Posts Categorized: Around Town

Pick a Pair for March Madness

Striped Shoes by Lillybee to match your University Colors

Whether you were raised in NC or have transplanted here, you likely have a favorite college team. It’s no secret that the Triangle Area is home to one of the most well-known college sports rivalries in the nation, UNC versus Duke basketball. But the fun-spirited competition doesn’t stop there. With so many NC universities with excellent teams in close proximity, the ACC basketball tournament becomes a mandatory household tradition for many residents. Add some style to your March Madness game-watch gatherings with spirited Lillybee shoes in your winning pick!

A College Rivalry Doesn’t Mean our Feet Can’t be Friends

These pals are snazzy in Duke blue, NC State red and UNC-Chapel Hill blue – the team colors of the Triangle’s college basketball teams. They pose in their flats on Duke’s East Campus wall in Durham.Adorable striped ballet flats in NC college rivalry colors of UNC blue, Duke blue, and NC State red. Photo by Fancy This PhotographyWe can attest to their comfort and love the attention when we’ve sported our own flats. You’ll find your team colors and lots of styles for March Madness fashion at Lillybee.March Madness fashion in NC College Colors
For treks across campus to the basketball stadium on a rainy day, the college colored striped boots will keep you feeling fresh and in fashion. Monograms or other charm symbols can be snapped onto the buckle. Blue and Red Rainboots for Duke versus StateMany of the shoes have accessories such as the University logo or as a shoe bow or in a charm on their matching cross body clutches. Shown below are the flats, but they also work on the Lillybee wedge heels. Tarheel blue and white striped ballet flats with UNC bowBelow, the signature black and gold of Wake Forest University in Winston Salem NC looks handsome in stripes on these ballet flats and sweet clutch.
Wake Forest University black and gold stripe shoes and matching clutch / Photo by Fancy This Photography

All in the Family
In addition to looking great in a gazillion color combinations, these lovable preppy stripes are sensational for women of all ages (as long as they wear size 5 and up!). Shown below, Lillybee owner Kassie Rempel (at right) with her mother and daughter. Three Generations of Stripes - Lillybee Owner Kassandra Rempel with her mother and daughterKassie Rempel, Tar Heel born and bred, is an avid sports fan, and a fashionista obsessed with cute shoes. She first envisioned kicky, striped ballet flats to represent all the great teams of the ACC in comfortable feminine style. Kassie started the company when her daughter, now nine years old in photo, was just a baby and incorporated her name into the brand, along with the word “bee,” her toddler son’s favorite critter. Lillybee was started in the garage of Kassie’s home and the ideas kept coming.

The ACC colors were expanded to include a range and combination of stripes that incorporate most school colors. When sororities began to inquire, preppy pinks and  shades of greens and turquoise were added to the combinations along with three-inch wedge shoe styles, rain boots and flip flops. College or sorority emblems, bows charms or monograms can be added for personalization.

About the March Madness Fashion Shoot:UNC versus Duke versus State in college color Lillybee shoesPhotos were taken at Duke University’s East Campus – on the wall overlooking SB&G Preferred Venue, The King’s Daughters Inn.

All products are by Lillybee.

All product photos are by SB&G Preferred Photographer, Fancy This Photography.

Southern Wedding Inspiration from The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase

In our world, January means wedding show season! It might be cold outside with an early setting sun, but this is our favorite time of year. Our latest edition of Southern Bride & Groom magazine has just been published, and we get to spend a couple of days each week handing it out and chatting with newly-engaged couples who are just getting started on their wedding planning journey. This is what makes our work feel truly meaningful. But these events are fun for another reason, too – the local vendors pull out all the stops to showcase their talents, as well as the latest design trends. Some wedding shows are so pretty that couples could leave having planned every last detail of their wedding design. Today, we are sharing oodles of Southern wedding inspiration from The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase.

SB&G magazine – and Mama Parks – has been part of this show for all 22 years it has been held! We adore our longstanding relationship with The Carolina Inn – a stunning Chapel Hill NC historic hotel and wedding venue known for its high class service and atmosphere. Southern Bride and Groom Magazine publishersOne of the most impressive offerings of The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is the vignettes that are scattered throughout the property. Tented receptions on the Carolina Inn lawns are very popular for weddings, especially during the spring and fall. This allows an outdoor vibe alongside the experience of amazing cuisine and upscale amenities. It doesn’t get much better than dining in style under a clear tent with a floral chandelier centerpiece!

