Monthly Archives:: November 2014

Rustic Southern Wedding at The Chapel Between Cotton and Gin

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re thrilled to share Jon and Kelly’s rustic Southern wedding at The Chapel Between Cotton and Gin, a gorgeous new wedding venue in the historic district of Woodville, NC.

Jon and Kelly met through Jon’s older brother, who had a few classes with Kelly at East Carolina University. After dating for six years, Jon proposed to Kelly during a quiet night in, when they were both sporting their pajamas!

When the couple was looking for their ceremony venue, they came upon The Chapel Between Cotton and Gin and fell in love immediately! The property – which is on the National Register of Historic places – is a revitalized church, built in 1845, that’s situated in lush countryside between cotton fields and a cotton gin, thus the inspiration behind its name. It features beautiful historic details, like a broad staircase, soaring ceilings, large windows, fluted columns and an original cedar shake steeple.

Jon and Kelly accented the venue’s historic charm with rustic details like baby’s breath arrangements, old mill equipment, and a soft color palette. These photographs, courtesy of Ginny Corbett, beautifully capture the couple’s sweet Southern wedding! The Chapel Between Cotton and GinChapel in Cotton FieldRustic Bridesmaids BouquetsRing Bearers and FlowergirlEmotional GroomBride Walking Down AisleWedding Party at Cotton and GinNewlyweds RecessingLet's PartyCandid Bride and Groom

Wedding Ceremony: The Chapel Between Cotton and Gin
Wedding Reception: Indian Woods Lodge
Photographer: Ginny Corbett
Vidoegrapher: Five Copper Creative
Bridal Gown: Mikaella from Maggi Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Men’s Formalwear: Jos A. Bank
Florist: Dee Gibson
Cake: Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe
Invitations: Noteable Occasions
Reception Music: PUNCH
Rentals: Occasions Party and Tent Rentals
Hair and Makeup: Salon Blu

Couture for a Cause with Activate Good

Join Southern Bride & Groom at Marbles Kids Museum on November 15th for Couture for a Cause, Activate Good’s 6th annual fashion show fundraiser! Local designers have teamed up with nonprofit partners to create outfits inspired by their missions, and they’ll showcase their designs in a live runway show.

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Attendees will enjoy a red carpet welcome, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar, and can bid on silent auction items and runway looks in the live auction.

Tickets are on sale now, and you can already start bidding in the online silent auction, which includes fabulous items like a wedding planning package!

Amsale 2015 Preview with Nitsa’s Apparel

Amsale is one of the most well-known names in bridal couture. At NY Bridal Market last month, we joined Chris and George Bambalis, owners of Nitsa’s Apparel, for their appointment to preview the 2015 spring and fall Amsale collections.

Nitsa’s Apparel, NC’s premiere couture bridal salon, has been in business for 50 years, with 23 years in bridal – and after shadowing them for day at market, the reasons are clear. Observing the way they moved throughout the day – taking in each dress, considering its fabric, its fit, and its appeal to their bride; how they smoothly communicated their thoughts to one another; and how they spoke of the various designers such as Amsale as people with whom they have long-lasting relationships, even friendships, left me assured that these are two professionals who not only know what they are doing, but are passionate about the industry and bringing beautiful craftsmanship to their brides. They have a clear understanding of the Southern bride, and they work very hard to find the perfect selection of gowns to present to her! Nitsa’s carries a selection of some of the most elite wedding gown designers, and has been the exclusive North Carolina distributor of Amsale for 20 years.

Amsale is classic bridal couture, meaning her lines are of utmost luxury, with in-house ability to customize, and meticulous attention to design. She is known for a soft and romantic full ballgown look with a natural waist. Some highlights from the 2015 Amsale collections are shown on this page, photographed by NC wedding photographer, Riley MacLean Photography.

