A Match Made on the Bocce Court

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Photography by All Bliss Photography


October 15, 2016


Duke Forest Korstian Division


Both Lauren and Matt work at local software startups. Lauren works at TransLoc, and Matt works at Automated Insights Inc.

Crossed Paths

On a hot summer afternoon in June 2014, Lauren, who grew up in Durham, and Matt, who grew up in the Bay Area of California, met on the bocce court at Kotuku Surf Club. Matt would later propose at this very spot in June 2015 during a run with Lauren through Durham Central Park.

Tell Me More

Lauren and Matt spent days and nights getting to know each other in Durham. They both lived in Old North Durham and made friends at Fullsteam Brewery. While they were running, hiking and dog walking all over town, they shared udon at Parts & Labor, swam in the Eno Quarry and cheered on the Durham Bulls.

The Big Day

“Our wedding weekend was chock-full of Durham fun,” Matt says. After a rehearsal dinner at 21c Museum Hotel’s Counting House restaurant, Lauren and Matt were married the next day at Watts Street Baptist Church. The day was extra special for Lauren, who was the third generation in her family to get married there. The reception took place at The Rickhouse, and the night ended with an after party where it all began, at Surf Club. Geer Street Garden hosted brunch the next day.

Her Most Memorable Moment

“Our first look outside of the church, where we had a private moment before our ceremony.”

Family Affair

“The wedding flowers were even more meaningful for us,” Lauren says, indicating her family’s business, Sanders Florist. “To know that almost everyone in my family helped with our flowers blew me away and made everything sweeter.”

Key Players

Lauren’s parents, Danny and Holly McKinney of Croasdaile Farm, maid of honor Melora McCall, bridesmaids Sophie Ebel and Maddy McEwen, flower girl Ella Harker and Matt’s parents, Jim and Shelly Nisonger of Raleigh.

Other Durham Wedding Vendors

Chalk artist and calligrapher Marika Wendelken, American Party Rentals, wedding planner Amanda Scott from A Swanky Affair and Yellowbird Baking, owned by family friend Jenny Leinbach.

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