Monthly Archives:: January 2013

Alexia’s Bridal Boutique Fashion Event

We were honored to attend a beautiful cocktail soiree at Alexia’s Bridal Boutique, the Vera Wang salon in downtown Raleigh last week, which centered around a bridal runway presentation featuring the newest, most glamorous couture designs in bridal and eveningwear. The evening started off with hors d’oeuvres from Crave and Sweet Memories Bakery, and a jazz trio from John Brown Entertainment Group, while guests enjoyed perusing the gorgeous gowns in the bridal boutique and catching up over champagne.

Alexias Bridal Boutique

Alexia’s Bridal Boutique

Alexia and Michael Joyce

Alexia and Michael Joyce, owners of Alexia’s Bridal Boutique

Crave Catering Fruit Display    Crave Catering

John Brown Entertainment Group

Jazz Trio from John Brown Entertainment Group

Donna Parks and Jenna Olender

Team SB&G: Donna Parks and Jenna Olender

Alexia's Bridal Boutique    Alexia's Runway

The highlight of course was when we were seated for the runway presentation. Fresh Affairs set the scene with beautiful floral arrangements, and James from Photography by Walters and Walters captured the event.

We couldn’t wait to share the stunning images of the new lines from top bridal designers from their fall collections. From black to red; mermaid to ballgown, these dramatic gowns are what is hot in bridal fashion.

Douglas Hannat 91212     Douglas Hannat
The first wedding gown we saw was Douglas Hannant “91212”- a plaid patterned silk taffeta gown with long beaded sleeves and a dramatic low cut back.

Vera Wang Kaye     Vera Wang Kaye
Vera Wang’s “Kaye” is a mermaid gown with chevron pleated bodice and a tulle skirt and a shoulder floral applique.

Vera Wang Katarina     vera wang katarina
Vera Wang’s “Katarina” is a strapless ballgown with a tulle panel skirt, flange applique and Chantilly lace detail.

Vera Wang Katherine     Vera Wang Katherine
Another Vera Wang strapless ballgown, “Katherine” has a hand rolled floral detail skirt and horsehair trim.

Vera Wang Jessica     Vera Wang Jessica
Vera Wang’s “Jessica” in black is a classic mermaid style, with micro pleated bodice and sheared organza full skirt.

Douglas Hannant 96512     Douglas Hannant
Douglas Hannant “96512” is a low back lace sheath gown with velvet accent.

Vera Wang Joesephine     Vera Wang
“Joesephine” by Vera Wang is a V-neck halter ballgown with Chantilly lace bodice and a full tulle skirt.

Monique Lhuillier Infinity     Monique Lhuillier Infinity
Monique Lhuillier “Infinity” has an elongated strapless bead-encrusted Chantilly lace bodice with a full tulle skirt.

Kenneth Pool Cintrine     Kenneth Pool
Kenneth Pool “Cintrine” bridal gown has lace and tulle scoop neckline atop a dropped waist ballgown with an organza flower at the hip.

Claire Pettibone Viola     Claire Pettibone
“Viola” by Claire Pettibone is an embroidered mermaid dress with an illusion back and hand placed Guipure lace trims.

Monique Lhuillier Poet     Monique Lhuillier Poet
Monique Lhuillier’s “Poet” has a double layer Chantilly lace sheath with embellished bateau neck and back.

Douglas Hannant 90812     Douglas Hannant
Hollywood-glam is the style of Douglas Hannant “90812” – a one-shoulder mermaid gown with cut bead detail.

Kenneth Pool Rio     Kenneth Pool Rio
Kenneth Pool’s “Rio” is a tulle and organza natural waist gown with a crystal and pearl beaded belt and textured skirt.

Monique Lhuillier Luxe     Monique Lhuillier Luxe
“Luxe” by Monique Lhuillier is a scoop neck embroidered chiffon sheath.

Vera Wang Kimberly     Alexia's Vera Wang
Vera Wang “Kimberly” is a strapless bias-cut ballgown with hand rolled floral and floating Chantilly lace detail.

Vera Wang Joanna     Vera Wang Joanna
“Joanna” by Vera Wang is a strapless mermaid gown with chiffon laddering and a tumbled skirt.

