Cynthia Viola Photography

Wedding Photography

Banner Elk, North Carolina Wedding | Becca and Clay

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses
— Ann Landers
Mountain Wedding

Wow, I have so many things to say. I feel like I helped raise Becca (and her sister Hannah) in a way. Really, we grew up together. I spent a few hours every week with them at their home discussing life, faith, movies and future dreams. Their incredible mother Robin made a huge dinner every time, entirely from scratch and almost entirely from their massive garden. Little did she know that she inspired the gardener in me; when I moved to Raleigh it was because of her I started my own little back porch box garden and now have quite a collection of vegetables in our back yard now. They lived the type of life that stops to have a good conversation and works long hard hours because that's what makes you feel good at the end of the day. 

The girls expanded my appreciation for literature and classic movies and challenged my beliefs every time we met. I felt truly like a sister, and a part of the family. Now seeing Becca married this weekend brought me back to those wonderful, slower days and made me grateful for the journey of life and all the different places it can take you.

Clay came into Becca's life about 10 years ago and I remember him being a part of our conversations off and on and now here they are, a decade of friendship behind them and a lifetime of love and laughter in front of them. They were truly meant to be.

The entire county was flooded with torrential downpours the week leading up to the wedding; several landslides made the roads questionable and all our nerves were on a rollercoaster ride as we watched the radar. It held off just long enough to capture every single pre-ceremony portrait they wanted, however, poured during the ceremony again, and lifted one last time after the ceremony to allow for family portraits outdoors. The bright greens that came after the storm only made the photos that much more beautiful. Quite the silver lining. Always grateful for unexpected beauty .

Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding

Becca decided to wear her mother's incredibly gorgeous veil and I was super excited about it. There's just something so classic about a long veil, and it adds so many more portrait options. 

Bridal Portraits
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding

Becca and her girls got together the night before and created all their bouquets as well as the ceremony and reception arrangements. DIY bouquets have never looked more beautiful. 

Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding
Banner Elk Christian Fellowship Wedding

Clay knew the right things to say every single time to make his bride light up with smiles and laughter. I absolutely love it when couples know how to tease each other well and have a good time. 

Mountain Wedding
Mountain Wedding

You guys I couldn't be happier for you! Thank you for including me in your big day, I wish you all the happiness in the world!

 

 

The vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia Viola

Venue: Banner Elk Christian Fellowship

Bride's Gown: David's Bridal

Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse

Perfume: Clinique Happy Heart

Bride's Rings: Skattles Jewelers & Zales

Groom's Ring: Stonebrook Jewelers

Hair Stylist: Hannah McCormick

Officiant: Carl Clawson

Cake Baker: Stick Boy Bread Co.

Invitations: Jaime Johnson Photography

 

 

 

Ocean Isle Beach Wedding | Alexa and Landon

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola6 Comments
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
— Howard Thurman
Trash the Dress photography

These two have been on quite the adventure from the moment they met. With a love of traveling and jobs that encourage it, they have lived and traveled all across the country and beyond. When they told me the wedding was going to be on Cinco de Mayo, I knew an epic party was about to happen. 

They rented a house in Ocean Isle and invited their closest family and friends to stay the weekend, celebrate life, love and new adventures. We've never had so much fun! From the second we arrived on Thursday we threw our stuff in our rooms and made our way to the beach to share stories and take in the moment. Everyone adores Landon and Alexa so much it was effortless to come together to celebrate them. 

OIB wedding photography
OIB wedding photography
Beach wedding details
Beach wedding details
Beach wedding details
OIB wedding photography
father daughter first look
beach groom details

While they were getting ready they couldn't resist telling everyone how excited they were and as everything built toward the first look they were practically dancing with anticipation. You'd never know there were hundreds of people on the beach watching them, they only had eyes for each other. 

pier first look
pier first look
pier first look
pier first look
pier first look

Have you ever seen a more joyful bride?!? You just can't resist loving Alexa from the very first moment you meet her and Landon is, of course full of his own charms. 

pier first look

All Alexa wanted for her ceremony was to be surrounded by as much color as possible. Their guests did not disappoint. 

beach wedding ceremony
beach wedding ceremony
beach wedding

If you've followed me for any length of time, you know Trash the Dress sessions are my favorite... I usually tend to shoot them on anniversaries or some time down the road from the wedding day, but Alexa had another dress ready to go for the reception and couldn't wait to jump in the ocean! A true mermaid.

beach trash the dress
beach wedding reception food truck
beach wedding reception
beach wedding reception
beach wedding cake cutting
beach wedding reception
beach wedding reception
beach trash the dress
beach trash the dress

You guys I could not be happier for you! I loved every single minute of this weekend and cannot wait to come visit in Cali soon!! Love you!!

 

The Vendors who made the Day Possible:

Photographer: Cynthia Viola

Videographer: Jerry Moore Luminous Event Films

Venue: Southern Comfort

Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero from Dar Lynns Bridal

Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse

Bride's Ring: Simon G Engagement

Perfume: Lancome la Vie est Belle

Cologne: Gucci Guilty

Hair Stylist: Brandi from Coral Tree Salon

Make Up Artist: Sabrina from Coral Tree Salon

Florist: Dave Bryant Designer

Officiant: Terrence Richards

Catering: Catch the Food Truck and Art Catering

Cake Baker: Cakes by the Sea

Linen/Chair/Tent Services: Art Catering

Light and Sound- Michael Pirozzolo Event Excellence

 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Jenelle and Billy's Trash the Dress Session or Heather and Kyle's Beach Engagement

Oaks at Salem Wedding | Lindsay and Matt

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories
— George Eliot
Bride and Groom with Classic Car

Lindsay and Matt know how to go big on a party. From the classic cocktails, to the incredible DJs to knife fighting among the groom's party before the ceremony and Spice Girls jam sessions in the Bride's suite; they and their wedding party are there to have a good time. We had so much fun capturing the big day.

The Oaks at Salem was, of course, the perfect backdrop, and no one could have ordered a better weather forecast. It was like a fairy tale. 

When Lindsay's mom and dad shared advice for her during the first look, we all got a little teary eyed and everyone in the bride's party spoke from the heart as they recalled fun stories and shared what they admired about their friend. 

The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex

Lindsay and Matt wrote a special note to little Eva to carry with her in the flower basket, and to one day use for her "something blue" if she wishes. She promptly dropped it on the ground which made everyone laugh, but we all knew how very special it was, and she will too some day. :)

The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Ceremony
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex
The Oaks at Salem Apex

The Oaks really does have an incredible backdrop for portraits, any time of the day. Such a beautiful venue.

The Oaks at Salem Apex

I'm pretty sure I ate three entire bowls of m&ms by myself during the reception, it's now officially my favorite wedding favor. :)

The Oaks at Salem Reception
The Oaks at Salem Reception

The choreographed dances had everyone smiling, nothing beats a solid dip...except maybe dad throwing money at the bride :)

The Oaks at Salem Reception
The Oaks at Salem Reception
The Oaks at Salem Reception
The Oaks at Salem Reception

Thank you guys for letting us be a part of your day!! We had an incredible time!!

Hope you enjoy Saint Lucia!! 

 

The Vendors who made the day Possible

Photography: Cynthia & A.J. Viola

Venue: The Oaks at Salem

Coordinators: Becky and Ashley at the Oaks

Bridal Gown: Lillian West from Maggi Bridal in Raleigh

Bridesmaids Dresses: Revelry

Groom's Tux and Groomsmen's Suits: The Black Tux

Bride and Groom's Rings: Bailey's

Hair and Make Up: Cori Lee Style

Florist: MEWS Designs

Officiant: Tim Tharrington, "With This Ring"

DJ: All Events DJs

Videographer: The Bride's Brother, Ryan

Photobooth: All Events DJs

Catering: Cook Shack Catering

Cake and Donuts: Edible Art & Rise Biscuits and Donuts

Linen Services: Party Reflections

Invitations: Minted

If you enjoyed these images you might also enjoy this Oaks at Salem Wedding  

Mooresville, North Carolina Wedding | Susan and Ron

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola1 Comment
Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Lake Norman Wedding

When you get to watch a relationship bloom from the very first date until they say, "I Do," it gives you a whole new appreciation for love. Through the life transitions, disagreements, home repairs and wedding planning Susie and Ron have only grown more and more in love. I feel like we just did their engagement session yesterday and here we are a house brimming to the top with friends and family and every one of us ready to celebrate. 

