On October 16, 2016, Katy James and Phil Scott said “I do” in front of 76 of their closest friends and family at Riverwood Manor in Harrisburg, NC — just 30 minutes outside of Charlotte. After about six years of knowing each other, Katy and Phil got engaged in September 2015 while on a family vacation in Holden Beach, NC. As Katy describes it, “For some reason Phil wanted to get up at an ungodly hour so we could go for a walk on the beach. I almost said ‘no’ and stayed in bed, but felt that I needed to get up and go with him.” After walking on the beach together for about 10 minutes Katy joked, “Aren’t you glad that I got out of bed to come walk with you?” To which Phil responded, “Actually, yes, because I have a surprise for you,” and he dropped to one knee and asked Katy to marry him!
Katy, an artist and designer by nature, took on planning her wedding along with the help of her mother. She had a very specific vision that she wanted to fulfill, which is partially why she wanted to take the reins on her planning. Katy’s ideas combined with the help of her mother and other family members led to the seamless execution of her dream wedding.
Katy, with her creative expertise and designer-eye, went into her wedding planning knowing exactly what she wanted, mostly white with gold accents. For her floral arrangements Katy worked alongside Tammy at Flowers of Charlotte and wanted all of the flowers to be white, but to add some texture she opted for a multitude of different flowers. For the aisle markers and table arrangements she chose to use hydrangeas and baby’s breath. For her bouquet, she had a mix of white peonies, silver dollar eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus and succulents. For the boutonnieres, they decided to do succulents wrapped in twine with hints of hydrangea, baby’s breath and eucalyptus.
Much like the rest of her planning, Katy knew what she wanted for her wedding dress — a trumpet or mermaid-style gown. After trying on several dresses at other shops with no success, she headed to Wedding Dress Me — and it’s a good thing she did because as she walked in the door she saw THE dress on a mannequin. As Katy describes it, “Everyone, almost in unison, said ‘that’s the one!’ And it was. It was the only dress I tried on, and it was perfect.”
The moments leading up to a wedding ceremony are always filled with excitement and nerves, and Katy and Phil were no different. Katy, who deems herself a pretty shy person, explained her feelings leading up to ceremony saying, “I was nervous, but not because I was getting married. I’ve never had a doubt in my mind about Phil being the one for me.” Phil owes his calm demeanor the day of the wedding all to his bride. As he puts it, “I did start feeling nervous once I took my place at the end of the aisle, but as soon as I saw Katy walking towards me all those feelings suddenly vanished. I forgot about everyone around us and in that moment, it was just me and her.” Before the ceremony Katy and Phil stuck to tradition and didn’t do a first look, but also incorporated a few non-traditional touches, like modifying their wedding vows and having Phil’s brother-in-law officiate the ceremony (which he wrote himself). “The idea of him marrying us originally started out as a joke,” Katy says, “but it grew on us so we took him up on the offer!”
For the cocktail hour Katy and Phil served their guests creamy cucumber bites and stuffed mushroom caps. Drink-wise they served up one of Phil’s favorite beers, Southern Tier 2X IPA, which is from a brewery based in his hometown. For those who wanted a lighter beer, they offered a Charlotte favorite, Unknown Brewing’s Pregame. For wine, they served Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet and Cote des Roses Rosé.
Dinner was buffet-style, with their entrée choices including creamy balsamic mushroom chicken and pulled pork. For sides they served up green bean amandine and roasted potatoes. They also served their guests a fresh garden salad and dinner rolls. Perhaps one of their biggest decisions revolved around the tea to serve. “Since my family is from the South and his is from the North, we had to have both sweet and unsweet tea as drink choices,” says Katy. As a nod to their time spent living in NoDa, Katy and Phil decided that instead of having traditional wedding cake they would instead serve up some of the 4-inch tartes from Amélies French Bakery, with flavors including hazelnut, cream cheese, key lime and pecan!
As they left their wedding through sparklers held by their loved ones, Katy and Phil readied themselves for their next big adventure: the honeymoon. They traveled to Phuket, Thailand, and while there, they rode elephants in Ban Karon, kayaked through the caves of Phang-Nga Bay and ate the freshest, most wonderful coconut ice cream on Surin Beach. They enjoyed their travels so much that they made it a goal to get out of their comfort zones more often and travel to a new country each year. Their advice to couples currently planning their wedding: “Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember to breathe. Pet a puppy or two. Eat some chocolate — it’ll all be over soon.” You had us at puppies and chocolate.
Venue: Riverwood Manor, Harrisburg, NC
Photographer: Avonné Photography
Bride’s gown: Allure Bridals at Wedding Dress Me
Hair & makeup: Bride
Groom’s formalwear: Abbeydale
Invitations, programs and menu cards: Bride
Flowers: Flowers of Charlotte
Catering: Riverwood Manor
Music: Spotify playlist via The Groom
Cake: Tartes from Amélies French Bakery
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