The City Club Raleigh (previously the Cardinal Club of Raleigh) has become one of my favorite indoor wedding venues. Brandon + Shereese’s wedding and celebration provide the proof pictorially. Everything about their celebration was top notch. From their family bonds, awesome friends, and a great collection of wedding artists to help them along the way, this was truly a spectacular wedding day. And, I have the images to prove it!
City Club Raleigh
And now, Insights from the Bride!
Share with us how you two met:
Brandon and I attended the same high school. I knew of him in passing, but we never really interacted in high school. A few years later, we’re both college students living in the same residence hall on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University. A mutual friend thought we’d make a perfect match, so she set us up. We quickly became friends. It wasn’t very long before we were hanging out several times a week. I admired his intellect and laid-back but confident nature. He liked my bubbly personality and quick wit. In summer 2007, a month before the start of my junior year, we agreed to become an exclusive couple. Our relationship continued to grow as we transitioned from undergraduate to graduate school, and finally into our professional careers.
Tell us about your proposal:
It was my 25th birthday, and Brandon and I were in Chicago for a fun-filled weekend to celebrate this milestone. We’d spent most of the day on Saturday visiting Chicago attractions and had planned a romantic birthday dinner for later that evening. Unbeknown to me, however, Brandon had another plan that he’d been working on for weeks. It was a plan that included our families and my best friends traveling to Chicago and joining us for dinner that evening to witness the memorable moment when he would ask me to become his wife. It was a top-secret plan and no one was to breathe a word of it to me. It would be one of the biggest surprises of my life! So on that evening, as we climbed into the backseat of the taxi headed to the restaurant, I had no idea that what I thought was going to be a quiet birthday dinner for two, would turn out to be an engagement celebration with family and friends. Now…fast forward to just before dinner, immediately after I’d been surprised and shocked beyond belief at seeing our families and my girlfriends from North Carolina and Atlanta at the restaurant in Chicago, and after I’m all cried out and still thinking everyone’s in Chicago for my surprise 25th birthday celebration, ……… Brandon asks for everyone’s attention and begins to speak. I hear him talking, but I’m not really listening to him (sorry babe), because my mind is still in shock! Brandon begins to read the Bible verses (1Corinthians 13:4-8) about love being patient, love being kind, and as he’s finishing, I see him pull out a small box, and walk towards me. Then, in front of our families and my closest friends, he drops down on one knee and asks me to marry him. In total shock and disbelief once again, I opened my mouth to respond, but the only words I could muster as I looked down at him holding the open box, with the beautiful diamond engagement ring inside was, “Of course!” It was definitely an unbelievable and romantic moment, shared with family and friends!
Tell us about your hair & makeup?
My wedding hairstylist was Gia Peebles of Aura Salon and Boutique in Durham, and my wedding makeup artist was Sharon Davis of S. Davis Makeup Artistry. Gia created a soft and elegant bun that was swept to the side for my wedding hairstyle; it gave me a very polished look. Sharon gave my face an absolutely radiant and flawless look that lasted all day long and did not appear overdone on me. I looked absolutely gorgeous! Thanks, Gia and Sharon!
How about the wedding invitations & stationery?
We chose a design that reflected our Simple Elegance wedding theme. Alison Perry of Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique in Cary provided the invitations, programs, seating cards, and other wedding paper needs.
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding?
Yes, our theme was Simple Elegance.
Tell us about your bridesmaids …
My bridesmaids were my sister, my sister-n-law, my college roommate, and two of my best friends since middle school and high school. Bella Bridesmaids of Cary provided their attire.
And his groomsmen …
They were all best friends from high school and college. Men’s Warehouse of Cary provided their attire.
Tell us about your flowers …
I chose an all-white bridal bouquet consisting of roses and calla lilies, secured with a white satin ribbon and white pearl-head pins. The handle of the bouquet was accented with my (deceased) grandmother’s crystal vintage brooch.
And your gown …
My wedding gown was strapless with a sweetheart neckline. It was a mermaid-style (fitted at the top and flared at the bottom) with a lace and beaded bodice, and a train that provided a very elegant look.
And your decorations
The ceremony and reception areas were decorated beautifully with gorgeous tall and impressive floral arrangements, consisting of white hydrangeas and roses, designed by Lyn Graves of Fresh Affairs.
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why?
My favorite image of the day is by far, the one where we’re in the middle of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, and Brandon is dipping me and leaning in for a kiss. It’s such a classic and timeless image.
How / why did you choose your ceremony venue?
The City Club Raleigh fit our style and desired location. Our wedding theme was Simple Elegance. The City Club Raleigh’s elegant spiral staircase and stunning views of downtown Raleigh was the perfect backdrop to fit with this theme. We wanted a downtown Raleigh wedding and liked the look and feel of the City Club Raleigh space. We also wanted the ceremony and reception to be held under one roof, and the City Club Raleigh was able to provide that seamless transition, as well as full-service amenities.
And your reception venue …
The ceremony and the reception were both held under the same roof, at the City Club Raleigh in downtown Raleigh. The reception was held on the 29th floor (penthouse). The stunning view of the city from the huge floor-to-ceiling window, especially at night, complemented the glowing candles and impressive flower arrangements of our reception décor beautifully.
What songs did you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, and why?
For the wedding ceremony, we chose traditional classical music performed by harpist Winifred Garrett. We danced our First Dance to John Legend’s “So High”. Our reception songs can only be described as high-energy party songs and DJ Red October kept the dance floor rocking all night long! Our guests had a really great time.
And your cake …
The four-tier wedding cake by Cinda’s Creative Cakes looked absolutely stunning! It consisted of a crystal rhinestone band around the base of the cake and crystal jewels accented on the cascading flowers. This bling effect definitely added sparkle and provided a very elegant presentation. The cake not only looked amazing, but it was also very moist and tasted delicious! The layers were filled with chocolate and vanilla flavors with buttercream icing.
And your videographer?
Our videographers were Lindsey and Kevin of Heart Stone Films. They were a very unobtrusive pair, and we hardly noticed them at all, during the wedding day activities. We can’t wait to see their wedding film of our special day.
Would you share a memorable moment?
Yes. One of the more memorable and surprise moments of our wedding occurred during the reception when I was suddenly lifted into the air on a chair by Brandon’s fraternity brothers. It was so much fun bouncing to the beat of the music from up high!
How about your photography …
Dajuan Jones of In His Image Photography is a seasoned professional with years of wedding photography experience under his belt. He produced many excellent quality images of our wedding day, and we could not have asked for a better photographer, both in skill and in personality.
Any advice for future brides?
Yes. Enjoy the ride. Make a budget (and stick to it), don’t sweat the small stuff, and begin the planning process as early as possible.
Tell us about your honeymoon …
We took an 8-day trip to Europe. We traveled to Paris, London, and Barcelona. It was our first time out of the country together and it was truly an amazing experience!
Any final thoughts?
Wish we could do it all over again; the day went by so fast. So glad we hired a top-notch photographer and videographer to capture the day, so that we can re-live it anytime we want!
Day of Coordination provided by Savoir-Faire Signature Events