Carolina Bride

An uptown affair

Although Kelly Smith and Will Setzer met for the first time during their college years at N.C. State and UNC, respectively, the two didn’t become serious until they both landed in the same location – Charlotte – in 2006. With the city being such an important part of their relationship, especially since Kelly works for the City of Charlotte, it’s only fitting that when the couple got engaged – Will wrote “Will you marry me Kelly” in their Scrabble board on their typical game night – uptown became a focal point for the event. When planning the big day, the couple envisioned bold colors and crisp patterns like damask. They focused on a navy and fuchsia color palette, because it’s bright but still a classic color combination. Working closely with The Place for Flowers, Split Second Sound and Classic Party Rentals, Kelly was able to achieve the sleek, uptown effect she’d envisioned for the venue: Levine Museum of the New South.Before the ceremony, Kelly experienced one of her most memorable moments. “Will and I hadn’t seen each other since the rehearsal dinner – we’d kept that tradition – and there was so much anticipation building up. He gave me a jewelry box with my initials etched in the glass, and wrote me this beautiful letter. He’s such a great writer, and we were so emotional. Our letters to each other are prized possessions.”Kelly walked down the aisle in a lovely halter-cut dress from New York Bride & Groom. With the ceremony at First United Methodist Church and the reception just a few blocks away, the wedding party was able to walk between the two sites, creating a fabulous photo opportunity. “That was so fun,” Kelly says. “We live uptown so we thought it was fitting. It was a little warm, but I’d rather have warm than rain!” As a couple conscious of their budget, Kelly and Will knew they wanted to prioritize certain aspects of the wedding. One of the key elements for them was the photography, and Kristin Vining was a great fit. Kelly says, “I think of Kristin as one of the premier photographers in Charlotte, so I wondered if her pricing was achievable for us. But my dad especially loved her work and Kristin was reasonable, so we were super excited to work with her.” The day came to a sweet close with cookies and glass-bottle Sun Drop as favors, and the couple jetted off to Aruba, having researched that even in September, rain would be very unlikely. Despite the fact that it rained almost every day, Kelly and Will still had a blast. “We want to go back there, and now we have an excuse to go again.”

Featured VendorsBridal portrait location

The Duke Mansion


www.dukemansion.orgCeremony music

Carolina Strings


www.carolinastrings.comEngagement and wedding rings

Diamonds Direct

704-532-9041, 888-400-4447


Kristin Vining Photography


www.kristinvining.comReception music/entertainment

Split Second Sound


www.splitsecondsound.comRehearsal dinner

Bentley’s on 27


www.bentleyson27.comRental providers

Classic Party Rentals


www.classicpartyrentals.comWedding gown, veil and bridesmaids’ dresses

New York Bride & Groom


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