Monthly Archives:: September 2011

Fine Wine Dining at the University Club

Last night I had the privilege of attending a wine pairing dinner at the University Club in Durham. It was a night of celebration for Jessica and Kelly Santel, who have officially owned the Club for one year as of yesterday! They have done an amazing job of blending the traditions of the club with new and fun events such as last night”s wine dinner. The wine of the evening was Jordan Vineyard & Winery, an exquisite family winery in Somoma, CA, that specializes in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvigon.

After passed hors d”oeuvres and Rose, the guests were presented with a personalized video from the CEO of Jordan Winery. We were then seated at one beautiful table and started our meal with the Chardonnay, paired with Miso Glazed Halibut atop wilted spinach (unfortunately I did not think to take a photo of this dish- it was incredible). For the second course, we enjoyed perfectly-prepared braised short ribs atop warm French Lentils, paired vertically with two Cabernets- the aged 2000 and the younger 2007. Round three was my personal favorite for both food and wine – 8oz Certified Black Angus Center Cut Filet Mignon with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Chanterelles finished in a Brandy Peppercorn, paired with the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon. And I also have to give a shout out to dessert- Salted Caramel Ice Cream that was prepared in-house – simply delicious!

I was blown away by the presentation and phenomenal menu; it made me wish that I had put the energy into doing a wine-pairing at my rehearsal dinner- what a memorable experience that would have been!

The University Club is a wonderful place to hold a membership so that you can enjoy intimate experiences such as this. The Club is also available to all for private events – anything from a bridesmaid luncheon (I had mine there!), to a rehearsal dinner or wedding & reception. Anyone who books an event here is sure to receive exceptional service, dynamite food and a wonderful atmosphere,as the Club sits in the penthouse of the tallest building in Durham. There is nothing like watching the sunset from the 17th Floor of University Tower!

The photos below do not do the meal justice but you can get an idea of the amazingness that was experienced last night. Congratulations to Jessica and Kelly Santel for a successful Year One!




October Wedding Show in Chapel Hill

The Triangle Bridal Showcase

Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel

October 23, 2011, 1-5pm

This fall show, which is presented annually by Forever Bridal, will be at the newly-renovated Sheraton Chapel Hill for the first time. You will be delighted by the attention to detail showcased by the wedding professionals from Durham, Chapel Hill and beyond. Enjoy roaming bridal and groom fashion previews from all of today’s hot designers. SB&G will be at the event with our current magazine, and offering a special vacation giveaway to the girls who register with us at the show! To join us, purchase your on-line discounted tickets now!

And while you’re at it, go ahead and save the date for The Wedding Show, the area’s biggest bridal event of the year. It will be at the beautiful Raleigh Convention Center on January 27-28, 2012. Friday the 27th the show will be from 4-9pm, and Saturday the 28th,the show will be from 10am-4pm.

Upcoming Wedding Show in Blowing Rock,NC- Save the Date

Wedding Show of the NC Mountains

November 18-20, 2011

The Meadowbrook Inn

Blowing Rock, NC

Call (800)goRomance

Bring your girlfriends, maid of honor and even mom for an elegant, yet relaxing, all-inclusive weekend of gourmet cuisine, cocktails, music, venue tours, fashion, spa treatments and much more! See and experience the unlimited possibilities for wedding celebrations in the NC Mountains through this glorious girls-get-away & wrap-up-the-wedding-plans weekend!

SB&G Sneek Peek – Wedding Invitations Shoot

SB&G had the privilege of working with Stacy Borelli of Swank Photo Studio on our 2012 magazine”s bridal invitation shoot this week. We went to Stacy”s studio in downtown Smithfield, and what a perfect place for a photoshoot of any kind! That studio is decked out in all sorts of sensual and visual goodness. Although perfect for anything from a newborn baby session to a boudoir “Vintage Vixen” photoshoot, the mission for us this week was capturing our talented stationers” work. We had a blast jamming to Stacy”s music and creating the perfect setup for each invitation set.

Selecting your save the date and wedding invitation is a very important part of the planning. It is here that you can establish a theme, color scheme, monogram, and the level of formality you want for your wedding. The stationers who are in SB&G know the etiquette, and will be able to guide you through the process. Take a look at our INVITATIONS PAGE and peruse some wonderful talented professionals.


Triangle NACE Food Shuttle Soiree

SB&G had a great time at Triangle NACE”s annual fundraiser Tuesday night. The Food Shuttle Soiree benefited the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a wonderful organization that works to end hunger in our community.

The NACE fundraiser was a fabulous fun party held at Bay 7. Wonderful food was provided by Catering Works, Parizade, Centerplate, The Catering Company, and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. A lavish dessert bar was provided by Sweet Memories. Entertainment included the Casablanca Orchestra via East Coast Entertainment, a musician, and Shutterbooth. I snapped a couple shots on my phone but the real photographer was F8 Photo Studios, and her photos will be posted on the Triangle NACE Facebook page soon!

SB&G is proud to be a part of this wonderful organization and to support this cause. If you”d like to join NACE, I will attest that it is a wonderful thing for anyone in the event or wedding industry to be a part of, with inspirational professionals and educational components. Hope to see y”all there soon!


