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If you have been following my blog for the last year or so, you’ve probably heard me mention on many occasions how wonderful Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers is to work with.  Wonderful enough that she designed the florals for my own wedding earlier this year.

I will never forget.. I had just gotten back from having my wedding day hair and makeup done, arriving to our backyard wedding area and for the first time seeing the breathtaking transformation that Sybil had created in our very plain backyard and garage.  I  had tears streaming down my fresh makeup and we hadn’t even said our vows yet!

For months, I had consulted with Sybil and threw out ideas and pinterest pins of what I had dreamed my wedding might look like.  She took those dreams and made them dreamier.    I couldn’t believe this fairytale was my wedding!

I always recommend brides looking for a floral designer who can make their wedding dreams dreamier, to visit Sybil’s Flower Patch on the Yeopim river, have some tea and talk about her wedding designs..  I promise you that it is worth every penny to have a professional like Sybil design your wedding day florals. Not just so that it will be lovely, but because a professional knows the in’s and out’s and the capabilities and limitations of flowers.  They know the proper season for flowers, what flowers compliment others, how these flowers need to be prepped and which ones will give you the most longevity for your long wedding day.  Sadly, I have seen DIY florals go awry and wilt after an hour in the heat because they weren’t prepped properly or because those flowers simply don’t hold up for the climate.  Use a professional floral designer if you can!    

… However, I know that some couples choose not to include a budget for custom floral design .. And this blog post is crafted just for those couples! If you don’t have a budget for floral design, that’s ok!! ..  But guess what – you still need to visit Sybil’s Flower Patch.  

Why?  Because she sells Buckets of  Fresh Flowers.  Straight from her garden.  

They are called “Buckets of Poises” and they include about 60 fresh stems of whatever is beautiful and in bloom in her garden at the moment.  So even if you don’t have a budget for floral design, at minimum you can purchase beautiful, quality fresh flowers, stick them into some thrift store glass vases or coffee cans down your reception tables and voila! You have a seriously sweet, rustic, and most importantly, unique table scape.  Buckets of Poises begin at $25 each for mixed Zinnias and pricing options will vary according to what type of flowers or colors you may prefer. 

Sybil even provides an option for Market Bouquets – Fresh blossoms from her flower patch that she bands together with a bit of greenery and textures, all collected from right there on the farm.  Market bouquets can be used as Bride’s bouquets or Bridesmaid and flower girl bouquets!

Earlier this summer, Sybil and I put our heads together to figure out some ways that we could show off the versatility, simplicity (and let’s face it, the adorableness!) of her Market Flowers.  We decided it doesn’t get much cuter than 17 of Sybil’s nieces and nephews getting together to frolick through the garden, selecting stems, and with Sybil’s help, arranging them into some perfect little vases.  

We had the best time and I think you will be  just smitten with the endless possibilities her Market Flowers provide.

Part TWO of our Market Flower Project is going to be released soon!  We are so excited to be collaborating together on a Wedding Styled Shoot happening this weekend! We’ve got the plans all laid out and we are so crazy excited about seeing it come to life!

Until we can release the wedding gorgeousness, have a look at these beautiful kiddos showing off the Market Flowers at the Yeopim Flower Patch and read some excerpts from Sybil herself about her Flowers:

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“In my life journey I worked as a visual merchandiser for many years.  I was trained to make things look good, irresistible, and to know the market I am trying to sell to.  This sounds unromantic but when you are planning your wedding you need to consider how to make people’s eyes focus on what you are selling…in other words make your floral pieces work for your style and taste and overall feel of your day.”  

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“Weddings do get expensive and there are many areas of the wedding day that brides evaluate to cut cost but I always have to advise to be careful on deciding whether to cut flowers from the budget because the flowers at a wedding are what sets the mood, pulls in your color pallet and ties everything together.  I want to help educate brides on choosing florals sensibly and planning their floral presentations to get the most bang for their buck!”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

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Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“One way I advise to cut cost is to only use flowers that are in season.  For example, if you know you have to have Peonies in your wedding, you should plan for a May wedding!  Ordering flowers outside of their local blooming season is costly, and not to mention much poorer quality than the same flower in it’s natural blooming season.”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

