Monthly Archives:: December 2015

The Timeless Style of Raleigh Wedding Photographer Renee Sprink

Renee Sprink is our first featured photographer of 2016 and her photo appears on the cover of our most recent issue of Southern Bride and Groom Magazine!

Renee is a wedding and portrait photographer in Raleigh – she’s a sweet Southern gal who loves old Hollywood, college football, and above all, LOVE. She possesses a natural passion for photography as well as a knack for making her clients feel completely at ease. She is more than just a photographer; she becomes her clients’ friend.

Renee is a proud and active member of Professional Photographers of America and Professional Photographers of NC. She recently opened a studio in the North Hills area and expanded her team of lead photographers. She will be launching a brand new Website in January.

We’d like to introduce you to Renee’s timeless, yet contemporary wedding style by showcasing a brief selection of some of her (and our) favorite wedding and engagement photographs below…
Raleigh NC Bridal PortraitsClassic bridal portraits by Renee Sprink PhotographySoft light engagement and wedding photographySouthern inspired engagement sessionBest wedding photographers in Raleigh NCWedding party at The Carolina Inn Chapel HillBlack and white wedding photography RaleighAdorable engagement photo ideasAs you can see, Renee’s style is clean and classic with a bit of a modern twist – timeless, yet still current. Her approach is to blend contemporary portraiture with candid photojournalism, which allows her to capture natural interactions, real emotion and authentic moments in an artistic way. Her goal is to create beautiful and lasting images that tell the story of the couples’ love, their lives, and their day, and to provide them with photos they will love as much in 20 years as they do today. She photographs for the couple, but also for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will one day look back at these photos and reminisce.

Photos: Renee Sprink Photography

Forever Bridal Wedding Show at the Raleigh State Fairgrounds

Each January, we look forward to one of the area’s largest wedding shows in Raleigh – Forever Bridal’s The Wedding Show, taking place Saturday, January 2 (10am-4pm) and Sunday, January 3 (11am-4pm), 2016 at the NC State Fairgrounds.

We will be there ourselves, handing out brand new copies or our 2016 issue of Southern Bride and Groom! Be sure to pick up your free copy packed with real wedding inspiration and advice!
Forever Bridal Show RaleighThe Wedding Show is a fun-filled two-day event with onstage entertainment and the latest bridal fashions. Peruse hundreds of the area’s top wedding professionals all under one roof. Indulge in wedding cakes and sample all the delicious food brought to you by the Triangle’s premier wedding cake bakeries and caterers. It’s all the products, services, ideas and information you’ll need to make your dream wedding come to life!

Looking for that special wedding reception or rehearsal dinner site? Whether you need the large banquet hall or the intimate historical home, they will be here to show off their venues. No matter where you are getting married, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, or what your taste, elegant, traditional or fashion savvy, they all come together here.

And don’t forget about all the exciting door prizes and giveaways, including gift certificates, complimentary photo sessions, discounts on wedding packages, and hotel stays! So, bring your friends and family and make this an exciting weekend event to plan your dream wedding!

Take time to view a complete list of the wedding professionals you will meet, as well as all the special promotions and prizes that these vendors will be offering on the day of the event.

Tickets for this show are good for both days so register now and start planning. We’ll see you there!

For a complete list of wedding shows taking place around Raleigh and Durham this winter, visit our Wedding Shows & Events page.

Enchanting Winter Holiday Wedding Inspiration

Amber Blog Headshot croppedIf you’re still deciding what season to be married, don’t automatically skip over the thought of a winter wedding. Winter or Christmas weddings, while not the most traditional, can be extremely enchanting. Embrace the theme and incorporate decor and fashion that creates an elegant look and a cozy ambience. For swoon-worthy winter and holiday wedding inspiration and ideas, scroll through the images from real winter weddings below.

