A Colorful Southern Wedding at the Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina

"Since it was May in North Carolina and a lot of our guests had never been there before, we couldn't bear the idea of cooping everyone up in a hotel ballroom all day," Stephanie Kapera (33 and a writer and marketing strategist) says of planning her wedding to Matthew Hawkins (32 and a network engineer). "We wanted something outdoors, where everyone could enjoy springtime in the South and all the beauty it has to offer." Enter: The Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina. Because Stephanie is from Michigan and Matthew is from North Carolina, they came up with a "Michigan meets North Carolina" theme, which they wove throughout their rustic-glam day, including the wooden cutouts of both states that topped their cake. "We wanted to honor the coming together of our separate backgrounds and our love for both our home states," Stephanie says. And because she is a writer, Stephanie had some of her favorite quotes about love from famous authors top each table at the reception. —Meghan Overdeep