Perfectly Pink Parking Lot Wedding

Carrie Grace and John Michael’s Perfectly Pink Parking Lot Wedding

John Michael Simpson’s proposal was a big surprise for Carrie Grace McQuaid who thought he was at his home in Nashville. She was in her backyard in Raleigh watching a video he had made with friends and family singing parts of her favorite Taylor Swift song – “Love Story”. When Carrie turned around, John Michael was waiting to propose. 

We would expect nothing less from this creative NC couple. Carrie is a motivational speaker who inspires others to live on purpose, add more goodness into the world, and go after their dreams. Since the wedding, John Michael has joined Heart on NC Weddings’ parent company, Shannon Media, as a staff photographer. Together, there’s nothing this dynamic duo cannot accomplish – including a wedding during a pandemic! 

Carrie and John Michael met in 2019 through a blogger who put together a single’s day that they both participated in. Carrie grew up in Chapel Hill and John Michael in Alabama. They officially met in Nashville and have now been together for one and a half years. Keep scrolling to read more about their perfectly pink parking lot wedding! 

The bride and groom smile together after the ceremony.
Bridal shoes, jewelry, and ring.
The Bride and flower girls with Taylor Swift Vinyl Albums

A Parking Lot, But Make it Pink

On Sep. 27, 2020, the bride and groom hosted a southern-style wedding with a pink, more pink, and extra pink color palette at The Victorian in Youngsville, NC. After lots of pivoting, they eventually landed on the untraditional idea of getting married in a parking lot so that friends and family could watch the ceremony from their cars and safely be a part of their special day. They also included other guests through Zoom.

“Our friends and family pitched in a ton,” Carries says. “[They] went above and beyond to make the day super special in spite of a crazy year!”

Carrie’s advice for brides-to-be is to find out what is most important and stick to it. For her and John Michael that was each other and bringing their families together. The Victorian in Youngsville was the perfect venue for their NC wedding. Located only 20 minutes from Downtown Raleigh, the venue’s inside and outside event spaces are designed to showcase timeless romance with modern flair in any wedding. The venue worked closely with the couple to figure out a safe and fun way guests could gather.

“They were easy to work with and super chill with our crazy plans!” Carrie says.

The bride and groom face each other in their outdoor ceremony
The Bride and Groom hold hands during the ceremony.

Making Things Happen with Magnolia Collective

The wedding planning process had gotten stressful for the couple due to the pandemic. Carrie and John Michael turned to one of our recommended wedding planners for assistance. Meagan with Magnolia Collective took all of the couple’s ideas and made them happen. “She knocked it out of the ballpark,” Carrie says. The bride also selected one of our recommended jewelers, Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, to compliment her wedding dress. We absolutely love the bright pink bow on the back of Carrie’s dress!

The couple throws their arms up at the end of the ceremony.
The brides wedding dress with a big pink bow
Bride and Groom's first dance

Carrie Grace & John Michael’s Happy Ending

The bride and groom have a special story from their wedding that may not even have been thought of without pandemic limitations. One of the bridesmaids managed to get country music singer, Jordan Davis, to crash their Zoom call and perform their wedding song.

The couple now lives together in Durham. Carrie is a motivational speaker and John Michael is a photographer for Heart of NC Weddings‘ parent company, Shannon Media.

The Bride and Groom hold Balloons at The Victorian

With a pandemic throwing a wrench in their plans, this NC couple stayed flexible and made the absolute best out of their parking lot wedding. You can find a list of our recommended local wedding planners here, to help you make plans in a world of constant change, just as Carrie and John Michael did. 

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