Monthly Archives:: December 2016

Celebratory New Year’s Eve Wedding at 21c Hotel Durham

In honor of the New Year, we have a special New Year’s Eve wedding to share on the final Wedding Wednesday of 2016! Take a look at Cameron and Mattias’ celebration at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham as they rang in the new year surrounded by friends and family and started the year off as husband and wife!

Cameron and Mattias met while working at McKinney advertising agency in Durham and their first date in 2010 was at the (then) newly opened Fullsteam Brewery, followed by burgers at Tobacco Road Sports Cafe at American Tobacco. When it came time to plan the wedding, it made sense that it too would center around the city of Durham where they met and fell in love. They even returned to their first-date locations for their rehearsal dinner!
bronwyn-duffield-photogrpahyCameron admits she had never before considered a New Year’s Eve wedding. “I figured I’d always get married in spring or fall outside, so when we made the decision on NYE the year before the date, I had some catching up to do on inside weddings and looked to SB&G for ideas,” she said.

With a strong history and connection to the Bull City, the couple knew they wanted a downtown venue with hotels close by so people didn’t have to drive or take a cab on New Year’s Eve. They instantly fell in love with the Main Gallery space at 21c Museum Hotel (what used to be a bank lobby) and knew it would be perfect for a New Year’s celebration.
wedding-venue-durham-ncblack-and-white-wedding-photography21c-museum-hotel-durham-weddingevents-at-21c-hotel-durhamdurham-nc-hotel-weddingfilm-photography-for-weddings“The venue was absolutely beautiful and elegant with high ceilings, beautiful old wood walls and amazing light fixtures,” Cameron recalls. “We loved that we didn’t have to add draping or lighting. We also loved that the guests could go up to the art gallery during the cocktail hour and could use the venue past midnight for NYE.”

The hotel’s onsite restaurant, Counting House, served a great buffet and worked with the couple on the menu to make sure they had the right balance within their budget. “The wine and beer options were fantastic – we had five different wines and multiple beers with the simplest bar package. They even brought in Ponysaurus beer from the local brewery that we have a connection to when we requested it.”

Photographer, Bronwyn Duffield, went above and beyond the call of duty to get the perfect shots. “She worked 16 straight hours to get everything from our getting ready in the morning to the midnight celebration! She was never a distraction and she captured so many beautiful shots. And with a big wedding party and big family, she handled them with grace but was also stern when needed! She knows all the details to capture and more,” the bride confides.
wedding-gowngetting-married-in-durhambridal-clutchgetting-married-in-durham-ncwinter-wedding-bouquetsbridal-wedding-fashiondurham-nc-bridewhite-and-green-bouquetsimple-white-boutineersthe-vault-at-21c-hotel-durhamfirst-look-photos-durham-ncdurham-nc-wedding-photographersbest-wedding-photos-durham-ncartistic-wedding-photographyThere were so many personal elements to this wedding, including the minister, Carol, who was Cameron’s old babysitter. A family friend who worked at Scratch Bakery in Durham created the cake and a variety of homemade desserts were brought by family and friends. Even the reception music was manned by a family friend, Mathieu.
guestbook-design cake-and-cookie-dessert-tablecookie-dessert-table-at-weddingwinter-themed-weddingwinter-wedding-inspirationCustom straps, made of lace from her maternal grandmother’s wedding dress, were added to the bride’s Justin Alexander gown and she wore her mom’s pearl necklace and earrings.
wedding-dress-with-long-trainflower-details-on-wedding-dressThe couple handed out NYE accessories to wear at the party to ring in the new year and when the countdown for 2016 started, everybody was with the people they cherish and love. At midnight, it was an extra special kiss for the & CATERER 21c Museum Hotel Durham and Counting House Restaurant | PHOTOGRAPHER Bronwyn Duffield  Photography | BRIDAL LUNCHEON The Weathervane at Southern Season | REHEARSAL DINNER Tobacco Road at American Tobacco | MINISTER Carol Tatch | GOWN Justin Alexander | MOB DRESS Ralph Lauren | HAIR & MAKEUP Posh The Salon | FLORIST Sanders Florist | CAKE Justin Dillree from Scratch Baking | CEREMONY MUSICIANS Nathan Bernacki (cello) and Vincent Lai (violin) | RECEPTION MUSIC Mathieu Berthet (family friend) | GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS 21c Museum Hotel Durham | ENGAGEMENT RING Diamonds Direct | WEDDING BANDS Quercus Studio

