Monthly Archives:: June 2012

Winter Wedding at Highgrove in Fuquay-Varina, NC

Here in North Carolina we are suffering through a 4-day spell of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. We thought we’d cool off by reliving a lovely winter wedding that took place in one of our favorite venues, Highgrove on Laurel Lake, in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Michelle and Joe planned their February wedding in just three months, with the help of the Highgrove team. The event was beautiful, memorable and filled with love.

Renee Sprink Photography captured the lovely details of this sweet wedding. Other SB&G vendors used included Sweet Memories Bakery, Paper Cafe and Island Sound DJ.

Click here for more beautiful images and to read Michelle & Joe’s story.



Please submit your own Engagement and Wedding Story on our REAL WEDDINGS PAGE!

Plus Ones Create Guest List Dilemma for Brides

The Plus One Situation
As if wedding planning isn’t stressful enough, brides-to-be are constantly plagued by questions from their soon-to-be guests and wedding party about bringing dates. And trust me, it’s easy to let the plus ones blow your guest list completely out of the water. But don’t pull your hair out, there are several ways to handle the situation to keep everyone (or most everyone) happy and out of your well-styled and sprayed-to-perfection hair.

1. Everyone who is invited gets a date — Be it their spouse, fiancé, boyfriend or best friend, every guest gets to bring a significant (or not-so-significant) other. This CAN work, but it is fairly uncommon in the wedding biz, simply due to cost restraints or limited venue space.

Photo by Dara Blakeley Photography

If you want to keep your wedding on the small side or happen to have an incredibly long list of family members, it’s probably not the best idea to allot all of the guests a partner — unless your daddy is prepared to shell out some big bucks for people you may never see again.

On the same token, if you’re from a small town where everyone knows everyone, it’s somewhat unavoidable to not invite well, everyone. In this case, or a situation in which your parents (or you!) work jobs that require courtesy invites for a slew of coworkers, allowing every guest to bring a date is simply not practical. Which brings me to option two…

2. Everyone who is married or engaged gets a date — Most brides (understandably) need to keep their guest list under control. In this case, only guess who are (legally!) bound to a significant other get to bring them along.

The good thing about this option is that it’s a hard and fast rule — there really can’t be any arguing about who qualifies. This is ideal for the bride who just doesn’t ant to deal with conflict.

But of course, all rules need to be bent sometimes. If someone is coming from outside your close circle of friends and family, it might be a good idea to let them bring a friend or significant other along for the simple fact that they will be more comfortable. And if your 200-guest-maximum hasn’t been reached with priority members — best friends, family, and office buds — give out some plus ones! Friends with serious long-term relationships would love to bring their significant other, and if there’s space, why not let them? (I am also a fan of allowing the wedding party to bring dates, but that’s personal opinion!)

So really, it’s nice to let as many people as your guest list allows bring dates. Your guests will appreciate it and be more likely to get out on the dance floor. But if you’re under the constraints of a tight budget or small venue space, remember that etiquette-wise, doling out dates is NOT mandatory — it’s up to the bride and groom to make their choice based on the kind of wedding they have envisioned!

2012 ISES-GT Trinity Award Winners Announced!

Congratulations to all of the 2012 ISES-GT Trinity Award winners! We wanted to give a shout out to the SB&G family members who were recognized this year!

Best Event Design/Decor with a budget of $25,000-$75,000: Fresh Affairs

Best Entertainment Production with a budget under $25,000:
A team entry from SPIN and Elevate

Best Wedding with a budget over $200,000: A team of: Fresh Affairs, Rocky Top Catering, and Your Special Day Weddings & Special Events

Best Team Effort with a budget over $200,000: AFR Event Furnishings, Atlas Production Group, Classic Party Rentals, Elevate, IWP Photography & Video, Shutterbooth, SPIN and The Special Event Company


New Real Wedding Feature: Downtown Raleigh

There is a new Real Wedding feature on Southern Bride & Groom! Read the story of their wedding by visiting the Krishna and Bill wedding feature! 

