Carolina Bride

The laws of nature

When Allison Oser traveled from Richmond with her sister and brother in law in 2006 to see if she’d like to relocate to Charlotte, she was hoping for a change. She was looking forward to a new job in a new city, but what she didn’t expect was immediately meeting the man she would marry – who was hosting the trio on their trip.“My first impression was that she had beautiful eyes and a beautiful smile,” says Chad Jennings, a former fraternity brother of Allison’s brother-in-law. “Her eyes were very captivating, but I also tried to be very reserved – she was my former roommate’s sister-in-law!”Allison experienced a similar hesitance, but she and Chad became quick friends and later struggled to keep their relationship strictly a friendship. “The laws of nature just wouldn’t allow it,” Chad jokes.Soon, Chad began to realize Allison was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. “One thing Allison said is if we ever get engaged, she wanted to make sure the ring reflected who she is as a person,” Chad explains. Knowing of her love for Paris, he chose a ring crafted in the City of Love by a Parisian designer and made some custom adjustments – including a thicker stage resembling the Eiffel Tower – to best suit his future bride. After acquiring the ring, another stage was set as the couple enjoyed a snow-fallen evening at church on Christmas Eve. In Richmond for the holiday, Allison’s parents and siblings – including her brother on last-minute leave from Iraq – were preparing dinner and the scene for the proposal that was about to take place. When she and Chad arrived home, Allison ran to change into sweatpants while her dad suspiciously convinced her to keep her church clothes on for a “family picture.” Dinner began, and after the blessing Allison’s parents handed her a three-windowed picture frame wrapped in shiny silver paper. In the first window was a picture of the custom-made ring. In the second was a hand-written note that read, “Will you marry me? Check yes or no.” And in the third was a picture of a couple leaving a wedding in a classic white car – something Allison had always dreamed of for her wedding.Allison looked over at Chad, who was on one knee with a box and her engagement ring. “Then I knew I was going to get to spend the rest of my life with him,” Allison tearfully remembers. The couple began planning most of their wedding themselves – with help from a few choice vendors. “It takes your relationship to a new level,” Chad says honestly. “Throughout the whole planning process we looked for open and closed doors,” says Allison. “And when it felt right, we knew which vendors we would choose.”Due to their love of the outdoors, they began looking at wineries for the perfect setting, but after scheduling an impromptu visit to The Duke Mansion, they knew they had found their place. Serendipitously, the vineyard they’d also toured that same day was a major provider of wine at the mansion, and they were able to incorporate the vineyard as well.To capture the event, Allison looked through multiple photographers’ portfolios until coming to Indigo. “She spent weeks looking at photographers and then said, ‘I think I found the one,’” says Chad.“I first met Stephanie and liked her right off the bat,” says Allison. “We had great communication, and I think that’s important when you choose someone who’s going to capture your day. And I really liked her style.”Allison wore an off-white lace gown from The Lily Rose, who impressed the couple not only because they were the sole Charlotte boutique that carried the gown she originally fell in love with in Richmond, but because of their incredible grace when Allison’s best friend and bridesmaid passed away from cystic fibrosis just weeks before the wedding. “They refunded the money for the bridesmaid dress without even asking. They went above and beyond. It really speaks to what good people they are,” says Chad.In remembrance of Chantel, Allison and Chad had a wish tree at the wedding and donated five dollars to the local cystic fibrosis association for every wish placed on the tree that day. After the outdoor ceremony, where rings from Diamonds Direct were placed on each finger, Split Second Sound provided the energy as Allison and Chad – a graduate of Virginia Tech – were introduced for the first time as husband and wife to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” – typically heard in Tech’s Lane Stadium as the football team hits the field. With Allison essentially an adopted Hokie fan, “It definitely caught everyone off-guard – as classy as she is!” says Chad.Allison and Chad are both already enjoying married life – having kicked it off with a two-week vacation in Tahiti and Bora Bora where they laid in hammocks reminiscing about their wedding day. But they are most looking forward to making a home for themselves, having a few children (“I say three – she says two!” says Chad), as well as some horses and dogs. “We both grew up riding horses, and we’ve always wanted to have a farm where we could have horses for equestrian riding,” says Allison. “We’re looking forward to building our own property,” says Chad. “We’re really big into our families and we really want a place where people can kick off their shoes.”

Featured Vendors

Ceremony/Reception Location

The Duke Mansion

704-714-4400

www.dukemansion.org

Music/Entertainment

Split Second Sound

704-907-9507

www.splitsecondsound.com

Photography

Indigo Photography

704-335-0948

www.indigocharlotte.com

Wedding Gown, Veil and Bridesmaids’ Dresses

The Lily Rose

704-895-1007

www.lilyrosebridal.com

Wedding Rings

Diamonds Direct SouthPark

704-532-9041 or 888-400-4447

www.diamondsdirectsouthpark.com

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