Monthly Archives:: April 2016

Industrial Chic Wedding Styled Shoot at Vita Vite in Raleigh

We know it’s only still technically spring here in NC, but deep fall colors are always in fashion! We love how they were used in this industrial chic styled shoot at Vita Vite in Raleigh – a new wine bar and art gallery event space located in the Warehouse District of Downtown Raleigh.

The inspiration for the design and space came from the desire to honor the industrial feel of the warehouse while incorporating as many natural and found/reclaimed materials as could be used. Everything possible was made by Southern artisans, with a focus on detail and creating a unique space.

The space is made up of a variety of comfortable seating areas that include leather sofas, sharing tables, fireplaces, a covered porch with a swing bed, and an abundance of upholstered seats (adding a feminine touch). The main idea was to create a comfortable place that feels like home, removing the intimidation that people sometimes feel about art and wine.

The finished result is stunning – it gives off a very classy and classic vibe, while still being very hip. modern and comfortable. Take a look at the photos below from Anne Liles Photography and gather inspiration for you own wedding theme.Vita Vite downtown Raleigh art gallery

Succulent bouquets and boutonnieresRustic and romantic tablesettingPink and purple succulent bridal bouquetRustic wedding inspirationLace detail wedding gownVita Vite downtown Raleigh NCClassy venues in downtown RaleighIndustrial chic Raleigh venuesVita Vite art gallery and wine bar RaleighWine bar and art gallery in Raleigh NCGold wedding inspirationWine bars in downtown RaleighNew venue in downtown Raleigh Vita ViteTimeless wedding stylesCustom koozie wedding party favorsBouquet with greens and succulentsVENUE Vita Vite | PHOTOGRAPHY Anne Liles Photography | GOWN Traditions by Anna | FLORALS Field Day Creative | HAIR & MAKEUP Wisp Salon | CHINA Anthropologie

Great Gatsby Wedding for the First Gay Couple to Marry in NC

You might remember the news stories about Chad Biggs and Chris Creech, the first same-sex couple to marry in North Carolina when the legislation passed last October. Almost a year later, on NC Pride day, the couple celebrated their union with a classic wedding ceremony at Melrose Knitting Mill in Raleigh followed by a stylish Gatsby-themed reception at The Cookery in Durham. You can find their wedding featured on the pages of SB&G’s 2016 magazine, with additional images by the talented Southern Love Studios featured below.

Chad and Chris’s relationship began on their very first date in 2006. The two men bonded quickly while they enjoyed watching Chad’s daughter Sabre play with Chris’s two young foster sons. Eventually, the foster children were reunited with their family. They remain close to the couple and all the children were there as a part of the family for the union nine years later.

After hearing the story of their marriage and in an effort to honor the legalization of same-sex marriage in NC, The Cookery approached the couple and offered to donate its space and services for a formal wedding reception. Although Chad and Chris were saving funds for a celebration, they were able to host a much grander event when several other wedding vendor friends asked to contribute towards their day. As the lead planner of Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design and the exclusive event planner at Babylon and the Melrose Knitting Mill in Raleigh, Chad was able to coordinate his dream wedding with the help of the team of local wedding professionals!

For Chad and Chris, the day was a tribute to equal rights for all. Video footage of their October 10, 2014 marriage at the Wake County Courthouse played on a big screen as they entered the reception – a reminder of how significant this moment was not only for them, but also for same-sex couples across NC.

Guests enjoyed a beautiful reception event with glittering gold details, jewel-covered floral arrangements by Expressions of Love Florist, and a customized monogram design in an art deco style that showed up throughout the wedding from the program to the cake topper. The menu from Donovan’s Dish included Southern favorites such as chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits, and was accompanied by signature cocktails. The party-era theme and upbeat music inspired the crowd to dance and even enticed a few to sing along.

