Glamorous Winter Wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC

We’re thrilled to share some of the beautiful real weddings from the pages of the 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re sharing Marion and Bryan’s glamorous winter wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC, photographed by Walters & Walters.

Marion met Bryan when he took a job as a soccer coach at Duke, where her father worked in the athletic department. Marion’s mother, a “serial matchmaker and lover of all things love,” instantly spotted a spark between the two, and did everything in her power to ensure they would meet again. She gave Bryan her daughter’s phone number, and the two decided to go on a casual date. Marion said that they soon realized that, as she was with most things, her mother was right!

After two years of dating long distance, Marion moved back to North Carolina just in time for Bryan to propose the night before Thanksgiving. The couple was able to celebrate with both of their families over the holidays before Marion’s mother passed away. “It meant the world to both of us that she had such a significant part in our meeting,” the bride said.

Marion knew she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and marry at Duke Chapel, and she and Bryan chose a reception venue that captured the downtown Durham warehouse vibe — The Cotton Room. Their January wedding date inspired a glamorous, warm winter scene complete with hues of white, purple, and a touch of sparkle, brought to life with long tables covered in sequined linens, mirrored runners, and lush centerpieces.

The couple incorporated many personal details into their wedding day that made the occasion not only a special experience for their guests, but also paid homage to their families, including a musical performance by four of Marion’s aunts during the ceremony. They also found ways to express their unique personalities, like having mini bottles of BBQ sauce from their home states — Texas (his) and North Carolina (hers) — in the welcome bags, and distributing koozies with an original cartoon sketch of them and their golden retriever.

These images, courtesy of Photography by Walters & Walters, tell the story of this lovely winter wonderland affair.

Winter Wedding Bridal AccessoriesBride and Father at Duke ChapelBride and Groom Inside Duke ChapelMirrored Calligraphy SignWedding Reception at Cotton RoomWinter Wedding at Cotton RoomWinter Wedding CenterpiecesCandles at Wedding ReceptionPersonalized Koozie FavorsFirst Dance at Cotton RoomSparkler Exit at The Cotton Room
Wedding Consultant: Erin McLean Events  |  Bridal Luncheon and Guest Accommodations: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club  |  Ceremony: Duke Chapel  |  Reception: The Cotton Room  |  Photographer: Walters & Walters  |  Videographer: Twenty-One Films  |  Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier from Nitsa’s Salon  |  Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale from Nitsa’s  |  Bridesmaids’ Gifts: Fur stoles and Jenny Packham earrings from Tre Bella Bridal    Florist: Tre Bella Flowers  |  Reception Signs: Calligraphy by Carrie  |  Reception Musicians: Live funk band  |  Makeup: Makeup for Your Day
Wedding Favors: Donation to charity in honor of Marion’s late mother

Taste the Event Valentine’s Day Indoor Tailgate at Top of the Hill

This Valentine’s Day, grab your beau and your besties, and head to Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill for an event fit for foodies, fashionistas and football fans.

On Saturday, February 14 from 11 am to 2 pm at TOPO’s Great Room (Top of the Hill’s fabulous private event space), enjoy an unconventional Valentine’s Day – an Indoor Tailgate. A winter lunch buffet will be served, as well as warming TOPO beer and liquor tastings. Your ticket includes Bloody Marys and Mimosas (cash bar will be open as well). At noon, watch UNC men’s basketball take on Pitt on the big screen. There will also be some Valentine’s Day-themed fun in the form of Videri chocolate, Chapel Hill Toffee, a Sweetie Pie Jewelry trunk show and flowers for sale from Ninth Street Flowers.

Tickets are $50 per person or $95 per couple and can be purchased here. Ticketholders will also be entered to win a Top of the Hill gift basket.

Southern Bride & Groom is thrilled to be co-hosting this Valentine’s Day event with the fabulous Taste the Event team. Taste is a food festival for Durham and Chapel Hill produced by our cities’ namesake publications, Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. In 2014, Taste fed more than 17,000 hungry people in our community.

Be sure to check out the full Taste the Event lineup – coming up in the next few months, there is a Foggy Ridge Cider dinner, a burger competition, a VIP reception with Andrea Reusing, the annual Grand Taste Experience and more! And if you’re not already, be sure to follow the event page Twitter.


