Monthly Archives:: June 2011

SB&G’s advertisers are the BEST!

It’s award season! The Independent Weekly announced its “Best of the Best” winners this month, as did Durham Magazine with their voted-in award winners. SB&G would like to give a special shout-out to all of our advertisers who won an award from one of these fabulous publications. The people have spoken- SB&G’s advertisers are THE BEST! :,,)

INDY “Best of the Best” Awards:

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry – Jewelry Store in Wake County, Winner

Belk– Men’s Clothing, Finalist

A Southern Season – Place to buy candy, Winner; Retail cheese selection, Finalist

Solas – Dance club, Finalist; Upscale bar, Finalist

Sarah P. Duke Gardens – Best place to chill in Durham County, Finalist; Place for a blind date in Durham County, Finalist

The Carolina Inn – Best place to hear country or bluegrass, Finalist; Hotel in Orange/Chatham County, Finalist

Nasher Museum of Art – Art Gallery, Finalist

Sugarland – Bakery, Finalist; Birthday cake, Winner; Chocolate confection, Finalist; Desserts, Winner; Ice cream, Finalist; Pie, Finalist

Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery – Place for a blind date in Orange County, Finalist; Place to watch televised ACC basketball in Orange/Chatham County, Winner; Appetizer, Finalist; Outdoor dining in Orange/Chatham County, Finalist

Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro – Place to go bowling, Finalist

The King’s Daughters Inn – Bed & Breakfast, Winner; Hotel in Durham County, Finalist

The Fearrington House – Bed & Breakfast, Finalist

Bella Trio Day Spa – Day spa, Finalist; Hair salon in Durham County, Finalist

The Umstead Hotel & Spa – Day spa, Finalist; Hotel in Wake County, Winner

Medlin-Davis Cleaners – Dry cleaner, Finalist

White Star Laundry & Cleaners – Dry cleaners, Finalist

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club – Hotel in Durham County, Winner

Hotel Indigo – Hotel in Durham County, Finalist

Marriott – Durham City Center – Hotel in Durham County, Finalist

The Siena Hotel – Hotel in Orange/Chatham County, Finalist

Embassy Suites – Hotel in Wake County, Finalist

Marriott – Hotel in Wake County, Finalist

Once in a Blue Moon Bakery and Café – Birthday cake, Finalist

The Franklin Hotel – Hotel in Orange/Chatham County, Winner

Catering Works – Catering, Finalist

Best of by Readers of Durham Magazine:

Best Florist- Ninth Street Flowers

Honorable Mention- Floral Dimensions

Best Event Photographer

Honorable Mention- Scott Faber Photography

Best Hotel- Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Honorable Mention- Durham Marriott

Best Bed & Breakfast- King’s Daughters Inn

Honorable Mention- Greystone Inn

Best Museum

Honorable Mention- Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Best Event Planner- An Elegant Affair

Honorable Mention- A Swanky Affair

Best Park- Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Best Event Space- Bay 7 at American Tobacco

Honorable Mention- Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Best Spa- Bella Trio Day Spa

ISES Trinity Awards

Last week I got the chance to attend the ISES-GT Trinity Awards. ISES, the International Special Events Society, had its Greater Triangle chapter’s awards ceremony and board induction event on Tuesday, June 21 at The Cotton Room in Durham. Triangle Catering provided incredible food for all, Fresh Affairs created stunning floral arrangments for the room, and Ryan Pflumm of SPIN DJ’ed the event. Extra tidbits included having Mike Morse of G105 as MC and live performance, dance and aerial art. Christobal Perez of Azul Photography documented the event, and a few photos are below that show the extravagance of the event.

Congrats to all of this year’s ISES-GT Trinity Award Winners!

Best Event for a Non-Profit

The Special Event Company for the Mint Museum Uptown Grand Opening Gala 

Best Event Entertainment

Elevate for the Miller/Barker Wedding 

Best Event Design – Décor, Under $25,000

Fresh Affairs for the Sharp Wedding

Best Event Design – Décor, $25,000 to $75,000

Fresh Affairs for the Duffield Wedding

Best Event Photography

Beth Jarvah for the Paskonis/Rodriguez Wedding

Best Event Videography

Heart Stone Films for the Schomp/Perez Wedding

Best Team Effort, Budget Over $200,000

The Special Event Company for the Museum Opening Patrons Gala

Best Team Effort, Budget Under $75,000

The Special Event Company for their Wine Pairing Dinner

Best Wedding

Erin McLean Events for her Vintage Country Club Affair


In addition, the following ISES-GT members/companies were nominated for ISES International Esprit Awards (winners to be announced in August in St. Louis):

Grace Riddle, The Special Event Company  – 5 Nominations

Craig Mitchell, Mitchell’s Catering & Events – 2

Paul Hunter, Party Reflections – 1

Carol Klenke, Classic Party Rentals – 1

Allin Foulkrod, Creative Visions – 1

Meridith Walters, Photography by Walters & Walters -1

And finally, congrats to the new ISES-GT Board of Directors!

