Yearly Archives:: 2017

New Wedding Etiquette – Who Pays For What?

These days, the rules of who pays for what when it comes to a wedding are a little more in the grey area than in years past…for quick and easy reference, SB&G has provided a short and sweet list of new wedding etiquette so you know what to expect from whom!

Old Wedding Etiquette Rules: Wedding and reception expenses for a first marriage were traditionally the sole responsibility of the bride’s family. When paying, they get to determine the size and style of the wedding and reception. The groom’s family my offer to share in the cost of the reception, and the bride’s family may accept in order to accommodate a larger wedding.

New Wedding Etiquette Rules: Both families may divide the expenses as their budget allows, or each family can contribute a set amount to the total expenses. This may be supplemented by the bride and groom. As the average age of couples rises for marriage, many working duos today host and pay for their entire wedding and celebration themselves, and issue the invitation for their personalized wedding on their own. For encore weddings, the couple is always responsible for the costs.Who Pays for What in a Modern Wedding Engagement Ring photo by Jamie Blow
The Bride’s Family Pays for:

-Church and reception site rental
-Cake, catering and beverages for the reception
-Invitations, announcements and stationary
-Services of a wedding consultant
-The bridal attire and trousseau
-Photography for the engagements, bridal portraits, ceremony and reception
-Flowers for the church, reception and the bridesmaids
-Corsages for special helpers
-Music at the ceremony and reception
-Limousine for the bride and family to the church, and cars for transportation
-Lodging for out-of-town bridesmaids or arrangements with friends
-Security and insurance
-Wedding favors

The Groom or His Family Pay for:
-The bride’s engagement and wedding rings
-Marriage license
-Officiant’s fee and travel expenses
-Bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage
-Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
-Boutonnieres, gloves and ties for the men of the wedding party
-Wedding gift for the bride
-Limousine expense leaving reception — or for the day
-Wedding night accommodations
-Honeymoon trip
-Gifts for the best man and groomsmen
-Shipment of the wedding gifts to the couple’s home
-Lodging or arrangements for out-of-town groomsmen
-Rehearsal dinner

The Bride:
-Groom’s wedding ring
-Groom’s gift
-Gifts for the bride’s attendants
-Thank you gift for parents
-Bridesmaid’s luncheon (optional event)

Other Expenses:
-Engagement parties may be hosted by each set of parents or friends
-Groom’s family or engaged couple may co-host or host the entire wedding event
-The groom’s family or friends usually give the bachelor dinner or partySouthern bride and Groom Modern NC wedding by Jamie Blow Photography

Who pays for what for a wedding might be just the first of many questions that come up when planning your day. Peruse our BLOG for other advice columns, and of course, lots of inspirational eye-candy!

If you are getting married in NC, we’d also love for you to check out our Preferred Vendors. SB&G has been the trusted wedding planning resource for our region for 30 years and has the most extensive VENUE GUIDE spanning from the NC Triad, across the Greater Triangle and to the Coast. Our region has great options for DESTINATION WEDDINGS too!

Sophisticated Black and White Raleigh Wedding

Courtney & Mario

Courtney and Mario’s sophisticated and elegant wedding at the Raleigh Marriott City Center was everything they envisioned and more. The black and white color theme with accents of gold only added to the elegance of the night. All the aspects of the celebration were chose to align with their classic theme and the affair was straight out of an old hollywood film.

simple black and white invitations for Raleigh wedding In His Image

They couple met on a dating site and knew it was something special between the two of them. The bride said “Mario proposed on my birthday at dinner with my sister, cousin, and friends. It was a very “Mario” proposal..short and sweet. He got down on one knee and said five words, ‘Will you marry me, baby?’ ”

Bride Getting Ready In His Image

The theme of the wedding was black and white sophistication because those are Courtney’s favorite colors. They added accents of gold to further the elegance of the affair. The bridesmaids and groomsman wore classic black dresses and tuxedos.

The Wedding Party

Bridesmaids in classic black gowns at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image

White classic tux with striped hankerchief at Raleigh wedding In His Image
Grooms party in black tuxedos walking in downtown raleigh Black classic tux with striped hankerchief at Raleigh wedding In His Image

The couple decided to go with In His Image Photography to capture their special day in a classic manner.  The bride shared, “Dajuan is awesome to work with and a perfectionist. He has an eye for capturing great moments and images. All of our guests and friends who have seen our pictures continue to comment on how awesome they look!”

