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

Raleigh, NC Wedding Venue — The Raleigh Country Club

When Stephanie and Chris began to look for the perfect wedding reception venue, they hoped to find something other than an expansive rectangular ballroom. Their search was over when they discovered the beauty and warmth of the Raleigh Country Club!

The Raleigh Country Club, established in 1948, is not only home to a golf course designed by the famous Donald Ross, but it’s also an incredibly special setting for weddings. With a variety of rooms and outdoor sites, the Club has a wide array of options for wedding ceremonies and receptions, plus a talented event team who is willing to go above and beyond to make your event memorable.

Stephanie and Chris had a large guest list, over 200 people, so they reserved four interconnected spaces at the Club – a ballroom adorned with natural wood-colored shutters encasing the windows, a smaller room with a fireplace and comfortable couches, a lounge dominated by a gorgeous mahogany bar that also opened to the ballroom, and an adjoining patio. All of the spaces except the ballroom overlooked the beautiful rolling hills of the Club’s golf course.

The golf course also played a role in the wedding! Chris, his groomsmen, and the fathers of the bride and groom played a round of golf the day before the wedding. Stephanie had her bridal portraits taken there, and despite the rain on their wedding day, the newlyweds took golf carts out onto the course for photographs. The RCC event planner, Bonnie Miller, helped make the couple’s wedding day stress-free even with the inclement weather, and even delivered a beautiful wicker picnic basket full of tasty treats to them at the end of the night!

Thanks to Rebecca Ames Photography for these stunning photos from Stephanie’s bridal portrait session on the Raleigh Country Club golf course!

Bride at Raleigh Country Club Raleigh Country Club Bridal Portraits Bride on Raleigh Country Club Golf Course Raleigh Country Club Golf Course Bridal Portrait Dress Shot

Bakery 105 — New Historic Venue and Full Service Catering in Downtown Wilmington

One of the most ideal places to get married in North Carolina is beautiful and charming Downtown Wilmington, with its Spanish moss, historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and riverfront views. 128 South and Bakery 105 are two venues that any bride planning a Wilmington wedding must consider. Just blocks off the riverwalk, these sister properties include full-service catering and event planning services.

128 South is located in the historic VonKampen Building on the banks of the Cape Fear River. The property, which opened in February of 2010, combines old world charm — featuring original stained glass windows, exposed beams, and hardwood floors — with elegant, modern luxuries. The space’s open floor plan can accommodate anywhere from 30 to 175 of your closest friends and family, and offers a gorgeous river view deck. The recently-renovated venue is a beautiful space for any event — from wedding receptions and bridal showers to business meetings and corporate parties — and has convenient in-house catering. Southern Bride & Groom‘s 2015 magazine will feature a stunning styled shoot set at this lovely property — so stay on the lookout for our upcoming launch in December!

This year, the owners of 128 South opened a new Wilmington wedding venue right across the street — Bakery 105. The space was once part of the American Bakeries complex in the 1920s, where the building served for dough production and the garden courtyard was used as a loading dock. All of the historic charm has been kept intact, but the space has been repurposed for special events. The venue features mid-century industrial architecture, exposed brick walls, a wood ceiling, creeping vines, and crepe myrtle trees, and can accommodate anywhere from 50 to 200 guests. Catering from 128 South is also available for those who book Bakery 105.

Bakery 105 Wedding Reception Placesetting at Bakery 105 Dessert Table at Bakery 105 Courtyard at Bakery 105

These photos, courtesy of Susie Linquist Photography, were taken at a recent wedding reception at Bakery 105.

North Carolina Wedding Photographer: f8 Photo Studios

Southern Bride & Groom works with some of the best wedding photographers in the Raleigh-Durham area and all across North Carolina. We’re thrilled to feature a North Carolina wedding photographer spotlight series so that you can get to know each of them a little better! Today, we’re introducing you to Cara of f8 Photo Studios.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Charleston, SC, native and daughter of two doctors. I basically grew up in a hospital because of this, which fueled my creative fire with so much time on my hands! I have an amazing family and friends. I feel so fortunate to have so many incredible people in my life. I love to travel, eat good food and enjoy an occasional dirty martini. Anyone that knows me knows that I love to laugh, I am extremely loyal and most of all I love what I do.

Tell us about your education/photography education.
I went to Clemson University for Graphic Communications, which led me to almost a decade career in marketing and advertising up North. I moved to Raleigh in 2004 and I could have chosen to continue my marketing career or take a chance by following a dream that I had since I was a child to be a professional photographer.  I knew that if I didn’t do it then, I would never do it. I had been shooting since I was a kid and my college major incorporated training in photography as well so I had a great base. Once I moved to Raleigh, I enrolled myself in some refresher photography courses and I took pictures of EVERYTHING! I talked to anyone that would listen about my passion for the art that I loved and before I knew it people started paying me to photograph them. Before getting into weddings I shot commercial architecture and was the featured artist for many gallery shows. In August of 2004, a well-known photographer in the industry, asked me to shoot a wedding with her. She thought that I would do well.  I thought, “No way. Not weddings. Not me.” I shot that first wedding with her and I never looked back. I was hooked.

Why do you love photography?
There are so many things that I love about photography. The biggest one being the people that I photograph. I love making people feel beautiful. I love making them laugh and capturing that. I love having the ability to sooth a super nervous bride with only the tone of my voice and “snap” I’ve captured her. It is truly an indescribable feeling. Someone trusting you with their most intimate moments.

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?
I am lucky because photographing people comes easy to me. I have always been good with people and a born nurturer so I have a knack for it. I gain my inspiration from capturing people how they really are. The more I photograph, the more I want to do it. It is really addictive that way because the whole rest of the world falls away when I am there in that moment on that day with my client. It truly is a natural mood elevator for me!

How would you describe your style (traditional, photojournalistic, etc.)?
My style is a mixture of styles but I really like to think of it as emotive. I know when it is appropriate for me to be a part of the action and when it is better to sit back and capture the moments as they unfold. Sometimes I even need to be the creator of moments. You wouldn’t believe what I can get away with saying from behind the camera, but it generates a natural emotion and I snap away.

Do you shoot digital or film, or are you a hybrid photographer?
I shoot digital all of the way baby…with weddings that is. I have several vintage film cameras that I shoot with for fun.

What do you think sets you apart from other photographers?
I truly think what separates me from other photographers is the relationship that I build with my clients. I see myself as more than an artist on their day or a trusted vendor that they hired. I feel like an additional support system there to help their day go as smoothly as possible. I genuinely care about the people that I photograph and I think that it shows in the images that I create.

What is your favorite thing or moment to shoot at a wedding?
Ahhh…so many things I love shooting on the wedding day. I get super excited about details. I love details. I also truly enjoy shooting the couple’s session after the ceremony. Capturing two people in love right after they have said, “I do” is beautiful. Did I say how much I love what I do?!!

f8 Feature Photo

One of our favorites from f8 Photo Studios!