An Understated Industrial Wedding at The Cookery in Durham, North Carolina

Even though Tessa Wolf (30 and a creative director) and David Lee (31 and a financial analyst) both went to Vanderbilt University, they didn't actually meet there. Instead, they were both living in Washington, DC, and both had friends visiting one weekend. "Our two groups happened to meet at a bar and I later found out that this place is famous because so many married couples met there," says Tessa. "They even have kiddie T-shirts that say 'I met your mother at Millie & Al's.'" Ten months after getting engaged, Tessa and David got married in the bride's hometown of Durham, North Carolina, at The Cookery. The couple came across The Cookery after a little online research and quickly discovered that it was started by one of Tessa's childhood neighbors. "The Cookery is an awesome old industrial space in downtown Durham full of iron and reclaimed wood," says Tessa. "We wanted everything to feel casual and match well with the venue, and I didn't want to be too strict about the color palette." While the wedding party's green and navy attire added color to the ceremony, billy balls were the main source of color among the white and natural-wood reception decor. Tessa paired an unexpected cheetah jacket with her simple dress with a sweetheart neckline for her fall affair. As an additional nod to the season, metallic painted mini pumpkins served as escort cards with table assignments written on paper leaves. "Even though I never would've guessed it before the wedding, the ceremony ended up being my favorite part of the day," says Tessa. "A few of my girlfriends did readings [that] were just so special and emotional, and David's older brother Chris was our officiant."