Bride and Groom kiss downtown raleigh at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image

The Ceremony at Raleigh Marriott City Center

Courtney and Mario decided to have their wedding reception at the Raleigh Marriott City Center. Not only is the ballroom the perfect venue for a classically elegant affair, but the convenience for guests is also a huge benefit for any couple having a lot of out of town guests.

Ballroom classic white an gold wedding at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image

Fresh Affairs completed the elegance of the wedding with their classically beautiful floral arrangements. Courtney said “In conversations with Lyn, I told him I wanted to keep the flowers very clean with all tones of white and he definitely delivered on that request.”

Classic wedding tablescape at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image
Fresh Affairs Tall White Floral Wedding Arrangements at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image
Monogram Wedding Gobo at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image

Elana Walker of Elana Walker Events planned Courtney and Mario’s special day. “Elana was great in helping us make decisions along the way and advising us on vendors that she thought would help us achieve our overall vision for the day,” shared Courtney.

Bride and Groom first dance ballroom at Raleigh Marriott City Center In His Image

SB&G Preferred Vendors

Photographer: In His Image – Dajuan Jones | Venue: Raleigh Marriott Center City | Planner: Elana Walker Events | Floral: Fresh Affairs | Wedding Invitations: Cute Buttons

Other Vendors:

Makeup & Hair: Sharon Davis | Entertainment: DJ 360 Entertainment | Videographer: K2 Productions | Wedding Stationary: Suite Paper | Gown: Alfred Angelo

Check out our other Raleigh Venues too!

Simply Romantic Wedding Floral Inspiration

Floral Inspiration

Roses of pink and coral are weaved within a garland of greenery by Tre Bella Flowers to create sweetly sophisticated table runners for rustic wood tables and chairs. This table is perfect for celebrating and conversing while being just frilly enough to add your favorite flowers and colors with a natural look. The complementary bouquet has a freshly gathered garden touch.

Romantic Table for Wedding Reception by Tre Bella KMJ

Tablescape with gold accents and green leafs by Tre Bella KMJ
Simple Romantic Wedding Decor with Blush and Corals by Tre Bella KMJ

Jessica Yee at The Oblique Pen created these classically romantic calligraphy place cards for the table. They paired beautifully with the fun Kate Space polka dotted china from Belk.

Tablescape with gold accents and Jessica Yee Placecards by Tre Bella KMJ

Leafy and Pink Roses Table Decor for romantic wedding by Tre Bella KMJ
Leaf and Rose Table runner for wedding by Tre Bella KMJ

The table runner ran all the way onto the floor to create a lush and romantic scene. With various different romantic blooms and floating candle votives, the table could not have been more beautiful and full of romance. You could easily replace the pinks and corals used by here with the color scheme of your wedding!

Leaf and Floral Table runner for wedding by Tre Bella KMJ

With the chair rentals being on the plain side with their natural wood finish, Tre Bella decided to add greenery and florals to the back of the chairs to compliment the florals of the rest of the table. They created picture perfect seating arrangements!

Romantic chair decor for wedding by Tre Bella KMJ
Floral Table runner with greenery for wedding by Tre Bella KMJ

Tre Bella designed a perfect bridal bouquet using the same blooms that were in the table runner. With the various green leaves and mixture of pink, corals and white flowers, the bouquet had a romantic garden feel to it that complimented the entire inspiration of the shoot.

Bride in Tre Bella Strapless gown and romantic florals by Tre Bella KMJ

The bride wore a classic strapless and tulle Hayley Paige Blush gown from Tre Bella Bridal. With beautiful layered jewelry by Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, the bride was the epitome of simply romantic.

Large Bridal Bouquet with pinks and corals by Tre Bella KMJ
Bride in Tre Bella Strapless down and romantic wedding florals by Tre Bella KMJ

SB&G Preferred Vendors

Floral Design: Tre Bella Flowers | Rentals: American Party Rentals | China & Glassware: Kate Spade from Belk | Place Cards: Calligraphy by Jessica Yee, The Oblique Pen | Gown: Hayley Paige Blush from Tre Bella Bridal | Jewelry: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | Hair & Makeup: Bella Trio Day Spa | Venue : The Merrimon-Wynne House | Photographer: Katherine Miles Jones Photography


How To Honor The Father of the Bride at the Wedding

Father of the Bride

Since Father’s Day is just around the corner (this Sunday!) – we thought we’d dedicate this Friday post to ideas that will make the Father of the bride feel special on his daughter’s wedding day; to show him that no matter how old you are, or who comes into your life, you’ll always be his little girl.