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 1 NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 2Chris and George Bambalis with Amsale

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 3Chris reviewing the collection notes

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 4Aida- at left/ Ingrid at left- both featuring silk floral jacquard

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 5feeling the fabric ~ soft & puffy silk floral jacquard

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 6Demi – fit to flare crepe gown with tailored seems, and peplum back detailing

“Amsale’s stretch illusion is a very high quality, beautifully sheer” – George Bambalis

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 7NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 8a dramatic halter leads to an open back on this almost gold-tinted ballgown

“A full ballgown with a natural waist is the Amsale look” – Chris Bambalis

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 9Chris and George considering the fit of each gown, and the way the materials flow with a woman’s body

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 10NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 11Bardot – taffeta full skirted ballgown with pockets, and a hand beaded bodice

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 12At left, Jules – a hand-beaded bodice ballgown with a soft tull tiered skirt ; At right, Aileen- the metallic chantilly lace gives this ballgown a retro feel, and the layering of blush tulle finishes with timeless romance

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 13corded lace bodice and organza skirt, with waist detail that goes all around the gown

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 14NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 15Alexa – silk organza slim gown with illusion neckline and sheer low back; waist detail with draped organza and cascading train

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 16Chris perusing gowns on the rack

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 17Alexa enchants from afar

NYC Bridal Market Day 6 - 18Visit Nitsa’s Apparel in Winston-Salem or Charlotte to find Amsale in NC.

This is the conclusion of the NY Bridal Fashion Week blog series, but the images will live on – some of our favorite trends and gowns we previewed are being laid out as we speak into the pages of our 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom, which will be released this December!

I’d like to thank Chris and George Bambalis of Nitsa’s Apparel who were so gracious to let us shadow them for a day at market. It was a pleasure, and we learned so much from you!

And a huge thank you to Riley MacLean for joining me for this adventure and capturing such stunning photography for SB&G!

Anna Maier Couture Runway Presentation

All week, we have been reliving our quick trip to NY Bridal Market last month, and sharing the fabulous images by Riley MacLean Photography of collections we previewed by designers carried by some our NC bridal boutiques. The buyer’s market is the life force behind NY Bridal Fashion Week – the trade show, as well as the individual buyer appointments and previews. But there is nothing more glamorous and fun than attending a runway presentation! We joined our friends Chris and George Bambalis, owners of Nitsa’s Apparel, for the runway show for the Anna Maier Couture 2015 collection.

Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija is built on the premise of couture luxury. In the program notes from the presentation, in reference to inspiration of his Collection 42, Lead Designer Charles Bunstine, II, says, “The power, complexity and sensuality of today’s woman..was a consideration in every line.” Gives you chills, right?

George Bambalis says this is a couture bridal house that “works very hard at providing high value for a couture product.”  His wife, Chris, noted that Anna Maier is known for their dramatic sculpture and draping. Take a tour of Anna Maier Couture Collection 42, and if you fall in love with it the way we did, visit Nitsa’s Apparel in Winston-Salem or Charlotte NC.

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 1Zelda- Sculptural duchess satin column gown with dramatically flared asymmetric skirt

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 2At left, Zelda; At right, Gabrielle – off-the-shoulder trellised lace gown

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 3At left, Eliza Fleur- duchess satin column with collapsing silk floral jacquard draped skirt
At right, Dionne – lustrous French corded magnolia lace high neck gown

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 4At left, Eden – fine French pachysandra lace fluted gown with dramatic extended train
At right, Carme- wrought iron Garden Fairy Rose lace gown with high neck and floating full skirt

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 5Manon in black – slim silk crepe gown with fluid seam lines and fully beaded silver bodice

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 6At left, Manon in white; At right, Celine- slim duchess satin column with flared skirt and chiffon floral embroidery

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 7Sylvie – French art deco lace long sleeve gown

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 8Bunstine says he chooses laces for their beauty and complexity, but strives to have it accent, not overpower, the intent of the design.  Dress shown here, Dionne in black & navy

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 9Eliza – Duchess satin column with collapsing draped skirt

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 10Francoise – Lustrous French corded magnolia lace stapless gown with full train

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 11Guests are enthralled, and Anna Maier Couture Designer & Director Charles Bunstine II peeks out of the backstage area

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 12Celine- slim duchess satin column with flared skirt and chiffon floral embroidery

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 13At left, Adrien- Extraordinary Lyonese lace ball gown with floating full skirt; At right, Zelda – Sculptural duchess satin column gown with a dramatically flaired asymmetrical skirt, in red

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 14Jean- Duchess satin pleated and draped empire waist gown with beaded leaf embroidery

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 15Devyn- Duchess satin ballgown with portrait neckline and draped skirt

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 16At left, Anais- French garden wild flower strapless lace gown; At right, Mae- French wild flower vine lace high neck gown

NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 17
NYC Bridal Market Day 5 - 18

Cheers to a fabulous collection!