Earlier, during their first look photographs, Chad presented Chris with a new David Yurman band and he shared, “This moment, that location and those rings signified the beginning of a new chapter of our lives that we would welcome with friends and family, exactly how we would have wanted it to be when we first legally wed.”
Gay wedding photo ideasGreat Gatsby themed wedding invitationsMens wedding bandsSame sex couples wedding photo ideasCandid wedding photographyGold and white wedding programsPink and purple wedding bouquetsFather and daughter at weddingFlower petal aisle runnerChad Biggs Event Plannig at Melrose Knitting MillSurprise marriage proposals NCFirst gay couple to marry in North CarolinaBubbles for wedding sendoffWedding ceremonies at Melrose Knitting MillSouthern Love Studios wedding photographyChalk signs at wedding receptionMarriage Equality in NCUrban wedding venue The CookeryGuest book design ideasCrystal and diamond wedding decorGold and white wedding colorsWeddings at The Cookery in DurhamWine bottle wedding favorsTent at The Cookery DurhamLove wins in NCClassic car rentals in Raleigh NCPHOTOGRAPHY Southern Love Studios | REHEARSAL DINNER Babylon Restaurant and Lounge | PLANNING & DESIGN Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design | CEREMONY VENUE Melrose Knitting Mill | RECEPTION The Cookery | CATERER Donovan’s Dish | FLORIST Expressions of Love Florist | PARTY RENTALS American Party Rentals | PHOTO BOOTH TapSnap | ACCOMMODATIONS Hyatt House Raleigh, North Hills | MINISTER Dr. Brent Myers | VIDEOGRAPHER Focus Media | MEN’S FORMALWEAR Jos A. Banks (Cameron Village) | BRIDESMAID DRESSES MAGGI Bridal | CAKE Simply Cakes | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Versace cologne | BEER Ponysaurus Brewing Co. | CALLIGRAPHY Calligraphy by CarrieMarika Wendelken and Meghan McFarland | CEREMONY MUSIC Laura Byrne, Harpist & Pam Nelson, Flutist | RECEPTION MUSIC Spin DJ Services and Numinous Steel | TRANSPORTATION ABC Worldwide, The Bridge Bus, and Royal Parking | HAIR Simple Bliss Manuel Eason & Matthew Melino | MAKEUP Maria Franco | WEDDING FAVORS Bottles of +&+ Cava with a tag that reflected the date Chad & Chris 10.10.14

Southern Bride & Groom Magazine Summer-Fall 2016 Cover Launch

Southern Bride & Groom is thrilled to share the release of our Summer-Fall cover, a captivating bridal portrait from Walters & Walters Photography featuring a rich and stunning bouquet created by Raleigh florist Eclectic Sage.

This image is part of our yearly floral shoot, which appears on the pages of our 2016 magazine. Eclectic Sage created the most enchanting outdoor display under the wrought-iron gazebo at The Pavilion at The Angus Barn. One would expect elves and fairy nymphs to make an appearance in this magical woodland wonderland. The sweetheart table is adorned with a floral and moss chandelier and reindeer pelt, surrounded by plush garden flowers in shades of bright pink to rich purple. Each glass bubble holds a perfect lavender rose and our bride reigns as queen of the forest adorned with a flower crown also designed by Eclectic Sage.

With floral embellishments on the straps and bodice of the free-flowing Monique Lhuillier gown from Nitsa’s Apparel, the bride has a naturally elegant look that stands out, yet still blends into the scenery around her. Her hair and makeup, in shades of blush and plum, done by Bella Trio, also matches the bounty of flowers. The slim gold pendant necklace around her neck is from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, which also supplied the silver branch candleholders and vase under the gazebo.

Check out our newest cover below (which you can find distributed at these locations and making its big debut at the Forever Bridal Show on May 1, 2016) along with additional images of Eclectic Sage’s inspiring floral design.
Southern Bride and Groom coverRaleigh, NC florist Eclectic SageRomantic woodland themed wedding decorPink and gold table settingsPink and purple wedding bouquetEclectic sage woodland wedding decorFlorals by Eclectic Sage of RaleighHanging flowers wedding decorOutdoor wedding at The Angus BarnFLORAL DESIGN & ACCESSORIES Eclectic Sage | TABLETOP, LINEN & CHAIRS Party Reflections | SILVER VASE & CANDLEHOLDER Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | FLORAL CHANDELIER Eclectic Sage | GOWN Monique Lhuillier from Nitsa’s Apparel | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio | VENUE The Pavilion at the Angus Barn | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters

Something Blue Inspiration for Your Wedding

It’s a sing-song wedding tradition we’ve heard a million times and it comes from an Old English rhyme: “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe,” (though mainly only the British still practice the sixpence part) and each element represents a piece of good luck. Something old for continuity; something new for optimism for the future; something borrowed for borrowed happiness; and something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity.

