Monthly Archives:: September 2016

Personalized Touches Add to Elegant Durham Wedding

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to share Jenna and Justin’s elegant blush wedding with lots of personal details captured by Renee Sprink Photography.

Jenna came across Justin’s photo through an online dating site, and despite him wearing a UNC hat in the picture, and her being a big Wolfpack fan, she decided to message him saying “Despite your hat, let me say hello.” Less than a week later, they went on a date and the rest is history!
renee-sprink-wedding-photographyOn a night when Jenna was very busy at work, Justin called to tell her he was stopping at the store before cooking dinner (he’s a chef, after all). After the meal, he announced he had dessert for them, but had to go up to his closet to get it, which was weird, but Jenna shrugged it off and started washing dishes. Suddenly, their song was playing. He told her to close her eyes and when she opened them, he was on one knee with a gorgeous ring and there was a bumblebee cake with the words, “Will you marry me?”

Jenna had been plotting and dreaming of her wedding for a while, looking at vendors and taking notes of those she liked most. She found her photographer, Renee Sprink, through a girl she went to college with. “I was blown away by Renee’s photos and loved how she handled large bridal party photos (which I suspected I would have),” she shared.

The first look photos really meant a lot to them as well. “It helped our nerves a little and was a special moment we’ll both always remember,” says Jenna. “And the photos of those moments are worth a thousand words.”
blush-and-gray-bridesmaidsblush-flower-girl-outfitbridal-portraits-raleighjeweled-wedding-bouquetnorth-carolina-wedding-photographerspink-and-white-wedding-bouquetsdog-tags-in-weddingThe wedding itself was soft and classic with blush, gray, gold and cream. Most of all, the bride wanted it to be a big party that was comfortable, chic, and lots of fun!

As a graphic designer, the wedding palette was very important to Jenna, as was adding elements that made the wedding more personal. She drew a vector “icon” of herself and Justin with their two dogs and incorporated it into the signage, koozies, favors, website insert and invitations (which she designed herself).
cute-wedding-invitationsblush-wedding-invitationscustom-wedding-kooziesJenna’s dress was re-designed by her mom and friend (seamstress, Renee at Just Sew) and they put a heart shape part of her Dad’s old denim shirt (that she remembers him wearing when she was young), stitched into her dress as my “something blue.”
names-inside-wedding-dresscustomized-wedding-garternorth-carolina-groomgroomsmen-socksdurham-nc-briderose-gold-wedding-shoesrenee-sprink-photographynovelty-wedding-giftnovelty-wedding-giftspink-and-pearls-wedding-cakepink-and-brown-wedding-colorsideas-for-wedding-table-numbersthe-cotton-room-durhamelegant-wedding-table-settingsfamily-tribute-table-at-weddingsignature-wedding-cocktailsfruit-and-cheese-plates-at-weddingwedding-hashtagspink-and-white-wedding-flowersfunny-wedding-giftsdance-floor-signagealternative-gusetbook-ideasVENUE The Cotton Room | PHOTOGRAPHER Renee Sprink Photography | CATERING Triangle Catering | PLANNER Orangerie Events | BRIDAL SHOES Kate Spade | GOWN ALTERATIONS Just Sew Alterations | HAIR & MAKEUP Ashley Mooney | VIDEOGRAPHER Twenty-one Films | FLORIST Fresh Affairs | CAKE Ashley Cakes | MUSIC Steve Stowe with DJ Joe Bunn | PARTY RENTALS CE Linens

Downtown Raleigh Event Space and Caterer 214 Martin Street

In the 2016 edition of Southern Bride and Groom, we introduced you to the area’s best and most talented wedding caterers! Downtown Raleigh event space and onsite caterer 214 Martin Street is located in a recently renovated 100-year-old building on the charming cobblestone streets across from Moore Square in City Market. Everything about the facility, from its old brick walls, to its 20 foot ceilings, to the wrought iron staircase leading to a upper level balcony, makes for a smooth-flowing and memorable event experience in a handsome setting.
raleigh-wedding-caterers214-martin-street-cateringExecutive Chef Matt Thompson oversees the food and beverage operations at the historic and elegant 214 Martin Street venue in Raleigh as well as their off-site catering services.

Chef Thompson is a Raleigh native who has been in the foodservice industry since the age of 15. A Johnson & Wales graduate, Matt draws his versatile style from all over the world, but mostly from his Southern roots and large Italian family in which food was the focal point of every gathering. He refined his skills at premier local clubs, including Hope Valley Country Club, Brier Creek Country Club and The State Club.
wedding-caterers-raleigh214-martin-street-raleighChef Thompson loves to play off the most recent food trends, such as interactive cooking and street food offerings, as fun and interesting ways to showcase the simplicity of ingredients with a nod to local fare.

