High School Sweethearts Say ‘I Do’ at the Dorsett House

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wedding party at Dorsett House

By Grace Miller | Photography by Brandalynn Hooft Lemons Photography, bhlphotography.com

For Jesse Lawler and Shelbee Whitaker, their love blossomed in Chatham County. The couple first met at Pittsboro Elementary School and started dating in 2016 during their senior year at Northwood High School. They have been together ever since. 

On May 31, 2020, the couple enjoyed ice cream and ocean views from a pier at Topsail Beach. “I was distracted by something moving in the water, and as I turned around to ask him what it was, he got down on one knee,” Shelbee recalls. They shared their news over dinner with Shelbee’s parents that evening.

ceremony at Dorsett House

 Jesse and Shelbee were married at the Dorsett House in Siler City on March 20, 2021, in a ceremony officiated by Jon Pister, Jesse’s former youth leader. Guests in attendance included the couple’s parents, Bob Lawler and Barbara Lawler of Moncure, and Jamie Whitaker and Tracee Whitaker of Pittsboro. With a dusty rose and gray color palette in mind, they chose an array of local vendors including 39 West Catering, Cakes by Crick and Blushed Beauty. “My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing [Jesse’s] face as he was trying to hold back the tears,” Shelbee says. 

The couple lives in Sanford and hopes to build a place of their own in Silk Hope. Shelbee is a dental assistant, and Jesse attends UNC Charlotte and is a soon-to-be mechanical engineer. 


If you live in Chatham County, North Carolina, or are from here and you’d like your wedding featured in Chatham Magazine, please fill out this form in its entirety.

Dorsett House wedding

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