Thank you for visiting our wedding website. We are so excited to celebrate our special day with family and friends on April 23, 2016!

Morning of the proposalThe Groom: Russell Witham

Russell is a data analyst and graduate student at North Carolina State University pursuing a MS in Economics. Russell loves newspapers, intense discussions about sports and cuff links. Russell loves to travel, so he enjoys planning their adventures.

The Bride: Michele Chandler

Michele is a social media specialist who dabbles in all things digital. She loves statement necklaces, cats and covering things in glitter. In her spare time, you can find her shopping with friends, drinking coffee and getting lost in DIY projects.

Proposal

Michele’s dream proposal was getting engaged in Paris. While looking for spring vacation ideas, Russell looked up flights to Paris and planned a last minute trip. He told Michele over and over again he was not proposing. She was disappointed, but became suspicious when he wouldn’t let her near the safe in their hotel room. On their second morning, Michele thought it would be fun to test him — she got ready for the day in front of the safe and asked him for her watch. Eventually she had to leave the room to put on lipstick and Russell was able to grab the ring.

Russell took Michele to lunch on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower at Le Jules Verne. Despite her attempts to spark a proposal, Russell didn’t flinch — he thought it was too cliché. He led the way to the Jardin du Luxembourg and found a bench with privacy.

While in conversation, Michele made a remark about not having a dreamy Eiffel Tower proposal. Russell replied, “Well, I am proposing today. I have something for you.” Michele was so shocked. She didn’t scream or cry, and doesn’t remember saying yes or hearing “will you marry me?” A few minutes later, Michele realized Russell didn’t get down on one knee. When she asked about it, he said he didn’t want to get his dress pants dirty. He already gave her the perfect proposal.

Events

The Ceremony
Our Lady of Lourdes
2718 Overbrook Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27608
http://www.ourladyoflourdescc.org/

The ceremony begins at 2:00 PM. Dress code will be semi-formal.


Intermission
Leading up to the reception, guests will have a few hours to enjoy on their own while we take photos and celebrate being newlyweds with our family and bridal party. Here’s our recommendations:


Reception
North Carolina Museum of Art
West Building
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27607
http://ncartmuseum.org

The reception begins with cocktail hour at 6:30 PM and ends at 10:30 PM.

Wedding Party

Bridesmaids

  • May Chung
  • Jane Dail
  • Sarah Frye
  • Kate Shefte
  • Erin Brown
Groomsmen

  • Andrew Henson
  • Nick Uhland
  • Andrew Blackburn
  • Paul McCauley
  • Clinton Chandler

Accommodations

The following accommodations are ideal for out of town guests who want to stay near the North Carolina Museum of Art.

  • Hampton Inn and Suites Raleigh/Cary-I-40 (PNC Arena):
    Located nine miles from the airport, The Hampton Inn is a great option for visitors looking for easy access to sporting attractions and local entertainment.
    Book a room
  • Hyatt Place Raleigh West:
    The Hyatt Place Raleigh West is a LEED certified hotel in the Raleigh Corporate Center Park.
    Book a room
  • Ramada Raleigh:
    The closest hotel to the North Carolina Museum of Art. The Ramada is located off Interstate 440 on the outskirts of downtown.
    Book a room

If you’d like to stay downtown where there are more restaurants, bars and activities, look into the Raleigh Marriott City Center or Sheraton Raleigh Hotel.

Guests looking for a splurge-worthy stay should consider The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. The bride and groom love the spa and think Herons provides the best culinary experience in the Triangle.

Registry

We recently moved to New York City and are short on space in our apartment. In lieu of a traditional registry, we set up a Honeyfund where you can contribute to our honeymoon After unwinding for two days, we’re jetting off for a week in Venice and Paris. 

Instructions: Please print out the voucher provided by Honeyfund when you make a selection. Place the voucher and a check in our cards box at the reception. We want to thank you when we return from our adventures abroad!

Timeline

2009

Michele said “Hi”

Michele noticed Russell sitting a few tables away from her at Global Village. She recognized him from class and introduced herself. She asked how Russell did on his latest paper. Russell was shy and the conversation lasted two minutes (if that.)

February 3rd

Russell needed a seat

After class, Russell walked into Global Village. The only open seat was at Michele’s table. He asked to join and they got to know each other a little better. Russell and Michele had coffee every Tuesday and Thursday after class for the rest of the semester.

February 5th

First Date

A week after Russell asked for Michele’s number in a Facebook message, they went on their first date. They had dinner at El Rodeo and watched Amelie (foreshadowing a trip to Paris).

