Duke Gardens, which is in located in Durham, NC, is one of my favorite locations to do bridal picture sessions (so much that I don’t charge any extra for traveling there). My bride, Carrie, had a few special requests. First, she wanted to do some pictures with her softball for her dad, which she framed and gave to him on her wedding day. Second, Carrie loves Cinderella and wanted to create a Cinderella inspired bridal picture.

At Duke Gardens I can find so many different looks within walking distance from each other. Take a look at the variety of just these few sample images from her photo session.
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Duke-gardens-bridal-pictures-portrait-session

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Duke-gardens-bridal-pictures-portrait-session

Duke-gardens-bridal-pictures-portrait-session-with-glitter

Softball-bridal-pictures-portrait

Duke-gardens-bridal-pictures-portrait-session

Duke-gardens-bridal-pictures-portrait-session

Cinderella-bridal-picture-portrait-session

If you’d like to see more of Carrie’s images, here’s a link to her NC Aquarium Wedding.

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Beach Wedding pictures in Atlantic BeachView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/kelly-and-david-15Kelly and David had a nautical themed wedding in the spring of 2015.  They held the ceremony and reception at the Country Club of Crystal Coast.  Their color scheme was navy and white and had hints of starfish throughout the theme.  This couple was so full of life and craziness that I was instantly a fan.  No matter what I suggested, they were up for it, so we got some really playful pictures.  Anything less wouldn’t have told their story.
Scroll down to read Kelly’s reflections of her wedding day.Bridesmaids getting ready oversized oxford shirts with monograms2016-12-01_0003navy blue wedding shoes2016-12-01_0005strapless short navy bridesmaid dressesAdrienne Jones blushed makeup bride picturestarfish wedding invitationfirst look beachhigh noon wedding pictures on beachwedding party on beachdancing wedding party on beachfun argyle socks groomsmencountry club of the crystal coast weddingbeach wedding detailsstarfish wedding detailsnavy starfish wedding theme table shots crystal coast country clubstarfish ceremony detailsstarfish wedding detailssigning wedding liscenseflowers by ernest rose boutonnieretwo year old flower girlcrystal coast country club wedding ceremonypine knoll shores wedding ceremony county club of the crystal coast2016-12-01_0026waterside wedding pine knoll shorescountry club of the crystal coast weddingwedding rememberance tablecrab pot wedding cardcountry club of the crystal coast wedding foodcouples first dance county club of the crystal coastcoastal wedding detailsbeach wedding detailscool beach wedding details2016-12-01_00362016-12-01_00372016-12-01_00382016-12-01_00392016-12-01_00402016-12-01_00412016-12-01_00422016-12-01_0043View More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/kelly-and-david-15bta entertainment dance picturescountry club of the crystal coast wedding daddy daughter dancecountry club of the crystal coast wedding toastscrystal coast country club receptionwedding fireworks with off camera flashwedding fireworks pictures with couplestarfish wedding programs
What was your favorite part of the wedding day?  The Crystal Coast has always been a very special place to me.  My grandparents retired down there in the 80s and I have nothing but fond memories spending my childhood summers down there with my cousins.  Now, my parents are full time residents down there. Nothing was cooler than seeing all of your closest friends and family together in your favorite place, celebrating your love.  I remember looking at Dave on Friday during the day and saying, “This is just awesome,” as I looked up and down the beach and saw it filled with so many of our loved ones from all different walks of life.
What surprised you about your wedding day?  How fast it goes!  Everyone always says that the day flies by but it really did.  I think you also underestimate the time you’ll get to spend with your guests.  I loved having all of our guests join us for a welcome party on Friday night so that we could mingle and catch up with them because our reception just flew by.
What advice would you give another bride/groom planning a wedding?  Chill out!  I am very type A and worry about everything!  I wish I relaxed a little bit more and enjoyed our time being engaged, rather than stressing about the wedding.  The planning takes several months but the marriage is what you’re in it for and that lasts a lifetime.
Did you do an engagement session or a bridal portrait session?  Would you recommend it to another bride/groom?  We did not but we did invite Ellen to photograph our Rehearsal Dinner boat cruise that we invited all of our guests to.  I was so happy that we did and they turned out to be some of my favorite pictures because it showed all of our love ones very casual, having a blast and enjoying the water.
What do you wish you had done differently on your wedding day?  Honestly, the day was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.  Looking back, there were probably little expenses here and there that I could have cut because they went unnoticed (like the killer Kate Spade heels I bought, then ended up wearing flip flops).
Name one of your favorite images from your wedding day and explain why it is your favoriteThere are 2 that I absolutely love.  The first is as we were coming back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Pezley and I wrapped my arm around Dave and laid the biggest kiss on him.  My veil was flying in the most perfect way (in fact, it fell out right after that).  I love how deeply we are kissing and how happy we look, even though we aren’t even looking at the camera.  I still remember the way I feel when that picture was snapped.  I also love seeing all of our guests in the background, the beautiful blue ocean and the gorgeous day that we had. Pic was KelDav-15-360.JPG.  The other picture is this amazing sun set and us looking at each other.  I have never seen a sunset as beautiful as I did that night.  About 6 months before our wedding, we lost Dave’s father to a battle with cancer.  I know that he had something to do with that amazing weather and sunset we had.
Is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your wedding day?  Our guests represented 27 states!  They all came to the beautiful crystal coast to share in our wedding festivities.  I am originally from New York and my husband is from Ohio, we have moved around a bit and now live in Cleveland, OH.  Our wedding was such an amazing collection of friends from every part of our lives.
Ceremony and Reception – Country Club of the Crystal Coast

