Liz & Philip’s Funky, Cool, and Yellow CAM Raleigh Wedding


Liz & Philip had a sweet and ultra-hip love-filled celebration at an art gallery and I’m delighted to be able to share it with all of you today. These two are big on fun, family, and each other — and it totally shows in all the photos!  This adorable duo proves that it’s not all about the DIY and details, ultimately a wedding celebrates a couple’s love for one another in front of their nearest and dearest. 🙂

CAM Raleigh wedding

I adored how happy and love-filled this wedding this wedding was at first glance and once again we have Cole Gorman of Durham NC-based Blest Photography for the fun and amazing photos! He remembers the event quite fondly:

Liz and Phil’s wedding was an unbelievable day, complete with gut-busting laughter, and also tears of unadulterated joy and awe of our Creator.

When I walked away from CAM that night, camera bag in hand, the debris of the whirlwind of a day finally settling all around, I was astounded by how Christ-centered Phil and Liz’s day really was. Watching the people surround them, witnessing their covenant to one another before God, reminded me just how deep the commitment between man and woman really is. Phil and Liz didn’t take lightly the weight of commitment they were making, and as a result they turned their attention to Christ, knowing, loving and worshipping His commitment to us first. Liz chose to walk down the aisle to the entire congregation singing the old hymn “Nothing But The Blood”. After Liz had reached the alter, and the congregation continued singing, I had to lower my camera, just for a second, in the beauty of that moment. I was overwhelmed hearing the words pour forth from the mouths of their loved ones, “Oh! precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” It doesn’t happen very often, but in that moment tears welled up in my eyes as my understanding of who Christ really is, reached a new depth.

His presence was there, throughout their entire day! Even in the beauty of the celebration of their commitment was pure joy. I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did!

You might also remember this wedding’s contemporary venue, CAM Raleigh, from our feature on Kelly & John’s creative architectural wedding (photo’d by Carolyn Scott) and it turns out that Liz and Philip were actually the first couple ever to get married there!

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

 

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

Such a radiant bride! Liz is here to tell us more about herself and Philip:

We are people who like to laugh. That truly is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about us! Philip grew up in Barbados while his family was doing mission work there and it has given him a free-spirited, compassionate and honest outlook in life that is so refreshing. He disarms people instantly and loves to be outside – especially on a bike. He loves cities (we share this love) and has dreams of combining his love for healthcare, music and aviation to help the lives of people. He works at Duke Hospital as a Certified Nursing Assistant, tackling those hours of experience to hopefully get into PA school next Fall. I am an extreme extrovert who loves a good coffee shop, conversation, art museum or book. Growing up in the mountains of Salt Lake City, I have an obsession with exploring as many cities as I can with Philip – and now I shakily attempt to bike around Raleigh (where we live) and I’m loving the learning process 🙂 A non-profit called Step Up is where I spend 40 hours of my week helping ex-convicts or marginalized individuals obtain employment and change their life. Philip and I are driven by a deep love from Jesus that we came to understand in the past few years. We desire this to roll over into everything we do and all smiles, laughter and beauty that came from our wedding day is attributed to Him.

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

The dress code for the guys was Toms. (Philip gave the Toms to the guys for their groomsman gift and he insisted no one wear socks.)

CAM Raleigh wedding

Parkouring groomsmen! Just how awesome are these shots?

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

(Obviously I can’t get enough of these wacky group shots!)

CAM Raleigh wedding

Liz is back to share their cute love story and Phil’s inventive proposal  — this is a must-read you guys!

We dated for about a year and a half before we got engaged. He had always been intrigued by art and I had spent most of my college years studying it, so when we were dating one of our very favorite things to do together was go to art museums, galleries, shows, etc. He would ask me about different aspects of the art and I was tickled to be thought of as “knowledgable” about it, and would pour out every thought about piece after piece. He would fall in love with certain things we would look at and spend time researching art on the internet and soon became more knowledgable than me!

He proposed to me on a sunny spring afternoon on a spacious, hilly lawn behind the NC Museum of Art. He took letters he’d sent me from when we first started dating and peeled off the postage stamps he’d so delicately put on the outside envelope when he’d finished each one – and underneath every stamp were little messages he’d written to me all along. The only way they came off was to dip them in sparkling water so you can imagine my confused look when he sat me down and started drowning envelopes from letters he’d written in water! Before I peeled off the last stamp he pulled out a tiny moleskin where he’d written our story using simple pronouns “boy” and “girl” I cried as I read the pages, simply trying to take in what a beautiful gift he’s been in this life. And on the last page I was instructed to take off the last stamp on his most recently sent letter. Underneath it were the words, “Will you marry me?” I said “yes” over and over and over and tackled him before I could even look at the ring (and when I did look I think the wind was knocked out of me because I was looking into the most beautiful piece of stone I’d ever seen). And that is how our life together began.

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

I asked Liz to describe their wedding in a nutshell and I love how she replied with so many inspiring insights:

It is actually very ironic to me that I am writing to you about our wedding because one of the things we decided we wanted as a goal with our wedding was to not aim for a “perfect, cookie-cutter, worthy-of-a-blog wedding.” We tried to fight spending loads of money and stay true to what we love and prioritize — deep relationships and laughter. I was also out of the country for a chunk of our engagement, leaving us three months to plan everything start to finish. I love bright colors (especially yellow) so I pictured our theme to be an artsy / contemporary BRIGHT night. The dim lighting illuminating the contemporary art surrounding us provided a way for the joyous yellow tones to pop during the night. Simplicity was important with the linens, programs and centerpieces. Dressing up a museum filled with beautiful art felt almost wrong to us. We wanted our guests to enjoy what we enjoy: Jesus, art and a good time on the dance floor 🙂 We also propped a slight theme of bikes into the night from the tiny graphic on our wedding program to a personally hand-crafted wire bike stencil on the top of our cake. Almost everyone we contracted with for the wedding (music, cake, DJ, flowers, photographer, wedding director) were friends or connections of friends. This was again very dear to our hearts because we felt like our wedding was a display of community — the beautiful idea of people coming together at the start of our marriage and making a bold statement of love and confidence as we entered into marriage. And to have all this happen in a cultural HUB of our city was like the icing on a very delicious cake…Philip and I want to spend the rest of our lives living in cities and could not have been more excited to be the first wedding ever in CAM Raleigh.