This adorable couple put together an amazing Tiffany blue and red wedding with bird motifs throughout. Krishna and Bill married in April of last year at All Saints Chapel and held a reception at Cobblestone Hall in Raleigh.

Eric McLean Events assembled an awesome team of vendors, including several from the SB&G family – MakeUpForYourDay and Raleigh Marriott City Centerf8 Photo Studios captured some gorgeous images of the duo (and made an awesome video trailer!).
Want to have your wedding featured? Send us your story and photos from our Real Weddings page!

Downtown Durham E-session ~ Diane and Rob

Diane and Rob met at Duke University, where she was leading a discussion group he took for course credit. Though quiet in the classroom setting, Rob etched himself into Diane’s memory with his beautiful green eyes and knack for writing wonderful essays!

A few years later, Rob returned to Duke for law school and decided to track down Diane to meet for coffee. The pair spent the warm December afternoon on the steps of Duke Chapel, chatting about the South and college basketball. Further dates ensued (including a trip to Chapel Hill for the first-ever Honky-Tonk-O-Rama!) and the couple fell in love.

Rob popped the question earlier this year after feigning an injury to set up his on-the-knee proposal, giving Diane the ring when she offered to help him up off the ground!

The duo plans to marry September 29 at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens with a reception to follow at The Trotter Room in Durham. The couple chose the creative eye of Dara Blakeley Photography to document their big day and do their engagement session – ensuring some beautiful pictures! With help from Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair and flowers from Tre Bella, it’s sure to be a celebration as unique as the couple themselves!

Brides Use Pinterest to Create the Ultimate Wedding

How cute is too cute?
Calling all Pinterest Brides! What exactly is 
a Pinterest Bride, you may ask. Well, she might be engaged. Or she might not.
She might even be married. But that won’t stop her from obsessively pinning
over-the-top wedding ideas and undeniably adorable big day details on Pinterest
– a web site with the genius concept of virtual bulletin boards to share with
the e-world.

In fact, the first thing on my to-do list once I got engaged (besides calling
the family, of course) was Pinterest, where I created a board specifically for
my rustic Southern wedding coming up next May. The onslaught of ideas – from innovative
guest books to unique ceremony touches – is exciting, but also a little (a lot)
overwhelming. And don’t even get me started on the gowns. I’d need at least
fifteen weddings to showcase all of the gorgeous dresses I’ve aggregated – and my
board can’t hold a candle to the truly obsessed!

Images from: Walters and Walters Photography with flowers by Ninth Street Flowers (left), Dara Blakeley Photography (bottom right), and (top right)

Pinterest makes every woman believe that she can DIY herself
into a vintage Hollywood star, a Haute Hipster and a Southern Belle all over
the course of one day – the BIG day. She can have it all – charming mason jars,
burlap and lace, but also luxurious silk, chapel-length trains and Christian
Louboutins. Right? Not quite.

So really, how much “cute” can you fit into a wedding
without becoming too cute? How many
sweet touches can you add to your day without going overboard? Getting bogged
down by the sheer number of themes and ideas is so easy to do, and loving
everything really can become an issue when it comes to actually making a
decision (trust me.)

My advice to brides to be is this: Choose your favorite
theme – only your favorite – and select three or four unique ideas from
Pinterest or other inspiration sites to make your big day special and “you,”
but don’t try to incorporate everything. Too many conflicting details bog you
and your guests down (not to mention your wedding planner!), so it’s really
better to just leave some out.

With a specific theme, like a garden party wedding (or anything, the sky is the limit!), you have
the freedom to go crazy with the personal details! And that is OK – just make
sure everything is cohesive. Once you select an overarching feel for your big
day, go with your gut and stick with it. It’s ok to say no, and its even better
to distance yourself from enticing Pinterest boards once you’ve started really planning. After all, you can’t
have a wedding that’s both backyard barbeque and sophisticated urban chic!

And remember, no matter how extravagant or simple the
ceremony, if you and your groomie are named husband and wife by the end of the
evening, then everything has gone perfectly!