Invitations – Cricket Printing

Hair – Susan Lewis

Make-Up – Adrienne Jones (Blushed)

Florist – Flowers by Ernest

Videography  – Melissa Lavadour

Photography – Ellen LeRoy Photography

Limo – Tracy Moore

Cake – Christy Harrell

DJ – BTA Entertainment

Rentals – Crystal Coast Tents and Events

Officiant – Angela Kelley

Wedding Coordinator –  Barb Costanza

Crystal Coast Country Club Wedding Picture
Julie and Steve had a colorful spring wedding on May 22, 2015.  They got married at the Memorial Park Beach in Pine Knoll Shores, NC with the reception at the Country Club of the Crystal Coast.  The bride chose a vibrant color scheme of royal blue and orange, explaining, “I felt it was a fun color choice which fits my fun and bubbly personality!”
View More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/julie-and-steve-15Wedding First Look with Father and Bride on the Beach Bride and Groom First Look on the Beach at Pine Knoll Shores, NCBride and Groom First Look on the Beach at Pine Knoll Shores, NCStarfish Wedding Details for a Beach WeddingBeach Wedding Ceremony at Memorial Park in Pine Knoll Shores, NCBeach Wedding Ceremony at Memorial Park in Pine Knoll Shores, NCBeach Wedding Ceremony at Memorial Park in Pine Knoll Shores, NCOrange and While Calla Lily Bouquet from Fabulous Florals Weddings & Events, Tan Linen Groom Suit for Beach WeddingOrange and While Beach Wedding Flowers from Fabulous Florals Weddings & EventsOrange and While Beach Wedding Flowers from Fabulous Florals Weddings & EventsOrange and While Beach Wedding Flowers from Fabulous Florals Weddings & EventsOrange and Blue Wedding Table Decorations with a Beach ThemeOrange and While Table Centerpeice Bride and Groom Table Wedding Flowers from Fabulous Florals Weddings & EventsStarfish Wedding Details for a Beach WeddingBlue Starfish Wedding Cake by Maria HarrisFirst Dance on Patio of Country Club of the Crystal CoastView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/julie-and-steve-15Starfish and Sea Turtle Wedding Cupcakes by Maria HarrisOrange and While Calla Lillies Wedding Flowers from Fabulous Florals Weddings & EventsCountry Club of the Crystal Coast Wedding PicturesSunset portrait underexposed vs overexposedCountry Club of the Crystal Coast Wedding PicturesCountry Club of the Crystal Coast Wedding PicturesDramatic Sunset Pictures with and without off-camera flash at Country Club of the Crystal CoastView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/julie-and-steve-15View More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/julie-and-steve-15Starfish Wedding Details for a Beach WeddingLong Exposure with Sparklers at a WeddingCountry Club of the Crystal Coast Wedding Pictures Sparkler Exit
Here is some Q and A to help with planning your beach wedding:
What was your favorite part of the wedding day? 
All of it really. Every part was such a success and we had a lot of fun. The first look I did with my father and husband meant the most and were very special and memorable.
What surprised you about your wedding day?
How well everything went and how fast it flew by.
What advice would you give another bride/groom planning a wedding?  DO YOUR RESEARCH. Take your time and don’t rush making decisions, know that you have options. Making lists and prioritizing really helped me to stay on track and organized.
Did you do an engagement session or a bridal portrait session?
No we did not. The wedding was a destination wedding and we were on a tight budget. I decided to have a high budget for an amazing photographer for the day of. It was more important to me to make sure my day was captured with the best of quality and Ellen was certainly worth every penny! It’s really up to the couple of what they desire.
What do you wish you had done differently on your wedding day?
I wish my reception was longer because it was sad to have it come to an end. Maybe not have invited a few people whom I wasn’t thrilled with their actions at my wedding.
Name one of your favorite images from your wedding day and tell why it is your favorite.
