Monthly Archives:: June 2013

Upcoming NC Wedding Show — Forever Bridal Fall Southern Bridal Show and Expo

We’ve got an exciting upcoming NC wedding show to announce today! Forever Bridal’s Fall Southern Bridal Show & Expo, which expanded to a two-day event last year, is returning to the NC State Fairground’s Jim Graham Building on August 10th and 11th.

The show features over 150 Triangle-area wedding professionals to inspire and inform you. Make a day of it and enjoy fashion previews debuting the season’s latest trends in wedding apparel, meet with the most talented vendors in the Triangle — from caterers and florists to wedding planners and photographers — and get ideas for your big day! Forever Bridal has hosted some of the most anticipated bridal shows in the area for over 10 years, and is the perfect way to get a jumpstart on your wedding planning.



Thanks to f8 Photo Studios for the poster photo!

Use Event Lighting Services to Set the Mood for Your Wedding

We all understand the importance of having a true professional DJ who can emcee the flow of your wedding reception and keep your guests on the dance floor all night, but have you ever considered adding event lighting services to your ceremony and reception? Dramatic lighting can truly impact the ambiance of your big day and take the party to the next level. Southern Bride & Groom‘s recommended DJs all also specialize in event lighting and production services.

Event Lighting Wedding Production Services NC

Adding elements of lighting can transform the feel of a stately hotel ballroom into a night club vibe, perfect for the celebratory nature of wedding receptions! Lighting can add depth to small rooms, dramatically boost the appearance of blank walls, or even make large spaces feel more cozy and full. If you’re using the same space for your ceremony and reception, adding lighting for the after-party will make the room feel totally new and different.

You can also use gobos — screens used in conjunction with spotlights to create a shape — and have your names, new monograms, even your wedding date, or even a custom designed logo projected on the walls or dance floor of your event space. The colors of event lighting can be customized to match your wedding theme, and can be as subtle or dramatic as you’d like.

The photo above was taken at a wedding DJ’d and lit by No Regret Productions, who just moved into a new office space in Durham. Contact them today to chat about customizing your wedding with dramatic event lighting!

Summer Menu Preview at the Washington Duke Inn’s Fairview Dining Room – Durham, NC

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a special summer menu preview at the Washington Duke Inn’s Fairview Dining Room – one of the top four-diamond restaurants in NC. Executive Chef Jason Cunningham prepared a four-course sampling menu of many of the fresh, seasonal new dishes he has created for summer.

Chef Cunningham named Course 1 “LUSH.” An assortment of light bites from the appetizer menu, the centerpiece of this round was a Spanish Gazpacho, complemented perfectly by a mini buttered brioche mahon grilled cheese, Johnstone County prosciutto and cornichon, and the Southern classic deviled egg.

Washington Duke Summer Appetizers

“Kale is all the rage right now,” said Cunningham when he talked us through the menu. So came the inspiration for the second course, “RIPE,” which featured a delectable Kale Salad from the local Cottle Farms, finished with blue lake pole beans, citrus marinated fennel, red cabbage and a lemon dressing. Also served on this plate was a perfectly prepared American Red Snapper – Chef pointed out this fish is perfect at this time of year and he plans to have it on the menu all summer. The snapper was served with spiced watermelon jicama slaw, basil oil, and marinated heirloom tomatoes.

Washington Duke Summer Menu

The next round was titled “ABLOOM,” and although I was already fully satisfied after my first two courses, when this plate was presented, I knew I was going to have to eat every bite. Rosemary Grilled Niman Ranch Pork tenderloin (a larger cut will be on the dining room menu) was tender and flavorful, as served with braised mustard greens, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, and bourbon peach chutney. This was paired with a whimsical Goat Lady Dairy Chèvre and Beet Salad, served with golden pea tendrils, frisee lettuce, tangerine vinaigrette, smoked paprika rubbed serrano ham, and chive oil.

Washington Duke Summer Menu

Pastries are another specialty of Fairview, and so we were lastly presented with a “BALMY” dessert course. My favorite thing on this plate was the Pistachio Frangipane Purse – swiss meringue, pistachio crème, and orange blossom ice cream. The other two samples were also irresistible: Chocolate Mousse and Cherries – ancho chile flowerless chocolate cake with NC’s own Cheerwine syrup, and a Blackberry Shortcake – blackberry vanilla coulis with kaffir lime white chocolate cream. I’d say I left blown away, and my belly left happy and full!

