Pink and Orange Pops of Color Floral Inspiration

Southern Bride & Groom is excited to share some of our favorite photos, including many not seen in print, from our floral designers featured in the 2015 magazine. In this shoot, Catering Works created a bright and beautiful display featuring tall vases with flowing white orchids and bright bouquets with watermelon hues and pops of tangerine. Along with elegant floating candles and plates with complimentary floral designs, this bright and ethereal combination of sorbets really lights up the Rotunda Room at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham, NC.

Not only does Catering Works have a dedicated floral studio, they also have a culinary team and design and event planners. This catering and special event planning company in Raleigh offers everything from simple delivery drop off to elaborate full service events and everything in between! The pastry chef of Catering Works is also able to create cakes that compliment the colors and flowers used in your wedding.Tablescape at the Washington Duke InnPops of orange wedding flowersFloral inspiration with pops of colorTabletop decor for colorful weddingWedding table at the Washington Duke Inn in DurhamWedding tablescape with orchidsPink and orange bouquet from Catering WorksFLORAL DESIGN Catering Works | TABLETOP LINEN & CHAIRS Classic Party Rentals | SALAD PLATE Juliska from Southern Season | GOWN Blue Wilow by Anne Barge from Tre Bella Bridal | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio Day Spa | VENUE Rotundra Room at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club | PHOTOGRAPHY by Walters & Walters

TASTE 2015: Q&A with Il Palio Chef Teddy Diggs

TASTE 2015, the premiere food and drink event in Durham, is fast approaching, taking place from April 23-26th. At the Grand Taste Experience participants will spend the evening savoring dishes created by 20 of the best chefs in the region. This festival, produced by our friends at Durham & Chapel Hill Magazines, is THE Triangle area must-attend food, wine and beer event of the year! Many Triangle restaurants receive national accolades and praise, which draws foodies to our area from across the country. TASTE the event is your chance to try some of the best and discover your favorites!

One of the chefs taking part in this year’s Grand Taste Experience is Teddy Diggs, the executive chef at Il Palio Ristorante, the celebrated Italian restaurant at The Siena Hotel. This is Chef Diggs second year taking part in TASTE and he is looking forward to, once again, showcasing the culinary talent at Il Palio.

Read on to learn more about Chef Diggs and for more about how Il Palio is bringing exciting and creative food to the Triangle.

Chef DiggsSB&G: What is your favorite thing about the local food scene in 2015?

Chef Diggs: I love the movement towards using the wild ingredients that are native to North Carolina. I have always used locally harvested ingredients and especially now, in the spring, there are so many wild edibles to enjoy. The Triangle area is fortunate to have some dedicated foragers to work with.

SB&G: Where do you take your cooking inspiration?

Chef Diggs: It is a combination of traditional, regional Italian cooking and my own experiences and relationships with food and restaurants throughout my life. I believe that is why our food at Il Palio is so approachable. It has history, an identity, and even soul.

SB&G: What is your cooking philosophy or favorite type of food to cook?

Chef Diggs: Keep it simple! At Il Palio, we rely on the ingredients and we trust our knowledge and ability to source the ingredients responsibly. Our style allows the ingredients to shine. When you work with great products, you learn to deal with food for what it is and not try to overdo things.

SB&G: How will what you bring to TASTE this year be different from last year?

Chef Diggs: Last year, we were re-introducing Il Palio; we wanted to show that we are not an expensive and fancy restaurant, and we did so by serving delicious braised pork and veal meatballs along side our luscious house made focaccia bread (a staple). This year, the focaccia bread will, of course, be there, but we are also going to add a bit more action to the table.

SB&G: We remember from our meeting last year that you love to create custom menus for events. Have you had opportunities to prepare any special wedding menus since coming onboard at Il Palio?

Chef Diggs: We have had a great year with customizing menus for our events at The Siena Hotel. We have done grandioso seven-course tasting menus with wine pairings to simple family style dinners with comfortable roasted chicken and pastas and everything in between (including a massive Indian wedding!) Just as we had hoped when we spoke last year, the couples have a connection to their menus on their special day and their personality shines throughout the event.

SB&G: What menu item/s are you most excited to feature at TASTE?

Chef Diggs: I wish that I could feature a lot of our menu items…we are making great food at Il Palio right now. The not-so-easy goal is to choose something impressive that is as good as you would serve in your dining room – but to serve it at a pop-up table in the Durham Armory!

Be sure to stop by Il Palio’s table during Taste the Event to see what Chef Diggs and Il Palio have in store!