A Christmas Wedding at The Carolina Inn

SB&G has a very special Wedding Wednesday post, just in time for Christmas! North Carolina couple, Christopher and Sarah, were wed on December 20, 2015 and embraced an elegant holiday theme. There’s just something so magical about a Christmas wedding at The Carolina Inn!

Christopher and Sarah met in 2013, and started dating shortly before Christopher moved to North Carolina from Michigan for work. Their proposal took place at Wrightsville Beach.
Even though neither one are Carolina alumni, Sarah grew up in Chapel Hill and always dreamt about having a wedding at the Carolina Inn. The church where they were married is the church that Sarah went to throughout her childhood. And what could be more magical than a Christmas wedding at your childhood church followed by a reception at the elegant and decorated Carolina Inn?

The “Christmas” theme was highlighted with red and gold, which showed up in the bridesmaids’ dresses, the beautiful red flowers with winter greenery, and the gold accents in the Old Well Ballroom at the Carolina Inn.

There were lots of family connections that made the wedding more personal, including Christopher’s godson, Austin, as the ring bearer, and the flowergirl was the daughter of Sarah’s cousin – Sarah was the flowergirl in her wedding! Sarah’s brother-in-law sang her down the aisle with a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria

According to Sarah, “The Carolina Inn was amazing in making our wedding day a success. The food was extraordinary and the day flowed seamlessly!” During the planning process, she loved flipping through copies of SB&G to get decorating ideas, look at dresses, and see other weddings that took place at The Carolina Inn.

There was so much to celebrate during this magical holiday wedding! Photographer, Bronwyn Duffield’s images are “incredibly beautiful, and she was so sweet to work with,” said the couple.
christmas-themed-weddingchapel-weddings-in-ncbride-with-long-curlsballet-bridal-shoeshonored-wedding-traditionswinter-bridered-bridesmaid-gownsbridesmaids-in-chapel-hillred-and-white-wedding-flowersred-and-white-rose-bouquetwinter-wedding-boutineersgroomsmen-with-red-tieswinter-wedding-bridal-stylewinter-wedding-photosgetting-married-on-christmas-everaleigh-nc-wedding-photoraphychapel-hill-weddingscarolina-inn-christmaschristmas-wedding-at-the-carolina-inngold-wedding-decorred-and-white-wedding-colorschristmas-wedding-ideasred-and-white-table-settingssouthern-inspired-wedding-foodcarolina-inn-cateringwedding-reception-at-the-carolina-innchirstmas-weddingscarolina-inn-bridecarolina-inn-christmas-weddingstreamers-send-offVENUE & CATERER The Carolina Inn | PHOTOGRAPHER Bronwyn Duffield Photography | CEREMONY Orange United Methodist Church | MINISTER Reverend Kenneth Hall | CEREMONY MUSIC Gary Mitchell Music | GOWN Maggi Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS Divas Boutique and Bridal | MOB DRESS Ralph Lauren | MENS FORMALWEAR Bernard’s Formalwear | HAIR Cathy Fogleman | FLORIST Flowers by Gary | BRIDAL LUNCHEON The Weathervane at Southern Season | CAKE Nantucket Cafe | DJ Anything Music | ENGAGEMENT RING Diamonds Direct