NY Bridal Market: Modern Trousseau Fall 2015 Collection

All week we have been sharing our favorite looks, designers, and exclusive photography by Riley MacLean from our trip to New York Bridal Market last month. Today we are introducing you to the Modern Trousseau Fall 2015 collection, which we previewed in their New York Showroom.

Modern Trousseau is run by husband and wife team, Callie and David Tein, and based in New York and Charleston. The sophisticated, romantic look of Callie’s designs is perfect for Southern brides. Also appealing is the versatility of the collection that allows brides mix and match styles, skirt shapes, color accents, veils and jackets, to create a personalized look.

If you like what you see, be sure to look for some of the gowns from this collection at one of our local NC bridal boutiques, Tre Bella Bridal in Durham. Several Modern Trousseau gowns will also be gracing the pages of our 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom!

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 1A variety of soft colors and romantic textures hand in the Modern Trousseau showroom

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 2This gown is Storm, which features asymmetrical lace. She comes in soft gray, ivory and blush.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 3At Left, Storm; At Right, Layla has a petticoat skirt and lots of movement
“The names remind me of what the dress is,” says Callie.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 4Raven – tulle edged with lace, and lace buttons on the back. Here she is shown paired with the Raven jacket, which can be done separately, and with different lace

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 5Gwen, which can be ordered with or without straps, has a flowy Grecian look, a simple detail at the waist, and a dramatic, low back.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 6Opal, though covered in beads hand-embroidered with silver thread, hands softly and beautifully. Pair this jacket with another style to add flair.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 7At Left, Mina, a beautiful, flattering ballgown; At right, Porter, a classic shape in French tulle and hand-cut lace

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 8Modern Trousseau designs a paired veil for many of her gowns. Mix and match as you please for the perfect finish.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 9Modern Trousseau gowns are always light, and beautifully-fitting. At left, Shelby; At right, Rain.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 10Spencer, shown with a lace jacket and sash

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 11Kasey features exquisite Italian lace – a sexy, large lace pattern.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 12At left, Kasey paired with the Kasey cage veil; At right, Honor, a pleated, high-low dress in Thai silk with a lace bodice. Air parachutes this dress as the bride moves.

NYC Bridal Market Day 4 - 13Another high-low dress just like Honor, Pride is also in Italian silk. Her signature jacket features with mink pockets for a “Game of Thrones” vibe, and when the jacket is removed, Grace Kelly is evoked. What a finale!

Amy Kuschel Peace and Love Collection

At NY Bridal Market last month, we were treated to a preview of the fall 2015 line by one of my favorite bridal gown designers. The new Amy Kuschel Peace and Love Collection has her signature classic yet contemporary feel, with a focus on flattering fits and comfort. This charming collection with its nod to the 60’s & 70’s flower child ear is particularly hip, but as always, Amy uses the finest fabrics from beaded French lace to embroidered organza.

Today we are sharing a preview of some of our favorite new looks from the new collection, photographed by Riley MacLean Photography who documented our time at New York Bridal Fashion Week. The best part? Amy Kuschel is carried by one of our local NC bridal boutiques, Lana Addison Bridal in downtown Cary, NC!

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 1NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 2Amy Kuschel’s signature fitted dress with a slight trumpet is showcased with Quinn. The trend of lace décolletage and sleeves is matched with a sexy peek in the back.

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 3The lovely Luna gown is relaxed yet elegant

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 4Designer Amy Kuschel describes her collection to buyers from a bridal boutique.

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 5London, for the dainty and feminine bride

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 6Lennon, a classic sweetheart top and simple trumpet, shown above and below, with a lace overlay jacket

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 7Taking in all the pretty – not a bad way to spend an afternoon

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 8Kitten, a short dress to match the current mod rage

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 9Amy created a “Jackie” series, all short dresses in the same shape but featuring different laces. Shown here is Bella Rose.