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Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“We raise a lot of different flowers – We’ve actually been told before that we raise only “country flowers!”   That may be true but only because our farm is definitely in the country!  The flowers we grow range from peony, snapdragons, lisianthus, hellebores, dahlia, sedum, hydrangea, zinnia, just to name a few… All of which are found in mainstream wedding publications.  Using farm grown flowers instead of florist flowers is just like eating a tomato that was picked off the vine in your backyard rather than one that has been in transit for weeks!”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“Another area that I educate brides on sensibly planning a floral budget is to not cut cost on your bouquet and your grooms boutonnière.  These are the most photographed floral pieces!  They need to be constructed to hold for a minimum of 6 hours without water and designed to compliment your dress, not distract from it.  These two flower pieces set the mood of your wedding and need to be fresh and professionally constructed.  I can suggest cutting cost in other areas of your floral budget if need be, but I recommend spending the most important portion of your floral budget on your personal flowers.”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“Another way in which I see brides cutting cost is in using silk flowers.  While there may be some silk flowers out there that look close to real, most inexpensive silk flowers end up looking like just that… cheap silk flowers, no matter what you do to them.  And no one really keeps them!”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“I am all about family when it comes to weddings!  And if you do not have a designer handling the the reception florals, this is a fun area to for family to be involved in helping you.  If purchasing our Bucket of Poises of single stems for your reception, here’s what I suggest to do it yourself:  Select three or five appropriate vases per table with small necks.  Cut and place five flowers of various heights in each vase.  This will fill the center of a sixty-inch table nicely.  Place a piece of wood or mirror under the vases to give added height and texture.  If you are having a very classic wedding make sure the vase and flowers look the part!  Add a label and give these as the favors…your guests will love them!”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

“But when planning on your flower crew be realistic on how much time and energy actually goes into doing your flowers.  Over burdening your family can cause for some major stress on wedding day. Keep your designs simple if asking family and friends to be a part…go for fail proof flowers and see them glow!”

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NCpin

 

Field to Vase Wedding Flowers in Eastern NC

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Oh M a r y + M a r c… How gorgeous can you be!?  This couple traveled in with their closest friends and families from New York to celebrate their wedding day in the gorgeous Outer Banks.  They rented an oceanfront cottage in Corolla NC and held their ceremony on the sand and the reception around the pool in the backyard.  It was cozy and happy and beautiful.  

I loved that they chose to keep their bridal party small ~ 2 bridesmaids and 3 groomsmen! It really added to the close-knit feeling of the day.  If you were there, you knew you were part of this happy occasion because you were loved by Mary and Marc.

I tend to drool a lot over the weddings I photograph but I do believe I may have drooled a little extra at the stunning color palette and exquisite details of this one!  From the amazing florals curated by Renee Landry Events, to the ohmagosh delicious meal catered by Ocean Boulevard & Bistro, even down to Mary’s gold Jimmy Choo shoes… every inch was a dream to photograph!!

Our hearts (and our camera cards!) were extra full at the end of the this wedding and we are, of course, so honored to be sharing it on our website!

Biggest congrats to M a r y + M a r c !

 

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 ~ Corolla NC Wedding ~

Venue: Rental House, Twiddy Realty

Wedding Coordinator: Coastal Events

Floral & Event Designer: Renee Landry Events

DJ: George Wainwright, Coastal DJ & VIdeo

Violinist : Beth Argiro, And I Love Her Violins

Hair: Glimmer Hair & Makeup

Makeup: All Eyes on the Bride

Dress shop where your dress was purchased: The White Gown, NYC

Dress designer: Blush by Hayley Paige

Dress shop for your bridesmaids dresses: Hearts for You, NJ

Tux shop: Charles Tyrwhitt, NYC

Rental Company: Ocean Atlantic Event Rentals

 Photobooth: Shutterbooth

Cupcakes: Carolina Cupcakery

Caterer: Ocean Boulevard & Bistro

 

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No way! I can’t believe these little things have actually come to life! I mean, it was a cute idea and all, but I didn’t really believe we could actually make them… but we did! and they work!  Hand cut branches, straight out of the nature in our backyard, hand-carved with each of our 2015 bride’s and groom’s initials and dunked in a little poly to give them some shine.  And then Jerry was the mastermind behind setting a usb stick inside each to deliver our wedding galleries on this year.

