An Outdoor Fall Wedding at Leslie-Alford-Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina

Allison Dipper (25 and a pharmacy student) and Zane Tharakan (25 and an account manager) met the first day of high school in the cafeteria but remaine

Allison Dipper (25 and a pharmacy student) and Zane Tharakan (25 and an account manager) met the first day of high school in the cafeteria but remained friends until senior year. The two were married in their shared childhood church in a ceremony that incorporated an Indian blessing to honor Zane’s heritage. “We both had our parents escort us down the aisle, and I love that we did that,” Allison says. With a casual-glam dinner party theme in mind, candlelit lanterns and market lights illuminated the alfresco family-style dinner at the Leslie-Alford-Mims House in Holly Hills, North Carolina. Wine-colored flowers rested at the center of each table, and garlands of magnolia leaves cascaded down the couple's sweetheart table. A magnolia leaf with names hand-lettered in gold directed guests to their assigned place settings, which were set with wine-colored napkins. “I knew I wanted flowers that smelled just as good as they looked, so I was thankful that my florist was adventurous,” Allison says. Cozy blankets were handed to guests as the sun set on the estate’s sprawling lawn, and partygoers danced under the stars while sipping on chipotle-pineapple and spicy red apple sangrias. Since Zane and several of his groomsmen are North Carolina State soccer team alumni, the couple’s wedding planner surprised the groom with an appearance from his alma mater’s mascot. “We had no idea they were coming," Allison says. "It was such a hit!” —Juliette Cheatham


Zane selected a micropave diamond ring for Allison so that the stone would coruscate as much as possible. Zane chose a minimalistic wedding band made of slightly darker metal for himself. “He prefers simple designs, since he’s a former soccer player and is not used to wearing anything on his hands,” Allison says.
“I knew I wanted lace—I love the Southern and sweet look it provides,” Allison says. She decided on a fitted-body style to accent her curves and an ivory fabric (instead of white) to match her fair complexion.
Using sparkly gold wedge sandals to complete her look, Allison knew heels would make maneuvering across the estate’s lawn tricky for the outdoor reception at Leslie-Alford-Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina. “I also decided to go with a veil, and I’m so glad I did,” she says. Her last-minute decision led her to select a veil with delicate lace-scalloped detailing that went with her lace gown.
“I told the girls they could pick whichever dresses they wanted: long, short, strapless, sleeves," Allison says. "All I cared about was the color.” This was also so they could minimize purchasing new formalwear. The only other specific request was that each bridesmaid wear nude wedges or heels.
As a graduate of and former soccer player for North Carolina State, Zane holds his alma mater near his heart. Allison thoughtfully gave him a pair of NC State socks to wear while walking down the aisle on their big day.
Allison and Zane gave the groomsmen matching monogrammed tie clips from for a little old-school flair. In addition to their fall-inspired berry ties, brown shoes, a brown belt and charcoal gray socks were the menswear accessories.
Keeping in mind a casual yet glamorous wedding aesthetic, Allison and Zane hosted their reception outside on the lawn of Leslie-Alford-Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina. This allowed for a more relaxed alfresco reception with an elegantly lavish backdrop.
Candlelit lanterns, candles, and strings of market lights illuminated the cozy backyard reception setting. “I wanted it to feel like we had invited our friends over for the most epic dinner party ever,” Allison says. A family-style dining experience, blankets for when the sun went down and ambient music playing softly in the background created Allison’s dream dinner-party vibe.
Wine-colored flowers and thistles rested in rustic birch boxes at the center of each reception table, along with scattered votives and candlesticks. “I wanted it to feel casual, glam, and cozy,” Allison says of her backyard reception at Leslie-Alford-Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Each place setting had a wine-colored napkin and a magnolia-leaf place card hand-lettered in gold.
Allison says that when planning a wedding, “really decide what is important to you, and focus on that.” The menu included fall-inspired dishes such as filet mignon with shallot confit, grilled salmon with kale, pistachios with dried cherries, grilled chicken with ginger-cranberry chutney, harvest ravioli served in brown-butter sage sauce, and gingered pumpkin sage bisque; it’s easy to see where Allison and Zane’s passions lie.
“Our wedding planner had our alma mater’s mascots surprise us and all the guests,” Allison says. Many of the wedding guests were NC State graduates, so this nostalgic addition made their big day even more sentimental.
Dripping in rich buttercream icing, carrot, red velvet and strawberry cakes were topped with gorgeous fresh fall flowers and set on a rustic hanging farm table from Paisley & Jade. In addition, Allison and Zane provided an assorted cookie bar for guests to snack on throughout the night.