Foodie Couples, Get Your Tickets to Taste 2017

Springtime isn’t just a popular season for weddings in North Carolina, it’s also a time for many exciting local events, including one of our favorites, TASTE! This annual food and drink festival based in Durham, NC is now in its fourth year, and is hosted by our friends at Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine. Wedding planner Grace Beason, of Grace Leisure Events, helps organize this unforgettable experience and several of our catering vendors and venues take part.
TASTE logoTASTE 2017 includes several events taking place from April 20-23. The event invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. For the first time, in 2017 TASTE will also include acclaimed regional and Southern talent.
taste-2017From the two “Grand Taste” signature experiences — Grand Local Taste and Grand Regional Taste — where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, to the “Salt ‘n Smoke” BBQ experience overlooking the Durham Athletic Park at The Rickhouse to the area’s “Women of Achievement” Wine Reception and Lunch at the historic Carolina Inn, you won’t find a more delicious and fun culinary experience. As a bonus, they’ve assembled culinary rock stars to help you hone your own chef skills through cooking classes and to share their thoughts and experiences at “TASTE Talks”.
food-and-drink-fest-durhamSeveral of the chefs featured at The Grand Taste experience are SB&G preferred vendors: restaurants and hotels that host weddings and receptions, such as Carolina Crossroads at The Carolina Inn; Durham Catering Co.; Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel; The Fairview Dining Room at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf ClubThe Durham Hotel, and Heron’s at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. So, going to the event can be two-fold if you’re on the market for a caterer – you will get to sample a ton of delicious food during a fun night out while also doing some taste-testing research for your own wedding. Not to mention, it makes a great date night!

Keep in mind, tickets to the most popular events sell out months in advance, so don’t delay.
taste-the-eventPhotos courtesy of Durham Magazine

Sophisticated Styled Shoot at The Cloth Mill

Even though The Cloth Mill at Eno River is a historic site located in the charming Southern town of Hillsborough, NC, it exudes modern elegance. As you can see from the styled shoot below, A Swanky Affair, showcased the versatility of this urban event space.

“So often we see a more rustic or industrial vibe in weddings at these type of venues, but venues like the Cloth Mill are a blank slate – perfect for couples to create any type of design, including something super sophisticated!” says Amanda Scott, owner of A Swanky Affair.

Contemporary florals gave it a modern feel, but the scene was also kept traditional with a cream damask pattern linen and classic navy and gold accents.

A great time to check out The Cloth Mill is during its winter wedding showcase: Freshly Pressed, taking place on January 14, 2017.
cloth-mill-at-eno-riverwhite-flower-wedding-inspirationgold-and-navy-blue-weddinghillsborough-wedding-venuemost-romantic-wedding-venuesthe-cloth-millweddings-at-the-cloth-millelegant-wedding-tablesettingwhite-rosesgold-and-navy-wedding-cakewedding-venues-near-raleighraleigh-nc-bride-and-groomVENUE The Cloth Mill at Eno River | PLANNER A Swanky Affair | PHOTOGRAPHER Stephen Thrift Photography | FLORIST Blossom Artistry | CAKE Edible Art Bakery | STATIONERY The Desktop Diva | GOWN & JEWELRY Maggi Bridal | TUX Bernard’s Formalwear | HAIR Wedding Hair by Liz | MAKEUP The Makeup Addict | DECOR & LIGHTING Showtime Events | LINEN & TABLETOP CE Rentals

Christmas and New Year’s 2017 Events in Raleigh and Durham

Still looking for something fun and festive to do for Christmas and New Year’s in the Triangle? Take a look at our annual list of parties and special dinners and make reservations now. Whatever you do, you’re guaranteed to enter the new year surrounded by good food, good company and good times!

Holiday Events at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
December 24, 25 and 31
Enjoy the extensive holiday decorations around the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club during The Fairview Dining room’s Christmas Eve Brunch, Sugar Plum Tea and Christmas Eve Dinner on December 24 followed by a joyful feast on the 25th. Then a special New Year’s Day dinner on the 31st.

