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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Shayna and Julio’s Hawksdene Wedding

Shayna and Julio were married at the stunning venue, Hawksdene House in Andrews, North Carolina. Their Hawksdene wedding was a destination wedding for all of their guests and it was easy to see that all were thrilled to be there. The ceremony, the food, the views, and the dancing made this an occasion to remember.

Michael and I got to hang out with Shayna and Julio first when we all went hiking for their e-session last summer. We loved, loved, loved getting to hang out with them as we hiked together up to Black Balsam. We instantly connected with this amazing couple and knew we were going to enjoy sharing their wedding day with them.

From Shayna’s father who has passed away. This one brought tears to my eyes.

Here is a bit more from this awesome couple about themselves and their wedding day!

A bit about Shayna: Shayna is a kindergarten teacher in Orlando, FL. She is kind and loving, nurturing and firm. She loves to be silly and goofy. She loves to dance and watch TV shows.

A bit about Julio: I am a software developer in Lake Mary, FL. I am a video game fan and I enjoy binge watching our favorite shows on Netflix. I like to play soccer and throw a Frisbee around.

How did you meet? We met at the front office of our apartment complex. Shayna was a leasing agent and I was an unemployed college kid who played pool constantly. I ended up meeting her one day when the door to the rec room was locked and I needed to get the key from the office.

Describe your first date? Shayna and I hung out with our mutual friends all the time. We got to see each other almost every day and watch shows and play guitar hero. It wasn’t until nearly 6 months of being together that we finally went on our first date. It was very simple. Dinner and a movie. I was the least stressful first date ever because we had already been together for so long.

How long have you been together? 9 years as of July 23rd.

What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? Watching shows and movies on Netflix and HBO are our go-to activity. We also like playing Kingdom Hearts and Borderlands 2 (two very contrasting video games). We love playing Frisbee. And we are also obsessed with escape rooms. Which brings us to the next question…

Who popped the question and HOW? I popped the question on a Friday evening in our apartment by locking her in our office and not letting her out until she said yes. Yes, really. Because of our obsession with escape rooms I decided to build her one. I emptied out the office and hid clues all over the place. The answers to all the puzzles were things meaningful to our relationship, like the date of our anniversary or the order of the vacations we have taken. It ended up being a lot of fun to make, and even more fun to watch her do. When she realized what I had made, she didn’t stop laughing for a solid 5 minutes, time which I happily deducted from her hour.

Why did you pick Andrews and Hawkesdene? We picked Andrews because of Hawkesdene. And we picked Hawkesdene because it was a gorgeous venue in the mountains, surrounded by nature and beauty. The staff was extremely receptive and kind and they felt so organized.  We were immediately confident that the wedding would be incredible. It was.

What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?

Julio about Shayna – Radiant.

Shayna about Julio – Perfect.

What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?

Shayna – The pictures of her father and sister on her bouquet (they are no longer with us). She also loved the message from her dad embroidered inside her dress.

Julio – Shayna’s dress

How many guests attended the wedding 63

What did you and your guests eat at the reception? It was a phenomenal meal of…

Strawberry goat cheese salad

Grilled flank steak with avocado guasacaca sauce

Carolina Pork Tenderloin with Apple Preserves

Heirloom tomatoes with garden basil and mozzarella

Broccolini sautéed in garlic butter

Smashed potatoes

Artisan Bread & Herb Butter

What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Apple hummingbird with cream cheese frosting… but the best part was the whole dessert bar that came with it. Raspberry, strawberry, apricot, and blueberry tarts. Brownie shooters. Carrot cake cupcakes and chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes. Macarons. Mini apple pies. Peach cobblers in a jar. It was amazing.

What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? Our dog getting off her leash and sprinting down the path towards the cottage. Or possibly singing BINGO to get our ring bearer to smile during pictures.

What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Perfect by Ed Sheeran. It was melodic and sweet and it describes how we feel about each other… perfectly.

What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding The wedding was very “us”. It was relaxed and goofy. We made fun of each other during our vows. We were surrounded by the people we love and that love us. It was more than we could have ever hoped for. The moment that stands out to me the most is when I was standing on the Hawkes Nest, staring at a gorgeous sunset holding hands with my gorgeous bride, thinking to myself that I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was. The moment that stuck out in Shayna’s mind the most was when my Grandfather ended the reception by singing a song to us in Spanish. It was so emotionally charged and beautiful.

What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? We want to go on an Alaskan cruise. We also wish we could open an animal rescue.


Shout out to these awesome professionals for their amazing work!

Venue coordinator – Jami Dyer at Hawksdene House
Dress Designer – Stella York
Where you purchased your dress – One & Only Bridal Boutique
Makeup artist – Salon El-Khouri
Hair designer –Salon El-Khouri
Floral designer – Andrews Florist
Caterer – Hawkesdene
DJ or Band – Sound Extreme Entertainment
Officiant – Phillip with Asheville Marriages
Cake designer – Sugar Cloud Baking Company
Videographer – Casey and Kristen

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Sarah and William’s Laurel Ridge Country Club Wedding!

It is such a blessing to get to watch a child grow to being a teen, and then into a man. It is an even bigger honor to get to photograph that man as a groom on his wedding day.

To say I know William is an understatement. I, Meriah, remember when this “kid” was born. I watched him in the nursery at church when I was a teenager, I was his “sparks class” teacher when he was a kid, and then I was his youth leader. We have shared loads of laughter and have many stories from our “youth days” together. We have also wept together and I have watched he and his family mourn the tragic loss of his brother Ethan.

We grew up together in a lot of ways and my response when I first saw him on his wedding day was unexpected. I DID NOT expect to “ugly cry”. I walked in and saw our “Billy” down the hallway surrounded by bridesmaids pinning on his boutonniere. He looked up and saw me and smiled that ever so big smile of his and I totally lost it.  I had to walk away to compose myself after I hugged him. I thought to myself… “Pull yourself together Mozingo, you have a job to do!”

