Elegant Evening at The Merrimon-Wynne House Planned by Sally Oakley Weddings & Events
Lauren and Taylor planned a beautiful and effortlessly elegant fall wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House with the help of pro planner Sally Oakley of Sally Oakley Weddings & Events. Lauren, who had always envisioned her classic wedding day, says the Raleigh-based wedding planner made her confident her dreams would become reality. The couple’s dreams of an upscale event at one of Raleigh’s most coveted and charming event venues came true during their classic and understated wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House.
Lauren and Taylor’s Love Story and a Raleigh Proposal
Sparks flew for Lauren, a graduate of UNC Wilmington, and Taylor, a North Carolina State University alumnus, at the couple’s first date at Raleigh Beer Garden. Although they hit things off immediately, the timing wasn’t yet right for the pair. But they stayed in touch, and when Lauren returned to Raleigh in 2018, they went on their second date at Yard House.
“Sitting there over dinner, it was like no time had passed,” Lauren says. “We both knew it was God’s perfect timing for us.”
The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly canceled Lauren and Taylor’s April 2020 travel plans to New York City. So, the pair decided to recreate the experience of the Big Apple at home in Raleigh. They spent a long weekend picnicking at the North Carolina Museum of Art and fishing at Lauren’s grandparents’ house.
On April 10 – the evening of their previously planned New York City date night – Taylor turned their back porch into a rooftop bar, complete with cocktails and a homemade dinner, before kneeling to pop the question.
“Although the proposal wasn’t what it was originally supposed to be, it was the most perfect and sweet night,” Lauren says. “We wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
Raleigh Wedding Planner Expert Sally Oakley
“We could not have survived our wedding day without the fabulous Sally Oakley,” Lauren says.
Sally Oakley Weddings & Events offers full-service wedding planning, partial planning as well as event management or month-of planning. Lauren says that Sally’s support was “second to none.” Sally and her team were instrumental in helping the couple to successfully plan their big day in downtown Raleigh. Sally expertly planned every detail of their classic wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House.
The couple said “I do” at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh on Nov. 6, 2021. Lauren described the church as a “perfect fit” to be the site of the traditional ceremony that she and Taylor wanted. After exchanging their vows, the pair celebrated their lasting commitment at The Merrimon-Wynne House, a charming and historical wedding venue in downtown Raleigh.
A Classic Evening at The Merrimon-Wynne House
Built as a private residence in 1876 for former North Carolina Chief Justice Augustus Merrimon, The Merrimon-Wynne House is a carefully restored wedding and special events venue in downtown Raleigh. The couple said the house was “amazing” and made for a worry-free day. There’s hardly a more charming or elegant venue than this Queen Anne-style mansion and its manicured grounds.
The couple wanted to incorporate their favorite color, green, into their autumn wedding. Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh helped them do so by providing beautiful bridesmaid dresses in a deep emerald green shade. The Raleigh-based florist and event rental team at Petal & Oak supplied elegant white floral arrangements, and even adorned the couple’s dog, Finley, with a floral collar to match.
Guests enjoyed a bourbon bar on the lawn of The Merrimon-Wynne House while the couple took photos with their wedding party and Finley. Lauren and Taylor, both bourbon lovers, even took part in the Southern tradition of burying the bourbon to ensure perfect weather on their big day.
Rocky Top Catering kept guests well-fed during the indoor reception inside the Carriage Hall at The Merrimon-Wynne House, while Two Roosters Ice Cream offered guests a variety of frosty flavor options. “Before we were even engaged, we [agreed] on having Two Roosters at our wedding,” Lauren recalls. CE Rental provided tabletop linens, silverware and china along to pair with the minimal votives and greenery that decorated tables and the space in the hall.
Merrimon-Wynne Wedding Captured by Jillian Knight Photography
Jillian Knight, the creative talent and business owner behind Jillian Knight Photography, captured every moment of Lauren and Taylor’s beautiful fall wedding. The couple knew that this experienced North Carolina wedding photographer was the one from their very first consultation.
“Neither Taylor or I feel super comfortable in front of the camera, however, we cultivated a relationship with Jillian that made us eager for all our photo opportunities,” Lauren says. “Jillian went above and beyond for Taylor and I … it was such a blessing to have her.” Jillian’s artful style and film photography gracefully captured the couple and their guests.
A Seamless Wedding Day at The Merrimon-Wynne House
Overall, Lauren describes her wedding planning process as “seamless,” thanks to the help of Sally Oakley and her team. The couple carefully selected vendors and venues – many from the pages of Heart of NC Weddings – that complemented their personalities and the elegant feel they sought.
Lauren says some of her favorite big-day moments included praying and exchanging gifts with Taylor before the ceremony; the couple’s dog, Finley, greeting the newlyweds on the lawn at Merrimon-Wynne; and her and Taylor’s last dance.
Advice from the Couple
Though Lauren admits wedding planning can be challenging, she encourages couples to enjoy every moment. “Planning a wedding is really the beginning of making decisions as a couple,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity to lay the foundation for how you will handle stress, joy and excitement while married.”
Lauren changed into a fun, flirty halter-neck dress for the reception while guests filled the black-and-white dance floor at the Carriage House and North Tower Band kept the party going. The couple departed in a classic Rolls Royce – but only after enjoying cones from Two Roosters!
If this classic wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House suits your style, take a peek at this special New Year’s Eve wedding that also took place there!