Monthly Archives:: December 2012

SB&G 2013: Silver Anniversary Style Shoot

Setting the Scene in Silver
Imagine a wedding that leaves your guests speechless. Spheres of blossoms bubble up around a stunning hand-painted silver cake, and continue a cascade that flows over the sweetheart table, spilling into a pool of petals. Our bride sparkles in her glamorous gown with crystal embellishments — a statement of ultimate wedding elegance.

Southern Bride & Groom achieved a major milestone in 2012 — our 25th Anniversary as the Triangle’s most trusted bridal resource. We commemorated the occasion with a Silver Style Shoot at The Siena Hotel, a Tuscan-inspired boutique hotel in Chapel Hill. Its restaurant, Il Palio, is a four-diamond dining experience, and it caters all of their wedding events. The Siena is perfect for an intimate wedding or rehearsal dinner for up to 100 guests.

Congrats to The Siena Hotel and Douglas Carroll Salon & Spa, who are also celebrating their silver anniversary! And thanks to everyone else who helped make this shoot a gorgeous reality for our 2013 magazine: Sally Oakley Personalized Wedding Planning, Fresh Affairs, Sugarland, Party Reflections, Paper Cafe, Lana Addison Bridal & Charlotte’s.

Enjoy these stunning photos by f8 Photo Studios, and make sure you check out the awesome, behind-the-scenes video by f8 in Motion!

Riley MacLean Photography Opens Durham Studio

Riley MacLean Photography opened a studio location in Durham for his wedding and portrait photography business. We attended his opening soiree and got to check out the new digs.

The room has a chic downtown Durham urban feel, and the highlight of the space that Riley designed is a wall of stunning photographs taken by Riley, and his studio-mate, Annemie Tonken of Megapixie Photography. The office is located on Foster Street, right down the street from Durham Central Park, and nestled between a favorite Durham restaurant, Piedmont, and one of our SB&G bakeries, DaisyCakes. (Its also right down the street from our Southern Bride & Groom Magazine office!)

Congratulations to both of these stellar Triangle NC photographers on their new location! We’re thrilled to welcome you to the hood as new neighbors!

Riley MacLean is a stand-out photographer who we are proud to recommend to our Southern Bride & Groom readers. His easy-going demeanor makes brides comfortable, and his photographs are always captivating, especially his portrait and landscape work.

Below are a couple of faves of ours from Riley’s collection.

Riley MacLean Bride and Groom

Riley MacLean Engagement Session

Bennett Bunn Plantation ~ Raleigh Wedding Venue

One of Southern Bride & Groom’s new preferred vendors is the Bennett Bunn Plantation, which is located in Zebulon, NC, just 15 minutes from the Raleigh Beltline. I had the privilege of attending a holiday event there this weekend that the Hendricksons, who own the property and live in the onsite plantation home, hosted to celebrate the holidays, as well as the completion of their lakeside lodge.

Driving into the Bennett Bunn Plantation is like stepping back in time. Upon passing through the brick gated entrance, the sight of the lovely historic home is the first site. The grounds host several large horses and several old-fashioned carriages (which both make wonderful wedding photo-ops). The brand-new lodge is a fabulous wedding venue that sits alongside a lake with a wooded view and a gazebo. The lodge has a cozy indoor room with a fireplace, bar and kitchen, an outdoor patio with a large stone fireplace and firepit, and plenty of room to add on with tent to host extra people. I am absolutely in LOVE with this place (and the Hendrickson family’s brand new litter of puppies)!

If you are looking for a plantation or country setting for your NC wedding, I highly recommend checking out this unique venue! Here are just a few photos I took on my phone while at the event, but for more photos, and more about their history and booking a wedding event, visit their website Here!

Bennett Bunn Plantation
Bennett Bunn Plantation Lodge
Bennett Bunn Plantation Fireplace
Bennett Bunn Plantation Lodge InsideBennett Bunn Plantation Katie Hendrickson
Bennett Bunn Plantation Horse FarmBennett Bunn Plantation Band

Real NC Wedding – Blair & Spencer

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday here at SB&G, and y’all…prepare for some adorable photos & a super sweet love story from our gorgeous bride, Blair!

Blair and Spencer met in high school, but not much came out of it as they went to two separate colleges — she to the University of North Carolina and he to Elon University. After graduating, both moved away, but returned to the NC area in 2008, where they ran into each other at a mutual friend’s wedding and immediately hit it off…they’ve been together ever since!

Earlier this year, the couple planned a night out in Chapel Hill, and Spencer suggested grabbing cocktails at The Carolina Inn before their dinner reservations later that evening. After enjoying a glass of wine, Spencer walked Blair over to the Old Well, where he dropped to one knee and popped the question! Of course, Blair said yes, and they began planning their August wedding.

The couple chose The Great Room at Top of the Hill as the perfect spot for their big day for its awesome location and relaxed aesthetics. It was truly a family affair, as personal friends and relatives played a huge role in the production of Blair and Spencer’s dream wedding; the bakery is owned by the groom’s cousins, and even the florist was a close friend of the family!

