Duke Chapel Wedding Ceremony and Fearrington Village Reception
William Hoye and Jonathan Bitner’s love story is a classic North Carolinian tale! After connecting on Match.com, the two agreed on a first date at Cocoa Cinnamon in downtown Durham. Their coffee conversation went so well, they decided to keep the date going by attending the Festival for the Eno! In December of 2018, Jonathan asked Will to join him in sharing a lifetime of adventures.
On Sept. 7, 2019, the two grooms tied the knot with a Duke Chapel wedding ceremony and Fearrington Village reception. After securing their ceremony and reception venues, the rest of the wedding planning process fell into place. Keep scrolling to witness Will and Jonathan’s beautiful day captured by Heba Salama Photography.
Duke Chapel Wedding Ceremony and Fearrington Village Reception by Heba Salama Photography
For the ceremony, Will and Jonathan wore traditional British morning attire – black tailcoats, grey waistcoats underneath, black/grey/white striped pants and grey striped neckties. Perfectly suited for a Duke Chapel wedding! NC wedding photographer Heba Salama Photography took intimate wedding portraits of the couple in front of the magnificent architecture. Heba felt lucky to be chosen to capture their special day.
“It was such a joy to get to know Heba while planning and to work with her on the big day,” Jonathan said. “We are so pleased with the results!”
Duke Chapel Wedding Ceremony Officiated by Weddings by Heidi
Will and Jonathan personalized their Duke Chapel wedding ceremony by working with Weddings by Heidi to incorporate readings and a blessing of the hands ritual. Ordained as a minister of the United Church of Christ, Heidi Gessner started marrying couples in 2007. She believes that love is love, and that couples should be free to marry regardless of sexual orientation and spiritual beliefs. To this day, Will and Jonathan receive compliments from wedding guests on their wedding ceremony.
“We took advantage of a package Heidi offers that included three counseling sessions ahead of the actual wedding,” Jonathan said. “The time spent was valuable for both of us, and it afforded Heidi the opportunity to get to know us and our priorities a lot better. As a result, she was able to design and officiate a ceremony that was so perfectly tailored for us.”
The Barn at Fearrington Village Reception
Following their Duke Chapel wedding ceremony, Will and Jonathan invited guests to a reception in The Barn at Fearrington Village. The grooms changed into grey suits with purple bow ties and Heba Salama Photography captured romantic moments as they walked around the farm. Guests enjoyed an outdoor cocktail hour, dinner and dancing in the barn and a fabulous custom wedding cake. Jonathan struggled with picking one favorite moment from the big day,
“All of our favorite moments shared one thing in common – the outpouring of genuine joy and happiness of our union expressed to us by our guests at various times – the end of the ceremony, our arrival at the pre-reception happy hour, our formal entrance into the reception hall, and our “sparkler exit” at the end of the evening.”
Today, the newlyweds live in Cary where Jonathan is transitioning into retirement after a 35-year career as an engineer and project manager and Will is a dean of admissions and student affairs.
Want to see more real wedding photography by Heba Salama? Click here to view Rachel and Andrew’s intimate Raleigh wedding.