Shimmering Lights & Rustic Decor
The December Angus Barn wedding below, managed by A Swanky Affair, incorporates seasonal decor, such as Christmas trees, white flowers, and pinecones, antlers and candles from Party Reflections to create a twinkling, charming and cozy ambience. Shimmering and twinkling lights from Get Lit Special Event Lighting transforms the space into a magical winter wonderland.
Winter wedding at the Angus Barn RaleighWinter wedding inspirationCandles and lights for a Christmas weddingPinecones used in winter wedding decor and cakePhotos above: Graham Terhune Photography

With clear glass chandeliers and uplighting that looks like snowflakes dotting the walls of Bay 7, Get Lit Special Event Lighting made this modern space sparkle for the holidays.
Get lit chandeliers for winter decorBay 7 Durham winter wedding eventsPhotos above: Brian Mullins Photography

Wedding Fashion for Warmth
You can still be stylish when getting married in the winter – just keep warm with layers. White wedding dresses pair naturally with a subdued winter color palette. The brides below look stunning and oh-so-elegant with faux white fur shawls and jackets. We love the look paired with a simple white bouquet.
White fur shoulder jacket for winter weddingPhoto above: Graham Terhune Photography
Winter wedding bridal fashion
Photo above: Riley MacLean Photography

Keep Everyone Cozy
Obviously, you want your bridesmaids and guests to be comfortable during your ceremony and photographs, which can be more of a challenge in the winter. By providing your wedding party with pashminas, shawls or scarfs in your wedding colors, you keep everyone comfortable and also have a lovely photo prop – look how cute these bridesmaids are in their matching heather gray pashminas!
Bridesmaids pashminas for cold weather weddingPhoto above: Graham Terhune Photography

Consider tying shawls to the back of chairs, like wedding planner Gather Together did for a couple getting married at The Merrimon-Wynne House in early March, or laying out blankets/throws for guests as a practical wedding favor.
Pashmina wedding favors for a winter eventPhoto above: Rachel Red Photography

#ncbridetobe #sbgmag

Southern Bride & Groom Magazine Winter-Spring 2016 Cover Launch

Southern Bride & Groom does not plan our magazine covers ahead of time; we purely base the selection on what moves us. Sometimes the stars align and we are gifted an image that beautifully represents what we’re all about. Our 29th annual edition of SB&G is kicking off with a cover that does just that.

This image is part of a styled shoot that matches the overall theme of our 2016 magazine: the “New South” wedding. This elegant wedding day beautifully juxtaposes timeless Southern elements – such as a magnolia theme, the cathedral length veil, and white formalwear – against the modern setting of the Umstead Hotel, and other contemporary twists, such as the couture bridal gown in just a hint of blue-gray. This playfulness is exactly what we are loving in today’s weddings, and that we are showcasing throughout this year’s edition of SB&G in various styles to inspire local brides and grooms.

What we love most about this photograph is that it captures the pinnacle of the wedding. This couple has just vowed their lifelong commitment to one another, in front of their friends and family. As they take their first walk, arm in arm, they share a look of pure love. And just like that, we are reminded of the purpose of these months of planning that day – no matter the style or location, it all comes down to this moment that the two become one!Southern bridal magazine cover at The Umstead Hotel STYLING Events by La Fête | PHOTOGRAPHY Renee Sprink Photography | VENUE  The Umstead Hotel & Spa | FLORAL DESIGN Eclectic Sage | CEREMONY GOWN Liancarlo from Alexia’s Bridal Boutique | BRIDESMAIDS GOWNS Monique Lhuillier from Alexia’s Bridal Boutique | WEDDING JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Makeup for Your Day | FORMALWEAR Bernard’s Formalwear | OFFICIANT Reverend Kayelily Middleton | CEREMONY CHAIRS Themeworks

Thank you to the full styled shoot team:

