Sierra and Nate’s Charlotte Wedding at Byron’s South End!

Sierra and Nate… how do we describe this couple? SUPER FUN!!!  Their wedding was not short on laughter and moments of wildness.

Michael and I enjoyed getting away for the day in Charlotte to attend and capture their wedding at Byron’s South End Home. Wonder how Sierra and Nate heard about this Asheville wedding photography team for their wedding in Charlotte? Well, do you recognize either of these couples below? Michael and I were blessed to get to photograph both of their weddings.  Actually, we first met Sierra when she was the Maid of Honor in Misty and Robert’s wedding (on the right). And we met Nate at Alyssa and Trent’s wedding last year (on the left.) Sierra said she always knew she wanted us to shoot her wedding and it blessed our souls that she and Nate choose us.

This was most definitely a “fireman wedding” and let’s just say these firemen know how to party!

Ok, lets back up to the beginning of the day to tell the story of this awesome day.

The flower girl and Nate’s mother watching Sierra get ready!

Mother of the bride.

The fun loving and hilarious Nate.

The most beautiful Sierra.

A moment with Nate’s mother and Sierra.

Facetime chat with Sierra and her grandmother who couldn’t make it to the wedding.

Sierra switched up her dress a bit between ceremony and reception. We loved that!

Sierra’s father has passed away. To stand in his place for the day was her uncle. This was her first look with him. (Grab a tissue.)

Around the corner moment with Nate and Sierra right before ceremony.

His reaction… priceless.

One of our favorite wedding moments is just after the couple exits the ceremony. This is that moment.

And it just wouldn’t be Sierra and Nate if we didn’t have some fun, goofy shots!

But oh how he loves her.

Onward to the reception! They were spot on with the floral and decor! Spot on.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Powell!

These candid moments of the toasts are probably our favorites from the day. So much genuine laughter and emotion.


Epic cake moments. Epic.

Since Nate is a fireman, one of the local fire engine crews came out to show some love.  It also allowed us a few photos with the fire truck!

The cutting of the groom’s cake was a bit of a “cake smashing party” for all those involved!

Party time!

As we were leaving we snagged a few photos of the Design Center at Historic South End in Charlotte where the ceremony and reception were held!

Here is a bit more from Sierra and Nate about themselves and their big day!

A bit about Sierra: Sierra loves to laugh and be silly. She’s a people person and works in the non-profit world. She never refuses a dill pickle and always craves movie theater popcorn. HGTV and DIY network are life.

A bit about Nate: Nate is a man!!! He’s a career firefighter and LOVES helping others. A few of his favorite things include hockey, football (he actually played in high school, college and post-college), Bob’s Burgers, and chocolate milk.

How did you meet? We met on eHarmony. Sierra actually made the first move and sent a “smile” to Nate. 🙂

Describe your first date? Nate came to visit Sierra at her office and took her to lunch, which consisted of two bottles of water because we were both too giddy and excited to eat. He brought Sierra the prettiest bouquet of flowers that were gifted to him from a very kind florist and we hugged immediately. At that moment we knew we had found the love of our lives. We sat outside Sierra’s office building and just talked for an hour. At one point, Nate grabbed Sierra’s hand and the rest is history.

How long have you been together? We have been together 2 years and 4 months.

What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We enjoy finding new places to eat, traveling near and far, attending Charlotte Checkers hockey games, watching Chicago Blackhawks hockey, drinking adult beverages in our garage, and scuba diving!