Vignette team: Viva L’ Event, Tre Bella Flowers, Classic Party Rentals, Mason Dixon Calligraphy, Sugar Euphoria
Southern wedding inspiration from The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase www.southernbrideandgroom.comGorgeous tall wedding centerpieces www.southernbrideandgroom.comPink watercolor place cards www.southernbrideandgroom.compink and white wedding flowers www.southernbrideandgroom.comFormal with flair: Tre Bella Flower‘s elegant floral arrangements, and fine china, is juxtaposed with gingham linengold foil wedding cake www.southernbrideandgroom.comPink white and gold wedding cake www.southernbrideandgroom.comBursts of color and gold foil on buttercream cake keep dessert classy yet delish – by Sugar Euphoriaceremony backdrop ideas www.southernbrideandgroom.comPink and white wedding at The Carolina Inn www.southernbrideandgroom.comBeyonce quote used in wedding backdrop www.southernbrideandgroom.comWho doesn’t love Queen Bey?? We adore this vibrant custom backdrop for the sweetheart table.Classic Southern wedding venues www.southernbrideandgroom.comwedding inspiration www.southerbrideandgroom.comromantic table settings www.southernbrideandgroom.comUNC Chapel Hill wedding inspiration www.southernbrideandgroom.comCarolina Blue wedding colors www.southerbrideandgroom.comThe pastel haven shown above in one of the Carolina Inn parlors was designed by La Cosa Bella Events.Pink champagne for wedding toast www.southernbrideandgroom.comwedding flower frame www.southernbrideandgroom.comErin McLean Events created rose frames in her booth – we adore this idea for a wedding!vintage wedding decor ideas www.southernbrideandgroom.comSouthern Bride and Groom MagazineSeveral issues of SB&G mag spotted on the table of Makeup for Your Day.Bumble and branch local honey wedding favorsLocal NC wedding favors www.southernbrideandgroom.comThese wedding favors from Bumble & Branch are too cute for words – and perfect for an eco-friendly wedding!Carolina Inn cateringFloral backdrop ideas www.southernbrideandgroom.comNorth carolina bridal salons www.southerbrideandgroom.comTre Bella creates amazing floral design (shown in vignette at top, as well as the beautiful display above), and is also Durham’s only full-service bridal salon. Visit their clothing boutique and gift shop on the ground floor of Main Street before your appointment at the wedding dress boutique upstairs!photo booths at weddingsChapel Hill wedding showsWe loved the artistic floral creation that University Florist made for our boothCarolina Inn bridal showcaseAll photos above are by the incredibly talented Fancy This Photography, who is also a Preferred SB&G Vendor!

The second section of photos, below, are contributed by Mikkel Paige Photography. soda wall at wedding or event www.southernbrideandgroom.comvintage flower vases wedding decor www.southernbrideandgroom.comVases on shelving is a great modern backdrops. We loved this little display by A Southern stationery www.southernbrideandgroom.comlocal ice cream passed as favors at wedding www.southernbrideandgroom.comhomemade ice cream with Mr. & Mrs. cookies www.southernbrideandgroom.comThere was no shortage of eats and treats at the Bridal Showcase! We can’t ever resist indulging on Andia’s Homemade Ice-Cream!Cascading flower centerpieces www.southernbrideandgroom.comwedding cake pops www.southernbrideandgroom.comconfetti wedding cake www.southernbrideandgroom.comThe whimsical theme that The Carolina Inn utilized this year for their event was captured perfectly in the above ballroom scene. In the brilliant tabletop display, ability to converse does not get lost with this extravagant design.

A confetti cake is a perfectly fun way to celebrate the kickoff to happily ever after!

Vignette team: A Southern Soiree, English Garden florist, The Carolina Inn pastry team, Party Reflections & Sugarland.

Foodie Couples, Get Your Tickets to Taste 2017

Springtime isn’t just a popular season for weddings in North Carolina, it’s also a time for many exciting local events, including one of our favorites, TASTE! This annual food and drink festival based in Durham, NC is now in its fourth year, and is hosted by our friends at Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine. Wedding planner Grace Beason, of Grace Leisure Events, helps organize this unforgettable experience and several of our catering vendors and venues take part.
TASTE logoTASTE 2017 includes several events taking place from April 20-23. The event invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. For the first time, in 2017 TASTE will also include acclaimed regional and Southern talent.
taste-2017From the two “Grand Taste” signature experiences — Grand Local Taste and Grand Regional Taste — where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, to the “Salt ‘n Smoke” BBQ experience overlooking the Durham Athletic Park at The Rickhouse to the area’s “Women of Achievement” Wine Reception and Lunch at the historic Carolina Inn, you won’t find a more delicious and fun culinary experience. As a bonus, they’ve assembled culinary rock stars to help you hone your own chef skills through cooking classes and to share their thoughts and experiences at “TASTE Talks”.
food-and-drink-fest-durhamSeveral of the chefs featured at The Grand Taste experience are SB&G preferred vendors: restaurants and hotels that host weddings and receptions, such as Carolina Crossroads at The Carolina Inn; Durham Catering Co.; Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel; The Fairview Dining Room at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf ClubThe Durham Hotel, and Heron’s at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. So, going to the event can be two-fold if you’re on the market for a caterer – you will get to sample a ton of delicious food during a fun night out while also doing some taste-testing research for your own wedding. Not to mention, it makes a great date night!

Keep in mind, tickets to the most popular events sell out months in advance, so don’t delay.
taste-the-eventPhotos courtesy of Durham Magazine

Christmas and New Year’s 2017 Events in Raleigh and Durham

Still looking for something fun and festive to do for Christmas and New Year’s in the Triangle? Take a look at our annual list of parties and special dinners and make reservations now. Whatever you do, you’re guaranteed to enter the new year surrounded by good food, good company and good times!