Holiday Events at The Umstead Hotel & Spa
December 24, December 31, and January 1
The luxurious and elegant Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary and its onsite restaurant, Herons, will host several holiday events for everyone to enjoy, including Christmas brunch and dinner on December 24, a New Year’s Eve dinner and celebration on December 31, and a New Year’s Day brunch. To make reservations for all events, call 919-447-4050.
Bride and groom at Umstead Hotel and SpaHoliday Dinners & Brunch at Counting House Restaurant at 21c Durham
December 24, December 31, and January 1
In the spirit of the holiday season, Counting House restaurant, located at 21c Museum Hotel Durham, invites guests to gather with family and friends for Christmas Eve Dinner, New Year’s Eve Dinner and New Year’s Day Brunch. The Christmas Eve Dinner on Sat., Dec 24 from 1 to 7 p.m will feature Counting House favorites and festive specials. The three-course prix fixe menu is offered for $75 per person. The New Year’s Eve Dinner from 5 to 11p.m includes a special five-course table d’hôte celebration. Pricing for the dinner ranges from $69 to $75 per person (wine pairings are available for an additional $25 per person). Lastly, on January 1st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy a hearty brunch and a little “hair of the dog” to help shake off any residual effects of ringing in the New Year. The Counting House will host a New Year’s Day Brunch featuring a number of brunch cocktails and hangover cures including the chicken on a biscuit with cayenne honey and dill pickles. To make reservations for all events, call 919-956-6760.

New Year’s Beauty Specials the Makeup for Your Day Studio
December 31, 2016 – 4-6 p.m.
Be pampered with blowouts and makeup applications done by Makeup for Your Day’s lead stylists. Limited appointment times are still available. Special pricing on blowout hair styling ($50); makeup application, including airbrush ($50), and lash application ($20). To schedule an appointment, call 877-588-7451 or email

New Year’s Eve Dinner at The Durham
December 31, 2016
Join the restaurant at The Durham Hotel for a four-course tasting menu featuring black truffles, Cape Hatteras oysters, High Rock Farm chestnuts, NC sturgeon caviar, L’Hoste citrus, and Red Poll beef. Cost is $75/person (does not include beverage, tax or gratuity). Following is a party on the roof with bubbly, party favors, shrimp cocktail and oyster bar. Reservations are available by calling 919-768-8831.
Durham NC hotelsNew Year’s Eve Costume Party at Ponysaurus
December 31, 2016 – 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Ring in 2017 at Ponysaurus Brewing Co. in Durham! Come dressed as your favorite or most hated character from the news or pop culture in 2016, and the best costume will win a year’s supply of Ponysaurus beer! We’ll also have a DJ dance party, ZimZoom Photobooth and a champagne (of beers) toast at midnight!

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Dashi
December 31, 2016
Ring in the new year with a wonderful four-course meal at Dashi! They are now taking reservations for a special New Year’s Eve dinner upstairs in the izakaya. Cost is $55 per person ($85 with pairings) and a 20% gratuity will be automatically applied to the final bill. In order to make your party’s reservation, call the restaurant at (919) 251-9335. Reservations will be taken and voicemails will be returned. Vegetarian menus are available so be sure to specify how many guests require this (menus with other dietary needs will not be available).

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Poole’s Diner
December 31, 2016
The holiday season is in full swing, and Chef Ashley Chistensen’s Poole’s Diner is eagerly preparing for a celebratory New Year’s Eve. The restaurant is now accepting reservations by phone at (919) 832-4477 or by email ( for this three-course prix fixe celebration. Cost is $75++.