Vera Wang Kylie     Vera Wang Kylie
Glamorous in Red! Vera Wang “Kylie” is a mermaid gown with asymmetrical tulle, draped neckline and floral applique skirt.

Vera Wang Kassisa     Vera Wang Kassisa

Vera Wang Kassisa

Vera Wang “Kassisa” at Alexia’s Bridal Boutique Runway Show

The finale in daring red! Vera Wang “Kassisa” is a strapless mermaid gown with an inverted flange bodice and floral detail skirt.

Alexia and Michael Joyce     Lana Addison
After the runway presentation, Alexia and Michael Joyce were joined by their daughter, Lana (namesake of their sister bridal salon, Lana Addison Bridal– located in Cary, NC). They graciously thanked everyone who contributed to the event. A big thanks to the Joyce’s for their friendship and for the amazing work they do for the Triangle wedding community!

Flowers: Fresh Affairs / Catering: Crave & Sweet Memories Bakery / Photography: Walters & Walters / Hair & Makeup: J&F Gemelli Salon / Music: John Brown Entertainment Group / Beverage: Sip… A Wine Store / Event Lighting: Get Lit Special Event Lighting / Event Rentals: CE Rental

Alexias and Lana Addison

Staff of Alexia’s Bridal Boutique & Lana Addison Bridal


Real NC Wedding — Lindsey & Jeff

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday here at Southern Bride & Groom! Lindsey submitted her wedding to us through our website, and we couldn’t help but feature it after reading her sweet love story! Read on for the couple’s story and gorgeous photos from Dara Blakeley Photography.

Lindsey & Jeff met while attending North Carolina State University, but never became close, so after graduation, the duo slowly lost touch. Several years later, they ran into each other and started to catch up. Jeff was trying to get a group of friends together to go skydiving, and asked Lindsey if she’d like to come along. She was scared, but of course, said yes, and she and a friend went together. After such an amazing “first date,” Jeff & Lindsey were inseparable.

Three years later, Lindsey was itching for a proposal. So when Jeff called her to say he was buying a new truck, she wasn’t too happy about it…she wanted him to save up for a ring! When she went over to his house after work to see his new “toy,” she opened the garage to him kneeling on one knee with a beautiful ring. He asked her to marry him, and after getting over the initial shock, she couldn’t help but scream “YES!”

When the couple began planning their May 5, 2012 wedding, they immediately fell in love with the Angus Barn Pavilions — the perfect combination of rustic charm and elegance. With a color scheme of navy blue and bright apple green in mind, the couple got to work with the rest of the details. The palette was carried out through navy bridesmaids dresses,  navy suits for the guys and blue table linens, while the green added a fun pop of color with the groomsmen’s ties and the girls’ bouquets.

Lindsey & Jeff used SB&G throughout their wedding planning to ease the stress, and ended up using a slew of our vendors to make their big day perfect, including: a stunning wedding gown from Alexia’sSally Oakley (coordination), Caffe Luna (bridesmaids luncheon), and Dara Blakeley (photographer).

Congrats Lindsey & Jeff…your wedding was beautiful! And remember, rain on a wedding day means good luck and a prosperous future!

Wedding & Reception Location: Angus Barn Pavilions
Minister: Ed Sansbury
Rerhearsal Dinner: North Ridge Country Club
Wedding Planner: Sally Oakley
Brides Maid Luncheon: Caffe Luna
Bridal Gown: Liancarlo from Alexia’s
Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: Etsy
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Formalwear: Jos.A.Banks
Hair: Steven Norton
Makeup: Luxe
Photographer: Dara Blakeley
Videographer: Heart Stone Films
Florist: Fleurtations
Cake: Swank Cake Designs
Invitations: Paperbuzz
Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings
Reception Music: Fantasy Band
Rentals: CE Rentals
Wedding Favors: Koozies-

2013 Magazine Feature — Cakes & Desserts from SB&G’s Bakeries

This year, Southern Bride & Groom shot our Cake Shoot at the Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina. This gorgeous country home overlooks Laurel Lake, and everywhere you turn is a picturesque setting for your big day. From the beautifully manicured gardens to the expansive banquet hall, you can’t go wrong at the Highgrove!