When it comes to incorporating “something blue” into your wedding, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Maybe it’s blue bridesmaids dresses, jewelry, decor, or even blue wine for a toast! See below for something blue inspirations from several SB&G vendors.

Blanc de Bleu is the world’s first blue sparkling grape wine. Fill your flutes and add an unexpected (and delicious) element of blue to your wedding!

Created in 2006, Blanc de Bleu Cuvee Mousseux from Bronco Wine Company in California is made from grapes grown in the quiet vineyards of Northern California. With an added hint of blueberries, Blanc de Bleu is a dry, crisp, delicate sparkling wine, and perfectly refreshing. Another fun way to add blue to your big day.
Toast with Blanc de BleuFashion
There are actually several wedding gowns on the market that incorporate a hint of blue, such as the David Tutera gown from Savvi Formalwear (below left) and the Liancarlo gown from Alexia’s Bridal (below right). The Naeem Khan gown photographed on the runway incorporates blue with lovely embroidered flowers.

In fact, this light blue theme goes perfectly with the 2016 Pantone color/s of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity (a cool, tranquil blue). This “serenity” shade can also be incorporated in the bridesmaid dresses, like the Frill Clothing bridesmaid dresses below.
Brides in shades of bluePhotos: Dara Blakeley Photography (top left) and Renee Sprink Photography (top right)Naeem Khan Blue Floral GownBlue Bridesmaid Dresses from Frill ClothingPhoto above: Casey Rose Photography

Flowers & Accessories
Flowers, such as the hydrangeas pictures in this bridal bouquet from Flowers by Gary here, is another beautiful way to add pops of blue to your look.

And jewelry, whether a family heirloom (which would also cover the “something old” or “borrowed” category), or something new, like the stunning blue pendent necklace on the bride below from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry is another easy way to have that something blue category covered.Blue bridesmaid dressesBlue pendant necklace for bridePhotos: Walters & Walters Photography

There are also different shades of blue! Check out these fun, colorful “Robin’s Egg” blue monogrammed bangles from Moon & Lola. They’d make the perfect blue bridesmaid gifts!
Moon and Lola blue bangle braceletsDecor & Favors
Decor and party favors, like these adorable blue candles from Oak City Candles of Raleigh, would make a perfect blue accent.

In the Triangle, there’s the added bonus of Duke and Carolina competing blues! If you and your spouse are a fan of either, why not have some fun with the sports theme – give your guests blue pom-poms to wave as you exit!
Blue candles from Oak City Candles RaleighSchool colors used in weddings
Photo above: Dara Blakeley Photography

Moon & Lola’s Party Collection is Perfect for Weddings and Showers

When it comes to party decor, no detail is too small. Adding fun pops of color and props will take your party from drab to fab in no time! Moon & Lola is here to help you achieve that look with the launch of their Party Collection.

Moon & Lola recently teamed up with Kaitlin Holland, founder of The School of Styling, to style a fun and bright shoot to showcase their new party products, including adorable cake toppers, scripted place settings, and festive décor.

A cocktail and dessert party was planned with some local creatives and the TSOS team. Below you’ll see TSOS founder Kaitlin Holland with Moon & Lola’s CEO Kelly Shatat. Because Moon and Lola is such a fun-loving brand, Holland incorporated elements into the shoot that were more punchy and unexpected, like the flamingo napkins. The ultimate goal was to show off how beautiful and fun the new Party Collection is!

There are so many fun elements incorporated in this shoot – take a look below for inspiration for your own wedding, bridal shower or other event and save big with Moon & Lola’s bridal discount promotion: Enjoy 20% off purchases of $500+ or 25% off purchases of $1,000+. Moon and Lola just opened their newest location at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.
Wedding cake toppers from Moon and Lola RaleighWedding accessories Moon and LolaMoon & Lola RaleighCheers wedding decor signRaleigh bridal showersMoon and Lola and The School of StylingBridal party ideasBridal shower inspirationGold script modern cake toppersMerrimon Wynne bridal showerCute cake toppers from Moon & LolaHappy Birthday cake topperPink and white wedding decor ideasRaleigh bridal shower decorationsParty collection from Moon & Lola RaleighScripted cake toppersPARTY DECOR Moon & Lola | PHOTOGRAPHY Jon Black | VENUE The Merrimon-Wynne House | STYLING & DESIGN Kaitlin Holland, The School of Styling | CAKES Sugar Euphoria | FLORIST Serendipity Designs | HAIR & MAKEUP Mena Garcia | CHAMPAGNE Le Grand Courtage | MACAROONS The Sweeter Side

