Classic southern wedding at the Tryon Palace | Cynthia Rose Photography

Venue: Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC
Coordinator: Mike & Kathy Guzzo, Southern Hospitality Concierge
Catering: Strange & Sons
Rentals: Island Essentials
Florist: Avalon Floral
Cake: Mrs. Vingerber's Sweets
DJ: BTA Entertainment

If you could pick one moment that stands out to you as the best on your wedding day, what would it be? The moment that stands out the most to me about that day was right before I was about to walk down the aisle with my dad. At Tryon Palace, there's a gate that leads into the front courtyard, and right before the bride walks down the aisle they close it. When it's time for the bride to walk down the aisle they open the gate, and it's a beautiful, dramatic moment that I will never forget. Watching that gate open and seeing all of our friends and family gathered together to share this special day with us was breathtaking. Of course, the first person I saw was Brian, and I just remember being filled with so much love and being so excited to share a beautiful evening with everyone.

During your wedding planning, what was your vision for your wedding day? We really wanted the wedding to have a classic southern feel, without being too formal. Of course, I wanted lots of soft pinks and sparkle, and the end result was absolutely spectacular. It was important to us that all of our guests have a really great time. Food and entertainment were high on our list of priorities, and I don't think we could have chosen any better. Strange and Sons catered an amazing meal, and Frankie with BTA kept everyone entertained. We received so many compliments after the wedding, and I am so glad that everyone enjoyed themselves. Mike and Kathy took my vision for a sweet southern wedding and made it a reality!

Describe any special traditions, personal mementos, or helpful friends/family members who played a sentimental role in your wedding planning or wedding day. Becoming a part of Brian's family with his two girls was so special for me, and it really meant a lot for them to stand up with us as we exchanged vows. Baeleigh and Ainslee made our special day so much brighter, and I am so blessed to be a part of this beautiful family. We were blessed to have had so many of our friends and family attend. Since we spend most of our time in Raleigh, we had a lot of friends that we wanted to be there with us - having the wedding in New Bern really allowed us to be able to accommodate more of our out of town guests.

Another special aspect of that day was being able to have my hairdresser of 10+ years be able to do my hair. I have been going to Dani since I was in middle school, and it was so amazing to be able to have her there with me.

What made you choose your venue(s) for your wedding day? When we started the process of planning our wedding, we didn't really have our hearts set on anything specific as far as the venue was concerned, so we made a list and started doing walk-throughs. Every single venue we toured was beautiful, but nothing felt quite like Tryon Palace. I had an instant connection with Mike, and I knew immediately that I wanted to work with him and Kathy. Tryon Palace turned out to be the perfect backdrop for our classic southern wedding. The South Lawn was absolutely spectacular, and the view of the Neuse River made for a perfect evening.

What was your First Dance song? Is there a special story behind it? Our first dance song was "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison. Brian and I must have listened to hours and hours of potential first dance songs, and then one night we were sitting around the kitchen table talking with my mom about wedding plans. She asked about our first dance song, and if we had chosen one yet. When we told her no, but that we had several ideas, she said "hey, what about that Van Morrison song, 'Someone Like You?'" I don't think I had ever heard the song before, but when I heard it I knew it was the one. The fact that my mom suggested it made it all the more special to us.

What was one wedding planning decision that proved invaluable? The best wedding decision I made was the very first, and that was to hire Cindy and Victor. I have been in love with their work for years, and I was so excited to finally be able to hire them for my special day. I was so nervous about pictures, especially bridals and engagements, and Cindy and Victor made me feel so comfortable, and the pictures are absolutely stunning. I am so incredibly pleased at how they turned out. Hiring a coordinator had to be the second best planning decision I made. Mike and Kathy Guzzo were amazing, and the wedding would not have happened without them.