ISES 2014 Trinity Awards

Last month, the Greater Triangle NC Chapter of ISES hosted the 2014 Trinity Awards — a program which honors the outstanding work of our talented local event professionals (ISES stands for the International Special Events Society). This over-the-top event is one that we look forward to each year — one of the highlights of the summer!

This year’s event was held at the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh, NC, one of the most prestigious country clubs in the state and a beautiful setting for an event. The club normally reserves events for its members, so it was a real treat to be able to experience this gala event here!

Upon arrival, and checking in on the “red carpet,” we enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while being regaled with fabulous entertainment. Dancers from Elevate, our local dance and live entertainment troupe, created paintings live by using their bodies as a paintbrush, right before our eyes! The pinnacle of pre-awards entertainment was an enthralling Video DJ “spin-off.”

Living Fountain Jenna at ISES Dancing Painter

Walking into the ballroom for the awards program was the best moment of the evening – everyone “Ooohs” and “Ahhh”s over the lush and extravagant florals designed by Fresh Affairs, one of our favorite Raleigh wedding and event florists. We were greeted by dueling pianos and a flash mob dance performance as we took our seats.

White Floral Centerpieces Trinity Awards Centerpieces Live Dance Performance Aerialist Performer

As we enjoyed an incredible dinner, we watched the awards, and also got to witness the installation of the Board of Directors for the coming year, which will be led by Ryan Pflumm. We know Ryan very well as he is a co-owner of SPIN, one of the top wedding DJs in the Raleigh Area and a preferred vendor of SB&G! Congrats, Ryan!

ISES Awards Food ISES Awards Dessert

Congratulations to all of the winners who are a part of the SB&G Family – Triangle Catering Hospitality Group, Classic Party Rentals, SPIN, Island Sound & Video, Fresh Affairs, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, American Party Rentals, CE Rental, Expressions of Love Florist, and Your Special Day Weddings & Events. To see what they won and who else was recognized, check out the Greater Triangle NC Chapter of ISES website.

Kudos as well to the wonderful vendors who helped make this event possible, including: Adams & Events, American Furniture Rental, American Party Rentals, Joe Bunn DJ Company, Carolina Country Club, Cute Buttons Gift & Paper Boutique, CE Rental, Creative Visions, ELEVATE, For the Love of Design, Fresh Affairs, Island Sound & Video, Lewis Bordeau Enterprises, Party Reflections, Photography by Walters & Walters, SPIN, The Cotton Company, The Lincoln Agency, The Oblique Pen, and Total Production Services.

White Flowers and Candles 2014 ISES Trinity Awards Reception Lounge Furniture Carolina Country Club Bar Trinity Awards Stage Wine Bottle Favors

Thanks to Photography by Walters & Walters for all of the photos from this event!


Raleigh Date Night Idea — Catering Works Cooking Classes

If you’re looking for something new and exciting to do in Raleigh with your bridesmaids, fiancé, or a newlywed date night idea, look no further than Catering Works cooking classes! Learn some new culinary skills and add a signature dish to your cooking repertoire!

Roses and Food Ingredients

Sign up for an impromptu individual class, or plan a coking event for your entire bridal party, corporate group, or friends get together. The individual Catering Works cooking classes are approximately three hours in length and include hands-on cooking instruction with tools and ingredients provided, plus complimentary wine — and, of course, you get to eat what you cook! To see the schedule and pick the class that best suits your interests, visit the Catering Works website.

Catering Works Cooking Class

Cooking parties are fun events for big groups and would be a great pre-wedding activity with your bridesmaids and groomsmen! Catering Works will work with you to customize the event to incorporate a specific cooking trend or theme, and can even format the event into a “Chopped”-style competition. Be sure to contact Catering Works for more information on cooking parties and schedule one of your own.

Wine Bottles Catering Works Cooking Class Participants Making Sandwiches Icing a Cake Iced Chocolate Cake

Thanks to Kristie of Neil Boyd Photography for the photos!

Romantic Winter Wedding at The Washington Duke Inn in Durham, NC

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Stephanie and Adam’s romantic winter wedding at The Washington Duke Inn in Durham, NC, with gorgeous photos from Riley MacLean Photography.

Stephanie and Adam met as children through their parents, who all worked at Duke and were members of the same country club. About 20 years later, Stephanie ran into her childhood crush at Tobacco Road, when she was on a date with someone else! The bride said, “He was just as adorable as I remembered him, so when my date was in the restroom, I went over and struck up a conversation.”

Adam had a grand plan of proposing to Stephanie at the beach, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Instead of popping the question outside, he got down on one knee while Stephanie was looking the other way and asked if she had any cold champagne. When she turned around to ask why they would need champagne, he was kneeling and asking her to be his wife. Of course, Stephanie said yes!