FOOD The Umstead Hotel & Spa | CAKE Edible Art Bakery |  RECEPTION GOWN Liancarlo from Alexia’s Bridal Boutique |  CHINA, GLASSWARE, FLATWARE & CANDELABRAS Bailey’s Fine Jewelry |  CABANA OUTFITS Belk at Crabtree Valley Mall | CABANA JEWELRY Moon and Lola | PLANK WALL & UPLIGHTS in Groom’s lounge Get Lit Special Event Lighting | INVITATIONS, LETTERING & CALLIGRAPHY The Oblique Pen | LOUNGE FURNITURE Themeworks | LINENS La Tavola MUSICIANS The Boulevard Ensemble | HAIR ACCESSORIES Mignonne Gavin

Southern Bride & Groom has served as the premiere NC wedding magazine for 29 years. We are honored to work in a field with such a joyful purpose, and to share with you some of the best local wedding resources! Look for SB&G 2016 at one of our distribution points, or at one of the upcoming local wedding shows!

2016 New Year’s Eve Events in Raleigh and Durham

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to ring in The New Year, we have a whole list of parties and special dinners that won’t disappoint! See below for 2016 New Year’s Eve Events in Raleigh and Durham and plan to enter the new year in style!
New Years Eve at Merrimon Wynne Raleigh2016 Downtown Countdown at The Merrimon-Wynne House
Join for a black tie NYE gala and enjoy an open, top shelf bar featuring hand-crafted cocktails and bubbly aplenty! Indulge in hor d’oeuvres and desserts from Sugar Euphoria – the DJ will have you dancing right into 2016. Party starts at 8pm. Cost is $165 per person.

21c Museum Hotel Durham NYE Package
Begin the last evening of the year popping a bottle of bubbly in the comfort of your room. Whether you join 21c for a dinner featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients at Counting House, or head out on the town to celebrate, refuel the next morning with a hearty breakfast at Counting House to start 2015 off right. Book by calling (919) 956-6700.

Basan NYE Dinner
Ring in the New Year with delicious sushi at Basan on New Year’s Eve! Cozy up at one of our tatami tables overlooking American Tobacco Campus or get a group of friends together and dine in one of our booths. Reservations are highly recommended. They will be serving a full regular menu as well as some exciting feature items. For reservations, call (919) 797-9728.

Dashi NYE Dinner
Make your reservations for a special New Year’s Eve dinner in the izakaya at Dashi from 5-9pm. They will be serving a special five-course chef’s choice meal for parties of any size.

Durham Convention Center NYE Party
Durham is the place to be this New Year’s Eve at The Durham Convention Center’s NYE Celebration starting at 8pm in the Grand Ballroom. Dance the night away and ring in 2016 in style! There will be entertainment, music, an appetizer bar, drinks, photo booth and a champagne toast. Cost is $60 per person.

Fairview Dining Room NYE Dinner
Before the ball drops, Executive Chef Jason Cunningham will prepare a gourmet four-course menu perfect for the festive occasion, complemented by piano tunes and candlelight from 5:30-10pm. Top off your evening in the Bull Durham Bar with a celebratory Champagne toast to 2016. Cost is $75. Call (919) 493-6699 for reservations.

Parizade NYE Celebration

Dress to impress for an evening filled with dancing, champagne toasts, and live music at Parizade in Durham starting at 5pm. Whether you’re dining from the a la carte menu available until 7:15pm, or tasting exclusive dishes from the four-course pre-fixe menu ($80 per person) from 9:15 on, your tastebuds are in for a treat. To reserve your seat, call (919)286-9712.

Raleigh Marriott’s NYE The Open Bar Experience
It’s the ultimate NYE experience at Raleigh Marriott on Fayetteville St. The Open Bar Experience will feature hours of entertainment, DJ Bobby Drake, drinks and more!

Solas NYE Party
Dress to impress and experience the three levels of excitement at New Year’s Eve 2016 Winterfest at Solas, starting at 9pm. Celebrate in style, elegance and excitement with Raleigh DJs spinning Top 40s/electro/ remix, added sound and amazing lighting effects, and VIP bars all on all three levels to ring in 2016! The 21+ celebration begins at 9pm. For tickets call (919) 623-3820.

