The final stop of our trip and the reason we came to the South to begin with was to attend Sara’s wedding in Cary, North Carolina!
Sara and I met in 2012 through a mutual Italian friend when we both lived in Florence, Italy and quickly hit it off. Our love of traveling and exploring the world is what really bonded us. We ended up traveling to Munich, Paris, Hong Kong, and Thailand together and it was such an amazing and eye opening experience. When she moved back home to North Carolina in 2013, I was definitely bummed to see my travel buddy go. Fast forward five years later, I was so excited to see her after all these years and attend her special day!
We drove up from Charleston, South Carolina and the journey took a little over four hours. We decided to stay at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary (a city very close to Raleigh) where the wedding would be taking place just to make our stay more convenient. The Umstead Hotel was one of the nicest and most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed at; the hotel grounds were amazing with a pool, a manmade lake with a trail surrounding it, a gym, and honestly the best service from the hotel staff.
The first night we attended the rehearsal dinner, a casual gathering at a nearby Mexican restaurant. It was great catching up with Sara and meeting all her friends and family!
The following day was wedding day and I spent the morning at the gym followed by a relaxing afternoon at the pool. After a few hours in the sun, it was time to get ready for the festivities! Before the ceremony, the wedding party was busy taking photos and I got a few shots from the terrace.
The venue was gorgeous with all the vibrant colorful greenery and the lake and fountain in the background. It actually started drizzling during the ceremony which added a sense of romance and etherealness. The ceremony was short and sweet which happened to be perfect since it was raining.
After the ceremony, we had cocktail hour with some snacks before the reception.
Once the reception began, I didn’t end up taking as many photos as intended unfortunately…probably because I was too busy shoving my face with food 😛
Of course we had to get a photo with the beautiful bride but it was towards the end of the night when we all didn’t look our best…we all look a bit haggard!
We had such a fun time at the wedding! Eating, drinking, and dancing the night away. We finished the night at the hotel bar with some more drinks and then finally went to bed.
The next morning we had breakfast with Sara and Wes and their family and friends at the hotel. Afterwards we went to Sara’s house and spent the afternoon just relaxing and catching up. Their backyard is huge and the boys ended up playing some corn hole.
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our Southern trip. Tommaso and I had so much fun exploring cities we had never been to and experiencing Southern culture and history. Without a doubt, we would love to visit more cities in the South!