Holiday Events at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
December 24, 25 and 31
Enjoy the extensive holiday decorations around the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club during The Fairview Dining room’s Christmas Eve Brunch, Sugar Plum Tea and Christmas Eve Dinner on December 24 followed by a joyful feast on the 25th. Then a special New Year’s Day dinner on the 31st.

Holiday Events at The Umstead Hotel & Spa
December 24, December 31, and January 1
The luxurious and elegant Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary and its onsite restaurant, Herons, will host several holiday events for everyone to enjoy, including Christmas brunch and dinner on December 24, a New Year’s Eve dinner and celebration on December 31, and a New Year’s Day brunch. To make reservations for all events, call 919-447-4050.
Bride and groom at Umstead Hotel and SpaHoliday Dinners & Brunch at Counting House Restaurant at 21c Durham
December 24, December 31, and January 1
In the spirit of the holiday season, Counting House restaurant, located at 21c Museum Hotel Durham, invites guests to gather with family and friends for Christmas Eve Dinner, New Year’s Eve Dinner and New Year’s Day Brunch. The Christmas Eve Dinner on Sat., Dec 24 from 1 to 7 p.m will feature Counting House favorites and festive specials. The three-course prix fixe menu is offered for $75 per person. The New Year’s Eve Dinner from 5 to 11p.m includes a special five-course table d’hôte celebration. Pricing for the dinner ranges from $69 to $75 per person (wine pairings are available for an additional $25 per person). Lastly, on January 1st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy a hearty brunch and a little “hair of the dog” to help shake off any residual effects of ringing in the New Year. The Counting House will host a New Year’s Day Brunch featuring a number of brunch cocktails and hangover cures including the chicken on a biscuit with cayenne honey and dill pickles. To make reservations for all events, call 919-956-6760.

New Year’s Beauty Specials the Makeup for Your Day Studio
December 31, 2016 – 4-6 p.m.
Be pampered with blowouts and makeup applications done by Makeup for Your Day’s lead stylists. Limited appointment times are still available. Special pricing on blowout hair styling ($50); makeup application, including airbrush ($50), and lash application ($20). To schedule an appointment, call 877-588-7451 or email

New Year’s Eve Dinner at The Durham
December 31, 2016
Join the restaurant at The Durham Hotel for a four-course tasting menu featuring black truffles, Cape Hatteras oysters, High Rock Farm chestnuts, NC sturgeon caviar, L’Hoste citrus, and Red Poll beef. Cost is $75/person (does not include beverage, tax or gratuity). Following is a party on the roof with bubbly, party favors, shrimp cocktail and oyster bar. Reservations are available by calling 919-768-8831.
Durham NC hotelsNew Year’s Eve Costume Party at Ponysaurus
December 31, 2016 – 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Ring in 2017 at Ponysaurus Brewing Co. in Durham! Come dressed as your favorite or most hated character from the news or pop culture in 2016, and the best costume will win a year’s supply of Ponysaurus beer! We’ll also have a DJ dance party, ZimZoom Photobooth and a champagne (of beers) toast at midnight!

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Dashi
December 31, 2016
Ring in the new year with a wonderful four-course meal at Dashi! They are now taking reservations for a special New Year’s Eve dinner upstairs in the izakaya. Cost is $55 per person ($85 with pairings) and a 20% gratuity will be automatically applied to the final bill. In order to make your party’s reservation, call the restaurant at (919) 251-9335. Reservations will be taken and voicemails will be returned. Vegetarian menus are available so be sure to specify how many guests require this (menus with other dietary needs will not be available).

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Poole’s Diner
December 31, 2016
The holiday season is in full swing, and Chef Ashley Chistensen’s Poole’s Diner is eagerly preparing for a celebratory New Year’s Eve. The restaurant is now accepting reservations by phone at (919) 832-4477 or by email ( for this three-course prix fixe celebration. Cost is $75++.

New Year’s Eve Dinner Burke Manor Inn
December 31, 2016 – 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Just a short drive away, The Burke Manor Inn in Gibsonville, is hosting a special New Year’s Eve Dinner 5:30-9:30 pm prepared by Chef/Owner Lil Lacassagne. Amuse Bouche with a glass of champagne. Cost is $79 plus tax and gratuity. Call 336-449-6266 for reservations.Burke Manor Inn weddingNew Year’s Even Dinner at Parizade
December 31, 2016 – beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Parizade invites you to an elegant New Year’s Eve celebration to send off 2016! The evening will begin with early a la carte seatings available at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00. Our celebration seating will commence at 9:15 p.m. and will include a decadent four-course pre-fixe menu with champagne toast for $80 per guest (tax & gratuity not included). There will be a live musical performance presented by the incredible tunes of Crossover Drive. Make a reservation online or call 919-286-9712.