Washington Duke Summer Desserts

The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club is one of the premiere wedding and event venues in the Triangle Area of North Carolina. Southern Bride & Groom magazine has featured the Washington Duke in several past feature real weddings and photo shoots, and also had our customer party there this year. I cannot say enough about the high level of service that this prestigious venue provides its guests, as well as the classic beauty of its numerous, versatile event spaces. They have something for everyone – whether you are hosting a tea party for your bridesmaid luncheon, a 20 person intimate wedding ceremony, or a huge reception and party for several hundred guests.

At lunch, I had the pleasure of sitting with Director of Catering and Conference Services Diane Tighe, who has been at the Inn for 15 years. She and her catering staff oversee all weddings as social events. As we tried the delicious dishes, we chatted about the wedding industry and of course, how these events work at the Inn. The Washington Duke offers several different wedding packages – ranging from an “Everything but the Dress” package to an À la carte package. Regardless of what package an engaged couple chooses for their wedding, custom built is their specialty and you can expect to be taken care of at every step of the planning process.

“We treat our name as the name of the hotel,” Diane said over lunch. This really stuck with me – I think it is a fantastic attitude, and having worked with her so many times, I can personally attest that she means it. The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Course demonstrates quintessential Southern class and sophistication, in every aspect from its beautiful decor, to its acclaimed golf course, and its devoted staff, who specialize in making dreams come true for their lucky brides and grooms! Here’s a shot by Dara Blakeley Photography of me and my bridesmaids at the Washington Duke on my wedding day!

Washington Duke Wedding

Real NC Wedding — The Cookery in Downtown Durham

In honor of Wedding Wednesday, we have a stunning Real NC Wedding feature to share with you all! Rebecca and Devin tied the knot at Trinity United Methodist Church and celebrated afterwards at Durham’s gorgeous new event space — The Cookery. Enjoy their sweet photos, courtesy of Story Photographers.

The Cookery

The details of Rebecca and Devin’s big day are simply beautiful — from the sweet photo locket and memories wall to the teal and yellow color palette! We love the brightly colored bridesmaids dresses, the Billy Ball accents in Rebecca’s bouquet, and of course, the poufs of Baby’s Breath in quintessentially Southern mason jars tied with twine. The Cookery’s Front Room was the perfect venue for the couple’s reception, with its gorgeous exposed brick and urban chic vibe, and Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair staged the space beautifully! Congrats Rebecca and Devin, your wedding was stunning!

The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery

The Cookery
The Cookery

The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery The Cookery

Ceremony Venue: Trinity United Methodist Church
Reception Venue: The Front Room at The Cookery
Wedding Coordinator: Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair
Photographer: Story Photographers
Hair & Makeup: Bella Trio Day Spa

Engage!13 at Biltmore Estate — Dessert Party

This is the second installation in our Engage!13 Recap Series. Engage! is the premiere luxury wedding business summit, and this year it was held at the historic Biltmore Estate right here in the mountains of beautiful North Carolina! Our very own Jenna Olender attended this year, and we’re so excited to share some of her experiences and these beautiful photos!

Engage! summits are chock-full of professional presentations featuring business-savvy speakers, wonderful networking opportunities, delicious meals and over-the-top nighttime soirees. On the second night, attendees gathered for an outdoor dessert party on the Biltmore‘s stunning grounds. Enjoy these beautiful photos and get inspired for your wedding by the darling details that made the night two Dessert Soiree over the top!

Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party Dessert Party

A ton of behind-the-scenes work went into pulling off such an amazing party, and a slew of vendors helped make it perfect! The tent and rentals were from Classic Event Rental, the linens and specialty furniture (which we love) was from Nuage Designs. The floral and event design was courtesy of The Bloom Room, with beautiful vintage china from Upstyled Setting. Dana Cochran of A Fine Line Studio hand lettered the signage, and It’s A Wonderful Light provided the event lighting. The perfume garden was courtesy of the Spa at Inn on Biltmore Estate, the coffee and tea purveyor was by Royal Cup, the paper hats and pocket squares (so, so adorable) were provided by Kathryn Godwin, and the dessert table backdrop (complete with a bunting!) was by The Original Runner Company.