Now, prepare to drool over these delectable desserts created by SB&G’s talented bakeries, located throughout the Triangle. Thanks to everyone who made this shoot possible, it was a huge success!

You can’t help but smile when you see this cake from Catering Works. Three round tiers are draped in sunshine yellow fondant and accented with bright florals in hues of red, lavender, peach, white and pink. This is the perfect cake to ring in spring!

This cake, also by the talented bakers at Catering Works, was inspired by St. Germain Liqueur — combining a racy red with a soft blue to evoke Parisian Bohemian flair. Everything about this cake is customized, down to the handmade “cake stand koozie.”

These cakes, both from Edible Art Bakery, feature stunning detail. On the left, a traditional white, three-tier cake is upgraded to modern with a splash of tropical color and rhinestone bands framing each tier. On the right, a soft yellow, square cake features a delicately crafted blooming tree — perfect for welcoming spring!

This fun dessert, also by Edible Art Bakery, is a topsy-turvy style asymmetrical cake featuring hues of white and silver. On the right, you an see a close up of the incredible detail these talented bakers put into their work.

As the SB&G team is chock-full of UNC grads, this cake makes our hearts sing! Its charming blue background is decorated with overlapping circles, which symbolize the wedding band. This creation from Sweet Memories Bakery is sure to catch your guests’ eye!

These two stunners, also by Sweet Memories Bakery, show the range of styles you can choose for your dessert! On the left, a traditional wedding cake is made into an artistic creation with hand-painted flowers. And on the right, treat your guests to an all-white pastry parade of cookies, cupcakes, cake, and cake pops!

Once in a Blue Moon Bakery gives a nod to the South with these cakes. We love this darling duo of cakes featuring the North Carolina State flower — the Dogwood!

These cakes, also by Once in a Blue Moon Bakery, feature simple textures and design. Enjoy Blue Moon’s cakes, prepared grandma’s style, with your favorite all-nautral fillings and flavors!

The amazing artists at Sugarland took inspiration for this gorgeous blue ombre cake from a retro-styled blue bridal gown. Ombre is one of this year’s hottest trends, and we adore the sweet floral details!

Sugarland went for an all-blue theme this year! On the left, a stunning sea glass cake is the perfect touch for a coastal wedding. Its shimmer and intricate detail truly depict the beautiful sea glass you’d find on the shore! On the right, Sugarland hits another big trend this year — chevron. And, we all know we’re suckers for anything with a monogram!

At the Highgrove Estate, brides can opt for a fun twist on the typical wedding dessert — an interactive s’mores bar! Guests will love this option, complete with toasting sticks, marshmallows, chocolate squares, graham crackers and a fire pit!

If you want cupcakes, there’s no better place than Gigi’s Cupcakes! These sweet pink and white delicacies are a combination of Mississippi Mud and Kentucky Bourbon with decadent cream cheese icing.

All photographs are by the wonderfully talented Kevin Milz Photography

Trendspotting 2013: Emerald Inspration

In honor of Pantone’s 2013 Color of The Year, Emerald, Team SB&G has put together an inspiration board all about how to incorporate this gorgeous jewel tone into your big day — for both you and your groom.

For the Bride
1. Wear this bold emerald gown to your rehearsal dinner, or dress your bridesmaids in varying shades of this hot hue.
2. These emerald & gold drop earrings are the perfect accessory for your wedding day. Pair them with a classic updo to really show them off.
3. Need something to tote your necessities in on your wedding day? Or something colorful to gift your bridesmaids? Try a pretty clutch like this emerald one.
4. For a subtle homage to this fabulous color, paint your toes with Essie’s Pretty Edgy polish.
5. Colorful shoes are all the rage in the world of weddings right now, are you bold enough to don these sparkly stunners?