Colorful Rustic Wedding at Chatham Mills

We’re thrilled to share some of the beautiful real weddings from the pages of the 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re sharing Liz and Rich’s colorful rustic wedding at Chatham Mills, shot by Dara Blakeley Photography.

Liz and Rich met on a business trip and both felt that they shared an immediate connection — so much so that after returning home to Napa, California and Raleigh, North Carolina, respectively, the two stayed in touch despite being separated by almost 3,000 miles! Rich took a leap of faith and asked Liz to accompany him to Paris for their first official date, which is when she says she fell in love with his joie de vivre.

The bride and groom were instantly drawn to the rustic elegance of Chatham Mills, a historic event space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick walls, and gorgeous hardwood floors. To play to the venue’s inherent beauty, the couple decorated simply with colorful garden flowers, paper lanterns, frosted mason jars with lights and small details that paid homage to one of their common life themes — wine.

Liz and Rich took special care of their treasured guests from near and far, providing a shuttle service to and from Chatham Mills. They also hosted a special Friday night celebration and an informal Sunday brunch so they could enjoy extra time with them all!

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Wedding Consultant: Sally Oakley Personalized Wedding Events  |  Ceremony and Reception: Chatham Mills  |  Photographer: Dara Blakeley Photography
Bridal Gown: Nicole Miller  |  Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nicole Miller  |  Florist: Tre Bella Flowers  |  Invitations & Papers: Handmade by bride  |  Reception DJ & Lighting: Island Sound  |  Hair & Make-Up for Wedding Party: Makeup for Your Day  |  Bridal Jewelry: Family heirlooms  |  Wedding Favors: Stamped personalized copper wine charms handmade by bride

New Orleans Wedding Inspiration for NC Brides

The South is known for its church-going, salt-of-the-earth folk. But we Southerners certainly also know how to throw a celebration, and a wedding is the occasion of all occasions to blend reverence with the joys of life! Our ode to the New Orleans wedding is in honor of NOLA with its deep Southern charm, grit, glam and knack for festive fêtes – a perfect theme for a formal wedding affair.

The Story Behind the Shoot

Local NC wedding videographers, Twenty-One Films, captured behind-the-scenes footage and chatted with us and our stylist, Erin McLean of Erin McLean Events, about the concept of this styled shoot. We’re so excited to share the film from the photo shoot:

A Reason to Celebrate

The Hudson Manor, set on 23 verdant acres, sets the picture perfect scene. The onsite chapel is flanked by giant magnolia, oak and pecan trees and leads to the estate’s covered lake view terrace and ballroom. The estate, with its grand white columns, wrought iron accents and brick pathways, is so Southern it could be set in Louisiana itself, which made it the perfect location for our New Orleans themed wedding day styled shoot. The onsite grounds, gardens and chapel, make a lovely backdrop for bridal portraits, and even staging a scene for a painting by local artist and live wedding painter Tesh Parekh.

After the “I Dos,” the couple and brass musicians from John Brown Entertainment Group lead the main line parade followed by a second line of dancing and waving guests to ring in the newlyweds. This is New Orleans – their style, tradition and cultural heritage.

Enjoy these gorgeous images by Brian Mullins Photography!

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Chasing the Light

From the chapel, the party marches to the courtyard for group photos and on to the The Hudson Manor where the massive white columns lend an “Old South” charm to their portraits. Our couple and wedding party are dressed in attire from Savvi Bridal and Savvi Formalwear, located in Raleigh near Crabtree Valley Mall, with jewelry from Diamonds Direct Crabtree and specialty bowties from local fashion designer Natty Neckware.

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A Masquerade Party

The covered terrace glows with street lamps and market lights as the sun begins to set on the estate. In contrast to the elaborate ballroom, the terrace is set with cocktail tables in a bold black and white with New Orleans street signs. The theme is carried even into the specialty music note bowties by local company Natty Neckware, seen below paired with invitations designed by Paperbuzz.