If you are a 2015 bride who’s wedding has already passed – your package will be out to you in the next few days!  Jerry and I have been working (and testing!) as quick as we can to get these things like we wanted them and to pick out exactly the right supplies for our boxes and contents and we’re happy to say they are finally complete :-)

We tested a few different finishes on the boxes – white, mint green, and a dark luxurious stain.  We’re torn between all three!  The box you get may be any one of those finishes but we thought the white photographed best, so that one is the one pictured.

We’re SO crazy excited over these little things!  We hope you are too!

P.S.  Most of them shown in the photo haven’t been USB’d (USB’d? If it wasn’t a word before, it is now!) because we want to wait until after each wedding has passed to make sure we set the right size USB to hold the entire gallery :)

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Wedding Packaging

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Have I ever mentioned my little addiction to spray paint?  Well, I think I found someone who’s even more addicted than me.  I didn’t think it was possible, but I do believe Ashley + Derek out-spray-painted Jerry and I in preparation for their wedding!  No joke!  Jerry and I spray painted a lot… a really really LOT… in the months leading up to our wedding but after talking to Ashley and seeing their beautiful decor, it’s official… they got us beat!!

I can’t say enough how beautiful Ashley + Derek’s wedding was.. and what a perfect reflection of them, they made it.  All the mixtures of blue hues and references of fishing (which is what they love to do together! Derek even proposed to Ashley while they were fishing!), even down to the Boutonnieres made out of lures and Ashley’s seashell bouquet… It was so creative and so much fun to photograph!

And speaking of fun… never have I ever had a bride that took out her selfie stick to take a selfie with her ceremony guests in the background right after the kiss!  Before Ashley and Derek exited their ceremony – you guessed it – that’s what she did!  It was absolutely hilarious!  My other favorite part of the night was her First Dance with her Dad – dancing to Mountain music by Alabama.  That was a first dance to go down in history yall.  It was so much fun.. Every minute of their day!

Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo, NC was the location for the day which made the theme of their wedding day come to life.  They said their vows right there on the dock and left their reception at the end of the night on the sportfisher that was docked right there where they said their vows.

Ashley and Derek’s wedding is a gorgeous gorgeous example of how to  make your wedding day a reflection of your love together…. And Ashley, you for real need to go into business for wedding planning, girl!

I hope you enjoy this incredibly fun, incredibly beautiful wedding day as much as we did photographing it! And be sure to go back in time to check out their Outer Banks NC Engagement Session too!

 

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Pirates Cove Marina Wedding

Flowers: Lindsey Harrell

Decor: The bride, Ashley! (Start a wedding planning company, Ashley, like NOW!)

Hair & Makeup – Mollie Gregory with Glimmer Hair and Makeup

Catering: Topside

DJ: Taz 2 productions

Cake: Patti Cakes

Cookies: Spoonful of Sugar Cookies

Dress Shop: Maya Couture

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Lately I’ve had the honor of photographing some beautiful brides at Pembroke Hall in Edenton, NC, but Mandy + Trey’s wedding was the first wedding day I’ve had the privilege of photographing at this fabulous venue!  And let me tell you… it is a wedding photographer’s dream location.  Brightly lit rooms, minimalist decor, fabulous rustic floors and antique finishings in this stunning historic mansion.  Everything about this property is the perfect accent for a classic Southern Wedding.  Mandy chose touches of yellow with a summery watermelon pink to brighten her wedding day. Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers (who I could blog on and on and on about!) pulled together her gorgeous floral design and the wonderful team over at Inner Banks Inn curated the delicious meal and amazing wedding cake.

I could flip through these photos all day long and never get enough of how beautiful Mandy + Trey’s wedding day was!  I’m so glad Jerry and I were able to be a part of their celebration and I’m also looking so forward to another Pembroke Hall wedding happening this upcoming October!

Congrats Mandy + Trey!!

