The one with the hidden bunnies.

Casual, low-key, sneaky bunnies. That’s the vibe Karen & Mark told me they were going for, but it turned into so much more! Local flowers. Pottery. A table full of pies. And so many bunnies, some hidden and some not so subtle. Not one guest in attendance could possibly have mistaken it for anyone else’s wedding! It’s the result of Mark and Karen deciding to do things their way, and to create a celebration that highlighted not only their love, but also the passions they share. Basically, this wedding is the perfect example of how a wedding should look. Lots of love, and perfectly tailored to Karen & Mark!

A brie and groom stand in front of a floral arbor. The groom is kissing the bride's hand.

Ok let’s address the rabbit in the room. Karen & Mark have two super adorable rabbits. They are seriously cute. They made an appearance in their engagement photos. But for obvious reasons they couldn’t attend the wedding, so we decided to bring in some secret bunnies as an ode to their little fluff babies. And then secret bunnies turned into… “bet I can figure out how to fold your napkins into rabbits, you want me to do that?” and “oh, let’s have your chalkboard artist incorporate the bunnies into your artwork!”. So there are some super obvious bunnies, and also a few I’d still consider hidden (like the rabbit baked into the top of the pie crust, or the little rabbit figurines I hid around their other decor). So, I’m not calling this a rabbit themed wedding, because there was a lot more going on too. But I do keep referring to this wedding as “the one with hidden bunnies”.

A chalk wall featuring two chalk rabbits, one wearing a top hat.
A groom and bride dance under market lights. They are wearing bunny ears.

Enough about the rabbits- you’ll see them throughout this post, and now you know why they’re there! Let’s talk about all the other super awesome super custom details we worked into Karen & Mark’s big day!

Karen got ready with friends and family at the Durham Hotel. One of the great things about a wedding in downtown Durham is all the great hotel options you have! The Durham is definitely one of my favorites.

A bride looks at her refection in a mirror.

Their wedding was at the Cookery- there is so much history in this venue! Seriously, when you tour the space they tell you all about where every piece of the bar, railing, floor, etc. came from around Durham, and I feel like I absorb another tidbit of it’s history every time I take a couple to tour there. The building itself has been lots of different things over the years too, including the old Durham Coop!

Karen & Mark opted for a first look- yay!! I love a first look for several reasons.

1) You get to have this moment as private as you want! And the photos are so sweet.

2) It allows you to take more photos before the ceremony, so you have more time to visit with guests afterward!

A groom in grey waits with his back turned as a bride sneaks up behind him for a first look.
A groom in grey is turning around to see the bride standing behind him.

Ok let’s talk about their flowers. We worked with Rabbit Foot Floral, and she knocked it out of the park (as per usual)! When we first started, Karen wanted her florals to be heavily botanical and natural, with lots of greenery. She knew she did not want pastel colors or babies breath. I am so thrilled with the direction the flowers took! 

Rabbit Foot created romantic and lush arrangements, giving the feeling of a secret garden with deep, warm fall tones. And the bud vases? Karen & Mark love to make pottery together, so they set out to make lots of little bud vases and pinch pots to hold their wedding flowers!

The top of a wooden arbor is decorated with greenery and white and burgundy blooms.
Two pottery bud vases containing flowers sit on a brick ledge in front of a chalk wall.
Close up on a bouquet of fall flowers, including whites, purples, and reds.
A mostly white and greenery bouquet, with some red blooms, sits next to a pair of white heels.
A yellow glass bud vases containing a large red flower sits on a table under market lights.

Tradition for tradition’s sake was not a factor in this wedding. Mark and Karen did not have the same number of attendants standing on each side, and Mark even had his sister standing with him. I always encourage couples to plan every detail with intention, and you definitely don’t need to add in wedding party members just to have matching sides. Mark also chose to walk in with his mother and grandmother, and Karen walked in with both of her parents! Why should the father of the bride get this special moment all to himself?

And move over candle lighting! Karen & Mark opted for one of my favorite unity ceremonies, a tree planting!

Groom walks in with his grandma and mother.
A bride in white and groom in grey stand while they water a potted tree.

After the ceremony guests moved to the Cookery’s Front Room to enjoy cocktail hour while Karen & Mark took some additional family photos in the Garden. Cocktail hour was followed by dinner and toasts in the ballroom, and then back to the Front Room for dessert and dancing!

A figurine of a rabbit rowing on a leaf sits on a brick ledge.

No white wedding cake here! Karen & Mark both prefer pie to cake, so we brought in an assortment of pies from East Durham Bake Shop. One even had a bunny design in the crust!

A pie with a rabbit design on the crust.
An assortment of pies sits on a large table.

The dance floor was packed, but there was plenty to do for guest who weren’t ready to boogie.  Karen & Mark are avid board gamers, so of course we had a few of their favorites available in the Ballroom as an alternative to the Front Room’s dance floor. And they had a photobooth set up as well, which obviously included bunny ears among the props.

A table of board games.

At the end of the night, guests grabbed LED candles and lined the courtyard to see Karen & Mark off! I love the ethereal look of this exit! Karen & Mark donated the candles afterward to be used by other couples, and we’ve used this magical exit for several other weddings since theirs!

A bride & groom exit through a tunnel of their guests, who are holding LED candles.

The all star vendor team that brought this celebration together!

Planner: Emily Katherine Events

Venue: The Cookery

Photographer: Rose Trail Images

Videographer: Honeydew Films

Officiant: Sanctuary Spiritual Care

Caterer: Sage & Swift

Dessert: East Durham Bake Shop

DJ: DJ Ryan the DJ

Musicians: Arioso Strings

Photobooth: Taco Photo Booth Co

Florist: Rabbit Foot Floral

Hair: Culture Hair Studio

Bridal Makeup: Wedded Kiss

Wedding Party Makeup: Perfection by Patricia

Rentals: American Party Rentals

Chalkboard Art: Filled & Flooded

Stationery: Minted

Dress: Tre Bella

Suit: SF Tailors

Bridesmaid Gowns: David’s Bridal

Rings: Grimball Jewelers