I truly love every image because each one captured great memories. This is hard but I suppose my two favorites the one of my husband and I with the most amazing sunset in the background. The sunset was truly out of this world that evening and all sunset pics were gorgeous. We’ve been asked many times if the background is fake! My husband and I kissing after we were married is also a fav of mine. It’s a great loving moment between the two of us.
Is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your wedding day?
Our pictures truly tell a great story and we have so many memories from that day to reminisce over. I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Getting married on the beach was fun and the most beautiful scenery anyone could ask for. Our reception venue was great. It sat right along the bay side for picturesque views. The food was delicious and the venue pricing was very reasonable. The day flew by so I recommend to every couple stop and take it all in the day of.

Reception – Country Club of the Crystal Coast

Catering – Country Club of the Crystal Coast

Event Coordinator – Barb Costanza

Rental Equipment –  Crystal Coast Event Rentals

Wedding Cake – Maria Harris

Flowers – Donna Shuler from Fab Florals

DJ – Tom Bone

Transportation – Diamond Limousine

Beach House Rental – Blue Water

 

 

Aquarium Wedding photographyCarrie and Christian had a gorgeous and creative wedding in the spring of 2015.  They held the ceremony and reception at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.  The color scheme was lavender and silver which went perfectly with the location.  “I knew I wanted to incorporate lavender and various shades of purple flowers into my bouquet.”  The silver coodinated perfectly with the silver studded belt around the bride’s dress.  “We also chose these colors because of our ceremony and reception location.  There is a lot of blue in the Aquarium and we wanted to use colors that looked good in our venue.  Our colors also looked great with our “bling” theme.  I love sparkle, so we wanted to incorporate that into the ceremony and reception and we also wanted to do something that you don’t typically see at an Aquarium or beach wedding.”2016-11-30_0001Funky Playful Groomsmen Socks2016-11-30_0003Lavendar Short Bridesmaids Dresses2016-11-30_0005Lavendar Shirts with Monograms for getting ready bridesmaids2016-11-30_00072016-11-30_00082016-11-30_00092016-11-30_0010Short Lavendar Over the shoulder Bridesmaids dresses from Maggi BridalBridal Gown by Wtoo Watters from The Little White Dress Shop2016-11-30_0013Fishing hook with Wedding Rings for a Coastal WeddingFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores2016-11-30_0019Flower Petal Runner by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores2016-11-30_0021Flower Petal Runner by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresWedding Party Pictures at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresWedding Couple Pictures at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresWedding Couple Sunset Pictures at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresPinky Swear Wedding Rings ShotBling Cake with Diamonds by American Dream Cakes at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFlowers by Blossom Artistry Weddings at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresNC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores FishNC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Real Wedding Pictures First DanceNC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Real Wedding PicturesBling Cake with Diamonds by American Dream Cakes at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresFather Daughter Dance at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresDJ Professionals and Video at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresBouquet Garter Toss at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresBride and Groom Pictures at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresBride and Groom Pictures at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresSparkler Exit at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresSparkler Exit at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