New Year’s Eve Dinner Burke Manor Inn
December 31, 2016 – 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Just a short drive away, The Burke Manor Inn in Gibsonville, is hosting a special New Year’s Eve Dinner 5:30-9:30 pm prepared by Chef/Owner Lil Lacassagne. Amuse Bouche with a glass of champagne. Cost is $79 plus tax and gratuity. Call 336-449-6266 for reservations.Burke Manor Inn weddingNew Year’s Even Dinner at Parizade
December 31, 2016 – beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Parizade invites you to an elegant New Year’s Eve celebration to send off 2016! The evening will begin with early a la carte seatings available at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00. Our celebration seating will commence at 9:15 p.m. and will include a decadent four-course pre-fixe menu with champagne toast for $80 per guest (tax & gratuity not included). There will be a live musical performance presented by the incredible tunes of Crossover Drive. Make a reservation online or call 919-286-9712.

Engagement Celebration at The Merrimon-Wynne House
January 7, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. and January 8, 2017 from 12-3 p.m.
Did you get engaged over the holidays? Come celebrate at The Merrimon-Wynne house and enjoy a spectacular wedding planning experience! They will be collecting at $10 per person donation to benefit Raleigh Rescue Mission. Festive attire encouraged and RSVP required.

Southern Bride & Groom Winter-Spring 2017 Cover

NC’s Trusted Wedding Magazine Reveals 30th Anniversary Cover

Each year, putting Southern Bride & Groom’s annual magazine together is a labor of love between the SB&G team, local wedding vendors, and the happy couples connected in our network. Fittingly, our annual magazine showcases the best of the best when it comes to North Carolina wedding vendors. This year is an especially exciting year for us because it marks a major milestone for the magazine’s – our 30th anniversary! We are thrilled to reveal our first cover of 2017, and share the styled shoot from which it came, created by several local NC wedding vendors.
Southern Bride and Groom Magazine

A Garden Party Wedding at Merrimon-Wynne

The winter-spring cover captures the essence of what it means to be a Southern bride and groom: modern beauty mixed with timeless tradition. This enchanting photo is by local photographer Renee Sprink. It was taken during an inspirational garden wedding on the lawn of The Merrimon-Wynne House. The shoot, styled by Events by La Fete, was part of a celebratory event for this popular wedding venue which had completed construction on its gorgeous Carriage House, located in the back lawn, expanding capacity and functionality for wedding parties.
merrimon-wynne-raleigh-event-venuenatural-themed-wedding-decormerrimon-wynne-carriage-housenorth-carolina-wedding-venuesThe stylist and florist, Meristem Floral, worked to bring a garden party vibe indoors with trees, moss, and shimmery linen. A white, mirrored bar and lounge furniture kept the vibe modern and clean.
weddings-at-the-merrimon-wynne-housevera-wang-wedding-gownbridal-portrait-the-the-merrimon-wynne-housemodern-wedding-bouquetssouthern-styled-shootnavy-blue-grooms-suitsheer-bridesmaid-dressesalexias-bridal-boutiqueWho wouldn’t be all smiles when donned in Vera Wang? The lovely bride was stunning in with the magical “Pippa” gown, from Alexia’s Bridal, and styled by Makeup for Your Day with raspberry-hued lips and a loose braid. Her groom was dashing in his smart navy suit, and her maid of honor floated in a Monique Lhuillier, also from Alexia’s.
north-carolina-wedding-magazinevintage-wedding-tablemodern-wedding-flowersraleigh-wedding-floristsVibrant Mottahedeh china and Herend collectibles from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry atop a glass table set on a verdant green lawn were lovely touches for this spring garden party. A soft butterfly theme was found in the patterns and hand-made place cards. Specialty furniture from Themeworks and additional tabletop items from Party Reflections completed the tastes better when beautifully presented! Delicious hors d’oeuvres from Donovan’s Dish were displayed on a hanging swing in the courtyard, as well as on living tabletops that floated about the event – it doesn’t get more charming than that!summer-wedding-flowerswhimsical-wedding-tablejewel-toned-wedding-flowersraleigh-nc-bride-and-groomThey may look like models, but these sparks are real. Kari and Matthew are a real couple and loved getting dressed up for this faux wedding day.