Who popped the question and HOW? Nate did. What an epic story!! Nate, a Career Firefighter for the Kannapolis Fire Department and a Firefighter at West Stanly Fire Department, plays for a National Public Safety Football League team called the Charlotte Cobras and had an upcoming away game in San Diego, CA, in April of 2016. He and Sierra were always on the go from day one with friends and work and commuting back and forth between Charlotte and Concord. Since this upcoming football game just happened to be on their first anniversary, April 9th, the two decided to have Sierra tag along and make a mini vacation out of it. This was going to be their first trip together to the West Coast and they were pretty stinkin’ excited for that! Little did Sierra know, Nate had a surprise in store for her that she never could have imagined. What was this surprise? Let’s rewind back to August of 2015, when Nate decided that he and Sierra had dated long enough to really get to know each other and that he wanted to be stuck with her forever (in the sweetest possible way.) He began to formulate a proposal that he hoped would be one to remember (and he sure did!) So, over the next few months, Nate asked permission from Sierra’s friends and family to marry her (all said yes, by the way) and found the perfect location to propose on their trip – the San Diego Firehouse Museum, which houses fire equipment and apparatus that dates back all the way to the 1800’s. He refinished a classic vintage fire helmet and had a close friend create a custom shield for it, and then shipped the helmet off to the museum for safe keeping until the big moment arrived. He also designed the most amazing engagement ring (really, just ask Sierra) with a diamond that Sierra’s dad had given to her mom a few years back. Sierra’s dad had since passed away, so this diamond held a great deal of importance to both her and her mother, and Nate felt honored that Sierra’s mother entrusted him with it. In true team spirit, Nate made sure that his Cobras brothers were in on the surprise, especially the O-Line, and invited all of them to join the “tour” of the fire museum in San Diego. Sierra and the Cobras flew out to San Diego on Thursday, April 7th. When they arrived, Nate snuck away from Sierra while they were waiting for their bags at baggage claim and passed the ring on to his teammate Trey, who was going to hold onto it until they arrived at the museum. Sierra was oblivious to this. San Diego, which is usually cool and calm, happened to be rainy and muggy when everyone arrived, pouring down rain as Nate, Sierra and a large amount of teammates (many of which were police officers) made their way to the fire museum. Once again, Sierra was oblivious to the fact that there were 40 or so police officers willing to go visit a fire museum…they really must have liked her! Once they arrived at the museum, Sierra began casually browsing around the museum after she dried off (yes, she was a girl about it and whined that her feet were all wet and squishy) and Nate acted very cool and collected, following her and explaining some of the history behind the exhibits. As Sierra began walking down one aisle, she could see the O-Line players guarding something and taking pictures and smiling. If you know these guys, you know they are fun-loving pranksters, so she of course thought they were doing something inappropriate and wanted in on the action! However, as she walked up to see what they were guarding, there sat the custom fire helmet that Nate had made her on one of the display cases, with the shield asking, “Sierra Will You Marry Me?” Sierra’s heart skipped a beat (or 5) and everything around her went a little blurry for a second. A very high pitched squeal also escaped her throat (trust us, there is video footage of it) as she swung around and saw Nate down on his knee holding the ring out to her. In true Sierra fashion, she immediately squealed “Yes!” before Nate could actually verbally ask her to marry him. She then asked “Is this for real?!” before he nodded and asked “Will you marry me?” Of course she squealed another yes and both she and Nate were so excited (Nate says he was nervous, too) that they were shaking as she placed the ring on her finger and threw her arms around his neck to hug him. Happy tears from Sierra followed, as well as a resounding “Cobras! You know!” chant from all of the teammates that were there to witness the greatest moment ever (in Sierra and Nate’s opinion.) Nathanael Douglas Powell outdid himself that day with the most amazing, heartfelt proposal EVER.

Why did you pick your specific venue? We really wanted a non-traditional, industrial type of space, which is exactly what we found at the Design Center Atrium and Byron’s South End. We also needed a space that would hold 200+ people. When we met our coordinator, we hit it off so well that we took it as a sign and went with it. 🙂

What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day? Nate would describe Sierra as stunningly gorgeous…and “bootylicious.” Sierra would describe Nate as dashing and passionate.

What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?  Sierra loved the arbor that we got married in front of. Nate made it from a vision in his mind and it just meant so much to her. Nate loved Sierra’s ring the most, as it was the first time she saw it with her bands.

How many guests attended the wedding? We had 230 confirmed guests for the wedding.

What did you and your guests eat at the reception? Well neither of us got to eat, but we had LOTS of food for the guests! We had food stations…One was a Carolina BBQ station with brisket, pulled pork, slaw and buns. We also had a taco station with steak and fish tacos, a macaroni and cheese stations with lots of fun toppings, and a salad station with mixed greens and chicken skewers.

What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Our wedding cake was actually four flavors- one for each layer. We had a vanilla layer, a cinnamon swirl layer, a key lime layer and a strawberry layer. ALL AMAZING! We also had an ice cream sundae station for those that aren’t cake fans.

What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? Due to a little hiccup with a groomsman missing his socks and tie, Nate ended up giving his tie and socks to the best man and picking out a tie from our closet and new socks. He chose navy socks with pineapples on them, which is funny because Sierra’s pedicure included pineapples on her big toes. It’s an inside joke- we give each other things with pineapples on them. It was really fun to show each other during out first touch.

What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Our first dance was to “Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel. The song perfectly describes how we feel about each other. Sierra actually also walked down the aisle to it!

What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? Our wedding was exactly what we wanted and fitted us to a T. It was laid-back, funny at times, and full of so much love. Both of us just can’t get over how amazing the other looked and how perfect it was to marry each other in front of our friends and family.

What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? We really want to visit Ireland in the next few years and continue diving. We got scuba certified on our honeymoon and are going to work on our advanced certification so that we can start going on dive trips in different countries.

Shout out to these vendors that made this day amazing.

Wedding coordinator – Lily Bee’s Events + Florals
Venue coordinator – Danielle Greene, Best Impressions Caterers/Byron’s South End
Dress Designer – Sassi Holford Couture Bridalwear
Where you purchased your dress – Ladies of Lineage
Makeup artist – Who’s The Fairest
Hair designer – Dustin Martin at Dreidhair
Floral designer – Lily Bee’s Events + Florals
Invitation/program designer- Black Cat Print Co. on etsy
Caterer – Best Impressions Caterers
DJ- Rod Wallace
Officiant – Norm Gourley (friend of couple)
Cake designer – Sassy Cakes Bakery, LLC
Rental company – Best Impressions Caterers
Videographer & Photobooth: Shutter-Hutch Photobooths + Videography
Wedding hashtag- #becomingpowell and #powellalwaysloveyou

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