Monthly Archives:: August 2016

Chapel Hill Wedding at Top of the Hill Great Room

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to share Yasemin and David’s Chapel Hill wedding at Top of the Hill Great Room with gorgeous first look and bridal party photos taken at The Carolina Inn.

Yasemin and David met during freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill, but after college, they ended up having to be long distance for three years. Even though the distance was challenging, it was also a test of their strength and commitment to one another. They’ve now been together for ten years.
Chapel Hill brideFor Christmas in 2014, Yasemin and David drove from Raleigh, North Carolina to Dallas, Texas to visit his family. On the way, they drove straight 19 hours, but on the way back, Yasemin was excited when David agreed they could stopover for a night in Nashville, Tennessee, where she’s always wanted to visit.

After checking in at the hotel, they headed out for a romantic dinner, after which Yasemin thought they were going to walk around downtown and go to a couple of bars, but David had other plans. He pointed to the Shelby Bridge, which overlooks the city and said, “Let’s go on that!” It had started misting rain and even though the walk didn’t appeal to Yasemin, David kept insisting, so they walked, climbed the stairs to the bridge, and made it to the mid-point where the view was amazing. She started taking pictures, but when she turned around, she was completely surprised to see David there with a ring! She later found out he chose to propose in Nashville because it is in the middle between his family (Dallas, TX) and hers (Charleston, SC).
Artistic wedding photographyFlannel getting ready outfitJenny Packham gownMint bridesmaid dressesBlack and white wedding photographysilver wedding ringsGrooms room chapel hillPretty wedding invitationsSince they were both Tar Heels, getting married in Chapel Hill was an easy decision. They knew it would be fun to bring all their friends back and make a mini-reunion of it. Chapel Hill was also a great mid-way meeting point for  those traveling from other states.
Wedding photos in Chapel HillTop of the Hill Chapel HillChapel Hill bridesmaidsDowntown Chapel Hill weddingDuring their first look, Yasemin greeted David with two Brooklyn Brewery Lagers, which was special for them because they were headed their favorite city, New York City, for their honeymoon and love Brooklyn Brewery beers.
First look photographs Chapel Hill bride and groomThe bride’s Jenny Packham gown was from Tre Bella Bridal as were the Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dresses. “I only went to one bridal salon – Tre Bella was absolutely amazing! They had such beautiful gowns and I loved that I was able to also get the bridesmaid dresses there,” says Yasemin.
Winter wedding chapel hillNorth Carolina wedding photographyLavendar bridesmaid dressesClassic groomsmen outfitsWinter wedding inspirationShe also wore her great-grandmother’s beautiful earrings as part of family tradition. Many female relatives on her grandmother’s side wore those earrings at their wedding and it was even more meaningful because several months before the wedding her grandmother passed away. Wearing her earrings was like having a part of her present that day.
Family heirloom wedding earringsThe cozy, romantic vision came together with white and gray undertones, greenery from Tre Bella Florist for the ceremony and reception.
green and white wedding flowersA lot of vendors were selected by word-of-mouth. For example, Reverend Kayelily Middleton married two of their good friends. They loved that Kayelily incorporated their “story” through the ceremony and made it felt so intimate and personal.
Raleigh wedding ministerUNC chapel hill weddingsDavid’s mom, Leticia, a talented florist, did the bouquets and boutonnieres. “Now, when we look back at pictures and hopefully show our kids one day, we can say that their grandmother made those beautiful flowers,” the bride shares.
Blue and white wedding colorsWinter wedding bouquetSimple bridal bouquetsYasemin really liked the feel of the Great Room at Top of the Hill with its exposed brick and industrial vibe. Since they spent a lot of time at Top of the Hill while in college, they thought it would be a perfect and meaningful venue and had the added bonus of  utilizing the Back Bar for cocktail hour. “I love the vibe there and it really was a walk down memory lane to our college days at Carolina,” Yasemin shares. “And we could have TOPO beer served. We are both big fans, and were especially happy they saved some blueberry beer for us from the summer!”
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Art Museum Wedding at 21c Hotel in Downtown Durham

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to feature Raine and Chasity’s art museum wedding at 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Durham!

Raine and Chasity met in San Francisco in 2008, and over the years, their friendship turned into a relationship they never expected.
Unique wedding venues in NCIn March of 2014, Chasity proposed to Raine in Asheville, NC on a getaway anniversary trip. Raine loves taking photos and never passes up an opportunity for nature shots, so Chasity told her they were going to stop off before lunch to a “historical garden,” which really only became “historical” when Chasity proposed, ironically in the rain, kneeling in a puddle of water.