PLANNING/DESIGN Events by La Fete | PHOTOGRAPHY Renee Sprink Photography | BRIDAL GOWN Vera Wang from Alexia’s Bridal | BRIDESMAID GOWN Monique Lhuillier from Alexia’s Bridal | HAIR & MAKEUP Makeup for Your Day | FLOWERS Meristem Floral | GLASSWARE AND FLATWARE Party Reflections | CHINA Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | LIGHTING & FURNITURE Themeworks Creative | CATERING Donovan’s Dish | PAPER Emily Brooks Designs | CALLIGRAPHY Mason Dixon Designs | PERFORMANCE ART AND LIVE FOOD STATIONS Elevate | DJ Joe Bunn

2017 Winter Wedding Shows in Raleigh, NC

The holiday season is a popular time for engagements – with family all in one place and festivities already planned, it’s a great time to throw in an extra celebration! And not soon after, the fun of planning beings! It can be overwhelming at first, but luckily, there are a ton of qualified professionals here to help, and you can meet and interact with many of them at the wedding shows taking place this winter throughout the Triangle. (For an ongoing list of wedding-related events, be sure to check our Wedding Shows & Events page, which is updated regularly).

Forever Bridal’s The Wedding Show

Date: Saturday and Sunday January 7 and 8, 2017 – 11am-4pm
Location: The NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh

Forever Bridal hosts several wedding shows per year, but their two-day January event is their biggest – filled with the best wedding vendors, on stage entertainment, and the latest bridal fashions – a must attend event for brides! Exhibits include wedding cakes and a caterers (many with samples), venues, fashion, and other wedding services all under one roof. Don’t miss your chance to win exciting door prizes and give-a-ways. All the products, services, ideas and information you’ll need to make your dream wedding come to life are waiting for you, so bring a friend, your fiancé or family member and make this an exciting weekend event!
Forever Bridal Fashion Show

The Cloth Mill’s Winter Bridal Showcase

Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017 – 1-4pm
Location: The Cloth Mill, Hillsborough

Save the date for a perfectly planned afternoon at Freshly Pressed: The Cloth Mill’s Winter Bridal Showcase. We’ve covered every detail, and designed an interactive planning experience for newly engaged couples. You’ll nosh, toast, and mingle with some of our preferred wedding professionals, and get exclusive tours of this industrial chic venue.
Wedding venue in downtown Hillsborough NC

The Carolina Inn’s 22nd Annual Bridal Showcase

Date: Sunday, January 29, 2017 – 1-4pm
Location: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill

Join The Carolina Inn starting for an elegant and information-packed afternoon with the most talented and experienced wedding vendors in Chapel Hill, the Triangle and beyond. Enjoy this creative gathering where you will be able to delight in a feast of sample wedding cakes, view the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers, and experience an interactive approach to choosing your most valued wedding vendors.
The Carolina Inn Chapel Hill

Around the World in an Afternoon with A Way to Go Travel

Date: Sunday, February 12, 2017 – 1pm – 4pm
Location: The Proximity Hotel, Greensboro

A Way To Go Travel will have representatives from various resorts, hotels, and cruise lines perfect for honeymooners! Brides, grooms and all couples are able to meet and speak with representatives with each of these hotels, resorts and cruise lines to help them explore options for their honeymoon and to help them decide the best fit for them! It’s a free event and some lucky attendees will even win trips!

