Athina + Graham

Here at Team Sally Oakley we are in the thick of wedding season, but we couldn’t go too long without sharing the gorgeous wedding of Athina and Graham. Athina and Graham held both their ceremony and reception in the ever versatile Market Hall and their pale blush and gold color scheme is definitely one you will want to Pin again and again. Take a look below and let us know what you think!

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As always a big THANK YOU to our amazing team of vendors who make our job not feel like a job.

Venue: Market Hall

Catering: 214 Martin Catering

Photography: Missy Mimlitsch

Florist: Victorian Seasons

Rentals: CE Rentals and Showtime Events

Cake: Maxie B’s

Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings

Transportation: Raleigh Trolley

Officiant: Ed Sansbury

Chalkboards: AB Chalk+Designs

Annika + Brandon

Annika and Brandon’s mid- June wedding at the Merrimon-Wynne house was styled perfection. Annika was one of the most beautiful brides we’ve ever seen and the lace detail on the back of her gown was to die for. The Merrimon-Wynne House is such a gem in the heart of downtown Raleigh serving as the perfect venue for this summer soiree.

Magnolia’s are in our top three of flowers for their timeless beauty and southern roots. In fact we think historic homes and magnolia leaves are always a good idea!

Nothing like a vintage heirloom to get our heart aflutter.

When planning an outdoor ceremony simplicity is key. Chairs and an elegant arbor are all you need to set the space; and for an outdoor wedding we love programs that double as fans.

Seriously still swooning over this dress! Annika and Brandon we wish you a lifetime of love, happiness, and laughter. Thank you for choosing us for your most special day!


As always a huge thank you to our talented team of vendors!

Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House

Photography: Katherine Miles Jones

Caterer: Durham Catering

Florist: Tre Bella

Rentals: Party Reflections

DJ: Bunn DJ Co- Randy Bennett

Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Ashley Mooney

Transportation: EcoStyle

Officiant: Kayelilly Middleton

Jenna and Rossi’s downtown wedding was what a summer wedding should be. With a navy blue and pink color scheme this wedding  was traditional, sweet, and filled with perfect little details. Add in some great photographers, thank you for sharing Jocelyn and Ryan Photography!, and we are smitten. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you love this wedding as much as we did.

St. Mary’s Chapel is a beautiful quaint chapel on the campus of St. Mary’s School. It is often overlooked but a great ceremony venue option for those wishing to be downtown.

Lastly, who doesn’t love a great getaway car! Rossi’s Dad hooked them up for their send-off.


A big thank you as always to the amazing vendors who made this all possible.

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Chapel

Reception Venue: 214 Martin St.

Catering: 214 Martin St.

Photography: Jocelyn and Ryan Photography

Florals: Dogwood Tree Floral Designs

DJ: Joe Bunn DJ Company- Mark

Cake: Simply Cakes

Hair & Makeup: Impressions Salon

Ceremony Musicians: Florian

Transportation: Raleigh Dream Limos

Wedding Tips

1. First things first. Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you’ll invite before settling on a venue. This will ensure there’s ample space for your crew. Next, find your venue before your date. This will ensure you aren’t losing your dream venue because their already booked on your date.

2. Do a dress rehearsal. Practice getting dressed in your gown and accessories to make sure it all flows and you aren’t missing that finishing touch. You’ll also want to make sure you and your maid of honor can get you in and out of your dress and that she or your Mother is able to bustle the dress for the big day.

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3. Start researching and booking your vendors as soon as possible. It’s amazing how quickly vendors and venues book up. Not to mention, your will have more options to choose from and it will be less stressful knowing your vendors are secured as you get closer to your big day. Feeling overwhelmed we can help!

4. Feed your vendors. Vendors are people too and many of them are working long and hard hours to make your event flawless so why not give them some nourishment. Most venues or caterers will provide a “vendor meal” at a lower rate so make sure to account for all vendors when finalizing your food selections.

5. Stationary is a must. It’s not so important where you get your stationary (although we can help!) whether online or locally but you’ll need to consider; save the dates, bridal shower invitations, thank you stationary, bachelor/bachelorette invites, wedding invitations, new Mr. and Mrs. thank you stationary, etc. That is a lot of paper so make sure to find something that works well with your wedding and always proofread every bit of it!