214 Martin Street practices made-from-scratch cooking from appetizers to desserts and Chef Thompson says that he “always operates with a goal of taking simple foods and making them extraordinary so that your wedding guests won’t want to put down their forks!”
wedding-appetizersPhotos by Neil Boyd Photography

Gold and Blush Wedding at Rose Hill Plantation

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to share Rachel and Creighton’s gold and blush wedding at Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville, NC. The soft and beautiful photos below were captured by Southern Love Studios.
This wedding was beautifully executed by La Cosa Bella Events at Rose Hill – a classic Southern manor that easily accommodated their large wedding party of almost 250 guests.

The colors were elegant, romantic and trendy. The Hall was decorated in beautiful shades of ivory, blush and champagne with exquisite florals provided by Fresh Affairs.
matching-bridesmaid-dressessouthern-love-studiosblack-and-white-wedding-photogrpahyblush-pink-bridesmaidsoutdoor-wedding-photographyraleigh-nc-wedding-photographersclassic-southern-wedding-venuesstatement-wedding-centerpiecesnorth-carolina-wedding-venuesgold-and-pink-weddingsromantic-wedding-inspirationgold-and-pink-wedding-inspirationwedding-venues-in-ncgold-and-blush-wedding-designrose-hill-wedding-event-venueThe couple’s wedding monogram appeared in gold on the napkins, on the koozies passed out as wedding favors and even on the dance floor.

In addition to elegant linens, lounge furniture was positioned throughout the Hall to create an upscale and fun lounge vibe.
wedding-furniture-rentals-raleighmonogrammed-cake-cuttersgold-monogramwedding-monogram-on-floorGuests departed with personalized chocolate favors in hand and the bride and groom departed through a shimmering sparkler send off.
chocolate-as-wedding-favorcustomized-mint-kooziessparkler-exit-at-rose-hillWEDDING PLANNER Gina Myers, La Cosa Bella Events | PHOTOGRAPHER Southern Love Studios | CEREMONY First United Methodist Church | RECEPTION VENUE Rose Hill Plantation | FLORIST Fresh Affairs | CAKE As You Wish Bakery | INVITATIONS/PAPER Maria Scheel Invitations & More | SIGNAGE Theresa Jatko Designs | MUSIC First Generation Band | HAIR & MAKE UP Stephanie Sevilla, The Make Up Culture | LIGHTING Total Production Services | PARTY RENTALS CE Rental | DRAPING/STAGING Party Reflections | DANCE FLOOR Holo – Walls | FURNITURE AFR Furniture Rental | FAVORS PMG Chocolatier | TRANSPORTATION Lifestyle Limousine

Empire Eats Serves up Classic Southern Barbecue at Weddings

In the 2016 edition of Southern Bride and Groom, we introduced you to the area’s best and most talented wedding caterers! Empire Eats works with couples to customize menus and offers an array of items from all of their popular eateries, including The Pit (barbecue restaurant with locations in Raleigh and Durham).

Empire Eats, whipped up the classic Southern barbecue buffet below, including samples of various cuts of BBQ pork, baby back ribs, beef brisket, freshly baked breads, and home-style vegetables and desserts.
empire-eats-cateringCooking, especially barbecue, has always been a passion for Empire Eats Pitmaster Joel David Dobson.

“Whether it was at a family or friend’s gathering, a tailgate, or a birthday, I just loved to cook – and the longer it took, the better,” Dobson shares.

When Dobson was ready to pursue barbecue and catering as a career, he landed a job at The Pit Authentic Barbecue – a restaurant under Empire Eats’ restaurant group, which also includes Gravy, Sitti and The Raleigh Times. After a few years, Dobson was promoted to Pitmaster of The Pit’s Raleigh and Durham locations, as well as Empire Eats Catering and has now been with the company for five years, catering innumerable weddings and events.
pitmaster-at-the-pit-raleighNo event is too big or too small for a cooker! It’s a great focal point and a fun way to feed a small group or hundreds of guests.

“You can’t go wrong with a beautiful show cooker with some delicious hog or other pit cooked meat on it,” says Dobson, who practices the art of “pit cooking” over live coals to bring out the best flavors. So, if you’re looking to add some NC flair to your wedding or rehearsal dinner, consider a whole hog BBQ with delicious Southern sides!
raleigh-nc-caterersbarbeque-for-southern-weddingclassic-southern-sides-for-weddingbbq-stations-at-wedding-receptionBarbecue is just one of the many ways they can personalize a menu for a wedding party or reception. Just look at the tasty variety in their buffet spread below, including homemade biscuits, skillet cornbread, pulled pork cooked overnight, baby back ribs, beef brisket, barbeque chicken, barbeque baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, mac & cheese, and, of course, dessert: banana pudding, carrot cake and pecan pie.
pecan-pie-wedding-dessertPhotos: Neil Boyd Photography

Triangle NACE Benefit Event at The Rickhouse

Triangle NACE is the local chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events which elevates and educates the event and catering professionals throughout the United States. Triangle NACE is a 2016 Foundation of NACE Community Grant winner and, earlier this week, used the grant to launch an inaugural event benefiting Read and Feed and the Triangle NACE Scholarship Fund.
events-at-the-rickhouse-in-durhamnace-event-at-the-rickhousethe-rickhouse-in-durhamdowntown-durham-event-venuetriangle-nace-eventsnorth-carolina-charity-eventThis beautiful benefit was held at The Rickhouse in Durham and themed “Foraging into the Future.” Decor, inspired by the theme, included rentals from American Party Rentals; branches, moss, leaves and green and white florals (including flower crowns!) from Floral Dimensions, and natural twig orbs and lighting installed by Get Lit Special Event Lighting.
get-lit-natural-rustic-lightingrustic-and-natural-wedding-decorgreen-and-white-flower-inspirationnature-themed-event-decorspecial-menus-for-durham-eventsdaisy-flower-crownsTriangle NACE invited a select number of epicurious guests to dine with innovative local chefs in a decadently, woodsy environment.

Donovan’s Dish served delicious hors d’oeuvres during the silent auction before guest chefs took the stage and presented their a creative “forged” dishes.
catering-from-donovans-dishchef-tj-donovandonovans-dishThe event was emceed by Chef, Holistic Nutritionist and Author Sheree Clark who discussed vegan and the raw food movement. The new Chef of Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, John May, curated the second course with molecular gastronomy techniques gleaned from his time at Chef and The Farmer. The third course highlighted the seasonal creations of Chef Teddy Klopf of Provenance Restaurant in Raleigh. Dessert was a piece of pie from Slice Pie Company and homemade ice cream from The Freezing Point.
vegan-speakerchef-john-may-of-piedmont-restaurantchef-john-may-of-piedmont-restaurantthemed-events-durhamchef-at-provenance-raleighforaged-dinner-themedessert-vendors-in-ncfall-dessertsOther vendors at the event were Atlas Production Group, Catering Works, The Catering Company of Chapel Hill, The Cleveland Plant and Flower Company, La Fete Event Planning, Mystery Brewing, North Raleigh Florist, Renee Sprink Photography, Riley MaClean Photography, Royal Valet, Tap Snap Photobooth, Twin Dog Designs.
events-at-the-rickhousewedding-professionals-in-durhamtriangle-nace-membersPhotos by Red Bridge Photography

Weddings Captured with Film Photography by Casey Rose

Southern Bride and Groom Magazine is proud to feature some of the very best wedding vendors in the state of North Carolina, and each year, we introduce you to our talented group of wedding photographers. This month, we’d like you to meet Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill-based photographer, Casey Rose.

Casey Rose Photography is a fine art film photographer with a soft, artistic style that blends traditional elements of portraiture with a modern documentary approach. She draws inspiration from colors, interior design, architectural details, fashion, paintings, literature, poetry, and of course, photography.

She’s a hybrid photographer, shooting part film/part digital and loves working with both on a wedding day. Film gives photographs a certain kind of “look” that just can’t be replicated with digital filters. It’s soft and subtle and many brides are drawn to the style and look of it.

Get a sense of Casey’s soft artistic style in a selection of her photographs below.casey-rose-wedding-photographynorth-carolina-wedding-photographycasey-rose-wedding-photographerbest-wedding-photographers-in-raleighwedding-photography-trendsnorth-carolina-engagement-photosraleigh-wedding-photographerImages by Casey Rose Photography

Seafood Boils and Live Cooking Stations from Raleigh Wedding Caterer Donovan’s Dish

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 creative wedding food ideas from Raleigh wedding caterer Donovan’s Dish.

Donovan’s Dish is an innovative catering company that really makes an effort to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the latest trends in wedding food. They work hard to personalize each menu to suit the bride and groom’s needs and fit their budget, specializing in everything from beautifully presented buffets to live action cooking.Raleigh NC wedding catererWhat’s their most popular setup for weddings right now? Live cooking stations. Upon request, they can feature penne alla vodka with meatballs; signature shrimp and ground grits; or hand tossed pizza dough that is twirled through air before it’s topped and baked to order. Sometimes dessert stations are in demand with fresh s’mores or gelatos.Lobster bake at weddingThe seafood boil is a fantastic option for a fun and casual outdoor reception or rehearsal dinner, even for landlubbers here in the Triangle. Picture your guests mingling on a beautiful lawn under market lights enjoying lobster, crab and clams with a bluegrass band playing in the background.

Everything from Donovan’s Dish is made fresh, from scratch, and they source locally as often as possible. They are family-owned and operated and pride themselves in presentation, service and deliciousness. Jill Donovan says their motto is “to take care of everything from beginning to end so the bride and groom can feel like guests at their own wedding.”
Donovans Dish CateringFounder and Head Chef TJ Donovan, pictured above, tragically passed away earlier this year. This photo is one of our favorites of him as it captures TJ in his element. He wore that winning smile always, and spread joy in every aspect of his life – from social interactions with friends, to time spent with his wife and beautiful daughters, to preparing food for dozens of weddings each year. His cooking legacy lives on through a committed team that continues to run Donovan’s Dish, led by his co-founder and wife, Jill. At Donovan’s, family tradition lives on as they continue to utilize TJ’s recipes, and incorporate new ones from the company’s talented chefs.

wedding appetizer ideasTo get a taste of Donovan’s Dish for your own family occasion, check out their new meal delivery service for the Triangle Area which is launching this October. Sign up to receive weekly and freshly prepared meals. Home-made cooking has never been so easy!

Photos by Neil Boyd Photography

Make a Grand Entrance at these Raleigh-Durham Area Wedding Venues

Elegant to Urban Staircase Entrances for Show-Stopping Brides

Your hair is perfect, your makeup is flawless, your dress is jaw-dropping, and your jewelry sparkles…now it’s time to lock arms with your father and make an entrance as the bride to the aisle where, at the end, your true love awaits.

There is something about the bride descending from above that really makes for a magical and memorable moment. SB&G has put together a list of several Raleigh-Durham area wedding venues that each feature a unique centerpiece staircase, perfect for that grand entrance!

Grand Marquise Ballroom

It’s in the name itself – the Grand Marquise boasts an all-around gorgeous ballroom setting that can be customized with flowers and lighting to suite your big wedding vision. The focal point of the room is a grand staircase that stretches the entire length of the room and makes a perfect entrance platform or place to take wedding part photographs. Large chandeleirs sparkle in the space.
The Grand Marquise BallroomTriangle wedding at the Grand Marquise BallroomPhotos by Neil Boyd Photography

Graylyn Estate

A stone castle: it’s the ultimate fairytale wedding and it’s a look any bride can have at Graylyn Estate in Winston-Salem. From the moment your drive up to it, you feel like a princess, and taking photos in this castle-like setting is a dream come true.
Graylyn_Estate_Carolyn_Scott_Photography_2-hgraylyn-estate-weddingTop Photo: Carolyn Scott Photography; Botton left: Live View Studios

Governors Club

The Governors Club in Chapel Hill, with an elegant iron wrought balcony and staircase, really makes a statement as you head for the aisle. This beautiful, grand and open air entry, provides the perfect place for guests to gather.

Photo: Azul Photography

Prestonwood Country Club

Prestonwood Country Club also has a staircase that leaves a lasting impression. The ballroom itself is also part of the pizazz, with large crystal chandeliers that cast the perfect shimmering look above the dance floor where you and your sweetheart share a first dance as husband and wife.
Prestonwood Country ClubPhoto: Ariel Perry Photography

Park Alumni Center

For NC State alums, this majestic white and gold space with a sweeping staircase is the perfect place to tie the knot. The light and bright open-air room is perfect for ceremonies and then easily converts to a reception space with plenty of room for dancing.
The State Club NCPhoto: Jagg Photography

214 Martin Street

For a more modern, industrial vibe, make your entrance at 214 Martin Street with iron rail stairs that can be enhanced with flowing white curtains.
214-martin-street-weddingsPhotos: MKM Photography
214 Martin Street wedding

Bay 7

Make a modern entrance at Bay 7 at American Tobacco Campus in the heart of downtown Durham. A second story balcony with large floor-to-ceiling windows is the perfect place for a ceremony while the floor below is ready for dancing and dining during the reception into which the newlyweds can make their big entrance down the industrial staircase.
Urban Durham wedding venue Bay 7

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

Perhaps you want your grand entrance moment to be shared between you and your love. The Renaissance Raleigh features a grand staircase in its lobby which is perfect for a first look portrait setting.

In this midtown Raleigh hotel, there’s an elegant spiral staircase decorated by modern art fixtures, like globe lights in shades of amber, green and yellow and sculpted drapery that creates modern art fixtures hanging from the center of the tall ceiling.
Hotel Weddings RaleighPhoto by Amy Allen Photography

North Carolina Destination Wedding at the River Forest Manor

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to share Anna Brooks and Nick’s North Carolina destination wedding at the River Forest Manor, a newly renovated historic manor and marina by the water in Belhaven.
River Forest Manor
While visiting her best friend from high school at Ohio University, Anna Brooks met a boy in the dorm she would affectionately refer to as “Videogame Boy” after playing several round of MarioCart with him. When her visit came to an end and she returned to her own university (ECU in North Carolina), she found a Facebook message from Nick (aka Videogame Boy) letting her know he’d programmed his number in her phone. Timing and circumstances weren’t perfect right away, but something told them their meeting was meant to be, and shortly thereafter, they began dating long distance (8 hour drives) over the next five years!

Once Nick graduated college, he took a job in Lynchburg, VA to be closer to Anna Brooks’ NC home, which shortened the drives to 2.5 hours. It was much better, but still made it challenging to have an impromptu dinner and movie night. Now, finally, they can share a life together by each others side.

On the couple’s five-year anniversary, Nick planned a spontaneous trip to Asheville, NC. He told Anna Brooks he had tickets for them to attend the candlelight tour of the Biltmore Estate and enjoy an elegant dinner. After dinner, they walked over to the Biltmore house to take a selfie, and as Anna Brooks turned around after looking at the picture, she found Nick on one knee and couldn’t believe her eyes!
Getting married at River Forest ManorHistorical wedding venues NCDana Jo wedding photographyWilmington wedding photographersDiamond wedding jewelryCute flower girl headbandsWilmington NC groomTan groomsmen suitsPurple wedding flowersWilmington weddingsDuring the planning process, Anna Brooks’ mom called the River Forest Manor & Marina to find out about the rooms they had available to rent, and as she chatted with the staff, discovered they were transforming the manor into a wedding venue. The family soon made a trip down to their vacation home in Bath, NC and stopped by River Forest Manor to meet the team and see what they had in store for this special property. “The owners were so enthusiastic…I knew from there it would be a wonderful journey and was eager to be a part of their venue journey,” Anna Brooks says.

Anna Brooks found her dream dress from Alexia’s Bridal. “I went to about every bridal salon in NC and I felt so at home in their salon,” she shares.
Long lace bridal gownBest Wilmington wedding venuesBest outdoor wedding venues in NCFlower petals down wedding aisleSummer wedding in NCLavender and white weddingsRiver Forest Manor weddingsweddings by the water in Wilmington NCThe bride’s parents surprised the newlyweds with a grand entrance via yacht to their reception, which had always been a dream for Anna Brooks! The captain and best mate had hors d’oeuvres waiting for them and champagne to toast. The couple loved spending some quiet moments together after the ceremony.
Just married boat rideCoastal weddings in North CarolinaBride and groom boat rideBride and groom on boatWeddings by the beach in NCWedding pictures by the waterSpring wedding colorsNorth Carolina wedding magazinewedding hashtagsWilmington wedding receptionWilmington wedding venuesWilmington brideWhite and lavender wedding cakeScarborough Fare wedding catererWIlmington wedding cateringSignature wedding cocktail ideasTented weddings Wilmington NCRiver Forest Manor Belhaven NCRECEPTION & REHEARSAL DINNER VENUE The River Forest Manor & Marina  | CEREOMNY LOCATION Bonner’s Point in Bath, NC | WEDDING DESIGNER & FLORIST Val Conger with Your Perfect Day | MINISTER Justin Hepler | CATERER Scarborough Fare | PHOTOGRAPHER Dana Jo Photography | BRIDAL GOWN Alexia’s Bridal | BRIDAL SHOES Alex Marie | BRIDAL JEWELRY Nadri Jewelry | BRIDESMAIDS Azazie | HAIR BoHa Studio | MAKEUP DollFace by Melissa | MEN’S FORMALWEAR Russel’s in Washington, NC | CAKE Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe | RECEPTION MUSIC Bill & Bill Masterpiece DJ’s