Duke Gardens Wedding | Anton + Cassidy

Anton Gryshayev + Cassidy Foltz

September 22nd, 2018

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Durham, NC

Bride and Groom Embrace

Share with us how you two met:
Anton and I met in Raleigh in the lobby of Park and Market Apartments in October of 2015. I had just moved to North Carolina from Iowa and was apartment shopping. Anton started talking to me and he asked me if I was new here and where I was from. I told him I had moved from a small area of Iowa that he’d probably never heard of. Further, into the conversation he tells me he went to college at the University of Iowa, which was an hour from where I went to college. I was so amazed at how small of a world it was! At the end of the conversation, Anton asked for my number. We were friends for a while and in December we went on our first date. A month later we started dating. Anton says he had me at hello.

Wedding Rings
Bride Hanging Gown

Tell us about your proposal:
We try to make it a point to have a weekly date night. On this night we were going to Durham for sushi. We passed the exit for downtown, which was a little strange. Anton said we could take another exit to get there, which I thought was a little weird. He then drove to Duke Gardens, which I was excited about because I had been trying to get him to go there with me for a while! He knew Duke Gardens was also my dream wedding venue! We walked around and took pictures then Anton walked me over to a bench and pulled out his iPad. He had made a picture slideshow of all of the pictures of us since we knew each other. At the end of the slideshow, he got down on one knee and took my hand and asked me to marry him!

Bride's Shoes and Perfume
Bride Spraying Perfume
Bride and Bridesmaids in Robes

Tell us about your wedding planner:
I knew I needed a wedding planner from the beginning, but it took a little convincing for Anton and my parents. Becca with C & D Events was a lifesaver! My mom was helping with what she could from Illinois and only one of my bridesmaids was local and was busy planning her wedding 3 weeks before ours. It was nice having someone I could depend on here. She married her high school sweetheart and has the sweetest family. I wanted to work with someone that would make my vision come to life! Becca was able to do that for me while being budget conscious. She also does design which I am horrible at, so she was a lot of help with that! Like I’ve said before she made my vision come to life!

Bride Donning Gown
Bride Getting Help with Dress

Let’s talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? What was wedding shopping like for you? How did the groom look?
I was surprised by the wedding gown I picked. I thought I would pick something tight or mermaid style, but I ended up picking an A-line gown. It is so beautiful, the first thing I wanted to do when I woke up on my wedding day was put on my dress! It felt like forever before it was time to put it on. It was an Essence of Australia dress with straps and lace and a beautiful big bow in the back. Anton isn’t very traditional so I knew I wasn’t going to get him in a black tux. He chose a slim fit suit from Men’s Warehouse. It was Postman Blue by Calvin Klein and he looked so sharp in it!

Bridesmaids Hiding Eyes
Bridesmaids See the Bride
Bridesmaid Getting Emotional

Tell us about your bridesmaids:
I had co-maid of honors. One of them being my best friend from kindergarten and the other being my best friend from college. I couldn’t choose, they both know different sides of me and between the two of them, I figured the best version of myself would shine. My crew composed of friends from different points in my life. I believe they all got to be better friends after all of the wedding festivities. Anton’s sister and my cousin were both bridesmaids. Another college friend stood by me and my first friend I made in North Carolina and fellow co-worker was also a bridesmaid. I had a hard time stopping at 6, but they were all great bridesmaids!

Bridesmaid Helping Bride with Dress
Bridesmaids Together with Bride

Tell us about your ceremony and reception venue and what attracted you to it?
I was so happy that I was able to book Duke Gardens for our ceremony and reception venue! I always wanted to get married outside. I visited Duke Gardens for the first time on Easter day of 2016. My parents and grandparents were celebrating together in Florida and I called them via FaceTime exclaiming if I ever get married, this is where I want to get married! I instantly felt so relaxed and at ease surrounded by all of the natural beauty. I showed them the greenery and the flowers and the beautiful pergola where we took pictures after the ceremony. This was the only place I wanted to get married and I made sure to drop of hints to Anton after this visit!

Bride Waiting to See Dad
Bride Holding Gift for Dad
Dad Seeing His Daughter

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?
The ceremony and reception were better than I could have imagined! I wanted the natural beauty of the gardens to be the main focus, so I didn’t want my colors to be overpowering. I chose berry as my pop of color and blue with gold as my accent color.

