Raleigh Renaissance Hotel Wedding | Michael + Melody

Michael + Melody are simply amazing people. It’s true, I learned it first on the internet! You see, before I met with them in person, I viewed the video of Michael proposing to Melody. As I watched, I was so impressed by the thought and the manner by which Michael proposed. I wanted to photograph their Raleigh Renaissance Hotel wedding! In preparing to meet with them, I recall fumbling over calendars due to late minute travel changes inhibiting my ability to get back to Raleigh when they were next the area. I don’t think Michael really knew then how much I wanted to document their wedding day. We finally met in person, and some months later I photographed their engagement session in downtown Raleigh. I came home sharing with my wife how I just photographed some “good people”. And what’s even more awesome is that amazing people have amazing family + friends! My team ended up spending 13 hours documenting their wedding day, delivering >1300 images and loved every minute of it! Their ceremony and celebration matched the quality of the characters and I have the images to prove it. #meetTheLongs!

Renaissance North Hills wedding ceremony

Raleigh Renaissance Hotel Wedding

Share with us how you two met:
Mike and I have known one another for years. We grew up not too far from each other and had friends that ran in similar circles. It wasn’t until I spent a year in Greensboro after graduating from Meredith College that our friendship began to blossom and the companionship finally bloomed!
The groom featuring beats by dre
The best man
Groom and best man personality socks
Tell us about your proposal:
Mike proposed on Thanksgiving Day at Maggiano’s Little Italy, in Orlando, Florida. Both of our families had traveled there to enjoy the holidays. Weeks prior to us heading down there I had a feeling he would propose that weekend, but unbeknownst to me Mike had contacted my friends and threw me off. All of a sudden everyone was making plans to visit me in Ohio one weekend for a big dinner. After dinner the waitress began handing out wine glasses and I thought we were toasting to our families being together for the holiday. He stood up and began giving a speech and the next thing I know he is asking me to marry him!
Bride reader a letter from her groom
Bride reading her letter from the groom
Tell us about your gown:
My dress was by Mori Lee/ Angelina Faccenda. I bought it at a bridal boutique in Columbus, Ohio. I actually cried for weeks about my decision to buy the dress because it needed a ton of alterations, but I am very pleased with my decision.
Mori Lee/ Angelina Faccenda wedding gown
How about your wedding shoes and jewelry:
My wedding shoes were Badgley Mischka and my jewelry came from Macys.
Badgley Mischka wedding shoes
Wedding jewelry
Tell us about your hair & make up:
My hair was done by Annette Seawell of Essential Designs and my make up by Lauretta of Doll Faces of Lauretta.
Raleigh Renaissance Hotel Wedding Prep
Tell us about your bridesmaids:
My matron of Honor was my sister. The rest of my bridal party were close friends I have known and grown with over the years including Mike’s sister.
Bridesmaid waiting to see bride in her gown
Bridesmaid first look at bride in her gown
bridesmaids having fun
Groom with the bridal party
Tell us about his groomsmen:
His best man was his 7 energetic year old son, whom before walking to the altar said to his dad, “I got your back daddy”. The other groomsmen were a collage of Mike’s life; friends from college, childhood, DC area, and a brother. This guys are a reflection of what has helped in making him a humbled person.
Groomsmen can't believe he's getting married
How / why did you choose your ceremony venue:
We wanted a location that was convenient to our guest. Our ceremony and reception were both held at the North Hills Renaissance Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina. We did not want anyone to have to travel upon reaching the hotel for the evening so after the reception was over they could head up stairs and stay the night.
wedding mime performance
Wedding officiant preparing
Bride entering wedding ceremony
Dad preparing to give his daughter away in marriage
Father of the brides shakes hands with the groom
Tell us about your flowers:
We gave our wedding planner creative control over the flowers. We gave him a budget and requested the flowers be in season. What he did with it was amazing. Simple, but yet elegant.
Bridesmaid wedding flowers
Bridal bouquet
Groom places ring on the brides finger
Black and white wedding photography
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding:
We had a New Years Eve wedding. We wanted it to be both festive, but still elegant. I think we achieved both!
Jumping the broom
How about the wedding invitations & stationery:
The invitations and stationery were done by Cicily of Designs By Cicily
African American wedding photographer
And your cake:
Our cakes were provided by Tracy of Sugar Fetish Cakery. In keeping with our festive New Years Eve theme, we had a small cake for Mike and I to keep with the tradition of being able to cut the cake. In addition, we had cake shooters with different flavors for our guest to chose from.
Wedding cake by Sugar Fetish Cakery
Tell us about your wedding photography:
Our photographer was Dajuan Jones of In His Image and we could not ask for better individual / business to assist in documenting our one and only moment. His service was above and beyond extraordinary. His demeanor and his attention to detail is immaculate. Mike and I will forever cherish is work. When looking at the vividness of the pictures it allows us to travel back in time as it if were happening again at that moment. We could not have asked for anything better.
Solange Knowles Inspired wedding party photo
And your videographer:
Our videographer is the ultimate professional, Mr. Haywood Massenburg! Mr. Massenburg is captures videos as an enthusiast! When you need anything from him, he will be right there, no matter the time or short notice. His ability to document things we have missed through his work is like the sword in the stone! Because of his work we can highlight all the details we missed but he caught. Live expressions that show smiles, laughs, and love. Like the pictures from In His Image Photography, we are able to able to re-live the moment with work from Mr. Haywood. We will forever be grateful!
Any advice for future brides:
Enjoy the moment. The day truly does go by fast. Everything is not going to go exactly as you planned. Take a deep breath and keep enjoying your day!
Renaissance North Hills wedding reception
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why:
Too many to choose from….The ones from the intimate photo session Dajuan pulled us away from and the midnight shots.
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New Years Eve wedding celebration at the Raleigh Renaissance Hotel North Hills

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