6. Prioritize! Figure out what is important to you and your fiancé and go from there. Splurge where you choose and be flexible on the rest-it is a process but it will all fall into place.

Amanda + Joseph

Amanda and Joseph’s Rickhouse Durham wedding was a timelessly chic and elegant affair. From the industrial backdrop of the Rickhouse Durham to the soft delicate florals and sheer white draping this wedding is sure to please. Plus, how stunning are those bridesmaids dress? Green is the new black!

Amanda and Joseph were a dream to work with and we loved every single detail of this stunning wedding. A big congratulations from our team (#teamsallyoakley) we wish y’all a lifetime of love and happiness! A shout out to the amazing Michelle Gunton for sharing these photos!

Thank you to our amazing team of vendors:

Venue: The Rickhouse Durham

Catering: Catering Works

Photography: Michelle Gunton

Florist: Brides and Bouquets

Cake: Details Cake Design

Rentals: CE Rentals

Lighting and Draping: Peelman Productions Inc.

Band: Mezza Voce

Ceremony Music: Save the Date

Chalkboard: AB Chalk Designs

Transportation: Southern Express

Elizabeth + Ken


This is the wedding of two sweethearts who have been dating for a really long time. Elizabeth and Ken couldn’t wait to celebrate their forever with their family and friends at Brier Creek County Club. Infused with her Czechoslovakian heritage; this wedding was super sweet, colorful and full of surprises. Our beautiful bride Elizabeth donned a traditional folk dress for a dance with her Dad while Ken surprised his bride by getting up on stage and rocking out with the band. Oh, and did we mention the band was amazing!? Elizabeth and Ken chose their favorite band Sirsy to play at the reception and it made for an amazing party. A big thank you to Jennifer Haywood for sharing the photos!


As always a big thank you to all our vendors:

Venue: Brier Creek Country Club

Photographer: J.B. Haywood Photography

Florist: Dogwood Tree Floral Design

Lighting: Island Sounds

Band: Sirsy

Hair & Makeup: OnLokation Makeup


Jessica + Kevin

Jessica and Kevin’s downtown Stockroom at 230 wedding was so sweet and filled with fabulous little details. Their adorable dog Ollie was the ring bearer and was so handsome in his tie. Jessica’s delicate lace dress perfectly juxtaposed the exposed brick walls and industrial details of The Stockroom at 230. With our talented team of vendors this was one stylish wedding.

A big thank you to Azul Photography for sharing the photos with us, they are simply stunning! Check them out below!

As always a big thank you to our amazing vendors.

Ceremony and Reception: The Stockroom at 230

Photography: Azul Photography

Catering: CateringWorks

Florist: English Garden

Rentals: CE Rentals

Lighting: Themeworks

Desserts: CateringWorks and Slice Pie Company

DJ: Joe Bunn DJ Company

Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Ashley Mooney

Ceremony Musicians: Trio


Kathy and Jordan

Kathy and Jordan’s Bay 7 wedding was full of sweet, classic, southern details that we are pretty sure any bride would enjoy. Not to mention, as family friends it was a joy to help them with the wedding of their dreams.

Check out those honey jar favors, we love any type of edible favor and these did not disappoint! The packaging was adorable and guests love to take home something they will use/eat.

Fellow floral lovers will also love all the stunning arrangements by the talented Tre Bella.  They knock it out of the park every single time! So let’s not waste any more time with the chit chat, dive right in to the photos by the always amazing Dara Blakeley Photography.


Congratulations Kathy and Jordan! You make a beautiful couple and we were so happy to be a part of your big day. Much love and happiness to you both!

As always a big thank you to our vendors:

Ceremony Venue: Immaculate Conception Church

Reception Venue: Bay 7

Catering: Angus Barn

Photography: Dara Blakeley Photography

Florals: Tre Bella Florist

Cake: Publix

Linens: CE Rentals

Band: Mr. Potato Head

Hair & Makeup: Onloktion Makeup

Transportation: EcoStyle



Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Wedding dress shopping is a rite of passage for us gals. It should be a fun, relaxing experience and a day where you can truly feel like a princess. But this is not always the case so we’ve rounded up some of the best tips we’ve learned to make the day the best experience possible!