1. Give Him A Little Gift

Some of our favorite tokens on a wedding day are small gifts given from the bride to her father, like an embroidered handkerchief, personalized cufflinks, or a special photo opportunity. Your father will absolutely love the thought that went behind whatever gift you choose.

Father daughter at wedding Fancy This Photography
Father Daughter Moment Fancy This Photography

Photo by Fancy This Photography

2. Give Him A Bear Hug When He Gives You Away

Giving their child away at a wedding may be one of the hardest moments for a father. The symbol that passing their child to their future husband holds is emotionally tough for any dad. Let your dad know he’s still your number 1 guy with a big hug and kiss before you join your fiancé at the altar. A little display of your love and appreciation for him will make him feel so honored and may make the moment a little easier on them.

father daughter moment erin costa

Photo by Erin Costa Photography

3. Let Him Surprise You With A Father/Daughter Dance Song

While you may want to be a part of every decision in your wedding planning, give your dad the opportunity to help! Let him surprise you with a song to have your father/daughter dance to. Not only will it mean so much to him, but it could also be a ton of fun to see what he comes up with!

Father Daughter Dance 2Washington Duke Riley Maclean

Photo by Riley Maclean Photography

4. Write Him a Thank You Note

As the years go by, handwritten thank you notes have become less and less customary. Nothing shows how thankful you really are more than words from the heart. Put your pen to paper and thank your father for everything he’s done for you for your entire life. It will almost definitely bring tears to his eyes.

Give your dads a huge hug this weekend, ladies, and Happy Father’s Day!

Charming Raleigh Wedding With a Natural Theme at Saint Mary’s Chapel

Gabie & Rob

Everyone knows that you can’t resist a guy in a band. Gabie learned that first hand with her now husband Rob. Though they attended the same high school, it wasn’t until years later when she coincidentally ended up where his band was playing, that they re-met one another and immediately hit it off. Fast forward to May of 2017 – the couple tied the knot with a charming Raleigh wedding with a natural theme at Saint Mary’s Chapel with a casual reception that put emphasis on a good time at The Fairview Raleigh.

Bride-and-Groom-in-white-embrace-at-Fairview-in-Raleigh-by-Steve-ExumDuring a break in a major storm that had hit the area, Rob insisted on going for a walk with Gabie. He said he wanted to see something new that was at the Rose Garden. With their dog, Olivia, in hand the two went for a long walk around the garden. Rob pulled her to a bench and said “so I have something to ask you” and got down on one knee with the ring that he had designed with his grandmothers diamond. Gabie replied, “you didn’t ask me anything but YES!”


Getting Ready For Ceremony at Saint Mary’s Chapel in Raleigh

The bride wore a Vera Wang gown that was passed down in her family. While she altered it to add lace and fit properly, with the help of Cordella Bridal, it maintained its natural classic beauty. She paired the look with a classic up-do hairstyle and natural makeup by Parlor Blow Dry Bar and beautiful jewelry from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry.



The bridesmaids wore stunning midnight blue Show Me Your Mumu maxi gowns. While the couple kept their color scheme all neutral colors, the blue of their gowns were the one major pop of color for the wedding.


Groom with Ring Bearers Steve Exum

The grooms party wore traditional black and white tuxedos with the groom, Rob, wearing a white jacket to stand out from the crowd.


The Ceremony

The couple said “I Do” at Saint Mary’s Chapel in  Raleigh, NC. It is a stunningly classic chapel in the North Carolina area that is highly sought after for traditional vows. With its old world charm and beautiful structure, there are few places in the area that can be compared to it.


Raleigh Wedding Venue St Marys chapel Steve Exum

The Reception at The Fairview Raleigh

The couple’s main vision was to ensure their wedding was an enjoyable and fun night to remember. The bride said her wish was to have people saying, “Wow, what a fun wedding full of love” and “that was totally Gabie and Rob.” They kept the decorations at a minimum with natural florals and hanging lights within The Fairview Raleigh, a new venue right outside of downtown with a beautiful view of the skyline.