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 Pembroke Hall Wedding

Photography: Melissa Stallings Photography

Floral Design: Sybil Skinner, Yeopim Flowers

Catering and Cake: Inner Banks Inn

DJ: DJ Cowboy

Dress Shop: Alexia’s Bridal

Dress Designer: Monique Lhuiller

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse

Ceremony Violinist: Club Violin, Nags Head

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Mother nature will dish out anything she wishes, at any time.. and sometimes that dish is cold rain on an April wedding day.  Fortunately, Karen and Chip (check out their Outer Banks Engagement Session!) didn’t let a little rain come between them and their love for each other!  They rocked their rainy wedding day like nobody’s business and by the end of the night, we were all having so much fun we hardly even remembered it had rained!  I’ll be honest, the Bride and Groom portraits that we made in the tiniest 3ft x 3ft space of light in the hallway of the church are some of my favorite portraits ever.  I love the dramatic look of the sparse white hallway and low window light, combined with his dapper black tuxedo… classic… 

Karen + Chip were married at Rocky Hock Baptist church in Edenton, NC and had an oh-so-fun reception nearby in her father’s backyard on the Chowan River, complete with live band Hipshack that traveled in from Charlotte, NC to keep the dance floor hoppin’!  They chose the most beautiful shade of aqua and peachy colors for her palette and had sweet little nautical anchors sprinkled throughout her decor to symbolize not only their mutual love of the water but that they are each other’s ‘anchor’ in life.  SO perfect!

Jerry and I were over the moon thrilled to have been a part of this fun event and we’re so glad that Karen + Chip’s love for each other won’t let a little rain, rain on their parade :-)

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Edenton NC Wedding

Live Band: Hipshack, Charlotte NC

Floral Bouquets: Evan’s Florist, Edenton NC

Cake: Anita’s Creative Cakes, Edenton NC

Catering: Leon Nixon Catering, Edenton NC

Dress shop for Bride and Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse

Hair: Brooke Harris of Jus’ Teezin’, Edenton NC

Makeup: Megan Elliot of Making ME Blush

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This gorgeous lady got married last weekend!  Mandy Parrish is now Mrs. Trey Overman and we were so honored to be a part of celebrating their wedding day with them.  Pembroke Hall has been the location of so many beautiful shoots I’ve had this year and as a photographer who adores historic, beautiful homes.. I couldn’t be more tickled that this gem of a venue is in our own backyard of Edenton NC.

Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers (who also was the mastermind behind my own wedding floral design!) provided her bridal bouquet for this shoot and the floral design for her wedding day.  You are going to melt when you see what Sybil did for Mandy + Trey’s wedding.  SO gorgeous!  Until I’ve sorted through their fabulous wedding gallery, here is a peak of the new Mrs. Overman to hold you over.

Safe travels to Mandy + Trey as they enjoy a honeymoon in Ireland right now!!

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 Pembroke Hall Bridal Portraits

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I have had the privilege of photographing some gorgeous ladies at Pembroke Hall in Edenton NC lately!  And the brand new Mrs. Karen Pruden is one of them.  Karen + Chip (be sure to check out their Outer Banks Engagement Session!) were married in Chowan County last weekend and today, as I work on their wedding gallery, I wanted to share her bridal portraits!

This upcoming weekend I get the honor of also photographing Karen’s cousin Mandy and her fiance Trey as they say their vows to each other, also at Pembroke Hall!  Their wedding is going to be fabulous!

I can’t wait to share Karen+Chip’s wedding day with you soon, shortly followed by Mandy+Trey.

Wedding season is officially kicked in!

Congrats to Karen + Chip… Chip is one lucky hubby :-)

 

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Pembroke Hall Bridal Portraits

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Jerry and I were so honored to kick off our wedding season with such a happy couple!  Kathryn and Chris (check out their Hertford NC engagement session!) were married on April 11th at Tripp Farms in Greenville NC on the most fabulous day.  Not only was this wedding special because it was the first of our exciting lineup of weddings for 2015, but it was the first wedding Jerry and I got to shoot together as husband and wife ourselves!  We are still soaring from how perfect our vision came to life for our wedding day and, although we are always honored to be there to photograph a wedding day for our couples, it means even more to us now having just had our own wedding and experiencing all the joys and excitement that go along with receiving our wedding photos!  It truly is an honor in the biggest form to be a part of celebrating with each of our brides and grooms!

