Angie & David

By Carol Wills, Photography by Michael Moss Photography

Angie Cole and David Padilla were married on a warm July evening this past summer at the Stockroom at 230, a popular urban venue located on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. They had known each other for seven or eight years through friends of friends, but had seen each other only in passing. But when David finally asked her out for lunch, they hit it off right away.

A close friend, Ed Sansbury, officiated at their July 17th ceremony and about 60 wedding guests attended. Angie’s best friend, Erin Stanaland, served as Angie’s maid of honor and Michael Padilla, David’s brother, was the best man. The two flower girls were Angie’s eight-year-old daughter Gaddyn Cole, and David’s half-sister, seven-year-old Sofia Padilla. All the attendants were dressed in light blush pink dresses and the men wore tuxedos. The flowers that decorated the room and also made up the wedding party’s bouquets and boutonnieres were a mix of white and light pink flowers appropriate for the summer season, mostly roses and peonies.

For her wedding dress, Angie chose a white lace dress with a short train, and a deep V-neck front and back. “I wanted something soft and elegant,” says Angie, “and something cool enough to deal with the July heat.”

The Stockroom was the setting for a gorgeous reception. Tables were adorned with tall glass flower vases, crystals, candles, and white-and-gold place settings with a hint of blush pink. Fresh Affairs handled the decorating and Rocky Top Hospitality hosted a delicious buffet dinner.

The evening featured dancing, beginning with the bride and groom’s dance to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, and then moving into Top 40s hits. “David’s dance with Gaddyn was the cutest thing ever,” Angie remembers. “Gaddyn felt like a little princess as he twirled her around the floor. It was wonderful to have all our relatives and friends with us for our wedding day. That’s what made the occasion special and intimate and dear to us.”

The wedding took place in what Angie describes as one of the most hectic months of her life. Beyond planning a wedding around their busy lives (David is a regional sales manager for Boston Scientific and Angie is a real estate agent who owns her own company, A Cole Realty), Angie managed to sell both her and David’s homes and purchase a home in the Hamptons at Umstead. She acknowledges that hiring a wedding planner was a necessity. “Shawn Schindler Events was absolutely amazing,” she says. “I remember the week prior to our wedding feeling as if I should be stressing, but instead feeling only peaceful and calm.”

Following the ceremony, the cocktail hour was held downstairs at the Mahler Art Museum. An acoustic guitarist sang in the background while guests mingled.

David and Angie spent their week-long honeymoon at the Ritz Hotel in Maui, Hawaii. They alternated days of relaxation spent at the beach and adventures such as zip-lining, driving ATVs and taking a day-long tour of the mountains.

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Christopher & Damien

By Carol Wills, Photography by Donna Ransom

Christopher and Damien Pearson were married on May 23rd, 2015 in a ceremony officiated by their good friend, Randy Taylor, that took place on the steps of the Raleigh Convention Center. They had come to the convention in costume, dressed up as a couple from their favorite anime, Black Butler. The gathering at the Convention Center was Animazement, an all-volunteer, fan-run anime convention celebrating popular Japanese visual culture in all its forms.

While the official attendees of their wedding consisted of close friends and family, due to the wedding taking place at the convention, Damien says there were at least a couple hundred people who witnessed the ceremony while waiting to go inside the venue. “We were told afterwards that the staff of Animazement delayed the opening of registration to the convention so that our ceremony wouldn’t get interrupted,” he says.

Damien and Christopher say they didn’t have a band or music of any sort, since their reception was just a short hour-long lunch. However, they did have a single trumpeter play a song at the beginning of the ceremony to accompany the wedding party as they walked to their spots on the steps. “The song the trumpeter played was a waltz that is used in the anime Chris and I dressed up from,” says Damien. “We didn’t have any flowers – actually we had no decorations at all, since the variety of costumes would be enough to fill our space on the stairs.”

“There weren’t any certain colors or a real definite dress code,” says Damien. “In the spirit of the convention, and honoring the way Chris and I got together, our friends’ and families’ attire for the wedding was all cosplay – or costumes – ranging from Mary Poppins to Merlin to Digimon to Breaking Bad.

“We treated the entire convention weekend as our honeymoon,” he goes on. “At conventions, we typically share a room with friends so that it’s cheaper, but for our wedding, we stayed in our own room at the Marriott to make it a more special occasion for us.”

The setting may have been unusual for a wedding, but it was especially appropriate for Damien and Chris, because it was their mutual enthusiasm for anime conventions that brought them together in the first place. “What really made our wedding day special,” says Damien, “was how both families joined in. It was a ton of fun seeing everyone else dressed up and to see how much they enjoyed the atmosphere of the convention as well. Chris and I go to these conventions all year around, and cosplay at every single one. It meant a lot to both of us that everyone had as much fun as we did. Our wedding was unique – and will be remembered by a ton of people for a long time.”

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Lisa & Michael

By Carol Wills, Photography by Jennifer Cody, EgoMedia Photography

Lisa Kornstein and Michael Kaufman were married on June 6th, 2015. Their wedding took place at the home of friends in Annapolis, Maryland, just outside an old red tobacco barn on property overlooking the South River. Their reception, with dinner and dancing, took place inside the barn. “Our wedding was truly magical,” Lisa says, “and that feeling was more than just the beautiful scenery.”

“People kept telling us throughout the whole weekend, ‘You can just feel the love here,” she adds. Their wedding attendants included their seven children, as well as Lisa’s brother, his wife and one niece.

Because Lisa wanted everything to feel natural and fresh, their decorations consisted of “a lot of whites and greens.” Originally Lisa had not planned to wear a traditional wedding gown, but her mother was in poor health, and one of their last outings together, at her mother’s request, was a trip to try on wedding dresses. Lisa chose a traditional gown because her mother loved seeing her in it. It was a Vera Wang – very simple and elegant. Her bridesmaids wore Rachel Pally lilac and ivory, and her daughter Calyn wore a dress by Tangerine. Mike and all the other groomsmen wore white dinner jackets.

The newlywed Kaufmans danced to the music of a local band from Raleigh, The Remedy. But there was an unexpected twist to the musical program. “We are huge fans of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band,” Lisa remembers. “We had seen a sax player from New Jersey covering Bruce songs in Florida one night. We went up to him at the break and said, “We know this is kind of random, but we’re getting married in June in Maryland, and we have to have you there!”

“He was fantastic, and said he would love to. We exchanged information and – he actually showed up! His addition to the ambiance of our wedding is unforgettable. It was so us!”

The Kaufmans spent their honeymoon at Hotel Christopher in St. Barths.

Lisa’s mother passed away in October, after telling friends that she was waiting for both of her children to be truly happy. She wanted to be sure they were both where they were meant to be. “I’m happy that her confidence in the love I have found let her be at peace, and it’s my job to keep living and honoring her with this happiness and the full life we have built,” says Lisa.

“Our set-up is atypical in that we are both entrepreneurs running our own companies in two different states, with six kids and a rescue Great Dane between us, so life is completely chaotic and complex, but also incredibly full of love,” she says. (Lisa is the founder of the women’s clothing boutique Scout & Molly’s, which is now franchising all over the US, and Mike owns Kaufman Lynn Construction.) “We decided love really can conquer all as long as we keep our ‘want for us’ front and center in our minds at all times.”

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