Afternoon Tea at the Washington Duke Inn’s Fairview Restaurant

Tea is the most consumed beverage on the planet, and is one of the original social traditions of modern times. Many are unaware of the options for an elegant tea event here in the Triangle Area.

Several local bloggers recently gathered at the prestigious Fairview Restaurant at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club to experience their Afternoon Tea. This happens to be the most formal of tea occasions, according to Connie Lue of the Old North State Tea Society, who shared a bit about the history of tea and tea etiquette.

My favorite historical tidbit was the important role that tea played in women’s rights in European and American cultures. Before “ladies” were permitted to work, they were allowed to leave the house unaccompanied to attend Sunday tea. In Great Britain, these parties would get a tad on the wild side – male gigolos were hired for the ladies’ delight (get your minds out of the gutter – innocent, dancing fun only!).

This history makes it all the more meaningful to consider having a tea for one of your wedding events – perhaps a bridal shower or bridesmaids luncheon (although it would be frowned on if you tried to hire a male dancer for the occasion).

Of course, tea is not the only thing on the menu! Our event opened with delicious champagne, followed by our choice of tea from a menu of green, oolong, black and flavored options. Then came the food, masterfully prepared by the Fairview’s culinary and pastry team, led by Chef Jason Cunningham. A tiered display of savory bites at the top, all the way down to sweet treats at the bottom. The grand finale for a tea event is scones (or “skons” as pronounced by Ms. Lue), which is eaten by splitting down the center and coating tiny bites (for optimal chatting abilities with your company) in your choice of cream, lemon curd or strawberry jam. I dare say, Chef Jason Cunningham presented the best scones I have ever had in North Carolina!

Here’s a little teaser of an Afternoon Tea at the Washington Duke Inn’s Fairview Restaurant, from a “Royal Tea” styled shoot we did a few years ago. Photos are by Scott Faber Photography.

Royal Tea Tablescape
Royal Tea Appetizers
Royal Tea Desserts
Royal Tea Placesetting
Royal Tea Bridesmaid Luncheon

Enchanted Forest Wedding at Rock Quarry Farm

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re thrilled to share Jackie and Jon’s Enchanted Forest wedding at Rock Quarry Farm, shot by Riley MacLean Photography.

Jackie and Jon knew exactly what they wanted their wedding to be like – a cool, casual party with unique details that reflected their personalities and an eclectic, enchanted forest vibe. The couple sought out vendors with whom they could really connect, and assembled a solid team that helped them bring their vision to life, including Chelsey Morrison of Gather Together Events.

They selected Rock Quarry Farm because they loved its open space and how it could be easily customized to fit their vision, and complemented the venue with a color palette of pale pink, gold, and just a touch of sparkle.

Despite working long hours as a surgical resident, the bride did a ton of DIY work and had an eye for attention to detail. She collected items that were incorporated into the centerpieces and the lighting, knitted sashes for the flower girls and ring bearer, and even hand painted a yarmulke for each male guest, personalized with his interests! Leading up to the wedding day, the groom, a beer aficionado, drove all over the Southeast to collect really cool, rare beers to share with their guests at different bar stations set up at the reception.

Jackie and Jon also incorporated a slew of personal touches into their wedding day – the chuppah was draped with prayer shawls that belonged to the bride and groom’s grandfathers, and the bride wore her mother’s bridal cape during the ceremony. Dinner was served family style with a farm-to-table menu, and the couple ensured their guests had an absolute blast. The bridal party danced up the aisle to a Michael Jackson song during the processional, the events included a social hour in addition to the traditional cocktail hour, and comfortable lounge furniture was set around an outdoor fire pit.

Enjoy these gorgeous photos of Jackie and Jon’s wedding day, courtesy of Riley MacLean Photography.

Rock Quarry Farm
Bride in Doorway
Groom Getting Ready
Pink Bouquet
Yarmulkes and Chuppah
Bride and Groom on Porch Steps
Flower Girls in Tutus
Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom in Woods
Pink and Gold Wedding Reception
Custom Star Chandelier
Lounge Furniture
Tiered Dessert Stands
Black and White Wedding Reception
Kids Sleeping

Event planning & design: Gather Together
Photographer: Riley MacLean Photography
Venue: Rock Quarry Farm
Catering: BoxCarr Farms
Rentals: Party Reflections
Linens & table settings: CE Rental
Flowers: Watered Garden Florist
Furniture: ThemeWorks
Lighting: Get Lit Special Event Lighting
Bluegrass band: Thornhill/Parker Duo
Officiant: Rabbi Eric Linder
Cupcakes: The Cupcake Bar
Doughnuts: Monuts
Bride’s dress: J. Crew
Hair Stylist: Syd’s Hair Shop
Makeup Artist: Bree McKeen
Transportation: Greenway Transit