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 10Behind the scenes in Amy Kuschel’s showroom at The London Hotel in Manhattan

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 11Amy Kuschel’s ready-to-wear design background has given her the skills to create bridal looks that are not only flattering for the female form, but comfortable.  Shown here, River

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 12Bardot has a fun feather accent at top. Her sister dress, Starr, is shown below.

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 13“Starr is a little bit of everything- sweet, sexy, trumpet” – Amy

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 14Luxurious lace: Cassidy with Barcelona sash; At right, Babe

NYC Bridal Market Day 3 - 15Cassidy, embroidered organza, is in the softest shade of blue. My personal fave – and a perfect choice for any UNC or Duke alumna!

New York Bridal Market Highlights

Today we continue our series with some highlights of last month’s trip to New York Bridal Market, and sharing some of the wedding fashion trends that we’ll see in bridal salons in 2015. All photos are by Riley, of Riley MacLean Photography, who joined us in New York, and documented our experience at bridal fashion week.

New York International Bridal Week is New York’s premier wedding gown trade show. It is a bi-annual event that brings an array of designers, from up-and-coming, to some of the most revered design houses in the world. This is a chance for designers to sell their new collections to bridal salons, and also showcase their work to wedding media. In just two short days, we previewed a wide-range of bridal styles, and met designers from as close to home as Raleigh to as far away as Australia.

Flattering form-fitted gowns have not gone out of style, but we continue to see lots of beautiful textures in bridal fashion, as well as sleeves, and more modest décolletage – covered with beautiful lace patterns or illusion netting. Just as weddings have gotten so much more personalized in recent years, bridal gowns have so much more character now than ever. From sassy short to full-lengthed formal, from luxurious lace to bombshell beading, even from white to pink to red, brides-to-be have the freedom perfect their unique wedding day look.

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 1At Left, Badgley Mischka

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 2Texture, Texture, Texture! Collection from Badgley Mischka

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 3Illusion neckline and detailing is still huge this season. Gowns by Lea Ann Belter

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 4Classic sweetheart bodice and a form-fitting gown never goes out of style, Gown by Lea Ann Belter

If you are into glitz and glam, check out Victor Harper Couture. This master designer has worked with some of the biggest names in the wedding fashion, including Vera Wang to Reem Acra, and Amsale. The Victor Harper Collection is known for jeweled beading, and figure-flattering silhouettes. We were privileged to visit their showroom with Chris and George Bambalis, who carry Victor Haper in their NC bridal salon Nitsa’s Apparel.

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 5NYC Bridal Market Day 2 6NYC Bridal Market Day 2 7Previewing the glamorous Victor Harper Couture collection with Nitsa’s Apparel

On the complete opposite but equally enticing spectrum, the BHLDN bridal line from Anthropologie has captured the hearts of boho brides over the past couple of years. We stopped in for their bridal brunch to check out the 2015 collection. They certainly charmed me with their darling designs!

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 8Touchable gowns on the rack at the BHLDN bridal breakfast

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 9Color is still big in wedding fashion. BHLDN’s gowns are sweet and flattering.

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 10Casual yet chic romper

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 11Mixing textures for a whimsical look

The boho trend is picking up steam in mainstream bridal looks. Up-and-coming designer Hushed Commotion is from Durham, North Carolina, and has launched her collection of vintage-meets-modern bridal accessories, from her current residence of Brooklyn, NY! We met Thea, the designer, because of the NC connection and actually used some of her beautiful pieces in our fashion shoot that will appear in SB&G 2015! Clearly, we had to stop in to her booth at Pier 94 to say hello! Thea actually just got married here in NC last week – so big congrats to you, Thea!

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 12NYC Bridal Market Day 2 13Gold is huge in bridal accessories. Most of Thea’s pieces can be used as head-bands or belts.

Another stop we made to see Frill. Sharon Bui and partner Kate Steadman are recent graduates of NC State University and launched Frill, based in Raleigh, as sorority attire. It’s easy to see why their adorable signature skirts became desirable for bridesmaids. Their fun and fresh look has captured hearts of prepsters across the country. They have expanded their collection to also feature bridesmaid dresses as well.

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 14The signature Frill skirt comes sin every color of the rainbow.