I adore meeting and spending time with all the extended family members of my couples, but these guys hold and extra special place in my heart. My brothers, of course, at the center, but also half-step brothers, adopted cousins and feisty grandmas, neighbors who've become friends and the very best celebration anyone could ask for. Guests traveled from all over the country to celebrate with Susie and Ron (and of course for Betsy's 95th birthday). 

Everyone had so many wonderful things to say about them both, as they are one of the most welcoming, gracious hosts you could ask for. I heard story after story of how individually and as a couple they've been there to support their loved ones; they take care of so many people and live life to the fullest every day. It has been such an honor and a blessing to become a small part of this huge and incredible group of people. 

Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding

I asked Susie what Ron has to do to make up if he makes her mad, "He just has to make me laugh," she said. (and he promptly whispered something to her causing a huge belly laugh) ;) Susie loves to laugh and no one is better at it than Ron. 

Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
— Christina Perri
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding
Lake Norman Wedding

I love all of you SO MUCH! Thank you for an incredible weekend, an incredible life. 

 

 

The Vendors who made this day Possible:

Photography: Cynthia Viola

Venue and Catering: Hilton Gardens Inn, Mooresville

Bridal Gown: David's Bridal

Groomsmen Attire: JC Penny

Rings: Brownlee Jewelers

Hair Stylist: Leanna VanWasssenhove

Florist: Lowe's Foods

Officiant: Gino Cassano

Cake: CynTucci's Bakery

DJ: Roland Tate

Dance Floor: Jump Start Events

Invitations: Ann's Bridal

 

If you enjoyed these photos, you might also enjoy this Mooresville Family session or this

Rose Garden Wedding.

 

Oak Bridge Club Stylized Wedding with Lauren and Nathan

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
You wear white and I’ll wear out the words ‘I love you,’ and ‘you’re beautiful’
— Train
Braid Bar Sta Lauren Burks

I must say, in ten years of weddings, I've never participated in a stylized wedding session, but we had SO much fun. Having the freedom of no timeline and a couple who's been together for years with no jitters or wedding stress holding them back was a dream. 

We actually had the added bonus of a precious little flower girl and ring barer to join us while we walked around the grounds, Lauren and Nathan's cute kiddos couldn't help but jump in once they saw how much fun we were having. 

Working with and around other vendors at every weeding is a fun part of the job, but it was so unique to be able to partner with them in the actual planning process for this one. Let me tell you, they didn't shy away, these vendors pulled out all the stops and made the whole process a blast!

Braid Bar Sta Lauren Burks

First of all, our gorgeous bride owns Braid Bar of St. Augustine and therefore styled her own incredible hair, not once but twice, to give two different looks for the shoot. She's braided my hair into a mohawk before which was to die for! If your looking for braids or twists of any kind, she's the bomb. 

Rachel Ashley styled her Make Up perfectly while we chatted in Oak Bridge's beautiful lounge area. She knew exactly what Lauren needed and made sure she had touch up supplies throughout the shoot. 

Lori with Lori Parker Floral Studios in Ponte Vedra had a vision for the boho style and included the most unique florals in the bouquet, boutonniere and ceremony arbor. I honestly didn't hire a florist for my own wedding because I'm not much of a flower person but working with someone who loves what they do makes you change your mind. Lori loves her work so much it she actually made me excited about these flowers throughout the entire process. 

Daria at Adagio Weddings built the incredible arbor and set it to stand against some significant winds that whipped through the fairway. There were multiple times I just knew it was going to collapse as we chased other materials across the green, but it was strong and resilient. She really knows what she's doing. Additionally, she provided the beautiful violin accompaniment for their ceremony and first dance. She has a whole team of skilled musicians to provide for your ceremony or event, she's been playing herself since she was five years old!

Adagio Weddings Violinist Daria
Adagio Weddings Violinist Daria

Oksana at Dress to Impress saved the day when our lovely model's original dress plans fell through and provided the most lovely gowns to choose from at the last second. We were SO hoping to use one but didn't have quite enough time to altar one to fit our bride just right. We went with a trusty back up from her closet but we were SO grateful to Oksana for her willingness to come to the rescue!

ABC Beverage Concierge Services for Ponte Vedra Beach district provided the champagne toast as they are promoting their new hospitality division and were excited to help in any way.

Kelli with KROMA Printing and Design made the beautiful invitations and has vast array to choose from. She was even able to get engraved champagne glasses for the toast!

Of course the Oak Bridge Club is pulling out all the stops to make it a premier wedding destination at an incredibly affordable price. Under new management they're upgrading all the main buildings and golf course areas to better accommodate weddings and events this year, go check them out! Mariel is amazing to work with and a gracious host, she'd love to show you around. 

Lori Parker Floral Studios
ABC Fine Wine and Spirits St Augustine
Adagio Weddings Arch
Kelli Taylor Kroma Printing
Braid Bar Sta Lauren Burks
Lori Parker Floral Studios
Adagio Weddings Arch
Lori Parker Floral Studios
Oak Bridge Golf Club

I couldn't be more grateful to everyone who made this day a success! This truely is the best job on the planet. I work with the most incredible people who also love what they do and love working together as a team to make couples' dreams come true. Thank you everyone! Can't wait to work with you again soon!! 

 

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy this Golf Club Wedding in Raleigh, or this Golf Club Family Session in Charlotte. 

What about Grooms and their Party?

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
If you have crazy friends, you’ll have everything you’ll ever need
— Anonymous
Groomsmen Inspiration

Helping various family members plan their weddings this year has me answering questions I don't typically need to answer as a photographer, but as they've come up I figured it'd wouldn't hurt to share them here in case you find them helpful as well. 

Groomsmen Inspiration

I must implore you though from the very beginning: there is no correct answer. This is your day, make whatever choices make you happy, invite all your favorite people and just celebrate life and love. However, if you're interested in a few tips or just need a little inspiration, this is a good place to start. 

Groomsmen Inspiration

Suit, Tux or Jeans and a Button Up?

I generally lean toward the casual side of life and love the idea of just being yourself always. Therefore jeans and button up makes sense if that's what you love... however... no one has ever looked bad in a tuxedo. If you wear jeans and tee shirts every other day of your life, why not take one day just to go all out and knock the socks off your future spouse? People often focus on wow factor of brides and expect  to be blown away by them, when grooms put their best foot forward, I've seen several crowds stand with their jaws dropped at how outstanding a groom looked. 

Groomsmen Inspiration

Suspenders, Vest, bowtie or Tie?

If you go with the tux, you'll likely choose a bowtie, but with a suit, vest or button up, you have a few other options. Here's a few images to give you some ideas, but it'll just depend what look you're going for. 

Groomsmen Inspiration
Groomsmen Inspiration

Boutineers

I have seen them all, and my recommendation is to keep them small. Any different flower you like works well, pieces of wood, herbs, hops and berries tie in a nice masculine touch, or even specially designed pieces to add a little flare. They don't need to be huge though, especially if you're not wearing a jacket. Loose button ups and suspenders have their own classy look, but they cannot handle a rowdy bunch of guys for 8 hours. 

Groomsmen Inspiration

Cufflinks, Socks and Flasks

I am certainly no expert on men's accessories, but I've seen lots of great options. Many grooms love to give flasks and specific fun socks or cufflinks at the rehearsal to thank their friends for being such a big part of their big day. I am a huge fan of buying flasks along with your guys' favorite drink, it just shows you pay attention. A good toast right before you walk down the aisle is a great way to boost your confidence before stepping in front of a few hundred people. Figure out what is important to you and your tribe and just go with it. 

Groomsmen Inspiration

Ladies in the party

Tons of wedding parties these days have women, men and transgendered friends alike. Feel free to dress them all to match exactly, or switch it up by having one party in one color and the other in another, so ladies can wear a dress and still be connected to the groom

Groomsmen Inspiration

No matter what decisions you make or what details fall apart at the last second, at the end of the day, you're marrying the love of you life surrounded by all your favorite people and the rest will simply slip into one big happy memory. Hopefully these ideas give you something to work with, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy the process and savor these memories while they last! 

