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I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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Fall Wedding at The Umstead in Raleigh, NC | Nicola and Madison

September 20, 2022

Weddings

Guests filed in to the sound of string musicians, holding champagne glasses, as there was a slight breeze coming from the open doors as the rain fell outside.

Sounds pretty magical, right? While a rainy ceremony wasn’t necessarily the original plan, it was absolutely gorgeous and didn’t stop Nicola and Madison from having their dream day.

The morning started off with hype music in the hotel room and Sup Crushes (in true ECU pirate fashion). Once Nicola was in her dress and has successfully surprised her bridesmaids with her full bridal look, we headed outside for their first look by the water. Madison was in tears when he turned around and saw his bride and read his vows to her.

I was so thankful for this moment because 1) it was intimate and quiet in a day filled with a lot on the schedule and 2) we were able to get so many portraits of them in their original ceremony location before the storm rolled in!

Nicola and Madison really wanted to prioritize time with their guests so we arranged their timeline to get all of the portraits (including family!!) done before the ceremony. This is one of my favorite schedules because then it allows the party to be continuous from the moment the guests arrive. They were able to greet guests before dinner and even get casual photos with them during the cocktail hour!

And a PARTY it was!!!!

Key highlights from the reception:

  • The Umstead staff plating Nicola’s dinner in all separate dishes so none of her food touched
  • Punch the band absolutely bringing the energy and keeping everyone on the dance floor
  • Pizza with ranch for their late night snack

One of my favorite photos of the day was when we did a “confetti” photo on the dance floor. This is my new favorite alternative to a sparkler exit!! It has all of the excitement of a traditional exit but allows you to be flexible when you take it during the night AND it doesn’t interrupt the party. It just enhances it! If you have questions about how to make this happen, let me know!

Nicola and Madison, thank you so much for asking me to be a part of your day! You two are just the best.

Thank you to the wedding vendors who made this day beautiful:

Venue: The Umstead
Photographer: Dakota Hersey Photography
Coordinator: Southern Soiree, Lacey Hardee
Officiant: Perry Hardison
Ceremony Musicians: Qi Cao

Band for Reception: Punch, East Coast Entertainment
HMU: Mena Garcia Beauty
Wedding Dress: Lana Addison Bridal
Wedding Shoes: Dolce Vita
Suits: Suits by Sammy
Florist: Tre Bella
Baker: Publix
Rentals: Curated Events
Paper Goods: If It’s Paper

hello!

I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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