The ballroom of The Hudson Manor has an open feel with ample glass doors and windows, beautiful chandeliers, wall sconces, and a mirrored wall. ThemeWorks added the specialty lighting and faux boxwood hedges behind the wedding party table, bringing more of the outdoors inside, while elegant gold accented table decor from American Party Rentals added to the formal evening theme.

Julie Williams, owner of Blossom Artistry, is originally from Louisiana, and worked with Erin McLean, our stylist, to create a floral palette of elegant soft ones with pops of purple and gold as a nod to New Orleans. The mix of tropical plants included are all native to her home-state. Magnolia leaves are woven throughout the decor, from the chapel doors, to arrangements and to the base of the stunning cake by Sugarland. And of course, beautiful masks from local decor rental shop Table of Contents, complete the masquerade party!

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Stylist Erin McLean Events  |  Venue The Hudson Manor  |  Photographer Brian Mullins Photography  |  Fashion Savvi Bridal and Savvi Formalwear  |  Bowties Natty Neckware  |  Florist Blossom Artistry  |  Live Wedding Painting Tesh Parekh  |  Jewelry Diamonds Direct  |   Musicians John Brown Entertainment Group  | Market Lights, NOLA Themed Accents and Hedge backdrop ThemeWorks  |  Linens, China & Table Settings American Party Rentals  |  Invitations & Menus Paperbuzz  |  Cake Sugarland  |  Masks Table of Contents  |  Bride & Groom Elevate  |  Wedding Party Models for Charity  |  Hair & Makeup Erin Doak and Danielle Duarte for Douglas Carroll Salon  |  Behind-the-Scenes Video Twenty-One Films

Classic Black Tie Wedding on the NC Coast

We’re thrilled to share some of the beautiful real weddings from the pages of the 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re sharing Etta and Robert’s classic black tie wedding on the NC coast, shot by Aesthetic Images Photography.

Etta met Robert at a Labor Day weekend party that they had both originally planned to skip. You could say they hit it off – Robert invited Etta to accompany him to a wedding the following weekend! Love was in the air for more than the bride at groom at that wedding, as the two have been a pair ever since.

After dating long distance while Etta finished law school, Robert planned an elaborate proposal at one of the couple’s favorite places at Queen’s Point, his family’s property on the Intercoastal Waterway in Wilmington, NC. While enjoying coffee and views of the water, Robert got down on one knee and presented Etta with a diamond ring. Then, to her complete surprise, their friends and families joined them for a special celebration of their engagement.

They chose Queen’s Point for their reception, and worked with Katie Dunn of La Fete to create a romantic, glamorous look that paired beautifully with an elegant black tie affair. A timeless palette of white, cream and blush, accented by lush greenery, created a breathtaking atmosphere for the tented reception. Their band had everyone on their feet all night, on a chandelier-lit classic black and white dance floor.

In addition to their beautiful wedding, the couple arranged for a full weekend of events for their family and friends, including a food truck rodeo and a rehearsal dinner on the water. The couple has planned a return to their beloved North Carolina from NYC.

Blush and White Wedding DetailsBride and Groom Getting ReadyBridal Gown and Ring ShotBride and Groom Couple Shots in WilmingtonTented Reception on CoastChandelier in Tented ReceptionOutdoor Lounge Area at Wedding ReceptionBlack Tie Wedding DetailsWedding Cake and FoodBlack and White Checkered Dance FloorCandy Bar at WeddingSparkler Exit at Wilmington WeddingBritish Taxi as Getaway Car
Wedding Consultant: La Fete  |  Rehearsal Dinner: Tented dinner at Queen’s Point, groom’s family’s private property on the Intercoastal Wateray in Wilmington, NC
Ceremony: Grace United Methodist Church  |  Minister: Scott Dodson  |  Reception: Black tie tented reception at Queen’s Point  |  Caterer: Scarborough Fare  |  Photographer: Aesthetic Images
Videographer: Lifestage Films  |  Bridal Gown: Lazaro  |  Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale  |  Florist: Fiore Fine Flowers  |  Cake: Scarborough Fare  |  Invitations & Calligraphy: Yellow House
Ceremony Musicians: Judy Seabold  |  Reception Music: Simply Irresistible Band  |  Tent & Lighting: The Catering Company of Chapel Hill  |  Transportation: Cape Fear Limo
Hair and Makeup: Makeup for Your Day