The couple’s first date was at the MOMA in San Francisco, so it brought things full circle to start another chapter of their lives at a museum – the 21c Museum Hotel in Durham was perfect! 21c was also very open minded and accommodating to them as a same sex couple. “We always felt comfortable at 21C. Everyone we interacted with was just as excited about our wedding as we were! The service was incredible; even our guests commented on how accommodating everyone was. Every request we made was answered promptly and with smiling willing faces. There wasn’t a single complaint, other than people wanting to stay longer!” said Chasity.
21c Hotel Durham21c Museum Hotel wedding venueParty rentals Durham NCHotel weddings in North CarolinaAnd the morning after the wedding, friends and family from out of town got together for brunch in downtown Durham at Beyù Caffè. It was the perfect closing to a perfect wedding. Friends and family just chatting over French toast, eggs and cappuccinos!

The theme for the wedding was “elegant romance” and the main colors were blush and gray, but they also used silver and gold metallic through the design to give some pop.

Both Chasity and Raine love good cake, so they were on a mission to find a baker that made a cake that tasted like grandma made it from scratch, but still looked like art and Edible Art Bakery in Raleigh hit the mark! It was elegant and worthy of sitting in the gallery, but delicious enough to forget it was a “wedding” cake.
Durham NC wedding receptionEdible Art Bakery wedding cakesWedding photographer, Joe Payne, was as as inspiring as he is inspired. He held Chasity’s chin and looked at her before the wedding to say she was “a beautiful bride.” This let her inner diva shine just in time for photos! And the results are stunning.
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Raleigh’s Rocky Top Catering Wedding Menu Inspiration

In the 2016 edition of Southern Bride and Groom, we introduced you to the area’s best and most talented wedding caterers! Today, we’re sharing Raleigh’s Rocky Top Catering wedding menu inspiration.

After moving to the Triangle area in 2006 with several years of culinary experience under his belt, Chef Adam Reid trained as the sous chef at Glenwood Grill while working with Rocky Top Catering part time. He made the transition to Executive Chef at Rocky Top over three years ago.

Chef Reid’s favorite style of cooking is Creole, but Asian-Hispanic fusion is definitely a close second. Rocky Top covers all types of food for weddings and Reid says he relishes all styles. He noted that currently, Southern fare is one of the favorite requests.
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“While regional demand for Rocky Top’s spin on Southern classics heavily influences menu creation, we don’t want to be known for one dish over another. I strive to make every dish equally amazing, by using the freshest, local, quality ingredients,” says Chef Reid.

Annual menu development includes tweaking their standard dishes, testing new recipes, and keeping an eye on the newest industry trends. The expert Rocky Top Catering Managers serve as the middlemen between the culinary staff and each wedding client in customizing the final menu.
Rocky Top Catering RaleighWedding menu ideas
“My process involves setting out the right quantity for the event, sourcing and ordering the best product, preparing the menu, scheduling the appropriate staff and executing the event,” Reid shares.

Chef Reid always gets excited when asked to talk to a guest about creating a specialty menu. His favorite wedding menu request was an “all things bacon” theme. They served hoisin-glazed pork belly tacos, pork bacon meatballs in an apple cider bourbon glaze, chicken bacon collard green egg rolls, and of course, candied bacon!

But, Rocky Top is also skilled when it comes to the opposite end of the spectrum: “Vegan and vegetarian meals have been a big focus of ours in the past few years,” Chef Reid shares.
Vegetarian wedding dishes
A lot of time is spent on developing items that not only ‘wow’ the person eating it, but also intrigue the nearby seated guests. A great deal of that is in the visual presentation.

“Vegetarian guests deserve more than just the sides as their meal – using local, seasonal produce and fresh cheeses allows us a superior product,” says Reid.

Rocky Top is the exclusive caterer for their own venue, 1705 Prime, a modern Southern-styled venue in North Raleigh, as well as the caterer at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences downtown Raleigh and the Blue Zone at UNC’s Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill. You’ll also see them on the preferred list of many wedding venues throughout the Triangle.
Raleigh NC wedding catererFood Prepared by Rocky Top Catering | Photography by Neil Boyd Photography

Raleigh City Skyline Wedding Inspiration

We love the inherent romance of rooftop weddings, especially during a magical sunset and in our state’s capital, Raleigh!

This elegant and gorgeous wedding styled shoot was designed by Elana Walker Events on the balcony of the PNC building right in the heart of the City of Oaks. It overlooks the beautiful Raleigh skyline and incorporates very modern design elements such as ghost chairs, table numbers printed on clear acrylic, cascading flowers, tall eye-catching centerpieces and a shining sliver cake.

