Monthly Archives:: August 2013

Summer Wedding Favors Inspiration and Ideas

In honor of Labor Day coming up on Monday, we thought we’d give summer a last hurrah with some fantastic summer wedding favors inspiration and ideas!

If you’re planning to tie the knot in the summer (or in the spring!), these favors will seriously treat your guests. Be it ice cold refreshments, or sweet, frozen summer treats as a reception snack, your guests will be thrilled you went out of your way to accommodate them during the South’s hottest months! Here are some of our favorite ideas for summer wedding favors.

Summer Wedding Favors Inspiration and Ideas


For outdoor ceremonies or receptions during those hot summer afternoons, gift your guests a little something to help them beat the heat.

We love the idea of having fresh lemonade or water available for your guests to grab on their way to their seats — jazz it up with a large metal bucket and a cute, wooden sign! Tie your ceremony programs to woven fans, and place them on each seat…your guests will definitely appreciate the gesture, especially if your wedding venue is lacking in the shade department.

Or, provide your guests with their own, personal source of shade! Have a bucket of paper parasols (which can be customized with your wedding monogram, a sweet saying, or anything else you’d like!) available at the ceremony entrance. Not only will your guests be happy they won’t be baking in the sun, but it will also make for some absolutely adorable photo ops!

For the reception, think about giving away frozen treats — fresh fruit popsicles, ice cream, and the like. Tie a ribbon on the dessert for an extra-special addition to these tasty favors. Or, make it a dessert bar, where guests can customize sundaes with their own favorite toppings, or mix snow cone flavors for their own signature treat. The ideas are endless!

No matter what you do, be it a big or small gesture, your guests will be honored that you went out of your way to make them comfortable throughout your beautiful, summer wedding day.

Southern Bride & Groom Wedding Day Styled Shoot Sneak Peek

Earlier this month, Team SB&G wrapped up yet another beautiful photo shoot for the 2014 edition of Southern Bride & Groom, your Triangle Area wedding resource. We had so much fun working with some members of our family of vendors, and can’t wait to share the full shoot with you when the magazine debuts! But for now, here’s a sneak peek just for you!

This time around, we shot our Couples Fashion spread as part of a Wedding Day styled shoot at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel – one of the most chic and modern wedding venues in Raleigh. The shoot was complete with a wedding party, cake cutting and a fantastic, petal-filled, grand exit. To accomplish the look, we worked with Stacy Borelli of Swank Photo Studio — who went above and beyond to get the perfect shot.

Styling – A Southern Soiree | Hair & Makeup – Douglas Carroll Salon | Cake – Sugarland | Floral Design – English Garden | Paper, Gifts & Jewelry –  Charlotte’s  | Rentals – Classic Party Rentals | Models – Elevate | China, Glassware & Flatware – Southern Season | Formalwear – Bernard’s Formalwear | Bridal Gowns – Gorgeous Gowns | Formalwear & Bridal Gowns – Savvi Formalwear | Bridesmaid Gowns – Bella Bridesmaid

Here are a few Instagram shots from the behind-the-scenes team that day to give you a preview of what’s to come!

Behind the Scenes Couples Fashion Shoot Sneak Peek

Stay tuned to SB&G for more photo shoot information and, of course, the 2014 edition of the magazine, which will feature a slew of beautiful photos from our Couples Fashion Shoot to help you get inspired for your own big day! Follow us on Instagram for more on #SBG14!

Real Durham, NC Wedding — Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today’s Real Durham, NC Wedding is Carly and Tripp’s sweet March wedding at Duke Chapel, followed by a swanky reception at the beautiful Nasher Museum of Art. Thanks to Raycroft Art for the stunning photographs!

Carly and Tripp share a common passion for animals of all kinds — Carly studies octopi and they often volunteer at the zoo together. Instead of jewelry of flowers when it comes to gift giving, Tripp provides Carly with a new book about animals for her library at every opportunity. On Christmas Day of 2010, he presented her with his best gift yet — a diamond ring hidden inside a book called “Zoo Story.”

The couple decided on Duke Chapel for their ceremony site, as Tripp had graduated from Duke with his Masters in Theological Studies. They had frequented the chapel while dating, and knew it would be the perfect place to say “I do!” followed by an upscale reception at the Nasher Museum of Art.

To compliment Tripp and Carly’s love for animals, coordinator Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair helped put together an animal theme that popped up in details throughout the couple’s big day. They had animals on their invitations and seating chart, made donations to the World Wildlife Fund as wedding favors, and even had an octopus-themed wedding cake!

Tripp and Carly used SB&G throughout the planning process for inspiration and vendor recommendations, and ended up using many members of the SB&G Family, including: A Swanky Affair, Duke Chapel, the Nasher Museum of Art, Parizade, Bernard’s Formalwear, Floral Dimensions, Sugarland, CE Rental and the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club.