Raleigh Raw Juice Cleanse for Your Wedding

Sherif Fouad, the founder of Raleigh Raw, became interested in the importance of a healthy lifestyle after his family endured several bouts with degenerative diseases. He spent years doing medical research that eventually inspired him to teach others about the benefits of fueling their bodies with real food. Eight years ago, Raleigh Raw was born, and Sherif uses it as an outlet to promote the positive health effects of natural, organic, and raw foods.

Raleigh Raw Juices
Raleigh Raw is not your average juicer. Their juices are not only chock-full of fruits and vegetables, but also always organic, local when possible, and never pasteurized. The staff combined extensive bartending expertise with a love for real food and created the largest cold-pressed juice menu in North Carolina, and they’ve developed a cleanse program that supports your daily nutritional needs.

SB&G recently teamed up with Raleigh Raw to give a bride-to-be a free juice cleanse for herself and two friends to use prior to her wedding day. Lauren, our winner, used the cleanse with her groom-to-be and her brother. Her feedback was positive; she loved the variety of juices she was able to try each day and was pleasantly surprised to lose 7 pounds in the three-day cleanse! Here’s what else she had to say:

Juice Cleanse Winners
What fitness and nutrition regimen did you use to prepare for the big day?
I work out 3-5 times a week at a local gym in Raleigh called CORE. One of the trainers, Jojo Polk, has the best interval, high intensity workouts for all levels – it changed my body completely. I also watched my diet for the last 60 days before the wedding. I’ve noticed a big change in my body by cutting out alcohol during the week.

What were the first thoughts that came to your head when you heard the words ‘juice cleanse”?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, but I’ve been too nervous to actually do. When I saw the contest so close to my wedding I thought, “I at least need to enter to see if I’ll win!”

How did your juicing team two support one another during the cleanse?
My fiancé, Carter, and I made a promise to eat healthy and workout before the wedding. He and my brother, Adam, agreed to do the cleanse with me. We knew it was only for three days, so when we were tempted to eat something we would call the other up and talk about our upcoming (all inclusive) honeymoon trip to St. Lucia and all the delicious food we would be having.

What was the meal or food were you craving most during the cleanse?
Jersey Mike’s turkey breast and provolone sub (Mike’s way, of course).

If you could bring a case of one Raleigh Raw juice in your suitcase for your honeymoon, which would it be?
I really liked the Morning Glory. It was the first juice during the cleanse and I could see myself having one in the morning since I’m not a huge breakfast person.

What was the biggest surprise you had during the juice cleanse?
How much weight I dropped! I lost about seven pounds after the three day cleanse.

How did you feel during the cleanse? What was the high and what was the low?
The high — Eliminating all the toxins from my body and the weight loss.

The low — I was really hungry the second day. It is a different type of “full” feeling since I only had liquids in my system, so it was harder to do my normal workouts.

What’s your first, post-wedding honeymoon indulgence going to be?
Lobster, steak, and a glass of wine!

Describe your experience on the cleanse in three words:
Different, Challenging, Rewarding

Photo Credit Cynthia Rose Photography

Classic Southern Wedding at Rose Hill Plantation

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Michelle and Locke’s classic Southern wedding at Rose Hill Plantation, shot by Neil Boyd Photography.

Michelle and Locke met through a mutual friend at work. At a New Year’s Eve party, the two really hit it off, and have been together ever since. After dating for almost two years, Locke arranged a special weekend getaway to a cabin in Asheville. While there, the couple went on a hike, and when they got to the top of Mount Pisgah, Locke got down on one knee and proposed! They returned to their cabin for champagne, and spent the rest of their vacation celebrating their engagement.

The couple fell in love with Rose Hill’s classic elegance and breathtaking beauty, and they knew it would be the perfect spot for their traditional, family-oriented wedding reception. Angie Wright of Chic Details Weddings & Events helped streamline the planning process and bring Michelle and Locke’s vision to life.

Michelle and Locke used several members of the SB&G Family to help make their wedding day perfect, including: Chic Details, Rose Hill Plantation, Neil Boyd Photography, Alexia’s Bridal, Fresh Affairs, Makeup for Your Day, and Party Reflections.

