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J.S. Dorton Arena Wedding – Elias and Ashlei are Married!

This is an exciting one. Not only was this my first wedding at the Dorton Arena on the Raleigh State Fairgrounds… It was the first wedding ever on the fairgrounds, and such a cool one at that. This was such a fun day, and celebrating with these two was a blast! Here are some of my favorites from the day below!

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About the Couple

Where did your wedding take place?

J.S. Dorton Arena

What was your favorite moment on your wedding day?

My 2 favorite moments were 1. The blending of our cultures and traditional elements into the ceremony. We wanted to represent both sides that make us whole with respect to the cultures and our families while also teaching our loved ones who may not have ever experienced the other’s traditions. Our 2nd favorite moment was the reception music video shot to “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Everyone was on the dancefloor and it was so much fun! We cannot wait to see how it turned out.

What was the most helpful piece of advice you received when it came to planning your wedding?

The most helpful advice was to enjoy the process. It was stressful. But the year and a half engagement was amazing in that we bonded even more on what we wanted for our day, as well as had so much fun creating all of the special DIY elements that were the fine details to the day with our parents. 

What was the biggest reason you chose Dave Shay Photography on your wedding day?

My mother is a photographer. Photos are captured memories that have always been treasured in my life. Dave Shay photography was a gift from my parents because they wanted to ensure the best for us and know that every moment possible was captured in a beautiful, timeless and captivating way. 

How would you describe your Wedding day? Use as many or as few words as you’d like

Our wedding day was like Spring blooming in the middle of city life. The ceremony represented the bride with nearly 100k rose petals and over 500 butterflies and a rose garden flower wall, while the reception was the groom complete with food trucks and simple open space just to dance and take in the Arena structure. 

Other Credits:

Our videographers were Retrosound Films. Their website: www.retrosoundfilms.com 

Our wedding hotel was Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Hotel. Coordinator, Arianne Huerto. 

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support of our families, friends and amazing vendors. Thank you!

About the Team


Planned by the Bride www.ashleiandelias.com


DJ: Complete Wedding & Events 


Sam’s Club


Minister Jason Campbell

Cake Designer:

Duck Donuts

Bridesmaid Dress Designer:


Groomsmen Attire:



Mama Voula’s Greek food truck & Big Mike’s BBQ food truck

About the images

These J.S. Dorton Arena images were taken with combinations of a  Nikon D4s,  Nikon D750,  Nikkor 85mm 1.4G,  Nikkor 45mm Tilt Shift,  Nikkor 24mm 1.4G, 5 off camera  Flashpoint R2 Speedlights, and 2 AD-200 strobes with an assortment of  MagMod modifiers. All of my images are color corrected with Adobe Lightroom only and not altered or photoshopped in any way.

I’d also like to extend a huge thank you to James for helping on this shoot, some of his images are mixed in with mine above.

In addition to these J.S. Dorton Arena Wedding Photos, Raleigh Wedding Photographer Dave Shay is available for wedding and couple’s portraiture along the entire East Coast and worldwide. To see more work from Raleigh Wedding Photographer Dave Shay, please head over to the portfolio page.

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