Photo Credits: 1/2/3b/11/12/13/16 by Jeremie Barlow, 3a/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/14/15/17  by Allan Zepada.

Summer Wedding Inspiration — Shades of Pink

Today marks the official beginning of summer, though it’s felt like it since early May here in The South! In honor of one of the year’s most beautiful seasons, we’re talking summer wedding inspiration today. Summer weddings are the perfect opportunity to showcase your love of color, as really anything in the spectrum is fair game! One of my absolute favorite pops of color in summer weddings is pink — any hue, from barely-there blush to loud and bright fuchsia!

Pink Inspiration Board


Doesn’t that just make you smile? You can incorporate pops of pink throughout your wedding day, from subtle ways like a fun signature cocktail to show-stealing printed bridesmaids dresses. I absolutely adore this flirty, full-skirted Lilly Pulitzer dress for your ‘maids. Or, have all of your girls in ombre hues of pink, and your Maid of Honor in a sweet Southern print! Lilly just opened a store at The Streets of Southpoint in Durham, so head that way for any dresses you may need for your wedding — from your bridal showers and luncheons to your rehearsal and your getaway dress, Lilly Pulitzer has you covered!

Another fun way to display your choice of wedding colors is in your food — especially your desserts. Break the cake tradition and serve your guests cool, creamy gelato. It’s the perfect way to chill out on a warm day, especially if you’re hosting an outdoor soiree. Sugarland, who was just named Best of the Triangle for gelato, can customize a gelato bar to fit your needs! Trust us, your guests will be thrilled!

So go for it, girls — get your groom to embrace pink, and have fun with this awesomely romantic summer color!

SB&G’s June Giveaway Winners and July Prizes Announced

Southern Bride & Groom gives away monthly prizes and gift certificates to local spas, restaurants, hotels, and more! This month, we had two winners of awesome giveaways, Abbey — who won a $50 gift card to Lather Salon & Spa, and Lauren — who won a $50 gift card to Parizade in Durham.

Giveaways 1Abbey and her fiance, Zachary

Giveaways 2Lauren and her fiance, Elliott

In July, we’re giving away three wonderful prizes:
-$50 to Caffe Luna, an Italian restaurant with a Tuscan flair in Downtown Raleigh
-$100 to Sparian’s Bowling & Bistro in Raleigh
-And, a one-night stay for two at the Raleigh Marriott City Center. This is the perfect opportunity for a little romantic getaway and a short break from the stress of wedding planning!

To win these or any of our fabulous monthly prizes, register with Southern Bride & Groom

Real NC Destination Beach Wedding — Shoals Club at Bald Head Island

In honor of Wedding Wednesday, we have a stunning Real Wedding feature to share with y’all today! Enjoy Candace and Marty’s sweet love story and these beautiful photographs from their Real NC Destination Beach Wedding at Bald Head Island, captured by Michael Moss Photography.

Candace and Marty met in a neuroscience course at the University of North Carolina, where they sat next to each other. While Candace developed a crush on him early on, she thought Marty wasn’t interested. In reality, he was planning on asking her out on the final day of class, which was accidentally scheduled on Good Friday, so students couldn’t get into the building! Candace couldn’t stop thinking about him, so she and her friends drafted a casual email to him about research. He responded immediately, and the duo emailed back and forth for about a week. Marty finally called Candace on Labor Day and asked her on their first official date.

On Candace’s birthday last year, Marty took her on a romantic date and proposed in a church gazebo surrounded by flowers. The couple began planning their May 12, 2013 wedding immediately! Candace had always wanted a beach wedding, and settled on Bald Head Island after seeing the beautiful Shoals Club.

Their teal, gold and ivory theme was the perfect combination of elegance and the couple’s bohemian flair, and accents of driftwood and outdoor lanterns completed the scene. Candace walked down the aisle to a song Marty had written for her (swoon!), and the duo celebrated with a dinner and reception with their closest friends and family members.

