Monthly Archives:: July 2012

The Engagement Session, aka “The E-Session”

The Engagement Photoshoot, or “E-session,” as we in the wedding biz like to call them, is more than just the creation of some head-shots for your mother’s mantle. The e-session is a time for you to get to know your fabulous wedding photographer, generate some on-screen chemistry between you and your fiance before the wedding day, and of course, to produce some stunning images that can be treasured memories for a lifetime, as well as treasured keepsakes for all your invited guests if the end up on the Save the Date!

One of our SB&G photographers, Dara Blakeley, shared with us the engagement session of one of her favorite couples. Marissa and Jon wed at The Stockroom earlier this year. Marissa is a talented graphic designer (she did all of the graphics & invitations for her wedding), who recently landed a job in this field for The Knot. The newlyweds reside in Manhattan – and Dara became so close to them that she even lunched with them during her recent trip to NYC! (Be forewarned, if you choose Dara Blakeley Photography for your wedding photographer, you just might have a new friend for life – her warmth is infectious and her ability to relate to people is one of the reasons she excels in her craft).


Silverland Jewelry & Gifts SALE!

Silverland Jewelry & Gifts is having a blow out sale! In 
order to prepare for relocation, everything in the store is 50 percent off!

Silverland is well known for its exquisite collection of 
handmade bridal, bridesmaid and flower girl jewelry. Everything by Silverland 
is custom made and handcrafted just for you from the finest materials of pearl,
crystal, silver, gold and Swarovski crystal. You can be assured that each piece 
will be incredibly unique and personalized!

2013 Wedding Weekend OBX Bridal Show

2013 Wedding Weekend at the Outer Banks — January 18-20
Make a weekend out of the Outer Banks’ 2013 wedding expo! Enjoy a cocktail reception, a wedding show and the gorgeous North Carolina coastal weather while meeting with professional vendors from the area!

Chat with photographers, spas, videographers, florists, planners, musicians, and more while enjoying food from local caterers and bakeries!

Last year’s Wedding Weekend was a total success, stay tuned to the SB&G blog for more info on this upcoming event!

SB&G’s August Giveaways Announced!

Register with SB&G by July 31 to qualify for our awesome 
August giveaways! This month, lucky brides and grooms can win:

-$100 to La Residence in Chapel Hill. Enjoy American-infused 
French cuisine on the garden patio at this Chapel Hill landmark.

Bel Canto Designs "Lacey" Cuff Bracelet

-$50 to Caffe Luna in downtown Raleigh. Spend a night out on 
the town and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine with a Tuscan flair in Caffe Luna’s main dining room.

-$75 to Café Parizade in Durham. With seasonaly changing Mediterranean-inspired 
menus, Café Parizade is sure to have something for everyone.

-A set of four Bel Canto Designs bracelets. The beautiful 
design, the “Lacey” cuff, is covered in rhinestones and finished with a ribbon 
tie. These bracelets would be perfect as bridesmaids gifts or to wear yourself 
on your big day!

Wedding Photography: How to Avoid “Uncle Bob” by Hosting an Unplugged Wedding

Who Uncle Bob is and How to Tell Him (and Other Guests) to Put Down the Technology and Let The Pros Handle it
Your big day has finally arrived – you are the image of
bridal perfection from your coiffed ‘do down to your French-mannied toes, and
you are about to step into the aisle and see your groomie for the first time.

Then, Uncle Bob steps in front of the professional photographer you hired to capture a photo on his
fancy-schmancy new camera. And you get this:

Who is Uncle Bob
exactly? Well, he’s photographer-speak for that family member that has nice
photography equipment and volunteers to take some pictures to give the bride
and groom as a gift. He truly, truly means well (well, most of the time.) But
really, he gets in the way of the professionals and photo-bombs the would-be gorgeous
shots of your big day (see above.)

So how do you avoid 
Uncle Bob? One option becoming increasingly popular is to simply have an
unplugged wedding – no phones, cameras, video cameras…anything electronic. At
all. Except, of course, for the photographer you booked. This allows you to
generalize the rules to the entire crowd, so your own Uncle Bob won’t feel
targeted or left out, and trust me, your professional photogs will be thrilled!

Ask your guests – via invitations or day-of programs – to
truly be with you during the day (the
ceremony, at least – maybe not the reception), not a spectator from behind
their iPhone screen. Come on, you’ve seen it (and most of us are guilty of it
ourselves) – the bride begins her walk down the aisle, arm in arm with her
father, and a hundred digital cameras, video recorders and smart phones pop up
to “capture the moment.”