Engagement Celebration at The Merrimon-Wynne House
January 7, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. and January 8, 2017 from 12-3 p.m.
Did you get engaged over the holidays? Come celebrate at The Merrimon-Wynne house and enjoy a spectacular wedding planning experience! They will be collecting at $10 per person donation to benefit Raleigh Rescue Mission. Festive attire encouraged and RSVP required.

2017 Winter Wedding Shows in Raleigh, NC

The holiday season is a popular time for engagements – with family all in one place and festivities already planned, it’s a great time to throw in an extra celebration! And not soon after, the fun of planning beings! It can be overwhelming at first, but luckily, there are a ton of qualified professionals here to help, and you can meet and interact with many of them at the wedding shows taking place this winter throughout the Triangle. (For an ongoing list of wedding-related events, be sure to check our Wedding Shows & Events page, which is updated regularly).

Forever Bridal’s The Wedding Show

Date: Saturday and Sunday January 7 and 8, 2017 – 11am-4pm
Location: The NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh

Forever Bridal hosts several wedding shows per year, but their two-day January event is their biggest – filled with the best wedding vendors, on stage entertainment, and the latest bridal fashions – a must attend event for brides! Exhibits include wedding cakes and a caterers (many with samples), venues, fashion, and other wedding services all under one roof. Don’t miss your chance to win exciting door prizes and give-a-ways. All the products, services, ideas and information you’ll need to make your dream wedding come to life are waiting for you, so bring a friend, your fiancé or family member and make this an exciting weekend event!
Forever Bridal Fashion Show

The Cloth Mill’s Winter Bridal Showcase

Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017 – 1-4pm
Location: The Cloth Mill, Hillsborough

Save the date for a perfectly planned afternoon at Freshly Pressed: The Cloth Mill’s Winter Bridal Showcase. We’ve covered every detail, and designed an interactive planning experience for newly engaged couples. You’ll nosh, toast, and mingle with some of our preferred wedding professionals, and get exclusive tours of this industrial chic venue.
Wedding venue in downtown Hillsborough NC

The Carolina Inn’s 22nd Annual Bridal Showcase

Date: Sunday, January 29, 2017 – 1-4pm
Location: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill

Join The Carolina Inn starting for an elegant and information-packed afternoon with the most talented and experienced wedding vendors in Chapel Hill, the Triangle and beyond. Enjoy this creative gathering where you will be able to delight in a feast of sample wedding cakes, view the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers, and experience an interactive approach to choosing your most valued wedding vendors.
The Carolina Inn Chapel Hill

Around the World in an Afternoon with A Way to Go Travel

Date: Sunday, February 12, 2017 – 1pm – 4pm
Location: The Proximity Hotel, Greensboro

A Way To Go Travel will have representatives from various resorts, hotels, and cruise lines perfect for honeymooners! Brides, grooms and all couples are able to meet and speak with representatives with each of these hotels, resorts and cruise lines to help them explore options for their honeymoon and to help them decide the best fit for them! It’s a free event and some lucky attendees will even win trips!

Bridal Designer Spotlight: Austin Scarlett Atelier

Couture Wedding Fashion at Alexia’s Bridal in Raleigh NC

“Project Runway” devotees will remember Austin Scarlett and his theatrical styles from the show’s original season. But Austin’s fashion career started far before his reality TV fame, and has taken off in the years since. After serving as Creative Director at Kenneth Pool for several years, he debuted his own bridal collection in 2012. Each year his craftsmanship has evolved, and today he is regarded among the true couture in U.S. wedding brands.
austin-scarlettSubtly Southern
Why do Austin’s bridal gowns so perfectly fit the Southern bride? He is a cutting-edge designer with experience in theatrical work, yet his root inspiration is in vintage fashion, including classic styles of the South. I first met Austin at a trip to New York Bridal Fashion Week a few years ago. His presentation was like a homecoming – his collection that year was themed to “Gone with the Wind.” He has also authored a book on the same topic: In “Forever Scarlett, the Immortal Style of Gone with the Wind,” Austin describes how he strives to bring the grace and elegance of that iconic Southern belle’s fashion and persona to his own designs.
designer-austin-scarlettwedding-dress-designAustin is a master of minimalist shape that honors the female form, combined with beautiful draping techniques. In true haute couture tradition, every design is developed and created under Austin’s personal supervision, and each gown is made-to-order, by hand, in New York Visit to Raleigh
This fall, Austin Scarlett visited Raleigh for a trunk show at Alexia’s Bridal, a wedding dress boutique off of Glenwood South, which is the only place you can find these gowns in our state. At this special event, brides had the unique opportunity to meet the designer during their appointment and get direct feedback. After a day of appointments, the charming and humble designer mingled with brides at a cocktail event at the salon.

Riley MacLean captured some playful images of Austin near the bridal boutique in downtown Raleigh.
alexias-bridal-boutique-raleighriley-maclean-photography couture-wedding-gowns-in-raleigh project-runway-designer alexias-raleighAlexia’s Bridal team welcomed Scarlett and brides to their salon, offering the unique opportunity to get personalized fitting advice from the designer himself.

