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I’m full of excitement and emotion writing this post. Because The Maxwell, the dream and visions of two of my personal friends, Chelsea and Jeff, has come to life. It’s a modern wedding and event venue in downtown Raleigh and it’s beautiful.
It’s really wild to know about someone’s dream – to hear the hope in their voices, share a vision for the future alongside them, be privy to renderings I saw along the way, the stories of setbacks that naturally come with a construction schedule (and dealing with shipping delays during COVID and weather on a construction site, of course) and everything in between and then to CELEBRATE the success and opening of the space.
The Maxwell is so much more than a building and grounds. It’s a place where thousands of people will gather each year to celebrate love, to uplift one another in workshops and conferences, to work out with yoga on the patio. And, most importantly to me, it’s a good friend’s dream realized. That’s the true magic of The Maxwell in my eyes.
Because of my behind-the-scenes knowledge of The Maxwell, I was EXTRA excited to shoot there. I couldn’t say “Yes!” fast enough or more emphatically when Stephanie, of Viva L’Event asked me to be a part of the team for an Italian-inspired, same-sex lesbian wedding. The team was baller and I feel so lucky to have been amongst the first at Chelsea and Jeff’s venue, to help showcase its beauty.
After being in the wedding industry for 13 years, and in Raleigh for over 6 of those years, it’s great to work with people I’ve never worked with before. So I was especially psyched to work with Adeola, of Bea Morad, who was bringing her creativity and talent to all things plants + flowers for the shoot.
Cottage Luxe provided the high-quality, stunning rentals (the best, as usual). They perfectly paired with the greenery canopy Adeola created and place settings Stephanie put together.
Wink Hair and Makeup (a personal favorite since they did my wedding hair and makeup) did the beauty for our models, Camery and Caila, with UC Models. And not only did The Cupcake Shoppe provide the cake but Stephanie surprised me with brownies from their bakery! (Because the shoot was on my birthday and Sarah, who owns the shop, knows I LOVE their brownies. I have the best friends!)
Other vendors who completed this unforgettable shoot included Party Reflections for tabletop rentals, Longest Time Design for stationery and paper goods, Palm Sunday for our very cool and modern rings, and White of Raleigh, couture bridal Boutique for the breathtaking gowns filled with beading detail.
Italy was the inspiration for the wedding design. Earth tones dashed each vignette with warm colors and vibrant flowers. Guests were invited to the wedding with beautiful invitation printed on handmade paper; each piece was unique. It coordinated with the ceremony program that had a painting of the Italian countryside on it. A wax “M” for the modern venue closed each square.
Adeola and her team handcrafted and handpainted the ceremony backdrop. It was perfectly accented with Cottage Luxe’s 12″ and 18″ Concrete Spheres and additional flowers. Rows of cushioned chairs led to the altar. They perfectly framed the scene.
The flowers included tulips, Japanese Andromeda, garden roses, two-toned Eucalyptus, Queen Anne’s Lace, ranunculus and more.
The reception was indoors, under a canopy of greenery that softened the hardscape. Wicker chargers were underneath two additional plates, one white with a blue pattern, and the top a floral design. Silver metal napkin rings held blue linens in place on the plates, set next to menus. Wooden bowls of honey were available on the table (perhaps for some fresh Italian bread!) and gold flatware on either side of the plates.
Cottage Luxe provided the variegated boxwood bar backdrop. Bea Morad decorated it with some fresh flowers to match the event. The front of the bar read, “Saluti” for the event, which means “cheers” in Italian!
The cake was inspired by Italy’s countryside buildings, perhaps like stucco used in construction. Viva L’Event added fresh flowers like carnations, eucalyptus and roses. Just a little greenery completed the cake table, set in front of a pretty herringbone wood wall at The Maxwell. (The details of The Maxwell’s construction are part of what I love about it!)
After cake, the fireplace was the perfect hearth to gather around and relax on Cottage Luxe furniture. Comfy chairs were places in a square so all guests could converse about how amazing the wedding was!
I’m so looking forward to attending events at The Maxwell, photographing some and supporting the venue as it celebrates more milestones, celebrations and successes!