And what a sweet little wedding it was!

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

Shares Liz:

We used the art in the museum to create a “curtain” of sorts to walk through as everyone in the wedding party (and myself) emerged from behind the artwork. After I had walked to the front of the aisle, we had all of our guests join in singing all together. The acoustics in the museum resounded and echoed so perfectly we didn’t even need microphones for the musicians.

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

Cole also took Liz & Phil’s bicycle engagement photos which you can view right here. (Remember to come back for the rest of the wedding!)

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh

CAM Raleigh wedding

Grooviest reception entrance ever!

CAM Raleigh wedding

We had an intentional juxtaposition of contemporary and tradition mixed together because we felt like that described us as a couple. We love cutting-edge art and ideas, but we also love old books, stability and tradition. We had this in our wedding with a background of brand-new art with antique lace next to it. This was seen in my dress and veil choice, traditional vows used in the ceremony and a receiving line before the reception. It was also seen in playing and singing traditional hymns set to a more modern acoustic guitar tune. It could be heard as we played dub-step and the “wobble” on the dance floor. Yet again, a reflection of our personalities. 🙂

CAM Raleigh wedding

Loving how fun these two are!

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

A few more things Liz & Phil did to make their wedding uniquely theirs (take down notes if you want inspiration on how to personalize your wedding!)

  • We were able to have our wedding in a venue no one else had used before for a wedding, which ended up being wonderful because the staff at the museum attended to our every need — including rearranging an entire floor of the museum for our ceremony.
  • We focused as much or more energy on our ceremony, rather than the reception. We wanted to savor and remember our covenant we were making with each other forever, and I loved planning every detail of the ceremony. Other than mapping out the timing for when things would happen during the reception,  I pretty much let it happen – hoping people would dance like crazy and have a blast. And they did!
  • We created our own photo booth with my Mac computer propped up on a stool and props (wigs, beads, hats, fake mustaches) Philip’s family brought. It was a HIT! We ended up with some photos that made us laugh so hard our abs hurt the next day. We shared them on facebook so everyone could see them and enjoy them later.

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

  • We had organic, fair-trade coffee served because Philip and I adore coffee and most of our time dating and falling in love happened in numerous coffee shops in Raleigh.
  • The hilarious things our guests came up with at our wedding that MADE the night. One was hoisting us up on a chair without the option of objecting and throwing us 15-20 feet in the air during the Black-Eyed Peas “I’ve got a feelin.” And Philip’s mother not knowing what to do during the mother-son dance and deciding to pull her scarf off and throw it around Philip’s neck… a move that was both frightening and hilarious at the same time!

CAM Raleigh wedding

CAM Raleigh wedding

We could not have pulled of this wedding without friends. An incredible amount of our friends had offered beforehand to help and I took every one of them up on it! It made the night so wonderful because so many people not only felt a part of it but knew they were a tangible part of our life together.

And now, some parting words and generous advice from the lovely twosome:

I would love to tell brides to take the bold step of focusing on marriage and loving your fiancee more than attempting to make your wedding perfect. Some of the greatest parts of our wedding happened when things did not go according to plan! Take another bold step: put aside what people think and plan your wedding to reflect your heart and what you and your fiancee truly love (no matter how crazy people think you are…Philip and I got some strange looks when we mentioned ‘contemporary art’ with ‘worship ceremony of marriage’) but it could not have been more US!

Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. I know it sounds cliche but you will not care about how amazing the color of the matching linens and chair coverings were one second after you get married. There is a way the wedding industry can have a tendency to make you think you need to buy everything you see to make your day special and it’s not true. Figure out what you love, think for your guests and have a blast while doing it!

Another helpful tip someone passed onto me was this: when you are planning your wedding you need to decide what are the most important things to you and allot your budget accordingly… and be okay to not have everything elaborate. With Philip and myself, I decided venue was super important and food was not as important. The result of this was a fantastic environment with “just enough” food. I also got shoes from Payless and a veil from ebay (that I dyed with teabags to match my dress) so I could spend more on the actual wedding dress. Having a budget is a little tough but it is wise and freeing in the end. And we could not have been more pleased with how everything turned out!

CAM Raleigh wedding

Huge thanks to Cole for sharing his beautiful images with us, and congratulations to Liz and Philip! Thank you for giving us a VIP pass into your special day! Here’s wishing you guys a blissful married life. 🙂

Photography: Cole Gorman with Blest Photography, Durham NC
Flowers: Tracy Huntley at Springwell Gardens, Cary NC
Location: CAM (Contemporary Art Museum) Raleigh, Raleigh NC
Cake: Heather Singleton with Party Delights, Raleigh NC
Dress: Bellissima Coture (purchased from The Bridal Boutique of North Carolina, Cary NC)
Food: The Diner / Solas, Raleigh NC

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3 Comments

  1. This is such an adorably sweet and heart felt wedding. I’m trying hard to keep Christ at the center of our day and it looks like they pulled it off perfectly! Great wedding!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Julie, I too love how the couple didn’t lose sight of what was important to them! 🙂

  3. Yellow details on the wedding are so nice. Cool color combination. You did really nice work with this post.

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