Monthly Archives:: May 2014

Wedding Dress Sleeve Style Guide

After the Royal Wedding, sleeves reappeared in the wedding world in a huge way. From long, elegant lace sleeves to romantic, delicate cap details, sleeves on bridal gowns are here to stay. So today, we thought we’d break down the eight most popular styles in a user-friendly wedding dress sleeve style guide so that you can get an idea of looks that you love before you step into a boutique to start trying on bridal gowns!

Check out graphic below to determine what sleeve style you believe suits you best, and read further for an in-depth description of each style. Be sure to check out our previous posts about wedding dress neckline styles and silhouettes, too!

Source for photos used in mood board.

Strapless gowns, usually with a sweetheart or straight-across neckline, are exactly as they sound — strapless! The dress will end above the bust and have no fabric at the shoulder. Strapless gowns are incredibly popular because they come in a variety of silhouettes and are almost universally flattering.

Gowns with spaghetti straps will have very thin straps with no sleeves at all. This style — typically seen in ball gowns or dresses with an empire waist — is timeless and classic, and perfect for brides who want something close to the strapless look with a little more support.

Picture your favorite tank top — that’s about the width of the straps in this style. Bridal gowns with straps provide more support and coverage than a spaghetti-strapped or strapless gown. This style is popular with sleek, v-neck gowns and a-line dresses.

Often confused with strapless gowns, sleeveless gowns are actually more similar to those with straps. A sleeveless dress features wide straps over the shoulders to hold it in place, providing more coverage than simple straps. This look is most commonly seen in gowns with halter and bateau necklines.

Cap Sleeves
Cap sleeves come in a variety of styles — from flat or ruffled to fluttered or puffed — and cover just the uppermost portion of the shoulder. In general, cap sleeves are rounded and attached only to the top of the gown, so that there is no fabric underneath the arm. Cap sleeves are one of the most popular sleeve options these days, because they provide just the right amount of coverage and add a dash of demure romanticism.

Short Sleeves
A short-sleeved gown will have sleeves similar in length to a t-shirt — they’ll end about halfway between the shoulder and the elbow. The sleeve will surround the arm completely, and, as with cap sleeves, will come in many styles, including flat and puffed.

Three-Quarter Sleeves
A three-quarter-length sleeve will fall a few inches below the elbow. This style was originally popular in the early 1950s and 60s, but has made a comeback with the resurgence of vintage-inspired designs. Bell sleeves, which are fitted near the shoulder and then dramatically flare out at the bottom edge, are typically three-quarter-length.

Long Sleeves
Gowns with long sleeves will feature fabric that reaches to, or slightly beyond, the bride’s wrist. The sleeves can be simple, straight and fitted, or more formal — some even have detailed fabric that comes to a point over the back of the hand. Long and three-quarter length styles are also popular for lace shrugs and other overlays for more conservative, traditional ceremonies that can be removed for the wedding reception.

Source for photos used in mood board. 

Intimate Raleigh Wedding at Second Empire

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re sharing Kelly and Jamar’s intimate Raleigh wedding at Second Empire, with gorgeous images by Anna Kirby Photography. 

Second Empire is located in the historic Dodd-Hinsdale House on Hillsborough Street in the Glenwood South area of downtown Raleigh. The Victorian-style home is incredibly ornate, with beautiful fourteen-foot ceilings and deep, bright bay windows.

After the last remaining member of the Dodd-Hinsdale family passed away in the early 70s, the historic home fell into disrepair. But in 1993, the Reynolds family purchased the home and went about restoring it to its original grandeur. Now, the property is Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, led by a fantastic team of owners, an executive chef, an event coordinator, and manager.

The stunning heart pine flooring, original exterior, and cozy dining room and tavern make an ideal venue for intimate weddings. Depending on the size of the guest list, brides and grooms can choose from several private dining rooms, like The Raleigh Room, The Capitol Room, The Pine Room, or the glassed Atrium Room. Each room has it’s own, unique feel, but the entire property exudes a 1920’s, Gatsby-esque vibe that exudes charm and class.

