A mutual friend’s birthday party first brought Laura Wagner and Justin Roberson together, but something else would lead them to eventually walk down the aisle. “I’d like to thank Facebook for our marriage,” laughs the bride. Following their first meeting, Laura contacted Justin on the social-media site, which resulted in him asking her out on their first date – and thus, the very traditional couple connected in a very modern way.
A corporate event planner by profession, Laura was excited to do most of the wedding planning on her own. However, she also enlisted the help of a day-of coordinator to help bring her vision to fruition. She advises fellow brides to do the same. “I could not have executed our wedding without her,” states Laura. She also solicited the help of someone she trusted more than anyone: her mother. “Having her approval made the planning process much easier,” says the bride.
An historic, red-brick church built in 1811 and located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, was selected as the site of the ceremony. “We are traditionalists,” explains Justin, “and it was very important for us to get married in a church in front of God, our family, and our friends.”
While the bride desired a palette of purple (her favorite hue) for their celebration, the décor inside of the church was intentionally kept at a minimum for the nuptials. “I wanted to save all the pops of purple for the reception,” notes Laura. As such, only two large arrangements of alabaster blooms were utilized during the ceremony, framing the bride and groom at the altar. Beautiful lanterns were suspended from the sky-reaching ceiling of the church, adding ambient illumination to the early-evening ceremony.
A few colorful accents were introduced during the ceremony via the couple’s wedding party. Bridesmaids were sheathed in floor-length gowns of plum chiffon and carried monochromatic bouquets of hydrangeas. Groomsmen donned charcoal suits accentuated by indigo ties, violet argyle socks, and calla lily boutonnieres.
The bride glowed radiantly in a vanilla lace gown with a sweeping train, replete with a floor-skimming veil. She carried white hydrangeas, garden roses, and mini calla lilies; a tiny frame filled with a picture of the bride’s beloved grandfather accented her bouquet. “My grandfather, Calvin Harris, has always been the most important man in my life,” shares Laura. Also in his honor, and as her something blue, the bride had a cerulean heart sewn into the lining of her wedding dress directly over her heart. “I felt him with me throughout the entire day, and I know he was singing and dancing with us in heaven,” the Laura confides.
Alongside the church’s grand organ, a string quartet played as Laura made the trip down the aisle escorted by her mother. As the church doors opened and she saw her groom, the bride was overcome with happiness. “Standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me was the man of my dreams and I was about to be his wife,” confides Laura. “In that moment I felt so loved by Justin; I will never forget that feeling for the rest of my life,” she says.
Following the ceremony, guests made their way to a nearby country club, which set the stage for the big Southern wedding the bride and groom desired. The couple had selected the venue for its grand ballroom, complete with crystal chandeliers and dramatic dual winding staircase, as well as the impeccable food, service, and staff.
Once inside, guests were greeted with a soirée of vanillas and plums. “Luckily, Justin did not object to my desire for a purple wedding,” laughs the bride. The pretty palette was utilized in a custom, letterpress monogram that festooned signage throughout, from invitations, programs, and escort cards to table numbers, menus, cocktail napkins, signature drink signs, and more. “I have become a true southerner and wanted our purple monogram on everything,” recalls Laura.
Circular tables were topped with cream linens featuring sheer floral overlays and were surrounded by pewter chiavari chairs with ivory cushions. Elegant arrangements of frothy blossoms in aubergine, lavender, white, and green spilled from clear vases. From the ceremony, bridesmaid bouquets were transported and utilized as decoration on the couple’s head table, and the two altar arrangements were placed around the towering wedding cake. The ivory confection featured five layers engulfed in alternating layers of white hydrangeas and roses.
Guests twirled the night away on a white dance floor decorated with the newly married couple’s monogram in the center. A 12-piece band had guests singing and dancing into the wee hours of the night. “The group was a high-energy band that had all ages engaged throughout the entire reception,” says Justin.
At the conclusion, guests swirled sparklers in the air as the bride and groom departed for their happily ever after… and the bride admits that after what felt like thousands of hours of planning her dream wedding, the absolute best element of the entire affair was simply becoming Mrs. Justin Roberson. “That was the greatest part of all.”