Not only does this hamper the view, it disconnects you from your guests – who are most likely your closest friends and family – and whenever you look back at the professional’s photographs of your ceremony, you’ll see all your beloveds staring down at their screens, not enjoying what weddings are supposed to be about — the love between the bride and groom.

I know this isn’t for everyone — especially if the couple is relying on friends’ photographs and didn’t hire a professional, but for those who can splurge on a photographer for the day, why not ask your guests to enjoy it with you?

Local Bride Featured on TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress”

Say Yes To The Dress, a reality television show on TLC is featuring an NC bride on Friday! 

Amber Gray of Raleigh was selected for a “Rocker Brides” episode — she was looking for a unique dress that would show off her tattoos and be different than your “typical wedding gown.” The show was filmed at Kleinfeld’s Bridal in New York City in March, and she and her husband married in Greensboro in September!

“Being filmed was surreal! I was an avid viewer of Say Yes To The Dress, so to be in the salon and to be a part of the hustle and bustle was such a thrill. Sometimes I still can’t believe I was able to be a part of it, and that I was able to share it with my family!” Amber said.

Tune in to TLC Friday at 9 p.m. to see Amber go through the process of finding her perfect dress!

Visit SB&G at the Forever Bridal Summer Expo and Win a Two Night Stay at Sands Resort, Myrtle Beach or a Three Night Stay at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel!

The Southern Bridal Show & Expo by Forever Bridal is now less than one month away!

The expo, held August 11 and 12 at the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds, features over 150 Triangle wedding experts to inspire and assist brides (and all other members of the wedding party!) Fashion previews will highlight the latest trends in wedding apparel, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet with caterers, florists, photographers and consultants from the Triangle area. Representatives from venues throughout North Carolina will also be there to complete the experience for couples looking for guidance in the wedding planning process.

This annual show has attracted some of the best vendors from North Carolina for over 10 years. No matter what kind of wedding you are planning, the Forever Bridal event has something for everyone. Gift certificates, discounts and giveaways are waiting for you!

Come visit Saturday, August 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission tickets are valid for both days.

Stop by the SB&G booth to get your complimentary copy of SB&G and register for our monthly giveaways! While you’re there, register for our exclusive giveaways for Summer Expo participants! These prizes include a two night stay at Sands Resort in Myrtle Beach and a three night stay at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia!

Triangle Bridal Association Celebrates 10 Years

Triangle Bridal Association 10th Anniversary
Party & Membership Drive Event

Thursday, August 30th from 6 – 9 p.m.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine will be available.
Cocktail attire is requested.

Join the TBA in celebrating 10 wonderful years! Members are encouraged
to invite guests who are interested in becoming a member, and any guest that
signs up on the night of the event will receive their first year of membership
for $150 (a $325 value)! The member-host will also be entered to win a free year of membership if their guest applies for TBA!

As part of the TBA, members are quality-oriented wedding
experts subscribing to a Code of Ethics — dedicated to honesty, integrity and
commitment to professionalism.  The officers and members of the
association are excited to share this opportunity with everyone! Please
RSVP to by
August 20th. Give TBA a call at
919-873-1700 if you have any questions!


Lauren & Nicholas – Real NC E-session

Lauren and Nicholas met at Lauren’s Greek function after being set up by her sorority sister, who knew Nicholas from high school. When Nicolas asked if he could call Lauren, she sarcastically told him she’d “believe it when she heard her phone ring!” But sure enough, a few days later (on Valentine’s Day!) Nicholas called Lauren and showed up at her house with a dozen roses, chocolate, and an offer for a first“real” date!

Nicholas proposed on a couples retreat to Lake Lure, NC, and the duo began planning their September 2012 wedding! They selected the Sheraton Raleigh for their Big Day location, as it combines “value, convenience and a touch of elegance.”

Lauren disclosed that she discovered many of her wedding vendors at SB&G, and the couples’ friends Courtney and Matt were recently featured on our Real Weddings page! Thanks Lauren, and congratulations y’all!

Photos courtesy of J & J Photography

Lauren and Nick – Real NC Engagement Session

Lauren and Nick met at a UNC-Asheville basketball game, where he was the coach and she worked with the Big South
Conference. They were friends for several years before finally beginning to date.

Three months before Nick proposed, he and Lauren were eating Chinese take out, and her fortune said “remember this date three months from now.” A week before Christmas (and exactly three months later!), Nick gave Lauren a present. It was a piece of his late grandmother’s luggage with her initials “LM” embroidered on it. He told her he wanted those initials to be her new initials!

The couple is planning a soft pink and gray themed wedding at the National Golf Club on August 12, and had their engagement photographs shot in Southern Pines, NC – Lauren’s hometown.

Image courtesy of InContrast Images.