The Burke Manor Inn NYE Dinner
Just a short drive away, The Burke Manor Inn in Gibsonville, is hosting a special New Year’s Eve Dinner 5:30-9:30 pm prepared by Chef/Owner Lil Lacassagne. Amuse Bouche with a glass of champagne. Cost is $79 plus tax and gratuity. Call (336) 449-6266 for reservations.
New Years Eve at The Durham Hotel

Photo: Riley MacLean Photography

The Durham NYE Party
Party at The Durham Hotel on New Year’s Eve and enjoy a delicious four-course tasting menu in the lobby ($65 per person). Then, on the roof, there will be a movie countdown to 2016 with party favors, wool blankets and half-priced champagne bottles! Call (919) 768-8831 for reservations.

The Oxford’s NYE Party
The Oxford is pulling out all the stops and throwing the biggest NYE party in downtown Raleigh again this year. Whether you join for the cocktail party (6-9pm) or dance away 2015 during the late night experience (9pm-2am), you’ll find that starting 2016 with live music all night long will bring complete happiness throughout the entire new year. Cost is $20 (or VIP $50).

Zinda’s NYE Party
If you’re looking for a party with energy in a warm and delicious atmosphere, check out Zinda New Asian. The evening will start with a delicious cocktail social (6-9pm) and then transition to the late night experience (9pm-2am). DJ Frenzy will be spinning all night long. The event is 21+ and $30 for the cocktail portion in advance ($40 at door), or $20 for the late night portion.
New Years Eve at Zinda in RaleighPhoto: Walters & Walters

5 Qualities to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Officiant

A wedding officiant’s role in your wedding is often short and sweet, lasting only the time of your ceremony, but when you think about it, they are actually the most important person there – without them, you don’t have a marriage at all!

Whether you’re planning to be married in a church, in a garden, or in one of NC’s beautiful wedding venues, you will need to do some research, both practical and intuitive, to determine who will be the best officiant for your ceremony.Tips for hiring a wedding officiantPhoto: f8 Photo Studios

1. Make sure he or she is legit
Ministers who have been ordained online are controversial in NC. The last thing you want to worry about after your wedding is the validity of your marriage, so first off, make sure your officiant is ordained according the laws of the state in which the wedding takes place.

2. Get on the same page
Secondly, choose an officiant who shares in your vision of your wedding ceremony. You want to make sure you are completely comfortable with your minister or officiant and that the three of you are on the same page. After all, the ceremony is the first event of the wedding day with your guests and it sets the tone for the rest of the day, which is spent in celebration of the marriage.
How to hire a wedding officiantPhoto: In His Image Photography

3. Add elements of personalization
A good officiant will work closely with a couple to plan a meaningful ceremony. Having a close friend officiate who is ordained can be fun because they know you on a personal level, but any good officiant will take the time to get to know you well. Hiring one with experience also means that he or she already knows how to write and deliver wedding ceremonies with grace and confidence.

The best and most memorable ceremonies are not cookie-cutter – they are personal and invoke just the right amount of emotion from tears to laughter. Many wedding ceremonies include the couple’s story and thoughtful commentary about why they love each other and how well they compliment each other in life, and now, in marriage. If you’re officiant does not take the time to listen or read about your story, you risk a ceremony that feels impersonal. This day is all about you as a couple, and that should start right from the beginning with your ceremony.

If you’re unsure about how to go about writing vows or choosing readings, an experienced officiant can be of tremendous help, pointing you to helpful resources and offering advice. Readings can be one of the most difficult things to choose if they do not have a direct connection to the couple. Your officiant may recommend cutting any unnecessary readings to shorten the time frame, or at least, offer guidance about what type of reading might fit in.