Couples can customize their menu with Second Empire’s delicious Contemporary American Cuisine and on-site catering, and work one-on-one with their events coordinator to make their big day absolutely perfect.

Please enjoy this classic white and gold wedding with hints of deep purple from Anna Kirby Photography, shot at Second Empire.

Lace Bridal Gown

Solitaire Engagement Ring

Bridesmaids Holding Veil

Groomsmen Laughing

Groom Sees Bride Walking Down Aisle

Purple Bridal Party

Bride and Groom with Veil

Bride and Groom Second Empire

White and Gold Wedding Tablescape

White and Gold Wedding Decor

Second Empire First Dance

Ceremony: Hayes Barton United Methodist Church
Reception: Second Empire
Photographer: Anna Kirby Photography
Catering: Second Empire
Florist: Kelly Odom
Entertainment: Mark McNally with Joe Bunn DJ Company

Upcoming Downtown Raleigh Events at City Market!

There are two exciting events in Downtown Raleigh’s City Market coming up this weekend that you won’t want to miss!

City Market

Redress Raleigh Eco-Fashion and Textiles Conference
Friday, May 30th – Saturday, May 31st
Redress Raleigh is an organization that supports companies who produce high-quality, responsibly-made products, and advocates for positive changes within the fashion and textile industries.

The Redress Raleigh Eco-Fashion and Textiles Conference coming up this Friday and Saturday will feature informative sessions, networking and connection-making opportunities, a professional runway show, and a curated marketplace.

For more information, including the conference schedule and details on how to register, be sure to visit the Redress Raleigh website.

Yelp’s “Passport to City Market”
This June, Yelp and City Market are teaming up for a month-long series of events, called the “Passport to City Market.” From Sunday, June 1st to Monday, June 30th, Yelp will be hosting events to show you the best of the best of Downtown Raleigh’s historic City Market district. Events will include a “sip & shop crawl,” a three-course New Orleans-inspired dinner, a bar hop, a DIY workshop, a pop-up movie theater, and more!

Jumpstart this exciting four week series at the Raleigh Kickoff Party at Cobblestone Hall this Sunday, June 1st, from 8:00 – 10:00pm. At the kickoff, you’ll be able to enjoy tasty bites, sweet treats, local beverages, a live band, and more!

Entry to the kickoff event is guest list only, so be sure to RSVP here to reserve your spot. Please note that each individual event in the month-long Passport to City Market series has a separate RSVP list.

Photo of City Market by Neil Boyd Photography.

Beat the Heat — Tips on Keeping it Cool at Summer Weddings

Summertime in North Carolina is an absolutely beautiful season for weddings, but as we all know, the months of June through August are known for extreme heat and humidity. If you’re planning a summer wedding, especially one that’s outdoors, you’ll not only need to be prepared for any weather surprises, like sudden summer thunderstorms, but also be creative when it comes to beating the heat to keep both you and your guests happy.

Scott PinerScott Piner Photography

Today we’re sharing our favorite tips on keeping it cool at summer weddings.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
This is important for both you and your guests! Make sure you (and your bridesmaids) drink plenty of water while you’re getting your hair and makeup done — the day will be a flurry of activity once the ceremony starts, and you don’t want to get dehydrated! For those attending the wedding, consider having your ushers offer water as the guests arrive. You can have a big tin bucket full of ice-cold, personalized water bottles, or have waiters serve glasses of chilled water with slices of fresh fruit.

Custom Water BottlesStory Photographers

Don’t forget to eat
This is for you, brides! The morning of the wedding, you will be so busy thinking about everything going on that you may forget an important step — eating! Make sure this doesn’t happen, and even if your stomach is in knots from anticipation and excitement, try to eat a little bit of lunch or several small snacks throughout the day. You don’t want to faint at the altar!