For information about upcoming trunk shows at Alexia’s Bridal, and other area bridal salons, visit SB&G’s Shows & Event’s Pageraleigh-bridal-boutique

By Jenna Parks, co-publisher of Southern Bride & Groom

Photos by Riley MacLean Photography

Triangle NACE Benefit Event at The Rickhouse

Triangle NACE is the local chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events which elevates and educates the event and catering professionals throughout the United States. Triangle NACE is a 2016 Foundation of NACE Community Grant winner and, earlier this week, used the grant to launch an inaugural event benefiting Read and Feed and the Triangle NACE Scholarship Fund.
events-at-the-rickhouse-in-durhamnace-event-at-the-rickhousethe-rickhouse-in-durhamdowntown-durham-event-venuetriangle-nace-eventsnorth-carolina-charity-eventThis beautiful benefit was held at The Rickhouse in Durham and themed “Foraging into the Future.” Decor, inspired by the theme, included rentals from American Party Rentals; branches, moss, leaves and green and white florals (including flower crowns!) from Floral Dimensions, and natural twig orbs and lighting installed by Get Lit Special Event Lighting.
get-lit-natural-rustic-lightingrustic-and-natural-wedding-decorgreen-and-white-flower-inspirationnature-themed-event-decorspecial-menus-for-durham-eventsdaisy-flower-crownsTriangle NACE invited a select number of epicurious guests to dine with innovative local chefs in a decadently, woodsy environment.

Donovan’s Dish served delicious hors d’oeuvres during the silent auction before guest chefs took the stage and presented their a creative “forged” dishes.
catering-from-donovans-dishchef-tj-donovandonovans-dishThe event was emceed by Chef, Holistic Nutritionist and Author Sheree Clark who discussed vegan and the raw food movement. The new Chef of Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, John May, curated the second course with molecular gastronomy techniques gleaned from his time at Chef and The Farmer. The third course highlighted the seasonal creations of Chef Teddy Klopf of Provenance Restaurant in Raleigh. Dessert was a piece of pie from Slice Pie Company and homemade ice cream from The Freezing Point.
vegan-speakerchef-john-may-of-piedmont-restaurantchef-john-may-of-piedmont-restaurantthemed-events-durhamchef-at-provenance-raleighforaged-dinner-themedessert-vendors-in-ncfall-dessertsOther vendors at the event were Atlas Production Group, Catering Works, The Catering Company of Chapel Hill, The Cleveland Plant and Flower Company, La Fete Event Planning, Mystery Brewing, North Raleigh Florist, Renee Sprink Photography, Riley MaClean Photography, Royal Valet, Tap Snap Photobooth, Twin Dog Designs.
events-at-the-rickhousewedding-professionals-in-durhamtriangle-nace-membersPhotos by Red Bridge Photography

Special Offers and Engagement Events for Brides to Be

Score Great Deals on Jewelry and more from Raleigh Area Shops this Summer

If you’re recently engaged, it’s an exciting time full of fun decisions, like creating a registry and picking out jewelry for you and your wedding party!

We’ve put together a list of engagement events, special offers, and bridal programs for you to check out, so you can save cash on jewelry and other items you love most!Diamonds Direct engagement ringsPhoto: Jamie Blow Photography

“Winesday” Party Celebrating Joint Venture Jewelry’s 18th Anniversary

Joint Venture Jewelry invites Triangle residents to its 18th anniversary “Winesday” celebration on Wednesday, August 17 from 5-8pm! There will be a free wine tasting with Raleigh Wine Shop in addition to storewide sales and exclusive offers. Grab your friends to mix and mingle with fellow jewelry lovers while shopping with an exclusive anniversary discount. Joint Venture Jewelry is located at 250 Grande Heights Drive in Cary. In addition, its vintage fine jewelry collection includes engagement rings, wedding bands, sapphires, rings, diamonds, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more.

Belk’s August Engagement Party

Recently engaged? Get started on all the wedding planning fun at Belk Crabtree’s Summer Celebration on Sunday, August 28 from 1-4pm! Come by the Belk at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh (3rd floor Home Store) to create a wedding registry or add to an existing one and receive a $25 savings pass. Register to win one of their fantastic giveaways during the event and meet special guest Susan Gravely with Vietri Dinnerware! To RSVP, call 919-782-7010 x295/395.

Moon & Lola Bridal Discount

Whether you’re looking to bejewel the bridesmaids, outfit the groomsmen with custom cuff links, or show your appreciation for the entire bridal party with personalized gifts, Moon & Lola has you covered! They offer a fantastic bridal discount (apply here) that consists of 20% off purchases of $250+; 25% off purchases of $500+; or 30% off purchases of $1,000+.

Kendra Scott Bridal Discount

For any brides buying gifts for their big day or bridal party, Kendra Scott offers a 15% off discount for their entire purchase! Plus, on September 21st, they will launch their new bridal collection, featuring luxury pieces designed for the bride to wear on her special day.

Peachy Proposal Program

Anyone who is engaged is able to take part in Peachy Keen’s Proposal Program for the entire timeframe leading up to her wedding. To apply and become part of the program, a bride-to-be just needs to show her engagement ring and tell the staff the date of her wedding. Peachy Keen is located at 250 Grande Heights Drive in Cary.