Groomsmen Inspiration
Groomsmen Inspiration

Ideal Wedding Planning Timeline

Wedding Photography, VendorsCynthia ViolaComment
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou
What to do before the wedding day

I will be shooting the weddings of five close friends and family members this year and as such, I've been a bit more involved in the planning of their big days. Along with that, I've found the same question keeps presenting itself in different ways:

"If I send my save the dates now, how long do I wait to send my official invites?"

"When should I expect people to RSVP by?"

"How early do I need to order..."

"When is the best time to..."

"At what point do I need to...."

"Is it too late to...."

Now, I'm certainly no expert here, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND hiring a wedding coordinator to help you with these questions, but hopefully this will give you some ideas for what might work for you. Particularly as it relates to your photography. :)

Please do not feel like you need to follow this exaclty...or at all, but if you're just looking for a place to start, hopefully you'll find this helpful. I am basing it off of a 12 month timeline. If your big day is in 6 months, cut the times in half, 18 months, you have a little leeway etc...

what to do 12 months before wedding

12-18 Months:

  • Start a binder to keep everything together (vendor info, price comparisons, receipts)  
  • Sit down with with your future spouse and any parents who might be helping with the cost and determine not only an overall budget but how much of it you'd like to designate to each area. 
  • Start a guest list, it will need to be adjusted as you go along (most likely cut due to costs) but go ahead and get a ballpark idea of how many you'd have there if everyone you loved came, this will help you choose your venue as some only hold a certain amount. 
  • Hire a planner.  (In St. Augustine, I love Heidi) This will save you SOOOO much stress. They are naturally good at details (that's why they're planners) and they know a ton about the industry and what vendors and details will suit you best.
  • Choose a season you'd like to be married in, and even a month, just don't set your heart on a specific date until you know your venue and other main vendors are available. 
  • Choose your Venue(s). Popular ceremony and reception venues book up sometimes two years in advance. Once you know your venue is available for the date you want, you'll be able to choose your other vendors accordingly and send out save the dates. Check to make sure they don't host multiple weddings in one day, that can make it stressful if you're trying to get in and out at very specific times.
  • If you like, Throw an Engagement Party! We will always take ANY reason to celebrate with the people we love. Just don't feel like you have to... especially if you'd rather save your budget for better options on the wedding day.
what to do 9 months before your wedding

9-11 Months:

  • Determine which vendors are most important to you and secure them for the date asap in order of importance. This will also deplete the budget the fastest, so if you know you can't live without a specific DJ, book them first and you can get a second choice caterer if the budget gets tight.  I personally think photography is most important because it's the only thing you get to keep after the big day besides your spouse, but definitely figure out what is most important to you and your future spouse.  
  • Register for gifts at various stores, most you can do online these days, Wedding Wire also helps streamline this process.  
  • Say yes to a dress. (or two for two brides both wearing dresses, double the fun!) It's fine if you're borrowing it, just know where it's coming from and whether or not it will need to be altered. This tends to take a couple months. 
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests at 2-3 different hotels at different price points near the venue. 
  • Schedule your engagement session with your photographer. If you plan to use these photos for save the dates, you'll need to be closer to 11 months out, if not, I've shot them as late as the day before the wedding. :)
  • Launch a wedding website if you'd like, through a free service such as Weddingwire.com. This will be helpful for guests needing info leading up to the big day. (It's also fun to put it together, and you can show off photos from your engagement session if you choose to have one) 
what to do 7 months before wedding

7-8 Months:

  • Choose your wedding party. If you know for sure that, say, siblings will be in the party, feel free to let them know asap. But we chose ours while still in college a year and a half before the big day with friends changing constantly and by the time our day rolled around we weren't even sure a couple of them would show up! ALSO, don't feel like it has to be all women or all men based on your gender. If you want your brother AND sister standing by your side, do it. 
  • If you're choosing specific dresses for any ladies in your party to wear, get them ordered now, it often takes as much as six months for them to arrive, then you need to consider alterations. It's also common practice today to just choose a color and length and allow the girls to choose their dress, this way price point and body type for each one can be considered. 
  • Start planning your honeymoon. Do you need passports or shots?
  • Choose wedding shoes and begin your alterations, make sure to bring the shoes with you to each fitting. (It usually takes about 3 fittings) 
what to do 6 months before wedding

5-6 Months:

  • Meet with your officiant and decide if you'll want to do pre-marital counseling. I HIGHLY recommend this, regardless of your religious affiliation. Having a couple sessions to talk through some of the big things you can expect in your marriage will help you get through those tuff times so much better. 
  • Reserve your structural necessities. If an outdoor wedding, you might need a tent, portable toilets, extra chairs etc, it will depend on your venue, just make sure you check in with them. 
  • Florists can come a little later due to the fact that they can usually book multiple weddings in one day, but if you have your heart set on one, make sure you lean closer to 6 months. 
  • Arrange any transportation you might need for yourselves, your wedding party or the entire guest list if there will be heavy drinking at the reception. Consider trolleys, limos, busses and pre-paid uber passes. 
  • Finalize your menu with the caterer. 
  • Choose your cake or other desserts if your caterer does not provide them. Doughnuts, cupcakes, truffles and ice cream bars are all popular options as well. 
what to do 3 months before wedding

3-4 Months:

  • Schedule hair and/or make up artists and decide if you'll also be providing them for your girls/moms/sisters etc... It's a great idea to have them do your trial run the day of your engagement or bridal session so you'll know what to expect on the big day and whether or not you like the way you look in photos. 
  • Order favors for guests if you so desire, or welcome baskets for out of town guests. You can also plan gifts for those who helped out, like parents and wedding party etc. 
  • Purchase the wedding bands now in case you need any resizing.  
  • Nail down your guest list and send invitations. Feel free to get fancy with a calligrapher or keep it super simple with social media, either way, make sure everyone you want to be there has it in their calendar. RSVP cutoff is usually about 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding so you can inform your caterer of exact food amounts. 
  • If you're choosing to have a bridal session, now is the time to get it done if you'd like to have any images printed to canvas and displayed at the reception. Keep in mind you will also need to bump up the time your wedding gown is completed. (If you don't plan to have prints at the reception you can just make sure to set aside enough time for your photographer to take bridal portraits on the morning of the big day)
  • Rent or buy the attire for the groom (or grooms) as well as any men in the wedding party (or ladies wearing suits).
what to do 2 months before wedding

 1-2 Months:

  • Create a day-of timeline. This is best done WITH your coordinator and photographer to make sure you're on the same page with how long certain pieces take. They have experienced hundreds of weddings and can guide you. It is also good to send this to your other vendors to make sure they don't see any red flags. (If you accidentally only planned 5 minutes to hand deliver 300 plated meals, your caterer will catch that)
  • Book rehearsal dinner, day after brunch and any other venues for special meals before and after the big day for out of town and special guests. 
  • Make sure your DJ or band know what music you want played and more importantly, what you don't. Guests will inevitably make requests, if there's something specific you don't want to hear on your happy day, make sure they know to kindly tell your guests, "no."
  • Make sure you inform those you'd like to make a toast well in advance so they have time to prepare. Some will still "shoot from the hip" on the day of, but others appreciate having lots of time to write the perfect speech. 
  • Sometimes it's easier on planning to hold bachelor and bachelorette parties a month or two in advance, especially if you plan to travel somewhere like Vegas, but if all your friends are from out of town, it can be easiest to schedule it the night BEFORE the rehearsal so you have time to recover. :)
what to do 1 month before wedding

Month of:

  • Finalize the ceremony timeline as well as any readings, songs, or special moments. Make sure you are on the same page with the officiant and anyone else you'd like to participate.  Marriage licenses take about a week, so give yourselves some leeway. 
  • Confirm arrival times for all vendors and make sure you've exchanged answers to any final questions. 
  • Send out as many final vendor payments as you can so you do not have to worry about it at the reception while you're trying to dance. 
  • If any guests have not RSVPd by the cut off, it's a good idea to call them or check in via social media one last time to make sure. 
  • If you will be assigning seating for the reception, do this after your final RSVP date so you know exactly what you're working with. It can also be a good idea to plan a "did not rsvp" table if your caterer allows the flexibility. It's also wise to consider your vendors here, do you want your photographer,  officiant or band sitting with the guests and a plated meal, or will you ask the caterer to provide a vendor meal in the back. 
  • Write your vows if necessary, or letters to exchange with each other on the morning of. 
what to do 1 week before wedding

Week of:

  • Delegate small tasks like bustling the dress, paying and tipping vendors, giving out party gifts, bringing snacks to the getting ready suites, creating a getting ready playlist or anything else you don't want to have to fret about on the morning of. 
  • Send a timeline to the wedding party and answer any questions. 
  • Pick up your dress(es) and tux(es)
  • If you're doing a mani or pedi make sure it's booked for the morning of the rehearsal, or even the day before. A stress-relieving couple's massage is always a good idea as well. It will help you both destress. 
  • Pack for the honeymoon. 