Groom's First Look
Groom Seeing His Parents

Tell us about your wedding photography:
I looked a long time on wedding apps before choosing In His Image. I loved how confident the women in his images appeared. I wanted to look like that on my wedding day! I also loved his lighting and that he had done a lot of photography outdoors. I wanted someone comfortable in the elements. Dajuan has been a photographer for a while, so his years of experience helped in the decision making. Anton was a little skeptical before our engagement pictures, but it was amazing how he had us laughing and smiling til our cheeks hurt that day. I knew that day we made the right choice with our photographer. I ordered several prints for our house! Dajuan pays close attention to detail and body language, which wedding days are full of! We are very happy with our wedding pictures and were excited to share them with our family and friends.

Bride Walking Up To Groom
Bride and Groom First Look
Bride Is Smiling
Bride and Groom Kissing

Tell us about his groomsmen:
Cassidy’s brother and Anton’s dad were an automatic choice. Anton’s friend from North Carolina and husband to one of Cassidy’s bridesmaids made the cut. Anton also had a college teammate and a childhood friend from Colorado stand by him. He had another college teammate who he asked to be his best man, he, unfortunately, couldn’t make it since he is going to grad school in France, but he was able to send a video for his best man speech!

Wedding Party
Wide Shot of Garden

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
Flowers were important to me, we got married in a garden so I had a standard to uphold! My first job was working at a greenhouse with my step-grandma, who has since passed. This was my way of incorporating her and our bond with flowers. We used them pretty much everywhere. They were on the pergola with greenery at the ceremony and on all the tables as centerpieces. The English Garden Florist did such a good job listening to my ideas and creating something beautiful.

Flower on the Pergola
Ceremony Venue
Bridesmaid and Son Walk Down Aisle
Bridal Party
Father Walking Bride Down the Aisle

Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
I tried to make everything personal. Our tree ceremony was probably the most unique things. We got a tree sapling and had our parents bring dirt from their yards and we watered it. It symbolized our roots and us continuing to nurture them as a family. Seeing Anton at our first look made me so happy! No one else was watching and we were tucked away in our own little world!

Groom Waiting for Bride
Bride at Ceremony
Groom Putting Ring on Bride
Tree Planting by Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom Water Tree

And your videographer:
Stuart was our videographer from Complete Events. We just received our video last week! It was so fun to watch. We loved that he met us at the gardens to walk it with us since he hadn’t been there before and got to know our favorite parts and the details of the day.

Bride and Groom Kiss
Bride and Groom Leave Ceremony
Bride and Groom at Arbor of Duke Gardens
Groom Kissing the Bride's Forehead

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
For the wedding ceremony, the only thing that was semi-DIY were the fan programs. We used a template on Etsy for the design. I originally wanted to keep ceremony decor as simple as possible but ended up changing my mind after seeing a picture of a pergola with drapes and flowers the Greenhouse Picker Sisters had previously done at Duke Gardens. I had to have it after seeing that picture! It also helped to calm my nerves that if it rained we would have decor for our rain plan! It was predicted to rain the day of our wedding, thank goodness it didn’t!

For the reception, I kept the decorations minimalistic and tried to make them multipurpose. I saw a picture in a Marry Me magazine that was my inspiration. It was basically gold geometric lanterns, white and greenery and I loved it! What my wedding planner, Becca, and I came up with was a little different, but so perfect! We were able to find the gold geometric lanterns from Greenhouse Picker Sisters and marble coasters in the same shape for table numbers which I borrowed from a co-worker/recent bride. We reused our bridesmaid flowers for some tables and other tables had assorted clear vases with flowers, gold votives, and greenery. Our sweetheart was little extra sparkly with a gold sequin tablecloth, my bouquet, and greenery like the picture my inspiration came from. It was gorgeous, I was so happy to see my vision come to life!

Our seating chart was made out of a copper grid decorated with greenery. Placed on hooks were luggage tags with names and table numbers that also purposed as the guest wedding favor. A family friend made them and helped me come up with the design. Our card box was a mailbox with our last name on it, which we plan to use. We watched Cassidy’s parents wedding video and her parents also had a mailbox as their card holder and neither of them ever mentioned it. I thought I had a unique idea and was so surprised that we had the same idea!

