If you’ve seen the latest edition of the Southern Bride & Groom magazine, you likely have seen Grant + Katie’s Governors Club wedding featured!
Governors Club Wedding
Complete with insights from the bride!
Grant + Katie
July 2, 2016
Color theme or other theme and a sentence or two about how you made this come to life:
Teal and orange were our colors, we wanted elegant and lively if you can call that a theme. We used orange as an accent color to bring everything to life. Anyone who knows me knows that orange is my favorite color. My grandfather instilled the love for orange in me at a very young age. So much so that growing up I had a wall in my room painted orange and would only look for orange soccer cleats so my grandfather could find me easily. When it came time to planning our wedding I knew that orange had to be a part of it! Having lost my “Pop Pop” several years ago, and everyone knowing that we both shared the passion for orange, I wanted to make sure we included it in some way. When it came time to pairing colors we went with teal and we used orange in an accent role, which brought everything to life.
How did you and fiancé met and began dating:
Our story begins in our senior year of college. My fiance and I knew each other by an acquaintance. We both played soccer for Western Connecticut State. I had said for many years that I could not truly date someone because soccer was my boyfriend. While we knew of each other, it wasn’t until our soccer careers came to an end that we both found the time to get to know each other. We actually played the same position and even had the same number, 20, even though we didn’t date until after we had finished our soccer careers it seemed like fate! Very soon my family dubbed us Team Gratie (a mashup of Grant and Katie)!
A quote from the bride about her favorite moment or something special one of your vendors did:
There were so many wonderful moments to my wedding from my photographer Dajuan Jones helping stage a picture of me in my wedding dress with my soccer cleats, to my flower girls dancing themselves to sleep. But if I had to choose just one, it would be from my ceremony. Reverend Barbara Lodge did such an incredible job working with us, we could not have been happier. Even though we had only met her a few months prior, she really took the time to get to know us and made the ceremony match us. Reverend Barbara made sure to work in everything we wanted to do and took the time to explain the “why” we had chosen the things we did.. She also went out of her way to make the guests part of the ceremony leaving a lasting impression on us to this day.
If there is a special or fun proposal you want to mention, please do:
While our story doesn’t seem outrageous or special it has become a moment that changed our lives forever in so many ways. Grant started planning the proposal in January of 2015 via text messages to my sisters for ideas. With one living in North Carolina, he worked with her to convince me to travel there for the week to help with her daughters. The week prior to the proposal, I was really living up my role as a nanny to two of my nieces. In a very unexpected twist of events, I happened to go on a job interview for a teaching position, which I envisioned as merely interview practice. Little did I know I would be offered the job. As soon as I got the news I immediately called Grant, and called and called. Initially, he did not answer the phone, which was very upsetting as I wanted to discuss this huge life decision with him. I wanted to discuss moving 600 miles away with him, and potentially taking him from the place he called home, without being engaged. Little did I know, he was secretly flying to North Carolina! When I did finally get him on the phone, he was very short with me and agreeing to everything. I couldn’t understand how he was making such a big life decision with such little thought. I later came to find out he was trying to get me off the phone because he did not want me to hear the loud speaker in the airport terminal! Over the phone, we very quickly decided to go for it and make the move, so I took the job! The next day, still anxious and uneasy about all the decisions we made in a rush, my sister made sure that I got my nails done and was dressed appropriately for a “tea party” with my nieces at Duke Gardens. As we made our way to the Red Bridge I could not help but notice Grant. Very confused, I asked my sister if that was him. She simply replied, “Go get your happily ever after…” As I walked up to the bridge he said, “Yes I will move to North Carolina with you” and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
Grant made sure that it was a surprise. My nails were painted, a photographer was there to capture the moment (Dajuan Jones), and especially asked for permission from my parents, all before getting down on one knee! PLUS, HE WAS WILLING TO MOVE 600 MILES WITH ME. How could I say anything but YES! It was perfect! 🙂
So within 24 hours I took a new job, decided to move 600 miles south and got engaged! It was a crazy day!
Reason for choosing the venue:
While we looked at a few places in the Raleigh-Durham area, we absolutely loved the look and feel of the Governors Club. Lisa and Hannah were beyond helpful and so knowledgeable of the area, and what they could offer us to make our wedding the way we both had envisioned it. Being new to North Carolina we needed all the help we could get, and thanks to them we never really felt lost.
A quote from the groom about his favorite moment or something special one of your vendors did:
My favorite moment was watching Katie walk down the aisle. I had been very nervous up until that point but once I saw her my nerves left me. I could not have been more excited to start our lives together in front of all of our family and friends.
When we picked the Governors Club we knew that everything would be seamless and we would not have to worry about a thing. And while every Bride and Groom hopes that about their venue, we were right! For example, we had to move the wedding ceremony inside just four hours prior to its start due to the heat. Without me telling you that, you never would have known that the Governors Club made such a last-minute change so seamlessly.
