A Pop Up Wedding
On May 16th, the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh was transformed into a 1920’s themed wonderland for the wedding of Sean Wall and Hollin Pulley.
Sean and Hollin met through a mutual friend and were engaged within the year.
The most intriguing part of the wedding was that it was a surprise– friends and family thought they were coming for a reception, but in reality they were in for a pop up wedding.
“The two of us are fairly nontraditional and when thinking about what our wedding would look like, we knew we wanted it to be memorable,” Hollin said. “Our guests, assuming that our intimate ceremony had had taken place earlier in the day, would arrive for our reception and after thirty minutes… voila! When we visualized how amazing it would be, how could we not have a pop up wedding?”
Hollin and Sean told guests that they wanted a small intimate wedding, but there would be a large reception later. To the surprise of the guests, they were all invited to the actual wedding. Pulley said they wanted everyone invited to the ceremony because all of their guests were so special to them.
Hollin started the evening in a gold and black cocktail dress to go along with the “reception” feel, she later changed into a beautiful vintage inspired dress by Jenny Packham. The dress was made of two pieces, a floor length white, adjustable silk slip and a mesh overlay with graceful beading, sequins and elegant scalloped short sleeves. She also wore a custom headpiece by Jaime Bridal Couture.
While Hollin was changing from her party dress to her wedding gown in the back, she could hear Sean and her father announcing the actual wedding, “I could only hear muffled sounds and then squeals– the moment our guests realized that they would each get to be part of the ceremony was awesome.”
After the ceremony, guests were asked to join in a sing-a-long of Starship’s “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now”. It was a crowd-pleaser and had the attendees dancing and singing along.
Keeping with the nontraditional theme of the wedding, the couple decorated CAM with an eclectic collection of vintage artifacts from Themeworks, including a large crystal chandelier, groupings of Victorian era tables and couches, and vintage goblets filled with lavender as centerpieces on the cocktail tables.
“I knew from the beginning that I wanted a vintage inspired wedding. I suppose it started with the dress. Sean and I considered a 20’s theme, but then decided to simply allude to the era through the design of the invitations and by offering attire ideas of ‘fringe and sparkle’, Hollin said. “CAM is a modern, industrial space and we loved the idea of bringing in vintage furniture to provide a beautiful juxtaposition within the venue.”
All of this beauty was captured in photographs provided by Brett and Jessica Donar. The couple chose their photographers based on their unique vision that is different from the typical wedding style.
“Their portfolio is full of moments; full of stories told with feeling. They use focus and light in rare and artistic ways, bringing a visible darkness to their photos, which evokes such emotion,” Hollin said.
Catering was provided by Eschelon Experiences. They had a sushi station set up by Mura, an Indian station set up by Zinda, and an American and British station set up by The Oxford and Cameron Bar and Grill. Cocktail waitstaff served shrimp and chicken skewers to the crowd prior to the wedding. Having a wide variety of foods and stations allowed guests to sample many things that Eschelon offers. In Hollins words, “the food was perfect.”
Themeworks provided two white portable bars that were staffed by POUR, a Raleigh company.
Sean and Hollin chose Blake Burney (DJ Triple B) as their wedding DJ. Blake played an eclectic mix of music from Rilo Kiley to Bruno Mars, with the energy of the music ramping up as the night went on and the crowd moved from the cocktail area to the dance floor.
“Blake exceeded expectations and brought a cool and chill vibe. He got a feel for our musical taste and for the dance-it-out style we wanted for the get-down part of the party, and he just ran with it, with complete success,” Hollin said.
Many guests ran with the vintage feel of the invitations and decor by dressing up in Great Gatsby era attire. The vintage feel was apparent from the moment you walked in the door of CAM, from accent lighting, to clothing, to printed material.
In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Hollin asked friends and family to bring their favorite cake to share. There were thirteen cakes in total and they were all reduced to crumbs by the end of the night. Hollin calls them “Cakes of Love”.
May 16, 2015 is not a night the 175 guests could ever forget. Hollin and Sean created magic through their unique ideas and non-traditional concepts, creating a wedding that was fit for storybooks.