For the Groom
6. We Southerners love our preppy bow ties! Have your groom or his groomsmen sport a brightly colored accessory, like this one above.
7. A perfect gift for your groom to give him just a little bit of extra luck on your big day — these soft green cufflinks.
8. For a subtle yet fun touch for the men in your wedding, try brightly colored socks. We love these emerald argyle ones!
9. Incorporate emerald all the way down to your wedding flowers. This gorgeous boutonniere in shades of green will pop off your groom’s tuxedo or suit.

For more inspiration about incorporating this sassy color into your everyday life (and of course, your wedding day!), check out our Emerald Details Inspiration Pinterest Board.

2013 Fashion Feature — Lana Addison Bridal

This year, SB&G’s fashion shoot at The Umstead Hotel & Spa focused on the parallels between couture wedding gowns and creative artistry. These are some of our favorites from Lana Addison, a high-end bridal boutique in the heart of Historic Downtown Cary. Lana Addison is a family owned, full-service bridal salon, where girls get a one-of-a-kind personal experience. The boutique offers designer accessories, special occasion gowns, bridesmaids dresses and in-house alterations.

At Lana Addison, brides-to-be can find a wide selection of wedding gowns from an array of notable designers, including: Pronovias, Martina Liana, Claire Pettibone, Amy Kuschel, Nicole Miller, Tulle New York, and more.

This stunning Pronovias gown from Lana Addison features a gorgeous low back, with a jeweled strap detail. It’s a perfect statement gown that’s still classic and elegant.

This lighter-than-air gown from the Martina Liana line at Lana Addison has a beautiful, fitted bodice, an a-line feathered skirt, and a jeweled floral belt for the perfect amount of added sparkle. Lather Hair Salon did a fabulous job on our model’s makeup, and jewelry from Bel Canto Designs was the ideal finishing touch.

This classic gown, also from the Martina Liana line at Lana Addison, features two of a Southern girl’s favorite things: dreamy petals and iridescent pearls. The sweetheart neckline and a-line shape are demure and unquestionably gorgeous.

This gorgeous Renaissance-inspired gown from the Pronovias line at Lana Addison features a dropped-waist, modified sweetheart neckline, and floral lace embroidery. We adore the full, tulle skirt!  The stunning headpiece our model is wearing was custom-made by the talented Lore EmelioMakeUpForYourDay gave our model a beautiful, polished look, and we completed the elegant feel with jewelry from Anfesa’s.

Newly-engaged gals, make an appointment at Lana Addison today to start looking for your dream wedding gown!

Photo Credit: All photos in this post are by the wonderfully talented Dara Blakeley Photography

NC Wedding Destination Town: New Bern

What’s so special about New Bern as a wedding destination?  After a recent visit and look at some of the remarkable venues in the historic downtown district and on the riverfront, it’s easy to see why couples are so drawn to New Bern to celebrate their nuptials.

There is certainly something entertaining for everybody on your guest list to do and see – all within the walkable downtown district. Tours are offered in many of the prominent historic homes. Many of the homes on the historical register also serve as Bed & Breakfasts, which we highly recommend for a true taste of Southern charm (although there are also full service hotels – including a Doubletree with a riverfront view). Delightful restaurants, antique shops and clothing boutiques are scattered around the downtown area. For a romantic evening activity, take your pick between a trolley or horse & buggy ride.

New Bern Waterfront

New Bern-Craven County Riverfront Convention Center

The most popular draw to New Bern aside from its rich history is the gorgeous riverfront. This makes the town’s Convention Center extremely unique. Not only does it have large ballrooms for large-scale weddings and events, it also has a lobby with a riverfront view. A sweeping floor to ceiling wall of windows invites in natural light and a full view of the harbor, and is a beautiful place for a cocktail reception. Guests will also enjoy the outdoor patio, which spills out onto the riverwalk. This also makes for a beautiful bride and groom portrait backdrop!

New Bern Craven County Convention Center New Bern Riverfront Convention Center
New Bern Harbor New Bern Riverwalk

Historical Homes Around Town

The History Center has several historic sites and gardens around town that are available for wedding ceremonies and small receptions. One place that charmed us was the Stanly House, which was the birthplace of two men who fought on opposing sides of the Civil War. The home later became the headquarters of a Union commander, and eventually a convent for nuns who worked as hospital nurses. The home has a beautiful 18th-century style garden in its back lawn, and its neighboring Carraway Garden has blooming flowers year-round.

