We’ve spent the past week hitting the catwalks hard and bringing you the best of Bridal Fashion Week. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about our favourite part our job.

Inspiring you guys for your own big days, with beautiful, cool and unique real weddings.

And James and Christie’s modern rustic affair, ticks all the boxes. Quirky venue? Check! Stunning dress? Check (and it was the bride’s something borrowed!) Pretty personal touches? Check.

And a gorgeous couple who are head-over-heels in love? Check, and check!

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Beautifully captured by Brett & Jessica Photography, James and Christie held their special day in an old cotton mill turned cool warehouse-style wedding venue, The Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.

Their industrial meets bright colour palette fitted seamlessly with the venue, blending grey, yellow and orange along with burlap and chalkboard adornments.

An intimate family affair, the celebrant was a friend, the program was made by Christie’s sister, and her dad even supplied a little bit of the music.

Wedding Day Snapshot

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James and Christies wedding was personal, fun, stylish and romantic. And we dare you not to well up (just a bit!) at their gorgeous first look.

Our Wedding in Three Words? Happy, Simple, Lively.

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Favourite Moments

Our favorite moment was our first look.  We debated it for months, and it was one of the best decisions we made.  Having the ability to see each other and calm our nerves, allowed us to enjoy our ceremony even more.  

Another favorite moment was my dad’s speech. After talking for a few minutes, he brought out his guitar and played us a song.

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The Flowers

Our florist was amazing.  During our first meeting with the florist, I used Pinterest to show her my preferences and gave her the very specific color palette of ‘summery’ colors.  

We decided on bouquets with a mix of yellow, off-white, orange, pink, and corals using garden roses, billy balls, succulents, and other seasonal favorites, and boutonnieres with billy ball, succulents, and dusty miller.   

Our centerpieces incorporated wooden boxes and mercury glass vases, as well as mercury tea lights and floating candles.  The flowers were perfect.

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The Attire

I actually wore my sister’s wedding dress. To make it my own, we ordered extra lace and had it altered with added sleeves – it was perfect. I wore simple, small earrings from Anthropologie (which actually weren’t planned, but they looked the best!), and beautiful hair pieces my sister purchased from Etsy.

My bridesmaids chose their style of dress in light gray silk chiffon from JCrew, with nude pumps.

My groom wore a medium gray suit, white shirt, and black tie; simple but classy. The groomsmen wore medium gray suit pants, a white shirt, black tie, and gray suspenders; again, simple but classy.

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The Music

Our ceremony music was provided by Arioso Strings, a guitar and violin duo.  

We chose traditional pieces, having our grandmothers and mothers walking to Vivaldi Guitar Concerto and the bridesmaids walking to Short Trip Home.

I walked down the aisle to Canon in D by Pachelbel, and the recessional was Queen of Sheba, Handel.  

Our first dance was I Got You, by Jack Johnson.  My dad and I danced to Songbird, by Fleetwood Mac; and James and his mom danced to Love Me Like a Rock, by Paul Simon.  

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The Ceremony

Our ceremony officiated by Phil Smith, a friend at Elon (where James and I met and graduated).  He created a very personalized ceremony by incorporating details from our 7-year relationship.

My brother read Union by Robert Fulghum, and Phil incorporated the “Blessing of the Hands” during the ceremony.  

We also had a ‘wine box ceremony’, which James and I wrote letters to each other and placed in a box – we are waiting for our first anniversary to open the wine and read our letters.

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The Photography

We chose Brett & Jessica to photograph our wedding.  They have the ability to capture the big moments, the emotions, and the details of every wedding they capture; which is exactly what we wanted.  

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The Inspiration

We started with the color palette of gray and yellow, simple but beautiful.  As we got further into the planning, we liked the idea of incorporating more ‘summery’ colors to brighten up our rustic and modern theme.  

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The Decor & Details

Our venue didn’t require much décor, but we mainly used chalkboards, burlap, framed photos, and lights.  

My sister wrote our program on a huge classroom chalkboard, and our seating chart was written on windows by one of my bridesmaids.

Our nephews, as ring bearers, carried a ring box given to us by James’ aunt and uncle, and a burlap sign ‘Uncle James here comes your bride’ with lace from my dress.

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Refreshments

We had a buffet, with amazing food from the local “Five Star Gas Station”, beer and wine, and wedding cake.

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Advice for Other Couples

We were told this piece of advice from a close family friend: “During the evening, take a step back and just watch.”  

Having all your family and friends together is an amazing feeling, and taking a step back to just watch everything creates a snapshot image forever.  

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So gorgeous, right? I love what Christie had to say about agonising over the first look, but being so happy they did it, and her advice for other couples is just beautiful.

Thanks so much to Brett & Jessica Photography and of course the lovely James and Christie for sharing their cool cotton mill wedding with us.

For more real weddings like this one, check out Modern + Rustic wedding days. 

Photographer: Brett & Jessica Photography / Venue: Haw River Ballroom / Bride’s Dress: Alvina Valenta 9102 / Bride’s Jewelry: Anthropologie / Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch / Groom’s Attire: S. Cohen / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew Bridal / Day-of Planner: The Wedding Maid / Catering: Saxapahaw General Store / Flowers & Decor: Tre Bella / Cake Baker: Ashley Cakes / Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings / Hair & Make-up: Aubrey Land and Rachael Sekman of Tanas / Rentals: American Party Rentals