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Lisa Nines + Matthew Bettencourt

Lisa Nines and Matthew Bettencourt bonded over turtles, snakes, and old architecture while clipping branches and removing debris from Hitchcock Creek to prepare for the Sandhills Children’s Center’s annual Duck Derby fundraiser.

“It was like getting together with an old friend you haven’t seen in ages,” Lisa says.

The two began dating and eight years later, while hiking through Morrow Mountain State Park with their faithful Dachshunds, Carnage and Kona, leading the way, Matthew dropped to one knee and proposed. Less than a year after, on October 14, 2023, the couple wed at Rubicon Farm, West End.

In lieu of bridesmaids and groomsmen, Carnage and Kona served as the wedding party, complete with flashing collars so guests wouldn’t step on the dogs while dancing the night away.

“Kona didn’t disappoint,” Lisa says. “He slipped his collar and decided to assist my son in walking me down the aisle.”

Besides the canine wedding party, the Nines-Bettencourt wedding was full of other special touches. Lisa wore a vintage monogrammed heart necklace from her mom, who passed away in 1988; the aisle was fashioned from the couple’s cowhide rugs; and the couple transformed a retro Volkswagen bus into a photo booth.

photographer: Auston Photography
wedding coordinator: Elizabeth Sugg, Rubicon Farm
ceremony & reception: Rubicon Farm
dress: Citrama, Etsy
hair: Defined Lash & Brow
makeup: Karma Spa Lounge & Beauty Bar
groom: ElegantWearsStudio, Etsy
catering: Thyme & Place Catering and Carolina’s Kitchen & Catering
flowers: Carol Dowd, Botanicals
rentals: Rubicon Farm