Pinterest-Worthy Pastel Wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House

Alesandra and Kevin met at Elon University and bonded over Jersey Shore beaches, seafood and beer. Their friendship turned into more when they both made the trek to their respective Jersey Shore and Long Island abodes, enduring Northeast, summertime, weekend traffic (traffic doesn’t really get any worse than that!).

Kevin proposed on Memorial Day weekend at Ocean Isle beach. The couple made plans to take a trip for the long weekend, and Alesandra, unaware of the plan at hand, started inviting some friends along, who Kevin then had to secretly ask to show up a day later. To Alesandra’s complete surprise, Kevin proposed and their friends arrived the next day to join in on the celebrations!

They chose The Merrimon-Wynne House as their venue because it was the perfect balance between casual and classic. They wanted a venue where guests could have fun, be themselves and get a taste for Raleigh’s history. Being from New York and New Jersey, many of their friends and family had never been to Raleigh so they wanted a place close to downtown where they could show off the great city.

“The Merrimon-Wynne was so accommodating throughout the entire process,” Alesandra shares. “They really did everything possible to make our day perfect and. They kept the house and grounds pristine for the day of the wedding.”

She also praises Rocky Top Catering for creating a delicious menu. “They had great recommendations based on the number of guests and invited us to multiple tasting events to make sure we would be totally satisfied with our food selection,” she says.

Alesandra and her mom, Maria, did the majority of the planning to make the theme come to life. Alesandra loved how the soft mint color looked in wedding magazines and Pinterest boards so that was the main color palette for the wedding (along with blush, creams, and silver). Being on September 5th, it represented the end of summer nicely. Her mother came to Raleigh two weeks early to build the centerpieces, aisle runners, stair lanterns, groomsmen boutonnieres, and even the tuxedo for her dog, Rosco, which was made from leftover material from the groomsmen suits and bridesmaid dresses.

Kevin’s cousin, Ben, was the officiant and a mother of one of their good friends, Barbara, baked the cake. When they asked her to do the wedding cake, she was thrilled and really understood their vision for a “naked” cake, which turned out beautifully.

The reception was held under a tent in the backyard of The Merrimon-Wynne. Later in the night, when they opened up the walls of the tent, Alesandra remembers stepping outside and looking in the tent to see everyone laughing, dancing and having a great time. “To me, that made it all worth it” she says.

The brides’s soft and romantic vision really comes to life in the photos captured by Anna Routh Photography below.
Classic Southern Event VenuesRaleigh bride and groomBridal suite at the Merrimon WynneRaleigh wedding venue Merrimon Wynne HouseCustom wedding dress hangersJenny Yoo bridesmaid dressesMint bridesmaid dressesOutdoor ceremony in North CarolinaGroom's suite at Merrimon-WynneTan suit for groomPaper fans for outdoor summer wedding favorsEucalyptus and pink rose wedding bouquetBridesmaids toast with beer or champagneRaleigh wedding photographersWood arbor for wedding ceremonyWood wedding details and fansFamily pet in wedding ceremonyRaleigh bride at Merrimon Wynne HouseOutdoor wedding ceremony in NCAnna Routh NC wedding photographerGlobe lights as wedding decorWeddings at the Merrimon Wynne House RaleighMint bridesmaid gownsCute bridesmaid and groom photo ideasPastel summer weddingTented wedding at the Merrimon WynnePretty wedding table card ideasModern trends in wedding flowersMint wedding color paletteSummer wedding colorsEucalyptus garland at weddingRocky Top CateringHistoric Merrimon Wynne event venueItalian Ice stand at weddingItalian cookies at wedding receptionBest wedding reception venues near Raleigh NCVENUE AND DAY-OF COORDINATOR The Merrimon-Wynne House | PHOTOGRAPHER Anna Routh Photography | BRIDAL LUNCHEON Carolina Ale House | REHEARSAL DINNER Mash & Lauter | OFFICIANT Ben Zonnevylle (groom’s cousin) | CATERER Rocky Top Catering | ITALIAN ICE CART Sweet Water Ices | BRIDAL GOWN Allure from Village Bridal & Boutique, NY | BRIDAL SHOES Nina | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Jenny Yoo from Nordstrom | MOB DRESS Kay Unger | BRIDESMAID GIFTS Anne Klein earrings, necklaces, and robes | MEN’S FORMALWEAR Michael Kors | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Petrone bottles | FLORIST Anna Passarelli from Meristem Floral | CAKE  Barbara Kapp (family friend) | STATIONERY Wedding Paper Divas | RECEPTION MUSIC Kent Bloms of Bunn DJ Company | PARTY RENTALS & LIGHTING Party Reflections | TRANSPORTATION Carolina Livery | ACCOMMODATIONS Hampton Inn & Suites – Downtown Raleigh / Double Tree Raleigh  | HAIR Holley Closser | MAKEUP Joyce Centineo (family friend) and Bottega Salon | BRIDAL JEWELRY Nadri | ENGAGMENT RING A. Jaffe | WEDDING FAVORS Mini tequila bottles and beer brewed by bride and groom | BRIDAL REGISTRY Bed, Bath & Beyond

