every room and conversation they were a part of, and it was the kind of love that makes you grin from ear to ear behind the camera.
Merrimon Wynne House Wedding
Tara and Griffin chose the ever-lovely Merrimon-Wynne House nestled in the heart of downtown historic Raleigh, North Carolina as the dreamy venue to host their colorful late summer fête. Each nook and cranny within the Merrimon-Wynne offers a picturesque and welcoming ambiance. No detail is left out within the Merrimon-Wynne’s walls – original wood features and molding have been painstakingly restored, antique crystal chandeliers hang from every ceiling, and the public spaces perfectly blend modern conveniences while preserving its original historic charm. One of my favorite featured for Merrimon Wynne House weddings is that they provide spaces for both indoor and outdoor celebrations. From beautifully landscaped lawns out front, to stunning historic indoor accommodations, to a brand new carriage house featuring rolling glass doors, this Raleigh wedding venue has it all.
After crossing beautifully maintained grounds and entering the front doors, the main house’s rich character begins to shine through. I loved how much ample natural light could be found throughout the interior – a must for photographers! White walls and and finishes created a crisp neutral canvas to photograph against. The sweeping ceiling height creates a sense of luxurious architecture, while small lounge areas throughout the house create popular space for a mingling-style event or cocktail hour. Crystal sconces and vintage chandalliers can be found in every room, and a stunning wraparound staircase highlights the grand beauty of this majestic mansion.
Heading up the grand stairs, you’ll find multiple preparation rooms available to couples, their wedding party, and their families. The indoor spaces within the main house make the Merrimon Wynne House one of my favorite venues to photograph at! To the right of the stairs, a large bridal preparation suite can be found. This light-filled blue space is filled with seating, mirrors, and huge windows, making it the perfect bridal suite for bridal portrait time and getting ready with the gals. Across the hallways, a similar groom’s preparation room can be found.
Outside on the spacious lawn and beautifully landscaped grounds is the perfect ceremony backdrop. Surrounded by century-old trees, the lush greenery and manicured gardens on the property make for a charming space and outdoor setting for ceremonies and receptions alike. I loved what an intimate feel a ceremony on the lawn can make, and with such a large lawn, there is ample room for guest seating, too! The hydrangeas in front of the iconic main porch add the perfect finishing touch to a beautiful outdoor space, and are one of my favorite features of this Merrimon Wynne House wedding!
Vibrant, Chinnoiserie-Inspired Wedding Details
Our day began with the most beautiful North Carolina weather! We started our photography coverage by photographing the bride’s beautiful Chinoiserie-inspired invitations, hand-designed and drawn by the bride herself, with bright floral buds from floral designer English Garden Raleigh accenting her stationery suite. Tara chose to include elements of hand-drawn calligraphy, floral crests, and a vellum cover that featured the exterior profile of the Merrimon-Wynne House. Each suite was wax sealed in bright red as a subtle nod to the bride’s Chinese heritage, and the symbol for happiness and good luck on wedding days.
In keeping with their Chinoiserie-inspired color palette, the bridesmaids each selected a unique dress style from BHLDN in a light ice blue color to compliment the bride’s grand, petticoated strapless ballgown from Madison James. The ladies’ bouquets that day were organically structured and a colorful blend of warm-hued snapdragons, anemones, roses, and peonies that contrasted their light blue dresses, and gently stood out from the lush greenery present on the Merrimon-Wynne’s grounds. The bride chose to wear her family’s heirloom jade and gold jewelry as her only accessories to compliment her wedding dress, and to pay homage to her late grandmother to include her as part of their wedding day.
The Merrimon-Wynne’s iconic white front porch, surrounded by hydrangeas spilling over the railings, created the perfect backdrop for their emotional first look and wedding party portraits. Though the weather forecast had called for a chance of rain that day, the storm clouds stayed away, and created the most beautiful diffused lighting for their portraits, ceremony, and al fresco dinner.
Garden Party Ceremony
For their outdoor ceremony, Tara & Griffin chose to create an intimate, garden party ambiance on the lawn in front of the house. Upon arriving, their 80 guests were greeted with a refreshing red sangria signature cocktail that was aptly named ‘Le Remy’ after their sweet rescue cat Remy, and popsicles to beat the late summer heat. Guests were seated on the lawn underneath white canvas umbrellas with a sweetgrass fan in hand.
The centerpiece of their ceremony included white pillars bedecked with Chinoiserie bud vases and compotes overflowing with colorful florals and subtle pieces of lemon & orange citrus slices sprinkled throughout the arrangements for a unique and delicious-smelling twist! They exchanged poignant, hand-written vows in front of their closest friends and family under the ancient oak trees, with the groom’s sister-in-law officiating their nuptials. Not a dry eye was left on the lawn as their ceremony concluded, and their newly wedded bliss was ever so tangible as they shared their first kiss and recessed down the aisle!
Raleigh Wedding Venue Reception Style
Guests were ushered to cocktail hour on the first floor of the house while the lawn was transformed into the pièce de résistance. Five long family-style tables covered in Chinoiserie compotes and bud vases filled with their vibrant floral palette, custom-designed menus, ‘ginger jar’ table numbers, and tall green & blue taper candles for ambiance and lighting once the sun had set. We stole the bride and groom away during dinner for a final round of golden hour portraits, using the bountiful hydrangeas on the property as the backdrop to frame their ‘just married’ glow on camera. During the last light of the evening, toasts and speeches were shared as guests finished their meals, catered by Rocky Top Catering, lit only by the candles on the tables.
After dinner, guests made their way to the property’s Carriage House for a night filled with music and dancing. Tara & Griffin’s energy and joy filled the room as they shared an enchanting first dance to ‘Edelweiss’ from The Sound of Music, with their friends and family surrounding them to look on and watch.
As the night grew late, the bride opted for a chic and comfortable outfit change, and they danced the night away with their friends, concluding their reception with Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, Virginia Tech’s game day song & a final nod to the place that first brought them together. I am so thrilled we got to be a part of their wonderful celebration with such a stellar group of vendors that made it all possible! We loved every minute of this colorful Merrimon Wynne House wedding! Cheers and best wishes to Tara & Griffin!
If You Are Planning A Wedding In The Southeast, Colorado, Or At A Destination Worldwide, And Looking For A Destination Wedding Photographer, Let’s Get In Touch Today!
Photography Team: Sarah Nann Photography
Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House
Planning & Design: C&D Events
Floral Design: English Garden Raleigh
Bridal Salon: Global Bridal Gallery
Dress Designer: Madison James Bridal
Cake: The Cupcake Shoppe
HMA: Reign Beauty
Rentals: Curated Events Raleigh
Film Processing: PhotoVision Prints
Caterer: Rocky Top Catering
Transportation: The Great Raleigh Trolley