Joanna Sue Photography » Lifestyle photography based out of Raleigh, NC

Shooting this wedding was a little bit like a blind date. I had never met either Jane or Micheal and had only talked to Jane on the phone a couple of times, which isn’t the norm for Joanna Sue Photography. Typically, we get a dry run through an engagement session to warm up and get used to each other before the big day. However, Jane and Michael needed no warmup. They quickly forgot the presence of  the two photographers in front of them and fell into the the euphoria of their brand new marriage, and their portraits unfolded beautifully.

Knowing very little of them before this day, I had the pleasure of learning more about them through the stories their friends told, the toasts, and the attentiveness to details that were scattered through out the day. I absolutely loved the beautiful decor and lighting at the Cookery’s new addition to their venue. This wedding was the second event held in the new space, and I think it’s my new favorite reception venue.

These are a few of my favorite things:

  1. Durham’s murals… it was literally a block down from the church.
  2. RED DOORS (P.S Episcopal churches almost always have red doors which makes for some beautiful dramatic backdrops)
  3. The guest of honor at the reception–the Chick-Fil-A cow dropped off a deliver of chicken nuggets for the guests later in the night.
  4. The warehouse vibes of the Cookery



Ceremony Venue: Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church

Reception Venue: The Cookery

Makeup Artist: Kathy Chandler

Hair Stylist: Kathy Chandler

Dress Designer: BHLDN

Caterer: Donovan’s Dish 

DJ: Nick Neptune 

Florist: Theo Roddy

Cake Artist: Details Cake Design and Bakery 


Simply put, their day was vibrant. The color palette of the girls boho-styled dresses and the guys funky floral printed ties had the perfect amount of brightness and color, and the selection of wild flowers paired perfectly. But more than just the decor and attire, the tone of their day matched the appearance with equal vibrancy – from the cheer joy and energy of Alex and Grace to the comradely and entertainment of the evening. I commend the way that Grace and Alex included their guests in the wedding day, and not just as bystanders or observers, but they really brought them in to play a role in their celebration. They had all the guests vote on which wedding tattoo both Grace and Alex were going to get. They hired an amazing face painter to decorate adults and children alike.  Never have I seen a couple more truly enjoy their wedding day than these two. They didn’t get hung up on the little things. They were there to take it all in, snags and all, and revel in their merriment. I’d shoot this wedding again in a heartbeat. Congrats you guys!


  1. The multi-colored/printed bridesmaid dresses
  2. The floral ties
  3. The face-painter
  4. The tattoo voting booth
  5. Always…donuts.


Venue: NC Botanical Gardens

Dress Designer: BHLDN

Caterer: Mediterranean Deli

Florist (bridal bouquet only): Pine State Flowers

Groomsmen ties: Amazon

Deserts: Rise Donuts

Videographer: Dean Garris

Lighting: Vivid Lighting

Rentals: CE Rental

Face Painting: Stephanie Hallmark

Tarot Card Reader: Mystic Hand Tarot

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