Their gorgeous day was pulled off with a soft and summery color pallet of yellow and grey, carried out through the bridesmaids dresses and stunning florals.

Blair and Spencer used SB&G throughout the wedding planning process and chose awesome vendors from the SB&G family, including: The Great Room at Top of the Hill, Croasdaile Country Club, Tre Bella Bridal, and Bella Trio Day Spa. Now, enjoy these photos from Krystal Kast Photography!

Congrats Blair and Spencer…your wedding was beautiful, and SB&G wishes you all the best!

Southern Bride & Groom 2013 Magazine Launch and Release

Christmas came early this year, y’all! Southern Bride & Groom 2013 is here, and we are thrilled to release our biggest and best issue yet!

Dara Blakeley Cover_lo res_actual size
SB&G 2013 contains everything you need to know about planning a wedding in North Carolina’s Triangle area. This 26th edition of SB&G is full of more inspirational style shoots than ever, 10 real NC weddings, and tons of articles with etiquette and planning tips that every bride needs to know for her big day — whether it’s here in the South or beyond the Mason-Dixon!

As always, SB&G recommends only the best of the best wedding venues, bridal salons and wedding professionals to our brides. With SB&G, you will be able to plan a Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill or Greater Triangle Area wedding from engagement to honeymoon, and rest assured that each vendor you select is reliable and top-notch. We have also expanded our Destination Wedding section this year to include more NC and nearby Southern wedding destination locations.

We are so pleased to reveal our 2013 cover — a fresh and modern look that we are absolutely over the moon for! This moment was captured by Dara Blakeley of Dara Blakeley Photography during our Fashion Shoot at The Umstead Hotel & Spa. The stunning gown that our model (from Directions USA) twirls in is a Jenny Packham design from Tre Bella Bridal. Hair and makeup was done by Lather Hair Salon, and the stunning jewelry is from Anfesa’s Jewelers.

Be sure to keep track of the SB&G blog, as we’ll be sharing our various photo shoots and releasing the online version of the magazine in just  few short weeks! Well also be delivering the magazines this week to many of our vendors throughout the Triangle — but one of our first stops (and a great place to snag your copy of the newest edition!) will be the various Triangle Area Belk Bridal Registries — at Southpoint, Cary Towne Center, Triangle Towne Center, and Crabtree Valley Mall.

Advice Fridays: Tips on Tipping Your Wedding Vendors

Y’all may remember that I am in the midst of planning my own wedding, and something that has troubled me from the start is tipping my vendors. How much? When? HOW MUCH?

There are so many sources available to brides these days, but none of the advice seems to match up, and it’s easy to get too caught up in the thought process, which guarantees your head will be spinning before you stuff envelopes and start doling out gratuity!

So, you’ve got your wedding budget, and so far, you’ve stuck to it! The big ticket items like the venue, catering, dress, flowers, photography & more are all taken care of, but you’ve still got that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something…and it’s probably factoring estimated tips into your big day spending!Dara-Blakeley-White-Flowers-Draped-Ceiling

In general, you should tip any wedding service that you would tip for at any other time. For vendors who own their own businesses — like photographers, florists, and wedding coordinators — tipping isn’t standard, but it’s certainly greatly appreciated. Remember that while a cash gift is wonderful, the best thing you can give your vendors on your wedding day is a smile & a grateful attitude, and a thank you note follow-up is the icing on the cake.

So when you’re ready to start labeling envelopes, be sure to check out these tips from The General Guideline for Exceptional Service:
For the DJ — for a great job of keeping your guests entertained and on the dance floor, the guidelines recommend 10%+. Have the tip prepared to hand out (by you or your wedding planner) before they pack up and leave the reception.
For the catering or wait staff and bartenders — first, check to see if the tip is included in the contract. If it’s not, tip between 15% and 20% of the total catering bill and/or the alcohol bill designated for team of servers and staff. Have this envelope prepared by the end of the reception as well.
For the hair and makeup services — tip as you normally would at your salon, around 15%. Give this tip to your stylist after they’ve made you and your ‘maids gorgeous!
For the ceremony musicians — five to 10 dollars per person, per hour is appropriate. Make sure you have this tip prepared to dole out directly after the ceremony, as the ensembles usually clear out soon after their part in the big day is finished.
For the officiant — you may offer a tip or a contribution to the church to express your appreciation. This tip is best given at the rehearsal dinner or the reception.
For the parking attendants — you may post a sign for your guests if you are taking care of the tip, which should be approximately a dollar per car.

Assign a friend, family member, or your wedding coordinator to be in charge of handing out the tips. Trust us, in the whirlwind that will be your wedding day, the last thing on your mind will be doling out envelopes!

Photo credit: Photo by Dara Blakeley Photography 

Tre Bella Bridal’s 2012 Holiday Cocktail Open House

Tre Bella Bridal is the premiere bridal gown boutique in Durham. This urban-chic salon is owned by three sisters who also design amazing wedding floral arrangements with Tre Bella FlowersJenny-Packham-Dentelle-Bridal-Gown-Tre-Bella-Bridal

On December 28th at 6 pm, Tre Bella Bridal is hosting their Holiday Cocktail Open House for brides!