When I was married, for instance, our minister questioned every reading we wanted until we hit the perfect one. He challenged us to not just pick a pretty poem, but to really find one with authentic meaning about us as a couple. Two short nights before our wedding and multiple rejections later, I was about to give up when I came across a love poem by Pablo Neruda that put into words exactly the type of relationship we had. Our bridesmaids took turns reading versus (and crying) – it turned out to be the perfect reading for us.
Hiring the right wedding officiantPhoto: f8 Photo Studios

4. Plan for punctuality
Your officiant should also be punctual, making plans to be at your rehearsal dinner the day before so he or she can get familiar with the layout and provide important guidance to the wedding party so that everyone feels prepared and less nervous for the real thing. On the day of the wedding, your officiant should plan to arrive with sufficient time to get set up (at least 30 minutes prior to start of ceremony, especially if there is any sound equipment like a microphone). A responsible officiant will even have a plan in place in the event that he/she is unable to attend at the last minute.

5. Filing the proper paperwork
Another nice thing about hiring an experienced officiant is that they know how to take care of the paperwork. The officiant is responsible for getting the marriage license from the couple prior to the ceremony, having it in his/her possession during the ceremony and having two witnesses at the ceremony sign the license. He or she is responsible for completing his/her part of the license and returning it to the issuing Register of Deeds office within 10 days.Reverend Kayelily Middleton in RaleighWith the right person to lead your ceremony, your wedding – and your marriage – will be off to a flawless start.

Special thanks to Reverend Kayelily Middleton for providing input for this article.

A Wedding Filled with Family Traditions at Raleigh Country Club

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Lauren and Ben’s fall wedding filled with family traditions at Raleigh Country Club!

Lauren and Ben lived just a few miles apart in Raleigh, played tennis on the same courts, and knew the same families and friends, but it was not until over twenty years later that they actually met. Their lives were just waiting for the time when missed moments could turn into beautiful memories.

On a Tuesday after work, they meet downtown to enjoy a romantic walk and grab a bite to eat. Crossing the street near Campbell University, they headed over to the front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral. As they did, they noticed tea lights in the shape of a giant heart and rose petals scattered around the steps leading inside. Ben prompted Lauren to imagine how romantic it must have been for the couple who set up this special moment earlier in the day. As they admired the gesture, Ben grabbed Lauren’s hand and said, “I have an idea! Let’s pretend this is our proposal!” She told him what song she would want playing and he played it on his phone. He picked her up and placed her in the middle of the heart and started to say how much he loved her, then he said, “If this were our proposal, I would say, I am not pretending and I would like to ask (as he got down on one knee)…will you marry me?” Lauren was weak in the knees when she said “YES!” and Ben pushed a button in his pocket to have the bells of the cathedral start ringing as both of their families came pouring out from inside the church!

Choosing a wedding venue was an easy choice for Lauren, who is an employee with McConnell Golf, which owns 10 private clubs in the Carolinas. Raleigh Country Club and Wakefield Plantation are two of the company’s venues. Being a wedding and events coordinator, Lauren is familiar with a number of great venues in the area but she knew she wanted to keep it local and couldn’t think of a better spot to get hitched!

“We have developed a lot of great relationships and contacts over the years with vendors so it felt like a ‘family’ affair as we worked with those that were the nearest and dearest to us during our planning,” Lauren says. She advises brides to “take your time and review all of the vendors, and make sure that you feel, first and foremost, comfortable with them personally as you will be working with them for several months as the wedding day takes shape.”

The wedding colors for Lauren and Ben were light pink, ivory, and gold. They had hints of silver and pale green as well. They wanted to have a modern yet vintage theme with a garden twist, keeping things simple, yet elegant.

Both families are Irish, so they incorporated a bagpiper at the reception and had the bride’s family’s Irish tea, Barry’s Tea, on the beverage station. Ben and Lauren were raised Catholic, so they had a beautiful mass with all the traditional elements, yet the bride’s mother and her family is Jewish, so at the reception, they kicked off the dancing with the hora (sung live by the band!) and explained the tradition of the ‘breaking of the glass’. They also had a Scottish blessing shared over them.