The bride’s beautiful layered gown with beaded top is from Alexia’s Bridal, and the groom is outfitted in a classy gray suit from Savvi Formalwear.

Enjoy a glimpse of this sunset soiree in the photos below from Walters & Walters Photography.
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Black Tie Wedding with a View at The University Club in Durham

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to share Shannon & Aaron’s black tie wedding with a view at The University Club in Durham.

Shannon and Aaron were so excited to plan a wedding that would bring their two families together. Shannon, having grown up in North Carolina, was thrilled to show Aaron’s California-based family the best of Southern hospitality. They sought out a venue with a view and also a catering chef that could blow their guests away with a spectacular dinner! Enter University Club in Durham. It took a little bit for Shannon, a UNC graduate, to warm up tot the idea of being held at a Club affiliated with Duke, but it didn’t take too long to sway her when she saw the views overlooking the city. She and Aaron married there at sunset on Thanksgiving weekend.

Bridal portraits were taken outside on the beautiful green at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club before heading over the The University Club for an elegant evening reception.

Shannon wanted all the glitz and glamour of a black tie affair but wanted her guests to feel welcome and at home with good food and fine wine. Erin McLean Events chose a palette that complimented the holiday decor already in place at the Club, but that made her wedding feel like her own. Selecting a rich navy and understated gold accents, the  space came alive with the warm glow of candle light and sparkled with crisp Rose welcoming guests to their seats.

Shannon and Aaron had another must-have for their wedding: An amazing party. DJ Kevin Majoros got guests onto the dance floor in no-time, as Shannon made her second grand entrance, in what can only be described as a stunning white jumpsuit – where bridal meets fashion forward!

Guests were treated to a late night snack of chicken and waffles from the chef and a Krispey Kreme Doughnut treat on their way out!
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Raleigh Wedding Photographer Brian Mullins’ Way with Light

SB&G preferred vendor, Brian Mullins, is an award-winning Raleigh-based photographer who you will find shooting weddings around the Triangle and at destinations across the continent!

Brian co-founded the Triangle based Wedding Photographic Society (WPS) in 2008 with chapters throughout the state of NC. The WPS mentors new photographers, provides continuing education opportunities for members, and affords local wedding photographers the opportunity to network and support each other. Brian keeps his own skills sharp by regularly attending internationally recognized continuing education classes where he is able to learn from the best and brightest photographers in the industry.

What sets Brian apart from other photographers is his eye for composition and his ability to manipulate light to create beautiful and unique images in a fast paced wedding environment. His ability to make light do what he wants it to do comes from his years of training in cinematography followed by several years working with concert venue lighting. Brian began his career as a professional photographer in 2005 at Cary Magazine, quickly rising from assignment photographer to chief photographer. Although he has been successful in all aspects of photography, he particularly enjoys the challenges of wedding photography. The pressure of having only one chance to capture the moment really gets his creative juices flowing.

His work is best described as a portrait-journalistic approach to wedding photography. “We are there to document the natural beauty on your wedding day, but will also coach every client on how to look their best in photos during the more staged moments of the day. Our work has a timeless & classic feel to it that will be beautiful not only today, but in 20 years from now,” he shares.

See Brian’s brilliant way with light as captured in some of his favorite images below.
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Meet Raleigh Wedding Caterer and Baker, Catering Works

In the 2016 edition of Southern Bride and Groom, we introduced you to the area’s best and most talented wedding caterers! Today, we’re sharing Raleigh wedding cater and baker, Catering Works.

Catering Works, which celebrated its 25th anniversary milestone last year, has truly become a one-stop-shop for brides and grooms. It currently offers full-service catering, customized pastry and wedding cakes, in-house floral design, and party rentals event coordination.

“The turn-key service really appeals to brides, especially those who are from planning from out of town,” says CEO Jill Santa Lucia, “There is simplicity and peace of mind with one point of contact. Not to mention the ease of the logistics and cohesiveness when everything is coming from the same source.” She adds that Catering Works has experts in each division and is also always happy to work with brides on any single aspect of the wedding, such as just the food, desserts, or floral services for their special events.
Catering Works RaleighSanta Lucia, who has a degree from Johnson & Wales University and several local and national awards under her belt, makes her life-long passion for exceptional cuisine the driving force behind Catering Works. She heads up the kitchen team with her talented colleagues Rich Carter and Anthony Calcagno.
Chefs at Raleigh Catering WorksCarter is the Executive Chef. He began his culinary career working at several popular Italian restaurants in NY and worked his way to sous chef and Executive Chef at fine dining restaurants. Carter is dedicated to creating quality food and their entire team relishes his surprising recipes with unique ingredient combinations that make Catering Works menus stand out.