Pink, Blue and Gold Floral Inspiration from Tre Bella Flowers of Durham

Southern Bride & Groom is excited to share some of our favorite photos, including many not seen in print, from the floral designers featured in our 2016 magazine. The second part of our floral shoot took place at the popular urban venue with a sophisticated edge Bay 7 located at American Tobacco Campus in Durham.

In this display, Tre Bella Flowers created a sweet and romantic design that is illuminated from the sunlight shining though the large factory windows against the warm brick walls of Bay 7. A stunning table of bountiful white hydrangeas and sunset-colored roses and peonies mixes metals of mercury glass votives with gold candles and flatware, set over a classic navy stripe linen. Flowing ribbon chair backs and floral menu cards add a whimsical and flirty touch of softness to the rustic cross-back chairs.

Three sisters, who also own Tre Bella Bridal (featuring gowns and accessories), run Tre Bella Flowers, a florist located in downtown Durham. Tre Bella grew quickly from a small boutique florist run out of one of the founder’s homes to two locations and three stores! The design studio on Broad Street in Durham helps brides create the wedding or event flowers of their dreams. The headquarters on Main Street assists with finding the perfect dress, bridesmaids gowns or mother-of-the-bride dress, and the boutique offers salon services and trendy clothing, jewelry and gifts.
Tre Bella Flowers at Bay 7 Navy and pink wedding color inspirationSouthern Bride and Groom photo shoot at Bay 7Romantic bridal wedding bouquet ideasTre Bella Flowers of DurhamBest Durham florist Tre Bella FlowersFLORAL DESIGN, CHAIR RIBBON DECOR & CONTAINERS Tre Bella Flowers | TABLETOP, CHINA & CHAIRS American Party Rentals | GOWN Eugenia Couture from Tre Bella Bridal | MENUS Union Press & Paper | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Mina’s Studio | VENUE Bay 7 at American Tobacco Campus | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters

Meet Local NC Chefs at TASTE 2016 Durham Food Festival

Organized by our friends at Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill MagazineTaste the Event is a charitable local food festival highlighting top culinary talent, including chefs, restaurateurs, beverage purveyors and other locals from the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area. Each year, several Southern Bride and Groom caterers take part in The Grand Taste Experience – a delicious food festival taking place on April 21st, 2016 at The Durham Armory.

We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to some of that talent today on our blog. If you’re going to TASTE, be sure to stop by and say hello to the chefs mentioned below – your tastebuds are in for a treat!

Meet Executive Chef Josh Munchel of Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel in downtown DurhamChef Josh Munchel Counting House DurhamChef Munchel comes to Counting House from another 21c Museum Hotels restaurant, Metropole in Cincinnati, Ohio. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Munchel attended culinary school in nearby Louisville before returning to his hometown to practice his thoughtful approach to ingredients and love of fragrant spices and bold flavors in kitchens throughout Cincinnati. He moved to Durham to head the kitchen at Counting House when it opened in 2015.

