I knew I would hit it off with Lauren and Gene from our first conversation. They wanted a non-traditional event. No wedding party. No formal group photos. No wedding venue. They wanted their NoDA wedding photos to encapsulate the real moments, and they wanted to be in them.

They chose one of their favorite restaurants, The Goodyear House, to host their wedding. The Charlotte restaurant doesn’t host events regularly, but they were open to the concept (and did a fabulous job, might I add). I adored Lauren’s vintage, yet modern wedding dress and Gene’s custom green suit. It truly was the perfect shade of green to complement the rest of their decor.

Gene creates pottery for fun, and he spent the entire year crafting pieces for their closest family and friends as wedding presents. Since they didn’t have a wedding party and they opted for no group photos, they instead chose to invite their closest people to a pre-ceremony cocktail hour to receive their gift and spend time with them. It allowed for a much more relaxing afternoon, and they truly were able to soak up every minute with their friends and family.

Lauren’s brother officiated the ceremony, and it was the perfect balance of humor and heartfelt. He revealed a large poster board of their first text interaction (“Hello there. This is Gene from the internet”) and also gave Lauren and Gene the opportunity to share their very honest and hilarious vows.

We planned the day to maximize the time that they could spend with their guests. They were able to attend 90% of their cocktail hour, and then we snuck out for a few golden hour photos while dinner started.

After delightful toasts and dessert, everyone tore up the dance floor as the string lights swayed in the perfect autumn evening air.

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