 

What was your favorite part of the wedding day?

I absolutely loved every moment of our wedding day and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect and special day.  There are so many great memories, but if I had to choose my favorite part of our wedding day it would have to be seeing Christian and his reaction when I started walking down the aisle.  This was the moment that my nerves started to fade and I knew I was about to start the rest of my life with my best friend.  Also, I loved surprising Christian by having his sister sing when I walked down the aisle.  He had no idea it was coming and it meant the world to him.

What surprised you about your wedding day?

I was surprised with how our florist, Julie Williams, owner of Blossom Floral Artistry, transformed the Aquarium into a fairy tale.  I knew she was going to make it look incredible and we had talked about what she was going to do, but I was literally and still am blown away with how stunning everything looked.  People are still talking about how beautiful the flowers were on our special day!  I was also surprised with how smooth and effortless the entire day was.  The Aquarium closes at 5 in the afternoon and we got married at 6:30, so one thing I was worried about was how everything was going to be set up in such a short amount of time, but it was done flawlessly because of our amazing vendors.

What advice would you give another bride/groom planning a wedding?

My advice to future brides and grooms is to make sure that you take everything in and enjoy every moment because it will fly by.  I would also suggest doing some research to find the best vendors for your event.  Ours vendors were wonderful to work with and we knew we were in good hands so that relieved a lot of stress. Lastly, I would recommend creating a budget because things can get expensive.

Did you do an engagement session or a bridal portrait session? Would you recommend it to another bride/groom?

Christian and I did an engagement session and it was definitely worth it, especially when Ellen is your photographer!  We were able to use our photos to create our save the dates and we also have great photos that we can cherish forever.  Our engagement session also allowed us to meet Ellen and get to know her before our big day which gave us one less thing to worry about.  I also did a bridal portrait session and I definitely recommend that as well.  It’s not every day that you get to wear a wedding dress, and for me, it was the most special dress I’ll ever wear, so it is great to have those pictures.  I know bridal portraits are more of a Southern tradition, but we also displayed several of my portraits at our reception.

Name one of your favorite images from your wedding day and tell why it is your favorite.

Oh my goodness, it’s so hard to choose just one, but if I had to pick it would have to be the one where Christian and I are standing outside on the dock with the sun setting behind us and I am looking down and he was looking at me.  It really captured the beauty of the day and shows the love between us.

Is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your wedding day?

Our wedding day was perfect in every way and I could never thank my mom, dad and our wonderful vendors enough for all they did!

 

Ceremony and Reception Site – NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores 

Caterer – Floyd’s 1921 

Florist – Blossom Floral Artistry

Cake Maker-  American Dream Cakes

Dress Designer – Wtoo by Watters 

Bridal Shop – The Little White Dress (bridal gown) and Maggi Bridal (bridesmaids’ dresses)

DJ/Videographer – DJ Professionals and Video 

Rental Company – Crystal Coast Tent & Event Rentals

Transportation – Diamond Limousine

Invitations- Minted

Coastal Petals- Peonies and Succulent Bouquet Coral Bay Club Wedding

April and Jonathon had a lovely April wedding at St. Mildred Catholic Church in Swansboro, North Carolina.  The reception was held at the Coral Bay Club with a mint green, fuchsia, and charcoal gray color scheme.  “I actually planned my whole color scheme around a picture of a bouquet from Pinterest that had succulents and bright colored flowers. Pink is one of my favorite colors and it blended really well with the mint green hue of the succulents, so we made those two colors the main theme.”
To read more of April’s thoughts about her wedding day, scroll below.