Star-Gazing E-Session ~ LaToya & Aaron

LaToya Eason and Aaron Fryer met on campus after a Duke University football game
in September of 2006. LaToya was a new Physical Therapy student, and he was a Blue Devil football player.

Five years later, in October of 2011, Aaron proposed on the beach in
Miami under a glittering night sky – witnesses even claim that a shooting star,
or meteor to the more scientific, had been spotted just as Aaron popped the big

In homage to the fateful night of their engagement, LaToya and Aaron
joined forces with Craig Carpenter of Luster Studios to create the perfect plan
for their engagement session! The trio came up with the idea of shooting at
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center Observatory in Chapel Hill, for an
evening of more star-gazing and astronomically themed photographs.

LaToya and Aaron will marry on July 7. LaToya says she used Southern Bride & Groom with help in booking “everything from venue – The Cotton Room, wedding planner – A Swanky Affair, photographer – Luster Studios and florist –
Tre Bella, after spotting them in the SB&G magazine.” Good luck with the big day, LaToya and Aaron!


July NC Bridal Giveaways

We’ve reached into our stash of giveaways again for July, and trust us, you don’t want to miss out on these fabulous prizes! Register with SB&G by July 1 to be in the running.

Here’s what we have in store for our NC brides:

• One lucky couple will enjoy a night out on the town with $50 to 18 Seaboard, one of Raleigh’s premiere restaurants.

• A bride-to-be will be treated to $50 to use at Bella Trio Day Spa in Durham – on a fancy new hairdo or spa treatment.

•The Sheraton Chapel Hill is offering a one night stay and breakfast for two. The winner can enjoy downtown Chapel Hill during the day and have a place to stay on us!

…… And for July’s grand prize,

•One couple will receive a two night stay at the Meadowbrook Inn in downtown Blowing Rock! The Meadowbrook Inn is a quaint place to stay and enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains without being a far cry from the area attractions. While you’re there, be sure to check out the adorable boutiques, nice restaurants and gorgeous scenery. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few quiet, romantic days away from home – and maybe even take a break from your wedding planning!

MeadowBrookInn KatieLangleyPhotography

Wilmington NC Summer Bridal Show

The Brooklyn Arts Center in Wilmington, NC is having its semi-annual
wedding show on August 12. For only $10, brides can explore the center and meet with five
different wedding planners in a quick, one-hour session. Each planner will have
their own setup, including an outdoor ceremony mockup in the courtyard.

Each session, which occurs every hour on the hour from 12 to
4 p.m., holds a maximum of 75 people, so come out and ask the experts any
questions you may have to aid you in the planning process!

Enjoy this video of one of the other bridal shows hosted recently at BAC. A big thanks to the amazingly talented Matt Davis of Life Stage Films for this film.

Brooklyn Arts Center Bridal Show from Matt Davis on Vimeo.

To see the promo video that Life Stage Films made for SB&G and our 25th Anniversary this year, click HERE!

Located near the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, BAC is a
gorgeous, historic church, built in 1888, that has been spectacularly refurbished
to accommodate weddings, receptions, and other important events.

BAC Wedding Show

Ashton & Jeremy ~ Real NC E-Session

Ashton Edwards and Jeremy Nobles met during a night out in Raleigh and instantly connected. They spoke for hours on the phone for several days, and Jeremy even drove almost an hour to say goodbye to Ashton before she flew to California on vacation!

After a whirlwind romance, the pair got engaged and started planning their July 2012 wedding. Despite being a California native, Ashton felt closer to her roots in North Carolina, and the couple decided to get married at The Pavilions at the Angus Barn – an ideal location in Raleigh.

Ashton graciously disclosed that she found many of her wedding resources right here at SB&G! A Southern Soiree is planning a beautiful
lawn ceremony adorned with flowers from The English Garden and rentals provided by Classic Party. Her bridal gown is from Victorian Rose Bridals.

Photos courtesy of Nicole Smith