Some of the key perks include:

If the bride-to-be and her future husband purchase wedding bands at Joint Venture Jewelry they can get $100 off each ring ($200 off total).

Bottle of sparkling to the groom when he purchases a band to help celebrate.

A complimentary copy of Southern Bride and Groom Magazine…and more!
Charleston South Carolina Engagement Session
Photo: Rachel Red Photography

Rehearsal Dinner Hot Spots in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill

The Best Restaurants for Rehearsal Dinner & Intimate Weddings in the NC Triangle

Your wedding reception checklist is underway – caterer, cake, rentals, favors… Time to relax, right? Not quite – you have another event entirely to think about: The Rehearsal Dinner! But don’t fret; the rehearsal dinner is not nearly as intense to plan as the wedding itself (plus, if you don’t have a wedding planner to plan this bash, you can always task your groom with the heavy lifting here). In fact, dare we say it, for many couples, the rehearsal dinner can be even more FUN than the wedding itself. It’s a chance to relax with your family and closest friends and to get all the wedding jitters (and tears) out ahead of the big day!

When planning your rehearsal dinner in the Triangle, you’ll want to keep your guests in mind: Will they enjoy the food? Is the atmosphere warm and welcoming? Does it showcase something you love about the local culinary scene? While most of the SB&G Preferred Venues are happy to host rehearsal dinners, it is often the most convenient for size and scale to choose a restaurant. While the Triangle area has a plethora of outstanding eateries and fine dining establishments, it is important to consider privacy capacity, as well as experience. Today we’re highlighting several restaurants that are perfect for the occasion. Below, SB&G shares our top picks for restaurant rehearsal dinners in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.


The elegant Moroccan ambiance of Babylon is amplified by its vibrant downtown location. Sections and rooms within the restaurant can accommodate up to 90 (indoors) and up to 350 (outdoors) with the use of their extensive patio which features an incredible tile-lined pool. Melrose Knitting Mill  is a newly renovated space with large windows and exposed bricks located above Babylon that gives brides the option to wed or host the reception and have it catered by the restaurant.
Babylon Raleigh weddingPhoto by Langhoff Creative

Jimmy V’s Osteria & Bar
Located within Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar is an Italian-American eatery that features traditional comfort foods made with locally grown ingredients. The menu emphasizes sharing, so guests can bond. This fun yet beautiful atmosphere makes Jimmy V’s an ideal place to host a party – our favorite option is outside on the patio.
Jimmy V's Steakhouse Raleigh

Managed by Eschelon Experiences, and located in North Hills, Mura features traditional Japanese cuisine and tasty sushi. With traditions and motifs of Japan, Mura offers a warm, refined atmosphere for your special occasion. It has a tatami room that can seat 4-24 people and is great for events. They occasionally allow the whole restaurant to be rented for private events.
Mura in North Hills RaleighMura sushi restaurant Raleigh

Empire Eats Catering manages two downtown Raleigh restaurants with delicious food and enticing atmospheres. Sitti, a Lebanese restaurant, is warm and inviting, with its communal dining table and antique Art Deco bar featuring Lebanese liquors, wines and beers. Sitti has a downstairs area with private dining. Next door, at Gravy, an Italian-American eatery, there is a  charming wine cellar that accommodates groups up to 40 people. In the back lot of these two restaurants is Jiddi Space, consisting of an exposed brick and an outdoor patio, as well as a large indoor event room. Either restaurant can cater events in this space, and it is available for rehearsal dinner use, or full scale weddings.
Gravy downtown Raleigh Sitti downtown Raleigh restaurant

Second Empire
This four diamond AAA-rated restaurant and venue in downtown Raleigh is listed as one of the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. Second Empire brings their famed dining experience to your special wedding and rehearsal dinner with customized menus. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern (circa 1879) combines an atmosphere of classical history and elegance with delicious cuisine and world-class wines. They have several areas to entertain and host an elegant reception or rehearsal dinner.
Wedding at Second Empire in RaleighPhoto by Anna Kirby Photography

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
Impress your guests with a mouthwatering steak at a downtown Raleigh steakhouse set right on the bustling area of Glenwood Avenue. They also specialize in seafood fare. Sullivan’s has several warm and welcoming rooms that are available for private dining. Whether you’re going on a date or hosting a  group of 30 or 75 people, you will be well fed and cared for at Sullivan’s by their event coordinators.
Sullivans Steakhouse Raleigh

Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen
The handsome private dining room at Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen in the Raleigh Marriott is a newer hotspot in the heart of downtown Raleigh, and is perfect for rehearsal dinners. The warm and welcoming 60-seat space and seasonal menu with a sophisticated twist on traditional Southern cuisine is a certain crowd-pleaser.
Raleigh Rye Bar MarriottPhoto by Alex Boerner Photography / Indyweek