Coastal Petals Succulent boutenneireView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonbride and cat picturesView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonLong Fuchsia over-the-shoulder bridemaids dressesView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonSt. Mildred Catholic Church in Swansboro, NCView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonViolinist from Crystal Coast QuartetView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonSt Mildred Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonSt Mildred Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCSt Mildreds Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCSt Mildreds Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCSt Mildreds Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCSt Mildreds Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCSt Mildred Catholic Church Wedding in Swansboro, NCCoral Bay Club Wedding designed by Crystal Coast Tent and Event RentalsCoral Bay Club Wedding designed by Crystal Coast Tent and Event RentalsView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonCoral Bay Club WeddingView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonColorful Flower Bouquets by Coastal PetalsWedding Ring photo with succulentsCoral Bay Club Wedding CateringElegant Wedding Cake with Succulent Topper by American Dream CakesColorful bouquets with Succulents by Coastal PetalsCoral Bay Club WeddingCoral Bay Club WeddingWedding Rememberance TableView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonCoral Bay Club WeddingCoral Bay Club Wedding with cake by American Dream CakesView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonCoral Bay Club Wedding Emotional Father Daughter DanceCoral Bay Club Wedding Emotional Mother Son DanceCoral Bay Club Wedding with Patrick Pake of DJ Professional VideosView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonFlowers by Coastal PetalsView More: http://ellenleroy.pass.us/april-and-jonathonChris, owner of Crystal Coast Tent and Event Rentals and Coastal PetalsFlower Petal Exit at the Coral Bay Club

What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
There are too many to list, but seeing all my friends and family arrive at the church and walking down the isle!
What surprised you about your wedding day?
How emotional Jonathon was when I was coming down the isle….he doesn’t normally cry.

What advice would you give another bride/groom planning a wedding?  They say it goes by really fast and I never believed it until it was a reality! Take it all in and enjoy the day! I had a blast at my reception because I didn’t focus on everyone else, just took the time to enjoy what was right in front of me and danced the night away!

Did you do an engagement session or a bridal portrait session? Would you recommend it to another bride/groom?  We did both so that we could look back one day and have the memories of our special moments.  My bridal session was exciting because I got to incorporate my love for cars and take photographs beside a Ferrari! Yes, I highly recommend both an engagement and bridal portrait session.
What do you wish you had done differently on your wedding day?
I don’t have a single picture of just me and my grandma and that makes me sad because she is the only grandparent that’s still living. Make sure you don’t get rushed and make a list of all the photos you want to take.
Name one of your favorite images from your wedding day and  tell why it is your favorite.  Too many to just pick one! The preview video that Ellen sent us prior to seeing all of our pictures was the PERFECT summary of our wedding day and we were absolutely blown away!  (Watch that video at this link.)
Is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your wedding day?
If it wasn’t for my family and friends the day wouldn’t have gone so smoothly, so thank every single person that made your wedding day so special! My brother, Chris Kollar, is the owner of Crystal Coast Tent and Event Rentals and Coastal Petals, and if it wasn’t for his hard work, amazing ideas, and vendor suggestions, our “big day” would not have turned into my dream wedding!

 

Rental – Crystal Coast Tent and Event Rentals

Flowers – Coastal Petals

Reception – St. Mildred Catholic Church

Music – Crystal Coast Quartet

DJ Professionals and Video – DJ Patrick Pake

Cake – American Dream Cakes, Inc.

Reception – Coral Bay Club

Vacation Rental – Bluewater Rentals

Salon – Cieli Day Spa and Salon

Transportation – Diamond Limousine

Hotel – Double Tree by Hilton Atlantic Beach

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