An Elegant Garden Party Wedding at the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, North Carolina

Nina Manzullo (27 and a marketing specialist) and Matt Chase (29 and a finance manager) hosted a chic garden party outside the Duke Mansion in Charlot

Nina Manzullo (27 and a marketing specialist) and Matt Chase (29 and a finance manager) hosted a chic garden party outside the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, North Carolina, under a sprawling clear tent after a traditional church ceremony. “Matt and I love to be outside as much as possible and wanted that to be an integral part of our design and aesthetic,” Nina says. Chandeliers were strung lavishly throughout the tent above three long feasting tables to encourage lots of conversation among guests. Low, lush floral arrangements ran down the middle of each table in the pair’s classic color scheme of white, ivory and green. Green garlands cascaded down down the backs of Nina's and Matt's chairs, and the couple created a breathtaking wall of greenery to pin escort cards to; they placed it in the courtyard for guests to find as they enjoyed cocktail hour. To stay consistent, greenery wreaths were placed on the church windows during the ceremony and were used on the invitation suite and save-the-dates and around the pair's monogram of interlocking first initials. “I wanted the palette to be a complement of the beautiful grounds at Duke, so we kept them neutral,” Nina says. She carried an elegant large, round, white bouquet with big blooms, and as a sentimental touch she wrapped the ribbon from Matt’s baby bonnet around the stems and used the bonnet itself as a tissue during the ceremony. —Juliette Cheatham

The day of her surprise engagement, Nina somehow got lost and accidentally drove past the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I mentioned what a beautiful place it would be to have a wedding,” Nina says. It seemed only right that because of Nina and Matt’s Southern roots and love for the outdoors, the wedding would be in the gardens surrounding this elegant whitewashed home.
Nina knew from the beginning that she wanted a simple, classic look for her wedding gown. After several bridal appointments, she fell for an ivory Italian silk fit-to-flare mermaid-style gown with a sweetheart neckline. “I also chose a cathedral-length veil with a beautiful lace trim that at the last minute I decided not to wear,” she says.
To achieve her dream bouquet of large white blooms, Nina carried ranunculus, garden roses, peonies and hydrangeas along with some greenery and dusty miller. The bridesmaid bouquets were small bouquets of white garden roses and hydrangeas with a bit more greenery than Nina’s, and the boutonnieres consisted of white ranunculus with greenery accents.
“Matt has great style and truly needed a little help from me with his look for the day,” Nina says. The groom stuck with a classic black tux paired with a black-on-black paisley bow tie. For a fun pop of hidden color, Matt gave his groomsmen bright, striped Happy Socks.
The bridesmaids were dressed in light-gray Jenny Yoo dresses with an illusion neckline. Nina gave each her bridesmaids a pair of emerald Kendra Scott “Elle” earrings as a thank-you for being a part of her big day. “I loved that their dresses and earrings were some of the few pops of color,” she says.
Sticking to their desire to find ways to match the natural beauty of venue, Nina and Matt had a monogram created that was surrounded by a greenery wreath.  “Our goal was to create something simple and elegant but that also integrated our garden theme.” The same greenery wreath we used on our save-the-dates and even carried out through to their personalized koozies.
Nina and Matt were married in a traditional Christian ceremony before inviting guests to the reception at the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“One of my favorite pieces of decor was our display of the escort cards,” Nina says. She and Matt created a wall of greenery to pin escort cards to. The creative use of greenery erased the dividing lines between inside and outside and enhanced the garden motif.
The garden party motif came to life with lush greenery. Garlands of greenery were hung from the cross poles at the top of the clear tent to give the covered reception space a natural feel.
The clear reception tent placed in the gardens was lit with lots of votives and five lavish chandeliers mimicking the internal decor of the Duke Mansion to give the illusion of bringing some of the inside out.
The couple’s head table was situated in a U shape of king’s tables with full, low arrangements and greenery running down the middle. “I liked the idea of mixing textures and chose crinkly gray tablecloths for all the tables under the tent,” Nina says. Down the back of the newlyweds' chairs, whimsical flowing fresh greenery ran down to the floor creating, a regal garden aesthetic.
So as not to detract from the natural beauty of the surrounding gardens, the couple displayed a simple, white four-tier cake accented with greenery. It consisted of two flavors: a vanilla cake with raspberry filling and an almond cake with hazelnut filling.
Couple's Exit