Enjoy these photos of Michelle and Locke’s wedding day, beautifully captured by Neil Boyd Photography!

Blue Bridal Shoes Bride and Bridesmaids Bouquets Church Ceremony Decor Bride and Blush Bridesmaids Groom and Groomsmen at Rose Hill Bride and Groom Photography Wedding Portraits at Rose Hill Newlyweds at Rose Hill Rose Hill Ballroom Rose Hill Ballroom Wedding Decor Couple Cutting Cake Sparkler Exit at Rose Hill

Wedding Consultant: Angie Wright of Chic Details Weddings & Events
Ceremony: Englewood United Methodist Church
Reception: Rose Hill Plantation
Caterer: Rose Hill Plantation
Photographer: Neil Boyd Photography
Bridal Gown: Carolina Herrera, Alexia’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier, Alexia’s Bridal
Florist: Fresh Affairs
Cake: Sweet Memories
Invitations, etc: Maria Scheel Invitations and More
Calligrapher: Calligraphy by Carrie
Reception Music: DJ Joe Bunn
Linens: Party Reflections
Hair & Makeup: Makeup for Your Day

SB&G NY Bridal Market Sneak Peek

We may be in the thick of production season for Southern Bride & Groom’s 2015 edition, but I could not resist squeezing in a quick trip to attend NY Bridal Market!

For the past week, wedding gown designers from across the globe have come together to present their upcoming spring and fall 2015 collections at New York Bridal Fashion Week. It’s a thrilling whirlwind of trade shows and private showings for buyers, runway presentations, and industry parties, and we got to do a little bit of each in our 2 day drop-in!

Our main objective for SB&G was check out some of the new designs and looks that we can expect to see in our NC bridal salons and boutiques next year. One of our amazing wedding photographers – who happens to have quite the eye for fashion photography – Riley of Riley MacLean Photography accompanied me this year to document the experience and all the looks we got to preview.

We will be sharing these exclusive images over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a little sneak peek of our Instagram photos that we took at market events – from private appointments to the grandiose Martha Stewart 20th Anniversary Gala event!

Bridal Market Collage - Sized

Carolina Blue and White Wedding at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, NC

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Courtney and Matthew’s Carolina Blue and White Wedding at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, NC.

Courtney and Matthew met during their sophomore year at the University of North Carolina, when they took a class together. Matthew held the door open for Courtney before class one day and decided to introduce himself. The bride says the rest is history!

After dating for several years, the couple returned to Chapel Hill to go to a basketball game at the Dean Dome. Afterwards, they planned to meet Matthew’s family for dinner on Franklin Street. However, before heading off for their meal, Matthew took Courtney to one of the most famous and romantic spots on UNC’s campus – the kissing bench under the Davie Poplar. Rumor has it that if you kiss someone on the bend, you’ll be with them forever. Matthew had avoided the bench for as long as they’d been dating – it was a running joke between he and Courtney – until that night. He asked her if she believed in the rumors, and when she said yes, he kissed her, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

The pair enjoyed their time as an engaged couple, and took advantage of the two and half year period to perfectly plan their Chapel Hill nuptials. They selected a color palette of Carolina Blue, navy, and white that reflected their love of their alma mater and complemented their timeless, Southern theme. They incorporated personal details throughout the wedding weekend, like mini chicken biscuits during cocktail hour to represent their first date, a variety of bows in the decor, and a nod to their love of sports in their cake (try to find Rameses!) and the pom-pom exit.

The couple used several members of the SB&G Family on their wedding day, including: The Great Room at Top of the Hill, University Florist, and Sugarland.

Thanks to Martha Manning for the beautiful photographs from Courtney and Matthew’s big day!

Bridal Bouquet and Jewelry Bride and Bridesmaids in Robes Bride and Navy Bridesmaids Groom and Groomsmen at the Bar UNC Themed Wedding Ceremony Wedding Party in Chapel Hill Carolina Blue Wedding Tablescape Carolina Blue Placesetting UNC Wedding Cake Krispy Kreme Wedding Favors UNC Pom Pom Exit

Wedding Location: The Great Room at Top of the Hill
Rehearsal Dinner: Sutton’s Drug Store and The Distillery at Top of the Hill
Bridal Gown: Galina
Bridesmaids Dresses: Coren Moore
Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair and Makeup: Lindsay Holvig
Photographer: Martha Manning
Florist: University Florist
Cake: Sugarland
Party Rentals: Ward Productions
Wedding Favors: Krispy Kreme doughnuts