A Natural, Rustic Wedding at Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Everything about Chelsea Leathers (29 and a lawyer) and Clay Ragan’s (30 and a project director) wedding—from the blue and white palette to the natura

Everything about Chelsea Leathers (29 and a lawyer) and Clay Ragan’s (30 and a project director) wedding—from the blue and white palette to the natural and historic venue and the rustic and simple flowers—screamed Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since the couple met at the University of North Carolina and loved the town, they decided it was the perfect place for their wedding and to inspire all the details. The day started on campus at the Forest Theatre because they loved the organic rock and lush greenery, and the party ended in a wild dance celebration at Horace Williams House, which is one of the only historic homes open to the public in Chapel Hill. Even the cocktails felt classically Southern to Chelsea and Clay with bee’s knees (gin, honey and lemon juice) for her and old-fashioneds (whiskey, simple syrup and orange bitters) for him. “We wanted our wedding day to reflect our love for Chapel Hill and North Carolina with good drinks, good food and dancing,” Chelsea says. See all our favorite details, beautifully captured by Latosha Saunders from Story and Rhythm, below. A tip from Chelsea: “Everyone always told us that it would be impossible to make sure everything goes according to plan, and they were absolutely right. It's hard not to let these things get to you, but it's also important to remember what the entire day is really about: you and your future spouse.”

Chelsea and Clay wanted all the details of the day to feel very Southern, to suit their North Carolina wedding location. They chose blue and white hydrangeas and white baby’s breath for the bouquets to match the color palette and rustic theme.
The bridesmaids wore cloudy blue dresses from Dessy. Each bridesmaid chose which style they wanted to wear. The groomsmen wore navy suits from Belk. The blue bow ties and pocket squares were made by Clay’s mother.
Chelsea and Clay’s adorable white dog served as the ring bearer. It wore a blue, green and white floral wreath around its neck to match the palette.
Chelsea and Clay exchanged vows on the University of North Carolina campus at the Forest Theatre. They loved the natural setting and used it as inspiration for their blue, ivory, green and brown color palette.
The reception tables were topped with navy linens and burlap runners for a rustic feel. Milk glass filled with white hydrangeas added a classic Southern look to the room at Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
“The reception was very upbeat and most of our guests were on the dance floor the entire time,” Chelsea says.
For dessert, Chelsea and Clay enjoyed a three-tier white buttercream wedding cake. The cake was topped with white roses and blue hydrangeas to match the palette.