Congrats, Tripp and Carly…your wedding was beautiful! And a huge thanks to Raycroft Art for capturing these absolutely gorgeous photographs!

Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art Duke Chapel and Nasher Museum of Art

Wedding Consultant: Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair
Rehearsal Dinner: Bullock’s BBQ
Ceremony: Duke Chapel
Reception: Nasher Museum of Art
Caterer: Parizade
Photographer: Raycroft Art
Bridal Gown: Rivini
Men’s Formalwear: Bernard’s Formalwear
Florist: Floral Dimensions
Cake: Sugarland
Invitations, etc.: Indigo Envelope
Reception Music: Joe Bunn DJ
Linens and Rentals: CE Rental
Lighting: Total Production Services
Transportation: Duke Transit
Guest Accommodations: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Hair: Tucker Reilly
Wedding Favors: Donation to the World Wildlife Fund

Croasdaile Country Club ~ Beautiful Durham, NC Wedding Venue

Croasdaile Country Club, established in 1966, is a beautiful, newly-renovated private club located in Durham, North Carolina. For years, the club has been building its reputation thanks to its outstanding service, professionally designed golf course, and absolutely stunning setting.

Croasdaile is a wonderful choice for a wedding venue — they can host ceremonies, receptions, and rehearsal dinners for up to 300 guests, and you can’t go wrong with any of the beautiful and versatile locations on the club’s grounds! From the main ballroom to the stunning, traditionally-modeled smaller rooms, Croasdaile has a gorgeous space to fit every bride’s taste.

The club’s experienced staff helps guide brides-to-be throughout the wedding planning process — from the venue booking to the ceremony and reception; they’ll even help with the catering menu! Their talented chefs work one-on-one with couples to craft the perfect menu, be it light hors d’oeuvres or formal plated dinners. Croasdaile can even provide a selection of equipment and services to make your event absolutely perfect, including audio and video equipment, beautiful candles and centerpieces, and attendants.

Check out these beautiful photos from Laura and Victor’s September 2012 wedding at Croasdaile Country Club, courtesy of J&A Photography, and get inspired for your own big day!

Laura and Victor met at a wedding themselves. When they became engaged and started planning their own union, they fell in love with Croasdaile‘s country club feel and expansive outdoor patio, and decided it was the perfect location for their wedding day. Catering Sales Manager Diane Voss worked one-on-one with the couple to perfect their big day vision. The bride said, “Diane went above and beyond in so many ways! She was easy to work with, had great ideas, and helped to add so many special touches.”

Laura and Victor used SB&G to make their wedding day perfect! Laura’s cousin was actually on the cover of SB&G, so she got ahold of a copy and got to work with our planning vendors, like: Bernard’s Formalwear, Edible Art, Bella Trio Day Spa, and Bel Canto!

Durham NC Wedding Venue Durham NC Wedding Venue


Congrats, Laura and Victor, your wedding was beautiful!

Ceremony: The Summit Church
Rehearsal: 604 at West Village
Reception: Croasdaile Country Club
Bridal Gown: Victorian Rose
Bridesmaids Dresses: Victorian Rose
Men’s Formalwear: Bernard’s Fomalwear
Florist: Custom Floral Creations
Cake: Edible Art
Invitations, etc.: Invitation Box
Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings
Reception Music: Steve Stowe from Joe Bunn DJ
Hair & Makeup: Bella Trio Day Spa
Bridal Jewelry: Bel Canto

Southern Bride & Groom Floral Inspiration — Bright Orange Tabletop and Bouquet

This is another installment in our Floral Series from the 2013 edition of Southern Bride & Groom. This series is the perfect way to get floral inspiration for your big day! Today, we’re featuring the tabletop and bouquet designed by University Florist for our 2013 Floral Shoot. University Florist has been an integral part of the Chapel Hill floral scene since 1946, and carries the largest selection of flowers in the area. University Florist specializes in many different colors and types of roses, and their talented staff can create floral designs for any style bride, from traditional to contemporary!

For the 2013 Floral Shoot, University Florist designed a bright tangerine and orange tabletop and bouquet that creates a gorgeously rich vibe. The blend of ombre orange hues in the lilies, tulips and roses would be perfect for a North Carolina spring or fall affair, and pair beautifully with Rose Hill Plantation‘s beautiful ballroom and gold linen, china and flatware from Classic Party Rentals. University Florist added texture and original details with copper hand-designed chair embellishments and clementines accented with orange daisies at each place setting.

The lovely bride is wearing a stunning gown from Lana Addison Bridal, with hair and makeup by Bella Trio Day Spa. Thanks to Photography by Walters & Walters for the gorgeous photographs, some never-before-seen!