Provide creative favors
For an outdoor ceremony, consider printing your wedding programs on paper fans, or securing a traditional program to a seagrass fan with a decorative ribbon. You could even provide parasols on every chair — in colors matching your wedding palette, of course! — to make for a pretty picture and give your guests some shade while you say “I do.”

Opt for cooler attire
You don’t want to be outside in a sleek silk gown only to end up with sweat stains! Brides, choose a wedding dress made of lighter fabrics that breathe, like chiffon, cotton organdy, or crepe — your stylist can help you find the perfect gown — and don’t forget about your bridesmaids! For the groom and his groomsmen, consider letting them ditch the tux in lieu of lighter, more breathable summer fabrics, like linen or seersucker. Also, be sure to include a note like “lightweight clothing advised” for your guests via invitation inserts to warn them that they’ll be spending the majority of the event outside.

Seersucker GroomsmenNancy Ray Photography

Rent a tent
If your ceremony or reception (or both!) is outdoors, you’ll most likely want to rent a tent. Party rental stores can provide tents of all shapes and sizes to accommodate any type of event, and they’re also able to provide fans, and even AC units to keep the temperature perfectly pleasant. A tent is also a great back-up plan in case Mother Nature doesn’t quite cooperate!

Choose your makeup carefully
This is a big one, brides! You don’t want your makeup melting off your face in the hot, humid NC weather. Steer away from liquid makeup and opt for powder varieties, or, even better, have a professional provide airbrush makeup for you and your bridesmaids — it’s sweat proof, water (and tear!) proof, and will stay put all day and night long.

Serve chilly refreshments
Besides having cold drinks on hand, consider having cool desserts or fun favors like ice cream, snow cones, or popsicles. Get creative and have your favorite food truck stop by your reception to serve up chilly treats that will help your guests beat the heat.

Kristine Dittmer DrinksKristine Dittmer Photography

Summer weddings in the South can be beautiful, as long as you’re prepared for the steamy weather. Trust us, both you and your guests will appreciate any efforts to keep the heat at bay.

Southern Glam Wedding at Governors Club in Chapel Hill

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re thrilled to share Carla and Justin’s Southern glam wedding at Governors Club in Chapel Hill, shot by Rebecca with Neil Boyd Photography.

Justin and Carla wed at Governors Club in Chapel Hill on March 8, 2014. They both fell in love with the venue at their first visit, and were particularly drawn to the beautiful setting and the back-up indoor location in case of inclement weather. Their ceremony was held on a terrace overlooking the property’s sprawling golf course and pond.

The couple wanted a “Southern Glam” feel, so they selected a color palette of mint, ivory, and gold, which perfectly complemented the elegance of the venue. The colors were carried throughout the bridesmaids dresses, floral arrangements, and the reception décor.

Carla picked up copies of Southern Bride & Groom throughout her planning process, and said she used it most for vendor recommendations and décor inspiration. The couple ended up using several members of the SB&G Family on their big day, including: Governors Club, La Fete, and Neil Boyd Photography.

Enjoy these photos of Justin and Carla’s wedding day, courtesy of Neil Boyd Photography, and congrats to the newlyweds!

Bridal Gown and Shoes

White Bridal Bouquet

Mint Bridesmaids Dresses

Groom and Groomsmen Governors Club

Governors Club Outdoor Ceremony

Bride and Groom Wedding Ceremony

Bride and Groom Governors Club Golf Course

Lake at Governors Club

Governors Club Wedding

Golf Ball Wedding Ring Shot

Governors Club Ballroom Reception

Gold Centerpiece

Honey Wedding Favors

Wedding Cake Table

Car Grooms Cake

Bride and Groom Grand Exit
Ceremony & Reception Location: Governors Club
Wedding Consultant: Katie Dunn of La Fete
Photographer: Rebecca with Neil Boyd Photography
Bridal Gown: Martina Liana
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal
Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Purple Puddle
Cake: Sugar Mama’s Cakes
Reception Music: DJ Steve Stowe with Joe Bunn DJ Company
Rentals: Governors Club
Hair: Liz Michael’s SalonMakeup: Ashley Nicholson
Wedding Favors: Koozies and personalized jars of honey

JOLO Winery and Vineyards Grand Opening

There are more than 400 vineyards and 100 wineries across our beautiful state of North Carolina, and one of the newest happens to be one of the most special we’ve come across! Last month, we made a little day trip to the Yadkin Valley for JOLO Winery and Vineyards Grand Opening event, and were truly charmed by the upscale yet rustic lodge venue, the refined wines, the delicious food, and of course, the breathtaking setting and Pilot Mountain backdrop.