New Bern Stanly House New Bern Carraway Garden

NC History Center & Tryon Palace

In 1770 NC’s Governor Tryon moved into the elaborate mansion that he planned and had built for himself, which soon came to be know as Tryon “Palace” because of its opulence and elegance. Tryon Palace served as the first capital of North Carolina, and housed the state governors for many years. In 1798, a fire destroyed the original building. After a 30-year campaign to rebuild this important piece of our state’s history by the people of New Bern, the reopening of the palace – built to match the original specs – took place in 1959.

New Bern Tryon Palace

Tryon Palace has been a museum since the reopening. The NC History Center was opened in 2010 to add to the experience of our state’s premiere historic site. This is a wonderful place to send guests for a tour. As one of the “greenest” public buildings in the state, it has a modern look with lots of natural light, and is itself an impressive event venue.

New Bern NC History Center

The Palace itself was made available for weddings only about a year and a half ago. We took a tour of the property, which boasts 16-acres of gardens with a plethora of sites for wedding ceremonies and small receptions (some photos below of some of my favorite spots). There are endless opportunities for stunning portrait backdrops within the grounds as well – including the sculpture gardens, the horse stables, and in front of the palace itself. The most popular sites for larger weddings are in the front or back of the Palace. Wedding receptions can take place in a tent in designated areas, or the couple may choose to use the palace for the ceremony only, and then move to another venue such as the History Center or Convention Center for the reception.

New Bern Tryon Palace Lawn
New Bern Tryon Palace Grounds New Bern Tryon Palace Pigeon House
New Bern Tryon Palace Gardens
New Bern Kitchen Garden New Bern Tryon Palace Stables
New Bern Tryon Palace Sculpture Garden New Bern Tryon Palace Photo opp

A big thank you to our friends at the New Bern Convention Center, and the staff at Tryon Palace who took us on such an incredible tour! New Bern has a very special place in my heart after really delving into the history and sites for the day!


Announcing Our January Winners and February Giveaways

We’ve just drawn our first winners of 2013, and all of us at SB&G are stoked for another wonderful year of giveaways!

First, we’d like to congratulate our January giveaway winners:

Kelly and her fiance, Pavel, won a $100 gift certificate to La Residence in Chapel Hill! Kelly & Pavel are getting hitched May 4th at the Aqueduct Center.

Carmen and her fiance, Brice, won a $50 gift certificate to Parizade in Durham!  Carmen & Brice are tying the knot May 25 at the Trotter Building.

And our grand prize winner, Beth, and her fiancé, Josh, won our Forever Bridal Show giveaway — a honeymoon stay at Jekyll Island Club Hotel off the coast of Georgia! Beth & Josh plan to marry in North Carolina in August.

Now, we’re thrilled to announce next month’s giveaways:
-A $100 gift card to Second Empire in downtown Raleigh
-A one night stay and breakfast for two at the Sheraton Chapel Hill
-A $75 gift certificate to Weathervane at Southern Season

Register with SB&G now to qualify for these fabulous monthly giveaways!

Advice Fridays: Why I’m In Favor of Doing a “First Look”

Before I delve into why I, after months of contemplating, have become a firm believer in first looks, I want to say that it’s a totally personal decision.

I used to be completely against doing a first look in favor of upholding the tradition of your groomie not seeing you before you step into the aisle, but now that my own big day is approaching, and after many talks with my photographer and my fiancé, I’ve 100% changed my mind.

So, what exactly is a first look? It’s a fairly new trend, in which there’s a scheduled time before the ceremony, where you and your groom see each other for the first time in your wedding day garb — without all the spectators. It’s just you, your man, and your photographer. In this sweet, private moment, your photographer captures the roller coaster of emotions that comes with seeing each other for the first time.

Here are my top three reasons for doing a first look:

1. First looks are a wonderful way to squelch the nerves you will inevitably feel hours before you say “I do”. Even the most Type A personalities (raises hand!) will catch a case of the pre-wedding jitters — which is totally fine! It is kind of a big deal.