University Florist University Florist University Florist University Florist University Florist

Floral Design: University Florist
Linen, China, Stemware, Flatware, Chairs & Chair Linens: Classic Party Rentals
Place Cards & Table Card: Calligraphy by Carrie
Wedding Consultant: Chic Details Weddings & Events
Gown: Lana Addison Bridal
Jewelry: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry
Hair & Makeup: Bella Trio Day Spa
Venue: Rose Hill Plantation‘s Nathan Ballroom

Five Tips for Personalized Engagement Session Photographs

The engagement photoshoot, or “e-session” as it’s lovingly called in the wedding business, is a fantastic way to get some beautiful photos of you and your husband-to-be in something other than your wedding day garb, and it provides the perfect opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer before the big day. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the better the photographs will turn out!

So, here are five tips for personalized engagement session photographs!

1. Location, Location, Location
Choose a spot that has some kind of meaning to you as a couple — where you met, where you had your first date, where you got engaged, or where you like to spend time. Be it your own apartment, a cozy coffee shop, or your local farmer’s market, being familiar with your photoshoot location will not only make you more comfortable throughout the session, but it will also make your photographs more true to you as a couple!

Engagement Session TipsRiley MacLean Photography

Engagement Session TipsNancy Ray Photography

 2. Showcase Your Favorite Things
Are you and your fiancé total sports fanatics? Dog lovers? Bookworms? Personalizing your engagement session by incorporating your hobbies or things you love as a couple is the perfect what to show off your personalities and ensure that you’ll love the photographers for years to come, because they’ll be quintessentially you!

Engagement Session TipsKevin Milz Photography

Engagement Session TipsLuster Studios

3. Props
This may seem like an insignificant detail, but bringing a few props to incorporate throughout your e-session is another fantastic way to personalize your photos. Think balloons, bikes, chalkboard signs, funky chairs, mugs of hot coffee, or a picnic blanket…the sky is the limit when it comes to props that show off who you are as a couple! Your photographer will appreciate your creativity, and it will jazz up the space that you’ve chosen.

Engagement Session TipsNeil Boyd Photography

Engagement Session TipsNeil Boyd Photography

 4. Posing
It’s normal to feel a little bit awkward at the start of your photoshoot, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few minutes for you and your fiancé to warm up and establish a rhythm with your photographer. A good photographer will help “pose” you without you feeling like they’re totally monopolizing on the shoot. Buy don’t worry — they’ll walk you through the motions and give you little bits of direction throughout the session to make sure they get beautiful images. The photographer’s job is to capture the two of you in love, so relax and have a good time with each other! Laugh, smile and kiss when it feels right — a lot of times, those candid shots turn out to be some of the best in the bunch!

Engagement Session TipsRiley MacLean Photography

Engagement Session TipsNancy Ray Photography

 5. Be Yourself
If you’re a casual gal who prefers jeans and flats to formal dresses and high heels, that’s what you should wear. Outfits that are unique and showcase your personality are best for this type of shoot, so that when you look back on your photos, you see you. Be your own quirky self! It’s always a good idea to bring an outfit change or two to break up the shoot and vary the look of the photos. A few guidelines: bring several types of looks — some more casual, and others a little more on the formal side, but still you!

Engagement Session TipsRiley MacLean Photography

Overall, have a blast during your e-session. You’ll treasure the photographs for years to come!

New Real Raleigh, NC Wedding — The State Club

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at SB&G! Today’s Real Raleigh, NC Wedding takes place at The State Club, where Shauna and Johnathan tied the knot in April! 

Shauna and Johnathan were high school sweethearts who dated for 12 years before getting married! The two fell in love with The State Club’s elegant vibes, and finally said their I Do’s in Raleigh on April 27, 2013.

Since the couple had been together for so long, they DIYed many elements of their wedding to personalize the occasion — including a collage of their relationship through the years. Combined with their classic white, green and navy color palette, Shauna and Johnathan’s wedding turned out to be an absolutely beautiful celebration.

The couple also used Neil Boyd Photography to capture their big day perfectly!

Check out this sweet couple’s beautiful wedding and the story behind their relationship on the Shauna and Johnathan Real Wedding page!

NC State University Club Neil Boyd Photography

Want your wedding to be featured on SB&G? Submit it here!

Floral Inspiration — Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013

Fresh Affairs is an award-winning florist located in Raleigh, NC. Owner Lyn Graves has made flowers his life’s passion — he set up his first wedding at age 9, and his portfolio now includes over 11,000 weddings and events in over 14 states! Fresh Affairs has won many accolades, including over 75 state and national design competition wins. They’ve done designs for the Governor’s Inauguration, President Clinton’s Inauguration, and even been inducted into the North Carolina State Florist Association Hall of Fame. Fresh Affairs‘ designers work one-on-one with brides to create stunning floral arrangements for every budget.