They surprised guests with a capella singers at the ceremony singing in unison with their sister-in-law during the service and serenading them as they exited the church with “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles. And at the reception, as the mother/son dance came to an end, the band turned on “Everybody Dance Now” and the bride, along with her twin sister/maid of honor and her mother came out to a choreographed dance – the crowd went wild!

The intimate interior of Raleigh Country Club, with its sweeping golf course views, was the perfect setting for an early fall wedding reception. Elements of natural wood, mahogany, brass and stone complimented the club’s neutral color.

The upscale barbecue hors d’oeurves station from Wakefield Plantation was a hit and everything was made for small bites and treats but also added up to a wonderful, well-rounded feast! With a rainy forecast they were able to make all the necessary arrangements to turn what was going to be a candlelight outdoor dinner to an even more romantic indoor celebration!

The well-manicured course and surrounding landscape was an ideal backdrop. Even though heavy rain followed throughout the day, a small break in the clouds allowed the bridal party enough time to dash onto the golf course with umbrellas for some photos captured by Jaclyn Morgan Photography. When the rain returned, they joined the guests on the large covered patio for cocktails with a view.
Raleigh NC bride to beRaleigh NC bridesmaidsPink bridesmaids dressesRaleigh NC Catholic weddinga capella group sings at weddingBagpiper at weddingBridesmaids in blush dressesRainy day wedding photosWakefield Plantation and Raleigh Country Club weddingsCounty club wedding menuTre Bella pink and white centerpiecesCountry club weddings in NCRaleigh Country Club weddingsWedding photography by Jaclyn Morgan PhotographyRaleigh Country Club banquet hall receptionJewish wedding traditionsCEREMONY VENUE Sacred Heart Cathedral | RECEPTION & CATERING Raleigh Country Club | MINISTER Father Danial Oschwald | REHEARSAL DINNER Wakefield Plantation | BRIDAL GOWN New York Dress | SHOES FOREVER 21 | BRIDESMAIDS JEWELRY Anthropology | BRIDESMAID DRESSES Weddington Way | GROOMSMEN GIFTS REI tumbler, carabineer clips and tie | HAIR Von Kekel Salon Aveda Salon and Spa, North Hills | PHOTOGRAPHER Jaclyn Morgan Photography | FLORIST Tre Bella Florist | CAKE Whole Foods | CEREMONY MUSIC Cindy Fitzgerald (piano), Ladies in Red (a capella group), Laura Barry, and Mark Pichowicz (organist) | RECEPTION MUSIC Ascension Band and Bagpipper | ACCOMMODATIONS Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel and Hyatt House North Hills | FAVORS Dessert boxes at Dessert station (including Krispy Kreme donut holes and in-house pastry chef creations) | TRANSPORTATION White Horse Transportation

2016 Wedding Fashion Trends Spotted at NY Bridal Fashion Week

We are nearing a new year, and a new season of bridal gowns! It’s time to share some of the 2016 wedding fashion trends that we spotted this fall at NY Bridal Fashion week and that we expect to make their way to the bridal boutiques of NC!

SB&G has adopted an annual pilgrimage to the city for bridal market (always a quick whirlwind trip in the middle of production season). From big trade show events, to private appointments, to runway presentations, this is where all of the upcoming season’s looks are revealed, so it’s the best event of the year to see what’s still hot, what’s new, and what’s out in wedding fashion.

For the second year in a row, Riley of Riley MacLean Photography joined me to capture images of our favorite looks. Our mission was to visit some of our SB&G Preferred Bridal Salons‘ top designers, so we could share some of the styles that will soon be making their way to NC.

Today, we are showing some of the trends we noticed. We hope you’ll see some looks that catch your eye for your own walk down the aisle. Noted below each photo is the NC bridal boutique where you can find the designer. Trends at NY Fashion Week2015 Bridal Fashion WeekNY International Bridal Week is a huge trade show production where hundreds of bridal gown designers set up displays and showcase their new fashions for retailers. We spent a bit of time there on our quick trip to NY and found Maggie and Kirsten from Coastal Knot Bridal (located in Wilmington and Shallotte, NC) at the Amsale Nouvelle booth!

