Real ECB Judy: The Wedding Planning Finale

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Judy, a bride whose Jacksonville wedding took place in July 2016.

The wedding day was planned over a 13 month span. One might think this is more than enough time, especially if it is a small to medium size wedding with about 80 guests on the list. And yet, wedding planning can be a temporary full time job. There is so much research to do; so many decisions to carefully consider; and then, there are so many last minute details.

Real ECB Megan: An Introduction

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Megan, a bride whose Corolla wedding is coming up in June 2017.

ahs_9637My name is Megan Browning. I am a 5th grade teacher in Greensboro, North Carolina. My fiancé is Austin Ray; he is a police officer. We met in college in 2010 at a party.  I was attending a small college in Bristol, VA and he was attending UNC Charlotte. I traveled to Charlotte to visit a friend from high school, we went to a party and I met Austin there. We talked a little bit that night, but not much. We ended up hanging out a little the next day as my friend from high school had already made friends with him. When I left to return to school on Sunday, he asked my friend for my number and texted me later that night to make sure I got home safe and we just never stopped talking.

Real ECB Joylynn: How Do You Juggle Everything?

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Joylynn, a bride whose New Bern wedding is coming up in April 2017.

Hello again! I feel like so much has happened since my last blog.  I have gotten a lot accomplished in the last 6 months and we only have 6 months to go! As brides I think we can all agree that when we go through our monthly checklists we feel so proud that we get to put a little check mark next to things like booking the caterer, ordering the cake, or buying that special dress.

Real ECB Caroline: Less Than a Month

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Caroline, a bride whose Kinston wedding is coming up in October 2016.

Johnston’s and my wedding is less than a month away, and I am very excited. First and foremost, I am excited about spending the rest of my life with the man of my dreams, and I cannot wait to begin our journey together as a family. I am also really excited about the actual day of our wedding. I have been envisioning this day since I was a little girl, and I cannot wait to see how all the details come together. From my dress to the flowers to the music, my style is classic elegance, and I hope that that is apparent to everyone present. I am not one who likes a style merely because it is trendy at the moment, and I have purposely chosen décor, flowers, music, our attire, etc. that will be just as beautiful in 2066 as they are in 2016.

Real ECB Joylynn: An Introduction

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Joylynn, a bride whose New Bern wedding is coming up in April 2017.

“I feel like everything in my life has led me to you. My choices, my heartbreaks, my regrets. Everything. And when we are together, my past seems worth it. Because if I had done one thing differently, I might never have met you.” (Author Unknown)

Let me start off by telling you a little about myself. My name is Joylynn. I am 33 years old, I am a preschool teacher and a mother to 3 beautiful girls. I prefer Pepsi over Coke, the only sports team I follow is the Carolina Hurricanes (Go CANES!) and I have been married before.

DSC_0713-2My fiancee’s name is Jared. He is 35 years old and a Captain for a nearby town’s fire department. He prefers Coke over Pepsi, and the only sports team he really follows is the New York Rangers.

Here is our story….

Jared and I met online (Plenty of Fish). In this day in age that seems to be the norm but regardless it’s still weird to admit. His pick up line? “I go to Carolina Beach. What beach do you go to?”  Hook, line and sinker! I fell for the bait…well kind of. I gave him a run for his money. It wasn’t just me I had to think about, I had to make sure he was the right fit. After four months, three dates, him moving a couch and putting together my new one later (he doesn’t ever let me forget about this), I decided he was indeed the right fit.

Fast forward to present day, April 27th, 2016. Jared, being the type of guy he is, made a production for our engagement. He teamed up with my boss to arrange a fire drill at my school. The alarm went off, we went outside. We were all lined up along the back fence on the playground. I hear, “Joylynn, can you let this fireman in?” As I turn I think to myself, “there were no sirens. What’s going on?” There he is, in all his gear. I walk over to him and say “What are you doing here?” After all he does not work for the town I work in and he was, as far as I knew, on shift. From there he gets on one knee and “pops the question.” Since I am here now telling you our story it’s obvious I said yes!

DSC_0241-2We have chosen New Bern as the perfect place for our nuptials. I fell in love with New Bern in that short nine months before we met and had shared my love of the downtown area with Jared when we took a weekend trip there. It just seemed right. As any bride I already knew a majority of what I wanted. I knew I wanted the ceremony to be held at the Union Point Gazebo and I knew that I wanted a semi-casual atmosphere. I also knew I wanted navy blue and blush and gold as part of the color scheme. Jared didn’t like the idea of wearing pink (blush pink was going to washout all my ‘maids) so we added in light blue and voila! We had our color scheme. I also knew I wanted it to have a beachy feel without being tacky.

In the short two months that we have been engaged we have formed our bridal party, booked the venues for our ceremony, reception, and rehearsal dinner. We have also booked our officiant, DJ, photographer, and caterer.

I think for me, the most exciting part of planning our wedding is the planning! I am a big DIYer because I am very crafty. I look at things that people make and say to myself “why am I going to pay someone to do that when I can just do it myself!” I think what I am dreading the most is staying within budget! Vendors are not as cheap as they were 10 years ago!

I wanted to share our story because let’s face it, we all like to share our ups and downs as a bride. It gives us a way to feel like we are in this together by giving helpful tips/tricks.

We brides have to stick together right? I am excited to be a Real Eastern Carolina Bride and to be able to share my story and my wedding adventures with you!


Joylynn’s Vendor Team:

Engagement Photographer: A n W Photography (Web)

Wedding Photographer: The Uprooted Photographer

Ceremony Venue: Union Point Park Gazebo

Reception Venue: Stanly Hall Ballroom

Rehearsal Dinner: The Chelsea

Catering: Strange and Sons

DJ: Absolute Best DJ Service


We’re looking for more Real East Carolina Brides like Joylynn!  If you’re interested in becoming a Real ECB and sharing your stories with the brides of Eastern North Carolina, you can learn more and see if you qualify on the application page.  We can’t wait to hear about your wedding!


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Real ECB Judy: Decisions, Decisions

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Judy, a bride whose Jacksonville wedding is coming up in July 2016.

My name is Judy Vazquez and I am to wed Sean Dove on July 16, 2016. As a bride, I love talking about the wedding. As a Real ECB, I want to share my experience; my excitements and frustrations of wedding planning and everything in between. It is amazing how much research we brides do and how helpful it is to find helpful advice and tactics.

Real ECB Caroline: An Introduction

Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Caroline, a bride whose Kinston wedding is coming up in October 2016.

My name is Caroline Thutt, and I will be marrying Johnston King on October 8, 2016. Johnston and I were introduced to each other online, and we immediately bonded over a shared love of my alma mater–UNC-Chapel Hill. As Johnston lived in Wilson and then Chapel Hill and I lived in New Bern, we became all too familiar with the challenges of a long-distance relationship. In our case, distance really has made the heart grow fonder.