At 21c Durham, they love to showcase the bounty of the Carolina coast. They have a unique menu option called “Sea Snacks” that includes pickled shrimp, oysters in the half shell, and rotating seafood items. When they can get Spanish Mackerel, they love to feature it. Lucky for us, they’ll have it at TASTE!

“Preparing the Mackerel is a five day process that I absolutely love,” explains Munchel. “The first step is to brine the fish filets for six hours then remove the filets from the brine. The filets are then soaked in sherry vinegar and lemon juice for at least 48 hours. The acid in the vinegar and lemon juice helps to cook and acidify the fish. We then make an aromatic oil, cover the fish with the oil and let set in the refrigerator for up to a month (will be ready to consume in 48 hours). You end up with a really nice, light snack that is delicious on crackers or grilled bread!”

We can’t wait to try it!

Meet Chef Toshio Sakamaki

 of Basan sushi in American Tobacco CampusBasan sushi restaurant Durham NCChef Toshio Sakamaki was born in Tokyo, Japan. His father was a sushi chef, and ever since he was a child, Toshio dreamed of being a chef and moving to the United States. He has worked in New York, San Francisco, and is now leading the Basan kitchen in Durham.

In Japan, red snapper is a popular item for weddings and celebration parties, so grilled red snapper or sashimi is a favorite for Chef Toshio to prepare at these occations.

Every year, Chef Toshio enjoys meeting many different people at TASTE and introducing them to Basan’s unique cuisine. Since Basan’s speciality is fresh seafood, so you may find a sashimi dish this year at the Grand Taste Experience.

We can’t wait to see what they have in store!

Meet Executive Chef Jason Cunningham at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Chef Jason Cunningham Washington DukeChef Jason Cunningham has led the Fairview Dining Room and Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club culinary teams since 2001. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Jason’s culinary journey has taken him from New England to the Hawaiian island of Lanai, perfecting his craft along the way. Jason believes fresh is best and seeks the finest, locally grown ingredients to create innovative seasonally-inspired dishes with a southern twist.

“TASTE is the event that brings our food community together – those who are passionate about creating dishes and those that love to enjoy them. We look forward to connecting with our peers to share, sample and promote the food revolution that’s happening in our region,” Cunningham shares.

When it comes to weddings at The Washington Duke, each menu is unique. They customize many aspects of the culinary experience for the bride, groom and their guests – from the hors d’oeuvres and specialty entrées to the handcrafted pastries and champagne sent to the newlyweds’ room following the reception.

Meet Chef James Clark head of Crossroads Chapel Hill at The Carolina Inn
Carolina Inn Catering
Chef James Clark is a master of authentic North Carolina cuisine, specializing in traditional southern dishes with a modern flare. A native of the Carolinas, Clark is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and previously worked at Five-Star, Five-Diamond, Four-Star and Four-Diamond restaurants in culinary hotbeds Washington D.C., New Orleans, Charleston and Atlanta, among others.

Passed hors d’oeuvres at The Carolina Inn weddings do not disappoint! Guests enjoy upscale apps like cured tuna with picked green tomato or maple brined pork tenderloin with artichoke relish, but Chef’s favorite display feature is their whole roasted grouper with Texas Pete burre blanc and Carolina gold rice.

At TASTE, we’ll get a taste of braised pork cheeks, spring pea grits, pickled ramp gremolata – yum!

Meet Chef Teddy Diggs Executive Chef at Il Palio inside The Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill
Upscale Italian at Il Palio in Chapel Hill

Grand tastings are always a hub of energy when friends and foodies unite to celebrate their common passion and Chef Diggs views TASTE as an exciting challenge to find a way to share the hallmarks of Il Palio – bold ingredients, smoky aromas and balanced flavors – in a festival setting to create the same emotional connection that diners can expect from the restaurant itself.

When Diggs plans weddings, he always customizes the menu to the bride and groom with the understanding that each wedding is unique and special to the couple. “For example, if a couple loves fresh produce, I craft dishes to showcase ripe summer tomatoes or sweet corn. One couple requested a nontraditional wedding cake, inspiring my riff on a rich carrot cake bedecked in a bourbon cream cheese frosting,” Diggs shares.

The dishes he serves at TASTE will provide a glimpse into the warm atmosphere and vibrant flavors that they offer at Il Palio. And, of course, they will also have their hallmark crowd favorite: rosemary and sea salt foccacia bread!