Night Before:

  • At rehearsal confirm any readings, answer any questions for the family and wedding party and make sure everyone know where they need to be and when. (It's a good idea to tell them 30-60 minutes earlier than necessary if they tend to run late)
  • Pass out any gifts for the party or parents (especially if you expect them to wear them the next day). 
  • Bring anything to the ceremony site that you're allowed to leave (candles, programs etc)
  • Give marriage license to the officiant
what to do the day of your wedding

Day of:

  • Have all items you want photographed delivered to one of your getting ready suites so that your photographer can capture it all together (before you give the rings to the best man etc...)
  • Just take it all in. It will go by SO fast. Things are not going to go quite as planned and that is JUST FINE. As long as you both say, "I do" all the other details will work themselves out. Relax and enjoy watching all your hard work play out before your eyes. You're almost MARRIED!

Please do NOT feel like this is comprehensive or that you need to follow all or any of it. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to not stress about the big day but enjoy the process and love each other through all the decisions. 

No matter what decisions you make, who's opinions you heed to or kindly turn down - the way you treat your future spouse and all those trying to help you make good decisions will FAR outweigh what final decisions were actually made. No one will care that you had the most beautiful flowers if you yelled at them for not holding them the right way, they won't care how good you looked in your gown if you yelled at them for stepping on the train, they won't remember that your food was amazing if you told them their ideas for food were terrible.

Treat your people with kindness above all and everyone will remember what an incredible couple you both are and how you had the most beautiful wedding they've ever seen. 

 

Guest Post! A History of the Wedding Dress by Heidi Stouder

Vendors, Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Heidi Stouder at Endless Possibilities

You guys! I have been having TOO much fun these past couple weeks getting acquainted with St. Augustine and all it's beautiful people. I've been meeting lots of kind people, like sweet Mrs. Smith at the coffee shop who let me go first in line because she could tell I was there for a meeting and she "didn't have anywhere important to be." How sweet is that?!? I feel like I'm back in Boone all over again!

Well, one of my favorite new people, Heidi, was gracious enough to give me the run down of the wedding industry down here and we had a blast this afternoon as I took a few quick head shots for her in the parking lot of her new office space at Endless Possibilities!

When I was checking out her website the other day I discovered this blog she wrote recently and knew immediately I HAD to have it! I realized immediately I didn't know the answer to the question of why we wear white wedding dresses and her discovery fascinated me. It's not been around for thousands of years like I'd supposed, the answer might surprise you too! Check it out below!

History of the white wedding dress

I just had the opportunity to experience the grand adventure of trying on wedding gowns.

It sparked my curiosity on "when did the wedding dress fad even start?" "Have brides always wanted to wear white, or was that even an option for most?"

So I brewed some coffee and stat down to read any information I could find on the subject.

I wasn't surprised to read that there is little to no information on the subject. What you can find out, is wedding dress colors and styles pertaining to what culture you were raised in.

Like how most Eastern cultures wore red, a symbol of favored fortune.

Wedding dresses have changed drastically throughout history, but the earliest information on Western culture, dates back to the Middle ages. Brides were expected to dress in the manner that befitted their social status.

Wealthy families wore rich colors, exclusive fabrics, furs, velvet and silks. The poorest brides wore their best church dress they had.  But when did the white wedding dress become the fashion?

The first documented white wedding gown was worn by Philippa of England, in 1406.  She sported a white silk tunic with a cloak trimmed in grey squirrel fur.  Defiantly not PETA approved.

History of the white wedding dress

Then the next bride we find out about is Mary Queen of Scots.  She wore white in 1559, at the time the French style, was to wear white if you were in mourning. It just so happened that Mary Queen of Scots was marrying Francis II of France.  Kinda makes you think is was a subtle way of stating how she felt about the union.

The white wedding gown didn't come into fashion till the Victorian era when Queen Victoria wore white in 1840.   Wearing white had a rough start.  White was a very hard color to come by and to keep clean.  White was a sign of social status and still only used by the wealthy from 1840's through the 1920's.  Due to the depression, WWI and WWII, wedding dresses again became what the bride had on hand, such as church clothes or borrowed dresses from a family member or friend.  After WWII the white wedding gown's, like we see today, made its smashing hit and come back with Grace Kelly in 1956.

History of the white wedding dress

Wedding dresses truly reflect a bride's personality as well as the theme of the wedding.  More and more you will see brides are incorporating color back into the wedding dress. However, I feel that the white/Ivory gown will stand the test of time and remain the most sought after gown color for years to come.

History of the white wedding dress
History of the white wedding dress

Thank you so much Heidi for sharing your findings!! Cannot wait to work with you on our first wedding this spring!! 


If you liked this post, you will probably also like: The Vendor Series or How to Choose Bridesmaids Dresses

Jenelle and Billy Trash the Dress at Vilano Beach

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
You don’t have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring!
— Lumière, Beauty and the Beast
Beach Trash the dress

Oh my goodness! Where in the world do I begin! There simply was not a better way for Jenelle and Billy to top off their fairy tale wedding than a trip to Disney and an EPIC trash the dress session on their way home!  

I seriously cannot express how much I adore these sessions. I wish I was clever enough to come up with a different title for it because it frequently scares people away, but they are THE MOST FUN SESSIONS EVER! Maybe that's what I'll call it from now on. :)

Beach Trash the dress

You cannot look at the smiles on their faces and think it was boring in any way. We all were laughing til our sides were hurting! One of my favorite moments was when I was taking a shot of Jenelle with my back to the ocean and apparently a giant wave was about to take out all our stuff and Billy dived to "save the photographer's stuff" and neglected his own shoes (which were holding his phone). We had to give him a hard time because I had all the important stuff in my backpack, he just saved my step stool and towel. Totally heroic effort though Billy! Love you!

Beach Trash the dress

The schnanigans were in full swing as we didn't have to worry about their clothes (or mine), we basically just had to keep the camera out of the water. These two ran, danced, jumped and played their way down the coast line as we chased the sunset.

This might be my favorite set of outtakes ever... I'll let you decide who started it and who won ;) 

Beach Trash the dress

(The answer is BOTH of them. Both started it, and both won. They are the perfect match through and through). 

Now for the romance...

Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress
Beach Trash the dress

Jenelle and Billy you two are ROCKSTARS! Thank you so much for coming to Viola's for lunch with us and just being SO freaking fun! If California keeps acquiring our favorite people, a move may be in store...just sayin... Congratulations on the rest of forever! 

Barclay Villa Wedding | Jenelle + Billy

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola2 Comments
Take my hand, take a breath
Pull me close and take one step
— Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Barclay Villa, Angier NC

You guys! This was a fairytale wedding for the history books, complete with Princess and Castle! Billy even proposed to Jenelle in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, CA!

When we first met, Jenelle shared some stories about their relationship and how she really loves all things Disney. She said she used to keep the High School Musical Soundtrack in her car and whenever Billy would drive it, he would cue the CD to play "Can I have this Dance" for the next time she got in because it was her favorite. How sweet is that?!?! Oh my goodness what a keeper!! 

Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Also, Billy told Jenelle that the song that played in his head when he was getting up the nerve to kiss her for the first time was "Kiss the Girl" from the Little Mermaid. First of all, that a song was even playing in his head is adorable, but that it was a disney song to match her style just gives me ALLL the feels! I love that he just steps right into her fairytale and owns his role as Prince Charming! Jenelle actually surprised HIM by having the DJ play the song during the ceremony's first kiss as well! SO fun! 

