Having met at Duke University, Caitlin Elizabeth Ryan and Michael Chase LaFerney could not think of a better place to wed than the chapel at their alma mater. “Campus is a special and sentimental spot for Chase and me,” explains the bride. “The opportunity to have our ceremony in the Duke Chapel was worth camping outside of it to book a wedding date!” With its dramatic arched ceiling and beautiful stained-glass windows, the Gothic cathedral served as the perfect setting for the couple’s traditional ceremony.
The rest of Caitlin and Chase’s celebration, though, was far from conventional. “It was really important to us that the wedding was a fun party for everyone in attendance,” confides the bride. Handpainted corn-hole boards were on display during the cocktail hour for guests to play one of the couple’s favorite games from their college years. For an additional university-inspired activity, sophisticated beer pong tables provided entertainment following the sit-down dinner service. Bartenders facilitated the game and refilled monogrammed cups as guests played.
Beautiful floral arrangements in shades of white, cream, pink, and coral sat atop dining tables covered with rosette linens in crème brûlée. “The smell of flowers actually filled the reception room, which was amazing,” shares the bride. A lively band – discovered by the couple at their five-year college reunion – kept guests of all ages on the dance floor until the end of the night. Duke’s mascot made an appearance at one point during the evening, and treats including popcorn and cotton candy satisfied hungering guests.
Loved ones were sent home with “slap koozies” decorated with the couple’s names and wedding date, boxes of leftover wedding cake, and handpainted tote bags filled with items from states holding special significance to the couple: black-and-white cookies from Caitlin’s birth state of New York; miniature bottles of Tito’s vodka from Chase’s home state of Texas; salt water taffy from Caitlin’s home state of New Jersey; and coconut macaroons from one of the couple’s favorite restaurants in North Carolina.
Caitlin and Chase prove that even the most classic wedding can be personal and exciting. By choosing a meaningful venue, adding customized details, and incorporating unique entertainment and activities, the couple was able to plan the wedding of their dreams.