Classic Wedding Cakes from Once in a Blue Moon Bakery

We’re back today to feature another one of our fantastic local bakeries and their gorgeous confectionary designs from our 2014 Cake Shoot! Today’s post highlights classic wedding cakes from Once in a Blue Moon Bakery.

Once in a Blue Moon Bakery, located in Cary, is a bakery specializing in wedding cakes, especially classic wedding cakes or “grandma-style” cakes! Choose from your favorite all-natural fillings and flavors to make your cake uniquely you.

For our 2014 Cake Shoot, Once in a Blue Moon created three gorgeous cakes. This is a rustic, country-style cake duo featuring the North Carolina state flower – the Dogwood! These sweet cakes are the perfect nod to the South for a down home wedding.

Country Style Flower Cake

On the left is a “grandma-style” cake with whipped buttercream icing. This simple design can be customized with fresh flowers, like the roses in the photo, or a fun cake topper. On the right is a swirl cake inspired by Picasso, Art Deco, and the movement of the desert sands. It pairs beautifully with the colorful flowers and exotic lamps at ThemeWorks!

White Wedding Cakes

All photos are courtesy of Brian Mullins Photography.

Diamonds Direct Crabtree “March” of the Brides Event

Last month, 25 lucky engaged Triangle Area couples were selected to participate in the first annual Diamonds Direct Crabtree “March” of the Brides event! The brides-to-be competed in a field day of fun, wedding-related activities, in which they competed for a host of prizes. Some examples included the “Tuxedo Dash,” where competitors dressed a mannequin in a full tuxedo and raced him down the aisle, the “Bouquet Toss,” where they saw how far they could throw a bouquet, and the “Cupcake Eating Contest,” where they tried to eat as many cupcakes as possible in the allotted time!

Diamonds Direct March of the Brides

The event was a huge success, and the contestants all seemed to have an absolute blast — not to mention the wonderful prizes! An array of awesome prizes was distributed, including gift certificates for bridal flowers, formalwear, a free bridal or engagement session, a wedding cake or cupcakes, a discounted reception or rehearsal dinner, and, of course, a $1,500 gift certificate from Diamonds Direct Crabtree to use on wedding day jewelry or wedding bands!

Diamonds Direct Bouquet Toss Diamonds Direct Tuxedo Dash

Diamonds Direct has two locations in North Carolina — one in Charlotte, and the other at Crabtree Valley Mall right here in the Triangle. Diamonds Direct is a great place for couples to shop for their engagement and wedding rings — the staff will work with couples one-on-one to meet their wants and their budget, and the customer service both during and after the purchase are unbeatable.

Thanks to the Three Little Birds Photo Studio for these fun pictures from the “March” of the Brides event!

Real Wedding Video at Duke Chapel and The Cotton Room

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re thrilled to share Katie and Scott’s real wedding video at Duke Chapel and The Cotton Room, shot by the talented team at Twenty-One Films.

Get your tissues ready, y’all — from the emotional first look to the expressive vows, this wedding film is a tearjerker in all the best ways. Be sure to look for the moment when Katie’s dad sees her for the first time and

Katie and her bridesmaids got ready at Posh the Salon before she met Scott at Duke Chapel for their first look. First looks have become one of the most popular trends in weddings in recent years, as they give the bride and groom a few moments all to themselves before the nonstop festivities of the wedding day.

Katie and Scott’s ceremony at Duke Chapel, a stunning medieval-style chapel in Durham, was breathtakingly emotional and so full of love. Despite the impending rain, the couple didn’t stop smiling throughout their wedding day, and the reception at The Cotton Room in Durham’s historic Golden Belt district certainly looks like it was quite the party!

Congratulations, Katie and Scott — your wedding was absolutely beautiful.

Katie + Scott, Duke Chapel from Twenty-One Films on Vimeo.

Thanks to Twenty-One Films for sharing this couple’s sweet wedding day video.

TASTE the event – a Q&A with Il Palio Chef Teddy Diggs

The premiere TASTE the event is fast approaching! 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!

We were privileged to recently spend some time with Teddy Diggs, new executive chef at Il Palio Ristorante, the celebrated Italian restaurant at The Siena Hotel, to learn a bit about the background of this NC-newcomer, and his plans for TASTE the event.

At an early age, Diggs developed a love of food and the industry surrounding it. He participated in a high school culinary program, and then went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Diggs recalls working at Maestro, a restaurant at the DC-area Ritz Carlton, as his greatest learning experience for the European mindset and authentic Italian cooking. Here, he adopted his focus of making relationships with food providers in order to obtain the highest-quality, local ingredients. Diggs has carried these lessons throughout his career as head chef of prestigious locally-sourced restaurants in Washington DC and Martha’s Vineyard, before his recent move to Chapel Hill to become the Chef of four-diamond Il Palio Restaurant, located at The Siena Hotel.

We had the chance to sample some of Chef Diggs’ new menu items at Il Palio during the interview, and every bite we had – from their home-made focaccia bread to their classically prepared calamari dish, to a unique Tuna Bolognese dish – was clean, fresh and delicious! If you haven’t been by Il Palio since Chef Diggs’ arrival, we suggest you make plans to dine there as soon as possible (they are even bringing back Sunday brunch) – if you’re lucky, you might even be able to snag one of the last spots for the upcoming TASTE of Italy Wine Dinner (more info below).

Read on for a few highlights from our Q&A with Chef Diggs, and a peek at the TASTE Il Palio dinner menu!

