Elegant, Neutral Wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC

Classic Wedding at The Cotton Room Captured by Fancy This Photography

Katy first met the love of her life in 2015 on the right side of Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, third stool from the end. Coincidentally, Katy and “the one,” Chris, had grown up ten miles apart from each other in Durham and were both fans of UNC Chapel Hill, where she completed undergraduate and graduate studies, and he coached lacrosse for seven years. Five years later, Chris surprised Katy by proposing at Lake Champlain on Aug. 15, 2020. The following year, the couple tied the knot at an elegant, neutral-toned wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC, that was photographed by Nikki Whitt Belch of Fancy This Photography.

wedding photoshoot fancy this photography
Venue The Cotton Room Rentals Petal & Oak Rehearsal Dinner The Pit Durham and The Roof at The Durham Photographer Fancy This Photography

The Proposal

After several years of dating, Durhamites Katy and Chris took a trip to Westport, New York, to a summer camp where Chris attended and worked as a young adult. They took a ferry on Lake Champlain next to the Adirondack Mountains. After sneaking onto the camp grounds, Katy just wanted to go for a swim in the race lanes of the lake — that’s when Chris got down on one knee, and she could barely breathe out of shock. Despite being completely caught off guard – evidenced by messy hair, lack of makeup and unpainted nails – it was an easy yes for Katy. A proposal story for the books!

Wedding party photography fancy this photography

Industrial Elegance at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC

When they first got started planning the wedding, “we knew Durham was the place,” Katy says, despite having relocated to Vermont. Katy’s mother helped them coordinate vendors and plan for a Durham wedding from many miles away.

The Cotton Room was an easy venue choice for the couple. Located in their beloved hometown, the venue’s exposed brick walls and warehouse ceilings were the perfect backdrop for a couple who feels Durham in their bones. From the first tour, they loved the industrial tone and historic feel of the venue. “The Cotton Room makes planning SO easy without compromising beloved and long-wished-for details,” Katy said. “It was amazing to get ready in our respective bridal and Bull Durham suites, then pop downstairs to do the damn thing!” Katy says that, looking back, they couldn’t imagine changing anything about their elegant wedding at The Cotton Room.

Before the wedding day, Katy and Chris hosted a rehearsal dinner at one of Bull City’s beloved barbecue restaurants, The Pit Durham. It was a nostalgic setting for the couple, as they used to meet up for dinners with Chris’ parents there when Katy lived in downtown Durham. “We enjoyed every single second of that patio with friends from all walks of our respective lives, sipping local brews and watching the sun set over our favorite city. We definitely took the party to The Roof at The Durham for a nightcap,” Katy says.

Durham Wedding Photographer Nikki Whitt Belch

Katy and Chris found a friend and a fellow Durhamite in Nikki Whitt Belch of Fancy This Photography. “There is no other,” Katy exclaims. “Nikki is the best, hands and feet down, all day and every day. Our entire family is absolutely in love with her. I want to hang out with her forever and have her capture every special event of our lives!”

On July 2, 2021, Nikki documented Katy and Chris’ entire elegant wedding at The Cotton Room, from getting ready in their respective suites to the sparkler exit. The Cotton Room’s warm interior looked elegant dressed up in a neutral color palette with an undertone of blush. “Mercury glass set the tone,” Katy describes. Rentals from Petal & Oak completed the refined event.

Katy wanted to capture an elegant neutral theme with plenty of candlelight. Following the tradition of her grandmothers’ December 1949 wedding, every bridesmaid chose their own dress and color. The result culminated in sparkling tones of blush, rose gold and dark gray. “All the fellows wore black suits,” Katy says. “It was all so perfectly classic!”

In a nod to their current home, Katy and Chris incorporated words from the poet laureate of Vermont, Robert Frost, into their otherwise traditional wedding vows. The bride’s brother, Robby Dow, performed an acoustic guitar rendition of the song “River” by Leon Bridges, while the couple’s close friends contributed readings.

A Candlelight Reception at The Cotton Room

To top off the evening, the couple and their guests enjoyed a two-tiered white cake from Kim’s Bake Shop that operates out of Wooden Nickel Pub in Hillsborough, NC. “People loved this cake!,” Katy raves. “Kim was an easy choice … Having Kim do our cake was a truly full-circle experience.” The bride’s brother, Robby, worked alongside Kim’s husband for many years.

The couple continues to reside in Vermont, where Katy works in cybersecurity and Chris is the head coach of a collegiate lacrosse team.

Katy’s advice for engaged readers? “Create a wedding that is 100% true to your vibe together. Whether it’s five people or 300, make it mean something to you, and embrace the emotion!”

If you’re in love with this neutral, elegant wedding at The Cotton Room as much as we are, you’ll want to see this whimsical styled shoot that tied together romantic styling with plush rentals from Petal & Oak (and ended with a surprise engagement!)

You Might Also Like
destination wedding venue New Bern NC

What’s New in New Bern

Meet the Very Best of New Bern, NC, Wedding Vendors The town of New Bern, NC, boasts more than its fair share of charm. The picturesque Inner Banks town has

Read More »