 During the ceremony they did a "hand-fastening ceremony" and the mother of the bride made the intricate cord that was wrapped around their hands while they "tied the knot," she also helped put together the bouquets! Everyone was so gracious and welcoming all weekend. So many guests flew in from California and other places across the country, and all of them had stories to tell and so much love to give to Jenelle and Billy. Everyone was laughing and crying as the beautiful toasts were shared and completely in awe as they floated across the dance floor in complete Beauty and the Beast flair!

It was such an honor to be a part of your big day you guys! I loved every little detail and especially the way you interacted together! Never more than a few steps away from each other and always with a smile on your face! I hope you enjoy reliving it through the images!

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Billy had a note waiting for her when she entered the bridal suite titled "To the love of my life." Such a charmer!

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Wedding Rings
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Barclay Villa has a beautiful balcony above the ceremony garden where the bride can present herself like a princess before coming down the aisle. You could hear everyone's breath catch as Jenelle stepped out, just like Cinderella at the ball. 

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Right after she smashed cake in Billy's face, she said she'd been waiting to do that for ten years! Haha! 

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

They were having so much fun they *might have ran through the sparklers twice! Love it! What an incredible day you guys! And a beautiful start to your life together :)

Disney Princess Themed Wedding

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia Viola

Venue: Barclay Villa

Wedding Coordinator & Florist: In Your Dreams by Drema

Bride's Gown: David's Bridal

Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse

Bride's Ring: Verragio

Groom's Ring: Christian Bauer

Bride's Perfume: Sephora Disney Collection "So This Is Love"

Groom's Cologne: Giorgio Armani- Acqua Di Gio

Hair & Make-up: Katie Winslow

Officiant: Tyler Koch

DJ: JD with Anything Music 

Ballroom Dancing Lessons: Fred Astaire Dance Studio

Videographer: Nathan Head

Catering: Unforgettable Food Affairs

Cake Baker: Sweet Traditions

Linen/Chair/Tent Services: CE Rental

Getaway Car: All About U Limousine Service

Invitations: Indian Wedding Cards

River Ridge Golf Club Wedding | Anna + Anthony

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola2 Comments
Happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour
— Walt Whitman
Golf Course Wedding

I'm not sure I've ever met a couple with more adorable smiles. These two are both always so happy and then when they see each other they light up just that much more, it's absolutely precious. I knew today was going to be a great day the moment I saw them interact together at their engagement session. Once one of them would start giggling then the other would start and the smiles never left their faces. 

We got rained out of their engagements a couple times and we were hoping that would mean the universe got it out of it's system so that the big day would be beautiful and we were not disappointed! Would you just look at those Carolina skies! The day was perfect!

River Ridge Golf Wedding
Golf Course Wedding Rehearsal
Golf Course Wedding

Unfortunately Anna's dear grandfather passed just a short time before the wedding even though he was trying very hard to make it, so they honored him by placing a piece of his flannel shirt right next to her heart. Her sister Sarah embroidered it for her. 

Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding details
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding bridesmaids
Golf Course Wedding groomsmen
Golf Course Wedding bridesmaids
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding bridesmaids
Golf Course Wedding

I absolutely love the unique traditions that I get to experience at every celebration. Anna's bouquet was fastened to grandmother's bible that she had carried in her wedding and also Anna's mother had carried at her wedding. When she showed it to her grandmother she said it took her right back to her own wedding day. So special.

Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding party
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding party
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Also, if you plan to use any of these images for your facebook profiles and whatnot, please download them from here (rather than taking a screen shot either here or on the blog).
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding

They chose Old Fashioneds and Gin Tonics as their 'his and her' drinks for the evening which everyone loved!  

Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding Reception
Golf Course Wedding Reception

Everyone had a blast, dancing and singing the night away. Huge smiles on everyone's faces, especially the new Mr. and Mrs. Noone could out-dance Anna on the dance floor though. One after another everyone took turns spinning her around and singing at the top of their lungs. It was such a fun party! Thank you guys for letting us participate in your perfect day!!  

Golf Course Wedding Reception
Golf Course Wedding Reception

 

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photographers - Cynthia and A.J. Viola with assistance from Brittany Sloan

Ceremony and Reception Venue - River Ridge Golf and Country Club

Coordinator - Miranda Day

Wedding Dress - Savvi Formal Wear

Bridesmaid Dresses - David's Bridal

Groom's Attire - Jos. A. Bank

Bride's Ring - Diamonds Direct

Groom's Ring - Zales

Hair and Make Up - Kristi Martinson @ WINK

Florist -Lou Ann Wollett @ Southern Petals

Officiant - Tom Latimer

Musician - Justin Morehead

DJ - Erick Berrones with PC Productions

Videographer - Kayla Spivey with Blue Sparrow Productions

Catering - The Q Shack

Cake - Publix

Linen/Chair/Tent Services - CE Rental

Get Away Car - Carolina Car Service

Invitations - David's Bridal

Arbor - Homemade Bride

Oaks at Salem Wedding | Katrin + Ryan

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Love doesn’t make the world go ‘round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile
— Franklin P. Jones
Oaks at Salem Wedding

Katrin and Ryan’s wedding was such a peaceful, laid back day! I love it when couples just go with the flow and don't let details overwhelm them. They knew they had a great team at the Oaks making everything happen so they took everything in stride and were that much more excited when they finally go to see each other!

The day started with an enchanting fog over the pond and ended in the most beautiful glowy light imaginable! Two of my favorite details from the day: the lace sown onto Katrin's dress from her mother's dress and the engraving Ryan had put into her wedding band, a phrase they say to each other often... I love ya, "to the moon and back." 

I think one of my favorite parts of the day was getting to watch Katrin interact with her sister Marissa. They are so similar and yet so different at the same time! They picked on each other, and Marissa definitely picked on Ryan, as she had been the entire engagement, but when it came to her reception speech, she poured on the love for them both. I also loved Katrin's dad’s reaction when he saw her for the first time. I could tear up just thinking about it. There were so many sweet moments that happened throughout the day!

Watching two people like Katrin and Ryan commit to loving one another for the rest of their lives is such a beautiful thing. I hope you love these two and their beautiful Oaks of Salem wedding as much as I do! Enjoy!

Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Bloomworks wedding bouquet
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding

They didn't want to see each other before the ceremony, but they did like the idea of just holding hands and being able to say "hey" and check on each other before hand. We found a perfect doorway to make that happen and they both eased each other's nerves perfectly. They were all smiles the rest of the day just knowing that the other was just as excited as they were!

Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Bloomworks wedding bouquet
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding groom
Oaks of Salem Wedding groomsmen
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding ceremony
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding bridesmaids
Oaks of Salem Wedding party
Oaks of Salem Wedding groomsmen

Oh my goodness, these guys cracked me up so much! Love it when the wedding party jumps right in and decides to play and just have fun celebrating the couple!

Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding first dance
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia & A.J. Viola with assistance from Brittany Sloan

Venue/Coordinator: Veni @ The Oaks at Salem, Apex

Bride's Gown: Lana Addison Bridal

Bridesmaids Gowns: Bella Bridesmaids

Groom's Attire: The Black Tux

Florist: Bloomworks

Officiant: Jody Welker

DJ: All Events DJs

Catering: Catering Works

Cake Baker: Clarke, a bridesmaid :)

Linen/Chair Services: Party Reflections

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding | Hollie + Matthew

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own
— Robert A. Heinlein

These two blew me away with their love the moment I met them. Matthew had invited me to capture their proposal earlier this year and I knew before I even met Hollie how special this was going to be simply because of the way he talked about her: never without a smile on her face and doing everything she can to make others feel loved. 