And then I saw Sarah. The ever so lovely, gorgeous, “Kate Middleton step down cause there is a new princess in town”… Sarah. 😉 She embodies grace and was a “show stopper” in that wedding gown. I don’t know Sarah as well as I know Billy but it was awesome to get to spend some time with her at her bridal session some months ago and get to know her a bit then. She insisted on twirling in her dress and that to me says SO much about her ability to have fun. I love a good twirling bride! We had a blast getting to ride around Laurel Ridge Country Club where she would one day have her wedding. Here are a few of our favorite moments from her bridal session!

Here is a bit more from Sarah and William on themselves and their wedding day!

A bit about Sarah: I grew up in Black Mountain, NC, with my Mom, Dad, and sister, Janie. They are just the best. I cherish every moment I get to spend with them. My dad went to NC State, so I followed in his footsteps for my undergraduate years. I majored in Elementary Education as a Teaching Fellow. I am now a second grade teacher in Morrisville, NC. William and I now live in Apex and love our new small town!

A bit about William: I was born and raised in Canton, NC. I have a big family, with my parents having four children (including me): my brothers, Ethan and Holder, and my sister, Ivy. We grew up spending a lot of time around sports and doing everything together, and I am so grateful to be so close with my family! After graduating high school, I attended NC State. I majored in Environmental Science and now work for Duke Energy in Cary, NC. Oh, and I have the best wife to come home to everyday!

How did you meet? We met our sophomore year of college. Even though we grew up within 40 minutes of each other, we didn’t meet until NC State. In November 2012, NC State had its homecoming game against Virginia and we both were there cheering our team on. (William more than Sarah.) Sarah’s friends knew William and had pointed him out to her, so she saw him at the game but didn’t introduce herself (too nervous! He’s so cute). After the game, our mutual friends wanted to go to dinner, so we tagged along. William noticed Sarah at dinner and we spent the rest of dinner only talking to each other. We both knew the other was special from the very beginning.

Describe your first date? Our first date was a few days after we met. We went to Bruegger’s Bagels for breakfast. William took Sarah for her birthday before he went on a trip with a group of his friends. He was almost late to the airport because he wanted to stay longer on the date. We just sat and talked about our lives and continued getting to know each other. We both knew we wanted there to be many more dates after this one.

How long have you been together? We have been together for four and a half years!

What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We love to Netflix binge, go out to eat, go to the beach, and travel together.

Who popped the question and HOW? Every year, Sarah’s family goes to Kiawah Island, South Carolina on vacation. For the past couple of years, I (William) have joined in on these family trips. After gaining permission from Sarah’s parents, I decided to propose at Kiawah this past summer. In order to keep it as much of a surprise as possible I planned to pop the question on my birthday. This way Sarah would just think we were dressing nice and going to dinner to celebrate. So that night, we went to a nice restaurant on the island and had a wonderful dinner. Following dinner, we walked to this beautiful courtyard just beside the beach, where I had a photographer hiding in the bushes. I knelt down and told Sarah how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It was the perfect moment, and I was so grateful that she said yes. After taking some pictures, we went back to the house where we were staying and Sarah’s family had prepared an engagement party for us!

Why did you pick Waynesville and the Laurel Ridge Country Club? We knew we wanted to get married in the mountains near where we grew up. William suggested Laurel Ridge and when we visited it we knew it was everything we were looking for! It was rustic and displayed so beautifully the mountains we call home.

What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?

Sarah: William was so handsome. I just loved looking at him and seeing him smile.

William: If I had to choose one, I would say perfect, because she encapsulated everything I could picture in a wife.

What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?

Sarah: I loved the flowers. A close family friend designed and created all the flower arrangements and my aunts came early Saturday morning to set them all up. My bouquet even had some hosta’s in it to honor my dad who plants them in our backyard. It was such a blessing to know how much love and care went into the flowers.

William: My favorite thing was the photo memory book that Sarah gave me. She put different pictures together in a journal with stories reminding me of some of our favorite memories together and of what she loves and admires about me. She also left space at the end for us to add more memories that we make together as a married couple. It was so thoughtful and will be something that I cherish forever.

How many guests attended the wedding? 180

What did you and your guests eat at the reception? We had fried chicken, pulled pork, green beans, mashed potatoes, and salad. William’s favorite was the pulled pork and Sarah loved the mashed potatoes!

What was the flavor of your wedding cake? We had a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting.

What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Perfect by Ed Sheeran. We chose this song because this was our perfect day together.

What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? We think of what Sarah’s pastor said about marriage. When we meet Jesus one day face to face we should recognize Him because we have seen Him through our spouse throughout our lives together. We should see Jesus’ love and kindness for us in each other. This reminds us of our purpose as a couple and as wonderful as our wedding was, the most beautiful part is that we can love and serve each other for the rest of our lives through our marriage.

And now here are a few photos from their amazing wedding back in June!

First look with the bridesmaids!

First Look between Sarah and William!

Father and sons.

Donuts from Krispy Kreme and cookies made by William’s Grammy!

Congrats to the happy couple!!

Shout out to these professionals that made this day happen!

Venue coordinator – Leshall Conklin with Laurel Ridge Country Club
Makeup artist – Wendy Balance with Blush Asheville
Hair designer – Amanda Hughes with Hughes Hair Design
Floral designer – Ann Ashley
Caterer – Laurel Ridge Country Club
DJ or Band – Dennis Byrd
Officiant – Reverend Richard White
Cake designer – Cathy Berlin
Videographer – Austin Evans
Wedding hashtag- #oneinamills

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