First Memory of Falling in love with the Culinary World

Chef Diggs: When I was a child, I was allowed to watch an hour of TV each day, and always I spent it watching Emeril Live, and Bobby Flay’s Grillin’ & Chillin’ on The Food Network. I was hooked!

First Cook Book

Chef Diggs: In second grade, my favorite Christmas present was The Brady Bunch cookbook – I still have it!

Why Chapel Hill?

Chef Diggs: My family had a beautiful life in Martha’s Vineyard but my wife and I knew we wanted to settle in a place that had a true balance of big and small city feel. Chapel Hill was at the top of our wish list because of that reason, as well as its strong international community, and the energy that the growth of the culinary community is fueling.

Favorite Triangle Dining Experiences So Far

Chef Diggs: Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, Nana-Taco, Allen & Son’s, and [ONE] Restaurant

Approach to Weddings

Chef Diggs: I worked with 30 – 40 weddings a year in Martha’s Vineyard, and my goal is always to exceed a bride’s expectations for her special day. I encourage the couple to sit down and have a conversation with me so I can create a truly customize menu for them. It makes everyone more relaxed if I know what the client wants, so custom is actually my preference. [The Siena Hotel is expert at hosting intimate weddings of up to 100 people, and the food comes straight from the Il Palio kitchen. Their banquet space, lobby and guest rooms were renovated a little over a year ago - SB&G]

Cooking Philosophy

Chef Diggs: Italian cooking is about showcasing ingredients and product. This is why it’s so important to create relationships with local farmers and growers – if the product is as good as it can be, it speaks for itself. Everything is on the table for a reason, and has a story – it’s about making that connection.

On Taste The Event

Chef Diggs: I’ve done many events like this before and am excited to be part of the first TASTE Event. The menu for the Grand TASTE experience is going to be surprise, but I’ve got a very exciting menu prepared for the Il Palio dinner, featuring olive oil from different Italian regions. [Full Menu below]

Il Palio TASTE of Italy Wine DinnerChef Diggs will be hosting one of the many food stations at the Grand TASTE Experience at DPAC on Thursday, April 24. For a 10% discount, use code “TASTESponsor10” in the code field). This event will feature irresistibly delicious samples of food, wine, craft beer, and even locally distilled spirits from the most prestigious food and beverage professionals in Central North Carolina. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. There will also be a silent auction with a host of prizes, and all proceeds from this event will be donated to the Food Bank.

If you want to experience a truly special night of wining and dining, we highly recommend checking out the April 25th TASTE of Italy Wine Dinner at Il Palio of The Siena Hotel, during which you’ll meet Chef Diggs and taste an innovative five-course meal, each dish inspired by an olive oil from five different regions of Italy – Tuscany, Umbria, Sicily, Abruzzo, and Lazio.


Contemporary White and Green Wedding Tabletop from University Florist

We’re back with the ninth installment in our series highlighting our local florists’ designs from the SB&G 2014 Floral Shoot! Today’s post features a contemporary white and green wedding tabletop from University Florist

University Florist has been an integral part of the Chapel Hill floral scene since 1946, and carries the largest selection of flowers in the area. The shop specializes in many different colors and types of roses, and their talented staff can create floral designs for any style bride!

For the 2014 Floral Shoot, University Florist designed an elegant, contemporary white and green wedding tabletop featuring phalaenopsis orchids, ranunculus, and garden roses. The beautiful arrangements were displayed in classic glass vases, and the contemporary look was pulled together with an emerald green linen and gold accents.

The clean, modern color palette of shades of green, white and gold perfectly complemented the lush surroundings of The Doris Duke Center at Duke Gardens, and would work well for weddings of any season. Enjoy these photos, some never-before-seen, of University Florist’s stunning floral designs, courtesy of Photography by Walters & Walters.

White and Green Wedding Tablescape White Orchid Centerpiece White Green and Gold Wedding Details White and Gold Placesetting White and Green Bridal Bouquet

A huge thanks to the rest of the 2014 Floral Shoot Team, including: Party Reflections (china, linen, and chairs), Lana Addison Bridal (Claire Pettibone bridal gown and hair comb), Bailey’s Fine Jewelry (jewelry), and Bella Trio Day Spa (hair and makeup).

NC Bridal Giveaways — April Winners and May Prizes Announced

It’s that time again! Today, we’re revealing our April winners and announcing the NC bridal giveaways for May. Each month, we give out a handful of gift certificates to local shops, restaurants, spas and hotels — to qualify, register with Southern Bride & Groom now.

NC Bridal Giveaways

Shelley and her fiancé, Blake, won $25 to 18 Seaboard in Raleigh! The couple is tying the knot at The Sutherland next March.

NC Bridal Giveaways

Jessie won $50 to Lather Hair Salon! She and her fiancé, Eric, are getting married next June at The Cotton Room.

Sarah won $50 to Bella Trio Day Spa in Durham! She and her fiancé, Brooks, plan to wed at the Carolina Inn.

NC Bridal Giveaways

And finally, Faith and her fiancé, Matt, were selected as our Forever Bridal Show winners – they won a getaway to Jekyll Island Club Hotel! Faith and Matt are getting married on September 6.

This month, we’re giving away:

-A $100 gift certificate to Cafe Parizade. A unique Durham restaurant that serves scrumptious Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

-A $100 gift certificate to Taziki’s Cafe in Cary. Enjoy a date night out at the delicious Mediterranean restaurant!

-A weekend stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary — perfect for a relaxing “staycation” away from the stress of wedding planning!

Be sure to register with us to qualify for the prizes we are doling out this month, and every month!