Other sponsors included AFR Furniture Rental, Classic Party Rentals,CE Rental,American Party Rentals, Showtime Events, Art of Motion Media, Fullsteam Brewery, Centerba Selections, Haw River Wine Man, Dogwood Tree Floral Designs, Tre Bella Inc, The English Garden, Floral Dimensions, Get Lit Lighting and Special Events, and The Green Kangaroo.



SB&G Sneak Peek- Extra Magazine Features

In addition to the photoshoots that SB&G puts together for our magazine each year to inspire your planning of some of the integral ingredients to every wedding – fashion, florals, cakes, and invitations – we also bring our readers a couple of surprise shoots each year to explore the fun that can be had with the extra events surrounding a wedding. These events range from engagement parties to bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, family brunch for family guests, post-wedding parties, and the list goes on. These extra wedding events can be as simple, to as extravagant as you”d like, and can have their own themes, destinations,and most importantly,memories made!

I don”t want to ruin what our feature shoots are for 2012, but I will give a little slideshow teaser of the two we did. One was with the fabulous  F8 Photo & Video Team at Sparians and was a real party for a real bride. The other was with the talented Scott Faber Photography at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, and let”s just say drew a “royal” inspiration. On both shoots SB&G enlisted the help of amazing wedding professionals but I will leave the rest of the kudos to the article. My photos of course reveal nothing compared to what the photographers captured or what the teams created, but they should be enough to show how much fun the SB&G gets to have at these shoots!

For ideas on ways to enhance your wedding events, ask your wedding planner! Take a look at the SB&G Website for a full resource directory of everything you need to know from A to Z when planning your NC wedding!

Durham Blues Festival 2011

SB&G “represented” at the Blues Festival this Saturday in Durham”s Central Park. This was the 24th Annual Blues event in Durham, which is put on by the St. Joseph”s Historic Foundation, Inc, based out of the Hayti Heritage Center. The show was presented at the old Bulls” Stadium for years, and last year the event was held at DPAC. This year they swtiched it up and had a free festival the in Central Park focusing on local musicians, which was a-ok with me!

So, the fam and I set up shop early and got a great seat on the lawn in front of the stage. We enjoyed some amazing bratwurst & pimento cheese from Farmhand Foods” Sausage Wagon, which sells all locally-grown meats, and then settled in for an evening of fabulous music! A special thing was getting to see Bobby Hinton perform, who has performed with some of the great soul, blues and funk acts for the past 40 years. Bobby attended the festival despite just having been through a major surgery, and he”s definitely still got it!


The highlight of the show for me was seeing John Brown and the Groove Shop Band. John Brown is a local music celebrity,an expert in jazz,funk, rhythm and blues. This is just one of his bands – he also has a jazz group and can send full big bands, or smaller ensembles out to play at weddings. John and two of his jazz group members played as a trio at my own wedding, and it was just fabulous. But, I had never gotten to see his funk band before, and I was blown away. I had been suffering from a head cold all week, and when I went up to the front of the crowd, it was the first time I was able to breathe all week!



I did not want John Brown”s funk band to end, but we had to get back to the blues, and boy did Mel Melton & the Wicked Mojos bring it! Now my family has been familiar with Mel for awhile, as he is from my parents” hometown of Gastonia, and my father, a musician, has known Mel for years through the local music scene. He runs a local music hall called Papa Mojos Road House, which is a New Orleans-style restaurant and music venue with live acts every week. The Wicked Mojos were awesome, a real treat to see. Mel tore it up on the harmonica, and the guitarist was on point. I am a new full-blown fan and can”t wait to make it out to hear this band again!


I have to admit, we called it quits before the headliner came on, so I cannot report on that! Will McFarlane is Bonnie Raitt”s former guitarist and I”m sure he wowed the crowd. But we definitely got our fill of amazing music on a beautiful late-summer Durham night! I am proud of my hometown and proud of the local music scene. Be sure to check out Mel Melton and John Brown”s bands for your wedding event or for a fun night out on the town!

Sneak Peek: Catering Photoshoot

One of the my favorite shoots of the year happened last week for SB&G 2012 – food! One of the reasons this is such a fun day is because the masterful Brian Mullins was our photographer again this year. He did such an amazing job last year, and is a fabulous fella to spend the day with. The other reason is that we get the rare opportunity to get a look into the world of the catering chef. All of the caterers we work with are all the utmost professionals, and their culinary talents are very impressive. We got the chance to kick back with the teams that bring these delicious dishes to fruition, and even got to taste a few bites- Yum!! You’ll see the results of the shoot in SB&G 2012!

To learn more about the SB&G caterers, click HERE.


Its that time of year! The Triangle Chapeter of NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) is hosting its annual fundraiser event to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It wil be a memorable evening- no competitions this year- just a fun party atmosphere! The event will be complete with food stations from some of the Triangle’s finest caterers- including two of SB&G’s own advertisers, Parizade and Catering Works; a fabulous buffet of sweets all in white by Sweet Memories; a big band performance, a silent auction, raffles for prizes, and gorgeous decor.

The vibe of this evening is fun and open to all. Suggested attire ~ WHITE!!!

Tuesday, September 13th

BAY 7 at American Tobacco Campus, Durham


Check out the amazing menu below- that should be enough to tempt you to attend. Purchase your tickets HERE!