Describe specialty additions, like lighting or extra events (planned after parties, or other weekend events etc.):
Our wedding was truly a wedding weekend. It started with a golf outing which came to be known as the Gratie Open! It took place at the Governors Club and was rounded off with t-shirts and golf balls for the participants. Grant really took to golf when we moved to the area and he wanted to do something fun with his groomsmen and other family and friends who were coming in for the wedding. For the girls side of the bridal party, we spent the day before the wedding at a Nail Salon and then getting ready for the rehearsal dinner. With so much of our family and friends coming from afar, we scheduled a welcome dinner for everyone at the Hyatt Place Durham Southpoint, which was the hotel we secured for our out of town guests. Simultaneously, the bridal party had the rehearsal dinner at the Governors Club which was a traditional southern Bar-B-Que.
Tell us about your wedding photography:
Dajuan Jones of In His Image Photography photographed our engagement session (literally our engagement and then did two more hours of pictures with us). He is so talented and has a wonderful eye. When we decided to get married in North Carolina I knew we had to have him! He takes beautiful pictures in the most relaxing way possible. He stayed calm the entire day and made everything happen! He also takes the time to meet before the wedding to plan the day and goes out of his way to accommodate every request.
A piece of advice from the bride to engaged couples planning their own weddings:
The best piece of advice that Grant and I can offer is – Do not settle on a venue or coordinator. You need to love where you are getting married and you also need to know you can call the coordinator and get off the phone feeling better about whatever situation has come up. I had my heart set on getting married outside and if I had decided to stay with that decision Lisa and Hannah would have made it happen. However, they knew it would have made it difficult for me to have the wedding I truly wanted. They both made me feel good about my decision to move the wedding indoors, while also making sure I knew it was my choice, not theirs.
As for the wedding itself, Grant and I can both agree that we truly had a party all night long. There was little question everyone enjoyed themselves as the dance floor was packed from early on in the night to the very last song. Even the special moments that make a wedding a wedding were filled with a mix of happy tears and lots of laughs. From my mom surprising my dad and me with a song to dance with, to my maid of honor and my uncle telling a very detailed story about a time I broke a very expensive window in my parent’s house. Everyone had the opportunity to share in the joy of our marriage. My oldest sister, who knew we were not going to have a videographer, put together a surprise wedding video and aired it during her toast, previewing memories from our engagement and including well wishes and advice to Grant and I. It really made the toast a true blessing from friends and family. She even managed to include a special video message from my favorite Disney character of all time Tinkerbell!
Were there any special persons involved in the wedding day?
Grant and I are both blessed with a lot of family and truly amazing friends. When it came time to decide who to include in our wedding party we made the decision to let each other chose the people who we felt had the most impact on our lives over the years. For Grant, it was his brother Merritt who he wanted to stand as his Best Man. There was little question that Grant would have his best friend since pre-school, Graham beside him as well. He also wanted to include a very close friend from college, Mike and his cousin Michael. Grant then told me that he wanted to also include his soon to be brother-in-laws Jimmy and Brendan which made the event truly a family affair as he embraced them so easily. He also included his younger cousins Logan and Ryan as ushers.
On my side, things were not as easy, as I have two sisters (both of whom I was a maid of honor in their weddings) and a cousin who is like a sister to me. We are inseparable and are only 6 weeks apart in age. I could not make a decision between the three, so I asked my cousin Jennifer to be a maid of honor and my two sisters, Kristin and Keri served as Matron’s of Honor. The rest of my wedding party was made up of 4 friends from childhood, Brigid, Jenny, Lauren, and Jillian. I also was excited to add another sister to my family so I also asked Brittany (Merritt’s wife) to be a bridesmaid as well! As a young aunt I have four amazing nieces that told me from the moment they met Grant that they were going to be flower girls. Ella was a bit too old to be a flower girl at 11, so she was a junior bridesmaid but Emma (age 10), Mackenzie (age 8) and Kelly (age 6) along with the youngest sister of Grant’s cousins (Michael, Ryan and Logan) Grace rounded out my wedding party as four very important and very special flower girls.
Brandon was one of my best friends in college and quickly became a very good friend of Grants. We thought long and hard about what role he could play in our wedding and settled on ring bearer, although this is traditionally a role held for young boys, Brandon graciously accepted our request!
I would encourage newly engaged couples to find a way to make their wedding their own. It is very easy to buy everything for your wedding. When we attended a Bridal Show at the Carolina Inn there was a vendor for everything and I mean absolutely everything! I think it is important to put YOU in your wedding. My sister’s designed my invitations and program for the wedding and my family helped put everything together. My nieces helped make welcome bags for out of town guests, and had a blast making sure everyone got our two favorite snacks – Goldfish and Smartfood Popcorn. Making your wedding more personal to you makes it more special for everyone.
Finally, be ready for something or everything to go “wrong” and know that once you have made it to that day it’s all out of your hands. You can either choose be upset about something going off course and let it ruin your day OR you can let it go and remember that the real reason you are there is to marry the man or woman of your dreams.
Anyone else special deserving a compliment:
Grant and I cannot thank our families enough for everything they did to make our wedding day truly memorable. We are blessed to be loved and look back on our wedding as a truly beautiful and serendipitous affair!