Featured Couple: Justine and Eric

Justine and Eric are an amazing couple that we have the pleasure of working with for their June 2013 wedding and we are so excited to share these two lovebirds’ engagement photos captured by the talented Nancy Ray Photography. We have been working with this couple since October of last year and Justine has been such a delightful bride throughout the planning process.  Her trust in us to help with the planning of all important wedding details has made for an amazing partnership and has allowed her to truly enjoy the planning process (us too!) and we are so excited for their wedding next summer at Prestonwood Country Club.  We asked Justine and Eric a few questions below about their proposal and wedding and they have also shared some great advice for other couples planning their big day!  Thanks again to Nancy Ray for these fabulous images!

 

Justine and Eric Nancy Ray Engagement

Tell us  how Eric proposed:

On October 7th, 2011 Eric surprised me with a proposal!  Earlier in the day, Eric texted me at work to ask if I wanted to try a new restaurant that opened in Downtown Raleigh.  Eric and I love to try new restaurants, so I did not think this question was anything out of the ordinary.  I agreed and said I would make sure to get out of work right on time to beat the Friday night traffic back into Raleigh.  As it turns out, I would not be able to leave work right on time, like I planned.  I am a middle school teacher so I became caught up in a student issue that happened right before the bell rang at the end of the day.  The issue set me back 45 minutes leaving school and also allowed me to get stuck in traffic in the commute back to Raleigh.  Needless to say, I was running late for our dinner date.  I asked Eric to meet me at my apartment so I could get changed before our dinner reservations.  I told Eric to hang on as I quickly picked something out to wear that evening.  As I turned the corner from my bedroom to the living room in my apartment, Eric was on his knee with a big smile on his face.  It was the sweetest surprise!  What I did not know was that dinner plans were made for much later in the evening so we had time to call our families and friends to share the big news.  After the proposal, we had a wonderful celebration dinner and made sure not to rush the beautiful night away.

What aspect of planning the wedding has been most/least enjoyable?

The most enjoyable aspect of wedding planning is being able to meet so many talented people in the area.  We have also toured some beautiful venues and there is a great variety of wedding businesses to choose from in the city.  Since Eric and I met in Raleigh, we knew we wanted to get married here and introduce our wedding guests to Raleigh’s charm.

Honestly, we have not come across anything in our planning that can be considered “least” enjoyable.  Eric and I have been dating for almost 7 years, so we are trying to enjoy every aspect of wedding planning.  We hope this continues as our big day gets closer! 

Advice for any recently engaged brides to help them stay stress-free throughout the planning process:  

From my experience so far, I would tell brides-to-be to be patient during the planning process.  It takes a while for vendors, photographers, bands, etc. to check their e-mails and return phone calls, especially when trying to coordinate times and dates.  Wedding planning is so exciting so it is easy to become anxious to set everything up right away.  If you leave yourself enough time and realize that it will all fall into place, you will be able to enjoy the process much more leading up to the wedding day!

On the day of, what are you most excited about and why? 

Justine: I cannot wait to have my Dad walk me down the aisle and for Eric to see me for the first time in my wedding dress.  That will truly be a special moment!  Also, I am just so excited for all of our family and close friends to share the day with us.  We are extremely blessed to have so many supportive people in our lives and I hope they will all have a wonderful time throughout the evening.

Eric:  Seeing Justine walking down the aisle is what I am most excited about.  She is going to be beautiful!  We will also have a lot of great details planned at the reception for our guests to enjoy.

What are three words to describe the feel for your upcoming wedding?  Elegant, Formal, & Romantic



What made you decide to hire a planner instead of doing the planning all by yourself?

Eric and I are inviting many people from outside the Raleigh area.  I am originally from Pennsylvania so the majority of my family and friends will have to travel to be in attendance.  Eric’s family is from Northeast North Carolina so they will also have to travel into the city for the wedding as well.  We wanted to make sure we hired a planner that would be able to help us with the guest accommodations and transportation.  Also, with our parents not living in the area, we needed a planner to be able to schedule meetings when they would be in town.  Futhermore, we both really wanted to focus on the details of the wedding.  A planner from the area would be able to help us pick the best venues, music, food, flowers, bakeries, etc. that match our style and save us time and money during the planning process.

Why did you pick A Southern Soiree?

I have been admiring A Southern Soiree’s work for a long time through their blog & Facebook page.  When it came time to hire a planner, they were definitely first on the list.  Out of all the planners I talked to, A Southern Soiree offered the best services and matched our wedding vision. 

Working with them so far has been an absolute pleasure!  No detail is overlooked and everything is organized.  They have pointed us in the right direction for many vendors and have been there at vendor meetings to ask the questions we did not even think to ask.  We could not have made a wiser decision than to hire Megan & team to plan our special day!

Downtown engagement pictures

Thanks Justine and Eric! We can't wait for your beautiful wedding day!

 

Megan Gillikin

Megan Gillikin

Megan Brewer Gillikin is the owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree. After receiving her Hospitality and MBA degrees from ECU, Megan worked as an Event Planner with various hotels, helping her bring insight and expertise to the industry when it comes to perfecting large-scale events. Her infectious personality and passion for hospitality puts clients at ease, and her ability to personalize ideas for each client shines through in every event, as seen in her Style Me Pretty feature.

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