Nestled on 80 acres in the foothills of North Carolina’s Piedmont Region, just a few minutes outside of Winston-Salem, JOLO Winery boasts gorgeous views of nearby Pilot Mountain and Cox Lake. JOLO’s owners, husband and wife team JW and Kristen Ray, craft delicious wine in an eco-friendly fashion — they use burnt vine clippings and compost for fertilizers, baking soda and hot sauce in place of most insecticides, and use reclaimed creek and rain water as the only added source of irrigation for the grapevines. These practices, plus the rocky soil and hilly nature of the property, make ideal conditions for world-class grape growing.

We spent an afternoon at the grand opening event sitting in the warm spring sunshine – leisurely tasting wines, listening to a fantastic live band, and enjoying samples from the JOLO kitchen. JOLO has an on-site formal dining restaurant, End Posts, which offers an intimate, boutique-style atmosphere, along with beautiful open fields, spring-fed ponds, walking trails, and colorful flower gardens. The Ray family clearly developed the winery with events in mind – they have an event building, a lodge where the bride and groom can get ready and even spend the night, and multiple patio areas for outdoor event fun. The vineyard is now booking weddings, celebrations, and corporate events of all sizes.

JOLO Winery and Vineyards

JOLO Winery

Wine Barrels at JOLO Winery

Ribbon Cutting at JOLO Grand Opening


Hors doeuvres at JOLO

Appetizers at JOLO Opening

Sliders at JOLO Opening

JOLO Wines

JOLO Wine Taps

Band at JOLO Opening

View of Pilot Mountain NC

Sampling Wine at JOLO

JOLO Owners

JOLO Vineyards Logo

Vintage Car at JOLO

All photos courtesy of Adele Lee Photography.

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

My husband and I are coming up on our first wedding anniversary this month! When I started looking for gift ideas, I thought it would be fun to give a nod to the traditional first anniversary gift — paper — but it turned out to be much more difficult than I thought to come up with something creative that my husband would actually like. For today’s wedding advice column, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ideas from my own brainstorming of first anniversary gift ideas…

First Anniversary Gift IdeasTickets
Depending on your budget, these could be tickets to see a concert, a play, a sporting event, or even airplane tickets! If you’re ordering online, be sure to select the option to have the actual paper tickets sent to you — they make a prettier gift than the ones you print at home!

Art Prints
The sky is the limit with this one! I absolutely adore the idea of getting your first home together memorialized in a water color, or you could commission an artist to paint custom portraits of your beloved pets. An art print can also be a fun way to commemorate your wedding — think paintings of the bridal bouquet, the lyrics to your first dance song, or even your wedding vows!

You really can’t go wrong with this classic first anniversary gift. Opt for thick cardstock, stately monograms, or fun designs that represent your spouse’s favorite things.

Is your spouse a writer? There are so many options for beautiful journals, from blank, leather bound ones to those with prompts, like writing a sweet thing about your husband or wife every day for a year and then gifting it to them — talk about a tear-jerker!

Go beyond the ordinary with customized calendars featuring photographs of you and your spouse throughout your first year of marriage, or even plan one date night per month for an entire year — circle the days and include the tickets or anything necessary for them!


Fresh from Scratch Catering from Donovan’s Dish

We’re highlighting some of the impressive culinary concoctions our chefs created for SB&G’s 2014 Food Shoot. Today, we’re featuring fresh from scratch catering from Donovan’s Dish.