She did not disappoint. Hollie's love for people is the very first thing you notice about her; you cannot help but be drawn to her and the way she smiles when she looks at her groom is another level entirely. Matthew is her constant and they are incredible together. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding

As for this weekend, the words that permeated the day as their guests described them were humility, loyalty and love. These two are adored by everyone they know. One of their best men, Deontra, aptly compared them to peanut butter and jelly (complete with props) and said if you've had a jelly sandwich you know it's pretty good, but not quite complete. And you also know if you've had a peanut butter sandwich it's pretty good, but it's missing something. Together though, you've got one heck of a dynamic duo. Hollie and Matthew complete each other in every way. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding Rehearsal
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding

Hollie wore her sister's wedding veil and Matthew's mother, Linda let her borrow her pearl earrings. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding details
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding details
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding Bridesmaids
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding flower girl
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill bride
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill bride
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding bridesmaids
Barn of Chapel Hill father daughter first look

We didn't actually set up a father-daughter first look as we so often do but it happened to work out that when they did see each other for the first time they brought us all to tears. Hollie and Ricky have such a special relationship, the way smile at each other will melt your heart. From the rehearsal to the first look to the ceremony and first dance I was wiping away tears every time they were together! 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding

Matthew and Trey have known each other for several years; when he heard Trey play the sax in college he told him he wanted him to play at his wedding some day. Trey not only flew up for the wedding, but also the proposal in the park! I just adore the deep relationships both Hollie and have with everyone who participated in their big day!

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding Ceremony

During the ceremony, in addition to sharing their first communion together as a married couple, they braided a beautiful rope to symbolize God partnering with them in their marriage to make it strong. This was another piece of the day that could not go unnoticed, they both acknowledged God first and foremost in everything they did and said. So many blessings to be grateful for. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding ceremony
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding party
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding party
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding sparkler exit
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding sparkler exit

You guys! I cannot thank you enough for letting us participate in your story. You overwhelmed us with your generosity and love all weekend, so grateful to count you among our friends and cannot wait to watch your love story unfold. Love you guys!

 

The vendors who made the day possible:

Photographers: Cynthia and A.J. Viola with assistance from Brittany Sloan

Venue: The Barn of Chapel Hill

Coordinator: Cheryl-Anne with Kast Events

Bride's Dress: Lana Addison Bridal

Groom's attire: Men's Warehouse

Both Rings: Jared's The Galleria of Jewelry

Hair and Makeup: Ashley Mooney

Florist: The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm

Officiant: Pastor Steve Williams

DJ: DJ Kevin Timothee

Saxophonist: Trey Daniels

Pianist: Chris Moten

Videographer: David with Charis

Photobooth: ZimZoom

Catering: Empire Eats Catering

Bartending: The Kindred Team

Cake Baker: Michelle at Pink Flower Sweets and Suppers

Linens/Chair/Tent Services: CE Rental

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

 

Amber and Tony Trash the Dress at Vilano Beach, FL

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola2 Comments
You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.
— Mandy Hale
Trash the Dress Florida

Oh my goodness! I must say I was a *little* nervous about the move to Florida and what I presumed would be a ton of beach photography, but this first session was FAR from ordinary! St. Augustine is amazing!

When Amber said she wanted to do a Trash the Dress session I was, of course, ecstatic, it's always been one of my favorite sessions to offer. I figured we'd finish on Vilano Beach with the sunset, but I was curious what else St. Augustine had to offer. Amber decided to include the Fort and St. George Street and now I'm totally hooked. This place is a photographer's dream! I cannot wait to get more couples and families out here to play! 

Of course, I could not have asked the universe for a more perfect couple for the inaugural session, Tony and Amber have been dancing in front of my lens from the moment they got engaged. This 1.5 year anniversary session was perfectly suited to their fun-loving character and style. A Trash the Dress session tends to pull the adventure out of people and the sheer audacity of it makes you feel wild and free for a day. Capturing all that wild emotion and love of life is what makes this job a dream come true. Thank you Amber and Tony for trusting me on rocky cliffs and in a wildly high tide. Your carefree spirits are everything. Love you both! 

Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Groom Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida
Trash the Dress Florida

Nostalgia

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
We like to pretend it is hard to follow our heart’s dreams. The truth is, it is difficult to avoid walking through the many doors that will open.
— Julia Cameron
Blowing Rock Wedding

These gems are from one of our first weddings ever, nearly ten years & eight cameras ago. Jennifer and Jason. We were shooting with Canon Rebels and did so for our first 10 weddings. This was actually our ninth wedding and the first one I still have images for. (Hadn't quite nailed down my backup process yet) ;) I had taken one film photography class for fun with no intention of ever shooting anything "for real." It was honestly other people who kept telling me I should do this that kept pushing me forward.

Maybe the move to FL has me feeling all nostalgic since it'll be the second time we've physically moved the business and had to rebuild with new clients - but I am feeling so grateful for the people in my life who pushed me toward a dream when I wasn't sure it was my dream and definitely didn't think it was a possibility. 

The very first "real" photo shoot I ever did was a wedding. I mean go big or go home right? Literally up until the weekend of the wedding I'd been shooting film and bought the dslr the day before the wedding with every intention of figuring it out as I went. And that is exactly what I did. Shocked at the end of the day that the photos weren't terrible and amazed at how much fun I had, I still didn't intend to shoot another one ever... Until one of the bride's friends saw the photos and asked me to shoot her wedding. What?!? Really? 

Eseeola Wedding

This was our 20th wedding: Nicole and Derek. (A.J. joined me after that first wedding, because that sounded like more fun and it was!) We had also upgraded to a Canon 50D.

We were still shooting with the background in mind and didn't know a thing about light. What this meant was that sometimes we got lucky, (like when the clouds came out here), but our images were super inconsistent. We didn't know why some of them were awesome and some of them were not so awesome. 

Crestwood Wedding

Lisa and Matt were our 30th wedding and around where we learned a little more about posing. Though shots like this were still only lucky when we placed them in the correct light (as opposed to a great background), we just didn't know that yet. This was still a side hustle and only a sliver of a dream, we still assumed we'd be doing other things full time. 

Downtown Raleigh Wedding

Mugé and Farris were the 40th. We'd switched to Nikon at this point (d300s) for better glass and A.J. and I could read each other's minds at this point and know exactly when and where to be and how to patiently wait for the perfect moment (which is usually *just* after the prompt or "pose"). The realization that "golden light" is amazing hit us, but it would still be a long time before we would insist upon it...not wanting to step on toes or be complicated. What we didn't realize was we were actually doing our clients a disservice to have this knowledge and not explain to them how important it was. 

Aspen Wedding
Maroon Bells Wedding

Natalie and Tripp were our first realization that this could be a real thing. 50 weddings in and someone was willing to not only hire us, but pay for two plane tickets and lodging to Aspen for their destination wedding. We were amazed but also realizing that people just liked us. Our photography was fine, but others were way better (and still are). People just felt comfortable around us and wanted us to be a part of the family. This fact alone makes this a true dream come true. I adore people with my whole heart and just really want to make a positive impact. If I can make art while doing that then I'll never work another day in my life.

Apple barn wedding

60 weddings in we were really starting to feel like a part of the family with soooo many clients. Jamie here is Jennifer's younger sister, and being with their whole family again was like shooting my own sister's wedding. This keeps happening over and over, and then when you add puppies and kiddos to the mix, the realization that I'll be a part of all the happiest moments of their lives is so unbelievably humbling. 

Eseeola Wedding Ceremony

At 75 weddings Maggie and Richard overwhelmed us with the possibilities of an incredible venue and vendor team. (Even got to work alongside one of our first brides!) Since this was still somehow a side hustle and not a full time gig though, our turnover was still insane. In off season it would take about 10 weeks to deliver a wedding, 12-15 midseason. The fact that it's only 1-2 weeks now blows my mind. You know they say Rome wasn't built in a day. It's taken us 10 years to get where some photographers got in two, but you can't let a slow pace discourage you. As long as you're moving and not standing still, you'll see your dreams fulfilled eventually. 

Bridal session at Moses Cone

With over 100 weddings to date, we still have SOOO much to learn. Only since I went full time two years ago did we start dabbling with off camera flash (of which we still have a LOT to learn), an actual workflow, of course new camera upgrades (d750s), a reflector for portraits, Lightroom, Indesign and an interactive style of posing. I can only image what the new terrain of Florida beaches will teach us but I'm excited for something new and so so so incredibly grateful for everyone who made this dream a reality. Love you all. 

Raleigh Rose Garden Wedding

Rose Garden Wedding | Amy and Jay

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
When all the work is done, by the light of a setting sun;
We see what we’ve become — two of the lucky ones.
— The Droge & Summers Blend
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Wedding

When Amy and Jay told me their reception was going to be held at Big Boss Brewing company, I knew we were going to be a great fit. These two are so comfortable to be around and were easy going about all the details, they were a dream to work with. 

The Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden was, of course, a perfect backdrop for their ceremony and all day long, Amy and Jay's friends cheered them on and surrounded them with love. It is very clear that their love for the other people in their lives is deeply reciprocated by their friends.

Julie, their wedding coordinator, was so perfect for this group. She's super focused on details, which is vital, but more importantly, her genuine love of people and easy going nature meant no one felt rushed all day. 

Big Boss was amazing: laid back and well suited for any schnanigans  that would inevitably ensue with this fun bunch. In fact, a few minutes after we were safely tucked inside the reception the skies opened up and a torrential downpour started. It fell so hard and fast that Big Boss started flooding inside and AJ, Julie, Brendan and all the groomsmen promptly started pushing water off the dance floor before it got to our or the DJ's equipment. Before long bridesmaids and guests were dancing in the puddles and the party continued without missing a beat. Nothing was going to stop this crew from having a good time!  

Hope you enjoy a few of these favorites from the day!

Big Boss Brewing Wedding
Big Boss Brewing Wedding
Big Boss Brewing Wedding

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia & A.J. Viola

Coordinator: Julie Morrissey

Ceremony Venue: The Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden

Reception Venue: Big Boss Brewing Co.

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Centro

Bride's Dress: Revelry

Hair Stylist: Annie at Mark Christopher Salon

Florist: Jeanette Flaherty

Officiant: Lance Olson

DJ: Save the Date Music: DJ Gino

Catering: Clyde Cooper's BBQ

Cake Baker: Marsha Townsend

Doughnuts: Krispy Kreme

Chairs: Dee Jay's Event Rentals

Party Bus: James Ray Transportation

The couple offered save rides through Lyft for all their guests. 

 

 

Community Series - Samantha Gratton - Project Manager

Vendors, Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola2 Comments
A goal without a plan is just a wish
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Duke Gardens Wedding

Since I'm not an especially "planned" person (I'm an ENFP, not an ENFJ after all) I tend to attract the same type of couples when it comes to their wedding photography. Adventurous, laid back, go with the flow couples love the fact that I'm willing to travel anywhere and climb any tree to get the shot, not to mention being able to work with the scheduled being changed at the last second. 

That said, like me, many of my couples don't do well with making and sticking to plans. This is where it's super helpful to have a wedding coordinator like Monica at Nouveau Events here in Raleigh or Meris at The Whole Shebang in the mountains. 

Being organized isn't only important on your wedding day though. There are many job, home and event related things that could use a little extra management from someone who understands details well and can make connections quickly. 

Whether you hire a wedding planner or not, there are so many decisions and details that you'll have before your wedding. So, I asked my favorite project manager to share her tips and tricks to help new couples think through what is most important for planning their big day. 

Samantha Gratton Project Manager

Samantha Gratton is a great project manager and has worked with a number of small businesses, everyone from life coaches and public speakers to occasionally freelancers and tech companies. She helped me get my workflow together two years ago when I rebranded and went full-time. She was vital when it came to dealing with things like creating my list of tasks and researching and preparing everything I needed to make it happen. She helped keep it organized and kept my goals on schedule. I loved working with her then and highly recommend her now for other freelancers and small businesses. 

I asked her to write a guest blog post to new couples helping them think through what is most important for planning their big day. Here's what she had to say:

Project Management Tips for the Newly Engaged Couple

The wedding day is a BIG day. A ton of details and people and plans go into that big day, regardless of the size of your event. Pulling from my experience as a project manager, I wanted to share a few key tips for making your wedding day (and the planning process) a success.

Pick your priorities

There seems to be a moment of realization when a couple goes from dreaming of their ideal wedding to planning their actual wedding. Just like any project--time, money, and availability create some limitations for you.

Instead of stretching yourself and your budget thin, pick your favorites. Do you love music and want to have a live band? Are you a foodie with a particular palate for what is served for dinner? Do you have an eye for design and love the opportunity to throw yourself into the invitations or decor? Have you always dreamed of the dress and this to be a high fashion event? You’ll probably have elements of each of these categories but figuring out where you want to go big and where you can save some time and money helps a lot.

Tip: You’ll want the photographer (hello, Cynthia!) to be one of the main priorities when wedding planning. They are with you all day long and interacting with your bridal party and all of the other vendors making a big impact on the day. Plus, the photos are one of the few things you keep after the wedding is over.

Aspen Wedding

DIY: Delegate It Y’all

Let’s change the name of the game when it comes to DIY. Instead of “do-it-yourself” for your wedding day, think: “Delegate It, Y’all!”  

Sure, you can make all of your centerpieces or have a Pinterest-perfect day, but as crafty as you may be, you can’t actually do it all yourself, especially on the wedding day itself. Release yourself from that burden because people often would love to help!  

Make a list of all of the things you have to do, everything from the list of decisions to the list of the details. Not only will you feel better knowing it isn’t all just floating up there in your head anymore, but you can look at it a bit more objectively.

What are you looking forward to doing on that list? What can easily go to someone else? And what items are you willing to let go of control a bit and trust someone else with?  

Think through all of the categories this could apply to: hair/makeup, decorations, music, photography, organization, wedding planning, floral arrangements, invitations--you name it and there’s probably someone who can help you out with it. In some cases, it means hiring a professional and in other cases it’s asking a friend or relative for help.

High Grove Estate Wedding

Know the goal

In the midst of wedding planning it’s easy to get caught up the in details. It’s always important to step back and look at the big picture. Throughout the process, remind yourself what you’re really working towards.

At the end of the day, you’re marrying your best friend. Then, you’re throwing a party to celebrate alongside friends and family.

That’s it really. So before you get too overwhelmed or stressed out when something doesn’t go quite right or someone else is upset, remind yourself of the primary goal. Keeping focused on the big picture instead of being too bogged down by the little things will make the entire process go so much more smoothly.

Grandfather Mountain Bridal Session

Samantha Gratton is a writer and project manager in Raleigh, NC. She loves hearing life stories and helping people achieve their goals. Lover of lists, Samantha has been known to make multiple spreadsheets just for vacation plans! She knows not everyone works that way, so her goal is to meet people where they're at and find the system and process that fits best for them. If you ever need help getting your workflow organized or a kickstart to your next project, find her at samanthagratton.com 

Vendor Series - The Whole Shebang Events

Vendors, Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Eseeola Lodge Wedding

Meris and I have quite a long history. She and Paul were the third wedding AJ and I ever shot in our first year - a decade ago. Both so young at the time we had no idea what the wedding world had in store for us. She has since become an incredible wedding coordinator with an excellent team and I adore working with her! 

All of the vendors I've highlighted in this series so far have been in the Raleigh area, but since I shoot so many weddings in the High Country as well, I thought it'd be fun to highlight a few favorites up there as well. 

I asked Meris to talk about a few of the pitfalls new couples come across as they are planning for their big day and how she can help:

Why is it important for a couple to work with a planner for their wedding?

First and foremost, a wedding planner can introduce you to the right team of vendors for the your style, personality and budget and tell you the ones to steer clear of. 

Second, if it's in the budget to have more than just a "month of" coordinator, the planner will shoulder some stress during the planning process and help keep the team on the same page, minimizing the constant back and fourth... which can be exhausting.

As far as the wedding day itself goes, even if your wedding day is planned to perfection, there are still 100 different things that you never thought of that will happen on the wedding day. It's important to have someone that knows you well enough to be the point person for all of those situations that come up so that you can breathe easy knowing that everything is being handled according to your wishes.

The Whole Shebang Events

What are some of the biggest hurdles couples come across when planning their big day?

Balancing the guest list can be a really emotional thing for everyone involved. I think also just managing the general stress the month of the wedding is a lot. It's impossible to not feel pulled in a million directions and overwhelmed even if you have a perfect team of vendors and a Full Service planner.

How do you manage to keep up with so many unique details at a wedding? Especially when you have multiple events in the same month? 

I could geek out on this subject forever but basically we have systems in place that I've put together over the years from how we organize emails and online folders t spreadsheets and forms that we've built. I'd say it's pretty bulletproof at this point through constant trial and error. I've tried different wedding software but none of it seems to fit exactly how I want things laid out. 

How do you work with bad weather?