Elegant and Fun East Carolina Themed Wedding at The Hudson Manor

Julie and Scott met through mutual friends while attending ECU together. They quickly became inseparable and spent the next five years together. Today, we’re sharing their elegant yet super fun East Carolina University (ECU)-themed wedding at The Hudson Manor!
They decided to have the wedding in the Raleigh/Triangle area because it was in between both of their home towns. “The Hudson Manor was by far the most beautiful, organized, and affordable all-inclusive venue within driving distance of the Raleigh area,” says Julie.
hudson-manor-weddingsomething-blue-ideassimple-white-bountineerSince the two met in College and both graduated from the same university, they decided to theme the wedding around ECU’s purple and gold colors. Purple also happens to be the bride’s favorite color! So, they incorporated the theme and colors in everything from the flowers to the bridesmaids dresses to the napkin and linen choices.simple-wedding-jewelrylilac-and-white-bouquetpurple-bridesmaid-dressesbridal-hairpiecesraleigh-nc-wedding-photographygroomsmen-matching-sockspurple-wedding-colorsparty-favor-snack-bagsThe minister, Lenny Waters, is Julie’s uncle. Her favorite moment of the night was when the DJ played ‘Amore’ and had all the wedding guests surround the newlyweds and give us a giant hug, summing up their entire wedding-full of laughs, love and family.
Besides seeing his wife walk down the aisle, the mother/groom dance was one of Scott’s favorite moments. After teasing the crowd with the Phil Collins classic “You’ll be in my Heart,” they shocked everyone by breaking it down to “Shining Star” by Earth Wind and Fire. “My mom has been an integral part of my life, and we wanted to create a special moment that everyone would remember. We share a passion for old, classic music like EWF, so choosing this was a no-brainer for us,” he shares.
When Julie and Scott first met, they bonded over their mutual love of peanut butter, so naturally, they had to incorporate that into their wedding cake, which had a chocolate and peanut butter filling and even tied in the ECU theme with gold pearls and purple flowers.
wedding-cake-with-purple-flowers“Melissa Cogliati at The Hudson Manor did an amazing job with our wedding!” says Julie. “Despite the windy weather, we were able to have the ceremony in the wedding chapel located on the property, which was beautiful and very charming. It also accommodated our 15o wedding guests comfortably. They did a wonderful job preparing the property for the first wedding of the spring season. It was so nice having her there to coordinate everything the day of so we could just sit back and relax. Melissa and her staff were so dedicated to making sure our day was everything we could have dreamed. Also, the food was amazing and plentiful! Melissa’s husband caters everything on site which was incredily conveinent. We really could not have asked for a better coordinator and venue site,” shares the bride.
VENUE, PLANNER & CATERER The Hudson Manor | PHOTOGRAPHER Chris Neito Photography | BRIDAL GOWN David Tutera from Savvi Formalwear | BRIDESMAIDS and MOB DRESSES David’s Bridal | HAIR & MAKEUP Melissa McNabb | BRIDAL JEWELRY Reeds Jewelers | MENSWEAR JOS A BankMINISTER Leonard Waters | VIDEOGRAPHER Aleaxnder Freedman | FLOWERS Fresh Affairs | CAKE Cindas Creative Cakes | INVITATIONS Robyn Goslen | RECEPTION MUSIC TaylorMade DJ services | TRANSPORTATION Carolina Livery | ACCOMMODATIONS Courtyard Marriott, Raleigh and The Hilton Garden Inn, Raleigh | WEDDING FAVORS Pirates Gourmet Popcorn of Greenville, NC

Wedding Beauty Tips: Eyelash Extensions

You’re knee deep in planning your perfect day. Venue: check! Wedding planner: check! Catering and photographer: check! Now, you’re on to the personal stuff: gown, veil, hair, makeup and…eyelashes? Yes, eyelashes. Who knew there were so many options for that bright-eyed, bushy-tailed bridal look? Jennifer Buenviaje, co-owner and lash stylist at Makeup for Your Day, is here to give you the lowdown on the hottest trend in bridal beauty – semi-permanent eyelash extensions.eyelash-extensionsPhoto: Renee Sprink Photography

What are they exactly?
Lash extensions are natural or artificial “hairs” applied one-by-one to each one of your natural eyelashes. The adhesive used for semi-permanent lash extensions is an FDA-approved medical-grade adhesive that is designed to bond smooth non-porous surfaces (the lash extension) to porous ones (your natural eyelash). With proper application, the adhesive nor the lash extension never touch your actual skin on the eyelid.

