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The Preston Woodall House Wedding – Mary and Brandon are Married!

When I got to The Preston Woodall House for Mary and Brandon’s wedding, things were different for me as a photographer. Moments have been a big deal to me this year. Finding the heart of a wedding day, and telling the story has been a challenge ever growing. I’m proud to share this blog post because this is the first post ever on my blog where there is not a single image that was directed by me. Every moment in this post is completely candid, and just something I had the fortune to observe. I’m so excited to share it and hope you get a small glimpse into how special Mary and Brandon’s day was.

candid smile from bridesmaidMother and her daughter on her wedding dayWedding couple's first lookemotional bride during first lookWedding Ceremony at Preston Woodall HouseMother crying while looking at brideBride coming down the aisleBride reacts during ceremonyCouple happily exiting wedding ceremonyThe Preston Woodall house wedding receptionfunny face on the dance floorfun dancing photosmiling guest dancingguitarist playing at wedding receptionGuests enjoying wedding receptionCandid wedding momentgroom singing at weddingWedding band featuring bridesmaidFire Poi Wedding Exit

About the Couple


Kelsey Duncan


Jeffrey’s Floral

Matt Shelton

I did. Edible Art baked it 🙂

I got it off the sale rack – no idea

Preston Woodall House

Overnight stay on site for our immediate families.  All events in one location, Steampunk, Victorian-era feel & look.

Letting my dinner get cold so I could go talk to all of my guests

Instant comfort factor, interacting over the phone & in person

I’m going to ramble.

It was hard to follow the previous night’s on-site rehearsal dinner. The food & company was amazing and then dinner turned into a side-splitting roast of the Bride & Groom. Childhood songs were sung, broken school rules told on, and where all the boogers were hidden over the years were all discussed. Most stories may not appear on your blog!

Our style: Theatrical. Vintage.  Family talent on display in a fairytale story weekend from a tattered, antique book

Songwriter & Guitarist: Sandra Mueller

Band: Bounce! (My cousin’s band)

Singers: Mike Foster, Cricket (Christine Foster) (cousins), Eileen Austin (sister of the Bride)

Dancers: Ashlyn & Jaida Perkinson (cousins) “1000 years” by Christina Perri

Fire Poi: Sandra Mueller “Heart on Fire” Dubstep

Bran & I are soul mates. Katie suggested for “our song” we consider “1000 years”.  As soon as I heard it during our engagement it became soldered to my heart like it was always meant for us.

Bran wanted to dance to “the Way you look tonight” and in exchange, I got to pick the rest of the music 🎶

Fresh, sunny, chilly, fun, amazing flowers, happy faces

2nd chances, late bloomer-wedding

Groomsmen & ushers wore a variety of bow ties, each themed with something that gentleman loves (golf, beer, hard shell crabs, world travel, Pokémon, etc) They also donned _______ brand socks picked out by the Groom that featured famous basketball players, sharks & more. Their cufflinks were wood, customized with their initials

Bridesmaids got fancy hair, Autumn scented candles & floral hair ties. There’s something extra headed their way soon. Maids of honor got special charm bracelets & a chair massager. Lucky ladies!

Lots of stuff went wrong all night. Not that anyone noticed or cared, I’d panic, Bran would just look at me and say all the right things.

The party went late. We brought the house down.

About the images

These Bridal images were taken with combinations of a Nikon D4sNikon D750Nikkor 85mm 1.4GNikkor 45mm Tilt ShiftNikkor 24mm 1.4G and two off camera SN-910 Speedlights 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 Elizabeth and Shannon for their help on this shoot, some of their images are mixed in with mine above.

In addition to these Preston Woodall House 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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