Rob surprised Gabie by getting up with the band and performing one of their favorite songs, “Good Lovin’.” He had spent time practicing with the band before the wedding in order to shock his new bride and their guests!



SB&G Preferred Vendors

Wedding Venue: Saint Mary’s Chapel | Reception Venue: The Fairview Raleigh | Caterer: Catering Works | Jewelry: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | Hair & Makeup: Parlor Blow Dry Bar | Party Rentals: ThemeWorks

Other Vendors:

Photographer: Steve Exum Photography | Minister: Justin Morgan | Rehearsal Dinner: Humble Pie | Wedding Planner: Kristin Holland of Viva L’Event | Bridesmaids Jewelry: Gabrielle Jewelry | Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Florist: Petal Pushers 3 | Cake: Ashley Cakes | Invitations: Reeves Engraving | Ceremony Musicians: Elegant Ensembles | Reception Music: Envision Band | Transportation: White Horse | Beverages: Pour | Calligrapher: Nancy Heathcote

North Carolina Elegant Wedding Floral Inspiration

The Art of Elegance

Beautiful flowers combined with an eye for design reminiscent of the Far East, but uniquely all-American in this two-tiered sculpted arrangement. University Florists artfully combines many NC native flowers with classic orchids and garden roses, achieving a timeless elegance. Get inspired for your wedding with this North Carolina elegant wedding floral inspiration photo shoot.

Tall table floral with orchids and hanging vines by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

University Florists created a simple yet elegant tablescape with natural colors as a base and added a pop of brights with peach and coral roses within the arrangements. The rose gold candle votives added throughout the table in a symmetrical manner pulled together to create a romantic vision for the table.

Elegant wedding table inspiration by University Florists by KMJ
Tablescape with orchid floral arrangement by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

The NC florist completed the wedding tablescape with beautifully delicate small vases placed on the center of each place setting that complimented the overall theme of the table.

Tablescape with rentals by APR and tiny vases by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

Tall orchid floral display by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ
Elegant Tablescape with small vases on plate and china by APR by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

Elegant Tablescape by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

The bride wore a uniquely classic Monique Lhuillier gown from Raleigh wedding dress studio, Alexia’s Bridal. The beautiful a-line satin skirt with lace details on the top perfectly paired with this elegant setting. The bridal bouquet was created with matching bright florals from the table arrangements. Pinks and coral roses were tied together with an elegant light green ribbon and could not have looked more stunning held by the bride.

Bride in Monique Lhullier from Alexias bridal wiht bouquet by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ
Bride in Monique Lhullier from Alexias Bridal by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

Everything from the florals to the jewelry screamed “elegant” within this shoot. Bailey’s Fine Jewelry adorned the bride in simply classic jewels. It’s hard to decide which is more gorgeous, the beautiful spring colored bridal bouquet or the stunning halo diamond ring!

Bridal bouquet with orange and pinks with jewelry by Baileys by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

Elegant wedding gown by Monique Lhullier Bliss from Alexias bridal wiht bouquet by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ
Spring bridal bouquet wiht blush and oranges by University Florists at Merrimon Wynne KMJ

SB&G Preferred Vendors:

FLORAL DESIGN & CONTAINERS: University Florists | RENTALS: American Party Rentals | GOWN: Monique Lhuillier from Alexia’s Bridal | JEWELRY: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | VENUE: The Merrimon-Wynne House | HAIR & MAKEUP: Bella Trio Day Spa | PHOTOGRAPHER: Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Ideas for Your Raleigh Bachelorette Party

Raleigh, NC

Planning the bachelorette party is one of the Maid of Honor’s most important pre-wedding responsibilities, but for some, it is also one of the most stressful. The bachelorette party conjures visions of Vegas nightclubs, but there really is no need to drag your crew across the country when there are so many local options to celebrate your upcoming nuptials here in NC’s Triangle Area.

Whether the bride-to-be prefers a late night out on the town, daytime brewery tours or a luxurious, relaxing spa day, Raleigh is full of swanky restaurants, fun group activities, and plush five-star spas. Here, we’ve put together some exciting ideas for your Raleigh bachelorette party.


Photograph by Melissa DeLorme


Are you a brunching group? Raleigh may just be the place for you then! Head downtown and try some of the amazing establishments. Poole’s DinerSeaboard 18, Beasley’s and Provenance all have amazing menus for your brunch needs. Chicken and Waffles are a must when down South!