Seriously, we could not get enough of that bread last year!

Meet Chef Laureano Cortez Hernandez of Durham Catering Company
Chef Jason Cunningham Washington Duke
Chef Hernandez has over 15 years of experience in high-end restaurants of downtown Durham, including Pop’s Trattoria, Nana’s, Magnolia Grill, and Another Thyme. Working with chefs like Scott Howell and Tom Ferguson, Chef Hernandez has developed a palate for creative, and classic combinations. When he’s not in the kitchen, he likes to spend time with his son, little Laureano, and his wife, Claudia Juarez, enjoying the outdoors.

“It’s always good to see old friends and new, and to support a great cause, but my favorite thing about TASTE is seeing people tasting and enjoying our food again and again,” Hernandez says.

His favorite thing to serve at weddings is a sesame tuna wonton, which is seared tuna on a crispy wonton with avocado and a dollop of wasabi. For TASTE, foodies will be treated to Durham Catering Co’s bold flavors of corn elotes, with a Mexican cream, cotija cheese, and spices.

* We’ll be sharing some bites from the night on our Instagram page, so be sure to follow along!

2016 Mother’s Day Events Around the Triangle

Maybe your mom is helping you plan a wedding; maybe she’s the person you always go to for advice or comfort; maybe she’s your best friend and she’s most likely your number one fan. All mom’s deserve a day to relax and be pampered. So, whether you’re looking for a charming place to take Mom to brunch, afternoon tea or a trip to the spa, there are plenty of ways to celebrate her this Mother’s Day. See our list of events below.
Mother of the bridePhoto: Renee Sprink Photography


21c Museum Hotel
May 7 & 8| 10am-2pm
Chef Josh Munchel of Counting House at 21c is serving up an à la carte menu on both Saturday and Sunday of Mother’s Day weekend, featuring dishes like Carolina smoked trout benedict and lamb & eggs with spiced tomato gravy and grilled pita. Entrées are priced from $12-$22. Call 919-956-6760 for reservations.

The Carolina Inn
May 8 | 10:30am-3pm
Treat Mom to an elegant brunch at The Carolina Inn where the warm ambiance and sumptuous menu will add to this memorable occasion and is just what she deserves! Cost is $65.95 for adults; $60.95 for seniors (60+); $25.95 for children ages 6-12, and kids five and under are free. Call 919-918-2735 for reservations.

The Cloth Mill
May 8 | 10am-3pm
Make this Mother’s Day special with a delicious brunch at The Cloth Mill in Hillsborough. Celebrate the ladies you love with a signature brunch buffet from Beau Catering, featuring new and traditional favorites and a decadent dessert bar. There will also be a Mimosa & Bloody Mary bar available after 12 pm. Kate Pope Photography will be on site capturing your special memories, and Berlin Brothers band will keep you entertained throughout the afternoon with live jazz. Cost is $22-$48. To confirm the number of guests in your party, please email or call 919-914-9943.

The Mayton Inn
May 8 | 10am-3pm
Come celebrate all Mothers with The Mayton Inn’s bountiful, delectable Mother’s Day Brunch, featuring a veritable smorgasbord of delicious treats. Cost is $50 per person; children 5-12 years old are $10.50, and children five-years-old and younger are free. Reservations required: Call 919-307-7070 or book online.
Dining at The Mayton Inn Cary NCSouthern Season/The Weathervane
May 8 | 9:00am-4pm
Southern Season’s restaurant in Chapel Hill will be offering a $35 prix fixe menu from Executive Chef Bo Peterson featuring local area artisans and farmers. Children will have options from the regular kid’s menu. Call 919-929-9466 to make a reservation.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
May 8 | 10:30am-3pm
Mother’s Day brunch at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Raleigh includes a three-course menu with several delicious options including entrees like eggs benedict, filet mignon and salmon, along with a starter and a dessert. Cost is $39 plus tax and gratuity, and the children’s menu is $7. Plus, Mom gets a $25 gift card towards her next visit! For reservations, call 919-833-2888.

