Isabella Cables always dreamt of marrying at Duke University Chapel for many reasons: its exclusivity, charm, and the rich history of the landmark. Finally ready to see that dream come to fruition, Isabella took on the task of planning the nuptials to her beloved, United States Marine Corps Captain Owen Caldwell, along with the help of her mother.

Owen’s military dress blues inspired the hues of the celebration, which paired perfectly with the bride’s desire for opulent tones. “I had always wanted an autumn wedding with rich colors and a formal feel,” Isabella confirms.

For the Catholic ceremony, the couple personally selected their favorite bible passages, which were read by loved ones, and opted to keep the décor minimal, as the sanctuary was spectacular in its own right. Isabella confides that her favorite memories of the day center around its middle aisleway. “[My most memorable moment] is a tie between the walk down the aisle,” says the bride, who also admits that she “ugly cried the entire way down the very long” [row], “and the walk up after our first kiss as man and wife.”

The bride looked stunning in a feminine Monique Lhuiller gown of lace and tulle with an open back. She carried a bountiful vanilla arrangement of florals, while her bridal party preceded her, carrying similar bouquets that contrasted beautifully against their navy blue dresses.  

Isabella and Owen entered the reception through the traditional USMC Arch of Sabers. Guests sat at tables decorated with either high or low centerpieces in monochromatic ivory blooms. Each attendee received a favor (which also served as a seating card) of a mini bottle of sparkling white wine from Spain – where the groom was deployed throughout their engagement. The bottles had been hand dipped in gold wax and sealed by the couple.

Though Owen helped his bride make final decisions via video calls, Isabella was still surprised at how stressful the process was. She urges other ladies in the process of preparing for their big day to hire reputable, experienced wedding vendors from the very start. “In this case, keep in mind the adage ‘you get what you pay for,’” she warns. 

The couple agrees that the day exceeded their expectations and there is nothing they would change, especially having all of their family and friends in attendance. “Every detail of our guests’ experience was considered,” says the bride. The groom concurs: “We really wanted them to have a fabulous time.” And so they did.