Must Attend Upcoming Raleigh and Durham Events

Food, beer, music and more – Spring is here in the Triangle and festival season has begun! We put together a list of our recommended must-attend upcoming Raleigh and Durham events.

Ring Food Beer

TASTE the Event
Wednesday, April 23 – Sunday, April 27
Local foodies, don’t miss this five-day festival celebrating Durham and Chapel Hill’s vibrant food scene! TASTE the Event will highlight local chefs, restaurants, bakeries, breweries, and more — check out our blog post for more details about TASTE, and head to the event’s official website for tickets! The centerpiece of the five day culinary extravaganza is the Grand TASTE Experience on Thursday, April 24 at Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), which will feature food (and dessert) samples served by two dozen of the Triangle’s most prestigious chefs, and just as many wine, beer and spirits stations! Register now, and make room for a whole lot of local goodness in your belly!

Art of Cool Music Festival 2014
Friday, April 25 – Saturday, April 26
The Art of Cool Music Festival is an exciting two-day event featuring some of Downtown Durham’s favorite venues, including The Carolina Theatre, American Tobacco Campus, Motorco Music Hall, and more. The festival is complete with food trucks, family-friendly activities, and of course, an all-star lineup of musicians. For more information, head to the Art of Cool Music Festival website.

Diamonds Direct Crabtree 6th Annual Designer Showcase
Friday, April 25 – Sunday, April 27
Mark your calendars for the 6th Annual Designer Showcase at Diamonds Direct Crabtree, going on this weekend! The showcase will have up to 20% savings on jewelry from the featured designers — Daussi, Jaffe, Sylvie, Scott Kay, Christian Bauer, and Furrer Jacot! On Friday, Fleming’s will provide cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 5:00 – 7:00pm. Visit the Diamonds Direct Crabtree website for more details.

Southern Women’s Show of Raleigh
Friday, April 25 – Sunday, April 27
The Southern Women’s Show is a weekend of food tastings, fashion shows, shopping, socializing, and more! The event takes place at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Head to the Southern Women’s Show of Raleigh’s website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Cute Buttons – Free Calligraphy Class & Stationery Trunk Show
Saturday, April 26 – class begins at noon
Cute Buttons Gift & Paper Boutique in Downtown Cary’s Ashworth Village is hosting a special day of fun in honor of National Card and Letter Writing Month. Stop byt the story for specials on select greeting cards and boxed stationery. Space is limited for the FREE calligraphy class, so please reserve your spot by calling 919-462-9618.

Brewgaloo 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2:00 – 10:00pm
This annual event is a must-attend for beer lovers! Brewgaloo highlights craft breweries from all around North Carolina, and partners with local food trucks and bands to make for an exciting, one-of-a-kind afternoon.  The festival will take place in Downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza. For more information on Brewgaloo 2014, check out the Shop Local Raleigh website.

Oaks at Salem Bridal Open House
Sunday, April 27, 2:00 – 4:00pm

If you’re looking for the perfect reception venue, be sure to check out the Oaks at Salem Bridal Open House! Tour the beautiful Apex property and meet with some of the best of the best in the NC wedding industry.

Spring Fashion Show at Midtown Park, North Hills
Sunday, April 27, 3:30 and 5:30pm
Join North Hills for their Spring Fashion Show at the brand new Midtown Park! The fashion shows, set to take place at 3:30 and 5:30pm, will feature the boutiques of North Hills and DJ Joe Bunn. The event is part of the two-day celebration of the Midtown Park Grand Opening.

Southern Star Ballroom Center Spring Wedding Fair
Tuesday, May 6, 6:30 – 8:30pm
This event brings together brides and some of the top local wedding professionals at the one of the Triangle’s new event venues, the Southern Star Ballroom Center in the Falls Village shopping center in Raleigh.

Ring shot from Renee Sprink Photography, food shot from Neil Boyd Photography.

Tropical Inspired Wedding Tabletop from Blossom Floral Artistry

We’re back with the tenth and final installment in our series highlighting our local florists’ designs from the SBS&G 2014 Floral Shoot! Today’s post features a tropical inspired wedding tabletop from Blossom Floral Artistry.

Blossom Floral Artistry is a Pittsboro-based florist owned and operated by husband and wife, Leon and Julie. With over 50 years of combined experience, the Blossom team of designers can create a custom look for brides of any style!

For the 2014 Floral Shoot, Blossom designed a tropical inspired wedding tabletop featuring giant bamboo, lush green foliage, like Monstera leaves, papyrus, and areca palm, and vibrant flowers, including tangerine calla lilies, pure pink torch ginger, obake anthurium and dendrobium orchids.

This stunning setup is a fantastic way to bring an exotic paradise to any wedding venue, no matter the season! The bright and colorful palette of pinks, oranges, and greens pairs beautifully with the urban vibe of the Floral Shoot venue, The Cotton Room. Enjoy these photos, some never-before-seen, of Blossom’s gorgeous floral designs, courtesy of Photography by Walters & Walters.

Tropical Wedding Decor

Tropical Wedding Flowers

Bamboo Placesetting

Bamboo Wedding Centerpiece

Tropical Bridal Bouquet

Tropical Bouquet

A huge thanks to the rest of the 2014 Floral Shoot Team, including: Classic Party Rentals (bamboo chairs, stemware and linen), Tre Bella Bridal (Jenny Packham bridal gown), Bailey’s Fine Jewelry (jewelry), and Bella Trio Day Spa (hair and makeup).

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.