An Elegant Party at Rose Hill Plantation

Rose Hill Plantation is a one-of-a-kind venue and part of a country estate just outside Raleigh, NC, en route to Rocky Mount. From the long crepe myrtle-lined Rose Hill Lane, which ends in front of a beautiful lit fountain, to the front of a beautifully renovated 18th century Manor House, it truly is a grand setting. The adjacent, complementary columned Nathan Hall was built to emulate the great ballrooms of a previous era and expands the home in the same style. This historic treasure on the National Register of Historic Places is also a wedding venue, business retreat, sporting clays center and an 860-acre working Angus cattle farm.

We were recent guests for an elegant party at Rose Hill Plantation – an evening of conversation, dinner and dancing hosted by Rose Hill. As we drove to the mansion entrance, a gracious valet staff assisted us from the vehicle and whisked the car away saving us extra steps. Entering the plantation home is always like crossing the threshold to an earlier era. Tonight, we were even greeted with champagne and hors d’oeuvres and lots of friends as we mingled in the older, antique-furnished Manor House.

Before sunset, guests were invited to view the side sun porch, patios, lawn and the romantic ceremony gazebo set upon Rose Hill’s picturesque pond. At 7:00 p.m., we entered Nathan Hall to a spectacularly decorated ballroom set for dinner. Tables were juxtaposed for beauty and conversation. The floral décor cascaded from the ceiling chandeliers to the tip of each table corner, perfectly positioned to grace the tables edge – yet still allowing each guest full vision of each other around the table. This beautiful and brilliant floral design was created by Fresh Affairs.

General Manager Walter Marrotta is a former fine-dining chef. His love of great food and Rose Hill was evident in the service and menu that evening. The starter was a deconstructed Greek salad of spinach panna cotta, grilled crostini, feta, kalamata olive and roasted tomato. Simply delicious! Walter had told me that Rose Hill is known for their Angus beef, thus the filet was the popular main course choice on the evening’s menu. The mushroom-crusted filet mignon received compliments all around as did the brie and asparagus stuffed chicken breast. I couldn’t resist choosing the roasted vegetable and crepe Napoleon with ricotta and wild mushroom truffle sauce and was more than happy with this layered vegetarian delight. For dessert, there was a marvelous cinnamon spiced chocolate mouse, created by Walter himself.

Before we carry you away and make you hungry with these images from photographer, James Walters, I’d like to invite you to take a moment to view a few blog posts from Southern Bride & Groom in which we chose Rose Hill Plantation for one of the most beautiful flower photo shoots ever to appear in our magazine. We set our talented florist’s tabletop designs in each area of the estate from the patios to the Great Room to the Smokehouse and the ballroom. These floral displays will inspire you and help you envision the many possibilities at Rose Hill.

Floral Inspiration at Rose Hill:

Elegant White and Black Tabletop and Bouquet

Rustic Chic Tabletop Display at the Smokehouse

Bright Summer Tabletop and Succulent Bouquet

Classic Blue and White Tabletop and Bouquet
Beautiful lit fountain at Rose Hill PlantationPlace cards for event or weddingHors d'oeuvres at Rose Hill PlantationEvents at Rose Hill PlantationPassed appetizers at Rose Hill PlantationBeautiful flower arrangements by Fresh Affairs.Catering at Rose Hill Plantation in North CarolinaAn elegant catered meal at Rose Hill in North CarolinaAngus filet and dessert at Rose Hill Plantation.The stately Rose Hill Plantation in North CarolinaVENUE Rose Hill | FLORIST Fresh Affairs | PHOTOGRAPHER Walters & Walters | LINENS/RENTALS Party Reflections | INVITATIONS/MENUS/PLACECARDS Cute Buttons | LIGHTING by Total Productions Services, Inc. | MUSIC Bunn DJ Company | PHOTO BOOTH f8 Photo Booth

Spirited NC State Themed Wedding

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re excited to share Cara and Dan’s spirited NC State themed wedding that is just as fun as it is beautiful.

Cara and Dan met through mutual friends while attending NC State University, hence their enthusiasm for the NC State Wolfpack! During the last home football game of the season, the couple was tailgating with family and close friends when Dan popped the question in front of the scoreboard. Cara and Dan’s families, who were in on the surprise, were back at the RV ready with champagne, gifts and a “She Said Yes!” cake. It meant a lot to the couple to get engaged at Carter-Finley stadium – one of their favorite places to be. They carried the Wolfpack theme through to their fall wedding as well.