2. Your photos will be fabulous. This moment is not only special for you and your groom, but for your photographer as well. They’ll be able to capture the excitement and overwhelming joy you share. Y’all, these are images you will treasure for a lifetime — they’ll portray the raw emotion of your entire wedding day all in one sweet moment with your groom.

3.  It’s one of the only times throughout your wedding day where you and your groom will be able to share a private moment. Depending on the size of your wedding, you will inevitably be focused on thanking everyone for coming and making sure you’re a great host — which is fabulous! But, at the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your husband-to-be. So taking a few minutes to grab some awesome photos and spend some one-on-one time with your fiancé is a truly wonderful thing.

What do y’all think? Are you for or against first looks?

Photo Credit: Photo by Photography by Walters & Walters 

2013 Style Shoot — Great Gatsby

1920’s style has come roaring into the world of weddings this year, especially with The Great Gatsby hitting the silver screen in the spring! We love the resurgences of 20’s styling — from the gorgeous jeweled necklines and flapper dresses to the stacked heels and striped suits, you can’t go wrong with art deco!

For our 2013 edition of SB&G, we recreated a Gatsby-themed style shoot with glamour in every detail. Second Empire restaurant in Raleigh’s Glenwood district was the perfect setting for this shoot, and our gorgeous models are a real couple — Emily & Patrick — making the chemistry on set truly romantic. Emily & Patrick are Raleigh newlyweds who were one of the winners of our Couple’s Photoshoot Contest!

SB&G would like to thank the awesome team that made this shoot come to life, including: Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern (venue); Your Special Day Weddings & Special Events (coordination); Renee Sprink Photography (photographer) ; Tre Bella Flowers (floral decor); Tre Bella Bridal (bridal gowns); MakeUpForYourDay (bride’s hair & makeup); Bernard’s Formalwear (groom’s tuxedo); Bailey’s Fine Jewelry (china & stemware); Cute Buttons (menu & cigar labels); Elevate (party attendees & costumes); Bel Canto Designs (jewelry & bridal headpiece); Lore Emelio (headpieces); and Classy Transportation (Excalibur).

Enjoy these gorgeous photos (including some never-before-seen!) from Renee Sprink Photography, and check out the spread in Southern Bride & Groom 2013. Don’t have your copy yet? Read online here.

2013 Fashion Feature – Bella Bridesmaid

At this year’s fashion shoot at The Umstead Hotel & Spa, SB&G hosted Bella Bridesmaid — an adorable shop in Raleigh that exclusively focuses on chic, fashionable dresses for your favorite gals…and trust us, these are gowns your girls will love! Bridesmaids dresses have grown away from the shapeless, heavy days of years past, and are now full on fashion statements. Bella Bridesmaid has tons of popular collections, including Amsale, LulaKate, Coren Moore, and Two Birds (and lots more!)

Check out these photos — some of our favorites from the shoot — by the talented Dara Blakeley Photography. And newly engaged brides, make sure to include Bella Bridesmaid on your list of stops when you and your gals are on the hunt for the perfect dress!

These gorgeous navy chiffon gowns are from the Amsale collection at Bella Bridesmaid. Pair these with nude, metallic, or a fun-colored heel for a little added glam. Brides — love that crystal bracelet? Check out Bel Canto Designs for gorgeous, vintage jewelry to accessorize your big day. Also, thanks to Lore Emelio for custom-designing our girls’ awesome hairpieces!

Say “yes” to yellow in these adorable sunshine dresses by LulaKate, available at Bella Bridesmaid. Let your girls choose different necklines that flatter their specific shape for a funky, but still cohesive mismatched look.

This bright green ensemble is the perfect example of a sweet & appropriate style for junior bridesmaids. Having junior bridesmaids is a fantastic way to include girls who are too old to be flower girls, and too young to be full-fledged bridesmaids.

These two selections, both by Coren Moore from Bella Bridesmaid, showcase some of this year’s hottest trends — color blocking and iridescent coral.

All inspired now? Make your appointment at the Raleigh Bella Bridesmaid and start browsing…remember, it takes three to four months for your dresses to come in, so ordering early is a necessity!