SEPARATES & CONVERTIBLE DRESSES
This year, designers are pushing the limits with dresses that serves as two-in-one. So, if you don’t feel like you can be defined by one straightforward bridal style, no problem!
Separate and convertible wedding dresses
Beaded wedding gown backWe predict that Martina’s separates will be a huge hit for NC fashionistas. Mix n’ match bodices with the skirt that perfectly becomes you! Martina Liana (above) is carried by Lana Addison Bridal in Cary, and Coastal Knot in Wilmington, NC.
Piers convertible wedding dress
Blue Willow wedding dress designA detachable train is an easy way to change your look from soft at your ceremony to ravishing at your reception! Blue Willow by Anne Barge (above) is carried by Tre Bella Bridal in Durham.

OVERSKIRTS
We absolutely adore the look of a sheer overskirt beneath a sheath gown. This look can achieve edge or ultimate romance.
Anna Maier gown with overskirtThis runway shot allows you to get an idea of how this gorgeous gown flows – a fitted silhouette is accented by a delicate, flowing lace. Anna Maier is a couture collection that is carried in NC by Nitsa’s Apparel – located in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC.
Blue Willow sweetheart neckline
This overskirt can be embraced all night or shed for the dance party! Blue Willow is carried by Tre Bella Bridal in Durham.
Lace overskirt Amsale gownThis stunner from Amsale features a full skirt in sheer lace. Find Amsale at Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem or Charlotte.

RENAISSANCE OF ROMANCE
Once again this year, we are seeing designers inspired by the fashions of yesteryear, especially the glamorous eras of the 20s and 30s. And why not take the best elements from each decade and bring them back? Some looks are simply timeless.
Adrianna Papell gowns at Fashion WeekAdrianna Papell is a very popular line and their Gatsby-era inspired gowns such as the ones above are perfect for bridesmaids. Letting your gals choose the style they like best is a great way to go, and the dresses will surely be used again at a cocktail affair! Find this collection at Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh.
Flapper era Gatsy style gowns
Amy Kuschel‘s newest collection pays homage to the past.  The dresses above are throwbacks to the 20s era, and the collection takes a journey through each decade through to the 1970s. Of course, the gowns still have a modern flair and flattering fits. Discover Amy Kuschel in NC at Lana Addison Bridal.

LACE
Lace is no longer reserved for the traditional bride. Today, wedding dress design houses bring us a wide array of lace patterns from delicate to daring.
All lace dress from NY Bridal Market
This eclectic lace pattern makes this strapless Martina Liana gown less “old school” and a little more rock star! Find gowns by Martina Liana in NC at Lana Addison  and Coastal Knot.Modern Trousseau lace gowns at Fashion WeekModern Trousseau‘s new collection features loads of lace in varying styles. One of the most appealing things about this designer is that they are quite flexible in allowing brides to mix styles, such as their favorite lace pattern. Find Modern Trousseau at Tre Bella Bridal.
Lace sleeves on Amy Kuschel wedding gown
Amy Kuschel is a great example of a designer who believes there is a lace for every bride. She uses patterns that range from whimsical to elegant to preppy. Find Amy Kuschel at Lana Addison Bridal in Cary, NC.