President- Tracy Adams, Adams & Events

President Elect- Lenny Fritts, Lenny Fritts’ Touch of Class DJs

Immediate Past President- Lyn Graves, Fresh Affairs

VP of Communications- Mica Parekh, IWP Photography

VP of Membership- Shawn Schindler, Your Special Day Weddings & Special Events

Director at Large- Angie Wright, Chic Details Weddings & Events

Director at Large- John Bradford, Creative Visions

Director at Large- Beth Jarvah, b jarvah imagery

Director at Large- Grace Riddle, The Special Event Company

Director at Large- Kevin Dehimer, Rocky Top Hospitality/1705 Prime

Director at Large- Toni Wheaton, Heart Stone Films

Director at Large- Meridith Walters, Photography by Walters & Walters

All photos below are by Azul Photography:


NC Beach Wedding at Outer Banks

Its officially summertime and the beach is on everyone’s mind. Its only appropriate that we feature a beautiful beach wedding at this time. NC has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and they can be used as the backdrop to stunning destination weddings.

SB&G’s latest wedding feature is the wedding of Michelle and Kevin, who were married in the Outer Banks last fall. This wedding had some incredible details reflecting the bride’s Japanese roots, and of course honoring their Southern beach wedding location! Take a look at the wedding feature for more photos of these intricate details, and for a closer look at the beautiful bridal gown Michelle wore, which was from Alexia’s Bridal Boutique, and Kevin’s beachy formalwear from Bernard’s. Craig Carpenter of Luster Studios travelled to the OBX to photograph this couple’s wedding, and his photography brings their day to life!

Support Breast Cancer Awareness and Find Your Wedding Dress!

Brides Against Breast Cancer
Friday, August 19- Saturday, August 20

Brides Against Breast Cancer™ Nationwide Tour of Gowns and will be stopping
in Raleigh on Friday, August 19 – Saturday, August 20 at the Sheraton
Raleigh Hotel. The event will be held at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel and a
VIP Champagne Brunch will be offered on Friday. Come help raise money for
breast cancer patients while getting great deals on name brand and designer

Triangle Bridal Association is teaming up with The Sheraton Raleigh Hotel to bring
Brides Against Breast Cancer to Raleigh. Click here for info on how to get involved.


Wedding Details with Personal Charm

Every bride wants her day to be special. Weddings in the Triangle area can be Southern-classic, traditional or modern. With all of the big-ticket items done – venue (check), dress (check), cake (check) – it’s easy to forget the details that make the wedding your own. Whether its sweet treats with initials, personalized notes from guests or handmade signs directing your guests to the best wedding reception ever (yours of course!) don’t let the little details that tie your day together slip between the cracks.

Take notes as you browse the bridal magazines, websites and blogs, and decide what unique details will complete your perfect day!

Photographs by (beginning upper-righthand corner, clockwise):

The Image Mill; Luster Studios, The Image Mill, Mike Bayley Photography, The Image Mill


Happy 1 Year Anniversary to The Merry Martini Invitations & Gift Shop in Durham

Don’t Miss The Merry Martini’s Anniversary Sale – Saturday, June 11th, 12-4pm

Congratulations to The Merry Martini, which is celebrating its year-anniversary. The Merry Martini is an invitation & gift shop in Durham’s Sutton Station. Stop by tomorrow (Saturday, June 11th) for special sales that are tomorrow only! Enjoy a mimosa and snack while you shop for great deals! 

The Merry Martini is located at 5826 Fayetteville Road.

Rains Clear for a Beautiful Chapel Hill Wedding!

