Joyful hearts Photography Blog

A Christmas Love Story|Cary, N.C. Matthews House Styled Shoot

A Christmas Love Story


A styled shoot by Joyful Hearts Photography

After an inspiring conversation with Liz Perniciaro of Wedding Hair by Liz, I decided to take on my first styled shoot this past November. This being my first styled shoot, I sought out a local planner to help me get started and found Lillian Suarez of Lillian Suarez Weddings + Events who assisted in compiling an experienced vendor team in the Triangle to create A Christmas Love Story. The holiday season was quickly approaching, so the decision to use simply glam, festive looking decor for this shoot was a great choice. Wanting to show future clients the importance of researching their photographer and to understand every photographer has a different creative eye and style, Aaron Lurie of VMA Studios was asked to join the styled shoot to flex his creative muscles and capture the same sets as Hilary, but was challenged to show his own perspective.

The Bride and Groom who participated in A Christmas Love Story were given the opportunity to display their love for all to see. Raquel and Mike, of Raleigh fell in love with the concept of the staged wedding and played the part beautifully. Traditions by Anna, a Raleigh based bridal boutique, offered two gorgeous bridal gowns to be featured in the Christmas-themed style shoot. Julia Perniciaro, daughter of Liz Perniciaro, starred in the shoot as the second bride and ended up being a true jewel.


The gorgeous bridal jewelry came from Chloe & Isabel by Markie.



The talented Calligraphy by Jessica Yee created the invitation suite as well as the other paper goods.



Both dresses were from Traditions by Anna Bridal




Wedding Hair by Liz came to do hair and makeup.


The center pieces and bouquets were put together by The Flower Cupboard. Flatware and china were rented from Capital Events & Grand Rental Station and the fun mix match chairs from  Greenhouse Picker Sisters.



These beautiful delicious cupcakes were made by Cupcakes d’Amour….


Southern Harvest Catering provided a festive holiday meal.


Lifestyle Limousine provided a limo and the groom’s suite was custom made by John with SF Tailors.


A hot cocoa bar was set up outside on the porch



Groom’s suit was custom designed by John Fijen with SF Tailors.


“Ornamentinis” were the wedding party favors. These glass ornaments had the guests names (designed by Calligraphy by Jessica Yee) and were filled with Apple Martini drink, sitting in a martini glass ready to be served.


The gorgeous ring set was from Johnson’s Jewelers of  Cary.






Models: Bride & Groom: Raquel Nielson, Mike Reynolds/Julia Perniciaro

Coordinator: Lillian Suarez Events Wedding & Events


Dresses: Traditions by Anna

Tux: SF Tailors

Jewerly: Chloe & Isabel by Markie

Limo: Lifestyle Limousine Company

Cake & Cupcakes: Cupcakes d’Amour

Caterer: Southern Harvest Catering

Flowers: The Flower Cupboard

Bridal Rings: Johnson’s Jewelers of Cary

Photographers: Joyful Hearts Photography, VMA Studios

Ben & Ruth|Cary N.C. Wedding Photographer-Joyful Hearts Photography

Ben & Ruth met standing in line one day at the Raleigh Times Bar in Raleigh, N.C.  They totally hit it off and their relationship grew into Ben proposing!

Their wedding was on a warm October day at the Mayton Inn in Cary, N.C. Unfortunately, the rain started to come down during the ceremony and we had to move it inside, but like they say, rain on your wedding day means good luck! Best wishes Ben & Ruth!!



Karen & Melanie|Greensboro Wedding, Stancil Farm

I had the pleasure of photographing Karen and Melanie’s wedding on September 23, 2017 at Stancil Farm in Greensboro. Karen and Melanie met while serving in the same military unit at Camp Lejune. Although Melanie said Karen was very shy, she soon formed a friendship with her which bloomed into a relationship and in March 2016, Karen invited her to a festival at Nags Head where she took her out to the beach and proposed.

They had both beautiful weather and a beautiful venue for their wedding day. After the first look, they arrived together for a ceremony in a horse drawn carriage and exchanged vows in front of family and friends.

After the ceremony, the happy couple celebrated with music, dance and food in the barn.

Their love for each other is obvious and I wish them a lifetime of happiness!!



Venue: Stancil Farm

Florist: Victoria Park Florist

Linens: Greensboro Rental Works

Catering: City BBQ

Bar & Beverage: Mark Wilhoit

Cake: Josie Ghigliotty

Coordinator: Knot Your Average Events

Hair: Hair Tasha Yolanda Henderson

Makeup: Beautiful Brides

Violinist: Cole Freeman

Matt & Cyndil|N.C. Wedding Photographer-Joyful Hearts Photography

Matt and Cyndil were married at the Barn at Camp Nellie. They are such a lovely couple and their little boy is just precious! And of course, Cyndil was just stunning in her dress!

This beautiful rustic venue is located just outside of Zebulon, N.C. Thank goodness the rain held off long enough for the ceremony and family pictures! I spotted a rainbow outside after the rain storm and captured some great rainbow shots of the bride and groom!

Congratulations Matt and Cyndil!!



Venue: The Barn at Camp Nellie

D.J.: Jason Champion, Zebulon N.C.

Hair: Brittani Tart







Cameron & Chessica|Joyful Hearts Photography-Raleigh Wedding Photographer

Chessica and Cameron are one of those couples that as soon as you meet them, you know they were meant to be together! It may not have been “love at first sight” but there was definitely an attraction from the moment they met and their love for each other is obvious! Their first date involved making a blueberry pie using berries Chessica had picked from her grandmother’s vines (his idea). That wins the most original first date prize! Cameron proposed to Chessica from atop the Oak Island Lighthouse followed by a surprise engagement party with family and friends at a local restaurant. The wedding was absolutely perfect. They ordered good weather a month in advance by “Burying the Bourbon”!  Chessica’s “something new” for the wedding was pretty special too – Cameron surprised her with the wedding dress of her dreams (although he did not see it until the wedding day). Oh – and in memory of that first date, they used berries from that same vine to make blueberry jam as favors for their wedding guests.

I absolutely enjoyed being part of their wedding day! Congratulations Cameron and Chessica!


Venue: Haywood Hall

Coordinator:  A Lark Creation

Caterer: Catering Works – Bloom Works

Florist:Catering Works – Bloom Works

Makeup artist: Caroline Sharp-Merle Norman

D.J.-Amanda Mount- Raleigh Wedding DJ & Video

Hair Stylist: Jamie Baskett-The Parlor at North Ridge

Dress-Traditions by Anna Boutique – Lea Ann Belter Couture Bridal – dress is named Graceful

Violinist-The Fowler Sister –