NYC Bridal Market Day 2 15
NYC Bridal Market Day 2 16With Sharon Bui

All photos by Riley MacLean of Riley MacLean Photography.

A Sweet Southern Welcome to New York Bridal Market Recap

Last month, SB&G did a quick drop-in on New York Bridal Market to preview some of the new wedding fashions for 2015. I brought Riley MacLean along to some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of our experience.

We spent most of our time with designers carried by our local NC bridal salons, so lucky for our Southern bride-to-be readers, many of these hot-off-the-runway looks will be available nearby next year! Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite looks we’ll be seeing in 2015 bridal fashion!

Riley and I hit the ground running on Sunday morning. We met up with Chris and George Bambalis, owners of NC’s premiere couture bridal salon, Nitsa’s Apparel (located in Winston-Salem and Charlotte). We joined them at their appointment to preview the Austin Scarlett 2015 collection.

We stepped back into time as we entered the Campbell Apartment, located in Grand Central Station, and formerly the private office and saloon of 1920’s tycoon, John W. Campbell. This restored apartment is now an upscale cocktail bar, and it was the perfect place to mingle over mimosas while gazing upon Austin’s stunning new collection, which was presented with a very appropriate theme for us North Carolinians… Gone with the Wind!

Austin Scarlett is a New York designer who is known for his glamorous, romantic style. You might remember Austin from the original season of Project Runway. He has continued to work on theatre, dance and television projects, and debuted his first gown collection in 2012.

NYC Bridal Market 1The ribbing in the skirt is reflected in the bodice detail of “Savannah”

NYC Bridal Market 2Full skirts with fabulous detail. At left, Belle Réve; at right, Tara (satin applique can be ordered in different colors)

NYC Bridal Market 3Watching the stylists primp is one of my favorite parts of bridal market!

NYC Bridal Market 4The sculpted detail in this collection is stunning. At left, Augusta; at right, Rhett.

NYC Bridal Market 5The crowd of colleagues and buyers making notes, and me… always on the prowl for Instagram shots.

NYC Bridal Market 6The crowd mingles and takes notes on their favorite looks. At right, Georgia.

NYC Bridal Market 7At left, Vivien; at right, Magnolia

NYC Bridal Market 8With George & Chris Bambalis and Austin Scarlett

Check back each day this week, as we’ll be sharing designer spotlights of our favorite collections.

All photos by Riley MacLean of Riley MacLean Photography.

North Carolina Wedding Photographer: Riley MacLean Photography

Southern Bride & Groom works with some of the best wedding photographers in the Raleigh-Durham area and all across North Carolina. We’re thrilled to feature a North Carolina wedding photographer spotlight series so that you can get to know each of them a little better! Today, we’re introducing you to Riley of Riley MacLean Photography.Riley MacLean Headshot

Riley MacLean is one of the rare photographers out there with a four-year degree in photography. Because of this, he has a dedicated love of film, a deep and complex understanding of technical lighting, and very few career options if this one doesn’t work out. He has also recently become one of only a dozen professional photography studios to offer tintype portraits to the general public.

He considers himself to be a dreamer, forever scheming up insanely complex projects with the very loftiest aspirations, and photography gives him the means to tell complex human stories in a simple, honest way.

When he’s not staining his hands with silver nitrate in the darkroom, you’ll find Riley somewhere outside: running around with his Australian Shepherd Dexter, making landscape photographs of North Carolina tobacco fields, or climbing the tallest rock face he can find.

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from artists throughout history, from friends and colleagues working tirelessly to make art that’s meaningful, and from traveling the world discovering new landscapes and cultures.

How would you describe your style?
My style is somewhat documentary with a bit of a nod to fashion. Modern, artistic, emotional.

Do you shoot digital or firm, or are you a hybrid photographer?
I shoot film, digital, tintypes, large cameras, small cameras, new cameras, old cameras. Every tool has a time and a place.

What is your favorite thing or moment to shoot at a wedding?
-When parents are sharing quiet moments with their soon-to-be married children.
-When a couple has a few quiet moments together in the midst of the excitement and chaos of their wedding day.
-And creative and fun portraits. A little emotion, a scene setting landscape portrait, and some comedy and I’m good to go!

Riley MacLean Bride and GroomOne of our favorites from Riley MacLean Photography!