FROM FRONT TO BACK
The best part about today’s wedding fashion is that every inch of the bride is considered. Gone are the days of being stuck with only strapless gown options (although they are still a-plenty if that’s the shape that fits you best). Designs no longer stops at the bustline – the details reserved for the décolletage, sleeves, and most importantly, the backs, have become the pinnacle of wedding gown design.
Anna Maier dress with lace backLace details on Anna Maier wedding gownBlack lace wedding gown at fashion week
The three Anna Maier gowns above showcase the high fashion look for today’s weddings – lots of lace, sensual netting, and eye-catching back design. Anna Maier is carried by Nitsa’s Apparel.
Blue Willow lace wedding gowns at fashion week
This gown has a little bit of everything romantic – a full skirt, sheer back with buttons, and lace from top to bottom! Blue Willow is available at Tre Bella Bridal.
Amsale lace front and back gownAmsale is always the perfect demonstration of timeless elegance, even as her designs are always contemporary. Find Amsale at Nitsa’s Apparel.
Eugenia lace back bridal gown fashion
And yet another completely different way to wear lace! These bell sleeves and sweet lace pattern are perfect for a boho bride. Eugenia Couture is carried by Tre Bella Bridal.Beaded and embellished wedding gowns at 2015 Fashion WeekAn open back is very chic in current fashion, and a touch of bling takes it to the next level! Martina Liana is carried by Coastal Knot and Lana Addison Bridal.

All Photographs by Riley MacLean Photography

Bright and Natural Wedding Photography by Katherine Miles Jones

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 sharing timeless wedding photography by Katherine Miles Jones. Katherine took headshots for Team SB&G during our photoshoot this fall!

Katherine studied Art History and Theatre Arts at Pepperdine University in Southern California and continued her studies at the International Center of Photography in New York. She’s a city girl now enjoying the slower pace of life in North Carolina. She grew up outside of Washington, D.C., went to school near Los Angeles, and spent five years living and working in New York City, but she’s quickly falling for the welcoming vibe of her current town, Carrboro, NC, known for its quaint coffee shops, record stores, and farmers’ market. She lives here with her husband, dog, and soon-to-be baby girl! Learn more about Katherine and view some of her stunning work in the Q&A below!
Katherine Miles Jones bright and natural wedding photographyWhy do you love photography?

I’ve always been drawn to the arts, both visual and performing, and have found that photography combines so much of what I love about each. Clearly, it’s a visual art form, but there’s also a sense of storytelling and movement that comes with each shoot, just like with a performance.

Also, there’s something so powerful about photography and its ability to capture a slice of life, a moment in time.

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?

In general, a lot of my artistic inspiration comes from giving myself restorative time: whether that’s time to travel and take in new places, or time to sit still with a sketchbook while having no agenda. A big part of inspiration is just letting it happen, and you can’t always predict how that will occur.

More specifically, I’m also influenced by my environment. If I’m photographing in an open field, there’s a certain coziness that I’ll draw upon; if I’m photographing in the heart of a city, I want to capture that energy.
Engagement session in NC vineyardHow would you describe your style?

My photography style is both traditional and photojournalistic, a true combination of the two. My approach is to photograph while observing what is actually happening (in a photojournalistic manner), but also knowing when to step in and build up some more traditional poses and moments. The overarching emphasis through it all, though, is on creating images with a bright and natural feel.
Black and white wedding photographyDo you shoot digital or film, or are you a hybrid photographer?

For my clients and professional work, I shoot solely digital. When traveling, I often shoot film as an exercise in slowing down and as a reminder to pay attention to light and shadows with a discerning eye.

What do you think sets you apart from other photographers?

There are wonderful photographers in the Triangle, and I’m grateful to be a part of that community. I pride myself in being able to jump into a new situation with new people and put everyone at ease. My theatre background makes me comfortable directing large groups, but I also love the intimate setting of working with just one couple. Throughout it all, I find ways to flood my camera with light, making for soft and airy images.Beautiful NC wedding photographyWhat is your favorite thing or moment to shoot at a wedding?

I love the combination of the quiet energy and also the undeniable excitement during the bride and groom’s portraits.  It’s some of the only alone time a couple has on their wedding day, and it’s incredible to document. Everything goes by so quickly, and it’s the time when the two begin to process the fact that they’re actually married. It’s an honor to capture those moments.
Katherine Miles Jones Raleigh NC wedding photographer Photos by Katherine Miles Jones