How are they applied?
The process of applying semi-permanent eyelash extensions is both a tedious as well as luxurious experience. Usually, your lash stylist will need at least an hour and a half on your first visit for a full set of lashes.  During this time, you lie back on a massage table or in our studio, a super comfy oversized recliner, and most likely will fall asleep while the lash stylist applies your new set of fluffy, wispy lashes. The process is not painful (if you experience pain or discomfort please speak up to your lash stylist because this is NOT a time for “no pain, no gain” mentality) and the lashes will last you up to 3-4 weeks –sometimes more—with proper care and maintenance.

When should you get them done?
In our studio, we recommend coming in 3-4 weeks prior to your wedding to have your first set applied. This allows us the flexibility to adjust the length, fullness and curl of your eyelash extensions the week before or the week of your big day in order to make sure they are absolutely perfect for your professional photos. We also recommend having them done 3-4 weeks in advance so that any irritation or allergy to the adhesive or the lashes can be resolved should a client have a negative reaction. While it is rare, some people are allergic to the adhesive/glue or simply have allergies flare up with the manipulation of the lash line during certain times of the year. We wouldn’t want a puffy, red-eyed bride on her wedding day so we highly suggest at least getting a trial with 5-10 lashes applied before the week of your wedding if you can’t spring for the full set and a fill in on the week of the wedding due to budget constraints.Raleigh-wedding-makeupPhoto: Fancy This Photography

What is the typical cost?
For a full set of eyelash extensions, you will find pricing ranging from $79 up to $300 in some areas.  Why the big difference? Well, this is where we have to lean back on the old adage, “you get what you pay for”. Just like we’d hope you wouldn’t use a Groupon for your first experience with an injectable (needles, filler, Botox, oh my!) the same goes for eyelash extensions. This is medical-grade adhesive that most doctors and surgeons use to close wounds…being used around your EYES. Make sure you do your research on the lash stylist and company you choose to hire and make certain they are both certified and that they really will take their TIME to make sure your lash set is done in a pristine manner. No rush jobs here; these are the windows to your soul, after all! And that, my dears (pun totally intended), is what you’re paying for. The time it takes to make sure a lash stylist only applies one lash per your natural lash is worth spending a little extra in the budget for. It can make the difference between haphazard placement of glue that can cause premature fallout of your natural lash fibers and a meticulously gorgeous set of Bambi-inspired flutterers.

Contributed by Jennifer Buenviaje, co-owner and lash stylist at Makeup for Your Day. Makeup for Your Day offers by-appointment-only sessions week days and some appointments on weekends for our out-of-state brides.

For Perfect Wedding Weather, Bury the Bourbon

In the South, we have all sorts of unique sayings, superstitions, and traditions. Many brides choose to honor their southern heritage by including one or a handful of quirky or fun Southern traditions during their wedding planning and big day.

The ominous possibility of rain on your wedding day (or even a hurricane wedding!) is enough to cause any bride to take a few extra measures in hopes that the sun will shine brightly when it is time to walk down the aisle. Burying the bourbon is a tradition that, if done correctly, is supposed to ward off rain the day of the wedding.
bury-the-bourbonThose who swear by this Southern myth state that the bride and groom-to-be must visit their venue exactly a month before the wedding date and bury a full bottle of bourbon upside down. Yes, it has to be full and it has to be upside down. The size or origin of the bourbon doesn’t seem to matter, but if you feel Mother Nature might be a bourbon lover, certainly opt for the next size up.

If you choose to participate in burying the bourbon, make sure you get the permission of your venue first. If digging up the landscape doesn’t sit too well, ask if you can bring your bourbon pre-buried in a pot you can hide in shrubbery or place inconspicuously onsite. Ask your photographer or a friend to tag along to capture the unique moment.

Lastly, don’t forget where you buried your bottle. Rain or shine, dig up your bourbon post-ceremony and share it with your wedding party and guests in celebration!
southern-wedding-traditionsPhoto: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Article contributed by Kirsten Barber