For Cara, the venue (The State Club, also the NCSU Alumni center) was an easy choice. She had visited as a teenager with her grandparents to reveal the hand-painted portrait of the bell tower than hangs over the fireplace in the ballroom (a gift from her grandfather’s class of 1959). “The second I stepped into that building, I knew I would one day get married there,” said Cara.

Cara wore her grandmother’s wedding dress from 1958 with help from Elizabeth’s Alterations. It was truly an honor for Cara, as both her grandmother and grandfather were able to attend the wedding and see her marry in the wedding dress that blessed their special day over 50 years ago. Pictures of Cara’s grandmother in the dress were set out at the wedding beside her bridal portraits so that guests could see the amazing, one-of-a-kind transformation.

The couple built their wedding around their love for NC State and the gorgeous fall colors of North Carolina. Since they were getting married in the fall, they picked a Friday night wedding so as not to interfere with football season on Saturdays (Wolfpack fans through and through). They chose colors that incorporated red, orange, yellow, and touches of purple and green, mimicking the fall North Carolinian leaves. They even added personal touches that showcased their fan pride: bridesmaids wore various shades of red dresses (NC State’s color), Cara wore an NCSU garter, and the groomsmen wore NC State argyle socks and cufflinks. They even had Mr. Wuf (NC State’s mascot) show up at the reception!

As you can see from the lively photos captured by Jagg Photography, Cara and Dan’s wedding was a perfect blend of their interests, their love, and their school spirit!Bridesmaids and bridal bouquets in NCRaleigh bride wears grandmothers wedding dressGarter from alma materFirst look in the State ClubWedding at the State Club at NCSUState pride weddingBeautiful wedding at The State Club in RaleighFamily wedding gownElegant wedding at The State Club NCSURainy day wedding photography in NCWedding in Raleigh at NC StateRaleigh NC groomsmenShades of red bridesmaids dressesFall wedding with a trolleyRainy day wedding photographyUpcycled window seating chartNorth Carolina fall wedding receptionFall wedding table settingNCSU mascot appearance at weddingOld car at wedding by Jagg PhotographyAlma Mater themed wedding in RaleighVENUE The State Club | PHOTOGRAPHY Jagg Photography | PLANNER Stephanie Cisko, Viva L’Event | ALTERATIONS Elizabeth’s Alterations | SHOES Betsey Johnson | JEWELRY Kate Spade | FORMALWEAR VIP Formal Wear | HAIR & MAKEUP The Hair and Face Lounge | FLORIST Viva L’Event | CAKE The Cake Parlour | MINISTER Shadra Shoffner | CEREMONY MUSIC Marc Hoffman | RECEPTION MUSIC The Perfect Beat DJ Company | PARTY RENTALS Party Reflections | TRANSPORTATION Raleigh Car Club

Outer Banks Beach Wedding Destination

Spring is officially here, although certainly with a tease of warm sunny days alternating with hasty cold retreats. Those coveted warm days make everyone think of North Carolina’s nearby beaches, and for newly engaged couples, thoughts of a coastal wedding come to mind…and what better place than the Outer Banks for a beach wedding destination?

On March 14, 2015, The Sanderling Resort on the Outer Banks hosted its annual Wedding Showcase. This wasn’t my first visit to The Sanderling; last year, I attended the show and fell in love with the resort and its amenities. I was inspired by the stunning table displays designed by several regional florists and planners. This year, I was surprised to find the main hotel lodging and one other guest room house under renovation, but was equally delighted with our room in the South Inn facing the ocean. Now, I’m looking forward to a return trip to see the main house fully finished!

Brides who book their wedding events in mid-May and later will be thrilled with new updates to the already beautiful resort when renovations are complete! Even before then, the Sanderling’s 16-acre resort offers complete ceremony set-ups on its pristine beach or observation deck. Two wedding event spaces, along with renowned restaurants, are perfect for your oceanside or sound-side rehearsal or reception.

On the oceanside of the resort, the cozy Event House and Deck is large enough for a band and for wedding guests indoors and out. The enormous fire pit with seating is a favorite gathering place after dark. During a nighttime reception it’s the perfect place to cozy up with friends and family and enjoy delicous s’mores.

Located on the Currituck Sound is the larger 4,200 square foot climate-controlled Pavilion with its own private dock and gazebo – the perfect spot to enjoy spectacular Outer Banks sunsets. The Sanderling’s wedding specialists custom cater to every size wedding from an elopement package to a soiree for 180 guests. In addition to the hotel rooms, the resort has several vacation homes on the property that sleep 8 to 16 persons for family and friend groups.

