An Intimate Wedding at the Parlour at Manns Chapel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

With 65 friends and family in attendance, Mary Avant (27 and a copywriter and marketing consultant) and Harrison Compton (26 and in hospitality manage

With 65 friends and family in attendance, Mary Avant (27 and a copywriter and marketing consultant) and Harrison Compton (26 and in hospitality management) celebrated their nuptials with an intimate chapel ceremony and laid-back brunch reception at the Parlour at Manns Chapel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “We knew we wanted to get married in our college town of Chapel Hill, where we met, and we found this beautiful little chapel right outside town that had recently been restored and renovated into an event space,” Mary says. “It was beautifully decorated and rustic and was just the right size for our small wedding.” Embracing the chapel’s charming decor, the couple added flowers to the altar and draped greenery around a vintage mirror. Flanking the altar, lush arrangements of greenery and blooms were placed on white rustic wooden pillars. “To complement the light palette and gorgeous wooden accents of the space, we kept our palette soft with blushes, creamy whites, a gorgeous blue-gray hue and little pops of oral greenery,” Mary says. “Nothing about the decor was over the top; everything was really subtle and thoughtfully chosen.” After a personal and sentimental ceremony officiated by the couple’s friend, guests joined the couple for a garden-party-themed cocktail hour and brunch behind the chapel. For cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a Bloody Mary and mimosa bar while snacking on oysters, cheddar biscuits and charcuterie. And for brunch, a Southern-inspired spread of chicken and waffles and beef tenderloin was paired with Malbec and India pale ale. “But I was most excited about the desserts,” Mary says. “I’m a big baker and a huge sweets fan, so we had three types of dessert at the wedding.” Sweets included a small cake for cutting, an array of cupcakes and a doughnut wall that was made by the bride’s father. After the wedding, friends and family joined the newlyweds at one of their favorite watering holes to sing karaoke. “Everyone had an incredible time, and it was just another way to enjoy time with our friends and family on the best day of our lives,” Mary says. —Marissa Hermanson

Watercolor invites incorporated a painting of the chapel and beautiful blooms, setting a sophisticated tone for their wedding.
Mary accessorized her lace dress with a pair of Aquazzura crystal heels but changed into more comfortable shoes for dancing during the reception.
“From the moment we got engaged, we knew we wanted to create a wedding that felt really personal and intimate, with only our closest friends and family in attendance and tons of little touches that really felt like us,” Mary says. 

“The chapel was beautiful on its own with gorgeous chandeliers, rustic wooden floors and vintage pieces of furniture that added a lot of charm,” Mary says. To complement the chapel’s charming decor, the couple added florals to the altar and draped greenery around a vintage mirror.
Flanking the altar, lush arrangements of greenery and blooms were placed on white rustic wooden pillars.
Welcome signs echoed the watercolor designs used in Mary and Harrison's wedding invitations.
“Everything about our ceremony was so personal and special,” Mary says. The bride's brother, a professional trombone player, organized a quintet and played "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli as Mary walked down the aisle. “I kept it a secret from my husband, and seeing his face when the song came on and I started walking down the aisle is something I'll remember for the rest of my life.” A friend officiated the ceremony and wrote the script so it was sentimental and personal. Mary's mother did a reading, and the couple exchanged their own personal written vows. “There was a lot of laughter during the ceremony, and we felt like everyone at the wedding really enjoyed it and will remember it for a long time to come.”
“Our wedding planner was also our floral designer, and she did an incredible job putting together arrangements that were beautiful, subtle and exactly what we envisioned,” says Mary, who requested that peonies (her favorite flower) be included in her bouquet.
“We knew we wanted to get married in our college town of Chapel Hill, where we met, and we found this beautiful little chapel right outside town that had recently been restored and renovated into an event space,” Mary says. “The Parlour at Manns Chapel was beautifully decorated and rustic and was just the right size for our small wedding. It also had a lovely garden out back, so we ended up designing the entire day with a subtle garden-party theme.”
After Mary and Harrison exchanged vows, friends and family celebrated with a cocktail hour in the garden, which was outfitted with a clear-top tent, rustic tables and a lounge area with plush sofas and chairs.
Under the clear-top tent, dining and cocktail tables were clad in gray linens and topped with an array of floral arrangements and potted herbs for the reception at the Parlour at Manns Chapel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
During cocktail hour, friends and family enjoyed a bar with mimosas and Bloody Marys, along with a spread of oysters, cheddar biscuits and charcuterie.
“And last but absolutely not least, we had a variety of doughnuts from an awesome nearby bakery,” the bride says. “I loved this dessert the most.” Mary’s dad crafted a doughnut wall out of pegboard and wooden letters that read “How Sweet It Is.”
Along with a small cake for cutting and doughnuts, cupcakes in a variety of flavors like strawberry, red velvet and peanut butter cup were served. “I was most excited about the desserts,” says Mary. “I’m a big baker and a huge sweets fan, so we ended up having three types of dessert.”
The newlyweds enjoyed their first meal as husband and wife together at a cozy high-top sweetheart table decorated with garlands.
For their first dance, the newlyweds danced to “Still the One” by Orleans, the same song that Harrison popped the question to.