Chapel Hill

Il Palio
Rustic Italian food meets modern technique for a meal that’s perfect for a date night, a celebration, or if you want to feel like escaping for a night—the food will make you feel like you’re somewhere far beyond the main road in Chapel Hill. Earlier this year, the Four Diamond AAA-rated restaurant was newly renovated inside the sophisticated Siena Hotel. The modern yet welcoming new look comes with an impressive new menu, carefully created by Chef Teddy Diggs.
Il Palio Chapel Hill Italian restaurantPhoto by Bites of Bull City

Along with its striking design and warm interior glow, Lantern’s farm-to-table menu is sure to impress foodies. This downtown Chapel Hill restaurant is run by James Beard Award-winning chef and owner Andrea Reusing, who creates delightful dishes that are a marriage of Asian flavors and and locally sourced North Carolina ingredients. A private dining room connected to the restaurant (Lantern Table) gives groups the opportunity to gather over a great meal, celebrate and create wonderful shared memories.
Lantern restaurant Chapel Hill

Southern Season in University Mall in Chapel Hill has a hidden gem inside – Weathervane restaurant, which serves sophisticated Southern fare for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The menus focus on local food producers and daily offerings highlight ingredients from the local farmers’ markets or artisans featured on Southern Season’s shelves. Private dining options are available in private indoor areas or the expansive vine-covered outdoor patio amidst an airy breeze.
Weathervane restaurant patio


Another Eschelon Experiences sushi and Japanese restaurant is centrally located in downtown Durham. The restaurant is vibrant, yet comfortable with booths and semi private seating. Like Mura, Basan has a tatami room that can seat 4-24 people and is great for events. Or check your event date to see if the whole restaurant is available for your larger wedding experience.
Basan downtown durham sushi

Counting House
Counting House is the restaurant located inside the downtown 21c Museum Hotel Durham. For a dinner that’s truly unique, consider booking a private or semi-private space. The modern and visually stunning onsite restaurant creates North Carolina fare. Afterwards, treat your guests to after dinner drinks in an old bank vault that’s been converted to a lounge.
weddings at 21c hotel durhamPhoto at left Bites of Bull City and photo at right by Dara Blakeley Photography from SB&G 2016 editorial fashion shoot (featuring Lana Addison Bridal, Makeup for Your Day, and Jewelsmith)

Dashi, is one of downtown Durham’s newest restaurants with a unique global experience. Their upstairs bar area, or izakaya, is available for private parties up to 55 guests. This space has oodles of character and serves both innovative small Japanese plates and ramen dishes. Shelf the champagne and have your wedding party make toasts with saki!
Photo of Dashi courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Chapel Hill Raleigh and Durham Boutique and Luxury Hotel Wedding Experience

SB&G’s Top 8 Picks for a Luxurious Triangle Hotel Wedding – from B&B’s to Five Star Resorts

1- 21c Museum Hotel Durham
For modern brides seeking a truly unique and artsy wedding location, this Durham boutique hotel is the spot. Located in a renovated bank building, 21c Durham retains elements of original mid 20th century charm, like a real bank vault turned into a lounge. The property’s signature attribute is the 24-hour art gallery inside, which is open to guests and to the public for free, but also available for private events.
21c Museum Hotel Durham by Joe PaynePhoto: Joe Payne Photography

The hotel can accommodate a large-scale wedding ceremony and reception in its grand ballroom, or an intimate cocktail party in the airy gallery spaces. The stylish restaurant Counting House, where Chef Josh Munchel presents a menu that incorporates fresh local ingredients from North Carolina, is perfect for rehearsal dinners, showers, or a farewell brunch.

The large honeymoon suite, with large windows, modern amenities and an outdoor balcony, offers a birds-eye-view of Bull City and luxury room blocks are available for out-of-town guests, with special rates available for groups of 10 or more. The hotel has a large number of suites, so your out-of-town guests will have the option to upgrade their stay. Custom welcome gifts can be arranged for guests through the 21c Museum Shop. You’ll also enjoy pre-wedding pampering with a massage at the in-house spa.
21c Museum Hotel Durham

2- The Siena Hotel
The Siena Hotel is a longstanding favorite boutique hotel in Chapel Hill, but if you haven’t visited recently, you might not know that they’ve renovated the lobby, event space and all guest rooms in the past couple of years. The property is still reminiscent of Old World Europe with majestic Tuscan décor, accented with antiques, fireplaces, and rich colorful furnishings; however, there is now a fresh modern simplicity that flows through the hotel.
Siena_Hotel_Day fountainThe onsite restaurant, Il Palio, debuted a new look last summer as well. It continues to be recognized as North Carolina’s only AAA Four Diamond Italian restaurant and Chef Teddy Diggs creates comforting yet elegant dishes that can be customized for your intimate wedding party. Chef Teddy cooks in the classic Italian style: simple and fresh are always the driving forces and inspiration behind each dish. The homemade focaccia bread that he lovingly prepares each day will blow your mind!

