Carolina Bride

Other Side of the Lens

Brakefield Wedding and Reception
Brakefield Wedding and Reception

How does a wedding industry veteran plan her own wedding? With creative personalization and a down-to-earth approach. When Dawn McNally and Andy Castor prepared to form a new family together with Dawn’s two children, they knew they wanted an intimate affair with just the closest of friends and family. With a guest list of 25 and vendors that felt like family (and who were the only Charlotte-based guests to be seen!), they achieved their dream with an elegant ceremony and sit-down reception at Brakefield at Riverwalk. Dawn and Andy had both been married before but knew they found their true match in each other. Everything meshed when Andy connected so strongly with her children. They even feel that they’ve been an inspiration to others who are going through divorces and don’t trust that they can still find the one. “I’ve had people tell me that we give them hope because they’re having a hard time dating or the kids aren’t accepting. They see how happy we are and how lucky we are to have found each other,” says Dawn. Beyond the celebration of their love, Dawn was able to empathize with her clients in a new way. “I think it made me understand my brides a lot more. It made me understand the stress of it,” says Dawn. “Even when you keep it small and simple it’s the same amount of work.”Even with the stress, incorporating the entire family was what continues to resonate with the happy couple. “Patrick [Maloy] incorporated all of us into the ceremony; it wasn’t about a marriage of the two of us. It’s a marriage of all of us, and it meant so much.”

Featured Vendors


Cheesecake Etc.


Ceremony and Reception Location

Brakefield at Riverwalk


Headpiece and Veil

Poffie Girls



Critsey Rowe Photography



Diamonds Direct SouthPark


My Flower Pros, flowers

Men's Wearhouse, tuxedos

Carlton Cards, Sweetest Beginnings, stationery

Melon Belly, guitarist

Roy Rosen, cinematography

Patrick Maloy, clergy

Queen City Catering, catering

Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: "New Heights"