Make sure to jot it down in your calendar so you don’t miss a great opportunity to check out all of their beautiful gowns, veils and bridal jewelry & accessories (much which is hand-made by Kate – one of the Tre Bella sisters)! The wonderful staff will be on hand throughout the evening to answer any questions you may have.

Stay tuned to the SB&G blog, Facebook, Twitter & newsletter throughout the year for information on Tre Bella’s trunk shows, promotion sales and more!

The dress featured in the image is Jenny Packham’s Dentelle gown from her Spring /Summer 2013 collection.

Jewel Tone Floral Inspiration

In honor of Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald, we are making today’s Wedding Feature Wednesday all about jewel toned florals! Say goodbye (for now) to muted, rustic hues and embrace multi-faceted, lush tones that will make your guests say WOW!

Here are some of our favorite classically elegant arrangements from SB&G’s floral shoots over the last several years:

Purple Puddle created a magnificent display of ombre purple tones for our 2010 floral shoot at the beautiful Brier Creek Country Club. The lavender centerpieces are stunning, and accented by vivid violet chair decor and soft purple linens. Whether you choose to go with plum, violet, lavender or lilac shades for your big day, you will exude elegance, romance and regality.

You can have the best of both worlds with this lush display by The English Garden, also taken during our 2010 floral shoot at Brier Creek! This tablescape wows with vivid greens and deep red rubies without losing the charming garden-feel dear to so many brides’ hearts.

Ninth Street Flowers stuns during our 2011 floral shoot at Prestonwood Country Club. This vibrant display of the deepest hues of sapphire, ruby, emerald and topaz shows off your fun and fresh personality while still retaining an elegant vibe. Candlelit tables covered in royal purple linens are not only regal, but perfectly classic.

Want more gorgeous emerald inspiration? Check out SB&G’s emerald Pinterest board!

Photo Credit: All photos in this post are by Photography by Walters & Walters

Holiday Giveaway Facebook Contest

Southern Bride & Groom Magazine is excited to announce a very special holiday giveaway Facebook contest!


Jekyll Island Club Hotel, GA

On December 24, we will pick one winner to receive a 4 day, 3-night stay at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. All you have to do to enter is follow this LINK to “Like” our page and sign-up!

SB&G’s Facebook page is great for any NC bride or wedding professional to follow, as we regularly post wedding inspirations, news & events, special contests, and real wedding features. Please note that with the new Facebook settings, if you want to see our posts, it is best to select “Show in Newsfeed” via the “Like” tab after you become a fan.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel is a stunning property in Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia. From the NC Triangle it is about a 5-6 hour drive, but upon arrival you’ll feel like you’re in another world, with one of the most spectacular and unique beaches in the country- Driftwood Beach. Bike around the jungle inland throughout the day, lounge around the pool, and enjoy delicious meals onsite at the hotel. Jekyll Island Club Hotel also hosts several stunning weddings each year and is an ideal destination wedding location.

So be sure to enter the contest this month by liking our Facebook page and following the steps for our “Holiday Contest”, and share with anyone you know would benefit from following the NC wedding new and inspirations source!

Be Nice To Your Bridesmaids

Your best friend is engaged! As you jump around screaming, clutching the phone, she asks: “Will you be my bridesmaid!?” And you exclaim, “Of course!” But what does that mean for the next several months (or years?) Team SB&G has compiled a list of tips to help make sure your friendship stays in tact, and becomes better than ever!

Battle of the Budgets
If you and your girls are newly college alums, it’s best to make sure that no one feels uncomfortable about their financial situation. Brides, choose a reasonably priced bridesmaids dress, or select a color palette and let your bridesmaids find something in their budget, or use something from their own closet! If you’re all established in your careers, it’s more acceptable to ask your gals to purchase a specific dress and shoes…just make sure you run a few ideas by them first!

Don’t be a Bridezilla
It’s your big day, Brides, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to make outrageous demands of your best friends. You chose the dress, and it’s perfectly acceptable to dictate a code for jewelry, but if you’re going to request that your girls wear certain baubles, provide them as your bridesmaids gifts. You can even suggest keeping summer tan lines (or fake-baking) in check and a certain nail color, but you are never to tell your bridesmaids “no pregnant bellies” — Mother Nature wins that battle, and your girl’s life plan shouldn’t revolve around your wedding day. Also, let your besties take off their shoes at the reception, especially if you’re requiring them to don stilettos! And bridesmaids, cut your friend some slack — planning a wedding is stressful, emotional, and overwhelming!

Remember – You’re Best Friends….Respect Each Other!
Brides, it’s more than likely that your bridesmaids (especially if you have a lot of them from all across the country) won’t be able to all make every shower, party or festivity. Cut them some slack, and remember that while you’d love to have them all by your side all the time, standing by your side on your wedding day is the real reason you asked them to take part in your big day! And bridesmaids, let the bride make choices about her nuptials without criticism or unsolicited comments — you will get your chance! So if she loves canary yellow bridesmaids dresses or an all lace bridal gown, let her go for it — it’s what makes her happy and on her day, what she says goes!

Photo credit: Photography by Luster Studios