The Siena’s special event room is ideal for intimate weddings for under 100 guests. And the best news is, the Il Palio kitchen will cater the day with customized menus!
Siena Hotel Chapel Hill

3- The Durham Hotel
In another converted bank building, The Durham Hotel is bursting with mid-century modern style. The curators of this property did an amazing job of meshing modern amenities with local touches, such as the custom bedspreads from Raleigh Denim and the coffee bar from local brewer Counter Culture.
Weddings at The Durham HotelThe Durham’s food service including the lobby restaurant (which is open for Sunday brunch including a monthly Moogfest-produced “Disco Brunch”), and rooftop dining featuring a raw oyster bar, are spearheaded by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing (of Lantern in Chapel Hill).

The rooftop provides unbeatable views of the city and the perfect backdrop for a wedding weekend gathering. If you prefer privacy, the rooftop penthouse suite with its own patio space overlooking the city will sweep you off your feet. The Durham is also now offering bookings for daytime rooftop weddings!
Rooftop at The Durham HotelPhotos: Riley MacLean Photography

4- The Umstead Hotel & Spa
The Umstead is a true NC destination for travelers and engaged couples alike looking for a spectacular experience. Hosting weddings was apparently in the minds of the owners when designing the retreat-like luxury hotel. Both ballrooms face an outdoor lakeside terrace that overlooks the verdant ceremony garden below. The expansive patio is graced by an outdoor gas fire pit at one end and a massive fireplace on the other side. The Umstead Spa offers an unmatched tranquil atmosphere and all imaginable spa services. It provides the perfect getting- ready services for the bride and her wedding party. The couple and all their guests will enjoy the outdoor pool retreat. The award-winning Herons restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Best triangle wedding venues Umstead Hotel and SpaBride and groom at Umstead Hotel and SpaPhoto: Renee Sprink Photography

5- Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
In the picturesque setting on the Duke University campus, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is the ideal location for romantic, classic  weddings in Durham. The Presidents Ballroom of this elegant hotel has an stately entry and French-styled glass doors along one side opening to a large garden-surrounded terrace that boasts a wedding arbor and magnificent outdoor fireplace. Other outdoor venues offer expansive views of the golf course and wooded acres while the hotel offers all-sized interior locations as weather back-up for intimate or large ceremonies and receptions. Hotel wedding guests can enjoy free time dining at the Inn’s two acclaimed restaurants or the popular Bull Durham Bar, spa services, pool, fitness center or a round of golf throughout the wedding weekend!
Washington Duke WeddingsPhoto: Walters and Walters Photography
Washington Duke InnPhoto: Kristin Byrum Photography

6- The King’s Daughters Inn
The King’s Daughters Inn is nestled in the heart of Durham’s historic Trinity Park and offers a charming intimate bed and breakfast experience for you and your guests. It is fitted with eclectic and lavish furniture. The downstairs offers comfortable lounge areas that are flooded with natural light. And, for the eco-conscious bride, it’s nice to know the Inn is recognized for incorporating green technology into its renovation, design and daily functions.
Kings Daughters Inn Durham weddingWhen you rent the Inn for your wedding, you’ll enjoy exclusive use of the property, including three event spaces and 17 luxury rooms and suites. Each room has its own vibrant color palette and funky furniture.

Gourmet breakfast is included for all overnight guests and there is a full commercial kitchen available to your choice of licensed caterers. Complimentary use of tables, chairs, linens, glassware and setup is included. weddings at Kings Daughters InnPhoto: Alexanders Studios

7- The Mayton Inn
The Mayton Inn is a new boutique hotel in downtown Cary under the same local ownership and fine attention to service and care as The King’s Daughters Inn. This Georgian-style hotel encompasses a luxury atmosphere along with green technologies in all aspects of the new construction building. The 44 rooms and public spaces are dressed with custom features and furniture that was made in High Point, NC, just for the Inn. Green technology, such as solar panels on the roof and a rainwater cistern to keep the landscape lush during a drought, make it a great choice for the environmentally aware bride.

By 2017, the lovely outdoor terrace that adjoins the reception room, will overlook the completed Cary Park for a green and flowering view.
weddings and events at The Mayton Inn Cary NCPhoto: Casey Rose Photography

The hotel also features a lounge, full bar and restaurant, event spaces, a spa and an outdoor terrace. The Inn offers afternoon tea, as well as turndown service for guests with port and chocolates. And of course, breakfast is included in the gorgeous dining room shown above.
Stay at The Mayton Inn Cary NC

8- The Carolina Inn
Located on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, this classic Southern Inn is known for hosting a wide range of wedding events from bridal shower teas to magnificent weddings and receptions in the elegant ballrooms and outdoor ceremony courtyards. There is the enchanting Old Well ballroom with its black and white theme, and two elegant ballrooms for larger receptions. Brides most often give outstanding accolades for their all-star team of catering consultants, the food, and the ease and beauty of a Carolina Inn event.
Carolina Inn WeddingsPhoto: Azul Photography

The Carolina Inn is within easy walking distance of UNC campus and Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street array of restaurants and entertainments. Or, guests can comfortably stay at the beautiful Inn and dine at their newly renovated AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four-Star rated Crossroads Chapel Hill & Bar.  Here one has everything needed for the fanciest occasions all in one beautiful location.
The Old Well Room Carolina InnPhoto: Robyn Van Dyke Photography