Dinner and Drinks

Whether you are looking for a fancy or a more casual environment, there are plenty of amazing restaurant choices to choose from in the Raleigh, NC area. If you are on the hunt for a fancy dinner experience give Second Empire or Death & Taxes a try! Their menus are beyond incredible. Looking for a step more casual – head on over to Taverna Agora. Between their amazingly beautiful rooftop terrace and authentic Greek style cuisine, you may forget you are even in North Carolina!

Then after your meal head over for to The Architect Bar & Social House and have a drink in their secret bar hidden behind the bookshelf!

Taverna Agora Raleigh Bachelorette

Photos via Taverna Agora Facebook and Death & Taxes Facebook (@kelseyhanrahanphoto)

Out on the Town

For a night out on the town the flourishing downtown areas has fabulous nightlife options, from delicious cocktail bars to dance clubs.

Then, for dancing in an upscale club setting, visit Glenwood South. Head to any of the many clubs in the neighborhood and dance the night away!

If your bride isn’t much of a dancer and would prefer a drink with a view, Raleigh has plenty to offer. Try Raleigh Times rooftop or the amazing patio at Whiskey Kitchen!

Spa Day

Maybe the bride-to-be is more interested in a quiet, relaxing day at the spa with her favorite group of girlfriends than a loud and crazy night out. Consider a weekend stay at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, right outside of Raleigh, and visit their luxurious spa for ultimate relaxation.

Check out the SB&G Beauty & Health page to get a breakdown of spas and salons – an afternoon at any of these locations is a great way to kick off any bachelorette party!

Unique Group Bachelorette Party Activities

For a classy, low key group outing, consider a tea party at our local venue that specialize in this service, The Umstead Hotel.

Another fun daytime activity is a group cooking class at  Catering Works. They offer a variety of courses that can be made to fit your group — learn a new skill and add a signature dish to your cooking repertoire!

If your group wants to try their hand at something laid back yet fun, consider booking a Wine & Design course in Raleigh, where you and your girlfriends can enjoy basic painting instruction from local artists while chatting and sipping on your favorite bottle of vino. Don’t worry about your artistic experience (or lack thereof!) – Wine & Design caters to all skill levels.

For a fun daytime activity, think about taking a brewery tour. Raleigh, NC is full of options – including Big Boss, Raleigh Brewery Company, Trophy Brewing, LoneRider, Little City Brewing, – that all offer tours and events. 

Or take your brews with a bit of adventure and take a ride on the Trolley Pub, a pedal-powered, pub-crawling trolley that can accommodate up to 14 people. Choose from a variety of tours featuring Raleigh’s best dinner spots, pubs, and breweries.

More of a wine group than beer? Check out Vita Vite, which is great for a flight of wine and a cheese plate to share.

vita vite raleigh bachelorette

Photo via Vita Vite Facebook

The Triangle’s surrounding cities and towns are also hotspots for small, local wineries. Take your group on an afternoon adventure to tour the vineyard, get a behind-the-scenes peek at the process, and sample some delicious wine. We also have an urban winery in Morrisville – Chatham Hill Winery offers tastings and is even available for private events.

If you want to get a little more risque and break your bride-to-be out of her shell, a truly memorable outing would be a group pole dancing class. This is available at many local gyms, and there are also studios that specialize in it, such as Turn Me Loose Fitness near Brier Creek or Aradia Fitness in Cary.

Minimalist Neutral Wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House

Nerea & Richard

Nerea and Richard are avid travelers and adventurers who envisioned a minimalist and simple wedding that shared their love of world traveling. The Merrimon-Wynne House in Raleigh, NC served as the picture perfect venue for the beautiful couple. The bride and groom chose a neutral pallet that could be easily mixed and matched in all aspects of their wedding decor and attire.

Uniformed Service sword arch at NC wedding venue Casey Rose

Nerea and Richard met through a cycling club. They were set up on a bike ride together and the rest is history! Richard proposed to Nerea on a rooftop terrace in Bosphorous in Istanbul, Turkey.

Their soft neutral color scheme meshed stunningly with the venue’s southern charm. The couple fell in love with The Merrimon-Wynne House and the bride shared “they were the utmost of professionals and made everything incredibly easy.”

