Sema + Russell's Charlotte, NC Wedding on the Banks of Lake Wylie! | Photography by Jennifer Bre
ILKNUR SEMA + RUSSELL
SEPTEMBER 18, 2017
Sema and Russell had a beautiful boho wedding in Charlotte, NC, and almost everything was DIY! They, along with their family and friends, did a fantastic job styling, organizing, creating, and building. Speaking of family and friends, everyone attending their wedding flew in from a different country! Their guests arrived from Sydney, Perth, Istanbul, Antalya, and London 2 days prior to the ceremony. Sema and Russell were the only ones at their wedding, besides their vendors, that live in America.
Sema and Russell are both chemical engineers. Wait what? Haha yes, they are both chemical engineers, and they were referred to me by a pair of chemists (Jackie and Chase) who were married just this year! They are such a fun and down-to-earth couple, it was truly a joy to capture their ceremony. Sema is a Turkish beauty with an energetic spirit and a magnetism about her. It would be difficult to be in her presence and not feel at-ease. Russell is a gentle and soft-spoken Australian man who is practical and fun all at the same time. They had such a long engagement that Sema bought her dress 2 years ago! They exchanged their rings with 2 simple sterling bands, and I believe that is the most representational piece of who they are as a couple: Their love is simply never ending, humble, and grateful.
THE AMAZING ARBOR
This thing was amazing...there is no other way to describe it. It was substantial and meticulously styled. Sema's brother-in-law, Alp, is an architect, and he drew up plans for it and constructed it. Sema and Russell foraged for their arbor materials about a month before their wedding, and in the process, Sema contracted poison ivy! She told me the story while laughing about it during my venue walk-through with them. This is why I love this chick! They had to ask a neighbor of the lakehouse venue for a saw to finish it off the day before the wedding. Then they had to find flowers and decor for it!
Hurricane Irma swept through about a week before their wedding, so their flowers never arrived. They went to various stores to find flowers for their arbor, bouquet, and decor, and they also foraged for decor for their arbor. They were able to acquire the bulk of their baby's breath from Costco. Their friends and family helped them put their flowers together the day before the wedding.
In one of the images of above, Russell dropped the evil eye that he had on the back of his tie. They both wore evil eyes on their wedding day. Sema's was teal and featured on her left wrist. The evil eye is a mediterranean talisman, and it deflects negative things from coming into your life. It is believed that if you are the receiver of an evil eye curse, misfortune will happen to you, and you ward them off with talismans, nazars, and charms.
Sema and Russell had a laid back ceremony surrounded by the people most important to them. In the photos below you'll see them looking out at their guests, because they were speaking back and forth with them. It was very interactive! They also had family members skyping the ceremony to other family members, and they had a 360 video made!
FORMALS AND CANDIDS AFTER THE CEREMONY
Russell and Sema decided not to have a cake and opted to have cupcakes instead. Their friends and family made them cut a cupcake! They had their "send off" in a conoe with mason jars tied to the back and leds inside of them while their guests stood on the end of the pier with sparklers. Everyone is featured in the fun image above, and each one of them contributed to make Sema and Russell's day perfect!