Every year, Fresh Affairs hosts an event called Tabletop Extravaganza, where brides-to-be can explore many different options for floral tabletop designs. This season’s Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza showcased unique, one-of-a-kind designs in the traditional, modern and vintage styles. A fabulous team of vendors helped put together the amazing event, including: Party Reflections, Photography by Walters & Walters, Ashley Cakes, Heart Stone Films, Rocky Top Catering, Alexia’s Bridal, Joe Bunn DJ Company, Total Production Services and Paper Cafe.

Check out these beautiful photos of the Fresh Affairs‘ design team’s creations for the 2013 Tabletop Extravaganza, courtesy of Photography by Walters & Walters.

Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013 Fresh Affairs Tabletop Extravaganza 2013


Mark your calendars for next year’s Tabletop Extravaganza on Sunday, February 16, 2014 from 2:00 – 4:00pm!

How to Avoid Buying a Counterfeit Wedding Gown

Shopping online has been an increasingly popular trend over the past decade. Today, consumers can purchase anything they can imagine on the Internet — be it home goods, clothing, gym equipment…you name it, and it’s available for purchase with the simple click of a button, from the comfort of your own living room.

But is the same true when you’re looking to buy your wedding gown? Unfortunately, no. While buying wedding dresses online is a growing trend, there are some serious (and I mean serious, y’all) concerns to consider before purchasing a gown from a website.

How to Avoid Buying a Counterfeit Wedding GownPhoto by Cyn Kain Photography

There is a huge black market for wedding gowns (and bridesmaids dresses, too.) Factories mass-produce knockoff gowns and advertise them — with correct style numbers and photos stolen from the real designer’s website — at up to 50 percent off retail price. Brides will buy them, thinking they’re scoring a great deal on an expensive designer gown, but when their beloved dress finally arrives in the mail (that is, if it ever actually arrives), it’s made of cheap, stiff fabrics with uneven seams and hemlines, and completely wrong size-wise.

Most often, it costs more to try and “fix” the poorly-made knockoff gown than the buyer even paid for the dress in the first place. Then, the bride is left with an unusable dress only weeks before her wedding, with almost no chance at a refund from the original retailer. Even if they do manage to reach someone in “customer service” at the distributor, they’ll most likely end up getting only a restocking refund — a fraction of the original purchasing price.

But fear not, brides, there are ways to avoid buying a counterfeit wedding gown! First of all, trust your instincts — if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check the designer’s website for authorized retailers. The ones listed are the only stores permitted to sell the designer’s gowns, and they’re almost always a boutique with a physical address…online retailers are incredibly rare.

The best way to completely avoid getting caught up in the wedding dress black market is to shop at a trusted bridal salon. The bridal boutiques recommended by Southern Bride & Groom are all authorized retailers for the designer gowns they carry, and they have beautiful dresses to fit an array of budgets and styles. Shop with them and take all the worry out of purchasing a wedding gown!

September Giveaways — August Winners and September Prizes Announced

It’s that time again! Today, we’re revealing our August winners and announcing the prizes for our September giveaways. Each month, we give out a handful of gift certificates to local shops, restaurants, spas and hotels — to qualify, register with Southern Bride & Groom now.

September GiveawaysAshley and her fiancé Will won a one-night stay at the prestigious King’s Daughters Inn in Durham. This sweet couple is tying the knot at Prestonwood Country Club on September 21st!

September GiveawaysBarbara won a $50 gift certificate to Lather Hair Salon in Raleigh. Her and her fiancé Michael are getting married at Cobblestone Hall in November.

Katherine and her fiancé Eric won a $100 gift card to the Fearrington House Restaurant at Fearrington Village. The pair is getting hitched at Biltmore Estate in May of 2014.

Congratulations to all of our August winners! This month, we’re giving away:

-A $100 gift card to La Residence Restaurant and Bar in Chapel Hill. This Chapel Hill landmark offers a unique American twist on traditional French cuisine, and is perfect for a date night out on the town.

-A $100 gift card to Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern in Downtown Raleigh. Second Empire is located in the elegantly restored Dodd-Hinsdale house, which dates back to the 1800s, and combines history, atmosphere and gourmet cuisine for a truly unique dining experience.

-A $100 gift card to Bella Trio Day Spa in Durham. Bella Trio is the perfect place to spend an afternoon indulging in salon and spa services to relax away all that pre-wedding stress!

-A complimentary, one-night stay for two at the Millennium Hotel Durham. The Millennium is a beautiful property where visitors are able to take advantage of a wide variety of amenities and services.

Register with us by the end of the month to win some of these fantastic prizes! If you aren’t selected this month, we’ll keep you in our system for future giveaways!