Calcagno, Executive Pastry Chef, began as a pastry cook at Rockefeller Center in NYC and loves Parisian, Austrian and Italian desserts. While working for the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, he created wedding cakes that surpassed couples’ expectations and quickly gained a reputation as one of the area’s leading wedding cake designers.
Wedding dessert trioEdible wedding favorsRaleigh baker and catererCatering Works is very in touch with the latest trends from “foodie” brides who are well traveled and on the lookout for unique dishes and fine wines. They are equally skilled at creating special Southern comfort dishes that are in demand by many couples in the area.

“A high-end spin on traditional comfort dishes or regional NC-based cuisine is very popular right now – things like coffee braised short ribs with Yates Mill polenta, or NC Berkshire pork shanks glazed with our in-house BBQ sauce,” shares Lucia, “Fine wines from exceptional domestic appellations and French wines are also on trend, as well as local micro-brews. Farm-to-flask incorporates wonderful selections from NC distilleries.”
Lobster scampi catered wedding foodBloody Mary with baconCatering Works is cognizant of those with a gluten allergy or dietary restrictions and they work with couples to customize the menu when needed. While the bride does have to request menu modifications and guest preferences in advance, nearly every recipe can be modified for gluten-free needs as well as presented in its regular form.

Since Catering Works is packed with multiple talents to tie together an event vision, it’s easy to see why they are such a hit with Triangle brides. Check their website to register for bridal tastings, cooking class events and chef dinners hosted at Catering Works in 2016.

Food prepared by Catering Works  |  Photography by Neil Boyd Photography

Special Offers and Engagement Events for Brides to Be

Score Great Deals on Jewelry and more from Raleigh Area Shops this Summer

If you’re recently engaged, it’s an exciting time full of fun decisions, like creating a registry and picking out jewelry for you and your wedding party!

We’ve put together a list of engagement events, special offers, and bridal programs for you to check out, so you can save cash on jewelry and other items you love most!Diamonds Direct engagement ringsPhoto: Jamie Blow Photography

“Winesday” Party Celebrating Joint Venture Jewelry’s 18th Anniversary

Joint Venture Jewelry invites Triangle residents to its 18th anniversary “Winesday” celebration on Wednesday, August 17 from 5-8pm! There will be a free wine tasting with Raleigh Wine Shop in addition to storewide sales and exclusive offers. Grab your friends to mix and mingle with fellow jewelry lovers while shopping with an exclusive anniversary discount. Joint Venture Jewelry is located at 250 Grande Heights Drive in Cary. In addition, its vintage fine jewelry collection includes engagement rings, wedding bands, sapphires, rings, diamonds, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more.

Belk’s August Engagement Party

Recently engaged? Get started on all the wedding planning fun at Belk Crabtree’s Summer Celebration on Sunday, August 28 from 1-4pm! Come by the Belk at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh (3rd floor Home Store) to create a wedding registry or add to an existing one and receive a $25 savings pass. Register to win one of their fantastic giveaways during the event and meet special guest Susan Gravely with Vietri Dinnerware! To RSVP, call 919-782-7010 x295/395.

Moon & Lola Bridal Discount

Whether you’re looking to bejewel the bridesmaids, outfit the groomsmen with custom cuff links, or show your appreciation for the entire bridal party with personalized gifts, Moon & Lola has you covered! They offer a fantastic bridal discount (apply here) that consists of 20% off purchases of $250+; 25% off purchases of $500+; or 30% off purchases of $1,000+.

Kendra Scott Bridal Discount

For any brides buying gifts for their big day or bridal party, Kendra Scott offers a 15% off discount for their entire purchase! Plus, on September 21st, they will launch their new bridal collection, featuring luxury pieces designed for the bride to wear on her special day.

Peachy Proposal Program

Anyone who is engaged is able to take part in Peachy Keen’s Proposal Program for the entire timeframe leading up to her wedding. To apply and become part of the program, a bride-to-be just needs to show her engagement ring and tell the staff the date of her wedding. Peachy Keen is located at 250 Grande Heights Drive in Cary.

Some of the key perks include:

If the bride-to-be and her future husband purchase wedding bands at Joint Venture Jewelry they can get $100 off each ring ($200 off total).

Bottle of sparkling to the groom when he purchases a band to help celebrate.