April 24th

First trip as a couple

Russell and Michele’s first trip together was to the beach with their Technician and Agromeck friends. Someone took their first photo together at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

May 9th

First trip home to Washington, D.C.

Russell and Michele’s first road trip was to Washington D.C. Russell showed Michele where he grew up in Annandale, VA. More importantly, Michele wanted to go to the zoo. She loves ocelots.

July 13th

Halloween #1: Bonnie and Clyde

Russell and Michele dressed up as partners in crime.

October 31st
2010

Graduated from N.C. State

Michele and Russell graduated from N.C. State. Russell got a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Michele got a Bachelors of Arts in Communication.

Michele might not have a degree if Russell didn’t help her pass online bowling with many practice rounds at The Alley.

May 15th

Halloween #2 – Buddy Holly and 1950’s girl

Michele bought this poodle skirt and made Russell dress up as Buddy Holly. He loved the glasses!

October 31st
2011

Celebrating in his(their) first home

After 10 months apart (he lived in Wilmington, she lived in Raleigh) and a couple months in transit, Russell bought his first home. Michele “surprised” him with a birthday celebration in his new kitchen. This was the first of many good memories made in their first home together.

August 7th

Halloween #3 – Pumpkin carving party

Can you tell which pumpkin belongs to the groom?

October 31st

First Christmas Tree

Michele and Russell’s first Christmas tree was N.C. State themed.

December 3rd
2012

NYE Trip to Miami and Savannah

Michele flew down to Miami to celebrate New Years with Russell. They drove back up to North Carolina together and made a pit stop in Savannah, GA, where they stayed at the cutest bed and breakfast. Ask Russell to tell you about the disappointment upon arrival.

January 1st

Adopted JD

After much convincing (maybe not that much), Russell and Michele adopted a dog together. Russell wanted a collie, but fell in love with JD when he showed off his fetching skills at the Wake County SPCA. JD was a belated anniversary gift for Michele.

April 28th

Such great heights on Halloween

Flight attendant + Fighter pilot

October 31st
2013

A weekend in Asheville

Russell and Michele conquered The Biltmore’s wine tour.

June 15th

Viva Las Vegas!

Russell and Michele took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate Russell’s birthday. They took a helicopter ride over the strip, went to see Beatles Love by Cirque Du Solei and ate dinner at Picasso.

Russell convinced Michele to walk down the entire Las Vegas strip. They started at the Venetian where they stayed, looped around at the bridge near Tropicana and walked all the way back. They also spent an hour lost in the MGM Grand — one of their favorite stories to tell people who mention they’re going to Sin City.

August 8th

Taking Halloween to the next level

Because YOLO.

October 31st

Russell and Michele take the Carribean

Michele joined the Witham Family on their annual Christmas cruise. They went to The Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Key West.

December 24th
2014

Cherry blossoms at the Nation’s capital

Russell took Michele home so she could see cherry blossoms (i.e. the busiest weekend of the year where he’s from). Out of all of their photos throughout the years, this is Michele’s favorite.

April 10th

A trip across the pond

Russell and Michele spent a long weekend in London. She loved Harrods, he loved The London Gin Club. Russell also got interviewed in front of the British Museum about being an American tourist — his 5 seconds of fame.

May 8th

American Gothic

Michele and Russell took Halloween seriously this year.

October 31st
2015

New York, NY

Michele and Russell enjoyed a long weekend in New York City. They went to see Le Mis and had the most amazing lunch at Per Se overlooking Central Park. Michele thought Russell was going to propose on this trip, but he had other plans.

January 22nd

A spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris

At this point, Michele was convinced Russell wouldn’t propose. They made a stop at The Lourve on their first day to take a selfie with Mona.

March 12th

She said yes

On their second day in Paris, Russell took Michele to lunch in the Eiffel Tower and a stroll in Luxembourg Gardens. He popped the question when she least expected it. How could she say no to this ring?

March 13th

Everything comes full circle

In the movie Amelie (the one Michele and Russell watched on their first date), photo booths play a key role in the plot. On their last night in Paris, they took pictures in the photo booth near their hotel. It was the perfect way to close the trip.

March 15th

:)

Russell was a good sport about dressing up as an emoji.

October 31st
2016

Taking on the Big Apple

Michele and Russell decided to take the next step in their careers by moving to New York City a few months before the wedding. Their new backyard is a fifteen minute walk away — Central Park. The dog loves it.

January 16th

Get Social

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #NewlyWithams.

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