The weekend I visited, I caught a magnificent sunset while dining at the Sanderling’s Lifesaving Station restaurant and enjoying delicious roasted red-pepper soup and seared scallops. Since it was still officially winter, the elegant Kimball’s Kitchen with wrap-around windows was not yet open, but the fresh seasonal food, careful attention from waitstaff, and atmosphere in this restored historic buidling constructed in 1874, couldn’t have been better. We headed back to the Lifesaving Station the next morning for one of the best homemade biscuits and omelet breakfasts I’ve ever had. To top it off, it was a beautiful clear day and and we enjoyed a long walk on the beach.

The Sanderling truly ranks as a destination wedding location to me because of the exciting activities that abound within the nearby area. The beaches are wide and pristine with clear ocean (this area of the Atlantic seems to have the most beautiful turquoise colors). Corolla, just a very few miles north of Duck, where the Sanderling is located, is well-known for the wild ponies that roam the beach and nearby forest trails. There’s biking, a bird sanctuary, the opportunity to visit the Wrights Brother’s museum and monument and the dunes of Kill Devil Hills. There is also golf, and at the resort, two pools, a large adult hot tub, all types of water activity rentals, outdoor bars, and of course, the beach.

We will let the images from the Weddings Showcase, captured by Brooke Mayo Photographers, convey the rest of the story about these talented vendors and the Sanderling Resort’s romantic and gorgeous property. Due to light rain during this year’s bridal showcase, the decor, food and tables were all housed in the event spaces and inside the main house. Be assured, rain or shine, The Sanderling Resort can make a bride’s wedding dream complete!
Wedding showcase at the Sanderling Resort in Duck NCWedding showcase at the Sanderling Resort on NC coastNautical themed beach weddingDessert table for weddingBridal decor at OBX wedding showcaseAdore napking rings for weddingSoft pink wedding table inspirationWedding chocolates and trufflesBrightly colored cupcakes and wedding favorsRustic outdoor wedding table settingBright and colorful table settingBride and Groom themed wedding gamesImages provided by Outer Banks-based Brooke Mayo Photographers

Artful Event Space in the New 21c Museum Hotel Durham

On Monday, March 16, doors opened and the public was welcomed inside one of the most uniquly renovated buildings in downtown Durham. 21c Museum Hotel Durham and it’s onsite restaurant, Counting House, are now fully functioning and open for overnight guests as well as to the public for dinner and tours.

Perhaps one of the coolest things about this new boutique hotel is that it’s actually a very old space transformed. The building itself has a lot of history – the old Hill Building was built in 1937 and served as a bank for many years. The space still retains elements of its former life, including an old vault on the lower level (now a one-of-a-kind lounge), original terrazzo floors, and wood paneling in the former bank lobby (now a ballroom). The rooms and galleries, however, are thoroughly modernized with all the latest amenities, contemporary artwork everywhere you turn, and other art deco elements. Free guided docent tours are offered every Wednesday and Friday at 5 p.m.

There is plenty of artful event space in the new 21c Museum Hotel Durham – perfect for small gatherings of 20 or for receptions of over 300 people. From the grand ballroom on the ground floor to the large open galleries upstairs, where tables can be set up among the art, to the small private and semi-private spaces in the restaurant, there are many unique and flexible spaces that would be perfect for a wedding, rehearsal dinner, reception or cocktail party. The hotel has 125 guest rooms total, and offers luxury room blocks for out-of-town guests. Convenient valet parking is available for $15 a day. The best part is, you’re right in the middle of all the action in downtown Durham.

For those who want to show out-of-town (or even local) guests a good time in Durham, this location is ideal. Situated just up the road from DPAC, American Tobacco Campus, and plenty of great restaurants and bars, 21c Museum Hotel couldn’t be in a better spot. The views from the guest rooms are amazing – overlooking the city and well-known landmarks from all different angles.

Of course, there is also plenty to keep guests entertained inside the hotel itself, including an in-house spa, over 10,500 square feet of art-filled event space, and a beautiful restaurant to lounge and dine. Chef Josh Munchel and the culinary team at Counting House oversee event catering at 21c. They work to showcase the rich heritage of North Carolina’s seafood, delivering dishes that celebrate artisanal products and sustainable farming. The restaurant can seat up to 160 people.

For modern brides seeking a truly unique day, 21c is a venue worth considering. It’s a fantastic one-stop shop, offering an all-inclusive, full-service venue in the heart of downtown Durham.21c Museum Hotel check in desk in Durham NC21c Museum Hotel Durham as event space21c Museum hotel guest room21c Museum Hotel Guest BathWedding at 21c Museum Hotel Durham21c Museum Hotel and art gallery in DurhamPhotos courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel