Monthly Archives:: October 2016

Green Wedding Ideas

Eco-friendly options have come a long way in recent years as brides continue to look for different ways to incorporate green elements into their wedding. Today, there are many earth-friendly options for the eco-conscious couple.

Print on Green Paper

Going green starts with your save-the-dates and invitations. There are so many options from recycled paper made of hemp or cotton to tree-free choices. SB&G recently had invitations printed with the help of Jessica Yee from The Oblique Pen that were embedded with herb seeds, so once the event was over, people could plant the actual invite in their garden, then wait for surprise herbal blossoms!
plantable wedding invitationsThe ink that’s used also matters: Soy and other vegetable-based ink products are less harmful to the environment than their petroleum-based counterparts. Check out SB&G’s list of stationers and ask for a rundown of their eco-friendly, biodegradable options.

You can also cut back on paper by creating a wedding website that holds information like your location, gift registry, maps and accommodations. Instead of including all this information on printed pages, just direct people to the site from your save-the-date or formal invite.  This option can also be interactive so guests can respond or ask questions with everyone having the opportunity to see what your suggestions are, which may save you time by not having to handle the same question multiple times.

At the wedding, consider hiring a calligrapher and using table settings from natural objects like cute pieces of wood, shells, rocks, pinecones, or even pieces of fruit. And instead of individual menu cards or place settings, hire a calligrapher to write the information on a chalkboard or mirror displayed at the entrance and near the food stations.

Book a Green Venue

When searching for a wedding venue, it doesn’t hurt to ask the manager if they have any green practices in place, such as recycling or re-purposing disposal items used for one time events. Your wedding planner might also be able to recommend a list of venues that were either built with green technology or that incorporate sustainable lodging elements.

The King’s Daughters Inn in Durham and The Mayton Inn in Cary (under the same ownership) were created using the latest in green building technology, incorporating things like solar panels and water cisterns to keep the property running efficiently in an earth-friendly manner. Their commitment to both environmentally responsible building and living drove them to find creative ways to offer guests sustainable lodging without sacrificing the warmth and charm of a historic inn, or the conveniences of a modern, luxury hotel.
weddings and events at The Mayton Inn Cary NCPhotos above: Casey Rose Photography

The Rand-Bryan House has its own Christmas tree farm on site. In general, Christmas Tree Farms have a low impact on the environment because the type of crop spends years in the ground prior to harvest. Plus, it’s a perfect green photo opp for winter weddings!

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the importance of pollinators like bees and butterflies. Chatham Mills, with a renovated warehouse perfect for weddings, and also includes “Pollinator Paradise” demonstration garden on site. North Carolina plays an essential role in the protection of honey bees. Consider making a theme of it and giving your guests local honey from Bumble & Branch or seeds for flowers that attract these important creatures.

Buy an Eco-Friendly Ring

People are also more aware of the negative consequences of diamond mining in Africa, which cause wars, displace locals and pollute the land. “Conflict-free” diamonds, which are environmentally and socially conscious, are available at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, Diamonds Direct Crabtree, and Anfesa’s Jewelers.
Beautiful diamond wedding ringsBut, the diamond isn’t every girl’s favorite stone and some brides dare to be different. A stunning sapphire, precious pearl, or sentimental moonstone can be designed into a unique one-of-a-kind engagement ring or band.

Also consider shopping used. Vintage rings are full of character and history! Take a look at the impressive estate sections in SB&G Preferred Jewelers’ stores.

Design with Seasonal/Local Flowers

Many florists have the option to source from seasonal local flower growers. Be sure to ask about this, and remember to keep an open mind—depending on what season you’ll be married, different types of flowers will be available. No matter what’s in season, your creative florist will be able to design beautiful arrangements.
Bridal bouquets by Catering Works Raleigh FloristPhoto above: Walters & Walters

Instead of cut flowers in your centerpieces, ask about potted plants. These can also serve as gifts to your wedding guests who can take them home to plant in their own backyards and will become a living memory of your wedding day! Biodegradable and natural items like fruits and vegetables, pumpkins, herbs, succulents, moss and branches can also be incorporated in creative ways.
Monogrammed rustic wedding decorAnother option to consider is instead of going all-out with your flowers, consider balancing out the look with non-floral decor and accents like lighting, chandeliers, sculptures, and even soft gorgeous drapery. Themeworks and and Get Lit Special Event Lighting can put together impressive, funky and memorable displays that work with or without floral components and dramatically improve the look of the space.
Get Lit Special Event LightingIf you do go with cut flowers, there are ways you can recycle them after the wedding, such as donating them to hospice, nursing home or hospital. There are local organizations like Random Acts of Flowers, Flower Shuttle and Heeling Flowers, which pick up and re-purpose flowers from events, delivering them to patients at UNC hospital, etc.

Give Eco-Friendly & Local Favors

Why not leave your guests with eco-friendly parting gifts? Oak City Candles creates customized candles for decorations or as party favors and they use soy wax, which comes from soybeans grown in the USA (you can even use the melted wax as lotion!). All their fragrance and essential scented oils are plant-derived and phthalate-free. Plant-based hemp wicks are hand wicked for every candle. Even the packaging is recycled and recyclable or up-cycled.

Bumble & Branch, a party favor speciality company which is operated from a family farm in North Carolina (Bodenhamer Farms) employs natural methods to produce Southern, eco-friendly, and bespoke wedding favors from the farm, including authentic North Carolina raw honey favors and burlap wrapped longleaf pine tree favors.
Bumble and Branch honey jarsPhoto above: Casey Rose Photography

Chocolate is sure to be a hit with your guests and Videri Chocolate Factory makes some of the sweetest treats around! This local Raleigh chocolate shop is a favorite among locals and makes a great parting gift.

Another way to support local shops and give your guests a sense of the city/state in which you’ve chosen to be married is by putting local products in a welcome package for them! This is especially fun when you have a lot of people coming in from other states and countries. Grab cans of your favorite local beer (like Ponysaurus in Durham) and include them for your guests to enjoy! Or shop at Southern Season in Chapel Hill, which carries a lot of local North Carolina products that are perfect for gift baskets!

In lieu of gifts, there’s always the option of making a charitable donation to an eco-friendly cause, like the protection of wildlife and endangered species or local non-profits that educate about sustainable growing practices and land conservation.

Eat and Drink Locally

Many caterers are catching on to the farm-to-fork trend and are happy to create a menu that focuses on fresh, local and seasonal food. Whether it’s humanely raised local beef, sustainably sourced fish, or produce from a nearby farm, you and your guests will taste the freshness.

Everything from Donovan’s Dish, for instance, is made fresh, from scratch and sourced locally as often as possible. Southern Harvest Catering also consistently sources food locally.
The Sutherland catered wedding foodCatering Works puts a high-end spin on traditional comfort dishes and regional NC-based cuisine—like coffee-braised short ribs with local Yates Mill polenta or NC Berkshire pork shanks.

The Chapel Hill Restaurant Group catering cooks out of a kitchen in The Page Road Grill in Morrisville (which is also perfect for rehearsal dinners). The group is also a leader in sustainably and was named “Sustainable Business of the Year” in 2007. It was the first Green Plus certified business in the United States, and MEZ (another one of their restaurants) was the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-designed restaurant in North Carolina.

Even many bakeries incorporate local ingredients into their desserts. The Cupcake Shoppe, for instance, loves to buy from the NC Farmers’ Market for seasonal items like strawberries in the summer and fresh zucchini for their popular chocolate chip zucchini bread. And The Freezing Pointe, which creates homemade ice cream, sorbet, and Italian ice, sources fresh local ingredients, like strawberries from local farms, for its popular strawberry ice cream, whenever it’s in season.
the-cupcake-shoppe-raleighPhoto: F8 Photo Studios

The local craft brew scene is strong in North Carolina. Work with your venue or caterer to provide your favorite local craft beverages during your wedding. Consider partnering up with a local brewery, like Raleigh Brewing Company, which has private room available for rent.

Even if you’re having a more casual welcome dinner or reception, avoid plastic and paperware and go in favor of recycled and compostable utensils and plates.

Of course, rental companies have everything you need for your event from fancy China to glassware and plate options. This way, you don’t have to waste anything! See SB&G’s full list of rental companies.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint with a Carpool

It’s easy to encourage guests to carpool with a reminder on your invite and wedding website. For larger weddings, rent a shuttle van or bus so that you use less fuel and carry more people. Remember having your wedding and your reception (and even, sometimes, accommodations) in the same location is also a big fuel saver!

Your plans for an eco-friendly event start right here by looking through Southern Bride & Groom. We take pride in working with the best local vendors in North Carolina, and by using local vendors you are helping sustain the local economy, bringing it all full circle.

Chatham Mills Wedding During Hurricane Matthew

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re excited to share Alexandra and James’ wedding at Chatham Mills, which took place during the middle of Hurricane Matthew! Photographer, Adam Chapin, had the added challenge of shooting during a power outage, but the photos came out beautifully and the wedding is a true testament that this couple’s marriage can weather any storm!

Alexandra and James were introduced by mutual friends at a Halloween party. A few months later, Alex was ready to put James in the “friend-zone” when she had a change of heart during a coffee date, admitting maybe it was the way he made her laugh.

They settled on Chatham Mills as the venue because they loved the historic charm. “The old wooden floors looked like they had stories to tell and the light filters in through grand old metal-framed windows,” shared Alexandra. The venue is an old textile mill, and as Alex works in textiles herself, it held something special for them. The true deciding factor was Tom Roberts, the owner of the Mill, treated them with such kindness, they knew they wanted to work with him during the planning process.
adam-chapin-photographyhistoric-wedding-venues-in-ncnorth-carolina-groomsgrooms-photographyweddings-in-old-mill-buildingsvintage-wedding-dressnorth-carolina-bridesBecause Chatham Mills has so much integrity, the bride wanted to have minimal décor and let the building and guests shine. She dispersed single glass bottles, each with a spray of dried eucalyptus, over each table and kept all tables with crisp white linens. “I loved the intermingling of the smell of eucalyptus and this lovely hint of turpentine from the Mill,” she said. “With the two mediums in mind, I created a two-tiered chandelier of eucalyptus that James and I stood under during our ceremony. It defined the most important space of the evening; where our vows were exchanged.”
chatham-mills-in-north-carolinaruffled-wedding-dressweddings-at-chatham-millsgetting-married-during-a-hurricaneAlex was very hands-on with her wedding, creating floral arrangements, stationary, and helping with hair and make-up. Ceremony music was provided by the couple’s friends, Katie and Micah Berman.

One thing no couple can truly prepare for is a hurricane on their wedding day. The power went out in the middle of the reception, right after James and his mom did their mother/son dance, as Hurricane Matthew swirled across North Carolina on October 8th. Alex’s dad coaxed her out onto the floor in the dark so they could do their dance together and Adam (the photographer) jumped into gear, changing out his lighting and shooting the majority of the rest of the night in the dark!
how-to-capture-the-best-wedding-momentsfather-daughter-dancedramatic-wedding-photographyold-mill-building-turned-into-wedding-venueadam-chapin-nc-photographerweddings-venues-with-historic-charm“Working with Adam Chapin Photography was one of the most rewarding decisions of our wedding preparation,” shared Alex. “Even before our first shoot, Adam spent quality time with us, seeking to understand our vision for the photography and just have a good time. When we all ended up wading into the Eno river for our engagement photos, it was clear that Adam was dedicated to making art with his photography and thinking out of the box. The images we have received back from the wedding are such an inspiring depiction of the day, it has made us feel like we are there again every time we can look over them.”
fun-reception-photoschatham-mills-event-venue-nccandid-wedding-photographynorth-carolina-reception-venueschatham-mills-wedding-receptionBecause of the ridiculous amount of rain, there were a few instances of water coming into the building and Jorge at the Mills ran around all afternoon making patches in the roof and making sure no belongings were damaged. “He was an absolute hero,” said Alex. “Half way through the reception, he approached us having made James and I two fruit sculptures by hand! A guest even mentioned they saw him pick the flower garnishes himself in the rain.” By the time the power came back on, their DJ jumped right on his set and spun records until the end of the night. “It was so humbling to see so many people work together to give us a night we will always remember with smiles.”
adam-chapin-wedding-photographywedding-during-hurricane-matthewAlex shares some great wisdom for brides to be: “While engagement is a time of so much logistical planning when you are working towards your wedding itself, the true preparation for engagement is for your marriage. Start practicing your partnership now. Talk over decisions and disagreements to seek the others understanding, walk through family dynamics together, anticipate your life together with shared joy. Meeting the expectations of everyone in your life is impossible, but these people are still worth respecting. Learn how to meet those differing expectations now, as practice for when situations arise later in life. Most of all, remember it is never too late to slow down and take account of your decisions thus far. You are not trapped in any plan you are uncomfortable with, it just may take some creativity to figure out what will work for your specific, and valid, situation.”

VENUE Chatham Mills Event Center | REHEARSAL DINNER The Oakleaf |MINISTER Chris Breslin, Oak Church | CATERER Angelina’s Kitchen | PHOTOGRAPHER Adam Chapin Photography | MEN’S FORMALWEAR Hugo Boss | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Etsy customized cuff links and knit ties | RECEPTION MUSIC DJ Gonzo

Stunning Wedding Cakes from NC Bakeries

Some folks call the cake the centerpiece of their reception. In this photo shoot from Southern Bride and Groom’s 2016 magazine, we share plenty of inspiration of exceptional cakes, hand-fashioned from our talented and artistic bakers. These baked beauties were photographed at The Grand Marquise, a spectacular venue that was built especially for weddings and receptions. In this ballroom, the cake frequently gets placed in a lofty VIP setting located at the center of the grand staircase, and in full view of the guests until the anticipated cutting ceremony.

For those who love the beauty of marble columns, gorgeous crystal chandeliers, majestic tall ceilings and an impressive staircase for the couple’s ceremony or unforgettable entrance, The Grand Marquise Ballroom is magical. Owner Anfesa Matthews and her daughter, Meredith Eiseman, head the team that works closely with weddings. Their gift and jewelry showroom is a couple’s ideal first stop before taking a tour of the elegant venue.
wedding-cakes-around-raleigh-ncThe cake above is by One Belle Bakery, set in the entry foyer of The Grand Marquise and Anfesa’s Jewelers.

Once in a Blue Moon Bakery presents a delightful pastel yellow cake, below, adorned with luscious sugared lemon slices. This bakery and cafe also specializes in pastry and pie buffets. Below, they feature a cake with some of their signature scroll designs with a golden quilted center layer. They pretty icing is yummy buttercream, of course!
lemon-wedding-cakeThe duo of edible silver leaf cakes below were designed by Kaylyn McGuryt of Sweet Traditions. They glitter beneath the Grand Marquise’s crystal chandeliers. The four-layer cake at left combines a symbolic quatrefoil layer with a romantic floral icing base and an expressive silver glaze decorates its companion.
wedding-cake-with-mettalic-foilEdible Art mixes textures of splendorous sliver leaf to create a stunning five-layer-work-of-art in keeping with the ambiance of our elegant ballroom setting. What’s inside? Various layers of red velvet cake with amaretto nut filling to almond cake with chocolate mousse filling…or whatever your heart desires!
edible-art-wedding-cakesCatering Works creates a spectacular Gatsby-inspired centerpiece cake in the barest blush fondant, royal icing with delicate lace and beads of icing-art. This hotsy-totsy showstopper is set in front of the ballroom’s grand staircase as a wedding reception statement. The crystal brooch is fashioned from gold tulle topped with a glamorous ostrich feather.
catering-works-bakery-raleighElegance reigns in this beautiful cake with distinguished gold scrolling topped with a bouquet of sugar flowers from a bounteous garden, designed by One Belle Bakery.
white-pink-and-gold-wedding-cakeRomance rules in this cake from Sugar Euphoria with inverses ruffles and a cameo confection. The gold topper is the real thing – actual edible 24K gold leaf! Inside, discover a layer of almond cake with Bavarian cream, vanilla bean buttercream and strawberry puree and another layer of lime cake infused with a bourbon and mint syrup with cream cheese frosting.
sugar-euphoria-raleighThis delectable dessert table in a palette of pink, white and gold from The Cupcake Shoppe features a trio of cakes and an array of goodies including macarons, marshmallow squares, cupcakes and cake pops sprinkled in gold sugar dust. The center cake monogram and floral design details showcase The Cupcake Shoppe’s talent for artistic hand-painted confections.
the-cupcake-shoppe-raleighpainted-wedding-cakesThis Snow White inspired cake designed by Liz Williams of Gigi’s Cupcakes has an edible icing branch and leaves topped with sparkling candied apples. Gigi’s is known for their cupcakes, but wants you all to know that they bake cakes, too. Then, why not have it all? You may want cupcakes in your favorite flavors for dessert (they have dozens of choices), as well as a petite topper or large cake that you can slice together at the reception.
gigis-cupcakes-wedding-cakesVENUE The Grand Marquise Ballroom | PHOTOGRAPHY f8 Photo Studios | LINEN & STANDS Party Reflections

Destination Weddings at Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island is one of Georgia’s famed Golden Isles that lies along the Atlantic coastline Visitors come to enjoy the beautiful beaches, abundant history. and natural beauty…making it a perfect destination wedding location.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, the island’s only Four-Star resort, is situated on an unhurried, unspoiled barrier island along Georgia’s spectacular Atlantic coast. It’s the centerpiece of Jekyll Island’s celebrated Historic District and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel has been a cherished setting for generations of happy couples. Intimate or grand, casual or formal, every event is presented by a team devoted to delighting the wedding party and their guests with thoughtful planning amid the Hotel’s unrivaled multitude of romantic, inspiring venues for celebrations and ceremonies. There are so many beautiful backdrops for a ceremony and reception it’s hard to choose. As you can see from the weddings highlighted below by Peacock Photo Video, each option is nothing short of magical.

Caroline & Russ Garrison

Caroline and Russ celebrated a beautiful outdoor wedding at the grand, Italian Renaissance-style Crane Cottage, adjacent to the main Hotel. The cottage’s upper terrace–perfect for wedding ceremonies up to 250 people. Additionally, Crane has a fountained Courtyard with arcaded loggia and seating for up to 130 people. Couples often choose the Sunken Garden with its lush trellises and fountains for their ceremony, followed by gathering beside the front Reflecting Pool Lawn for a cocktail party before a seated dinner in the Courtyard, and crowning the event with cake cutting and dancing in the Crane Living Room.

Heather and Jacob Higgins

Heather and Jacob booked over the Labor Day holiday weekend so family could enjoy an extended stay on Jekyll and extra time to enjoy with family and friends. After their ceremony under the canopy of ancient oaks on the great lawn, they watched the glow of a glorious sunset and views of the river. This storybook setting can even include the happy couple departing in a horsedrawn carriage!

Cristal and Justin Valenta

You can also say “I-do” with sand between your toes and a sea breeze in your veil, just like Cristal and Justin, who had a small intimate wedding of 50 people on a gorgeous summer day. Their wedding had a casual yet classic feel with a stunning front row seat to the ocean.

You can also use the hotel’s Beach Pavilion, a spacious open-air structure, accommodates up to 70 guests – the perfect seaside setting for alfresco wedding events or rehearsal dinners.

Photos: Peacock Photo Video at Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Finding the Perfect First Dance Song

Every couple is different, which in turn makes the challenges and speed bumps during the wedding planning process vary between brides. A challenge I didn’t expect while planning my wedding was being stumped by the first song selection. Besides creating the guest list—which was a daunting task—I spent days scouring blogs and music sites trying to find the song that would act as the anthem of my marriage; the song that would cause tears to well up every time I heard the first few chords.
SIster Brother Dance at WeddingPhoto: Sarah Morrel Photography

My husband and I didn’t have a song that was “ours,” or even one that reminded us of our three years together, so picking one didn’t come easy. I couldn’t decide if a sultry voice like Etta James or someone a bit grittier like Elvis was what I wanted. Would a classic band like The Beatles fit into my wedding, or could we go modern with an artist like Adele? My husband would have been happy with Coldplay, while I was leaning more towards Frank Sinatra. Our different tastes in music didn’t help either. I listen to top 40’s radio stations, while my husband prefers classic rock. He has some country stars on his Spotify playlist, while I steer clear of the genre altogether.

If you find yourself struggling with pinning down the song that will start off your reception like we did, here are some tips from the pros.
Chapel Hill wedding venues
Photo: Southern Love Studios

Decide what kind of dance you want

Are you a traditionalist couple that will sway and do a few careful twirls during your first dance, or are you going to show off some dance moves: ballroom or an expertly choreographed routine? Whatever you decide, find music that will match what you are looking for.

Narrow down your genres

If you are finding it impossible to come to a decision by simply listing out the songs you each like individually, start from the top and try to narrow down the landscape to one or two genres. This will help you refine your searches.

Ask your DJ

A great DJ will be there to help you plan out an awesome wedding day playlist that suits you and your fiancé perfectly. If you have a question about a song or are stuck trying to decide, ask them for help. After all, they are the experts. (Contact SB&G preferred DJs and musicians here.)

Keep your ears open

You never know when inspiration will hit you. Flip your radio or Pandora to a different station for a day and tune in to the background music while you shop or wait in line to buy your morning coffee. If you hear a song that interests you, ask an employee of the store what it is or Google a few of the lines you hear.

Whatever song you choose, whether classic, funky, or modern, remember that your first dance song is a celebration of love between you and your husband and will be “your song” for the rest of your lives together.
Top of the Hill reception Chapel HillPhoto: Joe Payne Photography

Article contributed by Kirsten Barber

Southern Harvest Caters Farm Fresh Wedding Food

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 showing off the home grown, Southern comfort food created by Southern Harvest.

If you are from Raleigh, you have probably heard of or experienced the famously delicious barbeque from The Q Shack restaurant in North Hills Shopping Center. You might not know that Q Shack has it’s own catering company and another one called Southern Harvest, both perfect for . This catering division has catered thousands of events, each one unique and customized. With an honest mission to love and nourish their guests, vendors, and staff at all times, it’s no wonder they’ve become a hit with weddings.
fried-green-tomatoes-southern-wedding-trendsraleigh-wedding-caterersTom Meyer, the owner and operator of the Farmer’s Table and Southern Harvest, has helped create a wide range of restaurants and works to bring the area’s very best farms and ranches to NC tables by connecting a carefully designed network of independent farmers.
q-shack-catering-raleighCulinary Director Thomas Robinette, is a talented Southern-inspired chef. He holds a degree from Johnson and Wales Culinary College, and previously worked as head chef of Tyler’s Taproom located at American Tobacco Campus in Durham.
wedding-food-trendsBarbecue at NC weddingSouthern Harvest embraces the idea of Southern comfort food with a twist, often using their Raleigh Q Shack meats and sides and incorporating them at weddings. One of their most requested items is the super creamy mac and cheese. It is often served as a bar station, allowing guests to top their food however they want with everything from house-smoked bacon, blue cheese, green onions, sour cream or jalapeños!

Farmer’s Table restaurants and their Southern Harvest Catering Company consistently source food locally and have built an experienced culinary team that helps guide the bride and groom’s vision so that what they want can be transformed into something that is both beautiful and delicious.

Photos by Neil Boyd Photography

Elegant and Royal Indian Wedding at The Washington Duke Inn

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today, we’re thrilled to share the extravagant, elegant and royal Indian wedding at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Drs. Vibhu (Vib) and Jenny Dhingra started dating during their last year of med school in New York and enjoyed life in the city – going to Knicks games, walking around Central Park, and enjoying a slice of NY style pizza! During their four-year residency, however, they ended up living apart: Vib returned home to NC to pursue Internal Medicine and Jenny stayed in NY then moved to Cleveland, OH to finish training in anesthesiology. During those four years, they worked hard to balance life as physicians and maintain a relationship – in the end it all worked out.
indian-weddings-in-north-carolinaThe proposal happened in the city where they met and fell in love: NYC. During a winter trip there, Vib surprised Jenny in DUMBO Brooklyn, overlooking the city skyline. He had photographers hidden to capture  every moment and had all of their family and friends fly in for the evening to celebrate!

The couple chose to be married at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club because it embodied the classy, elegant and royal environment they envisioned. Because they were having a traditional Indian wedding, which is composed of several days of events, they felt the Washington Duke would best allow them to create their dream wedding.
the-washington-duke-inn-and-golf-clubindian-wedding-decorationsdurham-nc-wedding-venuesflower-garland-wedding-decorgold-and-pink-weddingsIndian weddings are usually very colorful and vibrant, so their Mehendi and Sangeet events were full of colors, but they decided to keep the colors more subdued for the ceremony and reception with white, gold, and pink.

Cocktail hour was a blend of the American and Indian cultures by which they were raised. Stations of each different type of cuisine they love (Asian, Italian, Mediterranean and Indian) were created along with specialty drinks. Fresh sugar cane drinks were blended for guests as well as one of the bride’s favorite drinks, which she encountered in NYC: Prosecco with a Popsicle.

They had caricature artists draw each of the guests, photo booths, and live band perform Indian songs. With so many people traveling from all over (the groom’s entire Dhingra family traveled from India, including his 90-year-old grandmother!) it was a special occasion for everyone!
gold-wedding-shoesbridal-hennaindian-wedding-jewelryindian-weddingslarge-floral-centerpieceslarge-tented-weddingindian-wedding-gownpink-indian-wedding-inspirationpink-and-white-centerpiecesevent-venues-near-dukerose-wedding-cakeglamourous-wedding-decorthank-you-gifts-for-weddingweddings-at-the-washington-duke-innwedding-day-henna-tatooVENUE The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club | WEDDING CONSULTANT Dreamwork Planners | CATERER Raaga Restaurant and Lounge | PHOTOGRAPHY Shan Photography | VIDEOGRAPHER Prashant Videographer | GOWN Custom made in India | BRIDAL SHOES Christian Louboutin | HAIR & MAKEUP Asian Divas | BRIDESMAID GIFTS Pink & blue sarees with matching jewelry and bangles | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Indian kurtas and Ralph Lauren suits with matching bow ties | FLORIST Ketan Shah Designs | CAKE Libby Facchine | STATIONER | RECEPTION DJ Rang LLC, KR Entertainment | PARTY RENTALS CE Rental | LIGHTING DJ Rang | MONOGRAMMED DANCE FLOOR Dance Floor Décor Toronto, Canada | GUEST ACCOMODATIONS Hilton Durham and Cambria Suites | WEDDING FAVORS Custom USB drives with initials and date engraved

Wedding Caterer with Artistic Flair at The Garden on Millbrook

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 showing off both the culinary talent as well as the artistic talent of the chef at Raleigh wedding venue, The Garden on Millbrook.

Melquiades Hernandez learned how to cook as a youth by watching and helping his mother with family meals. By the age of 17 he was working at a catering company where he learned every aspect of presenting delicious meals for large groups of people. For the past three years, he’s brought that talent and dedication to The Garden on Millbrook’s on-site and off-site events.chef-at-the-garden-on-millbooraleigh-wedding-venue-and-catererHernandez loves to create seafood dishes – and his version of shrimp and grits is his signature dish. He also has a unique skill when it comes to fruit – creating beautiful fruit carvings that can be integrated into your wedding for display. Imagine impressing your guests during the cocktail hour or reception with a swan sculpture or your initials intricately carved into the side of what was once just an ordinary watermelon.
ice-carvings-at-weddingsChef Hernandez enjoys designing menus catered to every type of ethnic wedding and event, sharing, “We have done numerous weddings of different cultures, including Hispanic, African, Indian, Caribbean, and Jewish. We are very respectful of special requests made by the bride, groom, and their families.”
raleigh-nc-wedding-catererThe Garden on Millbrook catering division is part of their 5,000 square foot venue that features a beautiful ballroom, a 4,000 square foot garden patio with a pond and waterfall, and delicious catered food. Recently, they began offering all-inclusive wedding packages, including DJ services and discounted accommodations at a variety of hotels with complimentary transportation for wedding guests. They have helped brides and grooms plan weddings at the Garden on Millbrook and throughout the Triangle for 16 years.

Photos by Neil Boyd Photography