Laura & Ke’s Black, White, and Red DIY Wedding at the Arbors


I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! Meet lovebirds Laura and Ke, two 80s metal music fans who met at a Motley Crue concert in 2009. They were wed two years later in October 2011 in a lovely outdoor ceremony in North Carolina, as you will see below through photographer Christi Falls‘ lens.

Our lovely couple and the beautiful scenery aside, you will also most likely notice the gorgeous black and white paper flower bouquets and centerpieces that creative bride Laura made by hand (with Ke’s help of course). They also chose a striking black, white and red theme which was carried through to every detail: from Laura’s gown and the paper flowers to Ke’s suit and the reception decor.

red and black multicultural wedding

black white red creative DIY wedding

red and black creative wedding

Here’s what Christi had to say about Laura and Ke and their wedding:

From the first time I spoke with Laura on the phone, I knew she was one of my perfect brides.  We giggled and laughed the entire conversation.  Laura has such a happy, wonderful attitude, and I love that she and Ke made their wedding about THEM and who they are as a couple.

Our bridal portrait session was special, because we went to a park where Laura played in the creek as a young girl.

The wedding pie on the handmade stand made from trees on Laura’s parents land (that I helped her stain with coffee the morning of the wedding!) to the handmade flowers, the double happiness symbol, the black and white dress, the handmade leather earrings for the bridesmaids, to the rocking 80’s and hair metal reception playlist… every single tiny detail was Laura and Ke.  I was honored to be able to document something so special  and true.

I’m so happy Christi sent me this wedding because it’s some kind of amazing! Yes I’ll stop rambling now so you can appreciate the wonderful images.

The Arbors Events North Carolina wedding

north carolina wedding

paper flower wedding

black white red handmade wedding

black white and red DIY wedding

red black white wedding DIY paper flowers

bride in black and white dress

black and white bridal gown

Laura looks stunning in her black and white bridal gown, don’t you think? These photos were actually shot by  a creek where Laura played as a young girl. She’s here to tell us more about her and her sweetie:

My favorite dinosaur is the Stegasaurus. In fact, my family has called me “Steg” since I had a blonde bowl-cut. I grew up here in NC on a large stance of land with no neighboring houses in sight. I spent my younger years frolicking in fields and stomping in creeks. I moved back home after college with a BS in Marine Biology under my belt (which is incidentally completely useless here) because I wanted to be closer to my family.

Ke and I are culturally polar opposites. Ke was born in China and speaks primarily Mandarin to his parents, who speak 99% Mandarin in return. Therefore, naturally, I am in a mad dash to learn the language. After earning a BA in Fine Arts, Ke moved to NYC where he lived for about a decade. He ended up “down south” because the division of the company he works for moved to Charlotte, NC. Ke loves hair metal, noodles, and the notion that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Our first date was a few years later at Motley Crue concert. He proposed to me on our one year anniversary with sweaty armpits (bless him). Above all, we love to laugh. (Oh really? Who doesn’t?) In reality it’s the differences between us that have truly cemented our bond. We “work” because we appreciate each other’s hidden and surprising elements. “Us” is rather difficult to qualify, even though “us” is a creature of habit.

As for the dress, I almost didn’t have the courage to choose it. My mother, quiet and humble, gave me the boost that I needed to admit that it was “THE Dress” for me. My dress was the final piece of the puzzle. My dress made me feel… everything.

The First Look:

black white red wedding

Black white red wedding

black white red DIY wedding

Laura shares more about their wedding planning process:

When planning our wedding there were a few elements that were a given.
A. Black & Red:  A cultural nod to Ke’s side, yes, but mainly because we love that combo.
B. Nature as a focal point:  This is really the primary reason we chose not to use fresh flowers within the decor. We felt that the venue we found (The Arbors in Cleveland, NC) held enough natural beauty and gravity to carry the event.
C. We wanted the event to feel like a celebration and vowed not to take ourselves too seriously.

Black white red DIY wedding

black white and red wedding at the Arbors

black red white paper flower bouquets wedding

When trying to find an alternative for fresh flowers I stumbled upon an article featuring a picture of a paper bouquet. There the notion began that I myself would make the flowers for our wedding. I researched some techniques and found that kusudama was the most practical method for me, and for durability’s sake. I then taught Ke the technique and put him to work too. Together we folded, glued, and stemmed hundreds of small flowers for bouquets and boutonnieres, and 50 or so large flowers for the centerpieces.

DIY black red and white paper flowers wedding

the arbors wedding north carolina

the arbors wedding north carolina

the arbors black and white wedding

the arbors wedding

the arbors wedding

the arbors wedding

laura ke black red white wedding

Our bride shares a few things worth knowing about this cute couple:

* Ke likes Star Wars. I do NOT. I’m for the Trek. All the way.
* Ke and I always say “naGiVate” instead of navigate. For one thing it makes us giggle, no matter what. It’s also a fantastic tactic for breaking the ice when I want to strangle my husband for getting us lost.
* My father calls him his son. It’s cute as hell.
* His mother once told me that I needed to practice eating spicy foods.

the arbors black white red wedding

 

black and white paper bouquets wedding

black white red wedding
Laura on their wedding pies:

A few months into the planning process we decided (after an unpleasant experience at a cake tasting) that we would also seek an alternative for having an enormous traditional cake. After much consideration I decided that having pie cut and served would better represent my family’s traditions. We tried endlessly to find red glass pie plates with no success, and therefore realized that displaying them would present another challenge. In turn, on a September Saturday, my parents and I took a walk on their land to look for the perfect forked tree. After hours of work we ended up the the pie stand.

black white red wedding

double happiness wedding

black white red wedding

Thank you Christi for sending this beautiful wedding my way! Congratulations and thank you Laura and Ke for sharing your special day with us!

Photographer: Christi Falls Photography
Caterer: Visions Catering
Dress Store: Bedazzled
DJ: Queen City Ensemble (Ceremony), DJ Marty Wood (Reception)
Linens and Coverings: Cooke Rentals
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bedazzled
Event Venue: The Arbors Events, Cleveland North Carolina

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3 Comments

  1. What a fantastic, talented bride and gorgeous couple! Christi did an amazing job on those photos!

  2. Thanks, Amanda! This was a SUPER-FUN wedding to photograph! Laura and Ke were great to work with, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the wonderful details that went into their day!

  3. It was a beautiful wedding and Laura and Ke were a joy to work with. I had a great time DJing their reception.

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