What began at 7:30am on the morning of December 29, 2018 and ended around 10pm was a perfect expression of true love. There at the altar of Warsaw Baptist Church in Warsaw, NC, Elizabeth (Liz) Hood met Graham DiPinto, as the two publicly expressed their love and commitment to each other. And while it may have looked effortless, it was truly the result of months of planning and details orchestrated by a well-composed bride, a confident groom, the River Landing team, and a host of expert vendors. It was an event that will not soon be forgotten, and one that will color the lives of Liz and Graham until “death due [them] part.”
River Landing had a chance to catch up with the bride and groom shortly after the New Year to reflect on that special day.
RL: How did you two meet?
Liz & Graham: As high school freshmen at Harrells Christian Academy.
RL: How long have you been together?
L&G: 6.5 years
RL: How did he propose?
L&G: He had been planning an elaborate proposal at the Umstead the next day, but while having lunch with my grandmother he decided to propose at my grandparents house. This was such a surprise to everyone (especially me) but his spontaneity was so sweet and the place was so special since I lost my grandfather in 2015 and his farm was his favorite place to be.
RL: What was your vision/theme/colors for your wedding?
L: I wanted a timeless wedding with colors that would go with any season. We both wanted to be able to look back on our wedding pictures in 20 years and know most things would still be in style. We went with whites, light taupe, and ivories for our colors.
RL: Tell us about your ceremony.
L&G: We got married in the church where I grew up in Warsaw, NC. There were intimate details that were special to our relationship including song choices, the bagpiper, and the scriptures. The songs chosen for the organist were very traditional. They were a mixture of Southern, Italian, Catholic, and English hymns. The songs chosen for the bagpiper were some that my father’s mother loved, like “Wild Mountain Thyme” and “Highland Cathedral.” She passed away in 2016 so it was very special since she was not there.
RL: Tell us about your reception:
L&G: AWESOME! We were the first event in the ballroom of River Landing since Hurricane Florence, so that was both exciting and nerve-wracking. But everything was absolutely gorgeous! Our florist was phenomenal. The up-lighting added a soft, relaxing element. Our band – The Entertainers – were amazing. We cannot put into words how much fun it was!
RL: What special details did you include in your big day and what meaning did they have?
L&G: So many! We used Graham’s Italian grandparents’ toasting glasses during our toasts. They were used by them on their wedding day in Italy and then used by Graham’s parents on their wedding day. I carried my great-grandmother’s pin with her initials on my bouquet. As I stated before, each song chosen had a particular sentiment and was carefully curated to depict the blending of the two families. We gave away five sugared almonds, per an Italian tradition. These are just to name a few! We definitely tried to incorporate our unique relationship into each detail, mainly drawing from the Italian/Irish/Southern heritage.
RL: What was your favorite moment(s) on your big day?
L&G: Our first look. It was very intimate and Graham was so surprised!
RL: Why did you two choose River Landing?
L&G: We chose [it] because the ballroom is like no other venue in Southeastern NC. It accommodated our guest size and also was the perfect place to give us that timeless feel we were going for. Plus, it eliminated the hassle of finding a caterer! On a side note, River Landing is very special to us because we actually attended prom together there in high school in the same room!
RL: What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding?
L&G: Have a great planner! It is the best money spent throughout the wedding process. I don’t know what we would’ve done without ours!
RL: If you had to choose one photo from your gallery that best sums up your wedding, which one would it be and why?
L&G: The photo of us dancing at our reception really sums up our day. In this picture we are relieved because everything has fallen into place as planned, we are surrounded by the people we love most, and are just so happy to finally be married!
RL: What are your plans now that you are married?
L&G: Graham is currently enrolled as a veterinary student at Lincoln Memorial University. Subsequently, we’ve moved to Knoxville, TN where I also work full time.
The Vendors used by Elizabeth Hood and Graham DiPinto are as follows:
If you’re interested in having your dream wedding at River Landing visit our team online and start planning today!