Candace and Marty used many members of the SB&G Family to make their wedding day perfect, including: A Southern Soiree, MakeUpForYourDay, The English Garden and Sugarland. Enjoy these beautiful photos shot by Michael Moss Photography, and a huge congrats to the Candace and Marty — your wedding was absolutely stunning!

Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding Real NC Destination Beach Wedding

Wedding Location: Bald Head Island, NC
Reception: Shoals Club at Bald Head Island
Minister: Mike Szymanowski
Rehearsal Dinner: Mojo’s on the Harbor
Wedding Planner: Megan Gilikin with A Southern Soiree
Bridal Gown: Nitsa’s Bridal Boutique
Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Jewelry: Nitsa’s
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm
Men’s Formalwear: Island Importer
Hair and Makeup: MakeUpForYourDay
Photographer: Michael Moss
Videographer: Southern Video Design
Florist: The English Garden
Cake: Sugarland
Invitations: Etsy
Ceremony Musicians: Adam Tao
Reception Music: Active Entertainment
Rentals: Shoal’s Club at Bald Head Island
Wedding Favors: Deltona Seashells
Transporation: Golf Carts

Engage!13 at Biltmore Estate — Welcome Party and Bonfire

Our very own Jenna Olender returned from engage!13 last week bearing a slew of new ideas and inspirations. engage!13 is the premiere luxury wedding business summit, and this year it was held at the historic Biltmore Estate right here in the mountains of North Carolina!

The summit is a whirlwind of professional presentations, business-savvy speakers and over-the-top nighttime soirees, including the Welcome Party on the first evening. Here are some stunning (and we mean stunning, y’all!) photos from the first gathering of the wonderful and inspirational weekend, which was a Southern-themed party in Biltmore‘s Antler Hill Barn. This makes for some drool-worthy wedding inspiration!

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party

ENGAGE!13 welcome party Photo by Allan Zepeda

ENGAGE!13 welcome party Photo by Allan Zepeda

ENGAGE!13 welcome party Photo by Allan Zepeda

The adorable and quintessentially Southern design and decor was provided by Pressed Cotton (with an amazing event map by Brent Holloman); linens by Nuage Designs; lighting & tent by Classic Event Rental; furniture from Settee; custom pillows, mixology napkins and corn hole beanbags by Gifts for the Good Life. The mixology bar was by Troy and Sons, and the sweet palate sign that accompanied the bar was courtesy of Dana Cochran, A Fine Line Studio. Hilary Hawk & The Flipsides and Ray Jarrell Entertainment kept guests entertained throughout the wonderful evening of mingling with the top wedding professionals from around the world.

Photo Credits: 1/2/3/4 by Andrew Henderson for Carla Ten Eyck, 5/6/7/8/9 by Carla Ten Eyck, and 10/11/12 by Allan Zepada.


How To Honor The Father of the Bride at the Wedding

Since Father’s Day is just around the corner (this Sunday,y’all!) we thought we’d dedicate this week’s Advice Friday post to ideas to make your dad feel special on your wedding day; to show him that no matter how old you are, or who comes into your life, you’ll always be his little girl.

1. Give Him A Little Gift
Some of our favorite tokens on a wedding day are small gifts given from the bride to her father, like an embroidered handkerchief, personalized cufflinks, or a special photo opportunity.

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2. Give Him A Bear Hug When He Gives You Away
One of the things my dad was most excited about for my wedding day was walking me down the aisle and giving me away, but I also know that it was probably the hardest thing he had to do all day. I’m an only child, and as his little girl, it took a lot for him to hand me over to my husband. Let your dad know he’s still your number 1 guy with a big hug and kiss before you join your fiancé at the altar.

3. Let Him Surprise You With A Father/Daughter Dance Song
My dad chose the song we’d dance to weeks before the wedding, but refused to tell me! At first, I wasn’t thrilled about this, but honestly, it turned out to be a very sweet detail. When it came on, I immediately burst into tears, and we spent the rest of the dance chatting. It meant a lot to me that he put so much thought into it.


Give your dads a huge hug this weekend, ladies, and Happy Father’s Day!