Donovan’s Dish Catering & Events is the product of the husband and wife team, TJ and Jill Donovan. His extensive culinary expertise combined with her business savvy sparked the creation of their catering company, and since 2004, they’ve been doing what they love most – events!

Donovan’s Dish provides a totally unique catering experience – they round our their always fresh-from-scratch and local-when-possible culinary creations with planning and rental assistance for events of all styles and the beautiful floral designs of Kyle Overby for full-service wedding design. The team will work one-on-one with couples to create a fabulous, personalized menu to suit their needs and budget.

For our 2014 Food Shoot, Donovan’s Dish served up three delectable dishes. The first was their signature dish, this colorful blackened shrimp succotash.

Blackened Shrimp Succotash

The second was this beautiful roasted beets, pear, and NC chevre stack.

Roasted Beet Stack

And the third was this bite-sized chicken and waffles combination. Chicken and waffles was first made popular in New York in the early 1900s, and has taken the rest of the country by storm. Chef TJ puts his own spin on the classic with mini chicken and waffles bites topped with a sweet honey bourbon glaze.

Chicken and Waffles Bites

Thanks to Neil Boyd Photography for the beautiful catering photos!

Elegant Black, White and Red Wedding at Brier Creek Country Club

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Tara and Seth’s elegant black, white and red wedding at Brier Creek Country Club, with photos by Joe Payne Photography

Tara and Seth met through one of Tara’s best friends, who attended Duke Law with Seth. After dating for a while, Tara went over to Seth’s house one evening and found rose petals, photos of the two of them, and a card telling her that Seth’s roommate would drive her to the restaurant where she and Seth had their first official date. Seth was, of course, waiting for her when she arrived, and he proposed while his roommate took pictures.

The couple wanted a classic, elegant wedding, so they chose a color palette of black, white, and deep rose red, which perfectly complimented the sophisticated vibe of the venue, Brier Creek Country Club. They also had a North Carolina theme – the welcome bags had items that originated or were made in NC, like Texas Pete hot sauce, Burt’s Bees lip balm, and Tarheel cookies, and their wedding favors were Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Tara and Seth used several members of the SB&G Family to make their big day exactly what they wanted – a really fun night for all of their guests – including: Brier Creek Country Club, Reverend Kayelily Middleton, Savvi Formalwear, and Joe Payne Photography.

Congrats, Tara and Seth!

Brier Creek Country Club

UGA Bridal Garter

Bride Getting Into Dress

Red Rose Bridal Bouquet

Wedding Rings

Red and White Ceremony Decor

Grandmothers at Wedding

Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

Brier Creek County Club Outdoor Ceremony

Black Bridesmaids Dresses

Emotional Wedding Ceremony

Black White and Red Wedding

Wedding Reception at Brier Creek Country Club

Krispy Kreme Wedding Favors

Bride and Groom at Brier Creek

Black and White First Dance

Black and White Cheers

Glow Sticks at Wedding Reception

Antique Getaway Car

Sparkler Grand Exit

Ceremony & Reception Location: Brier Creek Country Club
Minister: Reverend Kayelily Middleton
Rehearsal Dinner: Caffe Luna
Bridesmaid Luncheon: Brier Creek Country Club
Bridal Gown: Maggi Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Savvi Formalwear — Allure
Men’s Formalwear: Savvi Formalwear
Hair: UpperCuts
Makeup: The MakeUp Culture
Photographer: Joe Payne Photography
Videographer: Olde Road Pictures
Florist: MEWS Designs
Cake: Simply Cakes
Invitations: Indigo Envelopes
Musicians: Melbourne Entertainment
Wedding Favors: Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Transportation: Classy Transportation

NC NACE Unites at the Biltmore Estate

Sometimes I just love my job! Southern Bride & Groom has been part of our local Triangle Chapter of NACE (National Association of Catering & Events) for about fifteen years, and it is a constant source of professional growth and inspiration for our team. We gather monthly at a local venue for a full-fledged event featuring the talents of our local professionals, for networking and education. Our NC NACE chapters – including our own Triangle Chapter, the Charlotte crew, and the new Appalachian chapter – recently united at an extravagant joint meeting at the prestigious Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. For today’s inspiration Monday, we thought we’d share a bit of this wonderful two-day event – if you are planning a Biltmore wedding, or even a bachelorette trip to the beautiful Asheville area, consider some of these ideas among all of the wonderful activities available at this incredible national historic landmark.