Adam and Stephanie worked with Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affiar to plan their winter wedding. The bride said their planning experience was fantastic thanks to their thorough and experienced coordinator! Amanda introduced the couple to several wonderful vendors who helped make their big day dreams come to life, including a Durham theme that was used throughout the wedding details – from the invitations to the venue – since the bride and groom are both from Durham.

The couple selected a purple, gold and silver color palette with subtle pops of red, lavender, green, and pink, which came to life in the floral arrangements from Tre Bella and perfectly complemented The Washington Duke Inn’s Presidential Ballroom.

Adam and Stephanie used many talented members of the SB&G Family, including: A Swanky Affair, The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, The University Club, and Tre Bella Flowers.

Enjoy these gorgeous photos of Adam and Stephanie’s big day, courtesy of Riley MacLean Photography!

Black and White Wedding Rings Purple Wedding Invitation and Bridal Bouquet Bridal Bouquet with Engagement Ring First Look at the Washington Duke Black and White Wedding Photography Winter Bride and Groom Washington Duke Inn Wedding Reception First Dance at the Washington Duke Inn Wedding Reception at the Washington Duke

Ceremony Location: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Reception Location: The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Rehearsal Dinner: The University Club
Wedding Planner: Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair
Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung
Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair and Makeup: Blushed Artistry
Photographer: Riley MacLean Photography
Florist: Tre Bella Flowers
Cake: Yellowbird Baking
Invitations: Indigo Envelope
Reception Music: The Fantasy Band
Guest Accommodations: The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club 

Upcoming NC Wedding Planning Events

This weekend has several upcoming NC wedding planning events for brides and grooms-to-be! These events are perfect for couples in every stage of the wedding planning process, from choosing the venue to deciding on the floral decor and designing invitations!

West Elm Bridal Bouquet Event

The Royal Open House
Saturday, July 19, 4:00 – 6:00pm
Drop by The Royal’s Open House to tour the beautiful historic venue and meet with local caterers, planners, and other wedding vendors to discuss your special day! For additional information about this free event, call 919-621-0540 or email

PULP’s DIY Wedding Invitation Workshop
Saturday, July 19, 2:00 – 4:00pm
PULP is hosting its second DIY invitation workshop of the summer this Saturday at Ply in downtown Chapel Hill! The workshop is geared towards couples interested in creating their on DIY wedding invitations and designers interested in breaking into the wedding invitation industry.

At the end of each class, couples may purchase their stock on-the-spot and get started on their wedding stationery! To register, contact

West Elm Bridal Bouquet Event
Sunday, July 20, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Join West Elm Southpoint for their Bridal Bouquet event, a one stop shop for brides-to-be to choose their personal wedding flower and bridal bouquet style. West Elm is collaborating with a variety of florists who will be in the store demonstrating a potpourri of flower styles from wild flower bouquets to succulent bouquets, modern bouquets and even glam style bouquets! In celebration of the brides and this event, West Elm will have refreshments, music, and a professional photographer to capture all the fun!

Creative Entertainment Ideas for an NC Wedding

Entertainment makes an event truly memorable, so besides having wonderful music, consider throwing some curveballs to surprise and delight your wedding guests. Here are some of our favorite creative entertainment ideas for an NC wedding.

Invite an a cappella group for a surprise performance. The UNC Clef Hangers — Carolina’s oldest a cappella group  — are available for private events. If you and your fiancé are Tar Heel alumni, or just diehard fans, consider having the Clefs perform a song that’s special to you – like Carolina on my Mind – during your ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception. Trust us, your guests will love it!

Clef Hangers Azul PhotographyAzul Photography

If you’re looking to really get the party started at your wedding reception, think about bringing in a professional entertainment company, like NC Dancesport. Their staff is available to teach guests a variety of styles on-site at the reception – including ballroom, Latin, country, and West Coast swing – and they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeve to make your wedding day lively and help inspire your guests to get out on the dance floor!

Dance Floor Brian MullinsBrian Mullins Photography

Photo booths have become almost a standard at weddings. They provide delightful entertainment for you and your guests, and photo strips are one of the best wedding favors and keepsake memories for everyone involved. Shutterbooth is a rentable photo booth delivered and set up on-site at your event. The photos and booth can be branded to customize your experience with your wedding date, initials, or even a fun logo! Shutterbooth stands out in the photo booth world due to its elegant design, mobility, and size – it can accommodate up to 15 guest at a time!

Shutterbooth Walters and WaltersPhotography by Walters & Walters

Tesh Parekh Live Event Painting offers one of the most unique opportunities in today’s wedding industry. Tesh, an award-winning local artist, will attend your event and turn your occasion into a one-of-a-kind piece of art. He paints in both watercolors and oils to exquisitely capture your special moment on canvas, and then puts the finishing touches on the painting at the reception so that your guests (and you!) are there for the reveal. The live on-site painting will entertain your guests while they take a break from the dance floor, and you’ll have an original work of art to treasure for a lifetime.

Tesh Parekh Neil BoydNeil Boyd Photography

Incorporating ideas like the ones above will definitely make your wedding one for the books!