Mr. & Mrs. Bloomberg’s wedding was a fabulous mix of lavenders, peaches and greens with a sweet hint of spring.  They had the always amazing Taz 2 Productions as the Emcee for their day and the delicious TopSide Restaurant catering the southern style meal with barbecue and chicken.  Kathryn and Chris even made their own Hot Sauce to send home as a gift to their guests!  So fun!

Thank you Kathryn + Chris for having us there to celebrate your marriage alongside you!

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Tripp Farms Wedding

Venue – Tripp Farms, Greenville NC

DJ – Taz 2 Productions, Elizabeth City NC

Catering – TopSide Restaurant, Camden NC

Tuxes – Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding Dress – Maggie Sottero, purchased at All the Rage, Chesapeake VA

Cake – Kathryn’s cousin Melinda Lewis

Flowers – Kathryn’s cousin Hannah Boswood

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Today is the next installment of my Best of 2014 Series!  Be sure to check out Rings, Shoes, Florals from last week too!

So picking out * o n e * portrait from each of my weddings last year proved to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated..  When I started thinking about this blog post I assumed it would be a breeze because just from memory I can think back to each of my weddings and remember a photo that made my heart sing!  .. Only problem was that once I started sorting through the galleries, I realized there were a heck of a lot more than * a * photo from each wedding that made that heart of mine sing!!

I ended up selecting at least 5 photos from each gallery and pretty much had to rely on the good ole’ Ennie-Meanie-Minie-Moe method with my eyes closed to pick that final single image :-)

The images that I found myself narrowing down to did, however, have some rhyme and reason.  Some of them I selected because of the tender moment, some because of the killer amazing light, some of them because the bride is just drop dead gorgeous and some of them because of the motion and movement of the photo just makes you feel like you are there.  There’s so many reasons that photos make my heart sing and I’m happy to showcase some of those photos from last year!

You know, Jerry and I are getting married in 4 days so this is probably the last blog post I’ll make before I become Mrs. Mimlitsch!!

Once Jerry and I return from our little honeymoon to Ocracoke Island, we’ll be getting started on Wedding season 2015!  I am over the moon excited about all of my 2015 Brides and Grooms and I simply can’t wait to celebrate their weddings with some heart-singing photos too!

Signing off for the last time as Melissa Stallings :-)

xoxoxo

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It’s wedding week for me and Jerry!! By this time next week we will officially be hitched :-) So of course my heart is fluttering around all things *LOVE* this week and I’m relishing on the most common verse we hear about the definition of Love..

But I think we (myself totally included!) forget to consult this verse when our picture of what *LOVE* is begins to get cloudy. We remember the first two lines, and the last as we see those often, but take a moment to read this perfect definition of *LOVE* in it’s entirety and apply it to your own marriage or relationship or friendship – do the words you say to one another, and the way you treat each other reflect this definition of love?

Join me in posting this verse everywhere you will see it – your home, your office, your car, your desktop, phone background, etc, to remind you daily of exactly how to treat the ones around you that you *LOVE* with all your heart! Happy Love week everybody!!!

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Yesterday I had hoped to post my favorite Bridal Bouquet photos as the next installment of my Favorites of 2014 series (check out Rings and Shoes too!) but I rolled out of bed yesterday morning and started cleaning up my house, coffee in hand, and it just. didn’t. end.  Yall, it was bad… I was cleaning all day, even up to folding socks from the last load of laundry right before crawling into bed. But thankfully that is my last big clean-up before my family starts to roll in this week to help us prepare for our wedding.. ONE WEEK from tomorrow!

So, one day late, here are my favorite photos of all the gorgeous bridal bouquets from last year!  I think next week I’ll be showcasing my favorite Bride and Groom Portraits!

Happy Friday!

Stephanie + Travis, Hertford NC

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 Hannah + Brian, Wilmington NC

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 Joanna + Eddie, Manteo NC

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 Laura + Billy, Virginia Beach VA

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 Elena + Patrick, Outer Banks NC

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 Janie + Marshall, Camden NC

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 Katie + Brandon, Elizabeth City NC

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Bonnie + Nic, Morehead City NC

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Sam + Adam, Hertford NC

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 Codie + Scott, Windsor NC

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 Bailey + Nick, Corolla NC

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 Chelsea + Ryan, Hertford NC

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 Michelle + Aaron, Virgina Beach VA

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