We were privileged to stay on property at the beautiful Inn on Biltmore Estate, a destination in its own right. After checking in and taking in the phenomenal views afforded by our rooms and the hotel lobby, we headed straight for the winery, for a fabulous educational session on food and wine pairing with talented Biltmore wine expert, Chuck Rutter. The wines were all quite impressive and delicious – especially when complemented with the perfect pairings!

The Inn at Biltmore

NACE at Biltmore

View at Biltmore

Biltmore WineNext we headed to the majestic Biltmore House for small group tours. We were hosted by expert guides who led us through the house and regaled us with stories of the Biltmore family and history of the home. An we had a special surprise ending – a champagne toast on the rooftop. This was experience I don’t think any of us in attendance will ever forget – the views, the company, the sunshine, and oh my goodness, the wind! This is an occasional private event site for intimate gatherings, provided the weather cooperates!

Biltmore Rooftop

The Lawn at Biltmore


Triangle NACE Group Shot

After a quick rest at the Inn, we headed to another nook of the property, Lioncrest. This is a very popular location for wedding receptions, with its romantic atmosphere – a glass lodge set in the woods, lit by twinkling string lights. We enjoyed a six – yes SIX – course (plus dessert) beer pairing dinner. The talented culinary team worked hard to create a fantastic menu and featured lots of local breweries. I think it’s safe to say everyone was blown away! Anyone who gets the opportunity to dine at Biltmore is in for a treat!

NACE Dinner at Cedrick's

Blue and Yellow Tablescape

Table Decor at Biltmore

NACE Biltmore Dinner Menu

Biltmore Chef

NACE Dinner at Lioncrest

Cheers at NACE Dinner

First –
Sweet Grass Mussels & Clams
Bacon Lardons, Charred Bread
Paired with Oskar Blues Pilsner

Sweet Grass Mussels and Clams

“Peking Style” Sapporo Glazed Duck Wings
Gochujang Chili and Honey
Paired with Sapporo

Sapporo Glazed Duck WingsThird-
Confit Rabbit, Black Garlic – Lager Gastrique
Paired with Rocket Girl (Asheville Pizza & Brewing)

Confit Rabbit

Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Tots
Paired with Green Man IPA

Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Tots

Fifth –
Grape Wood & ESB Smoked Lamb Chop
Fried Olives
Paired with Green Man ESB (Green Man Brewing)

Smoked Lamb Chop

Outmeal Stout Braised Beef Short Rib
Fresh Pasta, Whipped Herb Mascarpone
Paired with Black Mocha Stout (Highland Brewing)

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Chocolate Porter Cake
Paired with Oatmeal Porter

Chocolate Porter Cake

The next morning, we were up and at ‘em for more fun! We had a delicious brunch at Cedric’s Tavern, part of a new area at the estate, the Antler Hill Village, which has a very European vibe. We were treated to an inspiring presentation by Julie Isphording, one of the women on the first ever women’s US Olympic running team. Despite the fact that she was injured and unable to complete her Olympic trial, she overcame all predictions that she’d never run again to run marathons again, and continues to run every day! In honor of this speaker, we ended the weekend with our very own “NACE Olympics” in which we competed in games such as napkin folding, running with trays of water, and event pro trivia.

NACE Olympics

Julie Isphording

Our little getaway was jam-packed with fun, but y’all, this is just the tip of the iceberg at Biltmore – an 8,000-acre estate! For more activities check out Biltmore’s activity page.

Sponsors of this event included:
Biltmore Estate | Party Reflections | Split Second | VerTerra | Photography by Walters & Walters | In His Image Photography