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An Urban Garden Wedding at 128 South in Wilmington, North Carolina

Who says a garden has to be in the middle of nowhere to be gorgeous? Surrounded by climbing ivy, exposed brick and string lights, Nicole Johnston (30

Who says a garden has to be in the middle of nowhere to be gorgeous? Surrounded by climbing ivy, exposed brick and string lights, Nicole Johnston (30 and works in business-proposal development) and Tom Benca (40 and works in video production) exchanged vows at the Atrium by Ligon Flynn in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. “We liked the idea of a small destination wedding, but also wanted a location that was meaningful to us personally,” Nicole says. “We both have family in Wilmington, North Carolina, and spend a lot of time in the area.” As if that weren't enough, Nicole and Tom also served guests colorful, natural sodas and raspberry- and lemon-infused water in mason jars for guests to enjoy during their nuptials. Cocktail hour on the deck outside 128 South—which overlooked the Cape Fear River—and the rustic garden-inspired centerpieces along the wooden farm tables match the rustic urban-garden feel of the day. Jennifer Rose-Sandy from Salt Harbor Designs worked with the couple to create the stunning, textured floral arrangements that brought the outside in. The best part, though, was the delicious menu. “We still have guests rave about the fried chicken at our wedding,” Nicole says. Not to mention the three one-tier cakes from One Belle Bakery or the gluten-free-cookie wedding favors from the NoshRoom. See all our favorite details, beautifully captured by Millie Holloman Photography, below.

Elegant, Neutral-Colored Invitation Suite
Jennifer Rose (owner at Salt Harbor Designs) chose the most beautiful flowers and fresh greens including ranunculus, spray roses, garden roses, stock and dusty miller. Nicole loved how the textured bouquet added personality to the classic wedding.
As guests arrived at the urban garden ceremony, Nicole and Tom served mason jars filled with raspberry- and lemon-infused water along with colorful sodas. The couple wanted their guests to be refreshed and content during the nuptials.
The Atrium by Ligon Flynn Ceremony Venue
Nicole wore a Monique Lhuillier Chantilly lace V-neck sheath gown with a signature open back and custom alterations. She completed her look with a custom Vera Wang sash and ivory Badgley Mischka heels.
Tom proposed with a brilliant round-cut diamond engagement ring with a halo in a platinum band. Nicole loved how simple and chic the ring was and how it match her classic style.
Nicole and Tom exchanged vows (and kisses) at the Atrium by Ligon Flynn in Wilmington, North Carolina. “For us, getting married in Wilmington was the best of both worlds,” Nicole says. “Our ceremony took place at The Atrium by Ligon Flynn—an urban garden in the heart of downtown Wilmington—and guests sat on wooden benches, surrounded by lush foliage, climbing vines, brickwork and a coy pond along one wall. Just incredible!”
Romantic String-Lighting at Garden Ceremony Site
Nicole’s maid of honor carried garden roses, stock and dusty miller in her textured peach and mint bouquet. The colors really popped against her printed, strapless cocktail-length blue patterned Monique Lhuillier dress.
Monique Lhuillier Dress, Vera Wang Sash
The reception tables were topped with gray and white linen table runners that added a little elegance to the wooden tables. They were topped with roses, stock and dusty miller in glass vases, along with pillar candles for an extra pop of color and romance.
Elegant Black-and-White Table Numbers
Black-and-White Escort Cards and Menus
Peach and Ivory Floral Reception Centerpieces
Peach Rose and Lamb's Ear Boutonniere
Nicole and Tom had three single-tier wedding cakes by One Belle Bakery. Inside, they were amaretto cake with amaretto custard, red velvet with cream cheese and chocolate with chocolate custard. Each cake featured a different texture with off-white buttercream frosting and fresh flowers on top.
Nicole and Tom also had a cookie bar, which were homemade by Abbye McGee at the NoshRoom. The flavors were Nosh (the original gluten-free flavor), peanut brittle and blueberry lemon cream.
Bold Peach and Blue-Striped Groom's Tie