I had the pleasure of attending my good friend Annie’s wedding a couple weeks ago. Annie Gane and I sang together in college with the UNC Loreleis, and later lived together in New York City when Annie came to the Big Apple to pursue a career in theatre. Ironically, she met her future husband, Erik Floor, while performing as co-stars in a musical that was at a regional theater company in North Carolina! The two continued their romance off-stage in NYC, and while Erik continued to perform, Annie eventually decided to change career paths and pursue a medical career. Annie was accepted into Dental School at the University of North Carolina, and so the couple just moved down South together, days before their Chapel Hill wedding. 

The entire wedding weekend was based in Chapel Hill, kicking off with a rehearsal dinner in Top of the Hill’s new Great Room, where they had an open-mic night for their talented friends and family. On Saturday morning, the bride’s family threw her a beautiful bridesmaid luncheon in The Carolina Inn‘s

North Parlor,where handmade omelets were prepared for the women of Annie’s life who had gathered to honor her special day. 


The couple wed at The Forest Theater,a very appropriate venue for two actors. The couple was a little bit nervous because Friday before the wedding was the day of the freakish hail storms that ravaged the Triangle! The Theater had actually been flooded by 4-5 feet the day before. When Annie got the call on Saturday morning that the waters had been cleared and her ceremony could take place there, she almost didn’t believe it! It must have been meant to be…

Tre Bella Florist created a beautiful arbor full of pink summer flowers, for the couple to stand under onstage while they exchanged their vows. This was an intregal part of the ceremony, as the parents, bridal party and even Annie & Erik’s chihuahua, Penny Lane! Arioso Strings, a string quartet, accompanied the processional, and even played while the groom’s father sang the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road.” 


After the ceremony the guests made their way to The Carolina Inn, where the reception took place under a stunning tent from Classic Party Rentals on the Inn’s front lawn. We were greeted by butlered champagne and hors d’oeuvres as we entered the beautiful tent with its high ceilings, decorative lights and chandeliers. There was a full stage set up, with entertainment all night by the Atlanta Party Band, provided through East Coast Entertainment. The band played personalized introductions for each group within the wedding party as they entered by couple and did improvised dances for the crowd. 


Each placesetting was adorned with a chocolate Tar Heel favor in honor of Annie’s alma (and future!) mater. Guests were treated to a buffet of Southern-style foods, with goodies ranging from Shrimp n’ Grits to prime rib. Annie and Erik chose to go with an interactive guest book – they set up a blank canvas, and guests were invited to paint at their will on what will be the first painting in the couple’s new home! After dinner the band got the crowd going on the dance floor, where they stayed for the rest of the evening!


The team of Annie’s wedding coordinators, A Southern Soiree, were onsite to ensure that the evening flowed smoothly. The Carolina Inn’s Catering Manager, Devon Schwartz, also stopped in to make sure all was well, between the 6 weddings that she oversaw at the Inn that day! To Annie, Erik, and their guests, however, it felt like The Carolina Inn and all of Chapel Hill revolved around them that day! Between the luck of the torrential downpours from the day before clearing and leaving a clear day for them to be married at the Forest Theater, to the beautiful setting of The Carolina Inn, this was a perfect wedding celebration for Annie & Erik Floor. 


SB&G Releases Summer/Fall Cover

Southern Bride & Groom is pleased to release our Summer/Fall cover, right as the sizzling heat rolls in to the Triangle! This cover shot was taken by Christobal Perez of Azul Photography. We chose this edgy cover to showcase Christobal’s documentary style which we at SB&G adore. Azul Photography has been ranked as North Carolina’s Top Wedding Photojournalist in 2009 and 2010, and was ranked the 8th Top Wedding Photojournalist in the world in 2007. Needless to say, we are proud to have Azul Photography as our cover photographer!

The covergirl, Megan Ferrara Tuorto, married her high school sweetheart Paul, in a quintessential Raleigh wedding in the fall of 2009. They had a gorgeous ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral, followed by a reception at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. They had help with reception coordination by Megan Gillikin who at the time worked at the Renaissance and now has her own wedding planning business, A Southern Soiree. Several other SB&G clients were part of this special wedding day- the rehearsal dinner was at the prestigious Prestonwood Country Club; Megan’s wedding dress was a Pronovias gown from Victorian Rose Bridals; the bridesmaids dresses were Vera Wang from Alexia’s Bridal Boutique; the florals were by Fresh Affairs; and the cake was from Sweet Memories.

To read more about Megan and Paul’s story and see a slideshow of the day, visit the online feature HERE.