Minimalist Neutral Wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House

Merrimon Wynne House Wedding Venue in NC Casey Rose

Bridal Accessories photograph shot with perfume at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose
Bridal Gown hanging at Merrimon Wynne House Raleigh Venue Casey Rose

bride holding a Bridal Bouquet with white and blushes at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Blush and Cream Bridal Spring Bouquet at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose
Bride putting shoes on at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

The bride wanted her bridesmaids to feel comfortable and let them pick their own dresses while staying in a neutral color palette. “I wanted my bridesmaids to have the ultimate choice and flexibility when choosing their dresses. It worked out wonderfully and they all looked gorgeous,” shared Nerea.

Mismatched neutral bridesmaids dresses at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Bridesmaids in mismatching neutrals dresses at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

With their neutral theme the bride and groom chose natural film photographer, Casey Rose Photography. The bride said, “Casey is the best! She’s not only a gifted photographer, but I feel lucky enough to consider her a friend. She made everyone feel at ease and natural.”

Bridemaids with spring bouquets in neutrals at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Uniformed Service Army Groom at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose
Bride and Flower Girl at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Bride and Groom in Army uniform special moment kissing at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Bride and Groom in Army uniform kissing at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose
Bride and Army Groom in front at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Travel Enthusiast Wedding Reception

The couple are world travelers and seek out adventure in their lives and wanted to incorporate this passion within their wedding. They had their tables named after places they have visited and their seating chart was a world map showing their travels.

Chandeliers at Merrimon wynne house Casey Rose
Travel Themed Table Settings Casey Rose
Simple wedding cake at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose

Nerea is currently a helicopter pilot in the Army and teaching at West Point and Richard serves in the Army Reserves while also working with a non-profit along the Hudson River. Thank you both for your service!

Exit with sparklers with bride and groom at Merrimon Wynne Casey Rose


SB&G Preferred Vendors

VENUE: The Merrimon-Wynne House | PHOTOGRAPHER: Casey Rose Photography

Other Vendors:

Planner: Martha Stilwell | Minister: Father Gerry Blaszczak | Rehearsal Dinner: The Stag’s Head | Gown: Aire/Rosa Clara | Hair & Makeup: Liz Perniciaro | Invitations: E-Vites | Musicians: Bunn DJ Company

Check out our previous real wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House!

Garnet Equestrian Inspired Wedding Party

Wedding Reception Inspiration

This hunting themed design by The English Garden uses rich garnet colors in the flower design and linens from Party Reflections. The bride wears a daring and darling two-piece gown from Alexia’s Bridal and poses with her riding gear. A vintage bracelet and ring form Bailey’s Fine Jewelry and a burberry styled menu from One + Only Paper add distinctive details.

Hunting Theme red floral arrangements with yellow by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

This spectacular chandelier from Get Lit Special Event Lightning was adorned in complementary garnet florals to bring life to the pergola that stood above the inspirational table. A mixture of colored and textured glassware from Party Reflections perfectly pairs with the floral arrangements from The English Garden.

Rich garnet colored florals with hanging chandelier from get lit by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ
Table red florals for outdoor wedding by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

Embrace the romance of this wedding pergola repurposed as an intimate wedding party table on the verdant lawn of The Merrimon-Wynne House. The English Garden themed this glorious table with a hunting club stately ambiance including crystal and fine china accents. They added a surprise mix of cultivated and wild flowers in rusty reds, antique greens and golds.

Floral Pergola and changelier over hunting themed table by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

One + Only Paper created a burberry styled menu that paired impeccably with the garnet colored linens and floral arrangements. The collection of textured and colored glass and fine china all meshed beautifully to create this hunting inspired theme.

Plaid menu on red linen by One and Only paper by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ
Rich garnet florals by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

Garnet reds with hanging chandelier over red table by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

small floral arrangement on back of chair at wedding by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ
Bride holding large garnet bridal bouquet by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

The English Garden created a bountiful bridal bouquet that perfectly coincided with the floral decor of the table and venue. With rusty reds, wild flowers, and beautifully arranged green leaves, this bridal bouquet was a piece of living art.

Bridal bouquet with dark reds and peaches by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

The bride wore a beautifully unique two-piece gown from Alexia’s Bridal. The dress was a fun take on a classic wedding look. Paired with beautifully vintage pieces from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, this look was everything and more!