The University Club
May 8 | 10:30am-2:30pm
Show Mom how much you care by treating her to The University Club’s seemingly never-ending buffet and a table with an unforgettable view! The buffet will feature made-to-order waffles and omelets, a seafood extravaganza and more! Cost is $42++; Kids ages 5-12 are $20++, and children four-years-old and under are free. For reservations, email or call 919-323-4816.
Durham Wedding at University TowerPhoto: Dara Blakeley Photography


The King’s Daughters Inn
May 8 | 1-3pm
The Lucky Teapot Traveling Tea Parties will host a special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea event at the King’s Daughters Inn in Durham. This special day is the perfect occasion to get dressed up in your finest dresses and hats and celebrate Mother’s Day in first class style and sophistication, in an elegant and warm setting at this charming location. Enjoy fine food served on three-tiered stands, along with vintage china, dainty linens, fresh flowers, candles and charming music! Cost is $32.59. Reserve your tickets online.

Southern Season/The Weathervane
*May 3 | 3-5pm
Celebrate the special ladies in your life along with the beautiful start of the spring season at Southern Season’s restaurant in Chapel Hill. The cost is $29 per person and $16 per child (tax and gratuity will be added to all checks). Call 919-929-9466 to make a reservation.


The Umstead Hotel & Spa
It’s all the makings of a classic mother-daughter day combining spa treatments with the The Umstead’s coveted Afternoon Tea. Unwind and bond in the spa’s two-story relaxation lounges, complete with heated open-roof current pool and indoor Jacuzzi. After a rejuvenating treatment, it’s a short stroll to the hotel’s art-adorned lobby lounge for tea. There, you’ll enjoy a traditional presentation of teas and treats, from tea sandwiches to scones, accompanied by live harp music. Call (866)-877-4141.
Wedding catering by The Umstead Hotel and SpaPhoto: Renee Sprink Photography

Traditional Celtic Wedding at The Burke Manor Inn

Chad and Carol Anne share an interest in history and met in an online chat group about the topic. Both divorcees, they bonded over their shared interests and witty sense of humor. Chad later proposed at The Fig Tree restaurant in Charlotte.

Carol Anne took wedding planning into her own hands and decided on a theme that honored both her and her husband’s heritage of Scottish and Irish decent. Their celtic wedding, held at The Burke Manor Inn in Gibsonville, NC, was beautiful and true to them as a couple.

In keeping with the tradition of “something borrowed, something old, something new, and a penny for your shoe” Carol Anne incorporated small family details that held big meaning. “My dad (who has cancer) gave me a six pence for my shoe. The british six-pence has Scottish thistle on the back. We had Scottish thistle all throughout our wedding flowers. Now the six-pence is in a necklace I can wear everyday and not only think about my beautiful wedding, but my sweet dad…forever,” she shares.

Many Celtic traditions, as you can see from the photos by Michelle Robinson Photography below, included a hand-binding ceremony, which is a cord of three strands you braid together: One represents the bride, one the groom, and one God. The Celtic hand binding is literally where the term “tied the knot” comes from. Carol Anne’s grown children held the ring with the three different colored cords while the bride and groom braided them and then binded their hands together.

Also, to keep with the theme of heritage and tradition, a bagpiper played and their families’ clan colors were incorporated in Kilt’s, sashes, the cake ribbon, and table decorations. The invitations themselves were ordered from Scotland!
Celtic wedding invitationsCeltic weddingsBurke Manor Inn weddingBurke Manor Inn NC weddingCeltic wedding themeCeltic wedding traditionsRed roses wedding bouquetNorth Carolian wedding photographyWeddings in North CarolinaScottish wedding traditionsBagpipper at weddingTraditional weddings in North CarolinaHow to include kids in your weddingOutdoor ceremony at Burke Manor InnCeltic wedding colors and wedding themeSecond marriage in the SouthSecond marriage wedding themeSweet tea and lemonade at Southern weddingWedding receptions at Burke Manor InnCatering at The Burke Manor InnBag piper playing at your weddingVENUE & CATERER The Burke Manor Inn | PHOTOGRAPHER Michelle Robinson Photography | MINISTER Dickie Spargo | BRIDAL GOWN & SHOES David’s Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS David’s Bridal | JEWELRY Dillards | HAIR & MAKEUP Daja Vou | FLORIST Pat’s Florist | CAKE Delicious Cakes | MUSIC David Thomas – Bagpipes | ACCOMMODATIONS Burke Manor Inn