Rustic Wedding Inspiration at 128 South in Downtown Wilmington

One of the most ideal places to get married in North Carolina is charming downtown Wilmington, NC, with its Spanish moss, cobblestone streets, and riverfront views. One of SB&G’s recommended wedding planning teams, A Southern Soiree, based in Raleigh but experienced in events across NC and beyond, conceived and planned a romantic rustic autumn wedding day styled shoot featuring a palette of rich reds and mint blue accents, tied together with an “Apple of My Eye” theme. SB&G collaborated with them to assemble a talented team of mostly Wilmington wedding services to style this look in one of the river town’s most exquisite event venues, 128 South. The talented Renee Sprink Photography captured all of the beautiful details as well as many truly romantic moments between our happy bride and groom.


A River View Wedding

Located just a couple blocks off the Wilmington River Walk, 128 South is historic property restored in 2010 to combine old world charm with modern luxuries. To make destination wedding planning even easier, 128 South offers full-service catering and event planning services. Couples love the open floor plan, which includes a second floor mezzanine loft overlooking the central level. 128 South’s open-air deck overlooks the Cape Fear River and is the perfect location for a wedding ceremony.

Our bride and her beau say their “I Dos” here, amid lush floral arrangements from Fiore Fine Flowers atop bourbon barrels. Our bride is dressed in Pronovias from The Wedding Dress Shoppe, a bridal boutique in Wilmington. Her right hand lady wears a gown from Savvi Bridal, and they have both been styled by Makeup for Your Day, which is located in both Raleigh and Wilmington. Our groom is dressed in a formal gray suit from Bernard’s Formalwear.

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An Autumnal Feast

From Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to the use of the phrase in modern expression, the apple of one’s eye is the person who is cherished most. Fiore Fine Flowers, one of Wilmington’s top wedding florists, created a centerpiece of deep ruby reds among cascading greenery, gold accent containers and of course, ripe red apples. Guests are welcomed by beautiful place settings with personalized name tags written in modern calligraphy style by Carrie Shuping. A delicious wedding menu was prepared by Scarborough Fare Catering, serving Eastern and Central NC. In the backdrop, the dessert bar tempts us for later!

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Warming Toasts

A gorgeous cocktail presentation fit for a warming toast, is presented by Scarborough Fare Catering in 128 South’s upstairs loft, which overlooks the downstairs dinner presentation and dance floor. When the historic VonKampen Building (circa 1862) was restored to create 128 South in 2010, the building’s original Victorian-era stained glass windows were preserved. The two-story bay windows offer lots of natural light and views of South Front Street.

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Just a Spoonful of Sugar

The icing free, or “naked cake,” is on-trend right now, and One Belle Bakery has adorned this one with delicious red apples to match our theme. Their dessert bar, filled with delectable fall-themed treats ranging from caramel apples to pie pops, is almost too beautiful to eat!

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128 South brides and grooms can easily sneak away for some of downtown Wilmington’s most popular photo ops on the cobblestone streets and river walk – just a few steps away! Also be sure to check out this lovely venue’s sister property, Bakery 105, which exudes a completely different vibe – the popular warehouse chic look – yet is just across the street from 128 South, and equally close to the downtown Wilmington photo opp destinations. The event planning and catering team work with both of these properties, making them the perfect group to work with for a coastal NC destination wedding!

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STYLIST A Southern Soiree  |  VENUE 128 South  |  FLORAL DESIGN  Fiore Fine Flowers  |  DESSERTS One Belle Bakery  |  FOOD & COCKTAILS Scarborough Fare Catering  |  BRIDAL GOWN Pronovias from The Wedding Dress Shoppe  |  BRIDESMAID DRESS Savvi Bridal  |  GROOM’S ATTIRE Bernard’s Formalwear  |  HAIR & MAKEUP Makeup for Your Day  |  SPECIALTY RENTALS Party Suppliers  |  SIGNAGE & PLACECARDS Calligraphy by Carrie  |  PHOTOGRAPHER Renee Sprink Photography