Bridal vintage jewelry by Baileys KMJ photo
Bride in two piece gown by Alexias bridal holding bouquet by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

Two piece bridal gown by Alexias bridal holding large bouquet by English Garden of Raleigh, KMJ

SB&G Preferred Vendors

FLORAL DESIGN & CONTAINERS: The English Garden | PERGOLA & CHANDELIER: Get Lit Special Event Lighting | RENTALS OF CHAIRS, GLASSWARE, FLATWARE & LINEN: Party Reflections | GOWN: Alexia’s Bridal | THEMED CHINA & JEWELRY: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | MENUS & PLACE CARDS: One + Only Paper | VENUE: The Merrimon-Wynne House |  PHOTOGRAPHER: Katherine Miles Jones Photography


What To Do After You Get Engaged

You’re Engaged, Now What?

After the initial shock and excitement of becoming engaged dies down and it’s time to start planning you will probably be initially overwhelmed by how much there is to do and all the opinions coming in from everyone around you.

Ring in vintage velvet box Michael and Carina Photography

Photograph by Michael and Carina Photography

Pick a Date

This doesn’t have to be the exact date you end up on, but at least know what you and your fiancé are thinking about in terms of season or time of year. Depending on your venue, the exact date may change, but it’s important to know whether you absolutely do want to get married in the summer or absolutely will not choose to get married when there could be a chance of snow.

Pick a Setting

Do you know you want a beach wedding? Maybe you are your fiancé have only ever dreamt of getting married on a mountain top. Whatever the case may be, know ahead of time the scene in which you ideally want to say “I do.” This will help immensely when ultimately picking an exact venue. Need inspiration? Check out our blog for some of the most beautiful real weddings in the area! Our Instagram is also a fantastic place to get started!

Set Your Wedding Budget

It’s so important to know your budget before even deciding on a venue. Know the things that you can’t live without, the things that you would rather not live without, and the things that you can forgo for your wedding. This way you know where your money is allotted. Make sure you and your fiancé communicate and know the other’s opinions on likes and dislikes.

Decide What’s Most Important to You on Your Wedding Day

You might find when you begin planning that things are a little more expensive than you initially estimated. The average wedding in North Carolina is in the $25,000 range, but that includes all weddings and some that are very low budget. For a typical full service wedding reception, real averages are in the mid $30,000’s and up. That does not mean that you cannot achieve the wedding of your dreams on less- you just have to know where you are and are not willing to trim costs. Pick a handful of services that you want to splurge on – say, your wedding dress, photographer, food, flowers, or invitations. Budget those first, then take that into consideration when you are planning other areas.

Draft a Guest List

Use a Google Sheet and draft your guest list. Having a live document like this will allow you to share it with your fiancé, mother, father or anyone else that is helping you and that can help you down the line with addresses or that pesky uncle’s name you just can’t ever spell correctly. It’s important to have a general idea of how many people will be at your reception before you choose the venue. A good rule of thumb is to expect 80% attendance.

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

If you think a full service wedding planner or designer is for you, it is never to early to find this match. This person can help you define your style and vision and translate it to every element including the venue. Even if you end up just choosing a partial service package, it does not hurt to book them early and get your feedback on the big decisions. A planner will offer tips to maximize your budget as well, so an early consultation is key. If you are planning an NC wedding, check out the SB&G preferred wedding planners – all of them are incredible talented and trusted individuals.

Pick Your Reception Venue

Now that you know how much of your budget you can logically afford, shop around for venues. Southern Bride and Groom has an extensive list of trusted venues in the North Carolina Triangle Area! Schedule visits to a few of your favorite ones that fit within your budget, and pick from there. Now you have your venue and your date, Congratulations!

Ask Your Wedding Party

Now that you have the date and the location go ahead and ask your best friends to stand by your on your special day! Whether your wedding party is big or small, it doesn’t matter, choose what is right for you and your situation. Asking your wedding party early allows you a group of people to bounce ideas off of and ask advice from for your wedding planning.

Send Out Save The Dates

Some people recommend these go out a year, some 10 months, others even later – but even depending on the size of your guest list, location of the wedding, and personal preference, getting these out sooner rather than later never offended anyone.

Now relax for a moment and then get to the fun of finding your amazing vendors! Southern Bride and Groom is your trusted resource for the NC wedding vendor community!

engagement ring hand hold casey rose

photo by Casey Rose Photography