1. First and foremost- set your budget! Just like with all the other details, you need to have a number in mind and stick to it. How much you want to spend is totally up to you and your fiancé but a rule of thumb is no more than 10% of the total wedding budget. And remember, just like with all the other details if you want to splurge- go for it- but you might have to cut corners elsewhere.

2. Start looking early. Now, this is hard for some brides and we get it, your tastes may change!  However, it takes a long time for a gown to be made, fitted, and sized specifically for you (approximately 5 months if not longer). Having said that it is not impossible to find a dress in a short amount of time just be aware that it may cost you a bit more $$.


3. Make an appointment. Most Triangle area bridal salons require appointments. Plus, it’s a good way to ensure you will have the undivided attention of your stylist.

4. Research, research, research. Browse bridal magazines, Pinterest, Instagram and other wedding blogs to find what you like and don’t like. Sometimes it’s even better to know what you don’t want than what you do. But don’t be afraid to try on everything because you may surprise yourself with how amazing you look in that mermaid gown.

5. Don’t invite every girl you’ve ever met! Seriously, the less people the better. Not everyone shares your taste and while they may mean well having a lot of opinions can really derail an appointment. Be selective in who you choose and ask those who you know will let you have the final say. If you must include all your maids our suggestion is to bring them to the final fitting.

6. Underwear. Ok, hopefully you’re wearing underwear but the right underwear is what we mean here. Bring or wear a strapless bra and a nude thong; a body shaper is another great option. A robe or some kind of coverup is another great thing to have as you will have a bridal shop consultant helping you in and out of dresses.

7. Stop looking when you’ve found the one! For real stop looking! There will always be a prettier, newer, better, etc. dress but the most important thing is to find a dress that you love, that is comfortable and that you can envision be married in. Once you find it stop looking and don’t second guess yourself or you will go crazy.

To First Look or Not to First Look

That is the ultimate question. As popular as first looks have become, many of our couples still come to us undecided and looking for an answer. Unfortunately, this is one of those questions we have a hard time answering. Mostly because we don’t want to make that decision for our couples as it is such a personal one. The good news is, there is no wrong answer here people! It simply is a matter of what feels most natural to you. So here we will discuss a few pros and cons of having a first look in hopes that this will become an easier decision to make.


1. Seeing your soon to be husband or wife for the first time on your wedding day is an emotional moment no matter how you do it. As such doing a private “first look” can really allow the couple to let those emotions out and really focus on each other away from the eyes of their guests.

2. Having a first look before the ceremony allows you to take some of those bridal party photos before hand. This is a great time to get one on one photos of you as a couple as well as bridal party photos that are often directly after the ceremony. The pro to this is you aren’t taking a million photos right after the ceremony and can instead focus on enjoying your cocktail hour, you are paying for it after all!

3. First look photo can be anywhere! Well, within driving distance from the ceremony. If you are getting married in a church this is ideal because many churches have restrictions on photos once inside the sanctuary; this means photos shot from far away and maybe not ideal lighting. With a first look your photographer is able to get those shots and really focus on your faces, emotions, lighting, the scenery, etc. making for the perfect photos.

4. Calming your nerves. Seeing your fiancé before the wedding can really help calm couples and eliminate that stress of the day.

5. A con of the first look is that in order to accommodate all the photos before the ceremony you either need a later ceremony start time, or an earlier getting ready finish time. With our timelines we can certainly factor this in to make it more efficient but it does take a little more effort and earlier start times.

6. You lose that anticipation and surprise as you walk down the aisle. You’ve already seen each other so there isn’t a “reveal” as you are walking down the aisle. If this is something you really want a first look might not be for you.

7. It breaks from tradition. This is one of the biggest cons and what couples struggle most with. You’ve envisioned your fiancé seeing you for the firs time as you slowly make your way down the aisle, not pre-ceremony at a separate location.


So, the question truly comes down to whether or not you want to see each other before the ceremony. The pros certainly outweigh the cons but it is still such a personal decision and one that you both need to agree on and feel comfortable with. In the end there is no right or wrong here, so do what feels natural to you and we will take care of the rest!

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