We had a lounge inside that was created by Greenhouse Picker Sisters and Becca. Our wedding guestbook was a Shutterfly book of some of our engagement pictures. The lighting was done by Party Reflections. I was also in love with the idea of having our wedding cake on a whiskey barrel!

Table Centerpiece
Table Setting
Bride's Place Setting
Wedding Favor
Luggage Tag as Guest favor
Seating Arrangement

What songs did you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, and why:
The Wedding march was the song my dad and I walked down the aisle to. I chose it because it was classic and there were so many variations to chose from. I chose We chose “Can’t Help Falling In Love” covered by Kina Grannis as our first dance song. I had been bugging Anton for weeks about not having a song yet! We went to the movies for a date night to see Crazy Rich Asians and that was the song during the wedding in the movie. I looked at him and said I think its meant to be, that was basically the story of our relationship. He was very persistent and patient and in the end, I couldn’t help but fall in love with him!

Bride and Groom First Dance
Bride and Father First Dance
Groom and Mother Dance

Favorite item on the reception menu:
Both of our favorites were the chicken stuffed with spinach and roasted peppers. Anton also really enjoyed the appetizers during cocktail hour, especially the shrimp popper by Catering Works!

Bride and Groom at Dinner
Dinner out on the Veranda

Tell us about your cake.
It was a simple two tier cake. To glam it up it had gold foil and flowers on it with a gold “G” cake topper. It was sitting on a whiskey barrel, it was so pretty!

Wedding Cake on Whiskey Barrel
Bride and Groom Cut Cake
Kiss after Cake

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day? What is your fondest memory from your wedding day?
Anton: The ceremony and being married

Cassidy: One of the most special moments was putting on my dress. I was so excited for that bridal moment! The other special moment was hearing Anton’s vows. We wrote our own vows and I was so curious about what he was going to say!

Bridesmaid Giving Toast
Bride and Groom Listening to Toasts
Groomsman Toast
Bridesmaid Toast

What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why:
Us in the pergola after the formals of Anton tilting me back and kissing me. It was an image I really wanted and am so happy I asked for it! Its image 152 of photog favs. This is the spot I originally wanted to get married at, but there wasn’t a backup plan for rain, so I chose plan B since it had a backup plan. So that I got us alone in this spot meant a lot!

Dancing with Bridesmaid
Father of the Groom Dancing

Do you have a honeymoon planned? Tell us about it.
We went to Italy! We visited Rome, Florence, and Venice, Morano, Borono, Torchello, and Tuscany. Anton lived in Italy for a period of time as a child but didn’t remember much of it, so it was basically both of our first time in Italy! We loved the culture and lifestyle of the Italians. We both love wine, so wine at all dinners and wine tasting was so fun for us. There is so much history there as well so we immersed ourselves in site seeing at the Coliseum, trevi fountain, and so many churches or basilicas. Not much sleep was had. We came home tired from all of our sightseeing wishing we had another week of vacation. It was an amazing experience. We would go back to Italy again!

Everyone at Wedding

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
I was very happy that we did pre-marital counseling with our officiant. I think it helped us talk about things that were important to us at an objective level. To future brides: these are your memories that you will look back on so many times during your marriage so take the time to Enjoy them! It is your wedding day and your wedding should reflect it! Enjoy time being engaged! I rushed into planning the week we got engaged and I wish I would have stayed in the moment and enjoyed time to celebrate more than the night of our engagement. And get a wedding planner from the beginning if planning isn’t your thing! From Anton “The craziness is worth it.”

Photography: In His Image Photography

Venue: Duke Gardens

Planner: Becca with C&D Events

Design/Florals: English Garden

Lighting: Party Reflections

Rentals: CE Rental

Lounge, Ceremony Arch + Smalls: Greenhouse Picker Sisters

Caterer: Catering Works

Music: Daniel Heron with Complete DJ

Videographer: Stewart Nelson

Dessert: Catering Works

Hair/Makeup: The Bardot

Officiant: Bill McKinley

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