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Umstead Wedding Celtic – Irish Scottish Theme (Christine + Tim)

This intimate Celtic wedding features a ceremony at the William B. Umstead Park and a wedding reception at Tir Na Nog in downtown Raleigh. Christine and Tim shared with me that they are enamored with Celtic traditions which together forms their ancestral heritage of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English and German. So it may not be a surprise that their most drawn to nature, trees and anything related to the outdoors.

They decided on a Celtic theme (which is a mix of old world Irish and Scottish) for their wedding because they also both love Celtic music and going to renaissance faires. The reason that they chose Tir na nOg for their wedding reception is because it’s one of their favorite restaurants. It always provides a wonderful atmosphere and live music. Some of their best friends are in a Celtic rock band and they’ll be travelling with them to Scotland in September on a tour. I’m sure that there will be a lot of distilleries and castles to see!

As with every great “beginning” there is a story of “how it all began.” Before I share the photos with you I’d like to give you a little more background on this wonderful couple. Tim is originally from Ohio and Christine is from Pennsylvania. They are both in pharmaceutical services. He’s on the laboratory science side, and she’s part the technology and business process side. I’ll spare my readers from any “chemistry” puns here. :) Instead I’ve posted their “meeting” and “engagement story” below for anyone that would like to read it.

Wedding Planner: Cherished Moments Event Planning – Tamera Davis
Bagpiper: John Schodtler
Officiant: Robin Renteria
Transportation: Blue Diamond Limo
Hair Stylist: Scott Anderson
Tir na nOg: Annie Britton-Nice

John Schodtler provided some beautiful authentic bagpipe music. It really transported us all to another place.

John left a thoughtful comment on my facebook page. It was “Thig crioch air an saoghal, ach mairidh gaol is ceol!” and it means “The world will pass away, but love and music will endure.” It summed up the wedding day perfectly.

It wasa pleasure to work with Robin Renteria again. She’s a wonderful wedding minister with a heart of gold.

These were photographed through the thin gap of the partition screen to create the natural blurring that you see on the edges of the photographs.

While photographing the couple behind the partition screen they fell victim to “flower petal siege!” One of the petals found an unlikely yet humorous target.

I found our little “flower girl petal attackers!” They shall “taunt you another time” with their fragrant bombardment!

This shelter at The William B Umstead Park was the perfect location for this couple. I couldn’t imagine them having their wedding anywhere else.

The couples emotions got the best of them and brought them both to tears.

As a photographer it’s sometimes difficult to capture the ring exchange. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of digits that can get in the way. I love the way that these turned out. In the high resolution photos you can really see the details!

I also capture the “wedding kiss” photograph but I believe that this is much more powerful.

During the couples wedding portraits I showed them a preview on my camera and Christine started tearing up. It was all I could do to hold back my own emotions knowing how happy she was from just that little sneak peek! I say this in the most humble way but it really deeply effects me when I realize what an impact of sharing these moments with someone else.

I really like how this one turned out…

We couldn’t have asked for more perfect wedding weather.

The newly married couple rode to the wedding reception in style on a horse and carriage. We took the route through dowtown Raleigh which included Fayetteville Street and City Plaza.

Tim was happy to grab the sign off the back.

Their wedding reception was at Tir na nOg – one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh.

This is a mural that I photographed at the front entrance of Tir na nOg. I photographed it upside down so that you could see the image more clearly.

The brides wedding ring was a traditional Claddagh ring. It is composed of a heart (clasped by two hands) and a crown. The meanings behind each are love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).

Someone ordered a grasshopper drink. It’s green so I had to get a photograph of it.

Each Sunday Irish and Scottish music lovers get together for local jam session.

Christine was a naturally gorgeous Celtic bride.

A glass of Guinness anyone? Of course!

Mmmmmm… Beer and wedding cake!

Simple yet says so much…

One of the final photographs feature a spot where the couple went on one of their first dates. It’s the giant acorn in Moore Square.


Christine and Tim wanted to share their “story” with their friends and family as well as the readers of my blog.

The Story:
We met through an online dating site – each of us had answered a bunch of quiz questions, set up profiles and were peripherally seeing who was out there – it’s one of those sites where you can see when someone looks at your profile. About 6 months before we actually met, we started ‘peeking’ at each other. Tim sent me a message and I proceeded to look at his profile and then did not respond to the message. A couple of months go by, another round of ‘peeking,’ and no communication. In April of ’09, we peeked at each other a few more times, and he sent me a message that said ‘We keep peeking at each other across a crowded internet, don’t you think it’s time to say hello?’ I responded with simply ‘Hello.’ We started talking in earnest over the next 3-4 weeks, and decided to meet for our first date in May – it was just supposed to be coffee at Swift Creek Coffee House. We had coffee, and were having so much fun we decided to go get something to eat. After dinner, we decided to go to a movie (the new Star Trek, how romantic!), after the movie, we simply weren’t done giggling and talking, so we went back to his house, laid out a blanket in the back yard and talked under the stars until close to dawn. We’ve been inseparable ever since, and honestly each knew that we had found something very very special that day. It truly is amazing when you find someone you can be your whole true self with, and have no worries for judgment or repercussions – complete acceptance – we balance each other and are both better people for knowing the other.

The Proposal:
One of our very first adventures together was a trip out to Bryson City for a long weekend at a cabin (amazingly beautiful by the way). In the fall, Tim had decided that he wanted to propose, and that he wanted to do it on New Year’s Eve. That cabin was his first choice of locations for the proposal, but it was booked for that weekend, so he settled on Chimney Rock – a beautiful state park just south of Asheville. He had his plan. He got a ring, and went out to see his family in Charlotte, while waiting patiently for me to come back from visiting my family in Florida for Christmas. (What I didn’t tell you is that he kidnapped my two dogs and ended up driving them out there with his sister’s two dogs and his own (yes that is 5 dogs in the back seat of his car!) so that none of them had to be alone for the holiday – we’re dog people – Thanksgiving ratio was 9 dogs to 8 people, haha). I got home and jumped in my car to drive out to see them – we had a second Christmas, and then the day before New Year’s Eve (is that the eve of new year’s eve) he started casually talking about wanting to go on a mini adventure without the dogs. He jumped online to look up information about Chimney Rock, which is open 365/7 unless there is ice – it was closed due to an ice storm! Plan C –> Biltmore! We ended up going to Biltmore and taking the house tour (amazing house – so much fun traipsing through imagining all of the secret passageways that must exist). After the tour, he had planned to go out to the gardens – gardens in the middle of winter are ugly – lots of dead sticks and no uhmmmm flowers, so scratch that idea. He casually turned around and started walking to the front of the house again. Standing with his back to the house, looking through the promanade, he knew where it was going to be. At the beginning of the promenade, where all of the carriages would come up and admire the house while they were driving up, there was a set of crossing stone steps, with a slight inclined landing, at the top of which was a statue of Diana, the Goddess of the hunt – perfect. He walked me up there (completely unsuspecting mind you), as we got to the top (he had maneuvered so that we were up there at the same time as another couple), he handed his camera to the couple for them to take pictures presumably of us in front of the statue. We get in front of the statue and he started off saying ‘It’s once in a blue moon you find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with…” (Did I mention it was a blue moon on New Year’s Eve this year?). We both started crying, and he then got down on one knee and, well, you can imagine the rest…