A complimentary copy of Southern Bride and Groom Magazine…and more!
Charleston South Carolina Engagement Session
Photo: Rachel Red Photography

Southern Spring Wedding at The Garden on Millbrook

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re sharing Heather and Chris’ charming Southern spring wedding at The Garden on Millbrook.

Heather and Chris met in college at UNC Pembroke. After dating for a while, Chris organized an unforgettable proposal that involved over 25 of their closest friends and family…

One of Heather’s close friends invited them to watch the UNC basketball game at the Carolina Ale House in downtown Raleigh. When they arrived, the place was packed! Heather’s friend said, “I heard there is a really pretty view on the rooftop overlooking all of downtown, do you want to go check it out?” and Heather agreed (even though it was a little chilly on a January night). As they were walking up the stairs, Heather noticed her mom and was pretty confused, but figured she was just meeting them there to watch the game. Then as Heather turned the corner, her jaw dropped when she saw a whole line of friends and family holding up letters that spelled out “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”
photographing-wedding-detailssouthern-wedding-inspirationPearl-wedding-jewelryHis-and-her-wedding-inspirationmonogrammed-robes-for-bridesmaidsRuby-engagement-ringSparkling-silver-wedding-shoesmonogramed-wedding-robePeach-and-white-weddingsMonogrammed-bridesmaid-cupsBridesmaid-favors-for-wedding-daycute-bridesmaid-photo-ideasnavy-blue-and-pink-wedding-colorsAfter touring several area venues, the couple toured The Garden on Millbrook. Heather had been to an event there perviously, so she already knew how gorgeous it was, but going there with Chris, and seeing his reaction to it, sealed the deal.
bride-and-groom-lettersThe-Garden-on-MillbrookOutdoor-weddings-in-North-CarolinaClassy-southern-weddingOutdoor-wedding-ceremony-in-NCblack-and-white-wedding-photosnavy-blue-bridesmaidsDogs-in-weddingRaleigh-nc-wedding-venuesThe-Garden-on-Millbrook-RaleighChalkboard-wedding-signsromantic-wedding-bouquetsNavy-blue-and-pink-weddingwedding-foodwedding-inspirationpink-and-white-wedding-flowersreception-at-garden-on-millbrookballroom-weddings-raleighsummer-weddings-in-NCThe colors for this spring wedding inspired a look of modern romance, with pink, peach white, tan and navy blue.

Even their precious dog, Bentley, was part of the big day as ring bearer! When the couple was announced as husband and wife and everyone started cheering and clapping, Bentley chimed in with barks of his own and gave everyone a good laugh.

VENUE & CATERER The Garden on Millbrook | MINISTER Josh Berrus | GOWN & BRIDESMAID DRESSES David’s Bridal | PHOTOGRAPHER Amber Rhodes Photography | VIDEOGRAPHER Cinema Film | FLORST Southern Petals | CAKE Wendy Groon | MUSIC Play That One DJ | FAVORS Personalized koozies and cups

Designer Bridesmaid Dresses from Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh

When it comes to bridal fashion, we can’t forget about the bridesmaids. Designer bridesmaid gowns come in all shapes, styles and colors, and one of our favorite places to shop and order beautiful bridesmaid gowns is Bella Bridesmaids in Raleigh.

Bella Bridesmaids carries the largest collection of bridesmaid dresses from the world’s leading designers in their Bella Showrooms and Raleigh is hands-down one of the very best! With hundreds of dresses to choose from, your personal Bella stylist is ready for anything. Bella Bridesmaids recognizes that every bride has her own vision and each bridesmaid is unique. The shop also hosts regular trunk shows!

Southern Bride & Groom showcased several dresses available from Bella Bridesmaids in our 2016 Fashion Shoot. Take a look at the different looks captured by Dara Blakeley Photography inside the galleries at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham.
Jenny Yoo and Adrianna Papell bridesmaid dressesLet your bridesmaids sparkle in these two glitzy gowns! Featured left is a sheer champagne-colored Jenny Yoo dress next to a gold sequined Adrianna Papell gown. Both looks are completed with necklaces, bracelets and rings from Jewelsmith.
Bella Bridesmaids RaleighThis versatile navy Alfred Sung cocktail dress works for the wedding and an evening out on the town. She’s dolled up with hair and makeup from 140 Salon & Dry Bar.
Turquoise Joanna August dressAll eyes on this bridesmaid in a rich teal Joanna August (Elena) dress. Makeup for Your Day brings the whole look together.

DRESSES Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh | VENUE 21c Museum Hotel | PHOTOGRAPHY Dara Blakeley Photography | HAIR & MAKEUP 140 Salon & Dry Bar and Makeup for Your Day | JEWELRY Jewelsmith