Weather is a biggie and it's unavoidable. There's just so many big "game day decisions" to be made any time you have to enact a plan B or plan C. It can be really stressful for the couple to make the decision by themselves. Weather can also bring up thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses whether you're having to rent extra indoor space or tent sidewalls and gutters, heaters and flooring. It can also be hard to know when to pull the trigger on these decisions. We do the best we can to go with the couple's wishes while still maintaining a realistic plan regarding all the moving parts. 

What parts of the planning and/or day of to-dos do you do yourself and what do you delegate to your team?

The main thing is making sure that I bring along enough staff so that I can stay focused on the big picture. Typically there are 3 or 4 of us working on a wedding day. I really don't have hard fast rules for what I do vs what my staff does. Some days I'm setting up chairs and covering tables along with everyone else but I do tend to spend more time with the wedding party and leave a lot of the "set up" to everyone else so that I can make sure that things are flowing well.

What is the difference between a day of coordinator and a full-service wedding planner? 

We hear this question quite a bit. We offer Month of, Partial and Full Service packages. The Month of is exactly like the Partial, you just have access to us from the time you book up until the wedding where as with the Month of we step in at 30 days out and pull everything together.

The difference between the Full Service and these two is that the responsibility is on u to make sure everything is done start to finish where with the other two packages, you're driving the car and we're the navigator. The Full Service Package also looks different for different couples. We do our best to work within the expectations of each different client. Some of our Full Service couples want to be involved in all steps of the process and just want us to be there too. Other couples let us know their overall preferences and then give us free reign to choose the vendors and details that we think are best for them. Things that are helpful to some people aren't always helpful to others so it's important to really get to know your clients in the beginning and figure out how to best serve them. 

What is your favorite part of planning a wedding for a couple?

I love love love the early stages of the planning process. Getting to know the couple and their families and then matching them up with the perfect team of vendors is one of my very favorite things. I enjoy joining together all of the intricate details into one seamless event.

Of course there are favorite moments on the wedding day as well. One of my favorites the sweet moment that the bride and her father share right before they walk down the aisle. I tear up every time! I also can't get enough of the stories that the family and friends tell you about loved ones past and present. 

It's an honor just to be a part of the biggest day of someone's life. Other than that, I really just love people and people working together towards a common goal and seeing something beautiful come to life from start to finish. Having a job where the end result of every work day is a lifelong memory is pretty great.

 

Maggie and Richard's wedding is one of mine and A.J.'s favorites to date. It was very large and full of incredible details as well different buildings across Eseeola's huge grounds. It could NOT have been accomplished without Meris' incredible team at The Whole Shebang. So grateful for any chance I get to work with them. If you don't have a coordinator yet, you must give her a call!

Grace Point Camp Tennessee Wedding - Allie and Anse

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
— Dr. Seuss
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding

When it comes to Anse and Allie, I feel like I could write a novel. It all started for us when I was shooting Shaquera and Brandon's wedding and found myself seated at the same table as Anse. We became fast friends but it was solidified when he stole my backup camera while I was photographing the dance floor and he took selfies of himself and everyone at the table. I loved his sheer audacity and he loved the fact that I thought it was hilarious. We talked photography over facebook in the following months and when he was ready to propose to Allie we began scheming.  

We decided he'd tell her they won a "free photo session" and the adventure began. I loved Allie the moment I met her and knew she was the perfect fit for Anse. She knew how to keep him in line while bringing the biggest smile to his face and he could make her laugh or swoon with just a certain look. We hiked halfway up Carver's Gap to the perfect spot and I gave Anse the queue (taking Allie's headshot) and when she turned around he was on a knee and the rest is history. 

I have never seen such an outpouring of love as I did this weekend. I had the privilege of rooming with Allie and her party Thursday night after the rehearsal (complete with "Never Have I Ever" and fun stories about the bride) and again with almost the whole wedding party at Anse and Allie's new home Friday after the wedding. It says so much about their character that sooooo many friends and family poured out their time, hugs, gifts, special skills, dance moves, and love to see to it that these two had the most perfect memory of the best day ever. They wanted to spend every last minute with their people, like savoring the last drop of a fine wine. It was such an incredible experience.  

You guys, thank you so much for this memorable weekend, I hope you love these images, they were SO hard to choose! You guys had so many great moments! 

Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding
Knoxville Tennessee Wedding

The day was made possible by the following vendors:

Photography: Cynthia Viola Photography

Venue: Grace Point Camp and Retreat Center

Coordinator: Marvyl Triscritti with Team Wedding TN

Brides's Dress: White Lace and Promises/Stella York

Groom's Attire: Belk / Old Navy / Tie Bar / Menlau

Bride's Ring: Alexander Zachary and Fountain City Jewelers

Groom's Ring: King Will

Perfume & Cologne: Light Blue Dolce and Gabbana for him and her

Bride's Hair: Amanda McIntyre

Officiant: Harry "Butch" Hodges

DJ: SLS Entertainment 

Catering: Peggy Jacobson - Out of This World Catering

Donuts: Duck Donuts

Linen/Chair/Tent Services: Rockin' L Rentals

Invitations: Vistaprint

Favors: Light sabers!

 

 

 

 

 

Highgrove Estate Wedding - Jacqueline and Jon

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
So I’m thanking you today, because of you I am now me.
— John Butler Trio
Highgrove Estate Wedding

Oh my goodness, we love Jacqueline and Jon so much!

For starters A.J. connected with Jon about a year ago discussing business and boxing. Jon has such a passion for serving people well both in business and in life, it just happens to play out at the moment in his 9 Round gym. He and A.J. were fast friends. 

Then, when Jacqueline and I met just a few weeks ago to discuss the wedding, we instantly realized we are basically the same person. Both ENFPs, similar back stories, the same love of adventure and stubborn unwillingness to be put into a box. She decided they'd be a great fit for our pre-marital counseling sessions and A.J. and I fell in love with them all over again as we got to hear their story and watch them pick on each other and read each other's minds as we discussed a few marriage expectations. 

These two were meant for each other. She talked about how he makes her laugh and fills in the gaps where she lacks, making her better. He talked about how she keeps him fun and how she is THE person he wants to marry...not believing in two marriages, he knows they will make the sacrifices to ensure they stay together for life. 

As the big day commenced and they bustled about Highgrove, the stresses of the day began to weigh in, but all of it disappeared as Jacqueline practically bounced (in her Jordan's) down the stairs to meet Jon for the first look. The moment they hugged each other you could just see the stress melt away. They talked and laughed, teased each other by choosing not to kiss til the ceremony and even practiced their first dance. Perfection. 

The other aspect of the day that was perfection was Highgrove Estate. You guys. This place is unbelievable. Everything you could possibly need on site and a photographer's dream. It was made with the best light in mind and the whole day photographed so beautifully. I cannot wait to come back! 

Jacqueline and Jon we love you both so much, we hope this week is full of rest and perfect bliss! Thank you for letting us be a part of you day! Hope you enjoy these favorites from the day!

Highgrove Estate Wedding

This gold bracelet is a gift from Jon's mother to Jacqueline, it's a Persian tradition for the mother of the groom to give the bride a gift. And below, Jacqueline's Jordans. A lifetime favorite of hers could not be neglected on her big day. Love it!

Highgrove Estate Wedding
Highgrove Estate Wedding
Highgrove Estate Wedding
Highgrove Estate Groom
Highgrove Estate Bride and Groom
Highgrove Estate Bride and Groom
Highgrove Estate Bride and Groom
Highgrove Estate Bride and Groom
Highgrove Estate Bride and Groom
Highgrove Estate father daughter dance
Highgrove Estate Sparkler Exit

 

The vendors who made the day possible:

Photographers: Cynthia & A.J. Viola

Venue and Catering: Highgrove Estate

Coordinator: Amanda Shepherd

Bride's Dress: BHLDN

Groom's Attire: Ticknors Mens Clothiers

Bride's Ring: Joint Venture Jewelry

Groom's Ring: LA Laser Engraving

Make Up Artist: Anna Dill

Florist: Sarah Brock

Officiant: Jeremy Robertson

DJ: Bob Perry

Cake Baker: Sweet Memories Bakery

Linens: CE Rentals

Invitations: Basic Invite

Favors: Carolina Popcorn Shoppe